March 3, 2016
We are excited to launch a bi-weekly newsletter Towards Thriving specifically for the Idaho Coalition’s community and tribal domestic and sexual violence program members!
At the Building Community convening last month for program members, advocates from across the state learned about how we can move from the state of surviving to thriving. We learned that thriving happens through practices (conscious acts) such as focusing on choices and possibilities. We can all thrive through using the language of “may” and “can,” staying open and embracing our choices, and keeping our orientation to the now and the future. When we do our work with a compassionate generosity, remembering both our interdependence and independence, we thrive. We named this newsletter in recognition of our work to create the conditions for people to move from victim to survivor to thriving.
On the last day of the convening, advocates explored their own or their organizational purpose horizon. Together, we created a shared purpose horizon- what we are all working toward. We invite you to explore the exciting vision of all of your colleagues across the state.
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
The Idaho Coalition has actively worked on several bills leading up to and during the legislative session specific to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Thank you to everyone who has contacted their local legislators when we have sent out action requests! Here is a current update of the bills that we have been working on:
We want to share the innovative and promising practices from Idaho’s community and tribal domestic and sexual violence programs – from the creative process to the achievements and setbacks. Shared knowledge is central to building learning communities and can develop and shape our shared understanding.
We want to encourage conversation and learning opportunities between programs. Read and reach! Read about the great work being done in our state and reach out to the programs featured and ask questions, share information, learn from each other and most importantly deepen our relationships.
A few years ago, Advocates Against Family Violence, Inc., in Caldwell decided that to truly fulfill their mission of eliminating violence, efforts would have to be focused on prevention. Kim Deugan, Executive Director with the Advocates Against Family Violence was invited to be part of the Idaho Sustainability Initiative with the Idaho Non-Profit Center. As part of the Idaho Nonprofit Center initiative, Advocates Against Family Violence created a new program – Teen Outreach Program (T.O.P.) – to focus on prevention and with a goal of ensuring sustainability. The program developed and moved forward with prevention education, providing the next generation with a foundation for healthy relationships.
Advocates Against Family Violence initial goal was to work with three local schools or community agencies serving teens. Once word got out in the community, the program was directly reaching approximately 1,500 students in three months. Twenty-two schools and adolescent service agencies reached out over the first year. In 2014, Advocates Against Family Violence provided programming to a total of 2800 students! This past year, 2015, Advocates Against Family Violence provided healthy relationship classes to 7,100 students. “These students are learning, some for the first time, about their own worth and how to expect respect from themselves and others,” said Kim Deugan. “We want these students to understand what a validating, safe, and stable relationship looks like. We are creating a new kind of normal for so many young teens who may not know that they deserve better.”
As an extension of their Teen Outreach Program, Advocates Against Family Violence is very excited to be working with the Idaho Coalition on the DELTA FOCUS project, ensuring gender equity and youth empowerment. “We are creating, by choice, our future generations with healthy relationships and gender equality,” said Kim Deugan. In late February, Kim, Senator Crapo and Kelly Miller, with the Idaho Coalition, recently came together for a press conference in recognition of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month, and the Teen Outreach Project.
Advocates Against Family Violence are expanding their teen work to promote gender equity as a way to end gender violence, and are becoming statewide leaders in the Idaho DELTA FOCUS school-based work funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Kim, Kaitlin and their entire teen outreach staff are figuring out how to integrate gender equity into their existing work and increase meaningful access for underserved youth for greater impact,” said Brandy Selover, Idaho Coalition DELTA FOCUS Project Coordinator.
The Idaho Coalition is excited to see the progress that Advocates Against Family Violence and their partnering school, Sage Valley Middle School, in Nampa will make in the next two years in promoting gender equity through a comprehensive prevention approach to end gender violence.
We are drawn to this work because we care deeply, so we strive to do our best and be our best. Each day is an opportunity to cultivate healing encounters with people who are working to overcome violence. These encounters are as simple as a genuine smile and warm welcome, to comprehensive services that are fully accessible, including spiritually, culturally and linguistically, for survivors and their children. They are both specific interactions, and the environment we create. We foster healing encounters when we see each other’s full humanity with love and kindness, understand that trauma touches people’s lives in different ways, and believe in our interconnection and innate capacity to thrive. By offering trauma-informed approaches, we increase the number of healing encounters survivors and their children experience. Every moment can either fuel the conditions for violence, or lay the foundation for love and liberation. Our own healing encounters (including positive self-talk, physical, emotional and spiritual self-care, and cultural connection) create the possibility for more genuine healing encounters with others, and each of those positive encounters help rewire our minds (literally!!) and our hearts, towards thriving.
5 Opportunities to Foster Healing Encounters:
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-384-0419 ext. 312
Now is the time to start moving beyond the daily habits that are frequently at the center of why we neglect very important self-care moments. Those moments we are often unable to recognize or the ones that we merely brush off as “small and less important” in the grand scheme of things. Denying and/or repressing self-needs for this important cause, the people, the work, our movement, comes easy for many of us. What we’ve learned from living in this place of sacrifice, or rather what we’ve been taught by people who’ve studied the benefits of self-care in the social justice world, is that self-care is essential to our work. It is essential to our movement.
So, again, now is the time to start moving beyond habits. Now is the time to shape healthy self-care practices. Join us as we all learn to be better stewards on behalf of ourselves.
The YWCA Lewiston, ID-Clarkston, WA is the single provider of domestic violence shelter and advocacy in our community and is the last remaining YWCA in the State of Idaho.
The YWCA looks to find a visionary leader as Executive Director to sustain and grow the essential service we provide for our community. The Executive Director will work collaboratively with the staff and board to forward the YWCA mission through creation and implementation of fundraising, capacity building, and community outreach initiatives. The YWCA offers a competitive salary and a generous benefits package.
Visit the YWCA website to view more details or to apply. If you have any questions please call 208.743.1535.