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Showing posts from September, 2016

Brains Thrive on Happiness

Making happiness our goal may seem like a shallow aim when we have survived domestic violence, sexual assault, or any kind of crime that leaves us feeling defenseless, vulnerable, and afraid.  Worrying about our safety and the safety of our children and loved ones may seem not only justifiable but the only sane thing to do. 
However, the kind of happiness that I am referring to is the kind that provides a sound basis for building a positive future.  This kind of happiness is good for our mental health, gives us hope that we need for recovery, and helps us come out the other side of all the dreadful things that have happened and live productive, meaningful lives characterized by love, freedom, fun, and belonging.  Having personally witnessed the power of happiness to aid recovery from all the harmful things that life can throw our way, I was pleased to find an article in Business Insider that promoted the idea that neuroscience has basically uncovered the same theory. 
In my own words, I…

Silence Is Not Consent

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These photographs speak to me strongly about consent and language.  There are no words, only images, yet all of us can tell that these are not consensual encounters.  Many people who speak out against affirmative consent say that asking every five minutes doesn’t make people feel sexy.  I personally don’t believe asking “is this ok?”  disrupts anything, but for argument’s sake, I will help people read body language.  If someone is gripping your wrist or pushing your hands away, that means you should ask if they want you to continue.  If someone is lying completely still, that means you should ask if they want you to continue.  If from your perspective, someone seems to be enjoying it, ask if they want to continue.  Just keep asking!  If the other person is enjoying the encounter, you get to hear "yes, good job!  Keep going!"  If the person is not, STOP!  You get to save yourself and the other person from a terrible experience.  I understand that as an advocate, I look at th…

Foster Care and Human Trafficking

Recently, I’ve learned about a strong connection between foster care and human trafficking that I had never really thought about before. Children who are in the system are being trafficked, sometimes by foster care parents and sometimes by others outside the home. To traffickers, these children are seen as unwanted, disposable kids, which make them a good target. They’ve often already experienced abuse, and they’re less likely to have someone come after them if they go missing.  According to “T,” (Withelma Ortiz Walker Pettigrew) a young activist who was in foster care from birth to age 18 and trafficked for 7 of those years, many foster care parents care more about the paycheck and make that known to the children in their homes. With this mentality, children quickly become used to the idea that their worth is limited, and they are only good for someone else’s monetary gain (Saar, 2014). “T” states, “The most stable relationship I had while in foster care was with my pimp and his fam…

New Staff at Transitions of PA!

Transitions of PA is growing!

We have recently hired two new Legal Advocates to serve Union and Northumberland Counties. These individuals will assist victims navigate the justice system, file for protection orders, and provide civil and criminal court accompaniment.

Bernadette F. is the new Legal Advocate for Union County.  She is a 2015 graduate of Bloomsburg University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations.  Bernadette is excited to embark on this new career journey. With a background in domestic violence and sexual assault from a college internship, Bernadette is very passionate about the field and looks forward to gaining more experience.   SHe is eager to take on projects where she can further utilize her mass communications skills. 


Kim L. is the new Legal Advocate for Northumberland County. She graduated from Line Mountain High School and currently resides in Paxinos. She has been married for 14 years and has two children. She spent the last eight years working as the admi…