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Domestic Violence

What is domestic violence? The definition of domestic violence is as follows: domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors in any relationship that one intimate partner uses to get or keep power and control over another intimate partner.

In other words, domestic violence is physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions that influence another person. In an abusive relationship, one intimate partner uses physical, sexual, emotional, or other types of domestic violence to try to gain and maintain power and control over the other partner.

Every human being has the right to feel safe, to live each day, and rest each night, free from violent actions and intimidating threats.

Every human heart can admit what love is — and is not. Love is not abuse. Domestic violence is never acceptable in any relationship.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE

Married couples. People who are living together or who are dating. Teens. College students. Newlyweds. So-called “Power Couples” blessed with wealth and fame. Men and women working to raise themselves out of poverty. LGBTQ partners. People with disabilities. Seniors. Anyone.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AFFECTS EVERYONE

We all need to understand domestic violence. Learn how to recognize the signs of domestic violence happening in your own life or the lives of friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers, or anyone you know.

Next: Housing First Program: How Haven Hills Helps Survivors of Domestic Violence Find Housing

Recent posts

  • Planned Giving at Haven Hills

    The Planned Giving Insights within this blog are provided through the generosity of our board member, Valerie J. Bowman, CPWA®, CAP®.   Ms. Bowman is not compensated for these writings and, like all of our board, is not compensated for her service on the board. Valerie Bowman is a Certified Private Wealth Advisor® professional, a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®, and President and CEO of Bowman Wealth Management, LLC.

    Hello Valerie – thank you for taking the time to share your insights on planned giving. Can you tell us a little about what planned giving is?

    Planned giving at Haven Hills is an area of fundraising that refers to several specific gift types that can be funded with cash, equity, or **property. In brief, a planned giving request is a solicitation of major gifts for Haven Hills, often contributed by an individual donor through a will, bequest, or trust. As a planned giving donor, one recognizes that causes that they care about will continue to exist, even after their passing. Donors are giving because they want to.  Haven Hills is asking because we need to help others.  We appreciate that donors are both kind enough to give now and curious about how they can give later.

    **Note: Donors should refer to the Haven Hills gift acceptance police for details of the specific types of gifts this organization is prepared to receive. Contact the Development Department at 818-887-7481 ext. 121

    In addition to sending the, much appreciated, cash donations directly to Haven Hills, what are some other ways for donors to give now?

    Donor can establish a donor advised fund (DAF).  A donor advised fund is an irrevocable charitable giving account that can be established at a sponsoring organization like the charitable arm of a financial services firm or a community foundation.  Once the donor deposits assets into the account, they receive an immediate tax deduction based on the type of asset, and their AGI, adjusted gross income. In most cases, the donor can direct the fund administrator to grant funds from the DAF to a specific nonprofit organization like Haven Hills.

    What are some of the planned giving option for donors?

    Let me mention some general categories.  The specifics of each category should be discussed with one’s financial professionals.

    One of the simplest ways to make a gift is through a will or trust

    • Simply name Haven Hills as a beneficiary in a will or trust.

    Donors can also designate Haven Hills as the beneficiary of the following types of assets:

    • Retirement plans, financial account, or annuities

    I’ve heard that Life Insurance can be donated as well. Is this correct?

    Yes, often life insurance is no longer needed to cover the expenses for which it was originally purchased.  Donors can either gift a policy to Haven Hills by naming Haven Hills as the owner and/ or designate Haven Hills as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. The tax benefits for this type of donation are dependent on many factors and proper council should be sought.

    Suppose a donor wants to give a gift of Real Estate

    As part of the mission of Haven Hills is to provide shelter to victims of domestic violence, receiving real estate would certainly further that cause. However, we continue to invite donors to review the gift acceptance policy or contact Haven Hills to discuss the details of the property.   Different tax deductions are available dependent, among other things, on how the property is used by Haven Hills or if it is sold and proceeds are used to support the mission of Haven Hills. There are many details about the donation of real estate that will impact the donor’s tax deduction. This can be a great option for the donor as it may lead to potential avoidance of capital gains tax if donated to Haven Hills rather than selling the property prior to donating it. In some cases, a charitable trust which can also be utilized to sell the property. I can’t emphasize enough, the importance of speaking to a tax, legal or wealth management professional, and legal counsel to ensure that generous gifts of real estate provide the charitable impact the donor wants, the financial impact they are entitled to, and the freedom of Haven Hills to use the property without incurring any financial responsibilities.

    What About Gift of One’s Home?

    A donor and their attorney can establish what is called a gift of a remainder interest in a personal residence.  Basically, if you own your home you may irrevocably transfer title to Haven Hills, while retaining the right to use it during your lifetime, and continuing to pay the home’s expenses. After which time, Haven Hills will take ownership. The IRS has specific guidelines for the calculation of the tax deduction, and discourages debt-encumbered property, which may cause unwanted consequences for both the donor and Haven Hills.

    Is appreciated stock something a donor could gift?

    Yes, Amber.  I mentioned charitable trust earlier, which, in brief, is a legal document that crates a means to transfer assets to a charity and may be established as a charity itself. There are many different types of charitable trust, which we will discuss, in our next blog. Each has different tax advantages and serves a different purpose. But, to answer your question, yes, donors can donate appreciated securities to Haven Hills outright or through a trust. Again donors should refer to the gift acceptance policy for addition information and specific instructions on transfers through a brokerage account.

    In conclusion, these potential legacy gifts will be a lasting tribute to the donor, create fond memories for their family about their generosity, and, of course, evoke eternal gratitude from Haven Hills and the victims of domestic violence.

    Income tax deduction for your planned gifts are dependent on may factors including your AGI, adjusted gross income. Please consult your tax professional to determine the tax deduction and savings for your much-appreciated generosity in gifting one or more of the above-mentioned gifts.

    **Including language in your will about your desire to give is a simple process.

    However, the hardest part of this delayed giving is perhaps gathering all family members and sharing your desire to leave a legacy to a charitable organization, upon your passing.

    Providing for the future of a charity does not have to be to the exclusion of your heirs. If you so choose, there are many ways to provide for both, the details of which will be discussed in the next blog. Regardless of how you choose to give, Haven Hills is available to help you decide which giving vehicle best suits your needs and the needs of your family.

    “I can testify that it is nearly always easier to make $1,000,000 honestly than to dispose of wisely” -Julius Rosenwald-

    Ms. Bowman is a resident of California by way of Chicago, a city that certainly has its share of homelessness. However, upon moving to California she was stunned by an even heightened level of homelessness that appears to be California’s new normal. According to Los Angeles City Women’s Needs Assessment, (2019) 36% of homeless women were victims of domestic violence.  Ms. Bowman has both written and spoken about homelessness. She is proud to be part of an organization that provides safety, shelter, and support to victims of domestic violence and proud to serve on the Haven Hills Board.

     The information provided is meant to be general, and educational in nature. For specifics of your situation, please consult with your tax, legal, or financial professional, to determine the impact on your estate, gift and income taxes.

  • 40 Hour Domestic Violence Training

    Everyone deserves to have a violence free relationship. Any relationship. The term domestic violence describes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial, digital, and / or religious abuse by a current or former partner or spouse. This violence can occur in any relationship. Heterosexual couples, same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy. Domestic violence affects women and men and their children.

    I am not a counselor nor do I have a license to provide counseling or therapy but I recently took Haven Hills’ 40-Hour Domestic Violence training and walked away with the tools on how to support someone who is asking for help. What I did learn is that anyone can help.

    Violence is a learned and taught behavior. Children who witness domestic violence in the home are at more risk of experiencing domestic violence as they grow up – as teens and adults. Family is our central institution and the primary source of how we learn as children. Unhealthy relationship behaviors are likely to be repeated by children if this is what is modeled in the home, especially if this aggressive behavior is shown to be an effective method for handling conflict, “I saw my parents do it” kind of attitude.

    Domestic violence is a silent epidemic. It occurs anywhere and across all populations and DV can also take many forms. 90% of people in the U.S. fail to define repeated emotional, verbal, sexual abuse and controlling behaviors as patterns of domestic abuse.

    About 1 in 5 women and about 1 in 9 men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

    Upon further research I found that California sees higher rates than the national average with 32% of women and 27% of men report experiencing domestic violence by an intimate partner.

    I learned that many people do not speak up. I learned that many people go back because they do not have the tools or help to survive on their own. 40-Hours may seem like a long time but the team at Haven Hills has broken it down into weekly online presentations with a corresponding module. The staff was available and open to as many questions that me and my peers had during the lessons. The commitment you are making to learn more about how you can be an advocate to help supersedes the time it takes to complete the certificate. You are surrounded by other ambassadors who are taking the steps to stop harassment or violence to make a significant difference in someone’s life, and send a powerful message.

    I will continue to bring awareness to this cause, educate our community and play an active role in helping to establish an environment where healthy and positive relationships are based on respect, safety and equality. I learned that Haven Hills has the tools to help.

    24/7 Crisis Line 818-887-6589

    They are just a phone call away.

  • Teaching Through a Pandemic

    One pandemic later and we are living in a world of virtual learning and 18 months later we are slowly beginning to integrate back to some semblance of normalcy. We wanted to take a moment to interview Haven Hills’ teacher to share her thoughts about the education program at Haven Hills and how the pandemic has affected her program. 

    • Interviewer: Tell me about Haven Hills’ Children’s programs and on-site shelter school? 

    I am extremely proud of the educational program my team and I have developed throughout my 10 years at Haven Hills. We have always maintained a child-centered curriculum, combined with rigorous attention to state standards; taught in a creative and engaging way. As a teacher who has previously taught in classrooms containing 30+ students, I feel blessed to have the luxury of an environment where I can focus on individual needs and strengths so vital to a child’s growth and self-esteem. Both the kids and I have thrived in this atmosphere. When I hear a 15-year-old boy tell me that mine was the first class where he ever read an entire book, or when a 10-year-old girl, told for years she was “stupid” at math, lights up at mastering division; it is no mystery why I have stayed here 10 years.  

    We focus on English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies every day.  Art, music, and dance are also a big part of my classroom.  Over the years, I have collected a terrific assortment of lesson plans for all grades and interests.  Some, I have written, some I have borrowed, and on some I have collaborated.  The remarkable thing about educators is that they love to share their successful lessons with each other! The structure of the classroom is divided by age and grade.  We serve kids kindergarten through high school.  I design an instructional program for each of the kids based on my initial assessments, state standards, and the children’s own strengths and interests.  I only have them for a maximum of 45 days (about 1 and a half months), but it is wonderful to see what some TLC can do. 

    • Interviewer: How is their learning structured during the pandemic? 

     Throughout the last year, the Haven Hills team and I have challenged ourselves to maintain the education of our client’s children in any way possible. We have distributed thrice weekly lessons, worksheets, and curricula, offered Zoom classes, and purchased hands on science and art kits for the kids to enjoy. I have heard from many parents throughout the year that the children enjoy the educational packets and that the parents also enjoy doing them with their kids! So, as an unexpected bonus, parents and children have strengthened their bond! Yay! That said, though, I cannot WAIT to get back into the classroom, whenever that may be. I miss the interaction and the joy I get from my students. 

    • Interviewer: Do you work with partner organizations? 

    Most other DV (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) shelters do not have onsite schools, which is a shame, because it is unsafe for the children to return to their old school (because of the abuser).  There have been many cases of the abusive partner kidnapping the children from their school and/or using them as leverage against the DV survivor.  So, back in the 70’s, when Haven Hills began, the women who founded it wisely wanted the children to continue their studies. They also knew the routine of school would provide comfort and structure to traumatized kids.  They also intuitively knew that happy kids help heal the DV survivors.  So, they designed a one-room schoolhouse for the survivor’s children onsite where the kids could thrive and get a lot of individual attention they have been needing for years.  Other DV shelters are beginning to catch on to how necessary a school is for the health of their clients and have installed them or in the process of developing them. Another serendipitous event occurred during this last challenging year. A sister shelter contacted me to pick my brain on developing their own classroom onsite! I happily babbled on for an hour to their administrator and it truly reminded me how much I love teaching at Haven Hills. He told me he is going to incorporate many of my suggestions. This success is a shared one:  I could not do the positive things for the kids I do without the support and encouragement of the Haven Hills team. 

    • Interviewer: Do you have any advice for parents out there who may be struggling with school? 

    Advice for parents struggling with school is first…realize we are all struggling so do not be tough on yourself.  Also, do not be ashamed or embarrassed to reach out for support from other parents or teachers, online or by phone.  There are terrific free resources available:  the Los Angeles Unified School District, the PTA, even the public library! There are parent support groups that are open and encouraging to all — all you need to do is ask. 

    • Interviewer: Do you have a favorite teaching moment? 

    My favorite teaching moment is when school is over and the kids do not want to leave! Yes, that does sometimes happen.  That is truly a great moment.