Verbal / Emotional Abuse

deepest scars

Perusing library shelves is ongoing in the 360’s section of  the Fulton County Public Library. This is a broad category called Social Problems & Social Services. With a category attempting to incorporate all social problems, you can imagine the sheer size of this section! Obviously there’s no way I can cover all social problems in a few blog posts so I’ve been trying to bring attention to many that may not be as well known. In the meantime though, I’ve actually been reading about many other topics that don’t necessarily get their own posts. Lately some of those topics have been: foster parenting, adoption, home visits, children with parents in prison, and birth mothers.

With better education most of us are at least aware of the topic of abuse.

types of abuseCertain types of abuse are more obvious than others. Physical scars and injuries make it easier for us to see and respond to abusive situations. However there are types of abuse in which the injuries and scars do not show and it might be easy to miss or not take as seriously.

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Often the literature refers to only a woman as the abused and a man as the abuser. Statistically a woman is more likely to suffer from this type of abuse, but in some cases it’s the woman who is abusive and the man is the target. I’ve also read that verbal and emotional abuse is a huge problem among many same sex couples. No one deserves to be abused; ever.

The effects of verbal abuse are real and may manifest in physical and/or psychological symptoms.

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The good news is that there are very effective ways to combat verbal/emotional abuse. Here are some highly recommended books to help:

Why Does He Do That

This book is exactly what it says it is on the cover. Of all of the books of this type that I’ve read, I would say this is by far one of the most encouraging and informative ones that I’ve ever come across. Why Does He do That? by Lundy Bancroft is an easy to read book (also available in audio book format)  that may be read straight through or the reader may use it as more of a reference type book by looking up a question and reading its response by the author. Even though this book is written primarily with women in mind, it is a helpful resource to anyone experiencing verbal/emotional abuse.

the verbally abusive relationship

This book is a must read. The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans literally changed my life. I happened across this book several years ago while I was doing some research about workplace bullying. When I first read this book, I was absolutely horrified that I was reading about my own life in its pages. This may sound strange, but until I read this book I had absolutely no idea that my (then) relationship was verbally abusive. It was the same story as the proverbial frog sitting in water that is slowly being heated. The changes in my life up to that time had been so gradual that I was only just beginning to feel the boil. I don’t want to make this post about me (and I will be covering more of this in my own book as I’ve mentioned before), but I think everyone should read this book.  There is invaluable information on how to respond to abuse or even recognize the abuse when it happens to your or other people.

invisible scars

Invisible Scars by Catherine Dowda, M.Ed., LPC  is a very interesting book that gives a lot of empowering information. It differs from many other books of its subject matter in that it will help the abused person to realize if his or her situation can be changed. It is the only book of it’s kind I’ve ever seen that gives specific reasons why an abuser is or is not likely to change. This book may help someone to save a lot of heartache.

stop suffering in silence

If you are experiencing emotional or verbal abuse educate yourself and then get help. Abuse of any kind is never ok. There are many ways to do this:

  1. Read books
  2. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline -advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Counselors at the hotline are fluent in over 170 languages. All calls are confidential and anonymous.
  3. Visit websites starting with the Domestic Violence Hotline site-http://www.thehotline.org/help/ . On this site you can read important information, chat with counselors, and learn about safety planning.

If you are not being abused but know someone who is, you can help by:

  1. Providing a safe place for a target to go-whether temporarily or long term
  2. Working out code words or signs (for example a porch light on during the day) that could signal for you to call for help.
  3. Respond appropriately EVERY time to verbal/emotional abuse.

Abuse thrives on silence so by all of us speaking up and speaking out any time we encounter verbal/emotional abuse it becomes harder to deny. More importantly it becomes harder for an abuser to continue . Abusers often try to silence their targets because they lose their “power over”  when a target speaks out. It takes courage to speak up and speak out but it is one of the best protections. The more people who know about it, the better.

Have you ever had to deal with verbal/emotional abuse? Have you ever helped someone in this type of situation?

 

 

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Reference & Information Window

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The next resource in the Reference Department is the Reference & Information window, sometimes affectionately referred to as the drive through window by the staff. Flanked on both sides by informational booklets, this window provides access to  Greta Grasshopper

Greta Grasshopper

and one on one assistance.

Any patron can come to the window to ask any question. In general, however,

 Ricki Racoon fields many questions from Grant Station and refers more in depth questions to Greta Grasshopper.

Greta Grasshopper

 Typical questions that might be handled in this area involve actual reference questions that have to be looked up, genealogy questions, and questions pertaining to tax forms to mention a few. A patron may not know how to download e-books on their smart devices or e-readers so Greta helps them through the process. Some patrons need to have tests proctured. This is a service that the Fulton County Public Library offers free of charge. Greta is usually the staff member responsible for providing this service. When Greta isn’t working with an in person patron, she may be working with patrons on the telephone.

Much of the library’s “behind the scenes” work happens through the Reference Department. In addition to the responsibilities mentioned, Greta orders all of the books for the  Adult and Teenage collections. She processes Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests for books and movies and requests for new library books. Book donations are given to the Reference Department where Greta makes collection development decisions for the adult and teen collections. (Children’s book donations are handled by the Children’s Department.) Some books are sent to Technical Services to be cataloged for the library. Other books may be designated for the Friends of the Library monthly book sale, outreach programs, or even be used by various library programs. Hard copy reference books and the Indiana Room are also part of Greta’s responsibility.

Patrons may be interested in reading the Fulton County Public Library’s policy for book and media donations. If so, just click this:

http://fulco.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/105826791/Book%20and%20Media%20Donation%20Policy.pdf

All of the above is quite a bit of work and on extremely busy days, it can get rather crazy. The Reference Department employees show their collective sense of humor by posting this sign.

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No asylum would be complete without it’s own resident shrink which explains the presence of the bobble headed Sigmund Freud.

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It’s unclear if the staff want to give counsel or receive it. The patron should evaluate this on an individual basis.

Reference & Information

Reference 001

Moving to the left of the Grant Station, I encountered this bookshelf loaded with information and resources. The sign to the left of the bookshelf points me to the Reference and Information window (more on that later). For now, this bookshelf deserves a serious look because it offers a great deal of information.

On the top shelf alone, I found brochures, bookmarks, flyers, business cards, and folders loaded with helpful resources.

Top Shelf

Since this shelf is bound to be constantly changing, I thought I would share the types of information I found at this point in time:

Information on how financial aid applicants can avoid fraud and identity theft

Information on how to go to school or work in Indiana (KnowHow2GOIndiana.org)

How to use Inspire, Indiana’s virtual library (Inspire.IN.gov)

How to download eBooks & Audiobooks for your computer, mobile device, iPod or eBook reader from eIndiana Digital Consortium

Information on A to Z databases which is described as “Ultimate Databases for Jobs, Businesses, Mailing Lists, Background & Criminal Search.”

Information on How to do a job search, email job listings, and write a resume

Contact information for the Department of Education for information on local education contracts, ideas for improving schools, education research and statistics, policies and practices, or locating education experts.

A listing of digital resources offered by the Fulton County Public Library free of charge which include: 3M Cloud Library, Ancestry.com, ARRC, AtoZ Databases, Britannica, Cypress Resume, Freegal, Inspire, HeritageQuest, Hoopla, Mango, Overdrive, Small Engine Repair Reference, Tumble Books, and Zinio. Those who have an Evergreen Indiana library card, an Evergreen PIN and a working email address will be able to access these services at http://www.fulco.lib.in.us.

Information about HIP, the new Healthy Indiana Plan

College information about Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana University Kokomo, and Trine University

Moving to the second shelf I found more information about colleges, job searching, and flyers highlighting our Auto Repair Reference Center (ARRC) database. The ARRC boasts information about more than 35,000 vehicles from 1945 to present, 857,000 drawings and step by step photographs, and over 158,600 wiring diagrams.

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The third shelf sports free coloring books about fire safety for some of our tiniest patrons, a consumer information catalog, and a map of Fulton County and Rochester, Indiana.

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On the fourth shelf, the contents switch from general information to barcoded  sheet music that patrons can check out.  To the right of the actual sheet music is a sheet music index to make finding a specific arrangement easier.

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The fifth and final shelf packs in a lot of important information. The brochures on this shelf all pertain to services for the handicapped. There is an application for free individual library services to meet the needs of the blind, visually handicapped, physically handicapped, reading disabled and deaf. Approved applicants will be eligible to receive library materials with special accomodations such as playback machines and accessories.

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The remainder of this shelf contains various bits of legal information such as food inspection reports, the city of Rochester Wellhead Protection Program information, and many documents from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The older IDEM documents reside on this shelf. The newest ones are publicly posted elsewhere. There are also copies of various permit applications and notices of decisions made by IDEM.