Category: Breaking Barriers in DV

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Breaking Barriers in DV

September Is Deaf Awareness Month

September 14, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Deaf Awareness Month began in September 1958 as International Week of the Deaf, in commemoration of the first World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf. Barrier Free Living (BFL) has a long history of working with Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients and residents at our three domestic violence programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House, BFL Apartments). For many years, Freedom House had hearing social workers and… read more

Freedom House: Working With Children In Our Domestic Violence Shelter

July 17, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is the Assisstant Director of Social Services at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter.  Sara is a licensed social worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2015.  Sara has been a social worker at Freedom House since 2015, where she provides individual and group counseling to adults, children and adolescents. Prior to Freedom House she worked with… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House: June Is Elder Abuse Month

June 15, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is a Senior Social Worker at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter.  Sara is a licensed social worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2015.  Sara has been a social worker at Freedom House since 2015, where she provides individual and group counseling to adults, children and adolescents. Prior to Freedom House she worked with youth in alternatives… read more

Stalking Against Deaf Victims of Domestic Violence

February 15, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
In January 2004, the National Center for Victims of Crime launched National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM) to increase the public's understanding of the crime of stalking. Barrier Free Living team members Nicolyn Plummer and Michelle Reyes take a look at stalking as it relates to Deaf individuals. Nicolyn Plummer is a senior social worker and coordinator of outreach and advocacy of the Deaf Services Initiative, in conjunction with Secret Garden and Freedom House… read more

“Uncomfortable Conversation” Videos Help Break the Cycle Of Domestic Violence

February 13, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
On January 10, 2018, the Barrier Free Living New Visions Blog posted about the launch of “The Uncomfortable Conversation” video series on youtube. These videos grew out of a TEDx talk given by Sarah Beaulieu, herself a survivor of sexual violence as a college student, and sexual molestation as a child. https://youtu.be/ZqL56Ly7sFE Sarah is founder of The Uncomfortable Conversation, Inc., an organization dedicated to normalizing conversations about sexual violence, especially for young men. She also manages the Uncomfortable Conversation… read more

Domestic Violence & Legal Advocacy at Barrier Free Living

February 9, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Residents in BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter are often uncertain about their legal rights. Victims of domestic violence can find the legal system confusing and scary. Our team can advocate for shelter residents, ensuring that all their needs are being met while protecting everyone’s rights involved. Following is a story where our advocacy was crucial in a very difficult case. Survivor’s Story Jean is the mother of two children, Robin (4 years old) and Alexis (2 years old). Jean came… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden Program: Insights On Safety Planning As A Crucial Part of Domestic Violence Counseling

January 30, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: , 0 Comments
For persons involved in abusive relationships, many steps must be taken to ensure their security. Developing a safety plan for residents at both Barrier Free Living's Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter for People with Disabilities, and our Secret Garden domestic violence counseling program, is an essential component of this process. Traditionally persons received a handout of safety guidelines upon receiving services at a domestic violence agency. The safety guidelines include information for de-escalating potential incidents of violence… read more

BFL’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter: Insights On Fleeing To Another State Key Things To Consider

January 29, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Domestic violence victims often face the highest level of danger when they take action to leave an abusive relationship. Carolyn Block’s “How can practitioners help an abused woman lower her risk of death?”* indicates that for 45% of women who were murdered by an abuser, the precipitating factor was her attempt to leave that abuser. Deciding to leave an abusive relationship is a difficult choice and can bring up new and serious risks. At times, it can be in the best… read more

BFL’s Freedom House DV Shelter For People With Disabilities: Talking to Children about Domestic Violence

January 29, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Studies reveal that 80 to 90% of children who live in violent homes are keenly aware of the violence. ("Effects of Domestic Violence on Children," Mediation Quarterly)* The fact is, children often come to programs like Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter and understand more than we may think. The key is finding and developing safe ways for the children to speak about, and heal after experiencing the violence. Children’s exposure to violence can occur in various ways. Some… read more

Pink Shines Light On Accessibility At Grammys While Kesha Creates Powerhouse Moment

January 29, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Pink's moving performance of her song "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken" at the Grammy's this month featured an American Sign Language interpreter delivering the lyrics. Pink was the only performer to do this during the show. The choice was a step toward having those in the deaf and hard of hearing community be a part of understanding each important line from the song. Later in the show, singer Kesha performed "Praying" and her  triumphant… read more

Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter: Five Key Areas of Safety

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Five Key Areas of Safety: A special follow up to An Innovative New Method for Measuring Safety.  The team responds to insights from the initial article on An Innovative New Method for Measuring Safety. The response to the last article was tremendous—ranging from a request for training from The Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, to an invitation to present at the Upper Manhattan Domestic Violence Coalition meeting. What we heard repeatedly from readers and colleagues is that: domestic violence safety planning… read more

Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter: An Innovative New Method for Measuring Safety

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
In this article, Freedom House team members explore methods for measuring safety. Individuals and families fleeing domestic violence can find safety and support at BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter—but their life-long journey to living a ‘safe’ life free of abuse only begins there. A key component of the overall healing experience at Freedom House involves comprehensive safety planning. Whether it’s developing a preparedness plan (always know where vital identification information and important phone numbers are); or building an inner knowledge… read more

Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Family Court: An Advocate’s Guide (Part 2)

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Disability News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
In part two of this article, BFL’s Secret Garden program, looks at ways advocates working with victims of interpersonal violence can maneuver the sometimes stressful family court system. As Discussed in part one of this article, going to Family Court can be part of the healing journey for victims of domestic violence, but court proceedings can also be very stressful. Victims of domestic violence who have a mental health diagnoses face even more hurdles when navigating this daunting system. Following are… read more

Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Family Court: An Advocate’s Guide (Part 1)

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
In part one of a two part article, Barrier Free Living's  Secret Garden domestic violence program looks at ways advocates working with victims of interpersonal violence can maneuver the sometimes stressful family court system. Going to Family Court can be part of the healing journey for victims of domestic violence. Orders of protection, child support, and custody are often part of the process of separating from an abusive partner. Final determination on these topics must often be resolved in… read more

Freedom House Shelter Works With Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

January 26, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Disability News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Blog contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW,  is a Senior Social Worker at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter. Sara is a licensed social worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2015.  Sara has been a social worker at Freedom House since 2015, where she provides individual and group counseling to adults, children and adolescents. Prior to Freedom House she worked with… read more

The Unique Challenges Encountered By Deaf Survivors Of Domestic Violence

January 25, 2018 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Our blog contributor, Aida Colon, MSW, is a Social Worker at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter. She graduated from Lehman College with her Master of Social Work. Prior to Freedom House she worked with cancer patients and families with children at risk of foster placement. Kindness is a language which the Deaf can hear and the Blind can see. Mark Twain For many culturally competent advocates and service providers being kind is not… read more

Safety First: The Importance Of A Website’s Domestic Violence Related “Escape” Button

January 23, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: , 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living features a domestic violence related safety feature on our website. A purple “escape” button is located in the top right hand corner of every page of the site. The button conceals the fact that an individual is on a website offering services to domestic violence survivors. According to the team at our domestic violence counseling program, Secret Garden, the most dangerous time for a domestic violence survivor is when that individual attempts to leave the abusive relationship. The… read more

BFL’s Freedom House Reports On Traumatic Brain Injury As It Relates To Domestic Violence

January 22, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Traumatic Brain Injury and DV Freedom House looks at Traumatic Brain Injury as it relates to Domestic Violence. According to the Center for Disease Control a Traumatic Brain Injury is “a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” It is important as professionals working in the field of domestic violence (DV) that we understand Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as it relates to our work with survivors. Many domestic violence victims who… read more

Service Animals At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter For People With Disabilities

January 22, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, or calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. There is another type of… read more

A Look At Purposeful Parenting: BFL’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

January 22, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
July is National Purposeful Parenting month, which led to a flurry of articles, Facebook posts and Twitter bites regarding the concept. In general, Purposeful Parenting aims to build healthy relationships with children, to understand a child’s development and to help them grow in a way that emphasizes their potential. Being “purposeful” in parenting can include meeting a child’s essential needs (bathing, feeding) or involve more complicated issues of socialization, discipline, and communication. Purposeful Parenting concepts include: Structure and order Responsibility and… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Domestic Violence Program Offers Specialized Trauma Reprocessing Therapy

January 2, 2018 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Contributor Gabrielle is a Social Worker (LMSW) at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Non-Residential Domestic Violence Program. Gabrielle began her work at Secret Garden as a social work intern in 2014. After graduating with her Master’s Degree she joined the team. Gabrielle is currently enrolled in the Trauma Studies Program at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and will soon be certified in the specialized therapy approach outlined in the article below.  It can be difficult… read more

Serving Male Domestic Violence Survivors In Shelter

December 28, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
Sara Eldridge, LMSW, a Senior Social Worker at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter offers her insights on Freedom House's work with male domestic violence survivors. Sara is a licensed social worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2015.  Sara has been a social worker at Freedom House since 2015, where she provides individual and group counseling to adults… read more

Holiday Safety For Survivors of Domestic Violence With Disabilities

December 14, 2017 BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Holidays can traditionally be a time of family gatherings and celebrations. For individuals and families at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter who have left an abusive situation, maintaining safety during the holiday season is crucial. As an agency, Barrier Free Living provides counseling, case management, shelter and housing to people with disabilities, including survivors of domestic violence and homeless individuals. Freedom House is our emergency domestic violence… read more

People With Disabilities Experience Domestic Violence, Too: An FAQ By Sarah Kim

December 8, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
People with Disabilities Experience Domestic Violence, Too: An FAQ Barrier Free Living welcomes writer Sarah Kim who will be contributing articles about domestic violence and disabilities. Sarah Kim: formerly a writer at @dosomething | now: graduate student at Columbia Journalism School | social media: @sarahskkim… read more

Thomas Obrzut Shares His Vision For New BFL Apartments

May 18, 2015 Breaking Barriers in DV Tags: 0 Comments
From Breaking Barriers In Domestic Violence, May 2015 Issue This month’s contributor, Thomas Obrzut (In photo with Denise Shaw)  joined the Barrier Free Living team this spring as Director of our newest vision: Barrier Free Living Apartments, a Supportive Housing Program for people with disabilities in the Bronx, NY. BFL Apartments will be an important step in filling a critical need in New York City.  The program, slated to open summery… read more