Human Services Council Launches New Campaign For COLA

HSC has launched a new campaign to advocate for a comprehensive Cost of Living Adjustment from the State. Over the next four months HSC, in coordination with the lobbying firm Malkin & Ross, will be developing and launching a Campaign that will focus on building targeted support for a comprehensive policy to address the rising costs and impact of inflation on our industry. We must take advantage of the current election cycle to elevate the need for these critical state investments. To make this campaign successful, we need you.

To find out more and to pledge your support, click here.

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Blogger Jenni Cowley’s Take On Emotional Abuse

Blogger Jenni Cowley is a former social worker who, after a career sabbatical to raise her two youngsters, decided to begin blogging about about mental health topics.

Emotional Abuse – Can It Cause Longer Lasting Damage than Domestic Abuse?

Statistics show that approximately one in four women living in America will suffer from domestic abuse at some point in their lives. Sadly, many women stay in abusive relationships long after the first violent act has been committed against them.  This is a pattern which is all too common with victims of domestic abuse and it begs the question ‘why stay?’. The answer is far more complex than people realize, with violence often an outcome which is preceded by long term emotional devastation. The fact is, those individuals who abuse their partners do so from a need to quell their own insecurities and physical violence is just one way in which their own psychological problems manifest.  Likewise, where physical scars heal over time, emotional scars can take years – decades – to become less painful.  A victim of domestic violence may learn to trust new partners in future but learning to trust their own emotions whilst having faith in their own talents and abilities can take far longer. This article aims to take a closer look at the devastation caused by emotional abuse and asks if the healing process is the same for each victim.

What is Emotional Abuse?

Put simply, emotional abuse is anything that hurts the feelings of another person. In relationships, it commonly manifests as verbal put-downs and insults, backhanded compliments and fear based manipulation. Examples include; “You are no good at doing that and nobody likes you”, “You look much better with more make-up” and “one of these days I will leave you and you will be alone for ever because nobody will want you”.  Emotional abuse can also manifest with a look or a tone of voice – basically, if it hurts your feelings or upset you in anyway, it is probably damaging your self esteem and therefore can be classed as emotional abuse.

What Are the Long Term Effects of Emotional Abuse?

Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘self- fulfilling prophecy?’ This phrase is key within the formation of a physically abusive relationship and goes some way to explain why so many victims stay with abusive partners for so long.  A self fulfilling prophecy is a belief which comes true because somebody else says it will. If we transpose this into an abusive relationship, it is easy to see why victims believe what their abuser is telling them – if they are consistently told they are no good, useless, can’t function alone  etc then it stands to reason that their behavior will ultimately reflect the abuser’s conviction despite the illogical and untrue nature of such statements. The effects of hearing such statements (and believing them) is to undermine the victim’s often fragile self esteem, resulting in an innate questioning of any positive assumptions previously held. Such shattering of an individual’s self-esteem can also result in behavioral changes which often manifest as serious addiction and substance abuse problems as a coping mechanism. Such addictions expose the user to potentially devastating health problems like HIV, Hepatitis C liver failure or even death –  and this clearly shows that emotional abuse can be at least as (if not more) damaging than physical violence.

Healing from Emotional Abuse

The healing process for both domestic violence and emotional abuse is similar and focuses on re-building the individual’s self esteem whilst trying to change core negative beliefs which have resulted from the abusive relationship. Many psychologists eschew the virtues associated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a means of challenging negative beliefs and changing thought patterns although support groups and group therapy can often be of great benefit to the victim. The most crucial element of recovery from emotional and physical abuse is distance between you and the person who is abusing you. Those who leave abusive relationships frequently express profound relief that they have finally made the leap from victim to survivor and it is once a physical distance is in place that psychological and emotional healing can begin in earnest. It may take years to undo the damage caused by an abusive partner but those who have made the journey are stronger, happier and wiser and are truly inspirational to us all.


Help ‘ Emotional abuse and addiction’ Accessed 20th May 2014

Sober Recovery ‘Alcoholism as coping mechanism’ Accessed 20th May 2014

Addiction Treatment Magazine ‘Addiction and domestic violence’ Accessed 20th May 2014

Dr Phil ‘How to tell if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship’ Accessed 20th May 2014

Cognitive Therapy New York ‘Cognitive Therapy America’ Accessed 20th May 2014

Emotional ‘Healing from emotional abuse’ Accessed 20th May 2014 ‘Health problems caused by addiction’ Accessed 20th May 2014

STD Panels ‘HIV as a result of addicton’ Accessed 20th May 2014 ‘Effects of emotionally abusive relationship’ Accessed 20th May 2014

Psychology Today  Self fulfilling prophecies’ Accessed 20th May 2014

Psychology Today ‘Effects of emotional abuse’ Accessed 20th May 2014

Safe ‘ Statistics USA Domestic violence’ Accessed 20th May 2014–abuse-53/domestic-violence-statistics–facts-195.html

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Free Adapted Swim Program for People with Disabilities

Free Adapted Swim Program for People with Disabilities

Week of July 8 – Week of August 22

The Adapted Aquatics program is free and offers two activities:

1. Aquatic exercise therapy that ranges from gentle water walking to aerobic-type exercise which improves range of motion, flexibility, mobility, muscle tone, coordination, focus and strength.

2. Swim instruction that focuses on becoming comfortable in the water and learning basic swimming and safety skills.

For more information or to register call (718) 760-6969 ext. 0 or visit


Astoria Pool

19th Street & 23rd Drive

Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.



Lyons Pool 

Victory Boulevard & Pier 6

Mondays – Thursdays

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


McCarren Pool

776 Lorimer Street

Tuesdays & Thursdays

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


Sunset Park Pool

7th Avenue at 43rd Street

Tuesdays & Thursdays



Hamilton Fish Pool

E. Houston & Pitt Streets

Tuesdays & Thursdays

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.


Mullaly Pool

E. 165th Street between Jerome & River Aves.

Tuesdays & Thursdays

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

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Adaptive Surfing Clinic For People With Spinal Cord Injury July 27

On Sunday, July 27th, 2014 Wheeling Forward and Life Rolls On will be having a ”They Will Surf Again” adaptive surfing clinic at Rockaway Beach @ Beach 67 Street in Queens, NY for adults and children affected by spinal cord injury from 8am - 3pm . This will be a thrilling one-of-a-kind experience for the disability community.

Here’s a short video about adaptive surfing & see pictures of adaptive surfing here

Volunteers and participants can register at

On the sign up page, volunteers will be asked how they’d like to volunteer or participate (land, shallow, mid, or deep water), depending on their preference, we will assign them to a team of volunteers that will be assisting the surfers.

Life Rolls On is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury and utilizes action sports as a platform to demonstrate the infinite possibilities beyond paralysis.


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