#GivingTuesday

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Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, it’s time for Giving Tuesday! Can you imagine how many people we could help if we all donated the money we saved from those amazing shopping deals? Can you imagine how many people could find help, hope, and healing? ‘Tis the season to give back! #GivingTuesday

The Center relies on support from our community throughout the year, and the holiday season is no different. Survivors need support every day, and that’s why our 24-Hour Help Line never closes. Even on Christmas Day.

So how can you help? Read below for a few ideas.

Donate now! We always need help filling in the holes in our budget. And now’s the perfect time to give — get in your end-of-year donation so you can claim your 2012 taxes. Or, consider making a monthly gift. You can sign up to donate each month from your credit card — even a small amount will be extremely helpful since your consistent giving helps us balance our budget during the times of year that donations are low.

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Halloween Costumes: Sexy or Sexist?

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So you’ve got plans tonight? Wonderful! Whether trick-or-treating or heading to a party, the question remains:  what should you wear? From animals or appliances to your favorite Toy Story character, the choice is yours and your ideas are many.

Dude vs. Lady SharkYet on the web, it would seem that you have few options, with about 99 out of 100 costumes for women featuring her body in the same tight, revealing dress, walking in terrifyingly painful heels. Some of you may be asking yourselves, “Why is it that the men’s shark costume looks like a shark, and the costume women are supposed to squeeze into doesn’t even feature a tail?”

Though we all quote Mean Girls to mock the trend, it’s still disconcerting that costume designers and marketers are forcing the message that women must wear revealing costumes on Halloween. Read more


Jackson Katz Visits UNC

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Jackson KatzIn working toward a world without violence, what better way to gather male support than through the powerful words of other male allies? That’s why on Tuesday, October 16, Dr. Jackson Katz came to speak as the final event for the Carolina Men Care initiative at UNC.

Dr. Katz is one of America’s leading anti-sexist male activists. As an educator, author, filmmaker, and cultural theorist in the field of gender violence prevention, Katz is internationally recognized for rallying men, including athletes and US marines, to join the fight against men’s violence against women. Read more


Love Your Body!

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Your silhouette does not perfectly fill in the lines of the body on the billboard. So what?
Your silhouette is real, you are beautiful.
Your smile is unique from that of the Orbit commercial.
Your smile radiates character, you are beautiful.
Your hair is unlike any other’s — your hair furthers self-expression, you are beautiful.
Your skin tone lies on a spectrum of warm colors. Your skin radiates, you are beautiful.

Image via NOW Foundation

It’s Love Your Body Day and the OCRCC invites you to celebrate with us. Loving oneself is a radical practice in a world that teaches us to despise, resent, and harm our bodies.

Why should we take some time out to love our bodies? Love for one’s body translates into respect for your body. Respect enables you to be conscious of your needs, wants, and desires. With this level of self-consciousness, what you want in your relationships reflects a true understanding of self. Confidence and love for your body opens the way for honest communication with sexual and romantic partners. Setting and understanding boundaries, maintaining each partner’s individualism, and reciprocal respect transpire from confidently communicating yourself to your partner. So embrace your body and all that it encompasses.

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Top 10 Easy Ways to Support the Center

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Today’s guest post is written by Lydia Perez, who is currently serving as Secretary on our Board of Directors. Lydia has volunteered on our Board for two years, working with her fellow Board members to ensure that the Center’s programs and services are in line with our mission. Read on for Lydia’s message about supporting the Center.

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David Letterman shares his list every night –here’s mine! Drum roll, please:

Top 10 Easy Ways to Support the Orange County Rape Crisis Center

1. Click the ‘donate now’ button, and immediately take a stand against sexual violence.

2. Mark your calendar for our big party – the silver anniversary (yep, that’s 25 years!) Holiday Auction on December 2. Bring your friends!

3. Check out our Wish List – there are so many ways to support education, services, and advocacy.

4. Volunteer as a Community Educator – we need you! Each year we deliver safety education programs to about 10,000 youth and adults.

5. Brush up on your Spanish so you can assist Maria Morales Levy, our Latino Services Coordinator, with outreach to the Spanish-speaking community.

6. Sign up at the bottom of our homepage to receive our electronic newsletter, The Center Line, and stay up-to-date on all the ways we’re working in the community.

7. Talk to the kids in your life about preventing violence. Ask our Community Educators to present a program to their daycare, youth group, or sports team.

8. Join our #30for30 campaign to celebrate 30 years of providing safety education through Safe Touch program.

9. Create a personalized Wish and use the events in your life to make a difference!

10. Email your legislators and tell them how important continued funding is for all violence prevention programs.

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Special thanks to guest blogger Lydia. Find out more about joining our Board of Directors at www.ocrcc.org/volunteerboard.

 


World Mental Health Day

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World Mental Health DayWorld Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders and investments in prevention, promotion, and treatment services. The World Health Organization’s definition of health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease.” Mental health is related to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, and the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental disorders.

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Join our #30for30 Campaign!

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When we ask kids about good touches, they talk about hugs, holding hands, and high fives. They often draw pictures showing how happy a good touch can make them.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of our education program to prevent child abuse in Orange County! Through Safe Touch, we have taught countless children how to stay safe and healthy. Research shows that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will suffer sexual abuse before turning eighteen. We’re working hard to combat this grim statistic, reaching 10,000 young people and adults every year through our education programs.

In honor of our 30th anniversary, please join our #30for30 Campaign! For $30 a month – just a dollar a day – you can support our life-changing education program. You can make sure the children in our community don’t have to keep secrets that hurt them. Help us inspire more drawings like this one, full of smiles and Safe Touches.

It’s simple! On our donation page, click “I would like to make a recurring gift,” and enter the amount of your monthly gift in the box underneath. Please contact us at info@ocrcc.org with questions or comments.

 


Thanks, Ronald McDonald and Wells Fargo!

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We’d like to share a special thank you to Ronald McDonald House Charities and Wells Fargo, who have recently made gifts to the Center to support our Community Education and Latino Services programs.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Carolina supports our Community Education program. The Center offers educational programs for both raising awareness about sexual violence and teaching prevention skills in an age-appropriate manner. Trained educators teach children basic safety lessons such as what to do if they experience violence, how to recognize warning signs in order to prevent it, how to avoid bullying and cyber-bullying others, and how to safely intervene as active bystanders. Core lessons include the Personal Safety Saying (“Say No, Get Away, and Tell Someone”), the difference between good and bad touches, when not to keep a secret, and identifying trusted adults to talk to in the case of violence. The Center reaches over 10,000 youth and adults each year with this crucial safety education. Some of those 10,000 youth and adults are local Spanish-speakers, whom we reach out to through our Latino Services program.

Wells Fargo recently awarded the Center a grant to support our outreach and services for the Latino community. In addition to bilingual education programs as listed above, all our crisis services are also bilingual. Anyone needing support can call our 24-Hour Help Line and request to speak to someone in Spanish. Our bilingual Companions and our Spanish-Speaking Advocates (those who speak only Spanish) respond to crisis calls, offering support, information, and referrals. They can also accompany survivors to the hospital, the police, or court. In addition to help line services, the Center also offers support groups for Spanish speakers.

Our Community Education and our Latino Services programs are vital to preventing violence and supporting survivors. We very much appreciate the support that Ronald McDonald House Charities and Wells Fargo provide to ensure these programs are successful.


Volunteer Voices: Alice, Community Educator

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When people ask me what it’s like volunteering at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, my first response is to say, “It’s so much fun!” People are usually surprised to hear that, of course, but it’s the truth. I am a Community Educator with the OCRCC, and it is a blast.

Jordan and Jasmine

Community Educators use puppets to teach the Safety Saying and other safety rules to elementary school kids.

We CEs go into Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Orange County schools to present violence prevention programs to elementary and middle school students. With very young children, we talk about good touches and bad touches and what to do if somebody makes you feel uncomfortable. With older children, we teach bystander education (teaching them to stand up for what’s right). With these middle school students, we even start to deconstruct rape culture and get at the underlying cultural assumptions that lead to sexual harassment. And over and over, I am amazed at the enthusiasm, maturity, and grace that students of all ages show.

Training to volunteer at the OCRCC is intense. There are days when you come home very depressed and discouraged. Your heart aches as you witness the damage done to a community by sexual violence. But when you start doing programs, it changes. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, by any means, but you realize that the vast majority of kids out there really do want to do what’s right. They don’t want to hurt people. They don’t even want to be complicit in a culture that hurts people. Even when they’re too young to understand the details, they hope for a world without violence, without harassment, without abuse. And you get to be the person who shows them what that world looks like.

Alice Drozdiak supports the Center in multiple capacities, including as a Community Educator. Alice has presented Safe Touch programs to elementary school students and Rape Prevention Education programs to middle school students for over a year. 

Find out more about being a Community Educator at ocrcc.org/ce. Fall training starts in September 2012. Apply online by August 31.


Act Now – Pass VAWA!

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Congress has just a few days to get to work on the Violence Against Women Act before they leave for the entire month of August – and then only a few short days in session before the congressional session ends on October 1. Please take 5 minutes to call or write to your own Representative and both Senators in your state!

Since the April passage of a Senate version and a May House-passed version of VAWA, Congress has still not signed the act into law. Congress will go home the first of October and may not come back until after the elections. We have no time to lose!

Call your legislators and write letters to the editor, especially if you are in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin. Let them hear what you have to say before they go on vacation!

Everyone loses if VAWA isn’t finished— all victims need the many improvements in this version of VAWA. What can you do to help?

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    • 866-WE-LISTEN (866-935-4783)
    • 919-967-7273 (Local)
    • 919-338-0746 (TTY)