Community Kickoff Event at the ADRC in Sturgeon Bay
Door County has been chosen to participate in a special project funded by the Department of Justice in part because of our very large percentage of aging adults and in part for our well-established Coordinated Community Response (CCR) team. This project provides in-depth training for local experts who will, in turn, train our local colleagues in finding more and better ways to support safety for older adults.
On Sept. 12, experts from the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life and the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s project coordinators joined Door County’s CCR team for a full day of training. Soaring ceilings inspired soaring thoughts about how best to work together as we all become even better equipped to serve the needs of our aging population in Door County.
Ann Laatsch and Rhonda Martinson from NCALL helped us to imagine the ways in which our organizations would respond to a scenario involving a family in which physical and financial abuse, plus a host of medical issues, conspired to make an elderly woman’s life miserable and the lives of those around her fraught with worry and feelings of powerlessness.
October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
One in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence. We need to change a culture that asks, “Why don’t they just leave?” instead of “Why is it OK to treat them that way?” The way we change it is by challenging how we think about what a healthy relationship looks like.
The community is most enthusiastically encouraged to join us at the Rotary Pavilion, at the corner of Neenah and Maple in Sturgeon Bay, on Oct. 2, 4 pm, for HELP of Door County’s annual Walk With Me event. Popular local musician Jeannie Kuhns will sing for us; we’ll hear some words of wisdom from the Forging Youth Relationship Education (FYRE) group; and we’ll learn a bit about the courage of a survivor. Then we’ll take a two-bridge walk through town and make some noise as we help raise awareness of domestic violence.
How can you tell when a relationship crosses over into a dangerous place? It can be hard to be sure, but being aware of some red flags can help you identify unhealthy behavior.
• Does your partner define the roles in your relationship?
• Does your partner accuse you of seeing other people?
• Does your partner look through your phone-call or text history? Demand email passwords?
• Does your partner hit, slap or harm you in other ways? Do you feel threatened by rough horseplay?
• Does your partner constantly berate you or others?
• Does your partner blame others for misfortunes?
These warning signs – and there are many more – point to someone who is using unhealthy relationship tactics. These signs do not necessarily mean there is abuse going on. You may know someone who is dealing with this. It is not your job to fix the situation, but it is your job to let the individual know that you are there to offer support and that you know people who may be able to help.
All of us CCR partners – professionals in domestic violence, sexual assault, health care, law enforcement and public health – stand ready to help all people get the help they need to live a safer and healthier life.
This article is brought to you in part by the Door County Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Teams and the Door County Elder and Adult-at-Risk Interdisciplinary Team.