Thursday, November 5, 2015

JOB OPENING! Traveling Client Advocate

Traveling Client Advocate

Individual needed to work directly with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Job duties include advocating for victims, collaborating with other agencies, securing space in each county to meet with clients and other duties as needed.   Qualified applicants are required to maintain absolute confidentiality, present professional written and verbal communication skills, be self-motivated, do daily travel and be available to be assigned rotating on-call shifts during the month.  Bachelor’s degree or 2 years of experience in the human services field preferred.  Individual must be able to pass a background check.  Position is 40 hours a week.  Benefits include paid sick, vacation, Holidays, on-call pay, mileage, paid employee vision & dental insurance and a health 125k plan.  Applicants who reside in Arthur, Deuel, Garden, Grant or Perkins County are desired.  

Send resume to:
            PO Box 22
            Ogallala, NE  69153

Deadline: Friday November 20, 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015

7 Things That Are Proven to End Domestic Violence

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic Licenseby  Helga Weber 
The Sandhills Crisis Intervention Program provides all of the services and resources listed in this article to victims and survivors in Keith, Deuel, Perkins, Grant, Garden and Arthur Counties in southwest Nebraska.  

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there has been a 63% reduction in incidents of domestic violence that do not result in death in the US since 1994. In addition, there was a 48% reduction in intimate partner homicides between 1976 and 2005. Clearly this is the direction we want to be moving. However, what's moving us in this direction? What's working?

Here are the top seven interventions that - according to research -- do work.

7 Things That Are Proven to End Domestic Violence

1. Domestic Violence Shelters
80 percent of victims staying in Safe Horizon shelters reported being choked or strangled by their abuser--they were in terrifying, life-threatening situations. Shelters offer a safe refuge for victims and their children, providing time for victims to think about options and rebuild their lives. Shelters have been found to reduce the frequency and intensity of ongoing violence and to decrease depression.

2. Orders of Protection (aka Restraining Orders)
What happens when the abuser won't stay away? An Order of Protection is a court order that typically requires the abuser to stay away from the victim. Orders of Protection can go further to require that the abuser turn in firearms, cover the rent, or pay to replace damaged possessions. It can even address child custody on a temporary basis. Research has found that orders of protection decrease the likelihood of repeat abuse.

3. Advocacy
Domestic violence can do damage in every area of a victim's life. Many victims need intensive help to get back on their feet. Domestic violence advocacy services focus on supporting victims in accessing social, medical, legal, and financial aid so that they can rebuild their lives. Studies reveal that recipients of advocacy experience less violence and have improved quality of life and social support.

4. Legal Representation and Advocacy
Navigating a challenging legal system can be daunting for anyone, let alone for someone in crisis. Free or low-cost legal representation and advocacy from professionals or paraprofessionals on criminal and civil legal matters are essential for victims. Evidence shows that victims that receive legal advocacy report a decrease in abuse experiences.

5. Hotlines
In moments of crisis, having someone ready to hear you and offer options can be lifesaving. Domestic violence hotlines provide support to victims around the clock, exploring risks, developing safety plans, and linking survivors to critical services.Victims report that calling a DV hotline helped them gain important information and resources and increased survivor's access to support.

6. Counseling
Domestic violence counseling provides a safe space for victims to talk about their abuse experiences helping them build confidence and hope. Research has found that recipients report that they feel more informed and supported, are better able to be self-sufficient, use coping skills, and improve their decision-making ability. With trauma-focused treatment, survivors experience relief from post-traumatic symptoms like nightmares and panic attacks.

7. Economic Empowerment
The majority of victims staying in Safe Horizon shelters were financially dependent on their abusers. Economic empowerment programs help victims of domestic violence learn how to manage their finances and develop financial plans. Research indicates that victims receiving these services have a better understanding of financial matters (like credit scores and managing a bank account), and they feel more confident about their ability to manage their money and plan for the future.

Whether staying or leaving, there are tremendous challenges. Research also bears out that making their own choices enables victims to feel empowered and more likely to follow-through with their decisions.
It's up to us all to keep domestic violence a social priority by pushing the discussion and by also supporting the solutions.

Help SCIP end domestic violence by volunteering or making a donation.
Call 308-284-8477 or stop by during regular office hours at 111 W. 3rd Street.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual violence, call SCIP's 24-hour hotline at 877-836-6055.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Your Friend is Abusing Their Partner - How to Talk to Your Friend

Last week, we discussed how to react when you find out that a close friend or family member is abusing their partner without shaming the victim.  The second part of the article "6 Ways to Confront Your Friend Who’s Abusing Their Partner" will help you navigate.  Talking to your friend about the abuse can be very difficult.  How you confront them could possibly escalate violence for their partner, so it is best to tread carefully.


How to Confront an Abusive Friend

1. Consult the Survivor

The most important aspect of any anti-abuse work, whether public or private, is to create space for survivors of abuse to empower themselves and make their own decisions.
More than therapists or social workers or activists, it is survivors who best understand the complexities and barriers of their relationships.
If you’re considering confronting a friend who’s abusing their partner, make sure that you contact the partner in question and get their consent whenever possible. They’ll be able to inform you about what’s appropriate, what would be helpful, and what might be dangerous for them.
Remember that it’s not your job to “rescue” anyone, but to help create options for them to choose from.
Starting the conversation with your friend’s partner can be awkward or difficult, but is often also extremely important – many survivors of abuse report wishing that someone had asked them if they were alright or if they needed help.
Conversation starters can be as simple and transparent as:
“Hey, how are you doing? I noticed that Aryn was pushing you at the party the other night, and I wanted to check in with you.”
We don’t have to talk about this if you don’t want to, but I just wanted to ask how things are in your relationship with Logan. Tell me if this is none of my business, but it seems like he isn’t always the nicest to you.”
“I might be completely misreading this situation, but I felt like it might be important to ask you how things are going with Alisha.”
There’s always the possibility that your friend’s partner won’t want to have the conversation with you, and that is their right.
Even if the question upsets them, however, I believe that it is worth taking the risk of momentary discomfort in order to let someone know that you see what is going on and are willing to support them. 

2. Consider Safety

No matter what the situation is, it’s always best practice to take a moment to think about safety: yours, your friend’s, and particularly your friend’s partner’s.
If you or the survivor of abuse believe that there is a risk of physical danger, then it might be important to postpone the confrontation with your friend or to make a safety plan first.
Safety plans vary, but usually include making sure that the person at risk has a place to stay, emergency money, and access to basic resources and human support.

3. Prepare Your Friend

“Surprise” confrontations and reality-TV style “interventions” that involve a lot of people and/or cameras usually go really, really, really badly. 
Do not surprise or overwhelm (read: gang up on) your friend, no matter how good your intentions are. On the other hand, it may be a good idea to choose one other person who is close to both of you to accompany you through the conversation. 
Let your friend know that that you want to talk to them about something important (or be even more explicit than that), and schedule a time and place that is comfortable for both of you. 

4. Have the Conversation

Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that telling your friend that you think that they’re abusing their partner is incredibly awkward, hard, and sad. There are few things I’ve done in my life that were harder. It’s possible that there is no “good” way.
Some suggestions I can make, however, include:
  • Speak from a place of loveExplain that the reason you’re having this conversation is because you care about your friend.
  • Own your words, feelings, and judgments. This often looks like using tentative phrases that begin with “I feel that,” “I could be wrong, but I think that,” “It seems to me like,” and so on.  It also means not speaking for the survivor of abuse unless they’ve asked you to.
  • Allow for pauses, gaps, and breaks in the conversation. Acknowledge that this is a dialogue that may have to take place over a few days, weeks, or even months.
  • Resist the urge to give your friend orders or ultimatumsPhrases like “You need to do _____,” “If you don’t stop____, then_____,” and “You have to ____” aren’t helpful. Analyzing their behavior (“Maybe this is because of your past traumatic relationships”) is probably also not that helpful. Instead, point out the behavior that you see as abusive, tell them that you think it isn’t acceptable, and let them draw their own conclusions.
Examples of ways to state that you think your friend is acting abusively include:
“I wanted to talk to you because I’ve seen you push and slap your boyfriend a few times now, and it makes me worried about both of you.”
“I know this is awkward, but I have to tell you that I am worried about the way you fight with Sabina. You’ve told her that you’ll hurt yourself if she breaks up with you, and I don’t think that’s okay.”
One of the most powerful things we can do as friends is hold up a mirror to each others’ behaviors: We show each other what the things we do look like from the outside.
In many cases, this alone is enough to make a huge difference in ending abuse.

5. Follow Up

It’s hard to predict how the conversation will go.
If your friend refuses to acknowledge that they’re being abusive, then it may take a long time, and many more conversations (they don’t all have to be with you) to get the point across. It may become necessary to prioritize supporting their partner instead, whether that means offering emotional care and/or helping them leave the relationship if that’s what they want. 
It’s equally likely, however, that your friend will appreciate your reaching out and might ask you to help them figure things out. Some things you can do in this case are helping connect them to local resources such as community organizations and mental health care. Often, creating support plans between informal networks of friends and acquaintances is also extremely helpful. 
I believe that working with perpetrators of intimate abuse is actually very similar to supporting abuse survivors in that agency is key.
Most people who act abusively do so because they are feeling out of control in some part of their lives, and helping restore that sense of empowerment can make an enormous difference.

6. Love Yourself

I mean this in the active sense: Do things that are self-loving.
Anti-abuse work is hard, unglamorous, and usually goes unpaid. Confronting abusive friends can be emotionally destabilizing and draining. It forces you to re-evaluate everything you know about yourself, about relationships, and the people around you. 
So ask for help. Feed yourself. Sleep. Drink water. Give yourself time to just rest and to feel.
And know that sometimes the hardest things you will ever do are also the most worthwhile.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cowboy Capital Chorus Shows Their Commitment and Support for SCIP

SCIP would like to send out a big thank you to the Cowboy Capital Chorus!  During the “Barbershop on Broadway” show they presented a check for $500 to SCIP’s Executive Director, Kat Bauer.  

We are so happy to have such a stand up group of men recognize the issue of domestic violence in our community and how it is directly related to a healthy and safe community for all who live here.  It is by bringing the topic of domestic violence and sexual assault to the foreground that we can finally work towards eliminating it through empowerment, education and social action.  Thank you Cowboy Capital Chorus!  

The services SCIP provides wouldn't be available without donations and support from our community!  Here are some examples of the essential services SCIP provided between 10/15/2014-7/31/2015:

  • SCIP has provided 195 people (89 women, 2 men, and 104 children) with assistance: average cost of $40.54/person.
  • SCIP provided 49 people received 72 nights of shelter:  average cost of $14.03/night.
  • SCIP provided 60 professional counseling sessions:  $50.00/session.
  • SCIP provided 543 meals for only $151.31!
You can learn more about the Cowboy Capital Chorus by visiting their website at 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Your Friend is Abusing Their Partner - How Do You React?

Consider these facts:  
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.1
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.1
Not only is it likely that you know someone who has been abused, but it is likely that you know someone who abuses.  

We often see articles about what to do if a friend or family member is being abused.  But what do you do if a friend or family member is abusing their intimate partner, child or elderly parent?  Below is part of an article by Kai Cheng Thom, republished from Everyday Feminism.  Thom’s approach is two-fold:  how to react to finding out your friend is abusing their partner and how to confront an abusive friend.  Today's post will just focus on how to react when you hear that your friend (or family member) is abusing their partner.


How to React to Finding Out Your Friend Is Abusing Their Partner

1.  Acknowledge the Evidence and Believe the Survivor

Perhaps the hardest thing to do is admitting that someone we care for and trust is capable of hurting someone else. There’s the temptation to ignore the signs of intimate violence, or even deny outright someone’s assertion that our friend, or mentor, or elder, has been abusing them.
I’ve known him for years, and he would never hurt anyone,” we want to say. Or “She’s been an amazing activist since forever, and she would never do anything like what you’re claiming.”
We struggle, naturally, to resist the possibility that the image we’ve constructed of someone we like or admire might be shattered.
But one of the most important things that contemporary feminism has taught us is that people don’t often lie about abuse – that we must learn to believe survivors, that anyone is capable of violence.
Let me repeat that: Regardless of how good or intelligent or well-intentioned they are, anyone is capable of violence.

2. Sit with Your Own Feelings

Part of the reason why abuse is so difficult to discuss is that it’s a massively emotionally charged topic.
Many of us also have personal histories around abuse and intimate partner violence. It’s enormously important to acknowledge our own feelings, memories, and biases as we move into any discussion of abuse happening around us.
So sit with your feelings: If you can, name them, one by one. Resist the urge to judge your emotions as positive or negative; try to allow yourself simply to have them.
Move through the whole cycle of denial, anger, bargaining, despair, acceptance, if you need to. There is real grief in losing the image of a “perfect” friend or acquaintance. Allow yourself room for grieving.

3. Talk to Someone About It

Abuse is most terrifying and overwhelming when we confront it alone.
This is true whether we’re experiencing or witnessing it. If you can, find someone to support you through the process of confronting your friend’s abuse. 
Sometimes you may feel like it’s necessary to protect your friend’s safety or privacy while debriefing with someone else. Do you what you have to. This isn’t about gathering a mob to gang up on your friend’ it’s about making sure you have the emotional support you need.

4. Decide What You Want to Do Next

Review the options available, decide how you want to proceed, and make a strategy (see the list below for more on this).
Remember: You don’t have to do anything that you don’t feel safe doing or that might endanger someone else. Not doing anything, or waiting to do something, can be completely valid strategies in the right context.
Take your time. Work with your community behind and beside you.  Love and accountability should be the basis of any action you take.

5. Remember What You Love About Your Friend

Your friend is still your friend, even after you discover that they’ve abused someone. The fact that they have hurt someone makes them human, not evil. They’re still your friend – the person who taught you to skateboard, bought you your first drink, stood up at your wedding, introduced you to feminism, or whatever else you treasure about them.
There is a tendency, after the phase of denial that someone in our communities might be abusive, to immediately reject the abusive person as despicable, unforgivable. You may indeed decide that you need to pause or end your friendship with them.
However, this is your choice to make. You are not obligated to stop caring about someone because they have been violent.
And to be totally honest, I very much believe that unconditional love is one of the most important supports in enabling abusive individuals to bring an end to the harm they’re causing. 

Next week, we will focus on how to confront your friend (or family member) who is abusing their partner.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Self Defense Class

On July 18, 2015 SCIP hosted a FREE self defense class to girls and women age 12 years old and up in Ogallala and surrounding areas at the Goodall Recreation Center.  

The class was taught by Brad Garrick from Top Tier Boxing and MMA.  Brad has worked with SCIP for several years.  His studies include Muay Thai, Hapkido, Jui-Jutsu, Taekwondo, Toshindo, boxing, wrestling, and Judo.  We are always happy to have him teach our classes!

Below is a slideshow of the class!