by Mary Downer
”Invest in the human soul, who knows it might be a diamond in the rough.”—Mary McLeod Beth
Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone. Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples that are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Most often when people hear the words “sexual assault” they think of rape. One might automatically picture a stranger jumping out of the bushes to rape a woman walking home from work late at night. While it is true that rape by a stranger is a form of sexual assault, it is vital to understand the wide range of unwanted sexual contacts that many people experience. Sexual assault can include child sexual abuse, rape, attempted rape, incest, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, fondling and sexual harassment. While sexual assault can take many forms, it is important to remember that the loss of power and control that a victim of sexual assault experiences is a common thread.
The mission of The Haven is to empower survivors of family violence and sexual assault to live safe, independent and violence-free lives. The Haven is dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence by changing attitudes and beliefs in order for all people to live free from the threat of violence.
Home is Where the Heart Is Spring Gala
April 10, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.
Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center
For more information, call Julie Pellegrin
at 985-872-0757. If you are a victim of
violence or abuse call the Domestic Violence
24 Hour Crisis Hotline at 1-800-915-0045
or the Sexual Assault 24 Hr Crisis Hotline
The Haven is a non-profit agency dedicated to ending the violence in Terrebonne parish and surrounding areas. “The Haven provides the victims and survivors a safe and confidential place to gather without fear,” says Melissa Williams, training coordinator at The Haven. “We are a safe haven, a sanctuary against the violence. Here they will find others that understand what they are going through. The Haven is a place to rebuild your life without the violence and abuse.”
Organized in an effort to financially support The Haven and their mission, The Haven hosts an annual spring gala every spring. This year The Haven will celebrate it’s12th annual gala. Home is Where the Heart Is Spring Gala is being held at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center on April 10, 2010, beginning at 6:30 p.m. “Our goal is for people to have a good time, to enjoy themselves, while helping to raise money for a fantastic cause,” says Williams. A major part of the funding for The Haven comes through money raised at this event. Those in attendance will be able to sample delicious delicacies from over 20 local restaurants, participate in a large silent auction that includes several surprise Saints items, and be entertained by local musicians.