Resolve

The organization committed to
eradicating violence against women

safe journey : stand up guys

Mission Contact:

Alli O’Malley, Executive Director
585.425.1580/585.727.7598
safejourney@frontiernet.net
Website: http://www.safejourney.org

 

Vision:

Resolve of Greater Rochester envisions a world free of domestic and sexual violence.

Mission:

At Resolve of Greater Rochester, we develop and deliver innovative, community-centered solutions to eradicate domestic and sexual violence. We provide intervention and prevention programs that engage women and men to promote safety and equality so women are free to realize their full potential.

 

Current needs:

RESOLVE, formerly Safe Journey & Stand Up Guys, is most in need of financial gifts and volunteers with a passion for our mission and a willingness to share their creativity, community influence and time to build a strong and solid foundation on which RESOLVE can grow. We need to focus in 2014 on raising awareness of our good works, so that we can make meaningful steps toward sustainability.

 

Description of the Ministry:

While we are best known at Bethlehem for our work providing counseling and furniture to domestic violence victims, after our merger with Stand Up Guys in 2012, our mission expanded. Together we are RESOLVE and while helping women is at the core of what we do, our role also includes social justice. It takes resolve to leave an abusive or violent relationship; and it takes resolve to challenge widely held cultural norms that promote oppression, objectification, and violence against women. At RESOLVE, we are opening eyes and changing lives. To achieve our mission and vision, we operate two programs.

The Safe Journey program provides individual counseling, support groups, individual financial counseling and other empowerment programs to help women gain their freedom and rebuild after an abusive and violent relationship. We also operate a resettlement program that provides gently used household goods and furniture to a woman and her children who may be starting over in new safe housing. In 2013, Safe Journey impacted the lives of nearly 200 women through these services.

The Stand Up Guys program is committed to social change and the prevention of violence against women. We regularly conduct outreach and education to the community at-large through learning sessions that are open to the public and stimulate dialog on related topics; and we offer presentations and programs to community groups, colleges and universities, employers, faith organizations and youth in schools or clubs. We also leverage the media, writing feature articles and editorials, appearing on radio and TV, and writing/funding public service announcements that challenge stereotypical beliefs about gender-roles and the widely unchallenged and accepted rates of violence against women. In 2013, we delivered programs to over 2,500 members of the community and ran articles and radio ads across the Greater Rochester Area.

Update – What’s Happening Now:

Following the merger, we spent the better part of a year exploring who we are as a combined organization. While we understood our commonality of mission at the outset, translating that shared vision into operable programs with meaningful impact has required significant time and attention. In each program, we have clarified our purpose and focused our limited resources.

The model of care created by Safe Journey in 2009, following restructuring, has garnered interest in academic research and we are currently participating in the second phase of a longitudinal study with Dr. Nicole Trabold at URMC School of Nursing. The findings from the initial phase of the study yielded consistent positive outcomes with women that are not documented in existing domestic violence literature. What this means is how we do what we do at Safe Journey is truly changing lives for the better and we can prove it. We expect to be presenting findings at several national family violence conferences in 2014. We are also facing some changes in staffing and key volunteer positions this year which presents some immediate challenges, but with focus and dedication, we will undoubtedly emerge stronger and better able to serve.

In Stand Up Guys, we are working actively with Colleges and Universities to reduce rates of sexual assault and dating violence through interactive small group presentations and consulting support to administrators as they define and refine policies related to consent in sexual contact and in adoption of new Title IX mandates. We continue working in schools and faith-based youth groups with teens and have enhanced our presentations by bringing young men actively into the dialog; and plan to offer at least 3 community learning sessions this year on topics related to masculinity and violence prevention.

 

A program of RESOLVE

Breaking the cycle of domestic violence one person at a time

 

A Case Study – Jane

*Name changed to protect client’s privacy

In her home in Perinton, NY, Jane*, a professional, working woman and mother to a teenage daughter, was verbally, emotionally and psychologically battered for nearly three years by her boyfriend – a visible and well respected member of the community. During this time, she was isolated from family and friends and felt truly trapped in the relationship. After all, who would believe her?    

 

The relationship didn’t start this way, of course. He was intense, charismatic and charming. Jane’s friends were impressed – though they couldn’t help but notice how demanding he was of her. She attributed his intensity to the stress of his job. As women often do, she took his initial “gripes” to heart and thought she was the one who needed to be more accommodating. But within months the relationship turned abusive. Not a week went by without angry and sometimes violent outbursts, name-calling and a blatant disregard for her needs and feelings. Jane “walked around on eggshells”. She tried hard to make him happy and to keep the peace; although even when she did exactly what he asked – exactly the way he told her to – somehow she was still wrong. She thought she was going crazy.

Jane began having health problems. She was frequently lightheaded, short of breath and had great difficulty concentrating. She didn’t realize these health issues were being caused by the stress in her relationship. After collapsing at work, Jane was hospitalized for a week and diagnosed with a neurological disorder frequently associated with severe stress. Even while lying in the hospital bed her boyfriend disregarded her needs by interfering with her care. The nurses had to ask him to leave on more than one occasion.

While home on disability, Jane realized she had to take better care of herself. Doing so meant ending the relationship even though she was afraid of him and didn’t know where to begin. She began distancing from him emotionally, and as he noticed the change in her, the situation escalated. He began stalking her – literally tracking her every move by GPS, keeping in almost constant contact by phone, text messages and email. She didn’t consider herself “abused” because he didn’t hit her, but Jane knew his behavior was not normal. After summoning her courage, she confided in a close family member who told her to call the Monroe County Sheriff Victim’s Assistance Unit for assistance. That’s where Jane learned about Safe Journey.

Safe Journey, a program of RESOLVE, is a non-profit resource and support center in Fairport that provides free non-residential services to individuals and families breaking the cycle of domestic violence. And Safe Journey needs your help.

Jane’s story is not unique. Countless women know that there is something terribly wrong in their relationship, but don’t consider themselves abused because they haven’t been hit, choked or battered. They don’t know where to turn for help and are often too ashamed and embarrassed to let others know what’s happening. Safe Journey understands and is here to help. Through individual counseling, support groups, case management, life skills training, and financial counseling, furniture and other practical assistance, Safe Journey empowers women to break the cycle of domestic violence and thrive in lives free from abuse.

For several months, Jane worked with a Safe Journey counselor by phone for fear that her boyfriend would find out. Eventually, she found the courage to attend a Wellness Workshop and set her life on a path to healing and freedom. By attending one-on-one counseling, joining support groups, learning about natural ways to combat stress, and seeking financial counseling from a dedicated Safe Journey volunteer, Jane’s confidence bloomed.

After 8 long months, Jane ended the relationship with her abuser. She credits Safe Journey for helping get her life back. “Safe Journey helped me through it all. They gave me strength when I didn’t think I had any left. The peace I feel now – physically and emotionally – is something I never thought I would get back.”