Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stock Refuge House's Pantry Party - Easy Ways to Help!

We heard from our sister Danielle at Refuge House that the pantry at the emergency shelter is very busy AND the pantry is running very low. Below you will a few food bag ideas:  Please consider those less fortunate who need our assistance. On your next trip to the grocery store pack a bag or two just for Refuge House. You can call Refuge House at (850) 922-6062 to arrange a drop off point.


Every Day Paper Bag                                                
1-(16oz) any dry pasta
1-jar of pasta sauce
1-(8oz) rice
1-box of cereal
1-box of shake-n-bake
1-container of applesauce
2-cans of soup
1-can of corn
1-can of mixed vegetables
1-can of tuna

Must Have Paper Bag
1-box of trash bags (33 or 66 gallons)
1-2lb bag of flour
1-2lb+ bag of sugar
1-box of mashed potatoes
2-boxes of variety snacks
1-bag of dried beans

Wish I Had Paper Bag
1-bottle of dish detergent
1-paper towel set
1-bottle of aspirin/ibuprofen
1-bottle of each adult & children cold medicine
Good for You Paper Bag
1-gallon of juice
1-bag of maseca masa (to make tortillas)
2-cans of fruit
2-cans of beans
1-can of green bean
1-snack pack of raisins
Can’t live Without Paper Bag
 1-package of diapers (sizes 4, 5 & 6)
1-package of pads & tampons
2-cans of disinfectant (Lysol)
1-package of toilet paper

Let’s Clean Paper Bag
1-gallon of bleach
1-container of laundry detergent
1-bottle of hand soap
1-bottle of multipurpose cleaner

Monday, November 26, 2012

Domestic Violence in Florda

We were so busy in October we missed posting about Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVA and DVAM), but sadly, DV happens year, so we want to make YOU aware of it and what you can do.

Two articles from Florida papers:

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, victim tells Clearwater students

By Danielle Paquette, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Friday, November 2, 2012

CLEARWATER — The young woman who survived 32 stab wounds, a stroke, a slashed voice box and a broken heart kept repeating the same four words: I'm just like you.
Before a crowd of Countryside High School students early Thursday, Melissa Dohme, 20, described the night police say her high school sweetheart, the love of her life, tried to kill her.

I'm just like you.

Before he was accused by police of knifing her hands, head and throat Jan. 24 near Clearwater's Crest Lake Park, before he was charged with attempted first-degree murder, Robert Lee Burton Jr. kissed Melissa by her locker, took her to prom, sent her wake-up texts: "Good morning, beautiful."

I'm just like you.

Some students in the Media Center Thursday began to cry. Everyone was silent.

Anna Savchuk, 16, thought of her cousin and inwardly gave thanks. The cousin dated a controlling guy, once — a guy who slapped and punched her. After pleading from friends and family, she ended it two months ago.

Sure, Anna had been worried. But she never considered the relationship truly life-threatening. She didn't think someone so young, bright and well-off could be a victim of domestic violence.
But there, behind the podium, was Melissa: smart, beautiful, "Student of the Year" at St. Petersburg College. Melissa, with a penchant for white, lacy dresses and a dream to become a nurse.
Melissa, with 32 stab wounds.

I'm just like you.

A few rows behind Anna, Kim Florio, a Countryside drama teacher, watched her students in awe. They were so quiet, transfixed by Melissa's story.

Was this the same bunch who chucked pencils at each other? Linked arms and cackled down the hallways?

How tremendously important, Florio thought. Sometimes, girls approached her with confessions after class. Recently: "My boyfriend — he's jealous and angry and I don't know what to do."
Of course, she takes action. Sometimes, the girls grow angry. Some thank her.

Florio felt Melissa, a Clearwater High graduate, was reaching them. These kids, she thought, need to hear every word of this.

Chad Herman, who works at the Haven of RCS, a domestic violence center in Clearwater, thanked Melissa and took the microphone.

"Now you know the warning signs," he said. "You know it can happen to any of you. Any person in this room."

It starts subtly, Herman said.

Warning signs of an abusive boyfriend or girlfriend, according to the pamphlets printed for students by the Haven of RCS and partners, include early requests for serious commitment, extreme jealousy, possessiveness, violent outbursts and a tendency to criticize friends and family.
It's easier to prevent abuse, Herman said, when you recognize the early symptoms.

He walked the aisles, voice rising to compete with the end-of-period bzzz.

"It doesn't have to happen. We can beat domestic violence."

Danielle Paquette can be reached at dpaquette@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4224. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.


Thumb down: Domestic violence remains a major problem in Florida 

By Editorial Board 
Posted October 26, 2012 at 4 a.m.

FAMILY VIOLENCE: Last year, in Florida, there were 111,681 reports of domestic violence. Clearly, there were many more such situations that were not reported. Of those that were reported, 192 individuals died from that violence, representing almost 20 percent of all homicides in the state.



Thursday, November 22, 2012

I would like to see just one fountain [turned purple]

This is a great Op-Ed post and we agree!

Unbeknowst to many, October was also Domestic Violence Awareness Month


October has drawn to a close and unless you were living in a cave, you were probably keenly aware that it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My email inbox, Facebook newsfeed and mailbox all included daily notices about events and merchandise.
The magazines I subscribe to carried touching stories of breast cancer survival, advertisements for treatment and reconstructive surgery, and statistics about the number diagnosed and treated as well as those who succumbed to the disease.

Pink-ribbon product endorsements were everywhere — everything from shoe strings to expensive baubles. Breasts sell, even sick breasts. From Foot Locker to Estee Lauder, merchandisers for every gamut in between jumped on the bandwagon and raised an estimated $6 billion for research and awareness campaigns.

Another women’s health issue also shared the month of October. Unbeknownst to many, October was also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic or intimate partner violence is the “silent killer” of women. It is a phenomena that most people don’t want to talk about. It’s perceived as the dirty little secret that happens in our homes behind closed doors.
The media do little to promote domestic violence awareness even though they are in a unique position to give merit to it by presenting it as a public health problem. Magazines don’t want to publish articles where women are victims with black and blue eyes, swollen lips and broken teeth.

Even Congress can’t move beyond their bipartisan bickering to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and extend coverage to include undocumented immigrants, Native Americans, and gay/lesbian couples.

A purple ribbon is the symbol of domestic violence awareness. But there weren’t any slick ads and only a few dubious product endorsements could be found to promote awareness of a health issue that the Centers for Disease Control estimates affects almost 1.3 million women annually.

I am a survivor of domestic violence. I was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. I was threatened with guns, strangled and isolated from family and friends. My sense of self was destroyed with his reckless and vicious choice of words.

I also have had several breast cancer scares that resulted in multiple mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies. I volunteer my time to organizations that support both causes and donate money to promote awareness of each issue. But each year, I am perplexed, frustrated and even saddened by the disparity in attention given to breast cancer awareness vs. domestic violence awareness.

Our state capital and county courthouse turned their fountains pink in recognition of breast cancer awareness. Surely one of these public symbols could’ve recognized the other killer — the one that in 2011 claimed the lives of 118 Pennsylvania victims.
There were 257,813 reported domestic violence incidents in America in 2011 versus 225,000 new cases of breast cancer. The statistics are similar, the circumstances just as frightening, but the awareness is sadly at opposite ends of the spectrum.
So while there is nothing wrong with slogans such as “Save Your Ta-Ta’s,” “Feel Your Boobies” and “Real Men Wear Pink,” likewise we need to promote “No More,” “Break the Silence, Stop the Violence” and “There is No Face to Domestic Violence.”
We need to continue to celebrate breast cancer survivors, but we also need to stop shaming survivors of domestic violence by ignoring the issue.

October can champion breast cancer awareness and domestic violence awareness. It is going to take much more than ribbons, billboards and product endorsements to end the epidemic of domestic violence.

But I must confess, as a confident, unashamed survivor, I would like to see just one fountain in Harrisburg’s capital turned purple. I’d like to watch one local media segment interview survivors who want to share their story to help remove the stigma that society has placed on us.

I’d like to see one magazine cover feature the bruised and cut face of a victim with a headline that calls for an end to this scourge. I’d like our local communities and celebrities to go the extra mile for organizations that provide services and outreach to victims. And I’d like our senators and representatives to reach across the aisle and move Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

CHERYL LEAMAN of Harrisburg is a domestic violence survivor and former board member of Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Violence in the Media (reprint of Hubbard House's Blog)

Hubbard House was founded as the first domestic violence shelter in Florida in 1976. Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children, and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic childcare, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit http://hubbardhouse.org to learn more.


Violence in the Media

by: Brittany Mitrick

Our culture is engulfed in media. We often hear people discussing who has the newest hit song or the best movies out in theaters. Media is one of our top sources of entertainment, but what happens when media is teaching society violence and crime?

Domestic violence is a topic that is frequently taken too lightly in the media. It is often glorified in the songs we listen to and the movies and television shows we watch. Unfortunately as a result, this desensitizes viewers to the seriousness of abuse.

Some examples of violence in the media include:

Domestic Violence in Popular Music

“Misery” by Maroon 5 music video

The video shows a woman constantly beating her significant other (Adam Levine) while he keeps going back to kiss her. He takes the abuse and still wants to be with her.This could give the impression that it is acceptable to stay in an abusive relationship. Although Maroon 5’s intentions probably weren’t to glorify domestic violence, they are making the issue seem as if it is something sexy. Domestic violence is in no way sexy and it has no place in any relationship. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g6g2mvItp4)

Domestic Violence in Popular Television Shows

“Gossip Girl”

The popular television show “Gossip Girl” has also shown domestic violence scenes. The romantic relationship between characters Blair and Chuck turns violent when Blair tells Chuck that she is engaged to another man. Chuck tries to place ownership over her by saying “you are mine”. He becomes so enraged that he punches a window and barely misses her face with his fist. Blair runs out of the room with a bloody cheek from the glass of the broken window.

This relationship can be seen as romanticizing domestic violence. In the scene mentioned above, teens may think Chuck hit the window behind Blair because he was so in love with her and was angry that he couldn’t have her. Breaking or throwing objects during an argument is not a healthy or safe way to express emotions. Domestic violence and love never mix and violence is never a result of love. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=550-FDajRJQ)

“Family Guy”

Around this time last year, the popular television show Family Guy aired an episode that showed an abusive relationship between characters Brenda and Jeff. This show is known for its offbeat humor, but viewers have noted that this episode has taken the “joke” too far. Brenda tries to stick up for her boyfriend, Jeff, by giving reasons for his abuse. Viewers also see Jeff violently pull and push Brenda outside, call her offensive names and later in the show she is seen with a black eye. Wendy Walsh, co-host of “The Doctors” stated “They made fun of the victim more than they made fun of the assailant. The main theme of the show was about this poor stupid woman who was too dumb to leave her relationship. Domestic violence is far more complicated than that.” The show doesn’t go into any detail about the dynamics of domestic violence and may leave viewers to believe it is an issue that can be joked about. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5qyHEYeGNM)

Celebrities Making Light of a Serious Issue

Joan Rivers’ Controversial Tweet

Joan Rivers took to Twitter to share her opinion about Rihanna’s recent interview about her relationship with Chris Brown. According to Huffingtonpost.com, Rihanna was recently on Oprah’s show talking about her relationship with Chris Brown and she stated, “It’s awkward. I still love him. My stomach drops. I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the other part of me”. Joan Rivers responded to this issue by tweeting “Rihanna confessed to Oprah Winfrey that she still loves Chris Brown. Idiot! Now it’s MY turn to slap her”. Rivers not only joked about the issue but also said it was her turn to participate in the violence by slapping Rihanna. While Rivers was trying to make a joke, domestic violence is no joking matter. Celebrities are often very influential in society’s opinions and thoughts about certain issues. Their words and actions can impact people of all ages. A celebrity joking about an issue as serious as domestic violence isn’t acceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/joan-rivers-rihanna-chris-brown-domestic-violence-joke_n_1828723.html)

These are just a few examples of the many forms of domestic violence seen in media today. So what can we do about it? How can we express to others that the violence we see in the media can’t be played out in real life? We need to take our part in discussing these videos and songs with others. We need to explain that just because someone’s idol is participating in the violence doesn’t make it acceptable. Whether a person believes the media desensitizes society to domestic violence or not, it is still an issue that needs to be addressed. Get the conversation started to help end domestic violence!         

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hot-line at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tracy Cohen - a mom, a president, a business woman, a wife, An Alpha Chi Omega

So we are a little late in posting this one, but we post it as an exciting anniversary announcement:

Our sister Tracey (Epsilon Chi, UNC-Chapel Hill) will celebrate 30 Years of Target Copy in the Tallahassee community on November 15, 2012! What a fantastic accomplishment and event. Tracey represents a woman who works, mommies, wifes, volunteers and greets each day with a super warm smile. We appreciate her contributions to the Tallahassee community and know she deserves the many business awards she and Target Copy receive.

Enjoy your anniversary Tracey and keep Seeking the Heights. L&L

Friday, November 9, 2012

Alpha Chi Omegas are NSF Grant Winners

We were thrilled and not at all surprised to hear our local alumna Chelsie (Elon, Iota Psi) won an NSF grant. Chelsie works incredibly hard researching marine issues as a Master's student at FSU and advocating for the environment, and still makes time to run, bike and swim in triathlons, garden, foster animals and cook! We fear she and her husband Travis (The Great Bicycle Shop) will move in 2013, but we look foward to following her work and successes in the future. We are proud to call her a Real Strong Woman and model Alpha Chi.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Domestic Violence Awareness Week at Alpha Chi Omega FSU

Epsilon Tau Epsilon helped Beta Eta recognize the start of their DVAM because we recognize October as domestic violence awareness month, but domestic violence happens every hour of every day.

The chapter hosted a pasta bar fundraiser (YUMMMMM! Thank you to House Director Lynn, Cook Miss Ura and all the Servers!) and lovely cupcakes from alumnae and Artistic Confections.
Who doesn't love purple cupcakes?

Super helpers and junior cuties:  Allison J and Elizabeth M

Friends and Alumnae:  Cindy, Paula, Yvonne, Danielle (BH, Refuge House Dev. Director), Meagan (KXi), Carol (AXiD), Karen (BH) and Lauren W (CHAIR of the event!)

Ivan, Gabrielle, Darleny, Victoria/Tori

The chapter collected cell phones for Verizon's Hopeline.

And they showed the video Telling Amy's Story (produced by Penn State Public Broadcasting and funded by Hopeline and Verizon Foundation) at one of the auditoriums on campus.

The website urges us:  By sharing the film and web site with others, you are taking a step towards raising awareness and preventing domestic violence. YOU can help stop domestic violence by watching and talking about Telling Amy's Story. Domestic violence thrives when people are afraid to SPEAK OUT about it!