Mar 22, 2016

Volunteering and Disclosure

Question: How old do I have to be to volunteer with ATVP?

Ask An Advocate: While hotline volunteers have to be 18 years old at the time of their first shift, ATVP does have several opportunities for younger people to collaborate with us.
Currently, Heydon is in charge of a program specifically aimed at getting Moscow youth (13-18yrs.) involved in the work of creating a social change to end power-based violence.  If that sounds like a worthwhile pursuit for you (and your college/job transcripts), please e-mail for more info.

Question: What can I do if I'm too scared to tell someone about what I've been through? 

Ask An Advocate: Talking about your experiences can be difficult.  However, the issues that we work with thrive on silence and showing them to the light of day takes some of the power away from those hurts.

To that end there are several options:

*You can always call our hotline (208)883-4357 or (509)332-4357.  We do accept anonymous calls, so you don't have to share your name or age with the hotline advocate, unless you want to.
We are mandated reporters, so there are a few limits on our confidentiality: 1) imminent danger to self or others (homicidal or suicidal intent with plans on how to carry it out), 2) On-going child or vulnerable adult abuse.  If you get close to our confidential bounds, our advocates will usually let you know.  Again, you can always call anonymously and/or speak in hypotheticals. At the end of the day, we're here to help everyone have safer and happier relationships.

*If you'd rather text someone, you can try the Crisis Text Line, just text START to 741-741.  Many of their users are teens, in fact.  Like ATVP, the Crisis Text Line is a mandated reporter agency.

* There's also Teen Life Line 602-248-8336 (TEEN)

* For LGBTerrific Youth, there's the Trevor Project 866-488-7386

*Trans Specific resources are available at Trans Lifeline 877-565-8860

Mar 15, 2016

Safe Calls, Boundaries, and Assertiveness

Q: Would it be a good idea to tell my friends about my date I’m going on and if I’m not back to call me to make sure I’m ok?

AskAnAdvocate: Yes, definitely! The term for this arrangement is a "Safe Call."  As described in the linked article, a Safe Call has a few specific details ahead of time:
  1. The physical address(es) of where you plan to go.
  2. The full legal name of the person/people you're meeting.
  3. A predetermined time that you will call them by. 
  4. A code word to text or say if you aren't freely making your call.  
The "Safe Call" person is understood to IMMEDIATELY call local law enforcement or some other agreed upon response system if you don't call at the predetermined time.  

Q: Angie* has a boyfriend she loves to hangout with. Angie suspects her housemate is in love with her and jealous of Angie's boyfriend. So what would you suggests to them?

AskAnAdvocate: Great question!  We all know that things can be complicated with our housemates, but the key to any healthy relationship is open communication, especially around boundaries and expectations.  
I would suggest to Angie to be brave and bring up her concerns to her housemate.  Schedule a time to talk when you and your housemate won't be distracted by other things.  Maybe try your favorite coffee shop or deli.  
Even though it might feel strange, bring a note card or piece of paper with what you want to go over - not only will this help you stay on-point should your conversation be uncomfortable, but it will also be a reminder to hit all points you want to cover.  
Practice assertiveness using x,y,z statements like "I feel [x], when you [behavior y], at [time z]". 
For more information on assertiveness and boundaries, check out this article from 

*As with all of our posts, any names or identifying information has been changed to protect anonymity.

Mar 10, 2016

A New Project

This is a new project for us at Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, and I can't promise we'll be the best blog on the web right out of the gate, BUT!  I can promise that we'll bring you no nonsense answers to the questions that courageous teens and community members have sent our way.

A big thank you to the students at Moscow High School for asking if this is a project we'd be willing to do.  You all give us hope for a brighter, more equitable, and informed future.