August 2017 Newsletter

VOICe has a new look! Don't worry, we still offer the same free and
confidential services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.

For more information about VOICe's services, please call our 24-hour hotline at 1.800.400.8551, or visit our website .

Women's Equality Day

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971
WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women's Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women's rights took place.

Test Your Knowledge

1.) In what year did women in the United States win the right to vote?

2.) How many years of constant effort had supporters devoted to the woman suffrage campaign?

3.) What suffrage leader was arrested, tied up, and fined for voting in the 1872 election?

4.) Which was the first state to grant women the vote in presidential elections?

5.) Why were women arrested and force-fed in prison in 1917?

6.) What was the margin of victory when the 19th Amendment was finally passed by the U.S. Congress?

1.) 1920
2.) 1848 - 1920 = 72 years
3.) Susan B. Anthony
4.) Wyoming in 1890
5.) They were arrested for peacefully picketing the White House for woman suffrage
6.) Two votes in the senate and forty-two votes in the House of Representatives
Butler County has felt the loss of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse as well as an individual who had dedicated a portion of her life to helping victims of violence. We remember, mourn, and celebrate the lives of these individuals; we also thank everyone who has made a contribution in their honor. Their memory will live on and continue to help victims of crime access safety and justice.

Marianne Morgan
  • Maureen Botteron
  • Tim Litch
How to Stop Victim Blaming

We've all heard the comments:

She should have __________.
If he had only _________.
If she hadn't done __________.
If I were in that situation, I would have _____________.

Unfortunately, it's easier to talk about what someone should have done to prevent something from happening for multiple reasons. If you're talking about what someone "should have done," then you're already analyzing the situation more than the person was in the moment; you already know the negative outcomes, and you already know at least one thing you wouldn't have done.

You are also looking at the situation from an outside perspective. If you put yourself in that person's shoes, you would have the background knowledge surrounding the situation. In the case of most victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, a huge part of that background knowledge is the love they have for the perpetrator. Abusive relationships have layers of dynamics that outside perspectives often can't understand, such as: the relationship isn't always bad, the perpetrator could be a good parent, the victim may fear becoming a single parent, the perpetrator may be the only source of income, the victim may not have a support system outside of the relationship, and the list goes on and on.

But most importantly, it's easier for anyone to blame the victim because we don't want to think about how easily this could happen to us. It's easier to believe that the victim did something wrong instead of believing the perpetrator became abusive without provocation.

Living in a world that blames the victim makes it harder for victims to come forward with their story, harder to seek justice for the crimes that have been committed against them, and hard to find support toward healing. This way of thinking is also dangerous for those not currently experiencing violence. If we are constantly assuming that we would have prevented that situation, then we aren't really prepared if a loved one becomes abusive because we are not seeing the signs of abuse.

So let's start by changing our grammar.

What we say:

"Lisa was approached by Dan at a party. Dan gave Lisa a drink spiked with Rohypnol. Later that night, Lisa was assaulted by Dan." This language focuses on what happened to the victim as opposed to what someone did to the victim.

What we should say:

"Dan approached Lisa at a party. Dan gave Lisa a drink spiked with Rohypnol. Later that night, Dan assaulted Lisa." This language focuses on the actions of the perpetrator rather than what the victim should have done.

It's Happening in Butler's Backyard

It's easy to view domestic violence as something that "doesn't happen in our backyard," but with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experiencing physical violence by an intimate partner, that's exactly where it's happening. It's happening in the home of your neighbor, your coworker, your siblings, and your best friend. It's affecting families, workplaces, schools, and our community. If we continue to ignore the signs, then Butler County is going to continue to suffer the losses of women, children, and men at the hands of abusive intimate partners.

In 2016, Pennsylvania grieved the loss of 102 victims of domestic violence; Butler County has already grieved multiple deaths this year. The presence of a gun in the home during a domestic violence incident increases the risk of homicide by at least 500%. Sometimes victims don't leave the relationship because they fear for their lives. Sometimes victims don't leave the relationship because they don't know how they'll be able to support themselves. Sometimes victims don't' leave the relationship because they hope the abuser will change. Sometimes victims don't leave the relationship because they don't know the resources. The most important steps you can take to help a victim in your life are:
  • Be supportive and non-judgmental
  • Do not think you know the best course of action. The most lethal time in an abusive relationship is when the victim leaves, so refer to VOICe for safety planning
  • Know the resources. VOICe's hotline (1-800-400-8551) is available 24/7.
Victim Outreach Intervention Center (VOICe) provides free and confidential services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent crimes to individuals and families in Butler County. Our services include: 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, housing programs, supportive and educative crisis counseling, legal advocacy, medical advocacy, children's services, and prevention & outreach programs.

We are dedicated to the safety of victims. It's time that the community takes responsibility for its members. Get involved in your loved ones' lives. Know their friends and intimate partners. Don't assume they are safe at home-ask if they're okay and let them know that you care.
Make a Difference
Volunteer at VOICe

There is only so much our staff can do without help from dedicated, compassionate members of the community such as yourself.

Every hour you can give, and every task you can help us complete, helps survivors in Butler County. No matter how big or how small your actions, YOU make the difference.

Learn more
Join Our Board

VOICe is looking for local residents interested in shaping the social change of our community. The agency operates with several standing committees. Each committee is an integral part of agency operations and is in need of talented members like you!

Learn more

    Victim Outreach Intervention Center  
111 South Cliff Street, Suite 1A
   Butler, PA 16001  
  Butler Office: 724.283.8700 
    Outreach Office: 724.776.5910 
    24-Hour Hotline: 1.800.400.8551