Mardi Gras Highlights

Mardi Gras Highlights

Thanks to everyone who attended our Unmasked Mardi Gras Ball. We had an amazing night with vibrant costumes, lively music, and unforgettable memories. Your support and presence made this event a remarkable success, and we are grateful for your continued support in our mission to empower and uplift women and children in Kenosha. Together, we can create a brighter future for all. Stay tuned for more exciting events and opportunities to make a difference. Women & Children’s Horizons of Kenosha – Empowering Change, Nurturing Hope.

Sponsors

Elizabeth Brown

Rita Petretti

In-Kind Sponsors

We've handcrafted your next scavenger hunt adventure

Let’s Roam offers a diverse range of scavenger hunt experiences to suit every occasion and interest. Choose from city exploration, bar crawls, ghost tours, art walks, date night packages, and more. We’re always adding new adventures to keep your curiosity ignited.

 

Check out LetsRoam.com to start your adventure here  Scavenger Hunts by Let’s Roam 

Unmask Mardi Gras Gala

Unmask Mardi Gras Gala

Join us for a night of revelry and excitement at the Vault At Historic 625 in Kenosha, WI, USA. Get ready to let loose and celebrate Mardi Gras like never before! This in-person event promises an unforgettable experience filled with incredible auction items, music, dancing, and delicious food. Put on your most extravagant mask and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this lively celebration. Whether you’re a seasoned partygoer or new to the Mardi Gras spirit, this gala is the perfect opportunity to have a blast with friends and make new memories. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable night! All proceeds benefit Women and Children’s Horizons.

 
 
 

Sponsors

Elizabeth Brown

Rita Petretti

In-Kind Sponsors

We've handcrafted your next scavenger hunt adventure

Let’s Roam offers a diverse range of scavenger hunt experiences to suit every occasion and interest. Choose from city exploration, bar crawls, ghost tours, art walks, date night packages, and more. We’re always adding new adventures to keep your curiosity ignited.

 

Check out LetsRoam.com to start your adventure here  Scavenger Hunts by Let’s Roam 

Jennifer Paine (Former Executive Director) and Kirsten Sova (Rapid Rehousing Coordinator) Featured on “Just One More Thing” Podcast

Jennifer Paine (Former Executive Director) and Kirsten Sova (Rapid Rehousing Coordinator) Featured on “Just One More Thing” Podcast

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so I sat down with Jennifer Paine (Former Executive Director) and Kirsten Sova (Rapid Rehousing Coordinator) of Women & Children’s Horizons (WCH). WCH’s mission is to provide support, shelter, advocacy, education, training, and healing services to victims of sexual and domestic abuse, their families, their children (who are often primary or secondary victims), and the community. Their mission is achievable through survivor-centered work that includes strategic partnerships and collaboration. As advocates for social justice, they embrace the voices of diverse communities. They will consider any non-violent strategy that is consistent with their mission to prevent and eliminate domestic abuse and sexual abuse.In this episode, we talk about the epidemic of Domestic Violence, the sobering statistics surrounding this problem, breaking the stigmas, what we can do to help victims, volunteering, and items they are in need of. Helpful Links and information:

  1. For more information about WCH and the great work that they do, you can visit their website wchkenosha.org.
  2. To see WCH’s wishlist of items needed to help others, visit wchkenosha.org/wish-list.
  3. To make a donation visit wchkenosha.org/donate
  4. Follow WCH on Facebook (click here)!

If you or someone you know is a victim of Domestic Violence, help is always available. You can contact the great folks at WCH 24/7/365 at their helpline by dialing 262-652-9900 or toll-free at 800-853-3503. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233), texting START to 88788, or chatting live at thehotline.org.

Women and Children’s Horizons Annual Luncheon Set for October 26

Women and Children’s Horizons Annual Luncheon Set for October 26

Join us for an unforgettable event at the annual luncheon hosted by Women and Children’s Horizons. 

This special occasion is a celebration of our community partners, volunteers, and dedicated staff who tirelessly advocate for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Discover more about our agency and the impactful programs we offer while enjoying a delightful luncheon on October 26, 2023, at the prestigious Kenosha Country Club. 

As we unite in support of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, let us come together as a community to raise awareness and empower those in need. 

Secure your spot for this important gathering by RSVPing to Kate before October 23, 2023. Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference. Call 262.656.3500 or email kcothell@wchkenosha.org today.

Community update from Women and Children’s Horizons in Kenosha: What to teach your graduates about consent before moving on campus

Community update from Women and Children’s Horizons in Kenosha: What to teach your graduates about consent before moving on campus

Congratulations! Your student graduated! Before you know it, you’ll be moving your student to campus with twin XL sheets, shower caddies, and mini-fridges in tow. There are many important conversations to have with your student this summer – and consent needs to be one of them.

 

Sexual assault is prevalent right here in Kenosha. Over a million people statewide were affected last year, according to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. In Kenosha County, 17.7% of women reported being the victim of rape, while 41.3% of women and 23.7% of men reported being victims of other forms of unwanted sexual contact. That means, almost one-quarter of men and almost one-half of women in our county have experienced some form of sexual assault.

 

According to a study by Dr. Campbell at Michigan State University, survivors are unlikely to report. And 80% were unlikely to report at all after their first negative interaction –whether with family or friends, law enforcement, or campus staff – because they felt blamed, depressed, anxious, or “not heard.” The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault (2005, rev 2018).

Of everthing you’ll tell your student this summer, these two are musts:

1. You have a right to consent, and to withdraw your consent, at any time.

Do not ask questions like—But what were you wearing? Did you say NO? What did you do to lead her on? Why were you out so late at night? Why didn’t you take a friend to that party? Why did you let him buy you a drink? And so on. These questions shift blame for an assault on what the survivor did, rather than the perpetrator’s decision to act intentionally. And the fact is, sexual assault is an intentional act – it is no one’s fault but the perpetrator’s.

2. If you were assaulted, there are free resources to help you.

Federal law requires your campus to provide you services. These include a thorough, fair investigation, a right to report, and a neutral advocate to advise you. WCH provides these services for free on and off campus for survivors year-round.

Encourage the student to seek professional support from agencies like WCH, which operates a 24/7 crisis line and provides free services irrespective of income.

Keep the blame on the perpetrator by reassuring the survivor that nothing the survivor did – not the clothing worn, not the place of a date, not what the survivor said, or ate, or drank – caused the perpetrator to act.

Practice what you preach –actively promote healthy relationship boundaries for your student to model.

Finally, educate yourself. There are several free resources available online with WCASA, MSU, and our agency, to help you.

If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault, contact us for free, confidential support 24/7 at 262-652-9900.

Community Foundation awards 18 grants totaling over $56,000 from its Unrestricted Endowment Funds

Community Foundation awards 18 grants totaling over $56,000 from its Unrestricted Endowment Funds

The Kenosha Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $56,600 to 18 nonprofit organizations conducting programming in Kenosha County.

The awards ranged between $1,000-$4,500 and derive from an investment pool reserved for unrestricted grantmaking. Successful proposals reflected responsive educational, arts and nature-based programming, to “bricks and mortar” building repairs.

According to Executive Director, Amy Greil, “This year’s 25 grant applications made for a rigorously competitive grant cycle.  We extend ‘thanks’ to the diverse applicants for sharing information and insights into current day needs and priorities.  Likewise, the KCF grants committee merits special appreciation for the extensive time commitment required to arrive at these determinations.  Fortunately, some of KCF’s legacy donors had the foresight to direct their financial gifts toward unrestricted endowment funds—the fund “type” most desirable—so that KCF has this perpetual source of funds for competitive grantmaking.  I am confident that the 2023 grant awards will leave outsized impacts, cutting across all segments of our community. 

To learn more about the 2023 Unrestricted Funds grants awards or if interested in making a contribution to the pool of grant funds available for distribution, visit the KCF website or reach out to office staff.

The Kenosha Community Foundation, organized in 1926 as a tax-exempt public charity, actively manages permanent endowments established by individuals, families, and business organizations. The Community Foundation manages over $14 million in endowment funds and awarded over $750,000 in grants, scholarships, sponsorships, and gifts to Kenosha area not-for-profit organizations and students in 2020.

Survivors Need Your Support This April- And Year Round

Survivors Need Your Support This April- And Year Round

But what were you wearing? This question, and many like it, haunt us every April. Did you say NO? What did you do to lead her on? Why were you out so late at night? Why didn’t you take a friend to that blind date? Why did you let him buy you a drink? And so on. They shift blame for an assault on what the survivor did, rather than the perpetrator’s decision to act intentionally.

Sexual assault is an intentional act. It does not matter what the survivor did. Period.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year is SAAM’s 22nd anniversary. SAAM’s goals are to raise awareness about the prevelance of sexual assault, educate communities, workplaces, and college campuses on proactive steps to stop assaults before they happen, and promote support for survivors.

In Kenosha County, our statistics are staggering. Sexual violence impacts nearly a million people in Wisconsin annually, according to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. In Kenosha County, 17.7% of women reported being the victim of rape in the last reporting period, while 41.3% of women and 23.7% of men reported being the victim of other forms of unwanted sexual contact. That means, almost one quarter of men and almost one half of women in our county have experienced some form of sexual assault.

According to a study by Dr. Campbell at Michigan State University, survivors are unlikely to report. In the study, 80% of survivors were unlikely to report their assault after one negative interaction –whether it was with family or friends, law enforcement, or the courts – because they felt blamed, depressed, anxious, or “not heard.” That means, only 20% felt likely to move forward with a report after their assault – and even less actually followed through. The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault (2005, rev 2018).

What can you do? First, encourage the survivor to seek professional support from agencies like Women and Children’s Horizons, which operates a 24/7 crisis line and provides free services irrespective of income. Second, speak with the survivor supportively, such as by asking what you can do to make the survivor feel safe and how you can help the survivor seek professional support. Third, keep the blame on the perpetrator by reassuring the survivor that nothing the survivor did – not the clothing worn, not the place of a date, not what the survivor said, or ate, or drank – caused the perpetrator to act. Fourth, practice what you preach –actively promote healthy relationship boundaries. Finally, educate yourself. There are several free resources available online with SAAM, WCASA, and MSU, and our agency, to help you.

SAAM’s goal is to change behaviors and promote respect – and that starts with you. The more we support our survivors, the more likely survivors are to report to law enforcement and perpetrators are to be held accountable.

If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault, contact us for free, confidential support 24/7 at 262-652-9900.

It’s Time to Unmask Abuse, Kenosha

It’s Time to Unmask Abuse, Kenosha

You or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence. Right here in Kenosha County.

This isn’t a pleasant topic to discuss. Or a family-friendly one. Because domestic violence isn’t.

But, it’s a necessary one.

Nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime.

Locally, our rates rose sharply, too. According to the Violence Policy Center’s November 2022 report, Wisconsin ranks the 8th highest state in the country for domestic violence related homicides. And according to the Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report from September 2022, Kenosha County saw the second highest increase in one year –250%.

What do you do about it?

Women and Children’s Horizons is the oldest domestic violence services provider in Wisconsin. We have served the community since 1976. We provide shelter, crisis support, legal and personal advocacy, and a host of financial help to victims, training to agencies, and outreach, all free. We are out in the community and on social media spreading awareness about our mission daily.

Every. Single. Day.

Because if we don’t unmask domestic violence, we can’t confront it. Or stop it.

There are several things you can do, too – starting now:

1. Volunteer – if you are a lawyer, a therapist, a financial planner, a doctor, a childcare provider, a contractor, even someone willing to lend a supporting hand, we have clients who need you.

2. Attend and promote events -the bigger the crowd, the better the reach of our mission.

3. Hold abusers accountable – without accountability, consequences are drastic. 85% of women will be revictimized after age 44. The rates for men are similar. The Department of Labor reports that victims of domestic violence lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the U.S., resulting in a $1.8 billion loss in productivity for employers.

So, don’t mask it as a “family problem.” It isn’t. It’s everyone’s.

WCH also hosts several events that are family-friendly. In February is our first Mardi Gras gala in person since the pandemic. “Unmask Abuse” starts at 6:30pm on Saturday, February 25th, at St. Joseph Catholic School in Kenosha. You can sponsor, donate, or, best of all, join us for drinks, dinner, games, and fancy-dressing as we have fun and raise funds for this mission.

For more information and to purchase tickets, see the events page at www.wchkenosha.org.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call us 24/7 for free, confidential help at 262 652 9900.

I Will Not Be Silenced

I Will Not Be Silenced

“I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name. ”
That excerpt is from the Victim Impact Statement read before the court in People vs. Turner, the high-profile 2015 criminal case that found Stanford collegiate swimmer Brock Turner facing five felony sexual assault charges and a maximum of 10 years in prison. While Turner has become synonymous with his crime (his mugshot was even featured next to the definition of ‘rape’ in a criminology textbook following his three-count conviction, for which he served three months of a six-month sentence), the identity of his victim remained obscured under the placeholder ‘Jane Doe’ in court records and media coverage. Reduced to a peripheral figure in her own assault case, legal analysts and social media commenters dissected the most vulnerable hours of her life in an effort to determine where her rapist’s fault truly lie. Some doubted her claims of a nonconsensual encounter altogether, suggesting that her recollection of events before and after the attack were unreliable due to alcohol intoxication. Nameless, faceless, and long silent, she became the everywoman of sexual assault.
While the case concluded with a fractured semblance of justice, frustrations regarding Turner’s sentence lingered long after the final slam of the gavel. Following months of dialogue on the relatively light sentences handed down to perpetrators of sexual assault—and the disproportionately aggressive skepticism endured by women brave enough to report those crimes—the public was primed for outrage. Lauded for its exceptional depiction of the brutality of rape and a survivor’s efforts to reconcile her identity with her new lived experiences, Doe’s June 2016 address to the court was disseminated by news outlets worldwide. Four days and 11 million shares across social media later, the court of public opinion returned its verdict: Perpetrators of sexual violence could no longer use shame and intimidation to control the narrative, which had shifted from, ‘what did she do?’ to, ‘what consequences should he face?’
The next wave of victim-centered discourse gained traction in 2017 through #MeToo, the social media movement dominated by stories of women (and men) who, too, had been victims of sexual abuse, their disclosures in response to accusations leveled against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. “Time’s Up,” they said, as the once-powerful studio executive and various other high-profile figures were publicly admonished—and held criminally liable—for sexual misconduct. The trend of survivors telling their stories eventually reached the Senate floor in 2018, as the nation watched Christine Blasey Ford testify that then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh raped her decades earlier.
Sexual violence has never been confined to college campuses or the upper-echelons of society. It has always been in our community, and by talking about it, we are finally addressing its destructive effects on survivors.
In 2019, Turner’s victim disclosed her name. It’s Chanel.

// margin repair