A Multitude of Thanks!
It is always inspiring to see the outpouring of support from so many individuals, families, and businesses both in our community and from far over the bridge for the work we  do to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence and for our prevention efforts in schools across the region.

Our wonderful and caring dedicated volunteers and staff were instrumental in securing round-the-clock coverage during all of the holidays for our 24-hour un-interrupted hotline and medical/police accompaniment providing immediate assistance to individuals affected by and seeking support and comfort from domestic violence and sexual assaults. 
An abundance of thank-you's may never seem enough for the heartfelt and overwhelming response we received this year to our annual appeal. To all who opened your hearts please know that your generosity truly makes a difference to survivors and their children seeking hope, healing, independence, freedom, and a life free from violence.

Our Holiday Giving Program was met with vast response from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Independence House is grateful to be the beneficiary of so many wonderful programs and events from our community partners.  Your support ensured that adults, children and teens in-need, starting their lives over in a violence-free environment had a joyous holiday.

We'd like to extend some recognition and thanks to some of the partners of our Holiday Giving Program...
Cape & Islands Regional Domestic Violence Council Quarterly Meeting
The Cape & Islands Regional Domestic Violence Council (CIRDVC) quarterly meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, January 23, 2017 from 1:30-3:30pm at the Harbor View Conference Room, in the Barnstable Court Complex in Barnstable Village.  Presenters Sara Keough and Joanne Preis of Family and Community Resources, Inc. will discuss the Intimate Partner Abuse Program (formerly the Batterer Intervention Program) and the Supervised Visitation Program. ALL are welcome.  RSVP's appreciated but not required to: cherylc@indhouse.net.   

The CIRDVC is comprised of human service and social justice organizations, prosecution, corrections, probation and law enforcement agencies, attorneys and concerned individuals that meet quarterly for the purposes of networking and professional development regarding the issues that surround domestic violence. 

Let Your Voice Be Heard!
In recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month this February, Independence House is pre-announcing a contest eligible for entry by any one or group of teenagers on Cape Cod between the ages of 14-18 enrolled or home schooled in a high school grade level. 

The contest consists of performing original song lyrics and music that reflects the Teen Dating Pledge found on our website.

Independence House will release application forms in February detailing the requirements. Parental permission and a deadlines will be included.  Preliminary video submissions will be required. 

Cape Cod Media Broadcasting, the event's media sponsor will provide a voting page .  Voting will consist of public voting as well as voting by a select set of local celebrity judges from the Cape Cod music scene.  Up to 7 finalists will be chosen to perform their work live on March 31st at the Cape Cod Media Center for the event's finale where final voting will include audience participation.  Master of Ceremonies for the event is Cat Wilson, host of The Cheap Seats (Ocean 104), promoting local Cape Cod and area original music.

The grand prize winner will be awarded a professional recording session for their winning work at Seasound Recording Studio in Plymouth.  There will also be additional prizes for placed winners.     

Independence House is currently seeking sponsors for this Cape-wide teen event.  Sponsors will receive full recognition on all print and web publications and on stage during singular or band performances at the finale event.  Questions about the contest can be addressed to Chris Morin at chrism@indhouse.net.  For sponsorship, contact Donna Giberti at donnag@indhouse.net or call 508-771-6507 x221.

Black History Month and the Rape Crisis Movement
As we approach February and honor Black History Month, we acknowledge that the rape crisis movement began during slavery when Black Americans were treated with cruelty, prejudice and disrespect.  Perhaps the first women in the United States to break the silence around rape were African-American women who testified before Congress following the Memphis Riot of May 1866, during which a number of Black women were gang-raped by a white mob.  This is documented in "Black Women in White America: A Documentary History."  (New York: Pantheon, 1972).
"The history of the rape crisis movement in the United States is also a history of the struggle of African-American women against racism and sexism.  During slavery, the rape of enslaved women by white men was common and legal.  After slavery ended, sexual and physical violence, including murder, were used to terrorize and keep the Black population from gaining political or civil rights.  The results and legacy of such hatred were vicious.  Thousands of Black men were lynched with the false charge of rape-- a common accusation.  Rape laws made rape a capital offense only for a Black man found guilty of raping a white woman." (source/excerpt: "The History of the Rape Crisis Movement" by Gillian Greensite)
The earliest efforts to systematically confront and organize against rape began in the 1870's when African-American women, most notably Ida B. Wells, took leadership roles in organizing anti-lynching campaigns. The courage of these women in the face of hatred and violence is profoundly inspiring.  Their efforts led to the formation of the Black Women's Club movement in the late 1890's and laid the groundwork for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence."
We encourage reading "History of the Rape Crisis Movement" by Gillian Greensite, Director of Rape Prevention Education at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  The article was written as part of a publication for the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault's 2003 publication:  "Support for Survivors: Training for Sexual Assault Counselors."

One Billion Rising Event

On Friday, February 24, 2017 at 1:30-pm at the Yarmouth Senior Center located at 528 Forest Road in Yarmouth, Independence House will join together with Age-Friendly Yarmouth to take a stand against Elder Abuse and celebrate with Women around the world as part of the One Billion Rising campaign.  Agencies and organizations will be present with information tables. 
They include: Independence House, Cape Cod Elder Abuse Coalition, Elder Services, Hoarding Task Force, Suicide Prevention and the Visiting Nurse Association...

Homicide Survivor Services
Independence House's reputation is unsurpassed for the work we do for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In recent months our services have expanded to include assistance for survivors of homicide.  

The Homicide Survivor Program is designed to assist individuals and families with counseling and support to help them heal from the loss of a loved one due to a homicide.  Survivors of homicide include individuals who have had special ties or kinship with the individual whose life was taken suddenly and tragically.  These relationships can include not only family members and close friends but also neighbors, schoolmates and members of the community at large.   Services are not restricted to survivors of domestic and sexual violence but include vehicular homicide, gang related deaths and other such crimes...  

Independence House awarded $5,000 grant from NAVAA
Independence House has received a $5,000 grant from The National Association of VOCA
Assistance Administrators (NAVAA) through a cooperative agreement with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). The grant funds will be used to help conduct public awareness specifically about victims' rights and local victim service programs through outreach events held at locations throughout Cape Cod during National Crime Victim's Week, April 2-8, 2017.  Independence House has partnered with the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office for this initiative and will be reaching out to high school age students, senior citizens, and members of the Brazilian community. Publicity will begin in March with a set series of dates. Check with the Independence House website events listings and local news media outlets soon.  


Please join Independence House, Inc., the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office and the
 Yarmouth Police Department at the Cape Cod Irish Village in South Yarmouth for White Ribbon Day. 

Join in solidarity with men and boys throughout Massachusetts by taking a pledge and wearing a white ribbon. 

Special Guests:  
State Representative, Timothy Whelan;  
State Senator, Julian Cyr
(and more)

The Listening Project
While Independence House serves survivors of domestic and sexual violence, we are also charged with its prevention.  Ending violence requires a multi-discipline approach to address the complexities and the need for solutions.

Beginning in 2017, we are conducting the "Listening Project," an idea taken from the work of The Rural Southern Voice for Peace/The Listening Project.  This project will consist of a year-long process of interviews with people of all experiences, disciplines, ethnicities, sexual orientations and ages who have experienced, or know someone who has experienced, domestic or sexual violence.  We are listening, and want your thoughts on how the Cape Cod community can play a role in helping to prevent domestic and sexual violence. There will also be opportunities to be part of a focus group for this project.  In 2018, Independence House will be presenting a 'Violence Prevention Conference' where the results from this year-long project will map out a plan to help stop domestic and sexual violence.

Participation in the Listening Project does not require you to be a client, former client, or have a relationship with Independence House. If you are interested in assisting us with an individual interview or being part of a focus group, please contact Chris Morin at chrism@indhouse.net or call 508.771.6507 x230 for further information.  Confidentiality is assured.

Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Healthy Sexuality is at the core of a young person's development.
"Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives." Source:  www.uua.org/re/owl
Independence House introduces the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum to students in grades 7-9 in 2017The OWL curriculum helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. With a holistic approach,  OWL provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality. 

Independence House is partnering to co-facilitate the OWL curriculum with The First Parish Brewster, a Unitarian Universalist congregation. The curriculum is a secular curriculum that contains no religious references or doctrine.  
The facilitated curriculum for this age group will begin in the spring, meet at Independence House's Hyannis office and run once weekly for 8 weeks. Exact dates for the program will be formed dependent on those enrolled. 

Enrollment is being accepted now.  Contact Michaela at michaelab@indhouse.net or call 508.771-6507 x241.  To learn more about OWL, visit  www.uua.org/re/owl

Enough Abuse Campaign
The Cape & Islands Enough Abuse Campaign is a collaborative effort to bring the message of preventing child sexual abuse to our communities. The focus on the campaign is to educate community members about why it is a public health problem, what keeps child sexual abuse hidden, and how we as a community can prevent child sexual abuse. 

Members of the Cape & Islands Enough Abuse Campaign committee include representatives from Independence House, Cape Cod Neighborhood Support Coalition, Massachusetts Mentor, Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment, Sturgis West Charter Public School and faith communities. 

Trained volunteers help educate the community by presenting to local groups, agencies, school personnel and anyone who is concerned about the safety and health of our children.  Preventing child sexual abuse ultimately prevents a future of unhealthy choices which can lead to negative health consequences in later years. 

Your involvement as a community member is important. Volunteer opportunities include joining a planning committee, helping to advertise at local forums, or become a trained trainer. For more information contact Chris Morin at Independence House (chrism@indhouse.net) or Beverly Costa-Ciavola at Cape Cod Neighborhood support Coalition (beverly@capecoalition.org).   To learn more about the Enough Abuse Campaign in Massachusetts and Cape & Islands region, please visit enoughabuse.org/states/massachusetts.html

Groups are going on
Independence  House is currently holding numerous support groups at our offices and in the community.  If you are interested in being part of a support group, please call 508-771-6507 between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.  For a full list of groups Independence House offers, please visit our website's group counseling page.  These are active groups in session:

In Hyannis:
  • Children's group on Tuesdays
  • Adult Domestic Violence Support Group on Tuesdays
  • Adult Sexual Assault Support Group on Wednesdays
  • Adult Seeking Safety Support Group on Thursdays
In Falmouth:
  • Domestic Violence Support Group on Thursdays 
In the community: 
  • Independence House is facilitating a girl's group for 6th graders at Mattacheese Middle School which will run for 7 sessions.  This after-school activity group uses an arts and crafts curriculum with topics that include self-esteem, how to be a good friend, and positive body image 
  • Independence House teen counselors continue to facilitate a weekly group about healthy relationships at the RFK Children's Action Corp
  • Independence House adult domestic violence counselors are providing individualized domestic violence counseling to residents of the Cataumet Shelter
  • Adult counselors of Independence House continue to provide weekly self-esteem and seeking safety support groups at both the Barnstable County Corrections Facility in Bourne and the Community Corrections facility in Hyannis
  • Independence House adult multi-lingual domestic and sexual violence counselors continue to provide support for residents of Safe Harbor

Join "Team Independence House" now and get your spot in the New Balance Falmouth Road Race
The Independence  House running team is forming now for this year's New Balance Falmouth Road Race to be held on August 20, 2017 -- just about 200 days away!     

Why wait to make a difference?  With your commitment now,  you have 6 months to obtain your supporters with donations that help members of our community affected by domestic and sexual violence.

If you are a runner and interested in making a commitment, contact Sandy Faiman at sfaiman@aol.com.

Independence House seeks special help with two projects

Independence House has a permanent traveling Silent Witness exhibit. These life-size wooden silhouettes draw attention to and depict the names of domestic violence homicides that occur in Massachusetts each year.  In October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the exhibit is displayed at the Independence House Community Breakfast and then travels Cape-wide throughout the year at various locations. 

Our Silent Witnesses are in need of soft quilted travel pouches that will help protect these life-size silhouettes for many years. If you are interested in helping organize or take part in this special project, please contact Chris at chrism@indhouse.net or call 508-771-6507 x230.

We are looking for a lot of muscle, creativity, and donations that will help design and build a sitting garden at the Independence House office in Hyannis behind our gray ramp.  The garden may be a respite for some and a place of joy for others. The sky is the limit on the vision. The hopeful outcome is that this will add to the beauty of the work that has already been completed to the building and grounds at Independence House. 

Our wish list includes many volunteers to help clear, prepare, and create the area. Also needed are donations of garden art, possibly water features, soil, decorative rocks, shade loving plants and flowers, stone features, benches, etc. Would you like to volunteer or contribute to this project?  Please contact Donna at donnag@Indhouse.net or Chris at ChrisM@indhouse.net.
24-HOUR HOTLINE: 800-439-6507 

For appointments, please call Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm:

MAIN OFFICE, HYANNIS:  160 Bassett Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601
Monday-Thursday 9am-7pm, Friday 9am-5pm.  Walk-ins welcome. 

Other locations: 
FALMOUTH: 220 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Falmouth, MA 02540 
(Mon, Tue, Fri 9am-5pm; Wed 9-11am; Thurs 9am-7pm; eves by appoint., walk ins welcome.
ORLEANS: 57 Route 6A, Orleans, MA 02653 (Mondays by appointment)
(Our Orleans office is moving to a larger location soon with expanded hours- stay tuned)
PROVINCETOWN: 2 Mayflower Ct., Provincetown, MA 02657 (Thurs. by appointment)
To assist with 209A abuse prevention orders and 258E harassment prevention orders, Independence House Court Advocates are available in ALL Cape Cod District and Probate Court Houses during normal court business hours. 
FALMOUTH DISTRICT COURT, 161 Jones Ave, Falmouth
ORLEANS DISTRICT COURT, 237 Rock Harbor Rd., Orleans
BARNSTABLE DISTRICT AND PROBATE COURT, 3195 Main (Court Complex), Barnstable
Independence House Domestic Violence Advocates are available at the  following police departments:
YARMOUTH POLICE DEPARTMENT: Tues & Fri 9am-12pm 508-775-0445 x2181
FALMOUTH POLICE DEPARTMENT: Mon, Tues & Fri 8am-4pm 774-255-4527 x4550

Independence House is a long standing
member of  Jane Doe, Inc.

Independence House is the proud recipient of the 2016  Cape & Islands United Way Community Investment Grant