November 2019 - Greenville, MS Volume 9
Voices Making a Difference - Newsletter
A new domestic violence crisis line specifically aimed to support those in tribal communities across the U.S. opened its phone lines, so to speak, earlier this year. Advocates who answer the phones at the StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-7NATIVE) are Native American, bringing to survivors who call an acute understanding of American Indian and Alaska Native cultures and the challenges that surround reporting and finding help for domestic violence.  read more

One specific population is at a significantly higher risk for domestic violence than others: Native Americans. According to a study from the National Institute of Justice, some 84 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime, and more than half have endured this violence at the hands of an intimate partner. More than two-thirds of the women, or 66 percent, say they have been the victims of psychological aggression by a partner.  read more

Information gathered from domesticshelters.org
Our House, Inc. - Advisory Board Member
Q&A with Juanita Britton:
A True Survivor
“When I got to Our House, Inc. I was a little girl trapped with secrets in a grown body.”
“The only thing that can destroy you is you, but it depends on how you deal with the situation.”

“I didn’t think my story would make a difference like it has. I just wrote the book just to write a book and leave it alone, not knowing that it was going to be as effective as it is.”
Juanita Britton is the Co-Pastor of Prayer House of Deliverance Ministry in Greenville, MS along with her husband, Pastor John Britton. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York. She is a mother of six, a grandmother, an author, and an advocate for broken children that deal with sexual assault, suicide, etc. Her published book Birthed Through Pain Delivered By God speaks about her life growing up. She is a survivor of multiple accounts of sexual assault and has defeated drug addiction as well. A representative of Our House sat down with her to get to know who she is and why her story is so unique.
 
If you would like to obtain a copy of her book, it is available on Amazon.com.
 
A face to face interview with Mrs. Britton by LaMorris Allen
 
1. Describe your life today vs. your life growing up.
My life today is less toxic. My life now is peaceful, blessed, free, and better. Life growing up was very toxic; I was disturbed and I experienced depression and frustration (I had a lot of bitterness and hatred).”
 
2. How did sexual assault affect you growing up?

“It affected me mentally; I became mentally disturbed. Everything that I saw was superficial. I lived in a web of lies. I smiled on the outside, but the inside of me was dead. I became promiscuous and I didn’t value myself. I felt less valuable because something was taken away from me and I felt like nobody really cared. I dealt with and addressed everybody that I saw as the person that had “robbed” me. I didn’t trust people, so I always had a shield up and I always fought. I always was fighting to be seen. Everybody was looking at me, but they didn’t see me. I was toxic to the point where I was destructive. That’s the best word that I can use to describe myself. I got kicked out of school three times and I was in and out of jail, detention centers and group homes. I was in a group home called the Sue House. They dealt with troubled teens, but I wasn’t troubled; I was damaged. Nobody saw me; I was like, ‘Look at me. I am hurting over here.’ So, for the majority of the time, I was in and out of jail and kicked out of school. It was not that I was incapable of doing the work; I hated to go home. My mom worked. I came from a broken family and my mom trusted her family with me, but the ones that were keeping me were molesting me, so I didn’t want to go home. So, to me, the best place to go was the Sue House. Even though I was going to a group home, at least I wasn’t going home. My mom would say, ‘What’s wrong with you? What girl would do what you are doing?’ My experiences caused me to lose a lot, like my education. It damaged me lot. It kind of did. ”
 
3. How comfortable are you with talking about the abuse that you have gone through?
“I’m very comfortable sometimes and sometimes I’m not. It depends. I don’t know why it’s like that. Sometimes I talk about it and it has no effect on me and sometimes it ‘takes me there’ and I get emotional. Right now, I’m comfortable, but if you give me two or three days, I might cry about it. Every time I talk about the sexual assault, I go right back to when it happened. I have the same smells, I know the time and I can see the room. It depends on the day.”

4. Are there any lingering effects from your experiences? Are you still hurting?
“The lingering effect from my experiences is the tendency to fight. Because I had to protect myself so much [growing up], I have that habit today. No, I’m not hurting because I forgave, and the best part about it is that I can be amongst those family members that sexually assaulted me and talk to them. I told them that I have forgiven them. They admitted that they committed whatever happened and I have no ill feelings toward them, and I know that’s God. (laughs)”
 
5. What good has come out of you experiencing sexual assault?
  “The good that has come out of my experiences of sexual assault is that I have developed the ability to forgive, I have received deliverance, I have become a mouthpiece and I have become an advocate of sexual assault to allow the people to understand and know that it can happen, but it will not destroy them. The only thing that can destroy you is you, but it depends on how you deal with the situation. So, the best thing out of this experience is that I became whole.”

6. What helped you break the silence about the fact that you were experiencing sexual assault?
“When it first happened to me, I first shared it with an aunt. She approached the person and they said I was lying, so I got a whooping. And by that, I kept it silent, because I felt that if she didn’t believe me, then nobody else will. When I turned 27, I started telling certain people that I trusted because I was ashamed, I felt nasty and thought, ‘Who wanted to be with someone that was dealt with like that or who would want to be friends with someone like that,’ so I saw myself as filth. I would periodically tell different people. I shared this with a [spiritual] leader once and the outcome wasn’t great. That really shut me down. When I started going to jail houses and I started doing ministry and started to see people just like me, I prayed and told God, ‘I would expose my filth to build your kingdom.’ So when I did that, I ended up coming here to Our House and Dr. Brisbane was a speaker of a conference. I was given the opportunity to speak a little bit about my life. She told me, ‘Be quiet. Put it on paper.’ So, that’s when I became comfortable, because that was the first time I really shared my story around people that I didn’t know. From there, it’s just been zooming. I’m comfortable exposing my filth because at the end, God wins. Yes, He wins.”

7. What type of support system did you have once you broke the silence?
“None. What people should understand when they come out and tell their story is not to expect people to pat you on your back. This is because they feel like that was a family secret and now you have broken the code or bond. Regardless of how you feel or how damaged you were, you have broken the code of the family, not realizing that you’re broken. When I did tell it, my husband was my supporter and some members of my ministry were supportive as well. My mother wasn’t at first because it made her feel as if she was a bad parent, but that wasn’t the case. She didn’t know. She was actually the first person to give me the money to start the project of the book after she got over it and understood that it wasn’t her. But even now, I have no family support.”
 
8. If you didn’t admit what you were going through, would you be alive today?
"I would be alive in people’s eyes, but I would have been a ‘walking dead’, if that makes sense. In people’s eyes, I would have life because smiling faces tell lies, but I would’ve been dead on the inside. I had to tell the story. I had the ‘outside of my cup clean;’ I dressed nicely and did all of that, but on the inside I was ‘filled with dead man’s bones.’ I was toxic, so it helped. I did cocaine for years, so I probably would’ve been in the streets or in prison or dead.”
 
9. Talk about your first book and how the journey was to getting it published.
“My first book started ten years ago. The only thing I had were the instructions. Every time I got ready to write the book, I had to deal with me, and I didn’t want to deal with me. This was because I didn’t like the “Me” that I saw, so I would put it up and put it up (as in put the writing of the book on hold several times). The journey started again when I came to Our House. I was told several times to put it in a book, but it was a different time of my life. When I got to Our House, I was a little girl trapped with secrets in a grown body. So, the caliber and pureness of Dr. Brisbane when she said what she said (Be quiet. Put it on paper.) ‘unlocked me,’ if I can say it like that. The bible says a good man’s steps are ordered by the Lord, and my steps were ordered here for a workshop, not knowing that I was going to get free. I published the book and before Dr. Brisbane came back, I had finished the book. The journey to getting this book published wasn’t that hard. Even though I went through some bumps and bruises, it’s out here. I didn’t think my story would make a difference like it has. I just wrote the book just to write a book and leave it alone, not knowing that it was going to be as effective as it is.”
 
 
10. What have you learned about yourself as a result of writing this book?
“I am truly a survivor. When I was writing this book, I was like, ‘Wow, girl, you went through all of this?’ [chuckles] You don’t realize how much you go through. When I put it on paper, I was like, ‘Oh, my God! How can one person live this? And it’s me.’ It taught me how a person can go on and goes through stuff and really don’t know what they’re going through because they’re in it all the time. I learned that all through my life God’s hand had been on me. Someone can read the book and ask, ‘How can you say that?’ Because the Bible says if I make my bed in Hell, He’s there. And I have been in Hell. I was in Hell, but in every place that I was, He had a way of escape without me even knowing who He was. What I love about my story is that I went through what I went through for a time such as this. This is because now the youths are really going through what I lived, and so I am transparent to the point that they can be free to talk to me and I can let them know that this doesn’t stop their destiny, but they can stop their own. I learned that I am really a fighter and I’m proud of me. That’s a lot.”
 
11. What makes your story unique?
                 “It’s my story. What makes it unique is that God gets the glory of my story. I can’t take the credit nor can anyone else. I’m 50 years old and I never thought I’d make it to see 20. When I was 16 I got shot, I have a kidney and a half, I was on drugs, and I was in and out of jail and school. Now I’m getting ready to go to a college to teach psychology and I don’t even have a degree. Doors have opened up for me to share my story and people that are in high places have my story, but they are afraid and ask how I get so free. I can only lead it back to God. My story’s unique because He is the author and finisher of my book.”
 
12. What advice do you have for sexual assault victims, especially those that are struggling with the recovery process?
            “The first thing that you have to do is deal with it. Look at it for what it is, understand that it was not your fault, understand that the person that did it has issues and understand that whatever they tried to do is not what God created you to be. Everybody is dealt a hand; it depends on how you play the hand. You can fold and throw in the cards or you can make something happen. The key to that is to first forgive the one that did it, forgive yourself and understand that you were created in God’s image. In Jeremiah [29:11] it says that there is an expected end, and it’s good and not evil. So, one should understand that everything bad that happens to you is not from God. Somebody asked about the book and said, ‘Well, why did God allow you to go through that?’ It was because He could depend on me to tell the story and not curse Him and die, because He’s God. Now, was it a good journey? No. There were times where I was suicidal, and I was on drugs. I was going through a lot of emotions, but at the end of the story, He got the glory. He could depend on me.”

What are the services that Our House provides?
Abel’s Program
  • This program is for Survivors of Homicide Loss who need advocacy support, financial assistant and/or help with understanding the criminal justice procedures. Trained staff will assist families with completing a Victim Compensation Application to apply for reimbursement for lost wages, mental health and medical treatment, funeral expenses and other expenses incurred. We help them understand the legal procedures in seeking justice for the violent crime and will provide court support/accompaniment: Contact Person Ms. Doris Lee

AADPP - A frican A merican D omestic P eace P roject
  • The mission of the AADPP team is to provide a culturally specific, faith based multidisciplinary response to healing and prevention of domestic and sexual violence. Contact Person: Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport

Behavioral Modification Training Institute:
  • This program was established to provide domestic violence and sexual assault training for laypersons, social workers, law enforcement personnel & clergy. Check out our October's activities. Contact Person: Mrs. Felecia Thomas

Healthy Relationship Curriculum
  • Our Healthy Relationship curriculum is a federally approved evidence based 14-week curriculum implemented at local middle and high schools. Specially trained instructors are prepared to help students understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Topics such as “Focus on Sexual Abuse,” “Understanding Boundaries” and “21 Warning Signs of an Abusive Person” are addressed. Upon completion of the 14 weeks, the students are empowered and impacted in such a way that they despise the thought of the class ending. Contact Person: Mrs. Felecia Thomas

L.E.A.H. - L etting E ach A ffliction H eal
  • This program offers outreach services primarily to adult victims of domestic violence. Services include, but is not limited to: counseling at NO COST, referrals to safe shelters, advocacy services for legal representation, and referrals to local social services programs. Contact Ms. Doris Lee

Let’s Talk About It (LTAI)
  • Our Let’s Talk About It support group sessions offer opportunities for young victims/survivors of sexual violence to deal with their trauma through peer discussion and holistic approach. Contact Person: Mrs. Dilworth Ricks

M.A.S.H. - M en A gainst S pousal H arm
  • M.A.S.H. is for court ordered domestic violence abusers. It is a 26 or 52 week behavioral modification program that is based on the nationally known Duluth, MN Domestic Violence Prevention Project model. The goal of M.A.S.H. is to hold abusers accountable for their abusive behaviors and to empower them to change. Contact Person: Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport

New Beginning Shelter ( House of Hope)
  • At our New Beginning Shelter, we provide 24 hours safe shelter, support groups, legal advocacy and make referrals for victims of domestic violence & their children. We support them in making healthy plans for their lives without abuse. Contact Person: Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport

R.E.S.T.O.R.E.- R enewing E ach S urvivor T hrough O ptions R espect and E mpowerment.
  • If you have experienced a sexual assault, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! R.E.S.T.O.R.E. was designed to provide emergency room assistance; 24 Hour crisis intervention; assistance with crime victim compensation, court advocacy & counseling services. Contact Person: Mrs. Dilworth Ricks

Sisters of Faith - Conference Call Support Group
  • Our Sisters of Faith support group addresses the needs of adult children of sexual and domestic violence, offering non-judgement peer to peer support. Registration Information . Contact Person: Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport

S.O.A.R. - S trength O pportunities A wareness R esults
  • This is a special branch of the Y.E.S. program that is based at our partner's apartment complex. Contact Person: Ms. Doris Lee

SOS - S afe O nline S pace (SOS) for Healing Conversations
  • SOS is an anonymous and secure online chatroom for local sexual assault victims/survivors to connect with one another and get help. Sessions are held on the third Monday of each month. Registration Information . Contact Person: Mrs. Dilworth Ricks

Y.E.S. - Y outh E nrichment S ervices
  • Y.E.S. is a recovery program for youths who have been directly impacted by the death of a loved one due to a violent crime; children who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence in the home; and relatives of victims of sexual violence. It is designed to provide encouragement, support and guidance to youth instructing them as they develop in the areas of self-esteem, educational goals, leadership skills and dating violence prevention. Contact Person: Ms. Doris Lee

W.A.V.E. - W orking A gainst V iolence E verywhere
  • W.A.V.E. is Our House’s youth public awareness group. Members provide prevention services to youth and young adults ages of 13-24, targeting those who have been exposed to interpersonal violence. Contact Person: Mrs. Felecia Thomas

Key staff titles and number of years as an advocate to end interpersonal violence in our community.

Executive Director Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport (35 years)
Victim Service Specialist Ms. Doris Lee (38 years)
Healthy Relationship Director Mrs. Felecia Thomas (26 years)
Victim Service Advocate Mrs. Dilworth Ricks (22 years)
Financial Officer Ms. Yvette R. Garner (27 years)

Contact Information:
662-334-6873 (office line) 662-332-5683 (24/7 hotline)
Other Local Resources

Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART)
1-888-443-8911

Mississippi Valley State University
MVSU - Counseling Center
662-254-3830

MVSU  Campus Violence Prevention 
& Intervention Program
662-254-8406


Upcoming Resource Booklet for the MS Delta Area
January - October 2019
Donors

African American Domestic Peace Project (AADPP)

Anonymous 1
 
Anonymous 2
 
Agape Storge Christian Center
Greenville, MS
 
Beverly Rives, FIC
Woodmen Life Representative
 
Dollar General
Distribution Center
Indianola, MS
 
Inter-Denominational Ministerial Alliance of Greenville and Vicinity

Jackson Studio of Music (Memphis, TN & Victorious Faith Ministries COGIC

Regions Bank
(Greenville's Branch)

New Jerusalem MB Church
Mission Ministry
Greenville, MS
 
Paula Prysock
Indianola, MS

Pajama Program
New York, NY
 
Shiloh Seventh Day
Adventist Church
Greenwood, MS

United Ways
Bolivar County
Washington County
 
Walnut Grove Baptist Church
Greenville, MS
 
Washington County
Visitor’s Bureau
EDUCATIONAL LINK

Domestic Violence
MCASA
MCADV
SAFE HAVEN (Interfaith partnership against domestic violence and elderly abuse)
35 movies that survivors says reflects domestic violence

SPECIAL NOTE : We do not endorse the purchasing of any items. We are ONLY sharing information that may be useful to survivors and advocates.
Native Americans , also known as  American Indians ,
Indigenous Americans  and  other terms , are the  indigenous peoples  of the  United States , except  Hawaii  and  territories of the United States . More than 570  federally recognized tribes  live within the US, about half of which are associated with  Indian reservations . The term "American Indian" excludes  Native Hawaiians  and some  Alaskan Natives , while "Native Americans" (as defined by the US Census) are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicity.

This year and beyond, Our House, Inc. will no longer recognize Thanksgiving Holiday but instead "Indigenous Day"
Our House, Inc.
662-334-6873 office * 662-332-5683 hotline voices@ourhousevoices.com * www.ourhousevoices.com
VISION STATEMENT: A world free of interpersonal violence.

MISSION STATEMENT: To lead, empower and inspire change by eliminating domestic violence and sexual violence through intervention, prevention, prosecution, victim protection and sustainable restoration in rural communities; and, to enhance the lives of survivors of interpersonal violence by providing services that meet the psychological, spiritual and cultural needs of those we serve.