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Understanding Our Community: A Call to Address Youth Dating Violence

At the heart of every community lies a web of relationships—connections that shape our experiences, our well-being, and our sense of safety. Yet, for some, these relationships can become fraught with challenges, leading to potentially unhealthy or abusive relationships. In the face of such issues, organizations like The Retreat seek to understand, educate, and provide […]

My Experience as a Social Worker

By Sarah Samson, , MPH, CHESProject Coordinator of Long Island Safer Bars My experience as a social worker in domestic violence began while working with families who were formerly unhoused. Most of my clients had experienced some form of domestic or sexual violence leading up to becoming unhoused. When the opportunity to work in preventing […]

Teaching Teens How to Ask for Help

By Christina, a Retreat Volunteer and College Student In light of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, the Retreat’s Teen Leadership Council (TLC) received training on how to ask for help when experiencing unhealthy or abusive behaviors in relationships. TLC learned to make a Resilience Plan consisting of three different groups of people–parents/other trusted adults, peers, […]

Students Shine a Light on Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Michelle Trauring on Feb 21, 2024 | SEE THE FULL ARTICLE SPREAD HERE. A hot topic of conversation among Salome Galindo and her girlfriends at East Hampton High School is, perhaps unsurprisingly, love found and lost, and the relationships they immerse themselves in. She can say, with certainty — through what she’s learned as […]

Art+Activism: Empowering Student Voices During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

The Retreat and The Watermill Center present a unique opportunity for high school students interested in positively impacting their community. Art+Activism: Social Justice Makers will be held at The Watermill Center on Tuesdays in February from 5:30 to 7 PM.

Students participating in Art+Activism: Social Justice Makers will draw inspiration from the work of Artists-in-Residence at the Watermill Center who have utilized art to express their voices and work together to harness the power of art as a means for social change. The series will culminate in a final project showcasing work created by the students at The Watermill Center, with the goal of bringing attention to Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February.

“We’re excited for students to embark on this transformative journey as they delve into the powerful combination of art and activism,” said Courtney Hyland, Associate Director of Education. “The Retreat works to empower young people of all ages, including through our Teen Leadership Council, and we’re always looking for new ways to engage our youth leaders in community initiatives. This program does just that, while aligning with our mission to promote respect and prevent abuse.”

From Ava Locks, Education and Public Programs Manager at The Watermill Center, “Our Art + Activism program introduces teens to Artists who are driving social change through their creative practice. We are thrilled to expand our enduring partnership with The Retreat and to support the vital work of their Teen Leadership Council. I hope these workshops will ignite their sense of agency as community advocates and creative thinkers.”

The Retreat and The Watermill Center have been collaborating for over 10 years.

“The Watermill Center has generously invited Retreat clients and staff to use its space and programs to create and inspire. Our shelter families have participated in fun and educational experiences, and they have found healing through these programs,” said Loretta K. Davis, Executive Director of The Retreat. “The students in our Teen Leadership Council have also benefited from advocacy and art projects there.”

Students who actively participate in Art + Activism will be granted community service hours.

“This is a unique opportunity for teens to use their voices in empowering and artistic ways. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or someone eager to learn about social activism, Art+Activism is designed for you,” said Hyland.

Registration is here:

Adopt A Family This Holiday Season Through The Retreat

by JAMES LANE POST The Retreat’s Adopt-a-Family program is open and ready for donations for the 2023 holiday season. This community program collects holiday gifts and gift cards for families in need. This year, it will run through December 15. The Retreat established Adopt-a-Family nearly 20 years ago when its employees in advocacy recognized a need […]

Teen Leader: Why TLC is Important

Teen Leadership Council group photo

By Christina, a Retreat Volunteer and College Student As a college senior, I am not exactly a high schooler, yet I attend the Teen Leadership Council (TLC) meetings as a volunteer and intermediary for the students. These meetings have impressed me in countless ways thus far. Primarily, the students are very well-versed in the signs […]

The Retreat Hosts Career Styling Workshop For Survivors Of Abuse

by JAMES LANE POST The Retreat recently offered a career-styling workshop for its clients, survivors of abuse, at The Retreat Boutique thrift store in the Bridgehampton Commons. This inaugural workshop was the brainchild of Lauren Fedorko, who runs Take Charge, a financial education and career empowerment program for Retreat clients, and Laurie Sykes, a volunteer […]

The Met Donates Bespoke Mannequins To the Retreat

The Retreat Boutique thrift store By Michelle Trauring on Oct 18, 2023 At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Schläppi mannequin has anchored Costume Institute exhibitions for over 50 years, thanks to her timelessness and flexibility. Those attributes ring true at her newest home, too, almost 100 miles east. Over the summer, The Met donated 10 mannequins — custom-made […]

Common Questions About DV

At The Retreat, we are big believers in the saying, “There is no such thing as a dumb question.” 

When it comes to domestic abuse, a complex and personal topic, there is often a lot of confusion. But, the more we know, the better we can help those in need and ultimately break the cycle of family violence.

Read on to see some common questions and answers about this issue:

1. Why don’t they just leave?
There are many reasons why someone might stay in an abusive relationship:

Fear of their partner’s actions | Concern over their ability to live independently | Abuse was normal in their household and they don’t recognize that the behavior is abusive | Shame that they are in an abusive relationship, feeling like they did something wrong rather than their abuser | Lack of resources, they may be financially dependent on their abuser after not being allowed to work or have access to bank accounts | Guilt over taking children away from a parent. 

2. Are all victims women and all perpetrators men?

No. One in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.  [can’t find something that goes here because the page I was looking at was almost identical to the other!]

3. Does it count as abuse if it doesn’t include physical abuse?

Domestic abuse is not just physical. It can be emotional, sexual, technological, financial and spiritual. 

4. Is abuse only common in romantic relationships?

No. Abuse can happen between relatives, such as parents and children or siblings, as well as in friendships and the workplace.

5. Does abuse discriminate?

No. Abuse can affect individuals of every age, gender, sexual orientation, income level, education level, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic background.

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