Posted by Joan LeMole on Oct 20, 2019
October 17, 2019
Speaker: Rebekah Paredes, Executive Director at New Hope for Women
Thought for the Day: Tom Albertson
Buckets on the Table: Camden Area Food Pantry
Guests: Matt Brown from Camden Rotary
Speaker: Rebekah Paredes, Executive Director at New Hope for Women
New Hope for Women is a domestic resource center supporting victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking; serves four counties: Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo with offices in Rockland (base), Belfast, Waldoboro and Bath; 17 staff.

History of Domestic Violence: Marital rape was criminalized in 1993, the first battered women’s shelter was opened in 1967 (by contrast, the first battered animal shelter opened in 1866!).  New Hope for Women opened in 1981.
Common justifications for domestic violence include a loss of control, stating that the incident was mutual abuse, an abusive childhood, etc. In fact, domestic abuse is a pattern of coercive control that occurs in the context of a current or former relationship.  It is purposeful, based on a belief system, and is intimidating and harmful.
Domestic abuse is widespread: 1 in every 4 women are victims as are 1 in every 10 men will experience; 27% of women and 11% of men have experienced domestic abuse. In Maine, half of the homicides that occur are domestic violence-related. 
New Hope for Women offers: 1) Advocacy Services including a 24-hour help staffed by trained advocates, 1:1 advocacy with walk-ins 9-5 weekdays in Rockland, court-related services, safe homes, transitional housing, DV CPS liaison, support groups and safety planning; 2) Prevention and Education Services including training for professionals, community outreach and presentations, youth-focused education and public awareness campaigns. 

What Can One Do To Assist Someone Who May Be Being Abused? 1) Understand the barriers to seeking assistance including fear of the partner finding out, isolation, low self-esteem, fear of not being believed, economic realities, still loving one’s partner, lack of support, fear of losing one’s children and a partner’s promise that it won’t happen again; 2) Know the signs that abuse may be occurring: doesn’t spend time with family/friends, on edge, must make frequent phone calls (often to account for one’s whereabouts) and lack of autonomy; 3) Know how to respond: offer info but not advice, be direct but caring, listen without judgement, reassure that it’s not the victim’s fault, help the person make connections, clarify confidentiality and refer discretely as needed. 
How Can We Support NHFW? Donate money, attend an event, hold a fundraiser at your workplace, attend a training, voice concerns regarding services in your area.
Questions from audience regarded services available to the abuser, collaborations NHFW has with other agencies and people, how services are funded, how to notice when mental abuse is occurring, evaluation procedures used at NHFW.
Committee Reports:
Community Service: Meals for Hope on 10/27 (Etienne)
Membership: Polio awareness at CHRHS on 10/24 (Joan)
Fellowship: Ride chairlift at Snowbowl 10/20 at 9 a.m. (Lisa)
Vocational: Going well with seven in first class, fun, interactive (Kim for Jim)
Next Week’s Speaker:  Club Assembly