Workshop raises awareness for dealing with domestic violence

June 1, 2005

The first call may be the fifth assault.

That lesson, and others, about dealing with the crisis of domestic violence, was presented last week in a Hood River workshop sponsored by Helping Hands Against Violence.

Mark Wynn of Nashville, Tenn., gave the daylong workshop on “Domestic Violence as a Community Issue,” at Columbia Gorge Hotel. Wynn is a nationally known consultant and lecturer and a 20-year member of the Nashville’s Metropolitan Police Department.

Susan Frost, executive director of Helping Hands, said there was a great turnout for the workshop, representing every type of agency involved in domestic violence including law enforcement, advocacy, child protection, social work, teachers, medical and nursing.

“I believe at the end of the day it just raised awareness of domestic violence and how we can coordinate our response as a community,” Frost said. She said the feedback forms were “overwhelmingly positive,” and that many of the people said they wished it had lasted longer, “which is pretty unusual for an all-day meeting like that.”

Wynn started his presentation with “Domestic Violence 101,” which explained dynamics such as power and control, the cycle of violence and myths surrounding the issue of domestic violence. He stressed that domestic violence needs to be addressed early, because crime victims on average call a crisis line after the fifth assault, and by that time things are already serious.

The victim of domestic violence is a “different kind of crime victim,” he said, in that they are usually being controlled and manipulated by the abuser, while both fearing and loving him (or her). The victim may “minimize” the incident by the time the law enforcement officer gets there, so that the abuser won’t go to jail. The abuser is often a master of manipulation; not only of the victim, but also the law enforcer and the whole system.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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