We’re Hiring!

Would you like to make a difference in your community?   Please consider joining us as as a Shelter Advocate!

You can find our job ad at the Michigan Talent job site:

https://jobs.mitalent.org/job-seeker/job-details/JobCode/8503047

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Denim Day

Denim Day started as a reaction to a 1998 Italian Supreme Court of Appeals ruling that overturned a 45-year-old man’s rape conviction.  The Court claimed that since the 18-year-old victim was forced to help the rapist remove the very tight jeans she was wearing, he couldn’t have raped her–it must have been consensual sex.

Within a matter of hours, women in the Italian Parliament protested and came to work dressed in jeans.  The protests spread to the United States, and the first Denim Day was recognized in April 1999, and continues to be recognized every April.

Here at Caring House, we recognize Denim Day by wearing jeans to work.  We also have Denim Day pins that we have been handing out as a reminder that there is no excuse for rape and that no clothing serves as an invitation to rape.

There is no excuse.  Ever.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center released the following statistics:

  • Every 98 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted
  • 1 in 5 women have been raped
  • 1 in 33 men have been raped

What is it about the world we live in that allows for sexual violence to exist and at an epidemic level?  Answer: Rape culture.

Rape culture is embedded in our society, and lives in our communities. Its pervasiveness reaches the shows and movies we watch, the music we listen to, where we socialize, on the streets, at school and where we work.

More often than not, it’s situations in which sexual assault, rape and general violence are ignored, trivialized, normalized or made into jokes. So how do we as a society perpetuate rape culture?  When 994 out of 1,000 perpetrators walk free, when someone is assaulted every 98 seconds, when entertainers and individuals joke about rape, when men feel entitled to verbally and physically assault women, when men who are victims are ridiculed and dismissed, when we don’t believe or support victims…. That is rape culture!!  

To truly commit to the eradication of sexual violence from our communities, we must address the root cause, and why it happens.  Community members can work to prevent sexual violence by establishing healthy and positive relationships that are based on respect, safety, and equality.  You can be a part of the solution by:

  • Being a role model for respectful behavior to those around you
  • Talking with your children about healthy sexual development and personal boundaries
  • Intervene and speak up when you see inappropriate behavior
  • Report suspected child abuse. Know what to do if you or someone you know suspects a child may be being abused
  • Educate yourself

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY on April 30th at 5:00 p.m. at Bay College – Fornetti Hall for a Candlelight Vigil and Appreciation Ceremony hosted by Caring House.

Together with us, you can demonstrate your support for those impacted by sexual violence as well as acknowledging those who strive to pursue justice for victims.

We will be showing our appreciation for our area’s law enforcement departments and special tributes will be paid to the following for their outstanding dedication:

  • Dickinson County Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Richards
  • Dickinson County Chief Assistance Prosecutor Kristin Kass
  • Kingsford Public Safety Officer Richard Wright
  • Kingsford Public Safety Officer Ryan Pericolosi, and
  • Niagara Police Officer Angie Moreau

Guest speakers will be the Honorable Judge Christopher Ninomiya and the Honorable Judge Thomas Slagle, with special music performed by local youth and a Healing Art Display.  Refreshments will be served.

Domestic Violence Education at Bay De Noc College West Campus

A group of nursing students from Bay De Noc West has been doing a class project about domestic violence.  They are collecting donations for Caring House, they have given a presentation at the college along with advocate Marti Swisher, and they put together a short video about domestic violence.   This wonderful group of students has done a great job and we are very excited to have partnered with them.

If you would like to view the video it has been published on the Caring House Facebook page.

Domestic Violence Power & Control Wheel

It’s been awhile since this was originally posted so we thought we should bring it to the forefront of people’s awareness.

This wheel is used to understand the complicated dynamics of domestic violence and some of the forms it can take.  Domestic violence as you can see is not just physical.

To learn more about the Power and Control Wheel, visit the Home of the Duluth Model online.

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Human Trafficking

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We in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, live in small communities which we think of as fairly safe.  Most of us in no way think there is human trafficking going on in our communities.  We are wrong.  This is not a tragedy that’s happening in another country or state.  According to a 2015 quote by U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Human trafficking is “a growing problem in every county and community in Michigan”.  Michigan as a whole is one of the top five states in the country where trafficking is exploding.  Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world.

The first ever reported case of human trafficking in Michigan was in a tiny town in the Upper Peninsula, director of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force Jane White said.  This past year saw a case of human trafficking prosecuted in Dickinson County.  Human traffickers are drawn to rural areas and small towns.  There is often a smaller police presence and isolated areas, and these criminals feel they have much less chance of getting caught.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. The most common form in the United States is commercial sex.

Indicators of Human Trafficking

Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking:

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Is the person accompanied by someone who insists on telling a story all the time…they are a student, they are a tourist, they are here on a visa and there are a lot of inconsistencies.
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack access to personal identification documents?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.  For your safety and the safety of possible victims, do not confront someone you suspect may be a human trafficker or a victim, report the information you have to the police.

Traffickers look for vulnerable people.  People who are emotionally or psychologically at risk, people who are economically at risk, and people who are isolated.  Trafficking victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Trafficking victims can be men or women, young or old, American or from abroad, with or without legal status. Sometimes these criminals have specific victim requests by their clients…example, blond haired, blue eyed boy around 12 years old.  They use threats, force and false promises to lure their victims in.

Human trafficking is usually a hidden crime.  The victims don’t come forward because they are afraid of their traffickers or even law enforcement.  The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.