Our Dine For Day One event is tomorrow!
Tickets are still available.
Order your tickets today.
Tomorrow, June 21, 2017
6:00 – 9:30 PM
While many events focused on prevention and education, several SAAM events also covered the subject of human trafficking. These included a human trafficking panel and documentary screening at Roger Williams University, which featured the Day One Children’s Advocacy Center. Another event at Salve Regina University, entitled “Community Response: Technology’s Role in Human Trafficking,” and included a panel of law enforcement professionals working to track down perpetrators.
Don’t forget! Today is May One For Day One at McBride’s Pub in Providence. Enter with a $5 raffle ticket purchase. We hope you can stop by tonight from 5-7 PM.
As an agency that works to end sexual violence of all kinds, we invite you to participate in Denim Day. Denim Day is an anti-sexual violence campaign that uses denim jeans as a statement to raise awareness about victim blaming, rape culture, and sexual abuse. All over the world, women and men who are victims of sexual assault continue to be accused of causing the assault due to their behavior or fashion. These accusations – and the mindset behind them – must end.
Did you know that in Rhode Island, one in eight women have been sexually assaulted during their lifetime? In addition, an estimated one in four girls and one in six boys will experience sexual assault before they are 18 years old. It’s unacceptable and it is time for a change.
In 1998 in Italy, an 18-year-old girl was raped by her driving instructor. The man was convicted, but the case went to the Supreme Court of Appeals in Rome. The court overturned the conviction, arguing that because the girl wore very tight jeans, she must have helped remove them, thereby giving consent to have sex. The women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans to work. Wearing jeans became a symbol of awareness that what someone wears is never an excuse for rape. The first Denim Day was in April 1999, and has continued in cities in the US and around the world every year since.
To honor Denim Day, we encourage community members and businesses to wear jeans to work or school to promote a discussion of the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. Participants can share pictures online using the hashtag #DayOneDenimDay.
We also ask that you hold a Denim Day fundraiser at your business and collect donations from staff who participate to benefit Day One. On Denim Day, you can make an optional donation of $2.00 or more and join colleagues, friends, family, and staff who support Day One’s efforts in preventing sexual violence. In 2016 alone, Day One served over 10,000 children, adolescents, and adults through our programs, and your donations help us continue our services and create new programs. With your help, we can reduce the prevalence of sexual violence, so use this day as an opportunity to dress down for a great cause!
It is also important to keep the awareness going throughout the year after Denim Day. Many businesses have dress down Fridays during the year, please consider turning it into a fundraiser each week with a donation to Day One.
Thank you for your support!
All month long, Day One is hosting several events throughout the state to raise awareness about this important issue. Our heaviest coverage will be in the schools. Our education team will be busy with dozens of events ranging from workshops, information tables, films, and panel discussions at middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities throughout the state.
SAAM events open to the public include:
In an office full of toys and color, a small spot in the corner is set aside with a blanket. This is the resting space for Gracie, Day One’s in-house therapy dog. Whenever Gracie is in the office, there is a noticeable change in both the clients and
the staff as she walks around the halls and greets anyone she sees.
Paula Marcello, LMHC Clinician and RN at Day One, has had Gracie for nine years and describes her as “simply remarkable.” Paula actually rescued Gracie from an abusive home while working in a program called Project Connect. “I wasn’t looking for a dog,” says Paula. “But that all changed when I was doing home visiting.”
The first time she met Gracie, Paula was struck by her sweet and friendly nature, but noted that she was head-shy and would often keep her head down or flinch away from people’s hands. Dogs often develop this behavior if they have faced abuse in the past. “I knew Gracie was special, and I had this inner feeling that I was going to get her eventually.”
Paula was determined to give Gracie a happier life, and started by christening her with a new name: Gracie. Her previous name was Diamond, but Paula wanted something that emphasized her gentle and graceful nature.
From there, Paula started bringing Gracie to visit her mother in a nursing home. Gracie would poke her head into the rooms and the residents were always so happy to see her. “That’s when I knew she would be healing for people,” says Paula. “Everybody that’s met her knows she’s special.”
Now, Gracie is a constant presence at Day One’s office. On breaks, the two go for walks. “I don’t even have to put her on the leash,” says Paula. “She just walks with me.”
Gracie is also famous for checking on people in the waiting areas. “She’s so smart that she knows who needs attention,” says Paula. In the past, Gracie has walked over to clients and tapped them with her head in a comforting gesture. “If she feels like someone is kind of off, she’ll go and lie down next to them. If they’re anxious, they can just pet her,” says Paula. In between visiting clients, she lies in the hall while clients and staff members alike stop to sit with her.
Some of Day One’s clients have developed extremely close relationships with Gracie. One client brings her a bone every week, which Gracie hides among her little blanket in Paula’s office. Clients often take pictures with Gracie and send them to Paula, who prints them out and places them on a corkboard.
One picture, titled “Gracie
Looking Upwards,” perfectly demonstrates the love and positivity Gracie represents.
For one long-time client named Liz, Gracie has made all the difference. Gracie will often accompany Liz for her therapy appointments and has been doing so for about a year and a half. While Liz initially felt uncomfortable coming to the agency and talking in sessions, Gracie has helped her feel more secure. “I literally feel ecstatic when I am able to run down the hall and see her sitting there,” says Liz. “Every time I arrive at Day One, she notices me immediately. She always gets up, wags her tail, and gives me her paw. I love her like my own.”
For Paula, seeing the relationship between Gracie and clients like Liz is always amazing. “I’ve had people call and ask to see the ‘therapist with the dog,’” says Paula, laughing. “She’s just so wonderful with people.”
It is amazing to witness the way Gracie supports and comforts our clients; something a “human therapist” just can’t copy.