One in Four…

Raising awareness about issues related to domestic & dating violence

RAD Program Dates February 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Women's Studies Intern @ 11:58 am

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of Public Safety  recently released the dates for its next RAD class, which is taking place throughout the Spring 2012 semester.  RAD, or Rape, Aggression, and Defense, is a comprehensive hands-on self defense training for women.  The instructional objective of the program is “to develop and enhance the options of self defense, so such options become viable considerations to women who might be attacked.”  Participants meet five separate times throughout the semester.  The next RAD class is scheduled for the following dates and times:

Wednesday, Feb. 29th                         6:30 – 8:30 PM

Wednesday, March 14th                      6:30 – 8:30 PM

Wednesday, March 21st                      6:30 – 8:30 PM

Wednesday, March 28th                      6:30 – 8:30 PM

Wednesday, April 4th                          6:30 – 8:30 PM

Please visit to find out more about the program.  The registration form can be found at  RAD is a great opportunity for all female students, faculty, and staff at UNC!

Class sizes are limited to twenty participants, so make sure to sign up soon if you are interested!


Holiday Closings December 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elizabeth Johnson @ 8:55 am

Our office will be closed on Monday December 26 and Tuesday December 27 for the Christmas holiday.  We will re-open on Wednesday December 28 at 9:00 am.  We will also be closed on Monday January 2, re-opening on Tuesday January 3 at 9:00 am.  As always, our hotline is open 24/7/365 at 919 929 7122 for crisis counseling, shelter referrals, and other resources.


LUNAFEST a success! November 8, 2011

Filed under: fundraisers,Uncategorized — Women's Studies Intern @ 10:28 am

This year’s LUNAFEST was a great night! We sold approximately 150 tickets and had a good turn out. The short films were truly inspirational and thought provoking. Thanks so much to everyone who came out! A special thanks to Alpha Chi Omega for providing the delicious cupcakes and all the volunteers who helped out as well!

If you attended the event but did not get a chance to fill out the survey, please take a few minutes to do that here now. We hope you all enjoyed LUNAFEST as much as we did and look forward to seeing you again next year!


Cargo: Innocence Lost film screening October 4, 2011

Filed under: human trafficking,Uncategorized — Women's Studies Intern @ 1:00 am

Carolina Women’s Center is hosting a film screening:

Cargo: Innocence Lost

Monday, October 24 

The Arts Center, 300-G East Main Street, Carrboro, NC.

The film documents the stories of the millions of people bought, sold, and traded every day, most of them ending up in the United States every year, invisible to the general public. Of all the people brought into the country, 70% are women and children. The film tells the stories of these people, interspersed with interviews of top national officials, two victims that were trafficked from Mexico into Texas, and the story of an Eastern European girl brought into San Francisco to work in a brothel.

North Carolina, as a state, is particularly vulnerable to sex trafficking. Please come out to view the film and engage in discussion to learn more about local and global effects of the sex trafficking industry.

The night will begin with registration from 6:00-6:45

7-8:30: Welcome from state senator Ellie Kinnaird and Cargo film screening

8:30-9:00: Q&A with Dr. Donna Bickford of the CWC

The film is free, however donations will be accepted at the event.


FVPC is Moving! September 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Women's Studies Intern @ 3:48 pm

We are moving! As of Tuesday October4, 2011 we can be reached at our new address: 

207 Wilson Street, Chapel Hill, NC.

This is an exciting move providing us with new opportunities in terms of client services and community education events that we can offer.

Wilson Street is located off of West Cameron Avenue via Columbia Street and just a street away from The Carolina Inn. We are two doors down from The Carolina Women’s Center. It is an easy walk from downtown Chapel Hill and the UNC campus.

Keep a look out for an open house for the new facility closer to the holidays!

Thank you for the support and please share the new address with others.


LUNAFEST returns… September 22, 2011

Filed under: fundraisers,Uncategorized — Elizabeth Johnson @ 11:06 am
Tags: ,

LUNAFEST® is an evening of short films created by, for, and about women. These short films range in topic from actual events and brief documentaries to creative explorations into what being a woman is really like. LUNA, The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, created LUNAFEST to simultaneously promote women filmmakers, raise awareness for women’s issues and support nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

This  is an annual event and includes more than 150 film screenings across the country. It is being held as a fundraiser for the sponsoring organization, the Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County, and for the Breast Cancer Fund. This year’s screening will be held at The Varsity Theatre on October 27th.

Advance tickets are $5 for students and $10 for general admission and will be available at FVPC office starting Wednesday 10/5.  Tickets at the door are $7 and $12.  Click here to watch the trailer and to get more details.


IPV Resources: Back to School Edition August 26, 2011

With students back at the Hill and starting fall semester classes this week, our sleepy summer town is now buzzing with activity. Unfortunately, the beginning of the school year can mean an influx of incidences of interpersonal violence. College students are particularly affected by violence – the National Institute of Justice found that rape or attempted rape could affect as many as 25% of college women by the time they graduate. And around 13% of college women have been affected by stalking, although only 17% of these have reported it to the police.

There are many resources available on campus for survivors of abusive relationships, sexual assault and stalking. Some of these are described below, but for more details about UNC and community resources, check out the brand-new SAFE@UNC website, which combines all of the available information in one place. All resources listed below are available to all survivors, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation, but if you are concerned about seeking help because of your identity, contact UNC’s LGBTQ Center for guidance.

If you are involved in an abusive relationship:

  • If you have been physically assaulted, consider seeking medical attention at UNC Campus Health or UNC Hospitals, which houses Beacon, a program specifically for relationship violence survivors.
  • Consider reporting any assault to the University through the Dean of Students office or to law enforcement. There are several types of reports available, depending on your comfort level and whether you want to press charges through Honor Court and/or the criminal justice system.
  • If you have questions about your rights under the law, give us a call: 929-7122.  FVPC offers court accompaniment and advocacy for folks in an abusive relationship who are trying to negotiate the legal system or obtain a 50B- a Domestic Violence Protective Order.
  • Seek counseling at UNC Counseling and Wellness Services. CWS accepts walk-ins Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

If you have been sexually assaulted:

  • If you have been sexually assaulted, consider seeking medical attention at UNC Campus Health or UNC Hospitals, which has a care program specifically for sexual assault survivors. You will be given the opportunity to undergo forensic testing for evidence, as well as STI testing and a course of preventive medication, the costs of which are covered for UNC students through the Victims’ Assistance Fund.
  • Consider reporting any assault to the University through the Dean of Students office or to law enforcement. There are several types of reports available, depending on your comfort level and whether you want to press charges through Honor Court and/or the criminal justice system. If you have questions about the legal process, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
  • Seek trauma counseling at UNC Counseling and Wellness Services. Also available is an open support group, Courage to Heal, for survivors to share their experiences on the journey to recovery.

If you are experiencing stalking:

  • If you feel unsafe in your living environment, safe rooms are available for short-term stay through the Residential Housing and Education office. Talk to your RA or community director, or call the Dean of Students office at 919-966-4042 during business hours for more information.
  • File a no-contact order through the University via the Dean of Students office.
  • Seek counseling at UNC Counseling and Wellness Services.

If you are struggling with academics because of any of the previous circumstances, discuss your options with the Dean of Students office.

If you’re interested in becoming a more effective supporter for loved ones who are survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking, become a UNC HAVEN ally this fall! New training dates have just been announced, and you can register online. And becoming trained by the One Act program will empower you to prevent interpersonal violence in the first place.

Thanks for your efforts to help make the campus community a safer place for students, faculty and staff!


Paid Sick Days Provide Essential Resource to Survivors August 23, 2011

Workers’ rights activists across the country have been building support for mandated paid sick days for the past several years at federal, state and local levels. Requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave for employees, typically around seven days per year for full-time workers, makes sense for employees, businesses and the general public.

Paid sick leave is a public health issue – the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), which has done much of the most-cited research on paid sick days, found that employees who came to work while infected with H1N1 in 2009 infected over 7 million patrons, customers and coworkers. Paid sick days would enable these workers to stay home when they fall ill (or when they are needed to take care of sick family members), preventing the spread of disease.

Lower-wage workers are less likely to be provided paid sick days by their employers, even though they experience more obstacles than higher-salaried workers in finding childcare or taking off work and losing valuable wages that may force them to choose between medicine or groceries for the pay period.

Often missing from the discussion about paid sick days is its important value for individuals involved in abusive relationships or who are survivors of sexual assault. Violence prevention advocates often refer to paid leave as “paid safe days.” They can be used by survivors of abuse to seek medical treatment, counseling and shelter without losing pay or fearing retaliation from employers for missing work.

Allotting paid safe days to employees, especially knowing that abusers are often repeatedly physically, emotionally and sexually violent within their intimate relationships, seems like an undeniable resource survivors deserve. But Mike Rosen, a radio personality in Denver, where a referendum on paid sick leave will likely appear on the November ballot, dismissed the importance of paid safe days in a Denver Post editorial. He charged that because more women than men will be forced to take advantage of them, the policy isn’t worth employers’ support: “This is essentially about…female constituents. The paid ‘safe’ days are related to domestic violence issues. Men won’t be taking many of these.”

Although it’s true that men’s violence against women would comprise most need for paid safe days because of its frequency in comparison to violence perpetrated by women, Rosen flippantly misses the mark. We need to provide victims of intimate partner abuse, most of them women, any resources possible to empower them to seek help and simultaneously preserve their incomes, not selfishly dismiss their struggles because they are more frequently victimized than men.

Thankfully, paid leave coalition builders have achieved considerable success despite some detractors, having passed mandated sick days legislation in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and even most recently in the state of Connecticut. They are now targeting the cities of Denver, Philadelphia, Seattle and New York.

Advocates from the NC Justice Center attempted to pass mandated sick days in North Carolina in 2009, but the proposed law was defeated. However, an overwhelming 69% of voters nationwide supported paid sick leave laws in an IWPR study, and coalitions across the country continue to build steam and gain legislative victories. Hopefully the tides continue to turn toward policy that would protect survivors in our state, where more than 66,000 citizens received domestic violence support services in 2009 and 2010.


Welcome Leah! August 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elizabeth Johnson @ 10:08 am

FVPC is excited to welcome Leah Josephson on board as a blogger at One in Four starting today!

Leah Josephson is finishing her last semester at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a journalism and French double major and a women’s studies minor. She has been involved with various types of feminist advocacy and activism throughout her time at Carolina and helped create the university’s One Act peer education training, a bystander intervention program that empowers community members to help prevent interpersonal violence on campus. Leah also works at the Carolina Women’s Center as the communications assistant. After graduation, she hopes to obtain a master’s degree in social work and pursue a career in nonprofit management focused on women’s issues.

Look for Leah’s debut blog post on the security risks associated with location-based apps like Foursquare for mobile phones.


Elizabeth Smart: How Do We Judge Other’s Trauma? June 10, 2011

Brian Mitchell, the man who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart when she was 14, held her captive and raped her repeatedly was sentenced to life in prison.   Previously Mitchell’s lawyer argued that he should receive a lighter sentence because Smart is a “survivor” and hadn’t suffered “extreme psychological injury.”   What Elizabeth suffered is something no one should ever have to experience and it is interesting that the defense felt they had the right to judge another person’s level of trauma or suffering.  The defense team for Mitchell may not have intended to hurt Elizabeth Smart but

President George W. Bush greets Elizabeth Smart and her mother Lois in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in 2003

to insinuate that there is one specific way to respond to trauma or that because she has healed and is moving forward with her life, that she didn’t suffer intense emotional damage at the hands of Mitchell is both insensitive and ignorant.  Despite the fact that Elizabeth has remained collected throughout the trial and relied heavily on her faith to try to heal from this trauma, does not mean that she won’t be triggered later on or that her suffering is somehow less legitimate.  Smart may be in one of the various stages of Rape Trauma Syndrome-a form of PTSD recognized by the medical community as similar to the symptoms soldiers experience after battle.  Rape Trauma Syndrome has four stages:

1. Anticipatory Stage: When  a survivor starts experiencing feelings of unease or discontent, realizing something is not right.

2. Impact: When a survivor does things that don’t mke sense to self or others.

3. Reconstruction: This stage can last for years and can be a range of responses and emotions but anger is most common.  This can be a spring board for action (seeking justice or receiving counseling) but can also be turned inward.

4. Resolution: The stage is when a survivor assimilates the act of violence into their overall life experience and it no longer hinders them from being able to live their lives.  Getting to this stage can be greatly hindered or helped by the kind of  support a survivor receives in their healing.

(This definition of Rape Trauma Syndrome was taken from the Orange County Rape Crisis Center)

We don’t know what stage Elizabeth Smart is in in her recovery process, but regardless of her ability to cope with this trauma, her struggle and pain throughout this experience deserves support, not judgment about her reaction.  As Smart stated in her testimony, Mitchell’s actions were intentional and traumatic and he deserves the sentence he received.  Despite her moving forward with her life and beginning to heal, she suffered traumas which can never be undone.  Victims of any kind of abuse deserve support, regardless of their reaction to the trauma they’ve experienced.  No 0ne has  right to judge the way a victim responds to abuse.   At FVPC we believe in fully supporting and advocating for survivors.   If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse call our hotline at 919-929-7122 to speak to a trained advocate.



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