89.1 WEMU

Safehouse Center

Barbara Niess-May
SafeHouse Center / safehousecenter.org

SafeHouse Center provides emergency shelter and an array of services to survivors on domestic violence and sexual assault in Washtenaw County.  Like all other service agencies, the pandemic has an effect on the way it conducts its business and on the bottom line.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," SafeHouse Center executive director Barbara Niess-May discusses maintaining vital and essential services during a public health crisis. 


Barbara Niess-May
SafeHouse Center / safehousecenter.org

Police are responding to an increased number of domestic violence calls during the coronavirus pandemic.  An increase had been expected because many women have to shelter-in-place with their abusers.  Shelters had prepared for an increase in service requests, but those calls aren't coming as frequently as anticipated.  As WEMU'S David Fair found out from Safehouse Center executive director Barbara Niess-May, that is worrisome for a number of reasons. 


Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Sheriff / twitter.com

The COVID-19 pandemic is approaching its peak, but the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office is making necessary adjustments.  While some deputies have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and others are quarantined, those on the job are working longer and more staggered shifts.  Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton Joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss operations and the plan to protect and serve as the ourbreak worsens. 


Barbara Niess-May
SafeHouse Center / safehousecenter.org

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, most people have been required to stay home at all times, especially after Governor Whitmer passed her "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order on Monday.  Yet, home is not a safe place for those who deal with domestic violence.  Safehouse Center executive director Barbara Niess-May joined WEMU's David Fair for a conversation on how domestic abuse victims can stay safe during this time of public health pandemic. 


Barbara Niess-May
SafeHouse Center / safehousecenter.org

The #MeToo movement continues to spread awareness of sexual harassment and abuse throughout the country.  The silver lining is more women are coming forward, and community conversations are taking place.  However, harassment remains underreported, and insufficient workplace and judicial systems are in place to end systemic support of such behaviors.  Safehouse Center executive director Barbara Niess-May joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss her op-ed piece, "Sexual Harrassment: Its Impact and Solutions." 


SafeHouse center / https://www.safehousecenter.org/

The SafeHouse Center shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Ann Arbor is constantly at, or near, capacity.  The number of helpline calls to the center is at an all-time high.  These are insidious and pervasive issues right here in our home community.  89.1 WEMU's David Fair sat down with SafeHouse Center executive director Barbara Niess-May, to discuss where we've come, where we are, and where we need to go.


Elsa Baine

Law enforcement across Washtenaw County is changing the way it responds to domestic violence calls.  89.1 WEMU's Taylor Pinson explores the change through the eyes of law enforcement and a domestic violence survivor advocate. 


Denim Day
Denim Day / denimdayinfo.org

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and today is Denim Day.  These designations are designed to increase awareness about sexual assault and the societal behaviors and perceptions that must be changed.  Safehouse Center executive director Barbara Niess-May joins WEMU's David Fair to discuss what Denim Day has accomplished and what still needs to be done. 


Courtesy Photo / Purple Rose Theatre

Perhaps one of the most difficult issues to discuss is domestic violence.  Michigan playwright Carey Crim authored the play "Never Not Once" and takes a deep dive into the emotional and personal issues dealt with the aftermath of such horrific crimes.  Artistic explorations, like this, can have a positive impact on how the public deals with such difficult issues.  That's the focus on this week's "creative:impact. " 


WEMU Guest Report: Carmen Domingas Helping Heroes

Oct 29, 2018
Sadaf Ali

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  WEMU worked with Eastern Michigan University Professor Sadaf Ali to present this profile of First Step Advocate Carmen Domingas.  They explore her role as a counselor and how she helps survivors find their inner strength. **NOTE** this story contains descriptions of intimate partner violence.


David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

You fall in love, get married, have children, and expect to live the rest of your life in the warmth and security of family.  Then, your partner begins to manipulate and undermine you.  That's before he starts beating you.  Even when sent to jail, he tries to hire people to kill you and the children and you share together.  That is the story of Nicole Beverly.

The Ypsilanti Township woman is taking the lessons she learned, sharing her story and educating others, so they might avoid a similar circumstance.  Beverly's experience exposed a number of holes in the legal system that keep victims in danger.  Now, she advocates for legislative and policy changes to create greater protections.

Nicole Beverly updates her story with 89.1 WEMU's David Fair in this Domestic Violence Awareness Month conversation. 


David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

A year has passed since the #MeToo movement brought more attention to sexual assault and harrassment.  WEMU's David Fair talks to Safehouse Center executive director Barbara Niess-May and U of M law professor and former U.S. Attorney for the Eastrern District of Michigan Barb McQuade about how the movement has emboldened survivors and launched a conversation that will create positive change in the years to come.  


For 19 years now, a day in April is reserved for 'Denim Day.'  Its origins stem from a case in France in which a rapist was acquitted because the teenaged female agreed removed her own blue jeans in the course of the assault.  The next day, female lawmakers in the French Parliament wore denim to work in a show of solidarity and disgust.  WEMU's David Fair talks with Barbara Niess-May, the executive director of Safehouse Center in Washtenaw County, about where we've come since then and the work that still needs to be done. 


Convictions on charges of witness intimidation and extortion on April 3rd will keep Nicole Beverly's ex-husband behind bars, for now.  Kevin Beverly abused Nicole for a period of years, and even while behind bars, allegedly tried to hire people to kill the Ypsilanti Township woman and the two children they share. sentencing on the latest two convictions has been scheduled for May and it could keep Kevin Beverly jailed for up to 20 years.  Hear Nicole's reaction to the convictions, how her children are responding and why she is more determined than ever to win greater protections for victims and survivors of domestic violence. 


The Jelly Bean Jump Up is an annual fundraiser to raise money for SafeHouse Center in Ann Arbor, which offers support to those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault.  The name Jelly Bean Jump Up refers to Zingerman's co-founder Ari Weinzweig’s beloved Corgi, who passed away in 2015.

As part of the fundraiser, a special dinner is taking place Tuesday, March 13th with Molly Stevens, award-winning cookbook author, chef, and teacher at Zingerman's Roadhouse.

89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry talked to her about the benefits of braising, roasting, and becoming empowered in the kitchen!


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

To help end domestic violence, the Southeast Michigan Coalition Against Domestic Violence was launched today during a roundtable at the SafeHouse Center in Ann Arbor. 


Safehouse Center / https://www.safehousecenter.org/

It is "Denim Day" around the world and Sexual Assault Awareness Month  in the US.  Sexual assault is a societal, public health and economic issue. It is a deeply personal issue for victims, often with life-long consequences. WEMU's David Fair explores the issues with Barbara Neiss-May, executive director of Safehouse Center in Ann Arbor. 


Jelly Bean
Ari Weinzweig / zingermans.com

Jelly Bean lived a long, full life. When the Corgi passed away in 2015 she was 17-years old.  Jelly Bean spent a lot of time running with her human. Those experiences, and memories, have inspired  a future of service work in her honor. This month marks the 2nd annual 'Jelly Bean Jump Up!' 


Despite an increased national spotlight on domestic violence, it is an issue that, too often, is still discussed in hushed tones. In Washtenaw County, law enforcement agencies, the prosecutor's office and community leaders are standing up and speaking out. Additionally, they are working closely with Safehouse Center to bring the issue out of the shadows.


Courtesy Image / flickr

Sexual assault is rampant, particularly on college campuses across the country. Washtenaw County has five institutions of higher education. The statistics confirm women in this area are being raped at an alarming rate. WEMU's  David Fair talks with the executive director of Safehouse Center, Barbara Neiss-May, about what is happening here, and what is being done about it. 


Start By Believing
Courtesy Photo / startbybelieving.org

Washtenaw County will soon become the first in the state to pledge to end victim-blaming in sexual assault cases. 

 

Courtesy photo / www.criminaldefendant.com

State Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan State Police Director Kriste Kibbey Etue have announced that $1.7 million will go toward processing Michigan's nearly 2,000 untested rape kits. Law enforcement agencies in Washtenaw County are responsible for more than 100 of them.

 

 


Safehouse Center
SafehouseCenter.org

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  It's a topic that's been in the news a lot this year with several professional football players involved in high-profile cases.  The director of SafeHouse Center believes society is taking the issue a lot more seriously.


Domestic Violence Victims Have Options

Sep 10, 2014
safehousecenter.org

When leaving an abusive partner doesn't seem like an option, victims of domestic violence should know that there is help available.  The video of football player Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee  in an elevator has shined a spotlight on the problem.

 

SafeHouse Center Executive Director Barbara Neiss-May says the reasons victims give for staying with an abusive partner are many, and can include the hope that the abuser will change. 

Safehouse Center
SafehouseCenter.org

Sexual assault and domestic violence remain serious problems in Washtenaw County, and Safehouse Center is preparing its upcoming "Men Taking a Stand" campaign to help stop them.