|Reprinted by LSCCI with permission of INDEPENDENCE
An Agency Providing
for Battered Women and Sexual Assault Survivors
|Information and Referrals
|Information and Referrals
Referrals are provided through a
24-hour hotline, support groups, advocacy services and bulletin
boards. Referrals are commonly made for community resources and
benefit programs emphasizing housing, welfare and legal assistance.
Many other resources are readily available including medical care,
substance abuse programs, translation services and religious
organizations (on request).
Education and Outreach
Independence House provides
education and outreach through community events, media campaigns,
educational materials and speaker programs. Activities include
public speaking, in-service training, curriculum development, and
interagency networking and collaboration. Presentations on
identifying violence and making referrals are offered to court
staff, legal staff, hospital staff, churches, civic groups and other
helping organizations. Independence House works with the police to
train officers on the battering cycle and options available to
battered women. We work with schools to prevent abuse by educating
students on dating violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Independence House participates on many local and state-wide task
forces and committees working to improve community response to
critical issues which also affect battered women including health
care, housing, hospital services, legal services, drug and alcohol
services, child abuse and child care.
|Direct Services and Programs
|Crisis Intervention and 24-Hour
A 24-hour hotline
provides immediate response to any physical or emotional crisis as a
result of abuse or sexual assault. Advocates can arrange for
emergency shelter, police protection or medical care. The hotline is
staffed 365 days a year, weekends and holidays. Individuals may also
meet with advocates in person to discuss their circumstances, learn
more about service options, or ask about the nature of violence or
Emergency Shelter and Support
Emergency shelter is available through
an extensive coordinated safe home network; women do not stay at
Independence House. Services are provided to help develop long-range
safety plans, access resources and recover from the episode that may
have caused the shelter stay.
crisis counseling and support groups are offered on a drop-in basis.
There is no waiting list or appointment needed to attend groups.
Individuals are encouraged to participate in support groups as soon
as possible to end isolation and for support during transitional
times. Support groups are a way to learn from others and rebuild the
self-esteem to achieve long-range goals. Support groups are usually
specialized and include battered women's groups, incest survivors'
groups and rape survivors' groups.
Although counseling is
provided, Independence House is not a mental health facility. If
there are mental health issues or substance abuse impacting an
individual's ability to be safe, the appropriate referrals will be
made. In any referral, the individual's decisions are respected.
provide education about criminal prosecution, legal rights and court
procedures, including Abuse Prevention Orders under Chapter 209A
(commonly called a restraining order). Advocates can also assist
with Abuse Prevention Orders and court procedures.
Crisis/Sexual Assault Program
Rape Crisis Program/Sexual Assault Program provides individual and
support group counseling to rape and incest survivors. Services are
available for men and women, including adolescents and battered
women; and for significant others, friends and family members. All
issues of sexual assault are addressed including sexual harassment.
Advocates can also provide assistance immediately after a
sexual assault by meeting survivors at the hospital or police
station. An advocate can offer critical emotional support and help
ensure the survivor understands medical or legal procedures,
including options for pressing charges.
Transitional Living Services
are encouraged to maintain contact with Independence House after the
initial emergency through on-going participation in support groups
or arranged meetings with advocates to search out community
resources. A workshop series offers educational training in areas
such as family life skills, parenting, assertiveness training, job
search skills and management. The series is open to the community.
Residential Transitional Living Services
Transition to Independent Living Program (TIL) provides temporary
housing and support services to help battered women and sexual
assault survivors attain educational, vocational and personal goals.
TIL residents pay a fee based on the Barnstable Housing Authority
are available on-call for Spanish, Portuguese and American Sign
Language. Independence House is wheelchair and TTY accessible.
are only required to have sensitivity toward the individuals we V
serve and a commitment to end violence against women. Both men and
women participate; many former battered women or sexual assault
survivors go on to support others as volunteers. The volunteer
program is often praised for fostering an atmosphere of trust and
recognition where volunteers can reach their full potential.
complete a 12-week training session in preparation for one of many
Independence House administers the Domestic Violence
Intervention Program (DAIP) in cooperation with law enforcement
agencies such as the Sheriffs Office and Probation Department. DAIP
is a certified battered treatment program.
- hotline: responding to crisis calls
- safehome: providing temporary shelter for a woman and her
children; all locations are confidential (safehomes are
- court advocacy: helping with court procedures, including
obtaining Abuse Prevention Orders (additional training required)
- childcare: supervision and activities while their mother
attends support groups *
- transportation: arranging for transportation to court,
welfare or housing offices
- education and outreach: speaking to civic, church and
professional groups about domestic violence, sexual assault,
legal options and Independence House services (additional
- office reception: answering phones, taking crisis calls,
typing, filing and giving support to individuals and families;
processing intakes and advocacy
- group facilitator: facilitating support groups.
- Transition to Independent Living: working with TIL residents
or helping maintain the building
ABUSE - Abuse
is a way to gain power and control over another person.
happens among all groups of people regardless of income, education,
occupation, race, religion, age or sexual preference. Abuse can
occur in any relationship. An abuser can be anyone including a
partner or lover, teenage boyfriend or girlfriend, caretaker or
roommate, son or daughter.
Any forceful controlling
behavior is abuse. A woman does not have to be hit to be abused.
Taking away her money, controlling where she goes, and what she does
and making her feel bad about herself are all forms of abuse. An
Violence may also be part of the cycle of abuse. Even if at
first, an abuser is not violent- makes threats or pushes or slaps a
woman- the violence may escalate enough over time to cause serious
physical injury, or even death. Usually, violence occurs more and
more often with greater intensity as time passes.
- constantly accuse her of being unfaithful
- prevent her from seeing family or friends
- prevent her from working or attending school
- criticize her for little things or humiliate her
- steal her money, checks or credit cards
- destroy her personal property
- treat her like a servant
- threaten to hurt her children or take them away
- threaten to kill her, her children, family or friends
- threaten suicide or threaten to leave her
- embarrass or humiliate her with sexual taunts
- sexually assault her, including unwanted touches or forcing
her to watch pornographic movies
- force her to have sex (rape her)
is not the cause of her partner's abuse, no matter what she says or
|IF YOUR PARTNER IS ABUSIVE:
|Know that you do not deserve to be abused.
fear or anticipation of a violent eposide.
support system; have a safety plan.
Call the 24-hour hotline
Don't underestimate the danger.
the hospital or police if it does not jeopardize your safety.
SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE AND
INCEST - Sexual assault is a crime of violence, not sexual
People commit sex crimes
in order to feel powerful and gain control over another person.
Sexual assault, rape and incest are NOT caused by sexual desire.
Sexual assault is forced sexual contact of any kind from
kissing, fondling, exhibitionism and voyeurism to attempted and
actual rape- forced oral, vaginal or anal penetration by a penis or
other body part, or a foreign object.
While most assaults
are committed by men against women, either men or women can be
assaulted by someone of the same or opposite gender.
assault happens most often between people who know each other.
Forcing a date, lover or married partner to have sex is rape. Sexual
assault may be part of an abusive relationship.
contact by a parent, relative or caretaker to a minor is incest,
including kissing, teasing, harassment, exhibitionism, touching,
oral sex or intercourse. The Massachusetts Department of Social
Services mandates that Independence House report child molestation
by a relative or caretaker.
Sexual harassment is also a
crime, including any unwanted sexual remark, sexually-explicit
gesture, or sexual advance which is objectionable, causes
discomfort, or interferes with work or school.
common for all forms of sexual assault to go unreported, or to be
disclosed many years later especially in the case of rape or incest.
A sexual assault survivor is not to blame for the assault,
no matter what happened.
|IF YOU HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY
|Know the assault is not your fault.
Make sure you are
Call the 24-hour hotline 1-800-439-6507.
yu think you may report the assault:
- don't bathe or change clothes; don't eat or drink
- have a medical exam in a hospital emergency room within
- don't rearrange the scene of the assault; try to remember
details and write them down
Empowering individuals through their own strengths and abilities
Independence House is committed to
assisting individuals re-establish lives free of fear and violence
through a philosophy of self-help and self-empowerment. Through
positive reinforcement, we help individuals regain self-confidence
and trust in others in order to initiate changes in their lives,
thus developing strengths that will remain long after direct service
We believe each individual has the ability to
make the best decisions for themselves and their family We help
impart the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions
and act on them, such as setting up a meeting with an advocate,
arranging for childcare or enrolling in classes.
and access is shared through the ongoing support of advocates,
groups and transitional living services. Many people learn from each
other and a variety of educational materials and resources are
available. We explain how to use the courts, welfare, social
services, housing, and other community agencies in order to attain
short and long-term goals. Self-determination and self-sufficiency
are encouraged as a way for individuals to regain power and control
over their own life.
Independence House is the only
community-based resource center on Cape Cod providing a full range
of services for battered women and sexual assault survivors. We
accept all people regardless of race, origin, religion, age, income,
marital status, lifestyle or sexual preference. Individuals are not
required to press charges against an abuser or sexual assault
offender to receive services.
Independence House is
supported by full-time staff and volunteers. Services are free and
160 Basset Lane, Hyannis, MA. 02601
House is an Equal Employment
of Cape Cod, Inc.
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