Service Day Reflection

Service Day Reflection

October 4, 2021 Uncategorized 39

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Our second day of service was spent with Unity House of Troy supporting their block party for Domestic Violence. After spending the day at Unity House, what is something that you learned that you hadn’t already known, whether it was about the nonprofit or domestic violence.

There are many different forms of domestic violence. Look up the different types and tell us about the one that interested or surprised you the most. Unfortunately, domestic violence is more common than many people think. What are ways to identify domestic violence, to seek help, or spread awareness?   

39 Responses

  1. Maura+Lynch says:

    Although I was not at service day, a very important way to raise awareness and help those suffering from DV is to ensure medical professionals are properly screening their patients for it. I’ve witnessed many skip past this screening because they assume the patient is not going through it, while a medical professional may be one of the few people this person can open up to.

  2. Tori Mangelli says:

    I enjoyed our service day at Unity House and learned a lot of new information. One thing I learned is that every year one out of three women who are a victim of homicide is murdered by their current or former partner, which is extremely alarming and upsetting. It’s terrifying to think that one of the people you are supposed to trust the most in this world is capable of quite literally killing you. As I was looking up the forms of domestic abuse, I saw emotional abuse and intimidation, which somewhat surprised me because I usually think of it in a purely physical sense. This is any behavior that exploits another’s vulnerability, insecurity, or characters such as continuous degradation, manipulation, brainwashing, control, and intimidation. Using this definition, I feel like a lot of women are in abusive relationships that they don’t recognize it because I feel like emotional domestic violence is often overlooked compared to physical violence. As a friend or family member, it is important to notice differences in your loved ones when they enter or leave a relationship and see if there’s anything odd about their behavior. You can reach out to local organizations such as Unity House or professionals that may be better able to help you handle your situation.

  3. Kayla McKay says:

    During the last service day weekend, I learned a lot about Unity House. Before going to the event, I did not know a lot about Unity House of Troy. However, this event exposed me to the array of resources and support that is provided through the nonprofit with domestic violence. The knowledge that I gained from participating in the event, was that Unity House offers housing opportunities and legal support for women that are trying to transition out of being in a toxic environment or household. Something that was also enlightening about the nonprofit is that they provide other community resource programs that include the Family and Neighborhood Resource Center and Food Pantry/ Basics for Babies Pantry.

    Unfortunately, there are numerous types of domestic violence that all put a person’s physical and mental state in jeopardy. The one type of domestic violence that stood out to me the most was the tactic of isolation. Isolation is interesting to see in domestic violence because it makes the individual feel alone and feels dependent on their abuser. This is sad to see because it makes the situation more toxic difficult to get out of or reach out for help. It also makes the victim feel alone, lose the ability to advocate for themselves, and make their thoughts feel invalid.

    Common ways to identify domestic violence is when the abuser is objectifying an individual rather than seeing them for a person. Another common sign is when the abuser isolates one from their loved ones or close friends to cut off all access to outside opinions. Ways to help spread awareness about the topic are by talking about it more and listening to victims’ and survivors’ stories and spread the word.

  4. Katie Lindsay says:

    I learned from a Unity House employee – who happens to be a Siena college graduate from the class of 2009 – that they are the largest domestic violence shelter in the county. I learned about what types of programs and services they offer around topics like adoption, sheltering women of all ages, feeding families for Thanksgiving and at Christmas gifting to families in need. She discussed with me that the organization could use more volunteers and public outreach as well. I didn’t know that this group has been holding the Third Annual Conference for Awareness and Prevention: A Web-based Series which is a series of Zoom webinar conferences providing a space for discourse within their community every Thursday 10am-12pm this month. I really enjoyed seeing from the stands at the Block Party, the employees in attendance, and on the Unity House website how the organization is truly centering itself around the victim and their needs and increasing public conversation and understanding of domestic violence to make change.

    There are many different forms of domestic violence. Look up the different types and tell us about the one that interested or surprised you the most.
    The types of domestic violence are, according to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, “control, physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional Abuse & Intimidation, Isolation, Verbal Abuse: Coercion, Threats, & Blame, Using Male Privilege, and Economic Abuse” and stalking ( We often think of physical and emotional abuse as the only types of domestic abuse because those are a couple of the most well known and most recognizable types. For this reason, I was surprised to learn about economic abuse and using male privilege because they were completely new concepts to me but seem just as important indicators of domestic violence and how male privilege conditions some men to demonstrate such harmful behavior.

    What are ways to identify domestic violence, to seek help, or spread awareness?
    We can spread awareness by self-educating on this topic, viewing webinars and going to trainings helps. One can circulate information or brochures, educate others and be open to discussion to break the stigma. Attending more events at domestic violence shelters / prevention organizations such as Unity House, volunteering with them, donating to those foundations and checking out the Unity House and sites for more action steps can inform people on how to support victims.

  5. Stephanie Da Fonseca says:

    I learned a lot about Unity House because I didn’t know much about it. They offer many services such as housing and legal support for the women to escape these difficult situations. The block party offered many resources such as opportunities to meet people who serve and work at unity house, there were opportunities to train for Narcan and receive it for free that could save people in dire situations.
    There are many signs of abuse that arent just bruises and marks through the body, there is emotional abuse, manipulation, isolation from the rest of the world. When you are family or closely related to the person you can notice behavior changes among others.

  6. Brianna Rodriguez says:

    After spending the day at Unity House, something I learned was that Unity House offers services relating to housing and legal support. I didn’t really know what type of work was done at Unity House, but I knew that they offered services relating to domestic violence. It was very interesting learning how far their support stretched in the Capital Region.

    One type of domestic violence that interested me the most was the use of male privilege. The idea of using male privilege as a form of domestic violence enforces the idea that men have dominion over women, which allows men to abuse women in any and all forms with the possibility of having little to no consequences. Even though not all women have experienced domestic violence, male privilege instills a sense of fear in a majority of women that men can become violent with them at any moment. In turn, this forces women to live everyday life taking precautions to prevent them from getting into these situations. We can prevent this form of domestic violence by not letting men get away with committing these acts solely because they have male privilege. Men will continue to abuse women and be practically untouched if society just accepts the fact that women are likely to get domestically abused by men. Dismantling the ideas that men have any sort of dominion over women and putting an end to sexist beliefs will also help put an end to men committing domestic violence against women.

  7. Jackson+Regan says:

    Working at the Unity House block party, I learned that there is a legal side to domestic violence aid groups. Before that day, I was under the impression that domestic violence help centers focused more on the physical aspects of shelter and safety, rather than the legal end of things.

    One type of domestic violence that I didn’t previously know about was the high rate of injury. A lot of focus is devoted to domestic violence, but sometimes it feels like there is more of a highlight on rape, stalking and murder, when in reality physical assault is the leading cause of injury for women ages 15-44, according to a study released in Congress during the writing of the Violence Against Women Act.

    The two best ways to prevent domestic violence are a stable home environment as a child, and teaching one’s children two things: how to be a good partner in a relationship and what to do to get out of a bad relationship.

  8. Jack McKenna says:

    Before service day I didn’t know Unity House worked with domestic violence cases. I knew they served families and woman in need, people living in poverty, mental health cases, but not domestic violence. So that was a huge thing I learned, that I feel like I should’ve already known.

    The type of domestic violence that surprised me the most was economic abuse. It isn’t one that I’ve learned out before or was really aware of. I know historically that’s what marriage was about, and why divorce rates were so low. But now it’s a form of abuse, and a very dangerous one. Not physically, but it traps your significant other and makes them dependent on you, and that’s a slippery slope into other forms of control and abuse as well. It’s also absolutely terrifying, there’s a horror movie about that exact thing. I think the scariest part is that it would be so hard to get out of. Not just financially but emotionally because anyone who would do that is definitely someone that’s manipulative and abusive in other ways. It’s scary that for some people, that’s their reality. I think it’s especially difficult to identifying this type of domestic abuse, you really need to know the couple in order to notice it. Another reason it’s so scary. I think also that the best way to help and spread awareness is make it more widely talked about. I bet a lot of people in that situation don’t realize or don’t see it as abuse. So by labeling it appropriately they can get help.

  9. Erin Spence says:

    After attending the service day at Unity House, I learned a lot more about the community that the organization has created. We spent some of the morning walking from table to table, and it was amazing to see how many other organizations Unity House is connected to. They are so involved in the community they are a part of, and this was something I was not aware of before.

    To find out more about the different types of domestic violence, I went to the website of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. This organization has a lot of great information about various examples of abuse and how people can get involved to help. When I was reading through the different examples of domestic violence that they described, I found it interesting that isolation was included. After reading the description, it makes sense that it is categorized in that way. While this may not necessarily be physical violence, it is still abuse. By keeping a victim from doing the things that they want to do and going to the places they want, they are isolated from the resources they need to remove themselves from the relationship or situation. I think the information that is provided on this website is really helpful. In addition to their basic definitions, they also offer education and training for those who want to learn more. Because it is open to the public, anyone has the ability to learn about these topics. I think the more people learn, the less prominent this type of abuse and violence will be.

  10. Kimberly Lopez says:

    For our service day at Unity House, I was able to help the community but more importantly, the community helped me. Domestic violence is a very delicate topic, being able to partake in the block party opened my eyes to new information that I didn’t know. For example, the Unity House in Troy is the largest domestic violence shelter in the county. Unity house is doing a great job spreading awareness for families that suffer from domestic violence. The paintings on the walls spoke to me, I feel like many people can relate to the paintings and they can serve as a motivation to seek help or have hope that they can get out of the situation. There are many types of domestic violence, Verbal abuse is a form of domestic violence. People that suffer verbal abuse at home more often view themselves as less and unworthy, at the block party there was a stand where they had mental health awareness service for families. This topic is sensitive but nonetheless, it must be spoken so that the people who suffer from domestic violence get the help and justice they deserve.

    • Erin Spence says:

      Kimberly, I’m so glad you got so much out of this service day! I also really love the paintings on the outside of their building. They share such amazing messages that I think everyone needs to hear once in a while.

  11. Samantha Lunt says:

    After attending the Unity House event I learned a lot more about Unity House and what they do. One thing that stood out to me was along with all the services they offer, they have many amazing volunteers that help them each and everyday. It was truly amazing to see all of these people come together to raise awareness.

    Recently, I watched a show on Netflix called “Maid” which is about a women who is being abused by her boyfriend and she makes the decision that it is no longer safe for her and her daughter to stay. Throughout the show more and more is uncovered about their relationship and the abuse that she suffered. One thing that stood out to me in the show was the isolation that the abuser created. He had taken away her credit card, because she had forgotten to pay a bill. Which is a form of financial abuse, he was emotional abusive and would lash out. He did not let her work and she did not have a car. Which is isolating her from family and friends because most days she would stay home with her daughter. All of these forms of domestic violence were ones that I had not heard of before and I think this show helps to bring awareness to them. I think a show like this is one way to spread awareness and just across social media platforms as a whole. Also, with organizations like Unity House hosting events is another way to spread awareness.

  12. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    After spending the day at Unity House’s block party for Domestic Violence, I was overwhelmed with a sense of admiration. It was truly inspiring to see so many people come together for a pressing issue. That day, I learned that Unity House helps victims of domestic violence in many ways.

    One type of domestic violence is economic. Some people are guilted into staying in unhealthy relationships because their abusive partner controls all the money and, without them, the victim of domestic violence would be on the streets with nothing. After looking up the different types of domestic violence, Planned Parenthood’s website popped up first. Before doing this research, I had no idea that Planned Parenthood has a 24/7 Survivor Support Service. This is truly remarkable. In terms of spreading awareness, I think it is important to first acknowledge the many different forms of domestic violence and spread that knowledge to those who may not be educated on this topic.

    • Erin Spence says:

      Nancy, I agree, I was also so happy to see the number of people that came out to support such an amazing organization that is fighting for justice for victims of this type of abuse. I researched some information on economic abuse as well and learned something new in this area.

  13. Abby James-Vickery says:

    Attending Unity House’s event was a great experience and was very eye opening. It was nice to see so many different people come together for such an important issue. One thing I learned was that Unity House has so many different types of service that they offer. I also enjoyed talking to some of the people at the tables to hear about their services and how their organization can help in various ways when it comes to domestic violence. Overall, it was a very beneficial service day and we were able to learn a lot from it.

    I looked up the different types of domestic violence and one that stood out to me was Isolation. I have never thought about that in relation to domestic violence. Isolation is controlling what the person does, where they go, what they do, what they read, what they wear, who they see, etc. Abusers often justify this with jealousy. This form of abuse is an extreme form of emotional abuse, and is easy to go undetected. I think it is extremely important to raise awareness for all the different types of domestic violence and think it is very important that we went to Unity House, so that we could educate ourselves more on the issue.

    • Samantha Lunt says:

      Hi Abby, thank you for sharing and taking the time to do this research. Im glad that you enjoyed your time at Unity Houses event. I had also never really thought about Isolation and you bring up important points about how abusers will isolate their victims but emotionally and with physical isolation.

  14. Cody Romani says:

    Domestic violence is a major problem in the United States and throughout the world. It was a great experience serving with Unity House of Troy at their block party for domestic violence awareness. Unity House of Troy does such amazing work and truly makes a difference in the community. Those who suffer from domestic violence need help and Unity House of Troy provides that necessary assistance. After serving at Unity House, I learned that there are many organizations that help those who are victims of domestic violence such as Equinox. Also, during CDI it was great to learn more about the domestic violence program from Jaime. It is amazing that there is a 24 hour hotline too because many domestic violence instances happen at night.

    Unfortunately, domestic violence is prevalent in many communities. There are many forms of domestic violence such as emotional and verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse. I hear the most about physical abuse. Emotional and verbal abuse as well as financial abuse really stand out to me. Words can go a long way and really damage a person’s mental health. This is the case for many victims of domestic violence. Financial abuse is when abusers have all the bank accounts in their possession. This is very scary and controlling. Overall, there needs to be more conversations about domestic violence. Also, there needs to more trainings and conversations about healthy relationships and taking care of one another.

  15. Abeer Jafri says:

    The event on Saturday was a great time, and I am fortunate to be serving at Unity House’s DV office this semester. I really enjoyed doing face-painting, it was so nice to be able to put smiles on the faces of children in the community. It is great that we can come together as a community to help their mission at events like block parties, and celebrate the people who put so much effort into helping victims of something as awful as domestic violence.

    During my service, both directly through clients and from reading case files, I am exposed to learning about many forms of domestic violence that may arise. A surprising one is financial and emotional manipulation, in which a family member controls or withholds finances, ultimately preventing the victim from having access to his or her funds. This comes with emotional manipulation, which may include guilt-tripping, ultimatums, and threatening. This part is difficult, because it can be hard for victims to recognize and differentiate the fact that this is abuse, even though it is not physical. Domestic violence/abuse can be recognized by noticing the signs when people talk about their relationships, and more awareness in general should be spread so people can catch these issues. There are many resources for help, including hotlines, chats, and walk-in offices, like Unity House’s.

    • Cody Romani says:

      Hi Abeer. It is really great that you are serving at the Unity House Domestic Violence office this semester. You and the other workers are fighting for victims of domestic violence each day. You bring up some great points about financial and emotional abuse. I can see how victims may have difficulty understanding that these are forms of domestic abuse. I also like how you highlight domestic violence resources too!

  16. Chandler+Edbauer says:

    October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Our second day of service was spent with Unity House of Troy supporting their block party for Domestic Violence. After spending the day at Unity House, what is something that you learned that you hadn’t already known, whether it was about the nonprofit or domestic violence.
    I learned Unity House was more branched out than I previously thought. They are very involved in the community and I barely knew of what they did. I thought it was nice that they were there helping the community and giving people the support they need.
    There are many different forms of domestic violence. Look up the different types and tell us about the one that interested or surprised you the most. Unfortunately, domestic violence is more common than many people think. What are ways to identify domestic violence, to seek help, or spread awareness?
    Financial abuse is a way to control the victim through the manipulation of economic resources.
    Controlling the family income and either not allowing the victim access to money or rigidly limiting their access to family funds. This may also include keeping financial secrets or hidden accounts, putting the victim on an allowance or allowing the victim no say in how money is spent, or making them turn their paycheck over to the perpetrator. Causing the victim to lose a job or preventing them from taking a job. The abuser can make the victim lose their job by making them late for work, refusing to provide transportation to work, or by calling/harassing/calling them at work.
    Spending money for necessities (food, rent, utilities) on nonessential items (drugs, alcohol, hobbies.)
    Prevent it by teaching people about the issue and reaching out to others. It does not have to be a personal fight and others can always help.

  17. Serving at the Unity House of Troy block party was a really fun experience. One of the things I love most about Bonner is the opportunity it provides us as college students to get out in our surrounding communities and take part in events that are going on. The block party had an incredibly important mission as well, domestic violence awareness, making it all the more meaningful. The street was lined with tables representing various support services offered by Unity House and the greater Troy community. I had volunteered in the past with Unity House, specifically with their thrift pop-up shops on Siena’s campus, but I never realized that their work reached far beyond providing people with affordable clothing. There are career planning programs, housing support, and, as highlighted at the block party, services for victims of domestic violence.

    There are various forms of domestic violence, which were effectively conglomerated into what is known as the Power and Control Wheel by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in 1984. What stands out to me the most on the wheel is the use of emotional abuse on victims. Demeaning name-calling, guilt, humiliation, blaming, or a number of other psychologically-motivated abuses can lead to extremely detrimental impacts on the livelihoods of victims. The most difficult part about emotional abuse is that the wounds inflicted are unseen, and it can be very hard for victims to reach out for help or to prove the psychological trauma that they have endured. Emotional abuse is an immediate sign of an unhealthy and controlling relationship. It is our duty to educate our fellow peers on the topic of domestic violence and to look out for those who we think may be suffering from an abusive relationship.

    • Chandler Edbauer says:

      Hi Michael,
      I was really interested in your research on the Power and Control Wheel by the Domestic Intervention Project. I did not find this while researching but the psychologically motivating abuses I think are extremely harmful and although sometimes it might not be physically reflected it can be more damaging than physical abuse.

  18. Amanda Molloy says:

    One form of domestic violence that I have recently learned about that surprised me was financial abuse. I take Relationship Violence with Professor Dacey Bonney and this is something we have discussed in depth. Parts of financial abuse include the perpetrator having complete control of the finances and the victim not getting any money of his/her own or getting a limited allowance. Another thing that falls under this category of financial abuse is the perpetrator prohibiting the victim from getting a job which might allow them to have their own source of income. I think that people taking the time to learn about the different aspects of domestic violence would be a great first step in awareness because oftentimes people think that physical abuse is the only type of abuse when in reality if physical abuse is seen it almost always means that another form of abuse has already taken place like emotional, psychological or financial abuse. People can get help from different hotlines which can connect them to resources and also making the public more aware of services like those provided at Unity House would help victims get the assistance they need. I think also diminishing victim-blaming from our vocabulary would help these people have the courage to speak up about abuse because when others are blaming the victims for something that is clearly not their fault, they will not want to reach out for help.

    *I did not attend the service day, I will be making it up with a different approved event– I cannot speak to the first part of the blog post

    • Cody Romani says:

      Hey Amanda,

      That is great that you took a course on Relationship Violence. It seems like you learned a lot about domestic violence and how to develop healthy relationships. I also wrote about financial abuse and agree that this abuse is not talked about enough. Awareness and education is important and domestic violence should be talked about more often. These are difficult conversations we all need to have.

  19. Ava Bibisi says:

    I was unable to attend the service day this past weekend, therefore I cannot answer the first position of the question.
    A form of domestic violence that has stood out to me is emotional violence. I feel that this abuse can be undermined because it isn’t viewed as physical, however, it can do just as much harm as any other form. Often individuals in relationships don’t realize they are being emotionally abused because throughout this form of abuse, the significant other controls the other and makes them guilty of their character through manipulation and degradation, but then flips their emotions and is comforting. Emotional abuse involves confusion and insecurity in the victim and stating untrue facts ad being true. There are several hotline in certain regions that individuals can call if they are a victim of abuse or need someone to talk to. It is important that victims of emotion abuse and other forms of domestic violence. I think a major way to spread awareness for domestic violence is by talking about it. If society is more open and aware of these unjust issues that occur among relationships, then there won’t be such a hesitation for individuals to come forward and speak on behalf of the abuse they’ve fallen victim to.

    • Mara Golden says:

      Hi Ava! You did awesome research! Emotional abuse is one of the most common forms and tends to start in young relationships. Abusers find the insecurities of their victims and use them. This is also a difficult type of abuse to see because it does not leave any physical marks.

  20. Liz MacMurray says:

    Before the service day, I only knew a little about Unity House when we went on a tour of one of their buildings during Summer Gear Up. But it is surprising to see all the programs they offer for emotional support for domestic violence victims. I wasn’t expecting to see the amount of tables that cover all different types of scenarios and issues that a lot of domestic violence victims sadly face.
    There are a lot of different forms of abuse that domestic violence victims face but the one that stood out to me the most after researching was financial and economic abuse. This can happen by preventing the victim from having access to financial resources. They even might get in the way of the victim from being employed or creating their own sense of financial stability. Another thing I learned is that the abuser may create debt in the victim’s name. Causing them to have so much debt that they can’t start a life of their own or even rent an apartment or have a mortgage due to their bad credit score. I feel like this form of abuse isn’t mentioned as much and needs to be a more talked about issue. To spread awareness for this issue I feel like it’s important for there to be more discussions made. A lot of information can be provided but having those concrete discussions can lead to people realizing certain situations they are in or situations they know other people are in. Talking helps reveal things you don’t even truly realize.

  21. Victoria Taco says:

    Spending the afternoon at the block party for Domestic Violence was a great experience. I was able to learn more about their partners through the stands but also being able to talk to them when helping them clean up their stand. I also learned that at Unity House they have adopt a family over Thanksgiving and Christmas and i thought that was a really smart idea. During holiday times many families go without a celebration or basic necessities and associations like Unity House allow these families to have a good experience during the holiday.
    When I looked up different types of domestic violence the one I found most interesting was economical abuse. Economical abuse isn’t a typical form of abuse someone commonly thinks of and after reading more about it there are many different forms of it. I learned that someone harshly controlling the family income and keeping it from everyone in the family is a form of economic abuse. Stealing money and spending essential money on unnecessary things is also a form of abuse and I found that very interesting. Some ways to identify domestic violence would be to talk to the people who you may have concerns over, find out if they appear alright, if there are any physical signs of distress or if someone in their life is too controlling. A good way to help would be to offer help and offer a friend to confide in and help them throughout their process of a new life. Finding the nearest domestic abuse center in the area they’re in is a great way to help too.

  22. Michelle Villa says:

    After the block party, one table that stuck out to me was the ACE table where they offer services to children of domestic violence cases. I got to learn that they offer on scene therapists and services to children to provide them a safe environment. Another table I got to meet was a nonprofit that called Team H.E.R.O had only small amount of people and how they really needed volunteers to help them. The program reminded me of the Connect Center of Youth and I hope in the future we could connect with the program or people on campus are aware of volunteer opportunities with the program since they are in need of volunteers.

    One thing that I wasn’t well educated on was that Indigenous communities have a higher rate of domestic violence and unjust restrictions of prosecuting offenders to protect women. A statistic I found was “Most alarming is the reality that 84.3 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples crisis has manifested itself on reservations and in urban areas in the United States as well as in Canada and Mexico. Violence against Indigenous peoples is an international crisis. ” Reading the articles, I learned that there is a lack of diligence in federal responses with how high the rates of domestic and missing/murdered cases for American Indian and Alaskan Native women. This is very important information that we should be educated in and include American Indian and Alaska Native communities in domestic violence education. Learning about domestic violence should be inclusive for all communities since everyone is affected and a quote that stuck with me on the Indian Law resource center was “Women who are subjected to violence should not be treated differently and discriminated against just because they are Native and were assaulted on an Indian reservation or in an Alaska Native village!”

    When researching domestic violence resources, I found a website for fathers on educating dads about domestic violence, street harassment, and other issues that their children can go through. This nonprofit provides resources for fathers to reflect on gender-based violence and should be educated on this violence to protect their children. Another resource this nonprofit offers on education is being inclusive and creating an environment to educate everyone regardless of race, gender, etc. This program is really amazing for promoting fathers to be educated on multiple issues like domestic violence and to be equipped to protect their children.

  23. Annabelle Fisher says:

    The service day at Unity House’s block party was a great experience. It was interesting to learn about all the service’s they provide for not only just the individual seeking support, but for their children and families as well. I did not know about the variety of free and accessible programs they offered for mental and emotional support as well. I thought that it was very interesting to hear them speak about the struggles they faced during COVID and how various volunteers and partners stepped up during this time from making masks in their homes to personally delivering supplies and materials. I learned a lot about how much success for a nonprofit relies on the community and partners in a mutual relationship.

    Researching different forms of domestic abuse I found emotional abuse and intimidation very interesting. This form of abuse uses a lot of a victims own issues of self confidence and mental state against them. It comes in the form of criticizing and gaslighting to distort an individuals sense of what they know to be true and make them rely on the abusers validation and perception. This form of abuse often takes longer to break as the affects the victims mental state. Domestic violence is unfortunately common, and the best way to spread awareness is by not making excuses or ignoring behavior that is clearly unhealthy and toxic. Domestic abuse often does not start as violent as it ends, it is a gradual process and the best way the avoid it is by not letting the situation or relationship escalate.

    • Chandler Edbauer says:

      Hi Annabelle,
      I learned a lot about emotional abuse and intimidation. I found it very sad to hear that these kinds of abuse are common. What you said about the gradual process hit me hard, it doesn’t start with violence but ends with it.

  24. Mara Golden says:

    I was fortunate enough to start my freshman year at Unity House of Troy and now am an employee at their Domestic Violence Shelter. I am honored to work with such amazing people who share the same mission and goals in the work place. Besides the Shelter, Unity House offers all different types of programs like ReStyle, Community Resources, Food Pantry, Free Lunch, and so many more. The main point of our mission is to better the lives and wellbeing of those we serve. The Block Party we attended this past weekend provided a little insight of the work we do throughout Unity House.

    There are multiple types of domestic violence, many of which people are unaware of. There is physical and emotional abuse, financial, sexual, control, and isolation. What surprises me the most about domestic violence is how the abusive partner can isolate their victim. Slowly, but surely, victims will lose contact with close friends and family, quit their job, and cannot go anywhere without their abuser. One way to help spread awareness is to have shoe pamphlets available. I had not heard of shoe pamphlets until I was at Unity House. These items are small pieces of paper that can fit into anyone’s shoe. On there are multiple contacts a victim can call when they are ready to leave their abusive situation.

  25. Rachel+Gifford says:

    Before our service day, I didn’t know much about Unity house or what they do. During the service day Nora, Michelle, and I walked around and talked to people at all of the tables. It was cool to see all of the different organizations coming there in support of Unity House. We learned a lot about the different partnerships and programs they offer. At one of the unity house tables, I learned about the legal help that they offer for free to victims of domestic violence. This service can help a lot of people who feel like they can’t leave or get help because they don’t have any legal resources.
    One form of domestic violence that I have seen a lot, but didn’t really think about is digital abuse. Where one partner may use technology to track the other or for purposes of intimidation. I know a lot of people who share their passwords with their partner and then their partner uses their access to delete texts or emails from other people. This can be very scary and digital abuse can help an abuser isolate someone from their friends and family. They can also track their partner which can make it harder for that person to leave or find a way to escape. There are many ways for people to seek help including using the resources that their community offers or utilizing the many different hotlines that are available. If you look up how to get help for domestic violence there are a ton of resources that pop up. In regards to spreading awareness, we can make sure that there are flyers or posters up on campus; and you can get involved with the women’s center or other groups on campus that advocate for healthy relationships. Also, a lot of people post on social media about domestic violence awareness in order to share information about it.

  26. Nia Colon says:

    While looking up the all the different forms of domestic violence, I found that emotional abuse and intimidation was the most interesting. I found that emotional abuse and intimidation is when there is a behavior that exploits another person’ s vulnerability, insecurity, or character. These kinds of behaviors can include continuous degradation, intimidation, manipulation, brainwashing, or control of another to the detriment of the individual.
    Some ways that we can identify domestic violence, seek help or spread awareness is by ensuring that we continue to talk about it and make the resources available for everyone. Another way to help bring awareness is to use social media as a platform to get the message across to people.

    • Samantha Lunt says:

      Hi Nia, thank you for sharing and taking the time to do this research. I think this form abuse is not talked about as much and definitely one that needs more awareness. Also, these are great ways to spread awareness.

  27. Giavanna Pitagno says:

    For our second service day, we volunteered at the Unity House Block Party. Prior to this, I had little knowledge to the services Unity House provides. At the block party, I learned about the career, legal, and housing services provided to victims of domestic violence. I also enjoyed seeing and learning about other various community organizations such as SNUG, who work in collaboration with Unity House to reach a common goal- ending violence and making communities safe for everyone.
    Domestic Violence comes in many different forms. The most surprising to me was economic abuse. Economic abuse occurs when a perpetrator uses economic resources to control their victim. This can include limited or complete inaccessibility to family funds, and spending money for necessities on nonessential items. This can eventually lead to victims losing their jobs, or preventing them from taking a job in the first place- further isolating victims. Some warning signs of domestic violence include physical marks and injuries, loss of interest in daily activities, low self esteem, distancing, and other isolating behavioral changes. There are many resources for victims of domestic violence, such as hotlines, shelters, and counseling services such as those offered at Unity House. On a daily basis, we can all spread awareness of domestic abuse by holding those around us accountable to what they say, volunteering and attending community events, and staying educated and facilitating conversations on domestic violence.

    • Chandler+Edbauer says:

      Hi Gia,
      I did not know about the other community organizations present such as SNUG. I learned a little from you. That they work in collaboration with Unity House to end violence and making communities safe for everyone.

  28. Nora Diede says:

    This weekend, at the Unity House block party for Domestic Violence I learned that this nonprofit works in many forms. One of these is that they provide legal services to those that are impacted by domestic violence. They also aid with finding care for children who are impacted by domestic violence, and may need to find a new home because of this. This is very interesting, and something I did not know about the nonprofit, although I did not know anything about the Unity House of Troy prior to this event. Being able to see all the different nonprofits that came to this Block Party was also super interesting, as it made me realize that nonprofits work best when they work together. Even if they do not have the same mission statement, they are still able to work together to aid others.
    A form of domestic violence that stuck out to me is isolation. This is when one’s partner keeps them from others and activities that they want to engage in, and is a form of control over their life. This is not something that I would think of as domestic violence, as when this term is presented I tend to think of physical violence and abuse. Yet, it is true that this level of control is extremely toxic and definitely common in many relationships. To identify domestic violence, it is important to notice physical signs of pain, but also isolation, and other ways in which you may see an individual is being manipulated (for example having no access to their money, being unable to see certain people, or have a rigid schedule of when they must be with their partner). The National Domestic Abuse hotline is an important outlet for people in their situations, and for those that believe someone they know is in these circumstances. The Unity House of Troy, is also a local source that spreads awareness and aids those in domestic abuse situations.

    • Mara Golden says:

      Hi Nora! This is an awesome response! Unity House works with nonprofits across the entire Capital Region. Many nonprofits who do not have a domestic violence center rely on places like Unity House to help their clients find safety. You also made a great point on how isolation plays a role in domestic violence. Isolation tends to be the first thing an abusive partner will do to their significant other. It is something that is so easily overlooked and most people do not notice, this includes the victim in some cases.

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