Submitted By: Scott Carpenter *Fresh Voices are blog posts focused on domestic or sexual violence contributed by community members who believe in Alexandra House’s mission to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence, and inspire social change through education, support and advocacy. Would you like to contribute to Fresh Voices? Email Liz Meyers for more information! By now many … Continue reading »
The domestic and sexual violence movements have deep roots in volunteerism. Even Alexandra House, which now serves over 3000 individuals each year, began as a small group of dedicated volunteers. Our organization, this movement, would not exist without the ongoing support of dedicated men and women who volunteer their time to serve victims of domestic … Continue reading »
Some of my favorite holiday memories didn’t take place on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, but rather in the early weeks of December as we gear up for the holidays at Alexandra House. Each year, with the help of the community, Alexandra House sets up our “Holiday Store,” a huge room full of toys where our current … Continue reading »
I accidentally burned my thumb on a hot oven rack about ten days ago. It left a deep wound that formed a nasty scab. I put aloe on it and other ointments and watched it slowly begin to heal. And then, yesterday, I caught the scab on something and ripped it off. It really hurt … Continue reading »
By Amy Highness, Community Education Coordinator Every year, Alexandra House hosts the annual Walk for Hope event to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year, nearly 700 people were in attendance, raising about $40,000 – a new record! It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, those who come year after year and … Continue reading »
This September 29th will mark the eighth year of Alexandra House’s Walk for Hope, a 5k run/2 mile walk that invites advocates, community members, and survivors to join together in support of ending sexual and domestic violence. With over 500 attendees annually, this event is a powerful reminder that none of us are alone in caring about the effects of violence on our communities.
As a staff member at Alexandra House, I’ve worked behind the scenes at the walk for the past few years and have always been impressed by the outpouring of community support. This year, I’ve decided to challenge myself to run my first-ever 5k at the 2012 Walk for Hope—and I challenge you, too! Please join me over the next several weeks in training for this great event and raising money for Alexandra House.
So, what does training for a 5k have in common with ending violence in our community? It takes a commitment to see progress. For over thirty years, Alexandra House has been working to create hope for individuals and families whose lives have been impacted by domestic and sexual violence. Let’s celebrate that commitment by making our own! Continue reading »
While out speaking to community groups, I often get the question, “Are men allowed to come help out at the shelter?” I love this question because it gives me the opportunity to talk about what men can do to help end gender-based violence.
The answer? YES, men are allowed to come into the shelter as volunteers! After completing our interview process (which all volunteers do), men can fulfill a number of positions, including serving meals, helping with facility and maintenance projects, and providing childcare. Some guys do this on their own while others participate as part of a group – through a work or church project, for example.
Many of the families staying at the shelter are recovering from violence inflicted by a male partner. A common tactic of a male abuser is to enforce extremely rigid gender roles in order to ensure his female partner has little choice or freedom in the relationship. He may act like “king of the castle”, treating her like a servant, demanding she keep food on the table, the kids quiet, and the house cleaned…with little or no help from him. When she cannot meet these impossibly high standards, he uses that as justification to berate and punish her. And if she does manage to meet all these expectations, he may attack her – verbally or physically – for neglecting him. There is no way to win. Continue reading »
Every day we field calls from community members asking, “How can I help?” or “What can I do?” While we have no shortage of answers to those questions, we also encourage potential donors and volunteers to think creatively about how their time and talents can support families that are healing from domestic or sexual violence.
Recently, local business owner Liz Alcorn-Allen asked herself these same questions. In response, she drew upon her professional talents and passion to give some of our graduating seniors an unforgettable gift. Liz is a photographer with a passion for helping others; something she shared with several young women who meet with our violence prevention advocates in the local high schools. Continue reading »
“I shouldn’t have been drinking that night.”
“I shouldn’t have worn that top.”
“I shouldn’t have been in that place.”
These are comments I often hear from survivors of sexual assault in the support group I facilitate. Many survivors encounter these messages – directly or indirectly – and feel they must blame themselves for having been raped or assaulted. I work with the group on many things, one of which is to help survivors recognize that a victim of sexual assault is never to blame. Continue reading »
Karine Z., SANE Program Manager, attended a book reading event on April 28, organized by the Sexual Assault Action Team of Anoka County. Last Saturday was a cold, raw, and rainy day. One of those days that makes you think twice before venturing out, yet inside the Rum River Library was an atmosphere of warmth … Continue reading »