Rembering Fallen Friends

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At this year’s Barbara Ann Campbell Memorial Breakfast, we remembered local people who died in 2017 as a result of domestic violence, and we will end Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the same way … remembering.

We remember because these people mattered. They mattered then. They matter still.

And we remember because it fuels us to keep pressing toward our shared goal – an end of domestic violence in our community, forever.

Feel free to leave a message of comfort for the families of the fallen in the comments below and know we are so grateful to you, allies and advocates, for your continued commitment. With your help, we will keep sheltering and serving survivors until there is no more need.

2017 Domestic Violence-Related Fatalities

Black female, 41, stabbed by black male, 36

In 2008, this woman, then five-months pregnant, was kidnapped and stabbed multiple times by her boyfriend. Eight years later, at 49, she died. The Medical Examiner determined that the manner of death was caused by complications from the 2008 attack.

White female, 52, shot by a white male, 60

This woman was divorcing her husband. The husband shot her in the chest in her own home. Her husband also shot and killed this woman’s daughter, his stepdaughter.

White female, 30, shot by a white male, 60

This woman was not originally intended to be her stepfather’s victim, but she, too, was shot during his attack on her mother. Her body was found in a different room than her mother’s body and was partially covered with a blanket.

Black female, 29, stabbed by a black male, 38

This pregnant woman was stabbed in the stomach and left bleeding on the floor by her boyfriend. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Black male, 3, shot by a black male, 22

This child was struck in the head by a bullet during a domestic violence-driven attack on his home. He died two days later. His mother was also shot, but she lived. The child’s 5-year-old brother was present during the incident.

White male, 62, stabbed by a white female, 36

This man met this woman, his girlfriend, three weeks prior to his homicide.

White female, 30, shot by a white male, 32

This woman was shot in the head by her boyfriend and died. The boyfriend also shot this woman’s sister in the head. This woman’s sister survived. Two children, ages 9 and 4, were present.

 

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During Annual Address, Hubbard House CEO Encourages Audience to Consider “All” Lives Saved

Gail at the Podium

At the 24th Annual Barbara Ann Campbell Memorial Breakfast, CEO Dr. Gail A. Patin’s speech emphasized not only our partnership to save and change the lives of local survivors of domestic violence but also other loss of life prevented.

2018 Domestic Violence Address

Thank you, Mary, for serving as our emcee year in and year out! You do such a wonderful job.

And, thank you to all of you, for attending the Hubbard House 24th Annual Barbara Ann Campbell Memorial Breakfast.

It’s my honor to be addressing you today as the CEO of Hubbard House and as a voice for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

You’ll note I said victims and survivors of domestic violence. This differentiation is intentional because we are going to spend part of our time together this morning thinking about and remembering

Recent.

Local.

victims of intimate partner domestic violence who died.

This week on Monday, October 1, Hubbard House, in a press conference with our partners, announced that, in Duval county, 9 people lost their lives due to intimate partner domestic violence last year, 7 were intimate partners (husbands, wives; boyfriends, girlfriends) and 2 were other family members:

  • a victim’s adult daughter who was at the wrong place at the wrong time … shot dead
  • And a 3-year-old child who was shot in the head during an attack in his own home, witnessed by his 5-year-old brother

We can see from these tragedies that domestic violence claims the lives of the victims directly involved in the relationship, but also family members:

  • mothers; fathers
  • grandparents
  • brothers; sisters
  • and children

Far too often children.

It’s part of what makes our work together so important!

As part of the movement against domestic violence and supporters of Hubbard House, we save the lives of victims of domestic violence,

but we also save the lives of all those

who could have been,

would have been

fatalities as well.

So, in the face of these 9 Duval deaths, how can we remain positive?

The big picture: In 2017, Hubbard House served 4,407 people, and they are all alive today.

But, when we stop to consider the broader picture, the true impact of our work together, we must also think of all the familial homicides we prevented by intervening at the right time, in the right way.

Here’s the impact of our work, in real terms:

  • This morning, there are children alive and well, running and laughing on playgrounds because of what we do together.
  • This morning, there are brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandparents, who are planning upcoming visits and vacations with one another, because of what we do together.
  • This morning, there are local families who can eagerly look forward to holiday celebrations, to seeing every single face at the family table, every person whole and healthy … because of what we do together.

There are three things I’d like for you to know and three things I’d like to ask you to do…

Here’s what I’d like for you to know…

ONE. In partnership with all of you, Hubbard House provided life-saving and life-changing shelter and services to 4,407 people last year, and as much as domestic violence played a part, they are all alive today and so are their children, their brothers, their sisters, their parents.

TWO. Research and our institutional experience informs us that those who come into shelter and receive services are much more likely to find safety and to remain safe!

Which leads us to NUMBER THREE… Our growth item. More members in our community must be made aware, not only of domestic violence, but also of the free shelter and wrap-around services available through Hubbard House.

Then, they’ll know where to turn for help when they need help most. And, more survivors will find safety and more families will be spared suffering.

So, as Domestic Violence Awareness Month is just beginning, I ask you, friends and advocates, to consider these three simple but very significant assignments:

ONE. Read or reread those small cards on the table in front of you, titled, “What is Abuse?” It will help you identify abuse if it happens to you or someone you know or love.

Also, slip that card in your wallet so you’ll be ready to supply our 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline Number to anyone in need.

TWO. If you haven’t, please put on that purple ribbon pin attached to that card. Put it on your lapel, over your heart. It means something very special. It means you are a part of the movement to end domestic violence. If anyone asks about it, tell them about domestic violence and about the life-saving and life-changing shelter and wrap-around services provided by Hubbard House: free to survivors and their children.

Three. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter and share one of our posts with the hashtag “#9TooMany.” This is our Domestic Violence Awareness Month social media hashtag. It recognizes the number of lives lost due to intimate partner domestic violence in Jacksonville last year. By sharing a “9TooMany” post, you will be spreading awareness of the problem – domestic violence – and the solution – Hubbard House. You may even play a role in saving the life of someone in your own circle.

Friends, I want you to know there is great hope in my heart. This past year, my first as the CEO of Hubbard House, I have met many of you and time and time again, you’ve asked this question: What can I do? What can we do?

With hearts like yours and determination like ours, we will continue to reach survivors AND our reach will grow; we will save and change lives right here in Duval and Baker Counties; and we will transform our community.

Thank you for your time and your caring.

Survivors Shine at Barbara Ann Campbell Memorial Breakfast

Megan and Marie

Pictured left to right: Hubbard House CEO Gail Patin and Domestic Violence Survivors Megan and Marie

The room was quiet and many eyes were wet with tears as domestic violence survivor Megan recounted her story of tremendous personal loss at this year’s 24th Annual Barbara Ann Campbell Memorial Breakfast. But, in the end, it was her strength, resilience and passion for the safety of others living in violent relationships that brought attendees and advocates to their feet, recognizing Megan with a well-deserved standing ovation.

“God is my saving grace,” said Megan, “but because of Hubbard House not only have I lived through this, I am thriving.”

In 2015, Megan’s boyfriend came home unexpectedly and found her moving out of their Jacksonville home. In a rage, he got his gun and opened fire on their infant twin daughters, Megan’s father (who was helping her move out) and Megan, before taking his own life. Megan was the sole survivor.

When the story hit the news, Hubbard House staff reached out to Megan’s mother to offer free support and services. Megan, now a college graduate with law school aspirations, accepted and credits Hubbard House with helping her heal and begin again. “I was finally able to move on from my abuse and grow from the terrible things I experienced,” she said.

Marie also shared her survivor story. She met her abuser as a teenager, married him young and suffered violence at his hands for more than 20 years. It ended when Marie’s friend, Anna, brought her to Hubbard House, and Marie realized – for the first time – that she was a victim of domestic violence.

“I tried everything to ‘FIX’ the problem – counseling, marriage, having a child, buying a house but never actually saw the REAL problem until I was at Hubbard House,” explained Marie who has lived violence-free for 17 years.

Marie offered a unique perspective on the generational impact of domestic violence. While she has gone on to heal and have a healthy marriage with another partner, her son, a child survivor of domestic violence, struggles with drugs and alcohol, as does his wife, leaving both incapable of raising their three daughters.

“My current husband and I recently adopted my two oldest granddaughters, ages 8 and 4,” said Marie. “We are teaching them about healthy relationships. We want to see this cycle broken in their generation.” She is also in touch with the adoptive family of the youngest sibling, and they are likewise committed.

After hearing the two survivors speak, Hubbard House CEO Gail Patin thanked Megan and Marie for sharing their stories to build awareness, to reach victims and to create advocates. “I am so amazed by your courage and strength,” said Patin. “We all are.”

A New Lovey for Layla

mother daughter shot

When little Layla arrived at shelter with her mom, she was in an above average state of personal crisis. Mom remembered her favorite clothes, like her princess pajamas, but forgot her lovey: a light brown bear that Layla believed kept her safe from scary things.

Fortunately, Layla’s advocate was able to provide her with another beautiful bear, and it brought Layla great comfort. As she and mom stayed at shelter and received services, like counseling to heal from the domestic violence they’d experienced, Layla’s bear buddy was always her close-by companion.

After  six weeks, Layla and her mom were ready to leave shelter. Mom had secured housing, and the two were headed out for a safe and satisfying future; however, Layla had something to do first. She gave her bear back to her advocate. She said she wanted the next little girl or boy to have it because she felt safe, and she didn’t need it anymore.

Thank you to our supporters for helping to provide Layla and her mom, Leslie, with a brand-new, no-bears-required beginning.

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For Survivors: Meet Shirley Adonis, InVEST Victim Advocate

It was the fast pace of shelter life that first attracted Shirley Adonis to Hubbard House.

“I was a junior in college completing training to become an On-Call Advocate for the Women’s Center at the University of North Florida,” said Shirley. “Part of that training was a tour of Hubbard House. I remember walking past the hotline room … Multiple lines were ringing. Doors and gates were going off. Participants were at the door. The person working there at the time was completely calm, addressing one thing after another. I thought to myself, I want to do that.” And, she did.

Initially, Shirley worked in the Shelter. After two years, she moved to a position in Court Advocacy. Today, she serves on the Intimate Violence Enhanced Services Team (InVEST)* as the InVEST Victim Advocate. She starts her day at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) where she and other team members review domestic violence police reports looking for high lethality indicators, i.e. strangulation, loss of consciousness, weapons, etc. Then, she returns to her Hubbard House office and proactively reaches out to the victims judged to be in the greatest danger.

“What I love most about my current position is it’s structured around a Hubbard House advocate reaching out to provide services as opposed to the survivor reaching out. It still baffles me how many people don’t know what Hubbard House is and what we do,” said Shirley. Some victims opt to receive shelter and services immediately; however, even when a victim isn’t ready, Shirley takes satisfaction in knowing that she’s planted a life-saving seed and the victim knows where to turn when s/he is ready to take the next step.

Of course, sometimes working with victims who’ve experienced extreme violence takes a toll, so Shirley works a self-care plan that relies on people; namely, she surrounds herself with positive people in her personal life and leans on her Hubbard House family – supervisors and fellow advocates – for support at work. Shirley explains that no one understand the pressures or pleasures of doing the work like fellow advocates, and no one understands better the driving force behind the work they do: to always be the best for survivors.

InVEST program

*The Intimate Violence Enhanced Services Team (InVEST) program is a partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the City of Jacksonville. Daily, a Hubbard House advocate, a detective and a city employee review domestic violence police reports, evaluate cases for lethal indicators and proactively contact the victims to offer services. The program has been credited with reducing intimate partner homicides in Duval County and has been replicated statewide.

Survivor Story: Kelly wasn’t alone anymore

Baby faceKelly came to shelter feeling as if she was just a shell of her former self. Before meeting her husband Tony, she had laughed easily, spoke freely and enjoyed close relationships with friends and family. After meeting and marrying Tony, and as his abuse escalated into physical violence, there was no joy, just fear; no open communication, just coerced agreement; and her sense of isolation was all-consuming, leaving Kelly feeling utterly alone. Then, one day, everything changed … The stick turned blue.

The pregnancy was unexpected but Kelly very much wanted her baby. Pressed by the reality that her pregnancy would soon show, and Tony would be dangerously irate because he didn’t want children, she searched the Internet for help. She found Hubbard House, called the Domestic Violence Hotline, and with the help of her victim advocate, created a plan to come into shelter, safely.  When the day of escape came, she acted as if it were any other day, but it wasn’t: It was the first day of her brand-new beginning.

In shelter, Kelly received the services she needed. Counseling and survivor support groups helped alleviate the isolation and assisted her in identifying the domestic violence she’d suffered. She also received legal help and obtained an Injunction for Protection, and a career coach helped her to figure out how to talk to her employer, who proved to be a valuable ally. Ultimately, Kelly had to use a variety of techniques to find freedom, like changing her work hours and finding a new place to live, but it was all worth it when her daughter was born, a healthy, naturally happy 7.5-pound blue-eyed baby girl.

Today, the two live free of violence and full of hope in the Jacksonville area.

 

Chaplains Offer Comfort to Survivors in Shelter

lower res Warmly lit woman praying

The Hubbard House chaplaincy program, established in 2016, is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to supply complete services to survivors. “Research and conversations right here at shelter led me to understand that providing spiritual help is essential to our survivors, especially women,” explained Hubbard House CEO Dr. Gail A. Patin, who spearheaded the program alongside dedicated volunteer Linda Hill. Currently, three volunteer chaplains, all ordained ministers, serve in-shelter survivors.

When asked what surprised her most about working with Hubbard House participants, Chaplain Kimberly Weir said, “Most of the survivors I’ve met with come to me with a well-established faith. They aren’t asking where was God when their abuse happened. Instead, they want God’s help for today’s challenges or spiritual guidance for what’s next.” Chaplain Kimberly, also on staff with another local non-profit serving the low-income elderly, has been with the program since its inception and is encouraged by the program’s impact.

Chaplain Kimberly explained that many survivors finds it validating when a person they see as spiritually significant sits to hear her story. “I don’t try to offer answers,” says Kimberly. “Instead, I am a witness to what they want to share. I try to speak words of affirmation and hope over their futures. And, if they are interested (and most are), we pray together, asking for God, as the survivor understands him or her, to protect, guide and strengthen them as they heal.

Hubbard House Holiday Guide!

istock Young boy opening Christmas gift small versionWant to help make the holidays happier for domestic violence survivors and their children? Take a look at the Hubbard House Holiday Guide 2017 PDF  It’s full of wonderful ways that you and yours can bring significant joy to survivors and survivor-led families who are escaping the darkness of domestic violence and finding bright new beginnings!

Still have questions after reading the guide? Email development@hubbardhouse.org.

 

 

2017 Domestic Violence Awareness Address

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At last week’s Barbara Ann Campbell Memorial Breakfast, Hubbard House CEO Dr. Gail A. Patin delivered a powerful speech that asked and answered the questions on the minds of many in the community; namely, why should I, as an individual or organization in Jacksonville, support Hubbard House? What difference does Hubbard House make locally? And, how can I personally help to eradicate domestic violence? Her remarks, featured below, resonated and moved many to action.

Domestic Violence Address

23rd Annual Barbara Ann Campbell Memorial Breakfast, October 12, 2017

Hubbard House CEO Dr. Gail A. Patin

People often ask why I have chosen to make my life’s work the eradication of domestic violence. The reason is simple: Survivors. I am driven to see these courageous women, children and men live safe and satisfying lives that they choose for themselves. As I look out at each of you, I see this truth: You are with me. We are in this together.

It’s also true that together, as a community, we can eradicate domestic violence, especially domestic violence homicides.

To take our next steps in this work together, let’s begin by wrapping our hearts and minds around two truths that will inform our work going forward:

Truth one is this, and it’s difficult . . .  Last year, we saw the number of domestic violence homicides climb to a 20-year high in Duval County.

Twelve (12) victims were shot, stabbed, strangled, drowned, set on fire, beaten to death and/or thrown out like trash by their intimate partners.

The word unacceptable doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Furthermore, it’s especially tragic because we didn’t have the opportunity to intervene in these situations. Not one of these victims were seeking services from Hubbard House when they were murdered.

So, truth one is this… In 2016, a record number of human beings in our community lost their lives to domestic violence, and none of them were receiving services from Hubbard House.

Here is truth two, and this is our best truth, the good news:

It doesn’t have to be this way!  Hubbard House is here to help,

and we are saving lives together.

Last year, Hubbard House provided life-saving, life-changing services to 5,019 women, children and men here in our local community.

Right here in Jacksonville,

Survivors were safely sheltered and sustained.

They were supported, counseled, informed and educated.

They were helped to obtain injunctions for protection, and they were assisted in finding jobs and homes.

And you know what else? They are all alive today.

Every woman. Every child. Every man. Every person who sought Hubbard House services in 2016 – All of them – are alive right now.

Taken together, what do these two truths mean? They mean that there are people dying in our community because of domestic violence, and they don’t have to because we have a solution that works! We simply must reach them, survivors living in these situations, through greater awareness of domestic violence and of our services, so more survivors will turn to us. Awareness, after all, is why we are here today.

As we move forward in this work we are doing together, here are two ways that you can maintain or deepen your commitment to the cause, the eradication of domestic violence.

One. Share about domestic violence and Hubbard House with those in your circle of influence – leave our “What is abuse?” cards in your break room, schedule a Hubbard House speaker to talk with your group about domestic violence, or share one of our informative Twitter or Facebook posts with your friends or followers.

You know, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, and one in three women experiences physical violence, sexual violence or stalking from an intimate partner in their lifetimes, so you will reach someone in need. Someone that we, Hubbard House, can’t reach on our own.

Two. Please continue to support the work of Hubbard House with your time and your treasure. In so doing, you are providing a place for survivors and their children to turn for help, when they need help most. And, the truth is, miracles happen in our halls! You are also making our community a better place to live, because when life gets better for some of us, it gets better for all of us.     

Because of you, lives are saved and hearts are healed. Thank you so much for your support.

Saving Lives, Healing Hearts . . . Together

Small Hubbard House-0018By Hubbard House CEO Gail Patin

As I look back over my first 10 days as the new CEO of Hubbard House, I am so very grateful for the phenomenal Hubbard House team of staff, volunteers and board members. Their dedication to our vision of “every relationship violence free” is unparalleled. I am also incredibly, deeply grateful for the community’s support of the Hubbard House organization.

This community wraps its arms around the work we do through volunteering, advocating for survivors and by supporting Hubbard House financially. Volunteers answer our hotline, clean and paint our facility, throw parties for our residential children, organize food drives and the list goes on and on. Supporters invite us to speak in the community, allowing us to create greater awareness of domestic violence. And our donors, well, they give in many ways, such as by sponsoring our events and giving financial gifts.

I am also grateful for our retired CEO, Ellen Siler. Ellen is a remarkable woman who left a legacy of sound business practices and empowerment-based services for survivors. However, I believe it is her no-holds-barred compassion that is legendary. Whether she was advocating for survivors, listening to a staff member experiencing a personal crisis or helping a woman tell her story of courage, Ellen’s heart was and is wide open. When I think of Ellen, I think of a cross-stitched saying my mother has displayed in her home, “She gives so much and knows not that she gives at all.” I am grateful for having her in my life as a leader, a mentor and a friend.

Last but certainly not least, I am grateful for survivors of domestic violence. Over the past 20 years, I have had the privilege of meeting and getting to know the many women, children and men that come through our doors. Every day they teach me the meaning of courage and strength. They are the reason for everything I do, everything we do together, and it’s an honor to be a part of their stories.

So, as we move into the future, my heart is full of gratitude for the wonderful support this organization and community has for survivors and their families and for the survivors themselves. I look forward to continuing to work with the community to create a safer city for all of us.