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Give To The Max

Faribault’s Hope Center is participating in GIVE TO THE MAX DAY! If you would like to donate to the Hope Center please click on the button on the right and follow the directions. Your support is greatly appreciated.

The Official Hope Center Blog

Capital Campaign Update…

Childhood Girls

Here are our Champions of our Capital Campaign.

We are getting closer to our $10,000 Match, we are over $6,800 so we are almost there!!

And if you want your name on this list contact Erica: estaab (at)  And for those of you who are already there thank you for your support!

Capital Campaign Donors 8.15.17


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Lady Gaga, Stigma and Surviving…

Erica's Camera 5.17.17 4427This winter Lady Gaga told the press that she has PTSD because she was sexually assaulted at age 19, and someone told me what people were saying about the news in town.

“Who does she think she is?” one guy apparently said. “She never fought in a war!” His friend agreed and scoffed at Lady Gaga.

Those words hit me in the gut. I too have PTSD because of sexual assault — and many other incidents of abuse and trauma. There’s clearly a stigma against survivors of sexual violence and there’s also stigma against people wresting with a mental illness like PTSD. Those two stigmas come together to create a unique breed of awfulness.

That stigma says that traumas I have experienced are my fault. Resulting injuries (especially mental injuries like PTSD) should be hidden because who wants to advertise that they are basically weak? Besides, the mental disability confirms that the problem was me in the first place; clearly I was a little crazy all along. I have placed myself beyond the community’s sympathy and protection.

It’s not true. None of that is true. The voice of that stigma is just as disgusting as the abuse itself, and it walks hand in hand with violence against women, justifying it and allowing it to continue.  If survivors are seen as responsible for domestic and sexual violence of violence, then we will never be able to confront the real source of the problem – which is the behavior of abusers and the culture that supports that behavior.

The problem has never been that many of us have come through hell and stood at the edge of the abyss and have gone on to throw ourselves into the work of building fruitful lives with the gut-wrenching effort of scaling a cliff. We sometimes fall or get hurt, and sometimes we look awkward or defeated. With the drive of Olympic athletes, we keep trying. We are, after all, survivors.

We are not the problem. Not me. Not Lady Gaga. Not the throngs of us who are in the same situation, fighting this fight every day as if it were a solitary struggle instead of some hidden, undeclared war right here in our homes and our communities. Survivors have plenty of comrades, even if our shared experience is not always visible. We are here, and as much as it feels otherwise, we are not alone.

Stigma survives because people are afraid. They don’t want to confront their own vulnerability to hurting others or to being hurt by others. Staying in denial is easier, and it lets people feel strong. Feeling strong is not the same as being strong though. We show our strength by looking at the truth, even if it isn’t attractive, and then taking our wounded selves to that sheer cliff and trying again to climb it.

Written by HOPE Center Volunteer Elizabeth O’Sullivan
You can find more of her writing on her website:

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New Protocol Yields Good Results…

When the police come out to a domestic call, it’s a chaotic time. The person who made the call is often traumatized and scared and hurting, and even the most helpful visit from police can leave the person rattled and trying to think of answers to hundreds of questions. What’s going to happen next with the police and courts? Am I going to get kicked out of my apartment because of the police call? What steps can I take to stay safe now? What about the kids? Am I going to have to take off work to go to court now? What decisions do I need to be making?

At the HOPE Center, we help people answer those questions. We know how the court systems work, and we know about other resources in the community that can help at times like this. We give support and encouragement to survivors as they work through many other details and questions, knowing that each survivor knows better than anyone else what will be helpful to her own situation.
We’ve always been answering these questions, but now, thanks to our new Blueprint Program Law Enforcement puts us in touch with survivors of domestic violence before they leave the scene of a domestic – any time day or night. Then our trained advocates can offer support and information at a time when it might be needed the most.

The Faribault Police Department, the Northfield Police Department or the Rice County Sherriff’s Department are all involved with this program. They call one of our trained advocates as they are leaving the scene so we can be available to talk through a survivors’ options even after the police are gone.

Although we are grateful to work with Law Enforcement in this way, we are still independent of them and the court system. Our services are confidential, which means that we don’t report information back to the system unless our client (the survivor) asks us to do that. As always, we are there for survivors first and foremost.

Still, we have found during the first several months of this program, that this new approach has helped survivors communicate better with the police and the court system. Sometimes in the chaos of the police call, important information about a situation doesn’t get passed along. We can recognize that during our conversation with a survivor and help her take the steps she needs to take to communicate with the system. In our experience, we’ve seen survivors being more active in the criminal justice system since we started talking with them as the police leave.

Not all survivors feel like they can work closely with the system, and prosecution sometimes goes ahead without that participation because the state (not the victim) decides whether to press charges in cases of domestic violence. We still work with all survivors, accompanying them through the process and helping them understand what each step means. We are always here to offer support and help with problem solving.

We are so excited about our new collaboration with Law Enforcement and look forward to seeing how it can help ease the pain of domestic violence in Rice County over time.

Written by HOPE Center Volunteer Elizabeth O’Sullivan
You can find more of her writing on her website:

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Give to the Max Day Is Coming!!

GTMD2014Are you ready?

The 6th Annual Give to the Max Day is coming!

Avoid the GTMD rush, you can schedule your donation early so you know you won’t forget!




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Sexual Assault “Not Just A Woman’s Issue”

by: Sara Hart- Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator for HOPE Center

Rape … it can happen anytime, any place. It does not only happen to women, but also to men and children. Rape should not be just a “woman’s issue,” but an issue that our community as a whole needs to address and demand that it will no longer be silenced.
In a recent article it was stated that there has been four sexual assaults reported to Faribault law enforcement since January 2011. HOPE Center has worked with 22 victim/survivors of sexual assault since January 2011. These clients were informed what their options/rights are, may have been placed in safe housing, perhaps assisted in writing an Order for Protection/Harassment Restraining Order, given support during an evidentiary exam, and/or given emotional support.

Read more here.

Posted in General, Sexual Violence | 2 Comments

2nd Annual Scrub for HOPE!

Join us this Saturday from 11-3 as the ACT Center and Carleton Students help clean up Northfield!

The 2nd Annual Scrub for HOPE Car Wash will be in the Econofoods Parking lot at 601 Division Street.

You bring your car they wash that, and your $10 donation will help clean your conscience knowing you helped support a great organization :).  

Everybody walks away clean and happy!

We HOPE to see you there!

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Free Parenting Workshop Tonight!

News from the Northfield Community Initiative…

Behavior Expert Kirk Martin to present on Thursday night!

Don’t forget!  This Thursday (May 19, 2011) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., behavioral expert and parent educator Kirk Martin and his son will be coming to Northfield.  Their workshop is titled, “Ready to Be A Courageous Parent? Stop Defiance, Yelling & Power Struggles.”

This practical, humorous, and life-changing workshop will be held at the Northfield High School Auditorium (1400 Division St. S.).  The event is FREE and open to the public.

Kirk’s advice is designed to provide parents and educators with practical tools that can be used to sidestep power struggles and improve behavior and focus of a child at home and school.

Please don’t miss this wonderful opportunity, made possible by a coalition of local community groups.  For more information about Kirk and his work, please visit:

Find the flyer here.

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Omelet Breakfast Sunday May 15th!!

The Sons of the American Legion

are hosting an Omelet Breakfast

for the benefit of HOPE Center.

Sunday May 15th

American Legion-

112 NE 5th St. Faribault

8:30am – Noon

$7 adults ~ $3.50 for kids 12 and under

Buy your tickets at HOPE Center or at the Door

We HOPE to see you there!!

Thank you for your support

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United Way Fundraiser!

As you know we depend on funding from many sources, one of our much appreciated sources is the United Ways of Faribault and Northfield.  Today (Friday April 29th) the United Way of Faribault is having a fundraiser. 

Good food, good cause what could be better?

Today the Schwan’s Frozen Food Truck is in the United Way of Faribault parking lot (24 W. Division St.) until 6:30pm. Stop by and shop from the truck to help raise money for United Way.

Posted in Collaborative Efforts, Fundraising, General | Leave a comment

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

By Sara Hart, Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator

To many people April is just another month of the year, but Nationally April is recognized and declared Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month. This is a time for us as a community to raise our voices and “Demand a Change, Change of Heart.” It is a time to raise awareness about these two very important issues that DO occur in our community to children, women and men.

1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually assaulted by the age of 18. Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted according to the 2007 National Crime Victimization Survey. To put this in perspective, think of 3 close females and/or 6 close males. One of those females and/or males is more then likely a victim/survivor of sexual assault. As a community we can “Demand a Change, Change of Heart” by speaking to our friends and family members. Break the silence.

I am asked many times throughout the year, “What can I do?” Accept the fact that Sexual Assault and Child Abuse does occur in our community. Speak out about it, educate family and friends, talk to your children about their bodies and what a “safe” and “unsafe” touch is. Who can your child, sibling, niece/nephew tell if someone has touched them inappropriately. Lastly, always believe when someone tells you that they are being or have been sexually or physically assaulted.

April 7, 2011 has been designated as “Wear Blue and Teal Day.” By wearing the colors teal and blue or a ribbon you are showing your support for victim/survivors of Child Abuse and Sexual Assault. You are making a statement that there is no place in our community for Sexual assault and Child Abuse. You are “Demanding a Change, Change of Heart!”

For more information click here.

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