Listening is Key

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It can be difficult for someone to understand why a victim would stay in a relationship that has become abusive. Domestic violence victims often feel shame and blame when the relationship becomes abusive because in reality, domestic violence is not a single episode and rarely does the abuse begin with physical violence. Abuse is much subtler and slower to escalate, usually beginning with verbal attacks, isolation and controlling behaviors.

It is ...

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What Were you Wearing?

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The next time you are tempted to ask what someone was wearing when they were raped, instead ask whether or not consent was given.

To assist in the visualization of this message, Hands of Hope has partnered with 11 different organizations for this critical campaign.

Nationally, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and locally, Hands of Hope wants people to realize the importance of consent in relationships.

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Growing Independent

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A wise man recently told me that I should be 95 percent happy and 5 percent sad that our oldest daughter has relocated to Austin, Texas for her first professional job.

I am extremely proud of her and all her accomplishments and know that she will do well in her architecture career.

I told this wise man that whenever I feel a little sad I think about how I did the same thing after graduating from college in Nebraska, taking my first ...

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Celebrate Father Figures

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Like the country song “My Boy” by Elvie Shane, says, whether or not a child is yours biologically, you can make a significant impact if you have been placed in that child’s life.

The song talks about how he doesn’t have his smile or his eyes, but that’s ok, he intends to be at that child’s sporting events and other important milestones.

As we celebrate Father’s Day this month, let’s remember to thank those who may not be biologically ...

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Black and Blue on the Inside

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It can be easy to dismiss abuse when it is not physical. Yet, in the work that I do, I know that emotional and verbal abuse can be far more destructive than the physical hit that leaves a bruise or breaks a bone.

While that may be hard for someone who has never faced domestic violence to understand, if you listen to a survivor, most will say, it was the sabotage of their self-esteem and self-worth that left the deepest scars.

As ...

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What Were You Wearing?

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We need to stop asking a victim of sexual assault, “What Were You Wearing?” and instead ask “How can I help you recover?”

This month members of the Grant County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) have strategically placed outfits and messaging from actual survivors at various locations across Grant and Wabash counties. The SART includes representatives from Marion Police Department, Marion General Hospital, Grant County Sheriff’s Department, Hands of Hope/Family Service Society, Inc. and Grant County Prosecutor’s Office

April is sexual assault ...

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Know your Worth

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Know your worth. A simple statement that has powerful implications, especially for teens navigating relationships.

All deserve to have these basic components in all relationships: respect, equality, honesty, trust, communication, boundaries and consent. If one of these are missing, more than likely you are not in a healthy relationship and your worth is not being valued.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a time to really focus on teaching and modeling respectful behaviors in relationships so as teens begin dating they ...

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Caring in 2021

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As we enter 2021 let’s learn from mistakes of 2020.

Let’s continue to wear masks, social distance and wash our hands often.

As part of my morning exercise routine at the YMCA, some days I do a virtual strength class in which once the trainer asked, ‘If you could go back to the day before and have a do over, would you? Would you improve something you had done the day before?’

I also ask each of you that question. Now that we ...

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Light up the Holidays

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Our Christmas gift to the community is ready to be unwrapped. The day after Thanksgiving as is tradition, our home in Marion was illuminated. While the pandemic has stolen many things from us this past year, the Griswold Lighting Tradition is not one of them.

Each evening between now and New Year’s Day, our house will be brightly and festively lit with music accompanying the dancing lights.

And to be perfectly clear and transparent, my sole role in this holiday tradition is ...

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Being Thankful

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As we gather around the dinner table this Thanksgiving let us truly be thankful for all the blessings we have been given.

I realize the dinner table may look different this year as the pandemic has caused many to reduce the number of place settings at their annual dinner. So, let us not focus on who we cannot be with in person, however, instead, how we can still creatively connect with those loved ones. And as we connect with our loved ...

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