Category Archives: Newsletters

Spring 2019 Quarterly Newsletter

40 WAYS TO HELP
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From the Director

Endurance.  Dedication. Strength. Courage. Persistence.  Each of these words could be used to describe many times in our lives when we needed to push a little harder; to do things that make us uncomfortable; to keep going through adverse times.     During this past week, one of our own made these words part of her mantra to run 341.4 miles from Sault Sainte Marie to Dearborn.  Her mission was to raise awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. Dani Filipek did just that.  What she also did was bring to the forefront what each survivor is capable of when the goal on the other side is survival. 

Each survivor’s journey is as different as their experiences are from each other.  We know from the Power and Control Wheel that intimate partner violence can take many forms.  It can look like intimidation by looks, actions, or gestures, such as destroying property, abusing pets, or displaying weapons.  Emotional abuse could appear as put downs, name-calling, humiliation, or feelings of guilt.  Sometimes victims are isolated from their families and friends.  The abuser controls who they talk to and what they say, what they read, attending functions, and using jealousy to justify actions.

Types of Abuse

When an abuser uses minimization, denying or blaming, this can put the victim in a position of wonder whether or not it even occurred.  This is also sometimes called “gaslighting.”  The abuser will make light of the abuse or deny that it even happened or they will shift the responsibility for abusive behavior.  They will say the victim caused the behavior from the abuser.

When children are in the family, the abuse can take the structure of pitting the kids against the victim, using the children to relay messages to the victim, or threatening to have the children taken away from them.  While the abuser may think that they are only affecting the victim, we know that the children who grow up in this type of environment are also victims of abuse.  Secondary trauma can and should be treated in those who witness the victimization on a regular basis. 

Economic abuse is sometimes the last thing victims think of as abuse but it is definitely abuse.  If the abuser controls the finances, how the money is spent, obtaining credit in the victim’s name and not paying on it to ruin her credit, or not allowing the victim to work outside the home can be a mitigating factor as to why some victims feel like they can’t leave.  If they are trying to flee with children, the victims may be worried about how they can care for their children and worry about them being removed from her care. 

Threats and coercion are tools of the abuser that keeps the victim feeling helpless that they can get out of their situation.  The abuser may make threats of harm to the victim or to themselves.  They may threaten to call Child Protective Services.  They threaten the victim to drop the charges against them or to get a Personal Protection Order lifted.  They may threaten suicide if the victim leaves them. 

All of these things are red flags and insights into an abusive relationship.  If you hear about a victim in court asking to get the PPO lifted so she can have contact with her abuser, it may not be about wanting the contact.  It may be because he is threatening harm to her or someone/something she loves.  It takes courage, strength, endurance, persistence, and dedication to themselves to live in an abusive relationship and to leave an abusive relationship.  It’s not just about physical violence.  It doesn’t start overnight.  For those doing this front line work, thank you for the patience that you exhibit while working with the survivors.  For those who support our work, thanks will never be enough.  We are humbled by your support.  

– Executive Director, Betsy Huggett

Winter 2019 Quarterly Newsletter

Diane Peppler Resource Center 40th Anniversary.  1979 to 2019
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From the Director

I am pretty excited for this year we are in!  It’s our 40th Anniversary of the Diane Peppler Resource Center!  There are some pretty exciting things planned for this year, such as our 40th Anniversary Gala on September 21st.  It will be 18 months in the making. Be looking for tickets to go on sale at the Kewadin Box Office here in the Sault.  Mark your calendar and we hope to see you there. 

So how did we make it for 40 years in this business?  How did we even get started?  Who is responsible for making this agency’s philosophy and mission a success?  I can tell you the list is long.  The people, like Liz Foley and Diane Peppler, who had the vision and the tenacity to not give up on being able to provide safety for the victims of domestic violence were the ring leaders.  Doreen Howson and Kathy Smithers put in the blood, sweat, and tears for 3 decades of service!  The funders through the now known Division of Victim Services (formerly Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board-MDSVPTB) have been immeasurably supportive in engaging our agency and offering the guidelines for successful management of programs. Without all of these pioneers, we would not be here today. 

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act and along with it came the necessary long term funding streams that are still available today.  It has mainly passed on its own merit as it comes up for renewal.  This past year, 2018, the Violence Against Women Act is sitting dormant due to the government shut down. It expired on December 31, 2018. We are anxiously awaiting an end to the federal government shutdown to see what the next course of action is.

These amazing women championed the cause that many were hiding away in secret, not thinking that anyone cared about their fear, their abuse, their terror, their children…  But someone did care.  In the 1980s, funding was made available through a law enforcement grant.  This funding is what allowed us the opportunity to open a home that supported homeless survivors of domestic violence.  We couldn’t be where we are today without their involvement. 

Through it all, we remain steadfast in our belief of victims, in our support of their pain, and in always following our motto, “Our Door is always Open!”  We may need some help in doing just that.  In the meantime, we will keep helping these clients, one day at a time, for the next 40+ years…

Fall 2018

From the Director

Here we are on the cusp of another fabulous fall season and honoring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We have had several events throughout the month. Check throughout this newsletter for the photos of all of the events and all of their glory.

We asked the city and county commissions to get on their agendas to have them proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and what it means to our communities to have their support. On October 1st, the City of Sault Ste. Marie mayor read our proclamation and honored us and the work we do.

But what does it mean to make a proclamation? What are we asking from you, the city and county commissions, and ourselves? We are asking you to acknowledge that domestic violence is a problem that exists in our area. We are asking you to understand that we are not trying to break up families. We are trying to help people understand that living in fear in your home does not have to happen.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month started in 1981 as The Day of Unity. It was developed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to unite the advocates in this work so they know they are not fighting alone. The three main premise behind the awareness month is to mourn those who have died, to celebrate those who have survived, and to connect those who continue to work within the movement.

According to the CDC, black women are killed by their partners at a rate of 4.4 per 100,000. Native American or indigenous women are killed at a rate of 4.3 per 100, 000. All other races are killed at a rate of 1 or 2 per 100,000. According to the 2010 Census, there are 157 million women in the United States. If these numbers aren’t alarming to you, you aren’t paying attention.

It’s not just the victims of domestic violence who are being killed. Police officers are at risk of homicide at an increased rate when responding to domestic violence. Perpetrators of domestic violence are more likely to engage in acts of homicide when their victim is trying to leave. This makes it all the more important to engage in safety planning when working with victims of domestic violence who may not be ready to leave yet. When they are ready to leave, the danger may increase.

This information is just a small portion of what is happening in the world we work in every day. Victims are scared, may not understand what their options are, may have no money, no job, or no transportation. They may have children but no way to care for them without their perpetrator. They may be ill or experiencing problematic symptoms from mental illness or substance use disorders.

It is important that all victims are treated with respect and dignity. Victims do not need to be revictimized by the community they live in by being asked the most pointless question: “Why didn’t you just leave?” Victims need our support, understanding, and care. Victims need us and you.

– Betsy Huggett, Executive Director

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July 2018

From the Director

We are in the heat of the summer and I hope we are all enjoying it. It’s hard to imagine that a few short weeks ago, we were having our 4th winter of the year. July brings so many wonderful things for us in the UP. There are those long-awaited summer vacations, sitting around campfires, marveling at the beauty that is Pure Michigan. The biggest holiday is the 4th of July, or more famously known as Independence Day.

What does it mean to be independent? From the birth of our country, it meant to be free of tyrannical oppression, free to practice any religion of choice without persecution, and free to pursue happiness. For our client population, independence has a very basic meaning: freedom to live without fear. For every client, this freedom has been extremely costly. The ability to live one’s life without worrying about being controlled or assaulted seems like a dream to our clients. Sometimes the cost is more than they can pay. They pay with their homes, children, and sometimes their own lives.

This month, an amazing group called the Grey Dragons Motorcycle Association, a group of retired Department of Corrections employees, will be hosting their annual “Mary’s Dream-Living Without Fear” motorcycle ride. It is a fundraising event in honor of Mary Anderson-Babb who paid the ultimate sacrifice with her life. She did everything right. She called the police. She filed personal protection orders. She used a safety plan. The day her estranged spouse decided to end her life, all of her planning was for naught.

Shel Fox of the Grey Dragons, with the help of so many volunteers and amazing riders, plans and carries out these events all over the state. They then donate all of the money raised to support several domestic violence organizations across Michigan. We are one of the lucky recipients. Each year, they have made a generous donation to our organization to help us help our clients.

This year, on July 14th, the ride will begin with registration at 9:00am at 109 Newberry Ave., Newberry, MI. All motorcycle riders are welcome to come. There will be great food, awesome prizes (did someone say Lions/Packers tickets for December 30th?), and a chance to ride with a great group through some of the most beautiful countryside. At the end of the day, you can know that all you did and experienced went to help victims of domestic violence escape fear and live with peace and independence. I hope you will consider attending this event. You will not be sorry.

– Betsy Huggett, Executive Director

Check out Shel Fox talk about Mary’s Dream Ride and read the rest of our July Newsletter Here:

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June 2018


From the Director

Every month, I try to bring something to the forefront that has to do with the awareness month. June is LGBTQ+ Awareness Month. I would encourage us to have a conversation about those in our communities who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or other. There is an enormous problem in this community and it’s not going away because it’s not being talked about. That problem is sexual assault.

People who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to be sexually assaulted than heterosexuals. It is often perpetrated as a hate crime. It is underreported, just like all sexual assaults. Many people from the LGBTQ+ community never come forward to report the crimes against them. If they do decide to report, they are often dismissed by those who are supposed to help them.

The statistics are staggering. 40% percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17% of heterosexual women and 13% of lesbians. 40% of gay men and 47% of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21% of heterosexual men. These are our sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, neighbors, and community members. Nobody deserves to have this happen. And if it does, they deserve to be treated with respect.

At Diane Peppler Resource Center, we do not discriminate against anyone seeking assistance for violence crimes committed against them. Our door is always open. We respect all. If you are being hurt by a partner, have been sexually assaulted, or if you are being stalked, please consider us a friendly environment that can offer assistance. I would also like to invite people to join us on June 15, 2018 at 9:00pm at Zim’s where we will be offering education during the monthly drag show.

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May 2018

From the Director

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. There has been a direct correlation to an increase in adverse mental health symptoms and domestic and sexual violence victims. The trauma that has been experienced by the victim can oftentimes manifest itself in various signs and symptoms that the victim may feel helpless to get treated. They may not be allowed to get medical or mental health care so these symptoms go untreated. Sometimes this can lead to self-medication through drugs and alcohol as well.

When I worked in substance abuse treatment, a large majority of our client population 90% of women, many men and children, had been victims of domestic or sexual violence at one point in their lives. It is important to understand that children can be adversely affected by witnessing violence in the home. The adult victims reported that they started using because of depression, anxiety, inability to stop having nightmares or flashbacks, and to numb the shame and guilt of their abuse. The children may be having behavioral problems because they do not know that it is ok to talk to someone about how they feel. Since domestic violence and sexual assault are greatly underreported, so many victims are suffering in silence.

Some signs to look for:
PTSD-easily startled, feeling tense or on edge, difficulty sleeping, having angry outbursts, difficulty remembering things, negative thoughts about yourself or others.

Depression-enduring sadness, self-loathing, loss of interest in activities, irritability and isolation, loss of energy, disturbed sleep patterns, change in appetite and body weight, reckless behavior, and suicidal tendencies.

Anxiety-sudden attack of intense fear, restless and difficulty concentrating, problems with decision-making, worrying about anxiety, physical manifestations such as fatigue, irritability and headaches, muscle aches and pains, sweating, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sometimes passing out, insomnia, irrational fears, and chronic indigestion.

There has been such a stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment. We know how important getting the treatment for these symptoms is to healing the wounds that others can’t see. We have a crisis counselor on staff who can help you start your healing journey. We also have a trauma trained yoga instructor who provides trauma-informed yoga for anyone who wants to participate. All staff are QPR trained by the Chippewa County Suicide Prevention Coalition. The services are free of charge. All it takes is a phone call to the office at (906) 635-0566. You can always reach out to us through our Diane Peppler Resource Center, Inc. Facebook page or through Messenger, or email us at director@dprcenter.org. I will have staff connect with you. We want to help you start your healing journey and live a life of freedom.

Embrace your Voice

April 2018

From the Director

You will probably read this more than once in this newsletter. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We consider this one of our highlight months. This is our time to shine a light on our services. This is the time to talk until we can’t talk anymore. This is the time to meet with as many people as possible. We are creating those opportunities and would love to have you engage with us.

We are having a first ever Open Mic Night to kick off this year’s theme of “Embrace Your Voice.” We are super excited about this event. We have had great feedback from people excited to not only participate in an open mic night but to be able to support our cause as well. We have singers and poets lined up to entertain us. We have two slots available and would love to have a couple of comedians! I hope you are out there reading this and want to sign up. Did I mention this is free?

Our Dolly and Me High Tea is one of my favorite events of the year. Not only do I get to hang out with some awesome kids and play dolls, I get to wear a fancy dress! As an only girl growing up with all brothers, this was not something I got to do very often. It is important for us to be able to build relationships with our future leaders and show them kindness, courtesy, and how to have fun. We are helping build protective factors with these children which will only serve to help them in the future. This is one of my favorite fundraisers and at $20 per person, it will be a real crowd pleaser!

Our Take Back/Give Back the Night event, “Embrace Your Voice” featuring Keith Edwards is the highlight of our month. There will be so many things to see and experience that it will literally change your life. I would encourage parents of teens, concerned community members, anyone in the position to exact change to come out and witness one of the most amazing nights that we have ever offered. And did I mention it is free?

Thank you to everyone who has worked tirelessly (who am I kidding? We are exhausted!) to make all of these events happen. I hope to see you at least once during the month. And remember, Embrace Your Voice. If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem quite right, please say something, do something, or tell someone.

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March 2018

From the Director

March is National Women’s History Month. I believe I was born a strong, independent woman and I can only say “I’m sorry” so many times to my mama, another strong woman, who raised me this way. I might be the reason for the gray hairs. We get 31 days to learn about all of the amazing women, like my mother and grandmother, who came before us and paved the way for the work we do today in the movement of domestic violence and sexual assault. 2017 saw such a large increase in the numbers of victims of both domestic violence and sexual assault who are being believed when they report the atrocities committed against them. All I can say is “FINALLY!” , but we have such a long way to go.

It’s not hard to turn on the television, open the newspaper, or log on to social media to see what is going on in the world. But right here in Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac Counties, we have our own women to thank and be grateful for, for their hard work and sacrifices, and for their commitment to our clients and our communities. These strong women, many of whom will never make the history books, are the backbone of our communities and deserve a parade in their honor.

If I didn’t start with our own namesake, I would be remiss. Diane Peppler was an amazing and dedicated female attorney. In 1977, she moved to Sault Ste. Marie and opened her law office. During the course of doing business and attending community meetings, she and a group of likeminded individuals, knew that the problems of domestic violence in Chippewa County could not go unanswered any longer. They knew women needed a place of safety and support in order to feel safe again. They started by assisting victims with one night stays at the Ojibway Ramada in 1979 until funding could be found. The year 1979 was also the year Diane was joined by her brother, Brian (some of you may know him), as a partner in their law firm. He talked of Diane tirelessly working on finding locations and “dragging” him around to see places. Diane wrote and applied for the articles of incorporation and the 501c3 status and the Domestic Violence Center of the EUP was born. Diane wrote and received the first grant ever for this type of work in Michigan. It was called the LEAA grant, funded by Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. Unfortunately in 1981, Diane was taken in a car accident and the organization was renamed for her amazing spirit. To this day, we hope to honor her with the work we do for our clients.

And of course, no celebration of women in the history of the domestic violence movement would be complete without honoring our very own Doreen Howson. Doreen gave Diane Peppler Resource Center more than 30 years as the executive director, coming on board in 1980. She also engaged in advancing the movement through advocacy on a state level, working with the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, now known as the Division of Victim Services. Doreen is always available whenever I need her expertise, an ear, or to have her cheer on our victories. We would not be where we are today without her guidance and presence every day.

It’s because of these pioneers that we have a place where other women can be valued in the workplace, can be supported in their times of strife, and can be strong, independent, and capable. Because of the support we received with our grants, we have our first attorney working for our clients (who happens to be a woman). We are blessed to work with many professional females in the course of our duties, whether they are our peers at the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Advocacy Resource Center and Bay Mills Indian Community, in law enforcement, at the hospitals, or in the prosecuting attorney’s offices. We have strong women who sit on the benches in our district as magistrates or judges. We have the support of our colleagues at the Women In Business meetings. And we have the strong women who sit on our board of directors: Mindy, Francene, Leanne, Ellen, Erica, Emily, and Jan.

Thank you to all of the strong women in our lives: May we know them, May we be them, May we raise them!

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February 2018

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner everyone’s focus is on their relationship and spending time together. Even the teens are focusing on their relationship or being in a relationship, which gets me thinking about their knowledge about what a healthy relationship is and is not.

When I think about what a healthy relationship is, the first thing that comes to my mind is a mutual respect for each other, which is feeling that my opinion is important and that both partners are valued for their differences. Another sign of a healthy relationship is that there is open, honest, safe communication between the partners. This would be by being able to air your dislikes and grievances with them being heard by the other partner, compromise between both partners, and being able to problem solve without the fear of retaliation. YES, that means besides texting, messaging and snapchatting you should be able to put down the phone and actually converse using your own voice. In a healthy relationship you are free to be yourself, have your own friends and interests, and respect each other’s privacy. In a healthy relationship with respect, the partners aren’t forced to give the other passwords or to keep their phone unlocked at all times. In a healthy relationship both partners have their own goals that they are working towards and both partners are supportive of each other. Knowing just these few signs can help builds to a healthy relationship but no relationship is perfect. There will be arguments that happen, but being able to talk helps come to a compromise where both partners feel that they were heard and valued.

Here are some signs of an unhealthy relationship: if you are not allowed to talk to friends, if you are afraid to tell your partner that you are upset and why you are upset, when the relationship gets physically aggressive, etc. Emotional abuse can be difficult to identify. This type of abuse can have signs like being called names, made to feel like everything is your fault, that you’re not good enough, or that no one but your partner loves you.

Even healthy relationships could experience ups and downs but with mutual respect, healthy communications skills, and being on the same page, it will help grow, mature, and draw both partners closer together through good and bad. Being open to discuss relationships with your teen could make all the difference.

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January 2018

From the Director

Happy New Year to everyone out there! We have had an amazing holiday season here at Diane Peppler Resource Center. The outpouring of support for our families was amazing beyond belief. We are so grateful for everyone who thinks of us during the holiday season. But now the holidays are over and our services have not ceased to operate. I am grateful for the staff who worked during this time and provided the best Christmas and New Year for the clients we are working with. Their commitment to our movement comes with no little amount of dedication.

January for us means a focus on Human Trafficking Awareness month. The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation. Our focus here is on sexual exploitation. This is being done in many ways and is here in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

What sexual exploitation or commercial sex trades can look like here would be ads for modeling careers, waitressing, nannies, and “One Day Only” recruiting. These “recruiters” are sex trade workers or pimps. They will promise big things like money, clothes, technology items, and trips. They will take them to places like Grand Rapids, Detroit, or Flint. They will blend in with the environment by meeting in places like casinos, restaurants, or shopping centers. They will advertise on Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, Backpage, or flyers posted around town.

Diane Peppler Resource Center, in conjunction with other members of the Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force, is hosting one of several educational events throughout the Upper Peninsula. On January 22, 2018 from 10:00am until 11:30am at LSSU Art Center Theater, we will have Leslie Hagan from the Department of Justice and Todd Wilton from Immigration and Customs Enforcement presenting some basic information regarding what we can do to help stop human trafficking in our area. If you can’t make that one, there will be another presentation in Bay Mills on the 22nd from 2:30pm to 4:00pm at the Bay Mills Casino Horizon Conference Center.

We look forward to seeing everyone there. I truly believe that together, once we learn what to look for, we can stop people from perpetrating human trafficking on the unsuspecting citizens of the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

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December 2017

Letter from the Director

Season’s Greetings to All! I can’t believe the holidays are already upon us. We are 2 months into the new fiscal year and time seems to be flying by. We are busy with preparations for our upcoming Children’s Christmas Party, Board of Director’s December meeting, and our staff celebration. In doing all of these things, we keep in the forefront of our minds that there are families who are not together at the holidays and that things are sad at home. We do our best to make sure the holidays here for our in-house clients are safe, happy, and full of hope for the future. We couldn’t do any of these things without your help.

I would like to take a moment to ponder on some thoughts that always get to me this time of year. I miss home. I have lived in the same house for 12 years. It is my home with my husband and our animals. But what I miss is the nostalgia of my childhood home. I miss not falling asleep on Christmas Eve because Santa was coming. I miss my grandma sleeping on the sofa in our living room, facing the Christmas tree, and telling us kids to “get back in bed” when we would try to sneak a peek at 4:00am. I miss all of my brothers and me being under the same roof. I miss my mom and dad saying we can open presents after they have their coffee and then learning to make their coffee to hurry the process. I miss my cousins coming over to play games. I miss my dad playing his guitar and singing for us. That is Christmas and home for me. Whenever I hear, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” I always get tears in my eyes.

The families who stay with us over the holidays do not have home for Christmas. Our families will forever have Diane Peppler Resource Center as part of their future Christmas stories. “Do you remember that time we stayed at the shelter for Christmas?” That is going to be part of someone’s forever Christmas memory. We have the opportunity to show these families the kindness that everyone deserves. These families are seeking a new normal for themselves. As they traverse through the difficult days ahead, hopefully they can put the painful days behind them and move forward into a brighter outlook.

We believe in the magic of Christmas. We believe if you have been good all year, Santa will bring you something special. We believe that Santa knows where you are, even if you are not at your home. We need some special people to be Santas for our clients. If you would like to help be part of someone’s Christmas story of their time at the shelter, please give me a call at (906) 635-0566. All Santas can apply.

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December 2017

November 2016 Newsletter

Celebrate National Philanthropy Day and learn how you can help us make a difference in the lives of the victims of domestic violence or sexual assault and their families. It can be as easy as using amazon.smile when you shop or donating items for our annual Christmas party or as profound as volunteering for our crisis help line. Our director, Betsy Huggett, shares how our combined efforts and outreach helps law enforcement and others to recognize and protect victims in our community.

 

Nov 2016 Newsletter (pdf)

 

DPRC Newsletter June 2016

Volunteers Needed for upcoming events, a message from our director about National Hunger Awareness Month and information about National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Day in this month’s edition.

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May 2016 Newsletter

May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month and Mental Health Month, In this edition of our newsletter we outline the importance and pertinent facts about both,  and some ways to help and participate.

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April 2016 Newsletter

DPRC Newsletter April 2016

Hello!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and a big time of year for the Diane Peppler Resource Center. This month we hosted Katie Hnida, a speaker for sexual assault awareness, at both LSSU’s Take Back the Night event and at La Salle High School in St. Ignace. This month we are also hosting our Annual Dolly and Me High Tea Fundraiser.

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DPRC Newsletter March 2016

In this months issue: Domestic Abuse and Brain Trauma, Self Injury Awareness, Dolly and Me Tickets
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DPRC Newsletter December 2015

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, Holiday Donation needs, Christmas Party, Board Vacancies and new services in this month’s newsletter!
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DPRC Newsletter November 2015

Chili Cook-off, National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week, #Don’tCutVOCA! and much more in this Months Newsletter.

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