Women's Advocates Newsletter  |  May 2021
Women's Advocates Reflects on the Events of the Past Few Weeks
As we, the staff of Women’s Advocates, reflect on events of the past few weeks, including the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the death and funeral of Daunte Wright:
We hold in our caring embrace the families and loved ones of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Nekeya Moody and the families and loved ones of all Black and Brown victims of police violence, male and female.
We lift up Darnella Frazier, Donald Williams and the other active bystanders whose courageous actions helped bring accountability for the murder of George Floyd, and whose lives have been marked by their experience.
We applaud the protesters, activists, and the women and men of the Chauvin jury, all of whose tenacity and courage helped bring accountability for the murder of George Floyd.
We resolve to continue to scrutinize our relationships and interactions with law enforcement, recognizing that our duty of care is to domestic violence victim/survivors in shelter and in the community, and understanding that the systems that are traditionally thought to protect victims often result in further victimization and harm that disproportionately impact marginalized people and communities.
We hold sacred our duty to continue the fight to dismantle white supremacy and other interlocking systems of oppression that prevent the attainment of true justice.
Finally, we amplify these words from activist Nekima Levy Armstrong: “Thank you especially to the Black women who are always holding it down, when it is popular and when it is not, for the sake of our community.”
Women’s Advocates Sexual Awareness Assault Campaign
Even though April and Sexual Assault Awareness Month have drawn to a close, Women's Advocates invites you to continue learning and supporting those affected by sexual and domestic violence. Out of consideration for our community and those affected by the trial of Derick Chauvin and the loss of Daunte Wright, we decided to launch our campaign at a later date than originally planned. The issues of sexual assault and domestic violence are ever-present and affect all races, ages, and genders. We ask you to help take part in this year's Sexual Assault Awareness Month Campaign by helping us raise $15,000 between now and Saturday, May 15th. You can learn more about how your gift will help Women's Advocates help survivors and donate directly at our GiveMN page at https://www.givemn.org/story/Saam.
Upcoming Events
You can read more about these upcoming events and register by clicking here: https://www.wadvocates.org/events/
Missed an event?
No worries if you were not able to attend an event live! We have an archive of recordings and past resource materials including PowerPoint slides located here: https://www.wadvocates.org/our-services/violence-prevention-education/online-education-and-webinars/
Women’s Advocates supports survivors in navigating the legal system
The three experienced advocates that make up Women’s Advocates’ Legal Advocacy Support Team work with survivors staying at our shelter to help them understand their legal rights, the legal process, and possible outcomes. The team assists clients seeking Orders for Protection (OFP) and Harassment Restraining Orders (HRO) and supports survivors by working with child protection or court services if the survivor wishes. 
In addition to the support our team provides, Women’s Advocates’ long-standing, on-site partnership with the Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center http://domesticabuselegaladvocacycenter.org/ provides survivors access to legal guidance from volunteer attorneys. Our advocates also provide referrals to attorneys and accompany women to their court appointments, court hearings, and police interviews. 
Women’s Advocates’ Legal Advocacy Support Team is represented on the Family Violence Coordinating Council, an interdisciplinary group of prosecutors, defense attorneys, judicial officers, court administrators, probation officers, advocates, and others involved in the court system.  The aim is to facilitate collaboration and coordination to improve the systemic response to domestic violence.
Our team also partners with Bridges to Safety, a domestic abuse service center in St. Paul, operated by a collection of advocacy programs, community organizations, and governmental agencies who have joined together to provide safety and promote justice for domestic violence victims and their children.
Notes from the Crisis Line
It's been a busy month for the crisis line. Now that we're once again filling every room in shelter, we're bringing in an average of two new victim/survivors every week. For our advocates this means preparing intake files and clothing bundles, making sure the new resident's bedroom is clean and stocked with items from housekeeping --and all that preparation usually happens in under two hours. 
The influx of new residents also means that our intake bundles are flying off the shelves! When a new resident arrives, the clothing she brings with her must go through the dryer, so we provide her with a new change of clothes to wear during that process. Because we continue to welcome new survivors into our shelter every week, we're constantly ordering new comfortable clothing for them to wear. If you'd like to donate new women's sweatpants, leggings, or other loungewear, please contact mbecker@wadvocates.org to schedule a donation time.
 Mental Health Awareness Month
May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
  • On average, more than half of the women seen in mental health settings are being or have been abused by an intimate partner.
  • There are specific diagnoses that are commonly experienced by these women: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.
  • Traumatic events produce profound and lasting changes in physiological, arousal, emotion, cognition, and memory- changes that wouldn’t necessarily result in a psychological diagnosis. 
To learn more click the link:
National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
May 5th is National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This epidemic affects indigenous people in the United States, Canada, and around the world. Although American Indian women and girls make up just 1% of the state’s population, from 2010 through 2018, 8% of all murdered women and girls in Minnesota were American Indian. From 2012 to 2020, 27 to 54 American Indian women and girls in Minnesota were missing in any given month (MN MMIW Task Force Report).  For decades, little to no action was taken to investigate this injustice. In 2019, the Minnesota Legislature created the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s (MMIW) Task Force. Key task force findings include:
  • Root causes of the MMIW injustice in Minnesota include historical and ongoing colonization, racism, and sexual objectification of Indigenous women and girls.
  • Jurisdictional complexity and lack of understanding in tribal-county-state relations contribute to MMIW cases falling through the cracks. See report for additional findings.
At the national level, earlier this year Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced the formation of the Missing & Murdered Unit, which will investigate cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people.
To learn more:
When Helpers Need Help: You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup
 5/4: “When Helpers Need Help: You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup” Learn more + register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3tLAdIeBTGS0w17HfXifDg
Healthy Communication & Modeling Boundaries with Kids
5/11: “Healthy Communication & Modeling Boundaries with Kids” Learn more + register here: https://www.wadvocates.org/event/healthy-communication-modeling-boundaries-with-kids/
A Conversation about Supporting the Mental Health of Black Women
5/21: “A Conversation about Supporting the Mental Health of Black Women” Learn more + register here: https://www.wadvocates.org/event/a-conversation-about-supporting-the-mental-health-of-black-women/
Empowering You: Let’s Talk about Personal Boundaries
5/21: “A Conversation about Supporting the Mental Health of Black Women” Learn more + register here: https://www.wadvocates.org/event/a-conversation-about-supporting-the-mental-health-of-black-women/
Women's Advocates' Live Chat
Women's Advocates’ website includes a live chat feature for individuals who may need another option when reaching out for crisis support or for friends, family, and colleagues seeking advice on how to best support a loved one.
Follow this link to our website and click the "Live Chat Now" or "Leave Us A Message" button at the top of the page to start a chat (7:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and some overnight hours) or leave a message (any time) for our Crisis Resource Advocates. 
This is an interactive guide to learn about the 6 steps you can take to help break the cycle of domestic violence including learning, discussing, engaging, believing, supporting, and donating. Click here for steps
Subscribe here to stay up to date on our digital content: http://www.youtube.com/c/womensadvocates
Learn more about routes to safety and create your own safety plan.
Women's Advocates' Donation Needs
 We are so grateful for the support we are receiving from businesses and individuals to help Women's Advocates with immediate supply needs. For the time being, we are not able to accept in-kind donation deliveries, except for the items below:
Gift Cards: Gift cards to Target, Walmart, Cub Foods, and local gas stations and fast food restaurants are useful to help Women's Advocates fill immediate needs for our residents and aftercare participants.
Cloth Face Masks: With the recent CDC recommendations to utilize double-masking when possible, we want to equip all of our shelter residents with a supply of well-fitting cloth masks to wear over the blue surgical masks. We are currently in need of new, homemade cloth masks with elastic ear loops.
Personal Care Items:  Deodorants, hair scarves, and hair binders are needed for women in our shelter.
Clothing Items: New women's sweatpants, leggings, and other loungewear. Please contact mbecker@wadvocates.org to schedule a donation time.
 Ways You Can Help
  • Head to our donate page to review the various ways you can support Women’s Advocates
  • Start a Facebook or GoFundMe fundraising page and select Women’s Advocates as the beneficiary OR donate directly to us here
  • Ask your employer to match your donations (email development@wadvocates.org to coordinate)
  • Shop our Amazon wish list (http://a.co/jkkHfvm) for cleaning items, clothing basics, and personal care/hygiene products to be directly shipped to us

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Women's Advocates
PO Box 4039
St Paul, MN 55104