Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What's New?...Wellspring

It's Good Newsday Tuesday

In my mind's eye, I see the future... our future. I know that the future I envision isn't far away because the buildings, the people and the places all look familiar. But there's one big difference. No one lives in fear at home because of abuse. Fear of being raped doesn't linger as a haunting spectre when walking home after work or on a date.  Why not? Because we've eliminated relationship and sexual violence in Saratoga County.

We're not there now. Domestic violence is the #2 violent crime in the county and one of the top 2 causes of homicide. The number of sexual assault victims seeking assistance increases each year. But that's today. If I look really hard I see a different picture.

More than 30 years ago the agency I work for began as a small group of community members helping women who were abused. As they volunteered their services it quickly became clear the problem of domestic violence was bigger than anyone realized. Until they took action, no one knew the magnitude.

We know the number now... and we've met tens of thousands of survivors,  heard their stories and helped them through and beyond the crisis. Now it's time to take our work to the next level. We've got to turn our efforts to getting ahead of the problem...  holding offenders accountable...preventing abuse  before it happens... until it simply doesn't happen any more.

We'll always be there  to provide crisis and support services to help victims be safe, heal and seek justice. But we've got to ask the bigger question, "How do we keep abuse from happening." The question isn't," .Why does (s)he stay?"...it's "Why does a person choose to abuse.... and what can we do to stop this?"

At DVRC we're committed to the vision of achieving a
Saratoga County free of relationship and sexual abuse.
At a press conference today we invited key community leaders to join us in working toward that vision, through:
  • increased awareness and prevention efforts
  • earlier intervention
  • working for social change.
We're serious about this vision. We're serious about supporting healthy relationships and creating safe communities. In fact we're so serious, we've changed our agency name. So as of today , DVRC is now Wellspring. The name resonates with hope with potential and a vision for the future. Help us achieve this vision; there's a role for you in it. Look ahead... do you see the future I see?... it's just up the road.

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