Celebrate Healthy Relationships on Women’s Equality Day

LadiesToday Hubbard House is recognizing healthy relationships by celebrating Women’s Equality Day! The day not only marks the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, in the words of President Obama in last year’s proclamation, “It’s a day to celebrate the achievement of women and a recommitment to realizing gender equality.” In short, Women’s Equality Day is more than a day to celebrate women’s achievements in politics; it’s a day to acknowledge equality in all aspects of life, including relationships.

Standing on equal grounds is a strong base for having a healthy relationship. Unlike being in an abusive relationship, neither partner is dominant, controlling or aggressive. Conflict can be resolved through open and honest communication, trust allows for opinions to be voiced and heard, and decisions can be made by giving each person’s concerns equal weight.

So, here are the elements that make for a healthy relationship when the relationship is based on equality:

NEGOTIATION AND FAIRNESS

  • Both partners seek mutually satisfying resolutions to problems. To accomplish this, both partners must be willing to accept change and to compromise.

ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP

  • Money decisions are made together and both partners make sure each benefit from financial arrangements.

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY

  • Both partners mutually agree on a fair distribution of work and family decisions are made together.

RESPONSIBLE PARENTING

  • Parental responsibilities are shared and both are positive non-violent role models for their children.

HONESTY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

  • Each partner takes responsibility for their actions, acknowledges past use of violence, admits to being wrong and communicates openly and truthfully.

TRUST AND SUPPORT

  • Both partners are supported in their goals in life and there is a mutual respect for each other’s feelings, differing opinions, friends and activities.

RESPECT

  • Both partners listen to each other without judgment, value each other’s opinions and are emotionally affirming.

NON-THREATENING BEHAVIOR

  • Each partner should talk and behave in a way that allows for both to feel safe and comfortable when expressing their opinion.

Healthy relationships are equal relationships. So, celebrate this Women’s Equality Day by not only acknowledging the efforts of great women leaders, but by also acknowledging the ways equality builds strong and lasting relationships.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic/dating violence please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit http://www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.

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Dangers of Teen Textual Harassment

phoneHow many text messages does your teen receive a day? According to Pew Internet 78 percent of American teens now have a cell phone and 88 percent of those teens use their cell phones to text. One in three teens sends more than 100 texts per day. Many parents feel a sense of security knowing that they can call or text their teen to find out exactly where they are and if they’re okay. However, many people fail to understand that the same device that can keep their teen safe could also harm them by allowing them to become victims of textual harassment.

What is Textual Harassment?
Textual harassment is a serious, growing problem in the United States. Just like any other form of abuse, textual harassers like to intimidate and control their victims using multiple tactics such as sending numerous and continuous text messages. The messages may vary from abusive in content to threatening in tone and are typically used to keep tabs on and bully a person. The Pew Research Center states one in three teens say they are text messaged 10, 20 and even 30 times an hour by a partner keeping tabs on them.

Textual harassment can even be used to sexually harass someone by pressuring the other person to send inappropriate pictures or threatening to distribute their inappropriate pictures.

Warning Signs of Abuse
Textual harassment can cause low self-esteem. Many teens don’t understand the dangers of textual harassment; some may even mistake the constant controlling behavior for love. Listed below are signs of abuse your teen may experience from his/her harasser:

  • Constantly checking his/her phone without permission
  • Talking down and making him/her feel bad about themself
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Constant accusations about cheating, lying or not caring about him/her
  • Possessiveness
  • Mood swings
  • Isolating his/her partner from family or friends
  • Pressuring his/her partner into sexual interactions

What You Can Do?
There may not be any warning signs until the situation has become overwhelming. Make sure you talk to your teen about how to use a cell phone responsibly prior to giving him/her a phone. Here are some other tips on how you and your teen can handle the situation:

  • Communication is Key: This is the most important thing you can do. If your teen is comfortable talking to you, he or she will be more likely to show you disturbing texts or even ask for your help if they are being bothered by text messages.
  • Be Proactive: Help them understand the significance of giving their cell phone numbers to people and that they should only give their numbers to people they know and trust.
  • Monitor The Bill: Check how many texts your teen is getting per day, and also the times and who is sending the text messages. Take note of any suspicious activity, like a heavy volume of messages from an unknown number and discuss this with your teen.
  • Be a Techy Savvy Parent: A lot of parents get nervous when it comes to the latest gadgets, but if you are not aware of new technological advances and the way they impact your teen, you won’t be able to effectively protect them.
  • Take Action: If someone is “textually” harassing your teen, document and save the messages. Notify the police if the text messages are threatening, and contact your carrier to block the sender. You may also want to consider changing their number or temporarily disabling their texts as well.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 6,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit http://www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.

By Stephanie Perez and Jasmine Dionne Williams

Danger in the Dorms

collegeFor many college students, August brings new classes, new roommates and new relationships. It’s important to start this semester with more than your books and new dorm room decor. Hubbard House, the domestic violence center serving Duval and Baker counties, is encouraging college students to know the warning signs of dating violence and ways to keep safe.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 21 percent of college students report they have experienced dating violence by a current partner, while 32 percent report dating violence by a previous partner.

WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS OF ABUSE

Does your partner:

  • Check your cell phone or email without permission;
  • Constantly put you down;
  • Have an explosive temper;
  • Have extreme mood swings;
  • Act extremely jealous or insecure;
  • Isolate you from family or friends;
  • Make false accusations;
  • Physically hurt you in any way;
  • Act possessive;
  • Tell you what to do;
  •  And repeatedly pressure you to have sex.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO KEEP SAFE

Knowing the warning signs for dating violence is a great start to identifying potentially dangerous relationships, but there are other things you can do to keep yourself safe as well. Here are some safety tips to help prevent dating violence:

  • Know where your school’s “panic phones” are and how to use them.
  • Have a “safety buddy” and create a code word that means you’re in trouble.
  • Always keep your cell phone with you.
  • Avoid going out alone at night and to isolated places.
  • Leave uncomfortable situations.
  • Set online profiles to private.
  • Never drink an unattended drink at a party.
  • And never leave with someone who is heavily intoxicated.

College can be fun and meeting new people can be very exciting, but it’s important to always keep your safety first! For more information on dating/domestic violence please visit www.hubbardhouse.org or www.loveisrespect.org.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic/dating violence please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.

By: Jasmine Dionne Williams

Volunteer Spotlight: Medtronic Women’s Network

Medtronic pic

Group volunteer efforts are a fun and rewarding way for different groups to get involved with Hubbard House. This summer, the Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN) of Jacksonville held an ice cream social for the children in the Hubbard House Emergency Shelter. In addition to treating them to ice cream sundaes, Medtronic professionals also organized games and prizes for the children.

“Seeing their smiles and enthusiasm was a great feeling. The Marshmallow game was one of the highlights!” said Diane Aballa and Jessica Carter, the MWN Community Involvement co-chairs.

Hubbard House is truly thankful to be Medtronic Women’s Network’s 2013-2014 community partner in Jacksonville. The party was a huge success with the kids, and afterwards, Diane and Jessica talked about their group’s involvement:

How did your group get involved with Hubbard House, and why did you choose to give your time to the organization?

MWN’s mission includes making a difference in the Jacksonville community. Medtronic has supported Hubbard House for the past several years. The leadership of MWN chose the Hubbard House as their community partner for 2013-2014 because of the great work Hubbard House does in positively impacting the lives of women and their families.

What was the most memorable experience from your group volunteer effort?

Seeing the enthusiasm and smiles on the faces of the children as they indulged in ice cream sundaes and the various games we played was very memorable. The highlight game was the “Marshmallow” game. Kids and parents were placed into three separate teams. The objective of the game was to create the tallest free standing structure in 18 minutes, using just a few pieces of uncooked spaghetti, three feet of masking tape, and one large marshmallow for the structure’s topping. Both parents and kids enjoyed the activity – it was evident in their competitive edge when creating their structure! The activity allowed each individual to enhance their team building and analytical skills.

How do the members of your group use their talents in volunteering?

MWN consists of women in Medtronic who come from multiple disciplines in the organization – Project Management, Sales, Customer Service, Operations, Research & Development, etc. We want to utilize our skillset used in the workplace and our everyday lives, to help others in the community. We all have a common mission to promote life-long well being, development, inclusion, advancement, and value of women – missions we want to share when we volunteer for any community event.

What has your volunteering experience meant to your group?

Our volunteer experience gives MWN a sense of pride and accomplishment. We’ve come together from different career paths and walks in life to accomplish a common goal – giving back to our community partner, Hubbard House. The joy we saw from the children’s faces during the ice cream social gave us a heartfelt and meaningful experience.

If you are interested in doing a group volunteer effort with your friends, co-workers, or church members, please visit the Hubbard House volunteer page to fill out and submit an application.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic/dating violence please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

 ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit http://www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.

Written by Allison Beattie