If your abuser enters the room, click the red Escape tab to be taken to a safe website. Take safety precautions.
If your abuser enters the room, click the red Escape tab to be taken to a safe website. Take safety precautions.
The final Head Shave for Hope House is set for March 12 after the Emerald Isle Parade in Downtown Lee’s Summit.
The event, started by Lee’s Summit barber Nick Swearngin, is an exciting and fun way to raise awareness for domestic violence survivors and funds for Hope House, Missouri’s largest domestic violence shelter.
“We are sad to announce that this will be the final year for the event due to the passing of our daughter Jordan,” said Nick. “We are dedicating this final year in memory of her and we just know that this is going to be the biggest and best Head Shave event we've ever had.”
In late January, local rap artist Tech N9ne provided Hope House with more than 550 bras in what may seem a rather unorthodox way of gathering the donated items.
The Kansas City rapper accumulated the bras during concerts he has performed across the country as fans toss the undergarment on stage.
“I wanted to ensure they went to a good cause and weren’t destroyed,” said Tech N9ne. “What better place to give them than Hope House?”
For the past 12 years, customers of clair de lune, a premiere Overland Park-based lingerie boutique, have extended their giving season by cleaning out their lingerie drawers to donate gently used bras to victims of domestic violence. The “Great Bra Exchange,” held this year from January 2nd through January 17th, has given customers a way to donate more than 20,000 gently used bras to women in need -- and, in the process, receive a $15 gift certificate for a new bra.
This year, clair de lune will team with MADI Apparel, Kansas City’s own buy-one give-one underwear company, for a special event January 5, from 4 pm to 7 pm at their Hawthorne Plaza location. Not only will clair de lune launch the ongoing offering of MADI Apparel underwear in the boutique, but for every pair of underwear purchased Jan. 5th, MADI and clair de lune will donate a pair of new MADI underwear to Hope House Domestic Violence Shelter. MADI Apparel, which stands for Make A Difference Intimate Apparel, is a locally-owned and manufactured line of underwear that donates a pair of new stylish underwear to women in domestic violence shelters for every pair purchased -- just like Toms Shoes.
Traveling all the way from Indiana, musician Scott Harris visited Hope House's Lee's Summit location for a private concert in shelter.
As part of the "Main Event Christmas Tour," Harris started touring nonprofits in the U.S. singing Christmas music and other songs he has written.
“I created the Main Event Christmas Tour with the vision to bring love, hope and joy during the holiday season,” said Scott. “I felt God leading me to reach out to youth homes, orphanages and adult shelters where I knew there were hurting people. I want to bring an upbeat and uplifting evening to the residents in hopes that the power of music might have an immediate impact on their life.”
By MaryAnne Metheny
CEO, Hope House
Most of the news about domestic violence focuses on physical abuse. But, not too many think of the hidden abuses that survivors and families face.
In some cases, fiscal – or financial – abuse can be just as debilitating for a domestic violence victim as physical abuse. The question, “why doesn’t she just leave” is often asked, and one of the answers to that question is finances.
The deep red cloth was strewn from the ceiling. The white orchids in gold bowl centerpieces sat gracefully on the tables. The silent auction items were placed strategically on the display tables. The mouth-watering smell of the steak medallions and risotto filled the air. The festive music and laughs could be heard through the hall to the main lobby.
The 26th Annual Hope and All That Jazz was said to be the best Jazz ever.
“I’m just worried now how we top this in 2016,” said Stefanie Shanks, Hope House special events manager. “I’m ecstatic that the guests had such a great time. The music was great. Everyone loved the auction and bidding through their phones. The live auction was exciting. I couldn’t be more thrilled that everyone had a great time.”
Other than a birthday, only one other time each year do kids feel like they are getting “older.” And, that time is “Back to School” time.
More than 5 million children in the U.S., live with domestic violence in their home. Last year, we provided more than 16,000 safe nights to many of those children. And, we put smiles on each one of their faces.
We are on track to surpass that number this year. And, with the help of our caring community, these children are living lives free of abuse. As a supporter:
Throughout my 22-year career in the domestic violence field, I’ve seen almost anything you can imagine as it pertains to abuse. Being out in the community, I hear more people asking, “What do I do if I suspect someone is being abused?” Or, “What do I do if someone comes to me looking for help?” There is a social stigma associated with domestic violence, and sometimes people feel they are helping, but - although they mean well – the advice can hinder the survivor more. Below are five ideas for helping someone you suspect is being abused or who has come to you for help:
Believe them – Often family and friends are not aware that abuse is occurring in someone’s life, which results in survivors feeling alone and isolated. They may be working hard to keep the abuse from those they care about, which can result in them feeling as if they are living two lives. They may be hiding the abuse due to fear, shame, guilt, embarrassment or a variety of other reasons. When they decide to come forward and ask for help, one of the worst things people can do is say, “Oh he wouldn’t do that.” Not believing a person is in a domestic violence situation can be devastating for that survivor and push him/her even further into isolation and feelings of shame and embarrassment.
With the tragic loss of Sandra Sutton (in Clinton, Missouri) due to domestic violence, there has been more discussion about domestic violence, how does it happen, why does it happen, why don’t people leave, and why don’t they call the police. There are so many questions because domestic violence is so complicated. There are no easy answers and the answers can challenge our way of thinking and shatter our vision of a peaceful and happy existence.
If someone has never experienced domestic violence or been exposed to it, the thought that someone who is supposed to love another person could hurt them in a violent way is hard to understand and wrap your arms around. The thought that someone could be kept in a box for months is something that even those of us who work in the field of domestic violence have to take a break and regroup. It takes your breath away as you imagine that horror. It made me sick to my stomach to imagine the horror she experienced. It made me cry.
What started more than 20 years ago with the donation of two outdated appliances has blossomed into one Black and Veatch employee making a world of a difference for one local domestic violence shelter.
After working more than 33 years as a dentist in Russellville, Arkansas, Dr. Dan Ryder just couldn’t stay away from the practice. And, we are so grateful he didn’t.
You see, Dr. Ryder has been donating time to the women in Hope House, the Kansas City metro’s largest domestic violence shelter, for the last four years. Utilizing his experience and time in retirement, he helps survivors with their most immediate dental needs.
One of my favorite stories to tell about Dr. Ryder is when one of the women in shelter came in for an appointment. She was in so much pain. A week after Dr. Ryder was finished with the surgery, she kept saying, “I never knew what normal was supposed to feel like.”
It can be a tough task to deal with domestic violence in the workplace. We’ll be the first to admit it is not an easy or fun topic to discuss. But, as statistics show, it is a necessity.
According to studies, domestic violence victims lose 8 million days of paid work annually. The cost of those days exceeds $8.3 billion a year, according to the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.
Further complicating matters for survivors, between 21 and 60 percent of them lose their jobs due to the violence they experience. And, even more disheartening is the fact that more than 140 women were murdered at work by their abuser in one five-year period.
So, what does this mean for employers? How can you safely manage the impact in your workplace?
The Hope House Young Professionals Board is proud to welcome Carina Criger to the HHYP Board.
Carina is a card risk management officer at UMB Bank. As a board member of Hope House Young Professionals, she hopes to raise public awareness and give back to the community.
That drive comes from a personal experience dating back just a few years.
“My journey in learning about domestic violence is still rather new. I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone’s family,” said Carina. “In 2011, however, the world became a scarier place. Our friend, classmate, and valedictorian of our high school - the girl we had all grew up with since preschool - was killed by her boyfriend.”
In high school, Madison was a popular girl. She was happy and energetic – a friend to all. During her senior year, she found out a young man liked her. They dated for a while, but as the relationship progressed, Madison spent less time with her friends. She was upset more often than she was happy. Her friends tried to confront her about Kyle’s anger toward them and Madison. They were also upset how Kyle secluded Madison from the group.
As the anger turned to grabbing of Madison’s arms and shoves against lockers, Madison seemed to listen to her friends. She tried to break it off with Kyle. He promised he would work on his anger and possessiveness. But, the cycle repeated. Eventually, Kyle lured Madison to his home for a study-date. That night he sexually assaulted her.
February marks National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. It is a month when domestic and sexual violence advocates hope to change stories like Madison’s.
Ten years ago, Terry Levine opened clair de lune lingerie boutique in Overland Park. Shortly after opening, Levine saw an opportunity to give back to the community.
She investigated local charities in need and found Hope House, a domestic violence advocate agency who serves survivors in the Kansas City area.
“It seems that domestic violence awareness has elevated over the last several years,” said Levine. “I had a product I could put in someone’s hand that they could use, since - in most cases - women leave with just the clothes they have on. A bra is not something people think of donating or reselling. They are really an overlooked necessity.”
This month, the Kansas City Plaza Rotary Club awarded Hope House, Missouri’s largest domestic violence agency, $2,000 for the purposes of improving the Independence-based shelter’s outdated kitchen equipment.
The Plaza Rotary offered the $2,000 as a match after Rotary District 6040 – of which the KC Plaza Rotary is a member – provided a $1,900 donation to Hope House in December.
"Our Club is a dedicated and long-time supporter of Hope House,” said Bob Merrigan, president of the KC Plaza Rotary. “Their mission is in-line with that of the Plaza Rotary in terms of protecting and saving women and children around the world. We are very happy to be able to support them financially.”
According to the 2013 Gallup poll, engagement is the word that may overwhelm businesses.
Only 29 percent of the American and Canadian workforce claims to be “engaged” with their employer. Of the remaining 71 percent, 18 percent claim to be “actively disengaged,” costing the U.S. economy between $450 billion and $550 billion each year.
Although business experts disagree on causes, business leaders are struggling to retain employees, according to a 2014 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends study. It suggests that 78 percent of business leaders rate retention and engagement as an “urgent” or “important” need. Businesses and HR professionals are paying close attention to what their employees are saying.
Imagine sitting in your home by yourself, watching your favorite nightly television show having just returned from a difficult day at work. In the process of cleaning up dinner, you get up to take out the trash. On your way to the dumpster, you round the corner, and you are confronted by an ex-boyfriend in the middle of darkness.
I wish this was a fabrication. Unfortunately, it isn’t.
January marks the 12th Annual Stalking Awareness Month.