Prevention A Newsletter from Helping Services for Northeast Iowa
Local Coalitions Work to Engage Communities in Discussion and Action How much do you know about underage drinking in your community? The truth is, it might affect your family more than you know. The Iowa Youth Survey shows us that a startling number of 8th graders in Northeast Iowa have reported having at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days. Even if it is not your child, it may be someone they sit next to in school, play ball with at the park, or hang out with on the weekend. During April, residents in Allamakee, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties had the opportunity to talk with fellow community members about this important topic and helped create ways to decrease underage drinking in their community. The purpose of these events was to stimulate longlasting conversations on the topic of underage drinking and binge drinking. The overall goal was to continue decreasing underage drinking and binge drinking rates in the area. Participants learned about and had the opportunity to discuss Iowa alcohol laws and risky behaviors associated with alcohol use. They heard how alcohol use can impact car insurance, the ins and outs of school good conduct policies, the pros and cons of social networking sites and the importance of leading a substance-free lifestyle. Panel presenters at the events included law enforcement, athletic directors, advocates in the domestic violence and sexual abuse field, health educators, community members, insurance agents and prevention specialists. Thank you to all who joined in April 2011 Underage Drinking/Binge Drinking Town Hall Meetings. Continued on page 4
I Am of
Trusted Adults Keeping a Child Safe
In our last newsletter you met Jason and Beth. One thing Jason and Beth had in common was the experience of violence in their home. What they did not have in common was an expanded network of support. Beth had at least four trusted adults in her life. She could count on them to believe her, listen to her, and respect her feelings. Jason did not have this advantage. Because Beth has these adults in her life, she is weathering this crisis much more successfully. This is why we have developed the “I am 1 of 4” campaign. April is Child Abuse Prevention month and our effort this month combines “Pinwheels for Prevention” with working to expand each child’s network of support to at least four healthy, trusted adults. A trusted adult responds with the allempowering phrase, “I believe you!” to a child who has disclosed a What does it mean to boundary violation. be a trusted adult? Then they support that 1. Respect children’s feelings and boundaries. child by taking action 2. Believe children when they share feelings, even and engaging other uncomfortable ones. trusted adults to keep 3. Respect children when the child says “No, the child safe from I don’t want a hug right now” or “no, I don’t additional harm. want to keep this secret that makes me feel Children empowered confused or mixed up.” with the right of their feelings, the right to healthy boundaries, and the right to discuss feelings and uncomfortable situations openly, are also children who are less likely to be the targets of abusive adults or peers. “I am 1 of 4” encourages a child to create a list of adults in their lives they trust. “I am 1 of 4” challenges adults to better understand what a “trusted adult” acts like in the life of a child and how that supportive behavior works to keep a child safe from abuse. “I am 1 of 4” trusted adults in keeping a child safe. Are you? Keep a child safe and healthy by carrying on this conversation with a child in your life and with other trusted adults: relatives, friends, co-workers. You can also be a part of the community conversation on the Family Support Facebook discussion board. Download free resources to engage children and adults in these important conversations at helpingservices.org.
From the Executive Director
Despite Unknown Funding, We’ll Still Keep At It Cold winds are blowing across the funding landscape, and few service agencies know how budgets will look after the first of July. But this is spring and, like the farm families throughout our area, we are lifting a heavy work load, and few of us have the opportunity to focus on the “what ifs” of the future. These weeks, the ones between the first of April and end of May, are always filled with special campaigns: sexual assault awareness month, child abuse awareness month, alcohol awareness month, and so forth. We are also in the midst of that high risk time of spring: parties, proms, and graduation. Programming which highlights these issues is intense and demands a lot from staff who continue with their regular schedules and areas of focus. These are important times of outreach to the community and each year more people expand their knowledge of how sexual assault, child abuse, and alcohol impact their communities, their neighbors, and their families. They learn that they are not powerless. Their action can help an individual move through the healing process because they have the support of someone they know and trust. “I am one of four” is a powerful statement about children needing adults in their life that they can trust. We can lay down a line of protection and safety for families and community by declaring that “I will not be a bystander” and watch or walk away when someone is harassed or sexually assaulted. Community-wide declarations that “Talking Matters” will strengthen parents’ resolve to engage their children in a conversation about alcohol. This simple act can shape their choices and behaviors when they are confronted with opportunities to use alcohol, and offers a protective shield against many of the health risks associated with its use. There is much going on and despite the lack of certainty around next year’s funding, we will keep pursuing these important efforts. Learn about it at helpingservices.org or join us on Facebook. We need you as partners in these very important efforts. Give me a call at 563387-1720. I would appreciate hearing your concerns and interests. -David Runyon, Executive Director
Prevention - Spring 2011
Educating for the Future An intern’s experience at Helping Services
‘Helping Services, Katie speaking,’ our receptionist, Katie Lawless, says when picking up the phone. ‘Do you take interns?’ is the question she hears. Several times a year we get calls from students at Luther College, NICC, or Upper Iowa University, wondering if we would accept them as interns for a month or a semester. ‘I have looked on your website and think your agency would be a great place to learn and to share what I am learning in class too,’ they say. Willing staff members usually say yes. Not only can students grow under our guidance, but they take on projects that enhance and expand our work. Following a “real life” interview and initial training, students are found presenting in a classroom, attending a community meeting, creating a media campaign, answering the crisis line, or organizing an event for the mentoring program. Currently the agency works with three interns, all from Luther College. Ana Molina and Torey Rogness are both senior Social Work majors. Tim Campbell interned with us in January and is now writing his senior paper on our agency culture. All three students value the opportunity, realizing that this is a transition from classroom to real world. Tim states, “ In the classroom, we spend a lot of time contemplating what our lives will look like once we’re done with all this college business. Interning is a valuable connection with the ‘real-world’ that we hear about, but don’t touch or see so much as college students.”
Ana and Torey agree. They like applying their classroom knowledge and also discovering new concepts. Ana recently had a meaningful experience answering the domestic and sexual abuse crisis line. The woman she was talking with had experienced a sexual assault. Anything Ana offered beyond listening to her story was refused. Ana, concerned she had not done enough, turned to an advocate for immediate advice. She reflected, “Listening to the advocate tell me she would have done the same thing made me realize that I had just practiced my social work skills learned in classes at Luther. I realized that I am passionate about the work I am doing. It amazes me how much you can learn from just one conversation with a client.”
Torey had an experience of a different nature. He was asked to make phone calls to businesses, informing them about upcoming trainings. Although it was pretty routine work, he says, “It provided a very important opportunity to grow as a professional. I was a bit nervous at first, though even after just a few calls, I grew pretty confident. I felt very professional when speaking and had a sense of pride in that. It helped me gain confidence in myself in regard to talking with other professionals.”
Dr. Ginger Meyette, LCSW, a Luther professor of Social Work who helps link students to agencies, thanks us for being an agency willing to take interns. “The staff who supervise these students are truly ‘giving back’ and ‘passing on’ their own experience-based learning as they inspire and guide our students in preparing for their own careers.” Our staff knows that their work with interns is helping to produce the next generation of professionals in our field. We take this responsibility seriously and try to give the students the fullest experience possible.
The Advocates at Helping Services Resource Center are the keepers of the Crisis Line, the calm, kind voices at the other end of the telephone line when there is a call for help. This time, he threw me down the stairs. I knew I had to get out, but I was petrified. I didn’t know who to turn to. Who would believe me? I had heard about Helping Services, and when I saw their poster at the doctor’s office, I tore off the slip of paper with the phone number on it.
The Crisis Line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week by Helping Services advocates. In 2010 there were over 1000 calls for help. A corps of volunteers help field the calls that come in. They give their time and empathy to assist in the process of helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. These volunteers come from all walks of life and the Helping Services Resource Center would not be able to handle all the calls without them.
Helping Services provides many programs, meetings and trainings for the public. You are welcome to attend most of these events. For complete details and an up-to-date listing of opportunities, please visit helpingservices.org.
May 2: 8th Grade Tobacco Education and Youth Leadership Conference, Camp EWALU 3: Mentor Training: Anger Management and Conflict Resolution, 5:30 p.m., Son Shine Center, Manchester 4: Clayton County CPPC, Noon, Creativity Center, Guttenberg 5: All Star Booster, Multicultural Family Center, Dubuque 5: Howard County CPPC, 4 p.m., Kessel Kids, Cresco 5: Fayette County Tobacco Coalition, 11:30 a.m., West Central, Maynard 9: Substance-Free Allamakee Coalition, 3:30 p.m., Chamber of Commerce, Waukon 9: Mentor Training: Cultivating Your Mentee’s Strengths, 6 p.m., Wellness Center, Waukon
I finally got up the nerve to call about and 1:30 a.m. A woman answered. We talked for a long time. She Helping Services listened and helped me sort my thoughts. She didn’t tell me what to do, but let me know my options. I decided to call the police. It’s all a blur now, but I remember when they came, I grabbed the kids, and we were taken to a church in another town. That’s where the woman I talked to on the phone met us. The kids and I got into her car, and she drove us to a house and took us inside.
Resource Center Crisis Line
800 -383 -2988
The house was warm and safe. We had to leave in such a hurry, my baby, wrapped in a blanket, didn’t have anything on her feet. We had nothing but the clothes on our back. The woman, who turned out to be a volunteer, found socks and boots for the baby. She took muffins out of her freezer and warmed them up and gave us something hot to drink. We felt so comfortable and cared for. She even gave me a suitcase to put our things into when we eventually left to start a new life. I never saw her again, but I’ll never forget her. After that night I met with an advocate who helped me through the process of getting back on my feet, providing for my children, and establishing safety for our family. I’m thankful for the volunteer who answered my call, who drove us to a safe place, who opened her home to my family. I’m thankful for the advocate who helped me through the legal and emotional maze, and for the community that supports taking action to keep people safe.
Volunteers are always needed. The people who fill these roles are caring, empathetic, and good listeners. They can answer the Crisis Line from their own home, they can provide transportation for clients Continued on next page
10: Allamakee County CPPC, 4 p.m., Robey Memorial Library, Waukon 12: Winneshiek County Tobacco-Free Coalition, Noon, Back Home Bakery, Decorah 12: ERASE, Talking Matters Ice Cream Social and Town Hall meeting, 6 p.m., South Winn Auditorium, Calmar 12: All Star Booster, Multicultural Family Center, Dubuque 16: Prevention 5 Coalition, Noon, Chamber of Commerce, Cresco 19: Howard County Tobacco-Free Coalition, Noon, Panda Garden, Cresco 19: Winneshiek County CPPC, 4 p.m., Java John’s, Decorah 19: All Star Booster, Multicultural Family Center, Dubuque 20: ERASE Coalition, 374 Valders Hall, Luther College, Decorah 23: Allamakee Mentoring Steering Committee, 4 p.m., Wellness Center, Waukon 24: FCSAC, 4 p.m., Public Library, West Union 27: All Star Booster, Multicultural Family Center, Dubuque
June 4: Mentoring Event: Niagara Cave 11: American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, 12 p.m.-12 a.m., Decorah High School
13: Substance-Free Allamakee Coalition, 3:30 p.m., Chamber of Commerce, Waukon
Upcoming Events (Continued)
from a neutral location to a place of safety, or provide a temporary safe home. In-depth training is provided.
14: MY Club Birthday Party/Recognition Event, 6 p.m., Heritage Center, Cresco 16-17: JEL Summit, Central College, Pella 17: ERASE Coalition, 374 Valders Hall, Luther College, Decorah 20: Prevention 5 Coalition, Noon, Windy Tree Cafe, Riceville 25: Mentoring Event: All Counties, Heartland Acres Agribition Center Tour, Noon, Independence 28: FCSAC, 4 p.m., ICN Room Public Library, West Union
I went to a luncheon in 1989 where a Helping Services advocate was speaking. They were asking for volunteers. My kids were all gone, so I decided to volunteer to answer the Crisis Line. I thought it was something I could do to help, to make a difference, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s rewarding when one of them gets help. You feel like you’ve done something. It’s a good feeling. I get satisfaction out of it, even if you only help one person out of ten, because you’ve done something.
Helping Services is deeply indebted to the volunteers who share their time with the agency. Anyone interested in joining this special group can call 563-387-1720 or email email@example.com.
July 8: ERASE Coalition, 374 Valders Hall, Luther College, Decorah 11: Substance-Free Allamakee Coalition, 3:30 p.m., Chamber of Commerce, Waukon 16: Mentoring Event: Canoeing and Fishing in
Discussion and Action
Howard County, 11 a.m., TBA
Board of Directors
Mailing List Update We want to be good stewards of our resources. To help us maintain our mailing lists and costs, please notify us if you prefer to receive this newsletter electronically or wish to remove your name from our mailing list. Email or call to make a change to your mailing preference.
Prevention is published quarterly by Helping Services for Northeast Iowa.
Administrative Office P.O. Box 372, Decorah, IA 52101 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Signature Today’s Date I hereby authorize Helping Services for Northeast Iowa to arrange automatic withdrawals from my bank account on the day of each month. I understand that I may cancel at anytime with written notice. *IMPORTANT* Please include a voided check.
One Time Donation I would like to support Helping Services and have enclosed a check made out to Helping Services for the amount of: $50
Online Donation Donations can be made through Helping Services’ secure website: www. helpingservices.org
Questions? Call 563-387-1720
Prevention- Spring 2011
Phone: 563-387-1720 Fax: 563-382-5730
I would like to support Helping Services monthly through an electronic funds transfer in the amount of: $15
Continued from first page
Where do we go from here? Join a substance abuse prevention coalition, support mentoring programs in your area, and continue to provide alternative youth activities. Most importantly, keep talking about underage drinking with youth. Visit helpingservices.org for helpful resources to spur on these conversations with youth. For information on coalition efforts in your area, please call Katie Bee at Helping Services at 563-387-1720.
18: Prevention 5 Coalition, Noon, Chamber of Commerce, Cresco 26: FCSAC, 4 p.m., ICN Room Public Library, West Union
Tom Buresh, President Steven Drewes, President Elect Dick Graham, Treasurer Carolyn Havenstrite, Secretary Hanni Hernandez Barb Duwe-Peterson Dennis Koenig Sue McMillan Mary Straate
Continued from page 3
Please mail this form to:
HELPING SERVICES FOR
PO Box 372, Decorah, IA 52101
Your donation brings positive programming and resources that truly matter to the people of our community. Family Support Domestic/Sexual Abuse Resource Center Mentoring Substance Abuse Prevention
From the Board of Directors
So Others Will Have Enough d ved an invol lence o i to get v l exua stop s
As some of you ce.
en al viol ’s sexu ent, it ent. t cons t cons no is e Silenc
know, I am a pastor, and a sermon I gave recently was entitled Never Enough. Now
It’s Time to Get Involved In 1964, the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese shocked Americans from coast to coast. While a man attacked and raped her for over half an hour and then killed her, 38 men and women watched and did nothing to help. The shock and confusion surrounding this single event captured the country’s attention and launched a substantial debate into how caring people could watch such an attack, and yet do nothing. This one event launched new research and programs about the “bystander effect.” It also marked the beginning of an approach by programs and researchers to move bystanders to act more responsibly. Bystanders often describe feeling scared, alone, and afraid to say or do something in the face of violence. They fear making someone angry, possibly misunderstanding the situation, or even triggering further violence. Yet over the years, the bystander approach has recognized that saying or doing something is not necessarily a single event by a single hero. In fact there are often many opportunities and numerous people who can intervene. The 2011 Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign looks at sexual assault situations that are common, and offers individuals viable, responsible ways to intervene. This prevention approach aims to create environments where people are safe in their relationships, families, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and communities. Bystanders can help in a variety of ways. For example, when you see harassment, say something. Support a friend who has been sexually assaulted. Stop asking what the victim could have done differently and ask what we could have done to help. You can volunteer with the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Resource Center at Helping Services. Rape can be prevented. Help us to prevent this horrific crime. For more information on sexual assault please visit helpingservices. org, iowacasa.org, or nsvrc.org, or call the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Resource Center at 800-383-2988.
5 Alternatives to Doing Nothing 1. Take Care of yourself and your friends. Stop others from taking advantage of someone who is intoxicated or unable to help themselves. Speak up, take a stand in situations that may escalate to sexual abuse. 2. Consider the words you use, the music you listen to, the ‘jokes’ you laugh at. Are you contributing to social practices that condone sexual violence? Are you blaming the victim?
don’t quit reading; I am not going to give a
What I would like to do is have you think how “never enough” might apply to the four components of Helping Services.
Mentoring – We can never give enough help and guidance to our youth in their formative years.
But, we seem to never
have enough adults who volunteer to be mentors.
We can never educate our youth, families and communities enough concerning the damaging effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Remember, we all learn so
much by example.
Domestic and Sexual Abuse Resource Center – We can never offer enough free help and assistance to those in an abusive situation. We seem to never have enough safe homes or people to answer the 24-hour Crisis Line.
Family Support – We can never make our homes and communities safe and healthy enough.
We need to continue to
help those young couples cope with a newborn, especially when they find out the baby didn’t come with instructions. We need to help families find ways to do more things together and to nurture each other more, because families can never get enough support from each other. Thus, my request is simple. Even though it seems like there is “never enough” time to do the things we want to do in life, please think about your life and how you spend
3. Donate supplies, money, or time to Helping Services, which enable us to assist victims and educate the public about sexual violence.
your time. Think about how you can find
4. Educate yourself about the sexual assault programs in your community. Chances are at some point someone you know will need the support of one of these agencies.
“enough” in their lives.
5. Talk Openly about the issue of sexual and domestic violence. Silence is a perpetrator’s ally.
some extra time to help, so others will have
-Tom Buresh, Board President
HELPING SERVICES FOR
Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage
P.O. Box 372 Decorah, IA 52101
Decorah, Iowa Permit No. 4
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
Highlights Inside I am 1 of 4.........................................1 Educating for the Future....................2 Gentle Heroes...................................3 It’s Time to Get Involved....................5
Why Not Make a Pie? The mentors and mentees in our program are very creative. Recently, we learned about the undertaking of a unique activity: pie making. Pulling out Craig’s 35-year-old Betty Crocker Cookbook, he and his mentee, Erik, tackled pie making together. These two, matched for a little over a year, took Erik’s fondness of being in the kitchen to the next level, and succeeded. Lucky for us, staff at Helping Services got to try a slice of pie, and Craig and Erik are sharing ) their pie-making secrets. Why not grab your mentee or a youth you’d like to spend Style time with and make a pie together?
If you are ambitious and want to make your pie pastry from scratch, view the recipe at the Mentoring Facebook page. There you can see more photos of Craig and Erik’s pie making process and share your own activity photos.
Ment ie ( P e Appl
ts ges ug s CraigIntosh Mc
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Prevention - Spring 2011