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TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
Morris Area Students
Stand Up to Dating Abuse
Delbarton School student leaders show off their winning campaign slogan on a banner donated by the Randolph Municipal Alliance.
February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). “There’s No Excuse for Abuse” is the winning campaign slogan for TDVAM in Morris County. Created by student leaders from Delbarton, the slogan was selected by professionals from Marketsmith at the county-wide Teens for Healthy Relationships Leadership Conference hosted by Randolph High School and sponsored by JBWS last November.
With support from Marketsmith and a generous $1,000 contribution from the Randolph Municipal Alliance, the campaign is being brought to life through large bright yellow banners that are distributed to 17 participating area high schools.
Randolph High School student leaders with JBWS' dating abuse prevention educator and counselor Anna Nase, get ready to hang their banner in the school's entry way for all to see.
Together, We Can Take a Stand
Against Violence and Shed a Light on Its Many Consequences
Consider these statistics:
Victim blaming and shaming keep the problem hidden. You can help to break the silence. Invite JBWS to speak to your civic, faith based, employee or community group. Learn more. Create safer communities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
JBWS in the News!
JBWS President & CEO Patty Sly goes
JBWS RAISES AWARENESS
& FUNDS DURING OCTOBER!
Nearly 200 guests shopped for accessories, apparel, trips, home decor and more at the Autumn Auction for Hope luncheon event. The event raised more than $50,000 toward the mission of JBWS.
Six corporate teams participated in the Morristown Halloween Half Marathon and Relay to benefit JBWS and raised a total of $76,000. EY raised more than $52,000!
JBWS "Painted the Green Purple" with balloons and staffed a table where people stopping by had a chance to learn more about the services and spin a wheel to win prizes.
We're Off to Camp!
Our staff and volunteer counselors are gearing up the first Camp HOPE NJ.
Housed on the grounds of the Fairview Lake YMCA Camp, Camp HOPE NJ will have all the typical activities of camp - swimming, archery, horseback riding, rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, and more. But, this is no typical camp.
A program of Camp HOPE America (www.camphopeamerica. org) and the first of its kind in NJ, this camp focuses on children (ages 7 – 11) who have been exposed to domestic violence.
“This is an opportunity that my children otherwise would not get to experience,” says one mom. “The kids are so excited.”
The vision for Camp HOPE NJ is to break the intergenerational cycle of family violence by providing a safe place and opportunities for these children to develop coping mechanisms that allow them to thrive in difficult environments.
Camp HOPE involves team building activities, character trait awards, and values-based programming. The activities are designed to help the kids build resilience so they can overcome adversity and trauma. They participate in, "Challenges by Choice," which are activities the child perceives as dangerous or risky (e.g., rock climbing, kayaking) and they discuss and reflect on "Positive Statements for the Day" such as "I am strong. I am able."
The camp is based on the theory that resilience is the foundation of hope, and hope is what motivates individuals to achieve their goals. So as the name Camp HOPE implies, much of the emphasis with campers is on fostering hope (and having fun!). And, it’s working!
According to the Center of Applied Research for Non-Profit Organizations at the University of Oklahoma, in its first published evaluation of the Camp HOPE model, there is a significant increase in Hope in a pre-test, post-test design among campers. These are compelling results, since the Center notes in its report,
“Hopeful children are less likely to have behavior problems or experience psychological distress and are more likely to succeed in school.”
“One week can have an unbelievable and significant impact on a child’s life in regards to self-esteem, emotional stability, and confidence,” remarks Amber Szuch, JBWS Director of the Children’s Program. “We are so grateful for the generous contributions of Verizon, Page Hill Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities (Tri-State Chapter), and Cathy and Blake Ellman for making this possible."
2017 ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC RAISES HOPE
Our 18th Annual Verizon Hope Classic raised more than $153,000 toward the protection of victims and the prevention of domestic violence. Thank you to the 137 participants and our sponsors for making this possible. Special thanks to the Somerset Hills Country Club staff for giving our golfers the opportunity to play on this nationally recognized course. It was an amazing day!
(Pictured are our ADP golfer's. Thanks for your support!)
LEE ACCEPTS DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD AT
GRAND TASTINGS EVENT
Patricia Lee accepts the Distinguished Service Award for her extraordinary service to the JBWS Board of Directors and the campaign co-chair of the successful Morris Family Justice Center's fundraising campaign.
MAY 2017 - Patricia Sly of Chester and CEO of Jersey Battered Women’s Service presented Patricia Lee of West Caldwell with the 2017 Distinguished Service award for sharing her time and talents with the JBWS for more than a decade.
Lee was formally recognized on May 22, during the 23rd annual JBWS Grand Tastings event held at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange. The evening attracted a record 400 guests who sampled the creative gourmet dishes served by two dozen of the area’s top chefs.
Specifically, Lee was honored for her extensive leadership work at JBWS including serving on the board of directors’ executive committee and as vice president and president. She successfully co-chaired the campaign to open and sustain the new Morris Family Justice Center, raising $1.2 million in six months.
Lee was also noted as an inquisitive, compassionate, thoughtful leader with an upbeat, can-do spirit whose generosity, vision and talent and have made a profound difference in the lives of many.
Lee is the Senior Vice President Human Resources & CDO of Wyndham Worldwide in Parsippany where she engages the employees in various volunteer projects on behalf of the families served by JBWS.
“We are so pleased that Patti Lee will continue her work with JBWS through her service on our advisory board, remarks Patricia Sly of Chester and CEO of JBWS.
Jersey Battered Women’s Service is a private, non-profit agency dedicated to the prevention and treatment of domestic violence and is based in Morris County.
All proceeds from the recent Grand Tastings event will benefit JBWS services including a 24-hour helpline, professionally-staffed safe house for victims and their children, counseling for victims, abusers and their children, legal advocacy program, transitional living resource center, teenage dating violence program, and other community educational and training services to support victims and their families. The agency depends on the community for a substantial portion of its funding.
For more information on JBWS, to volunteer, or to make a contribution, visit www.jbws.org. For safety and counseling, call the 24-hour helpline at 973-267-4763. The location of the shelter is kept confidential to protect the safety of the residents.
Each year, more than 6,000 people call the Morris County-based JBWS helpline and 2,500 families use JBWS’s facilities and programs.
LOCAL TEENS LEARN TO LEAD EFFORTS TO PREVENT TEEN DATING VIOLENCE
(RANDOLPH, NJ) The No2DatingAbuse program of the Jersey Battered Women’s Service held its 5th Annual Teens for Healthy Relationships Leadership Conference on November 9, 2016, at Randolph High School (RHS). The conference was hosted by RHS and attended by 140 student peer and athletic leaders with 33 school staff (teachers, counselors, coaches) from 14 high schools.
Though estimates of dating violence vary, one study funded by the National Institute of Justice found the following results from a sample of middle and high schools in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania:
Through small group discussions and an interactive play called Remote Control by Deana’s Educational Theater, the students had the opportunity to learn about the warning signs of dating abuse and how to help. The play depicts a bystander’s response to an abusive relationship. The actors stop and start the performance to ask for audience feedback about the best ways to support a friend in an abusive relationship.
Pictured after the performance of Remote Control are Tim Hoover, actor; Mary Alice Thomas, RHS Student Assistant Counselor; Amie Cazel, actor; Josh Coleman, actor; Molly O’Meara, RHS student; and Susan Herschman, RHS School Psychologist.
“We are grateful,” says JBWS director of community relations Regina Braham, “to the Randolph Municipal Alliance and the Mountain Lakes Town Club for their grants to sponsor Remote Control. “The realistic depiction of a dating abusive relationship in the play, leads to a very engaging discussion on how a friend can help both the victim and the person using abusive and controlling behavior.”
This is the second year that Randolph High School student Rachel Glineman (l) attended the Youth Leadership Conference. She says she “especially likes the theatrical performances and the opportunity for students from different schools to come together to discuss this important topic.” Samantha Coyle (r), also of Randolph High School, agrees that “this is a topic that needs to be talked about more.”
During the afternoon activities, students worked with their classmates and their chaperones to choose and plan two activities to implement in their schools during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February 2017. Also, they created posters with dating abuse information, warning signs, and resources.
At the end of the day, students reported that as a result of the youth conference, they felt more confident in their ability to take a leadership role in preventing dating abuse in their school communities.
Kareem Brown (l) of Delbarton School is glad he was invited to represent his school and feels it is “important for all boys to talk about this.” His classmate, Jordan Hubbard (r) agrees. “Too many boys don’t know how to handle situations when they hear or see something that’s inappropriate in a relationship. This conference will help,” says Hubbard.
To aid victims, Morris Family Justice Center needs helpSunday, Sept. 4, 2016
by Peggy Wright of the Daily Record.
JBWS ANNOUNCES $1 MILLION CAMPAIGN TO SUSTAIN MORRIS FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER
September 2016 - With the full support of the JBWS Board of Directors, JBWS is undertaking its first philanthropic campaign in 15 years.
Over the next five years, an investment of $1 million is required to sustain the Center and provide operational support, including counseling and client services reflective of the needs of our community.
We Need You...
“For 40 years, JBWS has been the recipient of tremendous generosity. And, our work continues. Giving to the Morris Family Justice Center Campaign is an opportunity to invest in the future of domestic violence services and more importantly, invest in every life affected by relationship violence.” – Jim Gerace
To discuss your gift or multi-year pledge confidentially, please call Patty Sly, Executive Director, at 973-267-7520, Ext. 120. Or, Donate Now to make your gift or pledge online.
Learn more about the need for the Morris Family Justice Center Campaign and read one woman's story in the Case for Support.
About the MFJC
Corporate Employees Complete 72-Mile Relay Across NJ
to Raise $100,000 for JBWS
August 22, 2016 – Ten teams of seven runners from five local corporations, participated in the 21st Annual River to Sea Relay on August 6, 2016 to benefit the Morris County-based Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS). Together, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Ernst and Young (EY), PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Wyndham Worldwide, and Zoetis raised $100,000 for the cause.
The runners, motivated by their commitment to end domestic violence, trained for months to prepare for the challenging 72-mile relay across New Jersey beginning in Lambertville on the Delaware River and ending at the beach in Manasquan. Throughout the grueling course, the runners cover 11 relay legs through 30 New Jersey towns with varied terrain.
“It’s amazing to see people invest so much into this event so that we can continue to provide essential services to victims of domestic abuse,” says Patricia Sly, Executive Director of Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS) and recipient of the event proceeds. “We are grateful for their dedication and support.”
“Our teams connect the joy of running to benefit this great cause,” says Merryl Richards who along with husband Don Richards, EY retired Partner provide support to the runners during the day and helped to initiate the partnership between EY and JBWS eight years ago.
“We are so pleased to be able to support this wonderful organization and their mission to prevent domestic violence and are happy to see other companies joining us in this effort.”
JBWS & AGENCY PARTNERS
SET TO OPEN MORRIS
FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER
March 2016 - Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS), its partner agencies and the Morris County Board of Freeholders and Prosecutor today formally opened the comprehensive center for domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Morris County: the Morris Family Justice Center (MFJC). The opening coincides with JBWS’ 40th anniversary.
The Morris Family Justice Center will provide services that a survivor of interpersonal violence and sexual assault needs in ONE place—counseling, protection, legal and immigration assistance, children’s services, and more.
Located on the 4th Floor of the County Administration and Records Building in Morristown, the Center’s services will be offered by representatives from the partner agencies in a safe, supportive environment.
Volunteers play with the children in the bright, fun play area while their mothers meet with staff in the Center. Also, specialized child advocates will provide individual and group support for children from abusive homes.
JBWS’ partners in this exciting endeavor include the Morris County Freeholders, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Superior Court, Legal Services of Northwest Jersey, Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Bar Foundation, Morris Cares, Manavi, and the Morristown Police Department.
Within the Morris Family Justice Center, a Morristown Police officer Jermaine Marbley assists victims with their criminal investigations and filing for restraining orders.
“In our 40 years, JBWS has evolved into a full service domestic violence agency and opening a Family Justice Center is the next logical step in improving services,” said JBWS Executive Director Patricia Sly.
"It gives me a tremendous sense of pride to think of how many Morris County families will be helped by this Center, which will stand as a beacon of hope for the victims of domestic violence for years to come,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo, who helped spearhead freeholder board approval of the use of county government space for this new center.
Before a group of 100 Morris Family Justice Center stakeholders, Morris County Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo announces the use of the county government space for the new Center.
“Unfortunately, victims of domestic violence have frequently suffered their abuse in silence with the fear of being alone or that no one would believe their complaints,’’ said Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp. “The Morris Family Justice Center will offer these survivors and their children a pathway out of the darkness. It will undoubtedly aid in the prosecution of offenders to hopefully end the cycle of abuse.”
Fredric Knapp, Morris County Prosecutor supports the family justice center model at a recent planning session.
Allocation of space in the county government complex by the freeholders will make it easier for JBWS to obtain grants needed to operate the center, and allow them to use valuable funds for programs rather than allocating funds to rent or lease space.
There are some 2,500 domestic violence offenses recorded in Morris County annually, with only about 25 percent of incidents reported. The new center could encourage domestic crime victims to come forward and seek needed help before situations spiral out of control, leading to more serious assaults and even homicides, said Sly.
Too often, according to the national Family Justice Center Alliance, victims of interpersonal violence and sexual assault, and their children, are forced to navigate complex systems to receive critical services while gripped by fear and heartbreak.
Family Justice Centers bring agencies together to work with victims during the crisis and long after the crisis. Victims are no longer be burdened with traveling to different agencies and telling their stories repeatedly.
In the new Morris Family Justice Center, victims of domestic abuse feel welcomed by staff who are ready help them. Natasha DeJesus, Bilingual Client Service Specialist can provide information and support in Spanish.
Emily Ryzuk, Lead Clinician for Morris CARES prepares to meet with survivors of sexual assault at her office in the new MFJC.
“We are only capturing a portion of the domestic violence cases that occur in Morris County,’’ said Marcy McMann, chairwoman of the Morris County Domestic Violence Working Group. “This new center will encourage domestic crime victims to come forward and seek needed help before situations spiral out of control, leading to more serious assaults and even homicides.’’
JBWS executive director Patricia Sly, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, chairwoman of the Morris County Domestic Violence Working Group Marcy McMann and Alliance for Hope International leader, Gael Strack participate in a strategic planning session prior to opening the new Morris Family Justice Center.
The initial startup of the project is being funded by a federal grant from the Office on Violence Against Women and The Provident Bank Foundation. The Morris County Freeholders in 2015 unanimously approved an agreement to provide space, at no cost, for the new center.
JERSEY BATTERED WOMEN’S SERVICE KICKS OFF 40TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR
COINCIDING WITH LAUNCH OF FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER IN MORRISTOWN
National Leader of Family Justice Center Movement Is Key Presenter
Morristown, NJ – Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS) and its partner agencies are preparing to open a comprehensive center for domestic violence and sexual assault victims: the Morris Family Justice Center (MFJC). The planned March opening coincides with JBWS’ 40th anniversary.
Partners in this exciting endeavor include the Morris County Freeholders, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Superior Court, Legal Services of Northwest Jersey, Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Bar Foundation, Morris Cares, Manavi, and the Morristown Police Department.
“In our 40 years, JBWS has evolved into a full service domestic violence agency and opening a Family Justice Center is the next logical step in improving services,” remarks JBWS executive director Patricia Sly. “The model is recognized as a best practice in the field of domestic violence by the U.S. Department of Justice and Morris County will become the second community in the state, joining Essex County, to set up a Family Justice Center.”
“It gives me a tremendous sense of pride to think of how many Morris County families will be helped by this necessary service,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo, who helped spearhead freeholder board approval of the use of county government space for this new center. “The Family Justice Center will stand as a beacon of hope for the victims of domestic violence for years to come.”
The exciting month kicks off on March 2, 2016, when Family Justice Center Alliance national leaders, Casey Gwinn, Gael Strack and Michael Burke consult with local partners and community stakeholders at the Morristown United Methodist Church on the Green beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Gwinn and Strack, co-founders of the first family justice center and the San Diego, CA-based Alliance, will present the history and the vision for the Family Justice Center movement in this country. They then will facilitate a strategic planning session with community leaders.
The Morris Family Justice Center will provide the services that a survivor of interpersonal violence and sexual assault needs in ONE place—counseling, protection, legal and immigration assistance, children’s services, and more.
Located on the 4th Floor of the County Administration and Records Building across from the Morris County Courthouse, the Center’s services will be offered by representatives from the partner agencies in a safe, supportive environment.
Too often, according to the Family Justice Center Alliance, victims of interpersonal violence and sexual assault, and their children, are forced to navigate complex systems to receive critical services while gripped by fear and heartbreak. Family Justice Centers bring agencies together to work with victims during the crisis and long after the crisis. Victims will no longer be burdened with traveling to different agencies and telling their stories repeatedly.
“The new center will encourage domestic crime victims to come forward and seek needed help before situations spiral out of control, leading to more serious assaults and even homicides,’’ said Marcy McMann, Morristown-based attorney and chairwoman of the Morris County Domestic Violence Working Group.
The initial startup of the project is being funded by a federal grant from the Office on Violence Against Women and The Provident Bank Foundation. The Morris County Freeholders unanimously approved an agreement to provide space, at no cost, for the new center.
Morris County Teens Representing Fourteen High Schools Show Concern for Preventing Teen Dating Violence at Annual Youth Conference
Two hundred and seventy high school leaders came together to learn more about the issue of teen dating violence and learn ways they can model healthy relationships and respect.
Members of the Montville Rotary Joseph Yuppa, Scott Russell and Hank Lyon (also MC Deputy Freeholder) join Montville High School students and their school counselor for a picture at the Youth Conference. The professional performance of the "Yellow Dress" was made possible by a generous donation by the Montville Rotary Club.
Cathy Stephens Named NJ Hero!
New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie and the New Jersey Heroes Foundation announced JBWS director of client services Cathy Stephens as the winner of the October Online NJ Heroes poll. Cathy was one of three nominees. Cathy will be presented with a check for $7,500 for JBWS.
Old Bags Luncheon Raises $56,000 to Help Victims of Domestic Violence
The Yellow Card Program Reaches
Hundreds of Athletes
Did you take the challenge?
Sign the pledge here
Runners Raise $90,000
to Support JBWS!
JBWS Board member Brooke Wiener gets a high five from fellow PricewaterhouseCoopers team member after completing her 8.2 miles in the River-to-Sea Relay across New Jersey.
JBWS would like to thank the dozens of runners and support staff who came together to support JBWS’s mission to prevent domestic violence and support victims.
All told, seven teams of runners from Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Wyndham Worldwide and Zoetis combined to run 644 miles and raise over $90,000.
This is an annual tradition that grows more and more each year and at JBWS, we can’t wait to see what the future holds, thanks to all of the wonderful people involved in this event.
Each year thousands of New Jerseyans report incidents of domestic violence, while thousands more likely avoid reporting incidents due to fear and a lack of resources.
In 2012, there were 65,000 incidents of domestic violence reported across the state, with more than 2,300 incidents occurring in Morris County, according to the last domestic violence report released by the New Jersey Attorney General.
This insidious problem doesn’t just affect adults, as studies have found that as many as 1 in 3 high schoolers experience some type of abuse during their teens.
JBWS has spent the last four decades providing direct services to victims of domestic violence in Morris County, while also working to prevent it from occurring in the first place. In an effort to raise awareness about the issue, the organization makes educational presentations to schools and community organizations, while also providing a 24-hour helpline and a bevy of other resources for people looking for answers about how to recognize and handle domestic violence.
Student's Logo Design
Selected for New
Under the direction of Graphic Arts teacher, Dani Bratton (far left), Madison High School students submitted logo designs for the new JBWS No2DatingAbuse program. Jamie Joubert holds her winning design during a special recognition event sponsored by Brushfire, the creators of the Yellow Card Campaign design and new website, No2DatingAbuse.org. Pictured are (l-r) Dani Bratton, Jamie Joubert, director of community relations for JBWS Regina Braham and senior account executive for Brushfire Desiree Hardy.
2012 - 2011
Shop for Your Holiday Gifts and Support A Good Cause December 2011
MORRIS COUNTY – As domestic violence incidents continue to pervade the world of professional sports, the Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS) is excited to announce the launch of the Yellow Card Campaign, a program that will reach out to young athletes with a proactive message to encourage them to become leaders in preventing dating violence.
Basketball players from Morris Knolls High School’s boy’s and girl’s teams helped shape the Yellow Card campaign that JBWS will now take to colleges, schools and independent sports programs throughout the area. On Wednesday, May 27, the teams came together at the school to celebrate the launch of the program. The athletes received Yellow Card t-shirts, signed a large pledge poster for display at their school and heard program endorsements from their coach and teammate. The event took place at 2 p.m. inside the Morris Knoll’s gymnasium.
“Morris Knolls basketball helped us determine how we would move forward with this important new program that we believe can be a model for high school and college teams everywhere,” said Patricia Sly, executive director of JBWS. “Now, we’re excited to come back and officially launch the campaign with them.”
William Cleffi, Morris Knolls’ principal, opened the program.
“By taking a stand against dating abuse you have made a social decision to help others,” Cleffi said. “JBWS couldn’t have asked for a better group of student athletes to launch this important pilot program. I am so proud that Morris Knolls High School could participate from the ground level.”
Earlier this year, JBWS piloted the athlete-centric program with these teams and received valuable feedback that has helped create the program as it is today.
One player, Michael Chapman, spoke to his peers about what he took away from the program.
“Now is the time for responsibility and accountability. To promote an environment of respect, it starts here, in this gym, and holding each other accountable,” Chapman said. “Ultimately, we have been identified and developed to be leaders on healthy relationships. We look forward to the challenge, and pledge to take a stand against dating violence, model healthy relationships and promote a culture of safety and respect.”
Though estimates of dating violence vary, one study funded by the National Institute of Justice found the following results from a sample of middle and high schools in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania:
These numbers are unacceptable.
Through Yellow Card, JBWS will leverage our expertise to communicate a basic but crucial message to college and high school athletes: you can help prevent dating violence. By tapping into the natural leadership role that athletes often enjoy, the program is designed to inspire athletes to set the tone in the locker room and the classroom that abuse in relationships is unacceptable.
“Yellow Card reaches these athletes at an important and vulnerable time in their lives and teaches them not just how to make the right choices in their own relationships, but how to promote healthy behavior in their peers,” Sly said.
Yellow Card will educate athletes on the warning signs of dating abuse so that they can first learn to model healthy behavior in their own relationships, then to encourage it in others. Dating abuse is cultural problem and Yellow Card will enlist athletes, a crucial component of the high school culture, to stop it.
The program involves direct training sessions with teams and groups of athletes as well as a wealth of supporting activities and materials including game-day awareness events, a broad media campaign and No2DatingAbuse.org, our resource-laden website. Every athlete involved is asked to sign a three-part pledge that addresses the tenets of the program. This pledge is available for anyone who wants to read and sign it on our website as well.
This campaign has been made possible thanks to the support of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, Morristown Medical Center-Community Health, Becton Dickinson, Verizon, F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., Laurie Peter and Betsy Bernard, Brushfire Inc.’s professional marketing services, and several key individual donors.
Please feel free to contact Regina Braham at (973) 267-7520 ext. 124 or RBraham@jbws.org with any questions about the kickoff or the Yellow Card campaign in general.
This spring, JBWS is excited to announce the launch of the Yellow Card Campaign, a new proactive leadership program that will bring the basic message of preventing dating violence to young athletes.
With the help of our donors, local schools and athletic clubs, JBWS will leverage our expertise to communicate a basic but crucial message to primarily male college and high school athletes: you can help prevent dating violence. By tapping into the natural leadership role that athletes often enjoy, the program is designed to inspire athletes to set the tone in the locker room and the classroom that abuse in relationships is unacceptable.
We are combining an engaging, educational program that we bring to individual sports teams with a broader promotional campaign that we believe will not only lead to progress in preventing dating abuse in our area, but lay the ground work for a proactive prevention strategy that can be a model to programs far and wide.
“The strength of the Yellow Card Campaign is the totality of its approach,” says JBWS executive director Patricia Sly. “The single creative message of a yellow card, which in sports signifies an egregious foul, translates to the early warning signs of dating abuse in this campaign making it memorable for athletes. The educational sessions combined with a pledge for signing, banner ads on sports websites, t-shirts, and more, all work together to strengthen its impact."
This innovative project would not be possible without the support of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, Morristown Medical Center-Community Health, Becton Dickinson, Verizon, F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., Brushfire Inc.’s professional marketing services, and several key individual donors.
For more information and to sign the online pledge, please visit No2DatingAbuse.org or email email@example.com.
Morris County will create a new Family Justice Center at the county government complex in Morristown that will serve as a one-stop facility for essential services for victims of domestic violence, it was announced at the Morris County Freeholder’s meeting.
The freeholders, at their session last week, unanimously approved an agreement with the Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS) to provide space, at no cost, for the new center, to be housed in the Morris County Administration and Records Building on Court Street, across from the Morris County Courthouse. The lease agreement starts on Nov. 15, 2015, and runs through Oct. 31, 2020.
Morris County would become the second county in the state, joining Essex County, to set up a Family Justice Center.
“This will make it easier for people who have been victims of crimes to get the counseling, services and information they require in one convenient location in Morris County,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo. “It gives me a tremendous sense of pride to think of how many Morris County families will be helped by this necessary service. The Family Justice Center will stand as a beacon of hope for the victims of domestic violence for years to come.”
The concept of a Family Justice Center is a joint effort of the JBWS and the Domestic Violence Working Group of Morris County, which is a coalition of the courts, prosecutor’s office, sheriff’s office, local police, social service agencies, and nonprofit groups.
The new center will offer increased safety for domestic violence victims and improve coordination of services they require, said JBWS Executive Director Patricia Sly. Allocation of space in the county government complex by the freeholders will make it easier for JBWS to obtain grants needed to operate the center, and allow them to use valuable funds for programs rather than allocating funds to rent or lease space.
“This will bring everything together under one roof,’’ said Sly. “If you or your family have a problem with a domestic violence issue, there will be an easily accessible place in Morris County, for the first time, where you can come for all of the help you need, right in one place.’’
There are some 2,500 domestic violence offenses recorded in Morris County annually, with only about 25 percent of incidents reported, Sly and Marcy McMann, chairwoman of the Morris County Domestic Violence Working Group, told the freeholders. They said the new center could encourage domestic crime victims to come forward and seek needed help before situations spiral out of control, leading to more serious assaults and even homicides
“It will give us the ability to get people started with needed support services –whether legal or medical or law enforcement or children’s services – when they really need it,’’ said Sly. “It can really be daunting to clients to try to find their way through the bureaucracy. We hope to make it easier for them and get them they help they need as quickly as possible.
“We are only capturing a portion of the domestic violence cases that occur in Morris County,’’ said McMann, who is a Morristown-based attorney. “The Family Justice Center will allow us to serve this group of people more effectively and efficiently. But more importantly, it may help us bring in some of the people who are violence victims but have been reluctant to seek help.’’
The Jersey Battered Women’s Service is a domestic violence and domestic abuse prevention agency. Services include a 24-hour hotline; counseling; safe house; transitional living; children’s services; life skills education; vocational counseling; batterers’ intervention; legal assistance; teen dating violence services; and professional training, education and youth prevention programs.
For more information on JBWS, please visit: http://www.jbws.org/index.html or for help call (973) 267-4763
In the Feb. 22 editorial "Arming Coeds Is the Champion of Dangerous Ideas," The Star-Ledger Editorial Board appropriately recognized the dangers of "arming co-eds" to prevent sexual assault, but failed dangerously by suggesting that young women facing domestic violence arm themselves. What could go wrong?
The presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent, and it doesn't matter if it's his gun or her gun.
It is true that victims of domestic violence deserve to be protected, but advocating for arming victims is misguided and lacks an understanding of the abusers' coercive, controlling behavior. Instead of going on the attack, victims should seek services from domestic violence organizations, so that staff can assist them with safety planning, counseling and resources. Victims can call the confidential, national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or Jersey Battered Women's Service at 973-267-4763.
Fewer men are dying each year at the hands of their victimized wives and girlfriends, and more victims are achieving permanent safety and self-sufficiency. This is attributed to the increased availability and use of domestic violence victim services. Let's not take a step backwards.
Patricia Sly, JBWS Executive Director
Eleven high schools and 160 students attended our 3rd annual Youth in Action Conference to observe Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The event was hosted by Morris Knolls High School. Pictured (l-r) during a presentation of a proclamation from the Governor's Office are the host school's principal William Cleffi; students Luke Drugac and Dean Drugac; JBWS executive director Patricia Sly, NJ Dpt of Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake; and student Jayson Parisi.
Domestic Violence in
Purple Purse Challenge
Earns additional $16,000 in funds from
The Allstate Foundation
Morris County, NJ, Dec. 11, 2014 – Morris County based nonprofit organization, Jersey Battered Women’s Service, Inc. (JBWS) participated in Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Challenge, which aims to raise money for domestic violence and financial empowerment services. JBWS raised more than $44,000 in the Challenge and received an additional $16,000 in incentive funds directly from The Allstate Foundation, of which $10,000 was awarded to JBWS for finishing in 8th place out of the 140 non-profits who participated nationwide.
The Purple Purse Challenge launched on Sept. 2, 2014 and ended on Oct. 3, 2014. In total, the Challenge raised $2.5 million and The Allstate Foundation contributed nearly $650,000 to participating organizations through incentive funding and direct grants.
“The funds raised through the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge will help make sure survivors in our area get the financial education services they need to break free from violence,” said JBWS executive director Patricia Sly. “Thanks to the more than 470 donations received from the Challenge, our organization can provide even more resources to families keeping them safe from abuse.”
“We launched the Purple Purse Challenge with the goal to provide more resources to the service providers helping survivors get the financial education services they need,” said Rich
The Allstate Foundation also offers the following tips to start a conversation with someone you suspect is in an abusive relationship:
Offer support without judgment or criticism.
Don't be afraid to tell her that you're concerned for her safety.
Encourage her to get help.
For more information about the program visit, www.purplepurse.com.
JBWS is a Morris County-based not-for-profit organization whose mission is the prevention of domestic violence. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can call the JBWS confidential helpline at 1-877-RU-ABUSED, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. For more information about Jersey Battered Women’s Service, visit www.jbws.org.
About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org.
Men Talk with CBS Evening News on How JBWS' ACT Program Changed Their Lives
Websites Offer Important Tips on Disaster Preparedness
For information in Spanish please visit: http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/kit-plan-spanish.hmtl
JBWS Marks 15th Anniversary
of the Carol G. Simon House
“When I first came to JBWS almost 18 months ago, I was a mess with no idea what it took to live and succeed. But with the help of JBWS’ programs, I will be walking out with my head held high, my children at my side and the tools to cope with life, says Laura* during her graduation ceremony from the Carol G. Simon House, A Transitional Living and Resource Center.
Laura is just one of more than 260 women who have lived in the Simon House and participated in its vocational and counseling programs since first opening its doors fifteen years ago this November. These women and their children (400) have spent a total of 200,000 nights in one of the 11 furnished apartments following a short stay in the emergency safe house.
“In one year,” says Laura, “I got off food stamps and antidepressants. Here, I found childcare, a full-time job with paid benefits, started a savings account and budget plan, improved my parenting skills, found an apartment for myself and my children and in the process, I found myself.”
“Thanks to the opening of the Simon House, victims of domestic violence no longer have to choose between homelessness and returning to the abuser,” remarks JBWS executive director Patty Sly. “Here, they can build a strong foundation toward self-sufficiency and a safe new life. We are grateful to our donors and grant funders who have sustained these critical, life-saving programs over the years.”
*not her real name
Raises Funds for JBWS
Under the enthusiastic leadership of Merryl and Don Richards and EY's Vlasta Moravkova, a member of JBWS' board of directors, EY teams ran a 92-mile relay across NJ in one day—beginning early in the morning near the Delaware River in Milford and crossing the finish line at the Manasquan Inlet in the evening! The group raised $48,000 to benefit the families served by JBWS!
JBWS Board Vice President Patricia Lee (left) and JBWS Executive Director Patricia Sly of Chester (right) present David Small of Gladstone, COO and Executive VP of Verizon Wireless, with the Corporate Honoree award during its annual Grand Tastings fundraiser event held at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, NJ.
West Orange, NJ (May 19, 2014) – Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS) held its 20th annual “Grand Tastings” at West Orange’s beautiful Pleasantdale Chateau on Monday, May 19, 2014. Serving 360 guests and toasting four honorees for their charitable work, the event raised more than $375,000 for the nearly 40-year-old non-profit organization, which will be used to support its mission to prevent domestic violence.
JBWS recognized Verizon as its corporate honoree for its strong and steady support of JBWS, including grants, event underwriting, matching gifts, in-kind gifts, and Board leadership. David Small of Gladstone and COO and Executive VP of Verizon Wireless accepted the award and thanked JBWS for its work.
Jorge Caballero of Long Valley, was honored with the Distinguished Service award. Jorge (l) is pictured with his former JBWS board colleague Tom Welsh.Caballero, Senior Partner for Deloitte’s East Region, served as a JBWS Board of Director for many years and as its Treasurer. Since stepping off the Board, Jorge has continued to serve JBWS during Deloitte’s annual “Impact Days” to help maintain the facilities at JBWS. He is a founding member and currently serves on the JBWS Advisory Council.
Joann and Alan Painter of Morristown have been supporting JBWS for more than twenty years. Joann was a founding member of the Friends of JBWS, the auxiliary fundraising arm, and is the driving force behind furnishing the JBWS transitional living apartments with small appliances, dishes, bedding and more. When Alan retired from Honeywell in 2000, where he was Director of Corporate Affairs and Vice President and Executive Director of the Honeywell International Foundation, he pitched in to help Joann set up the apartments.
The culinary samplings from the top chefs of two dozen area restaurants included The Bernard’s Inn, Fascino, The Ryland Inn, Scalini Fedeli, The Fine Art of Cakes, Tim Schafer’s Cuisine, The Park Avenue Club, Ninety Acres, Martino’s Cuban Restaurant, and more. Specialty beer, wine and liquor were coordinated by Gary Fisch of Gary’s Wine and Marketplace.
Thanks to the generosity of private foundations and individual and corporate sponsors, JBWS provides a 24-hour helpline, emergency safe house, transitional housing, counseling and more to support families suffering in abusive relationships. Each year in Morris County, more than 2,000 clients are aided by JBWS. Victims and family members needing assistance can call the 24-Hour Helpline at 973-267-4763. For more information about the services of JBWS or how to make a donation, visit www.jbws.org.
Suzanne Alvino (far right) of the NJ Department of Children and Families presents a proclamation from the Governor's office to Morris Knolls Principal William Cleffi and JBWS executive director Patty Sly during JBWS' annual Youth in Action REACH Conference (see more photos on our Facebook page).
High School Student Inspires Child Witnesses of Abuse
Offering hope and the love of art, Piper Rawding of Montville
volunteers with the children in JBWS' Simon House for her Girl Scout Gold Award. Over the course of a five-week program, she taught kids the fundamental principles of art, and along the way, helped them to develop a variety of helpful life skills. The final product, which will be on display in the Simon House, shows the hot air balloons created by the children with a Dr. Seuss quote, "You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so...get on your way!"
JBWS is honored to work with Linda Solomon, a nationally recognized, award winning photojournalist and author of “Pictures of Hope.” This award winning program, allows children living in shelters or are in at-risk situations to express their "hopes and dreams" with a camera. Linda partners with Chevrolet to provide this program to children in ten cities. In Morris County, “Pictures of Hope” and JBWS are proud to be partnering with Gearhart Chevrolet.
“Their hopes and dreams captured in quiet moments tell a story that few adults can imagine,” says Linda Solomon. “When you show children that you care about what they wish for in life, perhaps a child who never felt he or she had self-worth, now will.”
Greeting cards with the children's heartfelt photos of "hope" will be available for delivery around Thanksgiving. Thanks to the generosity of Chevrolet and its dealers, 100 per cent of the proceeds will benefit the shelters and facilities in each city.
As part of "Pictures of Hope,” Linda Solomon will provide a photo tutorial at each of the ten locations. At the conclusion of the tutorial, the children will be surprised with cameras and given their first photo assignment as young photojournalists: capture their "hopes and dreams" on film. The children in all ten cities are ages 6-13 and will celebrate their "Pictures of Hope" at Meet the Young Artist Receptions during November and December.
Linda has divided her career between capturing the most famous personalities of our time and teaching others to express themselves through photography. “Pictures of Hope” has been featured on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and the Today Show.
Co-chairs Joen Ferrari and Rose-Emily Calo show off the new designer bags that raised thousands of dollars to benefit JBWS during the live auction portion of the Old Bags Luncheon held at the Spring Brook Country Club on October 15th. Special thanks to The Chubb Corporation and The Provident Bank Foundation for their Copper Clutch Sponsorships. To see more photos, visit our Facebook page.
"WOMAN OF THE YEAR"
Patty Sly, Executive Director for Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS) was named 2013 Woman of the Year by The Zonta Club of the Morristown Area at their recognition dinner in the Conservatory at The Madison Hotel on April 16, 2013. Each year the Club selects one woman they believe has contributed greatly to the community, especially in protecting women and advancing their status.
Zonta Club President Barbara J. Woodhull presented the award to Sly before an audience of family, friends, colleagues and government officials.
Patty Sly joined JBWS in 2007 and heads the full service agency that provides critical services for victims of domestic violence including a 24-hour helpline, safe house, transitional living resource center (including vocational education), resident and non-resident counseling programs for victims and their children, legal advocacy, community education, professional training, batterers’ intervention, and an active volunteer program.
She is a graduate of the 2011-2012 Fellow Class of the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation.
Prior to joining JBWS, Patty had over 20 years of health care management experience, including her leadership role at Atlantic Health in oncology, where she developed and opened Morristown Memorial’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center.
Patty has an extensive history of community service, including serving as chairwoman of the United Way of Morris County and chairwoman of Morris Tomorrow, an organization that advocates regional solutions to issues impacting quality of life. For many years, Patty was the public face of Morristown Memorial Hospital with community leaders and forged numerous partnerships to improve health and human service programming in the community.
Zonta International is a worldwide service organization of executives and professionals working to improve the legal, political and professional status of women. The first Zonta Club was established in Buffalo, New York in 1919. Today, there are approximately 40,000 members in 71 countries. As a premier non-governmental organization, Zonta International maintains recognized consultative status with United Nations agencies: Economic and Social Council, UNESCO, UN Research and Training Institutes for the Advancement of Women, UNIFEM, ILO, Council of Europe and UNICEF.
JBWS was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our very big-hearted donors this holiday season. In total, their generosity helped JBWS to provide gifts for nearly 200 families, including more than 400 children. The families were very grateful and expressed their appreciation through thank you letters. We are glad to be able to share a few excerpts with you here.
"As a mother, I thank you with my whole heart for helping me create joy in my children’s Christmas by sprinkling it with magic through your generous gifts. As a person, I thank you for reminding me of what hope is, created by kindness in people like you. May you receive the blessings you give others tenfold in return. Thank you, thank you and thank you."
"We never imagined finding ourselves in a shelter for victims of domestic violence but feel so grateful for the humanity that has been graced upon us. My son and I are especially grateful for the gifts we received from you. Thank you so very much for your generosity."
"My family is so blessed for what you have done for us! It’s been a very difficult year but I know so many have having hard times, but people like you make me always keep my faith and hope! You helped give my child and I a wonderful Christmas!"
The International Women's Forum Leadership Foundation unveiled its 2011-2012 Fellows Class, including JBWS executive director Patty Sly. From the largest and most competitive pool of candidates in Fellows Program history, 35 rising women leaders from 14 nations were selected. The Fellows Program is the world's most prestigious leadership initiative featuring creative partnerships with the Harvard Business School (HBS) and INSEAD, along with one-on-one mentoring with IWF members around the world. The NJ Women's Forum nominated Patty for the program and is underwriting the tuition. (Pictured with Patty Sly, above on left, is Ellen Weiss, the immediate past president NJWF and former fellow.)
The new Fellows began their program year with orientation and training in Washington, DC in October, and it will be followed by programs at HBS in Cambridge, MA and at INSEAD's global campus in Singapore. Together, the IWF and its Leadership Foundation are promoting better leadership for a changing world. "I am so honored to be a part of this incredible group and look forward to learning, networking, and representing New Jersey and the domestic violence non-profit field," says Sly.
DECEMBER 2011 - Rose-Emily Callos and Terri Stanton lead the efforts to promote the sale of lanterns to benefit JBWS' second annual Communities of Light Campaign. They are pictured here staffing a table at the Shop for a Cause Holiday Bazaar, another successful fundraising event sponsored by the Friends of JBWS group. To learn more about becoming a member of the Friends volunteer group contact, Hlefrois@jbws.org.
OCTOBER 2011 (Boonton, NJ) JBWS along with the faith based community in Boonton, Wafa House and the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, paid special tribute to Nazish Noorani and those victims who have lost their lives to domestic violence. The October 16th forum and vigil was in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
JBWS Executive Director Patty Sly and members of Wafa House Zillehuma Hasan and Seema Lodhi talked with participants about resources for victims of abuse.
OCTOBER 2011 (Morristown, NJ) Supportes of JBWS joined together to recognize the agency's 35 years of service to the community. Held at the Morris Museum, attendees met the award winning Young Adult fiction author, Swati Avasthi and viewed the creative and poignant artwork of the many clients who have benefited from JBWS services. To see more photos from the event, please visit us on Facebook.
Development Director Helen LeFrois (on left) with author Swati Avasthi.
This stained glass piece was created and donated by a former JBWS Transitional Living Program client in appreciation for the services she received. When making the donation, she stated that "she wanted to find a way to give back in a way that was very much a part of herself."
The following day, Avasthi and the JBWS preventative education staff at sponsored "Meet the Author" programs at Mountain Lakes High School and Jefferson Township High School.Pictured from l-r are JBWS Abuse Prevention Coordinator Juli Harpell Elam, Dating Abuse Prevention Coordinator Monique Pearlman, author Swati Avashti, and Abuse Prevention Manager Sacchi Patel.
OCTOBER 2011 (New Brunswick, NJ) JBWS joined with other members of the NJ Coalition for Battered Women the second annual "Baring Our Soles" awareness event held on the campus of Rutgers University. It featured a display of shoes made by adult and child survivors living in safe houses throughtout the state, including JBWS in Morris County. The shoe in this picture was made by a small boy living in the JBWS shelter.
This child hid a clay figure of himself
inside the shoe.
JULY 2011 (Bernardsville, NJ) This year's Hope Classic, sponsored by Verizon Wireless, was held at the beautiful Somerset Hills Country Club. The event included a day of golf, silent and live auctions, luncheon and an awards dinner.
JBWS board president Aru Kulkarni of The Jones Group welcomes new members at the annual board meeting held at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, NJ. Pictured (l-r) are Kulkarni; John Gerity, CO-CEO for Access 2 Care; Vincent Grenier, Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch; JBWS executive director Patty Sly; and Cindy Beth Weiss, VP of Finance and Administration for NJ Automobile Club. Also joining the board is Terence "Tee" Golden, owner of Goldcon, Inc.
Patty Sly thanks the board members whose terms expired for their dedication and six years of service to JBWS. Patty is pictured here with Fred Gruel of AAA, Lynn Castrataro of Ingersoll Rand, William Gourgey, and Laurie Peter. Also completing his service on the board is Joseph Bloom.
MAY 2011 (West Orange, NJ)JBWS was thrilled to have a sellout crowd and record revenue at this year’s Grand Tasting event as we celebrated our 35th anniversary. A total of $315,000 was raised to help families hurt by domestic abuse.
Many former leaders returned to join in the celebration including DiAnne Arbour, former ED and Evelyn Self, former board member, both of whom were instrumental in holding the first Grand Tastings.
Bobby Gilmore was the featured speaker. It was his mother’s tragic death that sparked the community to raise the necessary funds to open the safe house in 1978.
This year's corporate honoree is Ingersol Rand and its philanthropic honorees are Kevin Maher and Twig 21.
Robert Gilmore and executive director Patty Sly.
Gary Fisch of Gary's Wine and Marketplace,Corey Heyer of The Bernards Inn, executive director Patty sly, and Scott Cutaneo of Great Scott.
JBWS board member Fred Gruel with his daughter.
Carole Graham and former
board member Baxter Graham.
A record crowd!
Former executive director DiAnne Arbour with JBWS associate executive director Jane Shivas.
A magnificant ice sculpture in honor of the
agency's 35th anniversary.
"Walk A Mile In Her Shoes" to
Raise Money and Awareness for JBWS
University President Robert Weisbuch (center), stands in red high-heeled shoes with assistance from Drew Communications Associate Michael Bressman (l) and Drew student and Civic Scholar Stephanie Danckert. President Bob commended the students for their great work and added a personal matching gift.
Drew University Rugby Team
joins the fun for a good cause.
The money raised supports the services of JBWS. Pictured l-r are JBWS board member Vlasta Moravkova of Ernst & Young; Drew student Mike Kelly of Morristown; Rachel Schachter of Drew Civic Scholars, the group that organized the event; and Juli Harpell Elam,
JBWS Coordinator of Prevention Services.
(October 2010) JBWS' 8th annual Safe Dating Challenge was held on a beautiful day on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth. Runners, walkers, families, coworkers, and volunteers joined together to have a good time and to raise money for a good cause—teen dating abuse prevention.
This year's Presenting Sponsor for Safe Dating Challenge was ADP and the Reidy Family.
Event Sponsors were Ingersoll Rand and Verizon Wireless. The Partner Sponsor was Merck.
Fourteen-year-old Emily Chin was
the first place female winner.
Fran Libasci and JBWS board president Aru Kulkarni
were among the runners.
Children of all ages enjoyed the Kids' Races.
At the finish line, each child received a toy.
Jennifer Grubb, coach and player for Sky Blue FC women's soccer team addressed the crowd during the awards ceremony. She encouraged the participants to remain physically active and to seek help for problems like dating abuse when needed. She is joined here with members of the Mendham High School Girls Varsity Soccer Team (l-r) Robin Chernow, Jennifer Grubb, Melissa Chernow and Ellie Meyers.
(March 31, 2009) The beautiful Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, NJ was the setting for a luncheon and lecture on a topic that for too long has remained hidden in suburban NJ. Abuse in upscale marriages was the subject of Dr. Weitzman's years of research and recent luncheon presentation sponsored by JBWS and the Rachel Coalition.
Dr. Weitzman autographs her book.
Laura Landy of the Rippel Foundation stresses the importance of breaking the silence on the problem abuse in upscale marriages.
More than 170 people attended the Women to Women Luncheon.
Pat Swanson, Cathy Stephens, Kate Margolis and Virginia Brandt
Group views special broadcast of Oprah to stimulate discussion
By Matt Kadosh • Daily Record • March 13, 2009
Teenagers take part in a discussion led by the dating abuse prevention staff of Jersey Battered Women Services as Juli Harpell-Elam, of JBWS, hands a dating abuse prevention brochure to freshman Eric Smith of Morristown on Thursday at the end of a special Oprah show.
Photo by: ELBALIZ MENDEZ/DAILY RECORD
MORRISTOWN -- Area teens got a lesson in domestic abuse Thursday when they watched a live broadcast of Oprah at the Neighborhood House.
The topic of discussion? The relationship of singers Rihanna and Chris Brown. The teens, along with representatives of Jersey Battered Women Services based in Morristown, talked about Brown's alleged abuse of Rihanna.
"It was a teachable moment and an opportunity to say it's OK to talk about domestic abuse," said Juli Harpell-Elam, licensed professional counselor for JBWS. "The children were very perceptive and open after they warmed up.
"Melissa Avila, 16, of Morristown said it's important to take an active role against domestic abuse, and doesn't believe Rihanna and Chris Brown should be held to a higher standard because they are celebrities.
"If it's someone you really care about, you can't say 'just let them deal with it on their own,'" she said.
The youth listened attentively as Kevin Frazier, weekend anchor and correspondent for Entertainment Tonight, described to audiences how the abuse in the famous couple's relationship began when Brown became angered over a text message.
"Brown lashed out," Frazier said.
Harpell-Elam said Rihanna and Brown's situation is typical of people who are in abusive relationships in that they are getting back together. The only major difference is the duo is producing an album, "Trials and Tribulations of Love.
"The counselor for JBWS explained why couples with abusive relationships get back together.
"They (the person abused) go back for the good parts of the relationship. They don't go back for the abuse," Harpell-Elam said. "The person who abused them may be convincing. It's easier to believe and go back than to break free.
"Regina Braham, director of community relations for JWBS, emphasized this is a common problem with teens.
"Research shows that one in five teens will experience at least one incident of dating violence before they graduate from high school and that one in three teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their partner," she said.
Eric Smith, 14, of Morristown, said he felt strongly about the issues.
"I feel bad for Rihanna because she was abused," he said.
JWBS, which reaches more than 7,500 Morris County teens each year, offers educational programs for parents, teens and professionals on issues of dating abuse and prevention, Braham said. They have programs in 21 high schools in the county and at least a dozen middle schools, she said.
They also teach in freshman seminar classes at Fairleigh Dickinson University. JWBS also provides counseling to teens and young adults through their Dating Abuse Prevention Program in addition to their services for victims of abuse.
The message from Oprah was clear: "Love doesn't hurt." And like JBWS, she emphasized that the cycle of violence can be broken.
JBWS partnered with Brushfire Inc, a marketing communications agency, to reach out to victims of domestic violence through outdoor advertising. Billboards and train platform posters could be seen throughout Morris County, NJ.
These included ads in Spanish as part of JBWS' outreach efforts in the Latino community. The campaign materials were created in partnership with Brushfire, Inc. and funded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U. S. Department of Justice.
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