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Archive for Friday, March 19, 2010

Domestic abuse center that serves Douglas County changes its name

March 19, 2010

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To better reflect its mission of helping the victims of family and domestic violence, Women’s Transitional Care Services has changed its name to Willow Domestic Violence Center.

When the organization was established in 1976 in Lawrence, its focus was helping women who were starting to live independently for the first time, often because of divorce, according to a press release.

Since then, the focus has shifted to helping those experiencing domestic abuse. The name change is part of an effort to increase community awareness about the organization’s services for domestic violence survivors in Douglas, Franklin and southern Jefferson counties.

The new name was inspired by the strength and resiliency of willow trees, whose branches are know to sprout new roots even when broken and fallen.

Comments

smitty 4 years ago

The real meaning of this name change becomes obvious. Take a look at the exact same article under another headline on-line today(3-22-10)

The usual policy of carrying over all the comments by JW was dropped in today's print.

Willow comes on line to solicit funds in the newest staff reprint minus all the first person anecdotal of this organization.

Here it is with all the ugly implications of why a name change is needed.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/mar/22/womens-agency-changes-its-name/?city_local

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Kathy Getto 4 years, 1 month ago

cont.

“I have volunteered at another place in town. When I went there, I was asked questions pertaining to my qualifications and whether or not I would be able to do the job (ie do you have a good driving record? will you pass a criminal background? Why do you think boundaries are important? How would you hand a situation such as.......?) That is the difference in philosophy. WTCS has an agenda to promote and I think it is detrimental to the organization because it only allows for people who agree with that agenda to volunteer to work there. Which makes me wonder, if an abuse woman comes in and she does not share those views, does she still get treated to the same respect or will they tell her that she is wrong about her views and that if she just embraced their views, she will be more empowered..in other words, blame the victim for her abuse.”


As I stated before, this organization clearly states in their online volunteer information that, while there is a place for those who have an education or experience, it is not limited to those who have had the privilege of an education or professional status in the area of mental health, say, or child advocacy to name just a couple. You make a good point in wondering how a volunteer’s personal mores might effect a victim with a different belief system, so I will pose this question to you: What if a stripper came in the shelter where you were volunteering, a victim of abuse? Could you honestly support that person if they chose to continue stripping?

Finally, I find your claim that this organization cares not for the children to be a stretch of the imagination. How could this shelter, which has operated since 1976 have stayed under the wire of the authorities if they, as you say, send children into violent circumstances with no regard for their safety?

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Kathy Getto 4 years, 1 month ago

Denak:

“First, I am not a conservative Christian. Two, I didn't say it wasn't sucessful.”


I apologize for assuming you hold conservative christian beliefs. You did say your perception of their agenda is detrimental to the organization. Detrimental to their success?

“What I said, and what I will say again, is that there is a definite agenda --a definite philosophical bent--to the center and if you do not conform to that agenda, then you are of no value to them even in the capacity of child care or giving legal advice. “


Of course there is an “agenda”. Tell me what the YWCA’s Battered Women’s Task Force agenda is? Or GaDuGi Safecenter?. Or El Centro in KC? Because your perception of their agenda does not conform to your own doesn’t make it wrong. I am curious, you mentioned legal advice, and legal background as being something they were not interested in; are you an attorney? If you are not then why would you want to participate in the UPL?

“Secondly, I did not draw my beliefs solely on one interview.”


Well, that’s all the information you provided initially. Care to share the other information that helped you form your opinion?

“Perhaps, you Kathy, can tell me what feminism has to do with working at an abuse center??? “


I can only guess why this question would be asked, but maybe it was done to determine a potential volunteer’s beliefs regarding every woman being afforded the right to enough information so that she can have a choice to live a life of independence. The definition of feminism is different, I think for everyone based on their own life experiences.

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hazelk 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't normally post comments, but I feel like there may be misinformation going on. I also went to a volunteer information thing last Fall and was not asked "What is Feminism?" I remember being asked "What does feminism mean to you" or something like "What would you consider your idea of feminism?" I just said "equality amongst the sexes" and I was invited to volunteer. I was also asked a lot of questions about my feelings toward children, working with children, etc since I knew about their Children's Program and Children's Art Program and wanted to volunteer with them. WTCS has a great Children's Program. I wish I could volunteer there more but I'm homeschooling my son now. I remember during my volunteer interview, I was asked a few questions about my views on different things like how well would I work with a woman who had or was going to have an abortion, working with LGBT persons, working with disabled persons, working with different races, working with different classes. I thought it all seemed incredibly relevant since those are opinions that i could see others feeling so passionate about that perhaps they would be biased against helping a survivor of domestic abuse. I never thought anything weird about it at all and I still don't.
And I remember a lot more questions were geared toward boundaries, children, and the emotional toll of working with survivors of domestic abuse. I thought it was a great set of a variety of interview questions actually.
But regardless, I love the new name change! I think it sounds soothing and will be easy for people in the community to remember.

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kansanbygrace 4 years, 1 month ago

Really, veggiegirl, you sound very sexist and narrow-minded yourself.

No one here has proposed what you've just ginned up. Radical feminists have no exclusive claim on capability to protect battered WOMEN, nor have they the only sense of new direction.

In fact, the radical group include, embrace, and promote some seriously neurotic attitudes and behaviors, and in spite of this, can, and sometimes do, actually help the women who need it.

Others not sharing their extreme perspective would definitely broaden and strengthen what the center offers.

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veggiegirl 4 years, 1 month ago

Wrong Dena, there should be a political litmus test. If you think you know better than the woman in the situation, you don't belong there. YOU'RE the one blaming the victim. The point is to give the woman information and support, but not to choose/force/nag/belittle her. Again, you're doing absolutely nothing to stop the men who abuse. My guess is you know at least one, because one in every four women will experience abuse in their lifetime.

Open up your own judgmental shelter where you tell women what to do, support only the abused men, and see how far that goes ending violence.

The sexism of the posters on this website never fails to disgust me.

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Cait McKnelly 4 years, 1 month ago

I CAN see the connection between being a feminist and domestic violence. I cannot see sending minor children back into an abusive situation as "feminist". In fact I consider it anti-feminist. Empowering women is one thing. Enabling them is quite another. I also consider domestic violence against men a feminist concern. Abuse is a learned behavior. It is not inherent in genetic makeup. Unless women, as feminists, understand that breaking that cycle is important no matter what the gender then they are again enabling, not empowering, women. Yes, men may have "more resources" to get away (although a big part of the abuse of both sexes is denying them those very resources). I also agree that it should be men that step up and create the support that's needed for those victims (instead of laughing at them and calling them "p**** whipped", which is often the case). It's the very fact that men do that; they ignore the implications of a man being abused, that makes it a feminist concern. V_O_R and Veggie, if you can't see that then you can't see the connection between feminism and ending domestic violence.

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lawrencechick 4 years, 1 month ago

What a warped view that you have to support abortion to help victims of domestic violence. These women need to get off their high horse and do what they advertise which is get women out of an abusive relationship. There should be no continual victims, if you haven't learned the first time chances are you never will. Sometimes you just can't save people from themselves...

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denak 4 years, 1 month ago

Veggie Girl,

How about you focus on ending "male" violence and I will just continue focusing on ending violence towards any individual regardless of gender. Please, feel free to continue casting men as the mean ol' agressors while ignoring the fact that women are the number one killers of children in this country. Please, continue to ignore that there are roughly 350,000 men in this country that are abused by their significant other and if you add in male children, the number rises to almost 800,000 a year for male victims of domestic violence.

The point that some of you seem to be missing is that there should not be a political litmus test for an volunteer and that this is what the "interview" process essentially boils down to.

Lastly, the question was not "what is the connection between feminism and ending domestic violence?" the question that was asked is "what is feminism?" Asked in conjunction with the rest of the questions asked, there is a clear pattern that shows that the potential volunteer's political views are more important than the skill set she may bring.

Dena

P.S. How do you know I wasn't picked? How do you know I didn't turn down the opportunity because I felt the organization talked a good game about female empowerment and yet, continously tried to portray women as victims.

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veggiegirl 4 years, 1 month ago

Dena, the fact that you can't see the connection between feminism and ending domestic violence means you wouldn't have been, in any way, an asset to any organization whose foundation is based on that connection. Instead of whining about how you weren't chosen to volunteer perhaps you should focus your energy on ending male violence.

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tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

I think the point of not making the decision for the woman is to not replace the husband. The woman needs to be empowered to make the right decision. We would all like to step in and tell her what to do, but that's exactly what her abuser has been doing. Shelters want the woman to stand up and make the decision hers. Sometimes the decision isn't the one you want them to make however. Several years ago I volunteered there, but stopped. I thought the women working there were continual victims. I mean I was a victim of domestic abuse in my first marriage, but I no longer consider myself a victim, because I left and made a life of my own. And I would never be a victim of abuse again. I would pity a man who hit me now. You can believe that person would be going to jail, and there would be no dropping charges. I am a former, emphasis on former victim of abuse, and I thought their attitude was that they were still victims, which didn't seem like good role models for those people trying to escape abuse.
I also believe a man can be abused, but they often have more financial resources to get away. I definitely think there should be a support group for them, but it should be started by other men, not by women. This is one place where the separation of the sexes is very important.

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denak 4 years, 1 month ago

cowboy,

I do get it and contrary to what you think, I do think a woman's safety should be paramount. However, I do not think that the woman is always right. I do not agree, nor will I ever agree, tht even though the woman may be a parent, that she has the right to take her children back into a situation where the child will be abused. She is an adult. She can make that decision with, hopefully, a clear understanding of what she is doing. The children can not.

Kathy,

First, I am not a conservative Christian. Two, I didn't say it wasn't sucessful. What I said, and what I will say again, is that there is a definite agenda --a definite philosophical bent--to the center and if you do not conform to that agenda, then you are of no value to them even in the capacity of child care or giving legal advice.

Secondly, I did not draw my beliefs solely on one interview. However, that one interview was very enlightening. Perhaps, you Kathy, can tell me what feminism has to do with working at an abuse center???

I have volunteered at another place in town. When I went there, I was asked questions pertaining to my qualifications and whether or not I would be able to do the job (ie do you have a good driving record? will you pass a criminal background? Why do you think boundaries are important? How would you hand a situation such as.......?)

That is the difference in philosophy. WTCS has an agenda to promote and I think it is detrimental to the organization because it only allows for people who agree with that agenda to volunteer to work there. Which makes me wonder, if an abuse woman comes in and she does not share those views, does she still get treated to the same respect or will they tell her that she is wrong about her views and that if she just embraced their views, she will be more empowered..in other words, blame the victim for her abuse.

Dena

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somebodynew 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, V_O_R - I tend to think Denak is correct on this one. I have dealt with this group on numerous occasions, and that is the belief they espouse, and let no one dare question it.

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Kathy Getto 4 years, 1 month ago

Denak:

I think it is regretful that you opine, unless an organization conforms to your conservative Christian views, it is not successful. Based on their Service Philosphy, they believe in the empowerment of women to make their own choices. If you do not believe in choice for women, how could you honestly help in providing the services this organization provides? The question really is, why would you want to?

They clearly state in their information, that volunteers need not have the privelege of a formal education or professional status to be quailified to assist a survivor.

You said: " Anyhooo, my point is that a name change isn't going to change anything if the basic philosophy of the organization is that women are always right, women are always victims and that,without exception, men can not be victims, that all men are suspect (even male police officers) and that men will always abuse."

Your use of absolutes based on one interview is dubious at best.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Unreported cases can come from both men and women. I don't think we could come up with any figures on how many from both sides is unreported.

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tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

I agree that men are being abused as well, but why aren't men doing anything to open a shelter for them? Abused men and women can't be mixed in the same shelter. They can't be in the same support group. Oneeye, why don't you start a shelter for men, or at least a support group. I would be wiling to donate money to it.

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somebodynew 4 years, 1 month ago

cait48 - I understand your confusion. This is a side to the story that these people never tell and do not admit to actually occurring. I am Very happy there is a place for abused women, it is just the message (and the possible indoctrination) this group puts out that bothers me.

I am not an abuser, nor never abused, but I have dealt with this group, and while they do good things for abused women, they can be quite radical in their though process.

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Cait McKnelly 4 years, 1 month ago

Wow. The comments here have put me into a state of real confusion. I consider myself a mild to moderate feminist; I am solidly pro choice. However, I have to admit that if an abused woman went back into an abusive relationship with minor children and I KNEW that abuse was going to reoccur I would definitely report it to Child Protective Services. An adult decision to expose minor children to abuse is not right on any level. I am aware that men can also be in abusive relationships. I have seen them. The fact that this place denies it is beyond my definition of "feminism". At the very least they should have resources for referral in these cases and treat them with the same compassion that they do women. Women that abuse men use many of the same tactics that men who abuse do; intimidation, threats, stalking (anybody seen "Fatal Attraction"?) are all elements. From your description, Dena, they deny that women can even DO that. That is just...well...wow. That's all I can say.

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blue73harley 4 years, 1 month ago

Between jobs, I was living with a family member. One night the couple had a big fight. The female was beating the crap out of the guy. He just wanted to get out of there. She broke a headlght as he was leaving. Then she came back inside and called the cops on HIM! This put me in a bad position. But there were no marks on her so the drama ended for the evening. Yes, I believe guys can be on the receiving end. But I don't necessarily think a "shelter" is needed.

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somebodynew 4 years, 1 month ago

@denak

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I know you are absolutely correct, and it is good to hear from an actual participant in the process. I have had people tell me the same things, and have listened to these people for years, but it is nice to have someone who actually went through the "process" speak out.

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cowboy 4 years, 1 month ago

Denak , you obviously don't get it ! In order for a shelter to be a safe shelter the safety / security / acceptance of the women and their kids has to be paramount. Do you think that women in their most vulnerable state would come to the shelter if there was a chance their kids would be taken. The primary goal is protection and a place to make decisions to move forward not receive religious counseling .

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denak 4 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately, I don't think the name change is going to change the basic premise of this organization. This organization is for battered women and women only. If you go to their volunteer information meeting, it becomes abundantly clear, very quickly that the emphasis is on women and children are a very distant second and that men are not welcome either as victims or as volunteers in any capacity other than working with the children.

When I went to the volunteer meeting last fall, I was surprised by the questions they asked. None of the questions dealt specifically with why does battering occur, what are some situations a domestic victim will encounter or even one's educational or legal background in this area.

They ask a lot of questions such as: Do you know any gay people? Do you know any divorce people? Such questions are somewhat relevant because it reveals a person's viewpoint but the only viewpoint they are interested in is the one that they are promoting. If you are a conservative Christian person, you need not apply. This is very evident when they ask you if you support abortion? Any other answer other than, "Yes I wholeheartedly support abortion" is not acceptable. If you are Pro-life , you will not be picked as a volunteer.

Children are secondary. They ask you what you will do if a woman wanted to return to her abuser and take her minor children with her knowing that the abuser will reabuse? If you answer anything other than, "I will support her 100% regardless of the trauma that will be inflicted on the children" you won't be picked. If you say that you wouldn't support that decision and that, as a mandated reporter, you would think seriously of reporting this to SRS, you won't be picked. The children are secondary. The woman and her decision is always right no matter the consequence.

However, there are two questions they ask you that reflect their philosophy and how exclusionary they are of men. In fact, in their viewpoint, men can not be victims, only abusers.

They ask why women are victims. If you say something to the effect that both men and women can be victims and that the gender of the perp should not matter. Apparently, it does to them because the young lady adamantly wanted me to clarify why women being victimized was different then men being victimized. Saying anything less than women will always be victims because they will always be under the patriarchal heel of men is the right answer.

Anyhooo, my point is that a name change isn't going to change anything if the basic philosophy of the organization is that women are always right, women are always victims and that,without exception, men can not be victims, that all men are suspect (even male police officers) and that men will always abuse.

Dena

One question they ask is "What is feminism?" I have yet to figure out what feminism has to do with domestic violence but apparently, there is a link somewhere.

They ask you

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somebodynew 4 years, 1 month ago

Wow, I agree with oneeye and b_g in the same post. !!!! OldE I think I am probably from your era and that violence on men was either not around or definately not reported, but I have come to understand that it really does exist. Not near the figures of violence on women, don't get me wrong, but it is there and men can be victims also.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 1 month ago

Oldy, I agree it is a shame such a center is so very necessary.

however, I am hoping that the name change reflects greater acceptance for male victims of domestic violence.

frequently female perps hide behind the very stereotype you just expressed to help hide their abuse of men.

how do I know?

I was such a victim in my first marriage.

male victims of sexual assault and domestic violence are *dramatically underreported! that's according to the FBI's uniform crime statistics.
crime of victim is woman is ten to forty times more likely to be reported than if victim is a man.

I also hope that at "Willow" they know that different methods are necessary for men than for women victims.

and Oldy, don't worry about Willow mixing in the men with the women. I'm sure that the Willow people know that that's not a good idea, and they likely know that for the shame effect it is the worst thing they could do to male victims.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes... mixing the men in with the battered women would be a VERY good idea!

Thinking with your "one eye" again, Wilbur? Those men you've "been told" about got pretty jacked-up, to the extent that they need a shelter?

I think you are a mysoginist who didn't think before he posted total crap. Sorry for the ingracious and agressive tone, but that's my opinion.

I'd like to apologize: many men are very sorry that such a place has to exist, and we are glad for those who do the really hard work by providing such a place.

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macon47 4 years, 1 month ago

that would be the willard group i suppose?

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 1 month ago

With a name change of Willow, then the center would be inclusive for men in battered marriages, as they too have to sprout new roots , when broken and fallen. There are some nasty women around I have been told.

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