World Mental Health Day

OCRCC Articles

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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Sanctuary and A Restful Peace of Mind: A Recipe for Self-Care

OCRCC Articles

The Center has enjoyed generous support from many wonderful people. Our community members give their time, talent, and treasure to support our cause and the survivors we see. And it’s not uncommon for a volunteer to be so excited about making a difference that after contributing in one capacity, they come up with their own ideas to do even more – for which we are extremely grateful. One such instance led to the creation of self-care kits for survivors.

Christene Tashjian and Amy Eller have served as support group facilitators for our Healing with Nature support group since its inception in 2007. This group uses horticultural therapy (HT) techniques to encourage reflection and healing. Participants arrange flowers, prune plants, build terrariums, make their own aromatherapy products, and more. Each HT activity corresponds to a topic covered in most support groups.

After presenting at a conference about this group, Christene developed an idea to support survivors at the start of their healing path. She thought many items they make and use in their support group – often months or years after trauma – would also be helpful to women immediately after an assault. Thus the concept for a Self-Care Kit was born. After the trauma of assault and the trauma of a rape kit[1] at the hospital, a Self-Care Kit can help set a survivor on the path toward healing.

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