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The Peer Advocacy Program at WHBW is comprised of trained and qualified high school students that serve as a liaison between their high school and WHBW. The Peer Advocacy Program is twofold, and Peer Advocates’ duties include education and outreach and emotional support to their peers. Peer Advocates work with the Educator and Youth Advocate to organize one awareness event each quarter. These students also participate in the creation of curriculum for schools around dating violence and provide feedback to WHBW on relevant topics pertaining to the issue. Peer Advocates will also provide peer-to-peer support on healthy relationships and teen dating violence. These students will provide the voice of WHBW throughout their schools.  Check out the blog post below written by Peer Advocate, Janie, on the importance of adult allies in our community.

More than calculus or history: teacher’s supporting students

I’m a Peer Advocate at Women Helping Battered Women, meaning that as a high school student, I work in my school to spread awareness about dating violence and domestic abuse. While this is my first year as a Peer Advocate, something that’s really stood out to me is this undiluted support I and other Peer Advocates have felt from the adults in our school.

I, for one, could not imagine being able to pull off our most recent event, Purple Ribbon Day, without the continuous support from the faculty in our school and the students. Purple Ribbon Day is an event put on by the Peer Advocates in our school, with help from the faculty, where we as a school make thousands of purple awareness ribbons to show support for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  We then give those ribbons to Women Helping Battered Women for them to distribute throughout the year. Our principal tweeted about this event, teachers let students make ribbons during class, and during the day many teachers came to the main table to help out and make a few ribbons. The support and care demonstrated by the teachers that day was incredible. They saw how important and meaningful this event was to the student body, and they reached out and helped us. Our school bonded through this common effort.

Schools play a momentous role in the connection between teenagers and adults. It’s a place for teens to have an adult who’s important to them. For me, it’s a place where I’ve learned more than I can possibly imagine—not just about calculus or history, but about the real world from my teachers. I think every single teacher I know has had a remarkable impact on the person I am today. The most valuable thing an adult in school can do is to reach out and help students do what they’re passionate about, providing support along the way. That’s the best way to enhance a strong relationship between teens and adults. It is crucial that adults create opportunities for youth leadership, and that’s what they did for us on Purple Ribbon Day.

May 2014 New Advocate Training

by WHBW on May 13, 2014

The below workshops are open to all WHBW members. The full 20 hours of training are required for new direct service workers to earn Vermont “Victim and Crisis Worker Privilege.” New non-direct service volunteers need only to attend Orientation. Contact Michelle Hough, to RSVP. We would love to have you join us!

Wednesday, May 14th 5:15-8:30

Staff Meet and Greet [5:15-5:30pm]

Event Fundraising and Development Volunteer Opportunities[5:30 to 6:00pm]
Facilitator Michelle Hough will discuss our agency’s funding sources as well as special events and volunteer opportunities.

D.V. 101 [6:00-8:30pm]
WHBW’s Education Program – Facilitator Emily Fredette will help us to better understand what domestic violence means in our society. Learn about the DV Power and Control Wheel and what the cycles of abuse are. Explore the myths and cultural context of domestic violence.

Saturday, May 17th 8:30-5
Culturally Competent Advocacy [8:30-9:30]

Facilitator Emily Fredette will assist the group to become more conscious of their own cultural belief systems or personal view of the world. Learn about the New American and Refugee communities in Vermont and our agencies’ barriers in providing ser700vice to our diverse neighbors.
WHBW’s Children and Youth Program [9:30-12]

Facilitator Ikey Spear will discuss our Children and Youth Program and services provided for children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence as well as best practice approaches for supporting their healing process. Learn how our playgroups are structured to employ the tools of creative play, crafts, drama, and games to address the issues of violence, feelings identification and expression, problem solving skills and safety issues.

Lunch will be provided. Feel free to bring a lunch or step out as needed [12-12:30]

WHBW’s Economic Justice Program (EJP) [12:30-1:30]

Facilitators, Janice Santiago and Liane Duda will discuss employment readiness, financial advocacy, Sophie’s Place and their roles as advocates. Followed by a revolutionary community education tool called “In Her Shoes.” Participants move, do, think, and experience the lives of abuse survivors through this eye-opening training.

In Her Shoes: Living with Domestic Violence [1:30-3:00pm]

WHBW’s Emergency Housing Program [3:00-5:00pm]
Facilitators Kim Thevenet and Gina Ruth will discuss the importance of confidentiality, emotional support and a positive attitude when volunteering within shelter and SafeHome.

Sunday, May 18th 8:30-5pm
SafeSpace/RU12? – Intimate Partner Screening Tool [8:30-10:30am] (pending)
Facilitator Jean Sienkewicz will discuss an Intimate Partner Screening Tool that was created to assist service providers in determining who is the perpetrator and who is the victim in LGBTQ relationships where abuse exists. Distinction between acts of abuse and self-defense can be confusing and determining the perpetrator and victim can at first appear difficult. In order to avoid being misled, a thorough screening is necessary to fully explore the dynamics of the relationship with an eye to common manifestations of batterer and victim behavior. This workshop will also be a safe space to talk about the complexities that are sometimes presented and all questions should be presented.

Advocacy, Healthy Boundaries, and Self Care [10:45-12:00pm]
Facilitator Emily Fredette and Michelle Hough will lead a circle discussion on how to seek out and refine your own “personal style” of processing the negative impacts and triggers that go hand-in-hand with our work. Learn to become more emotionally supportive of yourself and others to help avoid burnout or depression. Also learn some helpful tips of providing advocacy when working with survivors. Focus on healing, safety and support.

Lunch will be provided. Feel free to bring lunch or step out as needed. [12-1pm]

Sexual Violence as it relates to Intimate Partner Violence [1-3:00pm]
Facilitator Jeanne Kaczka-Valliere, Educator at HOPE Works, will educate us on sexual violence. Tom will help us in understanding how to best work with survivors of sexual violence. Take a walk in a survivor’s shoes with his powerful activity.

Intimate Partner Violence and Co-Occurring Disorders: Mental Health and Substance Abuse [4:00-5:00pm]
Facilitator Kim Thevenet will explore advocating strategies that will help increase understanding of key issues in the area of substance abuse and mental health as they relate to intimate partner violence. She will outline WHBW’s policies and protocol with suicide threats and substance abuse while on hotline or in shelter.

WHBW’s Legal Advocacy Program (LAP) [3:00-4:00pm]
Facilitator Elyssa Boisselle will discuss our LAP and her role at WHBW. She will outline our services as well as discuss the Criminal Justice System in Chittenden County.

Safe At Work Network to Announce Results of Vermont’s First ‘Domestic Violence in the Workplace’ Survey.

January 23, 2014

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Janice Santiago, Safe at Work Network Coordinator, Employment Advocate 802-658-3131 Ext. 1068   Safe At Work Network to Announce Results of Vermont’s First ‘Domestic Violence in the Workplace’ Survey. Announcement set for Monday, January 27, 2014, 10:00 am Women Helping Battered Women, 294 North Winooski Avenue, Burlington.   […]

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Stopping Domestic Violence video

December 9, 2013

Women Helping Battered Women have been in the media quite a few times this past year. Most recently Emily Fredette and Janice Satiago were interviewed on the UVM extention “Across the Fence.” They both spoke of the programs offered by Women Helping Battered Women such as the hotline, emergency housing services, economic justice and transitional […]

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Men’s Survivor Support Group

November 25, 2013

          Women Helping Battered Women is committed to helping all victims of domestic violence, and as awareness of this issue grows, so does the realization that men are also victims of abuse. National figures estimate that 1 in 7 men have experienced domestic abuse, and that 835,000 men are assaulted by […]

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Autumn Basement Boutique Article

November 20, 2013

Yes, it’s that time again! It’s time for comfy sweaters and layers with skirts.  Boots call for socks and naked ears desire knit hats.  The Basement Boutique is getting new items in all the time.  Free, fashion forward looks, will constantly be filling the racks at Sophie’s Place.  One of this season’s looks includes bright […]

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Domestic Violence Continues to Impact All of Chittenden County

October 2, 2013

Women Helping Battered Women Urges Area Businesses to Join the Chittenden County Safe at Work Network BURLINGTON, VT, October 2, 2013 – Domestic violence (DV) continues to plague communities throughout Vermont’s Chittenden County. Last week a high profile incident in Burlington placed a victim in the intensive care unit at a local hospital, threw the […]

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Welcome New Volunteers and Interns

September 23, 2013

Women Helping Battered Women’s September new advocate training just finished up and it has provided us with a new round of amazing volunteers and interns! New advocate training is a twenty hour workshop training that takes place three times a year. Upon completion of the twenty hours , each participants earns “Victim and Crisis Worker […]

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Laura Kate Winterbottom March

September 18, 2013

On Saturday, September 14th 2013 the community gathered starting at 9am at Oakledge Park for the annual Laura Kate Winterbottom walk/run fundraiser.                 Established in September of 2006, the primary goal of Laura’s March is to raise funds to support organizations that work to help end sexual violence. Held in remembrance of Laura during her […]

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Uno’s Dough Raiser to Celebrate the Life of Birdie Cousens

July 30, 2013

August 7, 2013 11am to 11pm You, your friends, and your family are all cordially invited to partake in fine food and drinks at UNO’s in South Burlington. This event was planned on the five year anniversary of the tragic death of Laura-Jean Cousens. Laura or “Birdie’s” family believes she would approve of us as the […]

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