The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Faces of Domestic Violence

October 18, 2012

State expert says community needs to stand up against domestic violence

ANDERSON, Ind. — Preventing domestic violence isn’t just a nice vision; it can be a reality, state domestic violence expert Colleen Yeakle said.

Yeakle, along with several other members of the community, will be participating in a community forum Tuesday, Oct. 23, to show parents, teens and other community members what they can do to make Madison County a better, safer place.

“For so long people have thought about domestic violence as something that is inevitable,” said Yeakle, coordinator of the Indiana Coalition of Domestic Violence’s prevention initiative. “It is part of our culture, but our culture is us. Everyone has the opportunity to influence, the power to take a stand and say these aren’t our values.”

The message Yeakle hopes to share as the featured speaker at Tuesday’s forum at Anderson High School, 4610 S. Madison Ave., is one of hope.

The domestic violence activism movement began about 35 years ago with a strong focus on intervention — what can be done to react to the epidemic of family violence and how to help those in that situation. And while that is a critical component, Yeakle said the idea of prevention was often forgotten.

“We were saying, ‘We have to end this violence,’ but we were less prepared to do it or to know how,” she said. “But we can. We do it by addressing social norms that engage the violence.”

A community needs to work together with a common goal of saying, “We won‘t tolerate it,” she said.

“We need to sweat the small stuff,” Yeakle said. “We can’t let abusive behaviors go by in school — abusive language and behaviors aren’t OK with us. We need to address social norms and respectable behavior with organizations, schools and the community where youth and adults spend their time. We need to emphasize healthy and respectable relationships at home, in the community and in the workplace.”

She said if the entire community is on the same page and is successful in fostering those expectations, then it will be harder and harder for individuals to choose to abuse because everyone will be saying together, “It is not OK with us.”

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Faces of Domestic Violence
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    The elimination of abuse in relationships — with time, cooperation and commitment — is possible, said Colleen Yeakle, coordinator of the Indiana Coalition of Domestic Violence’s (ICADV) prevention initiative.

    October 27, 2012 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Legislation comes a long way, but more change needed

    Each year the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence sets its legislative priorities based on year-round discussions with its members and legislators to see what needs are out there and what is going on in the field.

    October 27, 2012

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    While some may think the atmosphere at Alternatives, the Anderson domestic violence shelter, would be a somber one, instead it is a building filled with laughter and joy.

    October 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • Gissendanner, Kristy.jpg Kristy Gissendanner: 'Vivacious and sweet'

    Six-day-old Gabrielle Gissendanner and her 18-month-old brother Michael weren’t far from their mom when Harry Gissendanner shot and killed Kristy in their Anderson home in 2004.

    October 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • John Davis: ‘Defined by your actions and inactions’

    John Davis wants his pain to make a difference. He’s hopeful sharing what he experienced and witnessed growing up will empower someone else to leave a dangerous situation or avoid it altogether.

    October 27, 2012

  • ‘It was life-altering’

    Casey Huffman should have taken her son Camdon to his first day of kindergarten this year. She should be picking out a Halloween costume for him. She should be thinking about how to help him achieve his hopes and dreams. Instead, Casey mourns over his all-too-early death.

    October 27, 2012

  • Tomlinson, Tina.tif Tina Tomlinson: 'She was a hoot'

    Tina Tomlinson was just “plain fun,” her family recalled. The mother of two and dedicated grandmother was someone family could look to for a good time.

    October 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 1024 news Domestic violence forum 108a.jpg Domestic violence prevention is possible, expert says

    Gender stereotypes are just one thing that Todd Cawthorn and five other speakers, during a 90-minute panel discussion Tuesday night, talked about that create an environment where domestic violence is accepted.

    October 23, 2012 3 Photos

  • 1023 news Dating violence talk 33a.jpg Teens can be victims of domestic violence, too

    Dating violence has been seen locally in relationships as young as sixth grade, Alternatives Inc. prevention specialist Todd Cawthorn said.

    October 22, 2012 2 Photos

  • 1021 news pendleton town court 020.jpg Justice for victims

    While a protective order is an important piece of the legal puzzle that domestic violence victims have to solve, Judge Stephen Clase stresses to each that it is, after all, “just a piece of paper.” “They won’t stop a knife or a bullet,” he said. “I tell them they need to be on guard at all times.”

    October 20, 2012 1 Photo

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Online Extras
  • Where to find help

    Alternatives Inc., 24-hour crisis line
    (765) 643-0200 or (866) 593-9999
    Kandi Floyd, Christy Clark, Dara Tracy -- victim’s advocates
    Victims Assistance Program, Madison County Sheriff’s Department
    (765) 646-4078 or (765) 646-4079
    Gay Doss, Jaime Wilhoite -- victim assistance providers
    Victim Assistance Program, Madison County Prosecutor‘s Office
    (765) 641-9673
    Melinda Padgett, Karla Montgomery, Alison Lutz, Gracie Roman, Laura Evans -- victim assistance providers
    Victim Assistance Unit, Anderson Police Department
    (765) 648-6773, Lessa Johnson, Christy Jones -- victim assistance specialists
    Sowers of Seeds Counseling, Batters’ Intervention Program
    (765) 649-3452
    Vaughn Walker -- supervisor

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