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How Do We Prevent Violence? By Helping Each Other Thrive!

Asset 19:  Religious Community 

Meeting the needs of the spirit

 Young people involved in a faith community benefit in at least three ways:

  1. They are more likely to have positive values;
  2. They have strong bonds with people of different ages and interests; and
  3. They spend less time experimenting with risky behaviors than those not involved in such a community. Faith Community is Asset 19 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the Facts

 Research shows that young people who spend at least one hour a week involved in activities within a faith-based organization are more likely to: provide service to others, enjoy youth programs, follow and provide positive peer influence, and exercise restraint when it comes to risky behaviors. About 58 percent of young people, ages 11–18, spend one or more hours a week in activities in a religious institution, according to Search Institute surveys. Providing a place for spiritual growth and exploration could help reduce violence, alcohol and other drug use, and sexual activity among young people.

Tips for Building this Asset 

 Faith-based organizations strongly emphasize their ideas of positive values. It’s important for parents to choose carefully. When you find a faith community that supports your family’s values, your kids are more likely to internalize these values and make responsible decisions. Visit various faith-based organizations, and include your children in decisions about how and where to be involved. If you’re already part of a faith community, welcome new parents and young people into your organization.

Also You May Want To Try This:

In your home and family: Include faith and spirituality into your family’s daily life. Choose ways that best fit with your values, traditions, and culture. 

In your neighborhood and community: Become an active member of a faith community and help promote the well-being of young people in your community. 

In your school or youth program: Avoid scheduling events that conflict with families’ spiritual or cultural commitments. Use a community calendar of events to help with your planning.

Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them?  Visit www.search-institute.org/assets, www.parentfurther.com, or contact Prevail’s Primary Prevention Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 773-6942.

April 2019 - Blog Post

I am Brandon Bennett, Director of Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Noblesville.  I have been involved with Prevail for the last 19 years through the City County Bowl a thon, which I started in 1999.  I initially started the event as a way to get city and county employees together in a fun environment outside of work and create a friendly competitive competition between the two units of government.  I decided to tie a charity to this event when we realized we had the potential to make some money in addition to our relationship building between the city and the county.  I chose Prevail out of respect for my soon to be father-in-law, the Honorable Steven R. Nation.  He helped to create Prevail when he was prosecutor as he saw a service that was needed for victims of domestic abuse and violence. 

I reached out to Prevail to gauge their interest and they jumped right in and helped plan and implement the event as the benefactor of the proceeds.  The first year, as we were learning the ropes of putting on a fundraiser like this, we had a successful year and were excited to move forward.  At this point I was really starting to understand just how important Prevail was to the community and, just how much their services were, unfortunately, needed.  As the years progressed we have tried to look at many different ways to keep the event fun, competitive, successful and, most importantly, relevant. 

We have worked with many different people at Prevail over the years with this event and all of them are passionate about the mission of Prevail.  With their passion and my understanding of what they truly did, my passion grew for them as well.  I desperately wanted to find ways to drive more and more money over the years to truly support them as much as possible.  We have always tried to make sure the experience has been a good one for the bowlers as well as they are the ones out raising the money.  We wanted to find ways to connect them with Prevail’s mission so they could truly understand what they were out raising money for. 

We continue to try to connect with them every year and try to figure out how to push them to raise more money for this amazing cause.  In the last few years my wife has become a board member at Prevail and serves to their mission.  It has become a family passion for us and is one of the main charities we support personally and professionally. Over the 19 years of this fundraiser we have raised over $475,000.00!  Wow, who would have thought our little bowling event could have this impact on a cause in our community, certainly not me! 

Next year is our 20th anniversary in 2020 and we hope to hit the $500,000.00 mark to celebrate our anniversary.  I know we all have our causes that we believe in and support, but I would encourage you to consider making Prevail one of your causes.  They won’t stop working until their services are no longer needed.

March Blog Post

The Prevail, Inc. Teen Financial Literacy Fair is a fun and interactive way improve your financial literacy with professionals in the community. In the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, the author wrote, “[m]ost people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep . . . Money without financial knowledge is money soon gone.” Financial literacy is the set of skills and knowledge that someone may possess that allow them to make informed financial decisions. Unfortunately, financial literacy is simply not being taught in our schools nor in our homes; a recent government study, by FINRA, found that 66% of Americans couldn’t pass a basic financial literacy test. As a result, it is incumbent upon our communities to take the reins and teach financial literacy to its members.

Could you use a little more money in your pocket? Today, we are exposed to overwhelming amounts of information. That doesn’t, however, mean that we are exposed to accurate or useful information. Proper basic financial literacy is not only easy and interesting but can only result in having more money in your pocket. For example, being able to distinguish between a good and poor interest rate or avoiding unnecessary fees in a lease will only result in increasing the amount of money in your pocket.

Improving my own financial literacy turned my life around. At 18, I joined the Marine Corps and could not pass a basic financial literacy test - my bank account continued to remind me. I took loans and bought vehicles at high interest rates; I paid unnecessary fees for apartments; and I never saved a single penny. I continued to struggle with my own financial literacy until I was 27. Then, I began working to improve my financial literacy and slowly but surely saw an increase in my own financial well-being and understanding. Now, along with Prevail Inc.’s 100 Men Campaign, I want to help others improve their financial literacy . . . with free food and prizes!

Financial literacy is just one example of an issue Prevail encourages men participating the in Campaign to address. The 100 Men Campaign empowers and supports men in the community to make a positive impact by serving as a role model for others. The 100 Men Campaign also encourages men to step up and help reduce domestic and sexual violence in their community. Remember, we all control and shape the health, safety, and well-being of our community. 

February 2019 Blog Post 4

How many times have you asked a teen how their day was and they give you a one-word response? “Fine” is something I hear often as a youth advocate. The frustrating thing is that “fine” is not at all helpful. It lacks any information and halts conversation dead in its tracks; a tactic teens know all too well. Many times parents express frustration that their teen doesn’t tell them anything and they don’t know what is going on in their life.

The issue often is not that the teen does not want to share about their day, but they are not approached in a way that allows them to feel safe and comfortable to do this. Most importantly, asking open-ended questions allows conversation to flow more smoothly. “Tell me about your day.” or “What was the highlight and low point of your day?” can solicit more clear feedback. When asking about their feelings, it is important to allow time for teens to think and process what you are asking before expecting an answer. Sometimes youth don’t have words to communicate their emotions because, let’s be honest, emotions are complicated.

Ensuring that we remain open and non-judgmental is vital to healthy communication with our teens. If they sense that we don’t want to hear what they are telling us or will think differently about them, they will be less likely to reach out to us in the future. Most often, teens need validation or reassurance that what they are feeling is normal and completely natural. “It sounds like this is really tough for you.” can serve as a great way to show you are listening and care. It is when we as adults jump into problem-solving mode that we are met with roadblocks. Only after someone feels heard and understood can addressing issues occur. When teens feel that someone ‘gets’ them, we are reinforcing that they matter and deserve to be listened to.

Most importantly, we have to check in with ourselves before engaging in conversation with youth because feelings are contagious. If you or your teen is overwhelmed, stressed, uncomfortable, or distracted, everyone will feel dysregulated. It is impossible for us to listen with our full heart if we are dysregulated or emotionally unsettled. Try modeling coping skills and identifying your emotions in everyday life.  It can be as simple as saying “Wow, I am feeling overwhelmed right now. I am going to take a walk.” In this example we are showing that it is important to identify how we are feeling and then do something about it.

Teens who can recognize, communicate, and manage emotions are teens who can reflect on interactions they have with others and determine if it is healthy or unsafe. Parents who are present as open and welcoming connections can serve as supports when teens need guidance or help. With this, teens are better able to navigate interactions with others and discontinue relationships that are unhealthy or do not meet their needs.

Thank you for joining Prevail in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). Our  Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month toolkit  will remain available on Prevail’s website at https://prevailinc.com/index.php/prevail-special-events/awareness-month-activities/teen-dating-violence-awareness-month. Each day, we have the opportunity to encourage and empower teens to create healthy connections with others. Please consider how you can support Prevail’s mission of eliminating violence from our community by promoting healthy relationships.

February 2019 Blog Post 3

In my work as a youth advocate, I often hear parents tell me  “I wish my teen would just put their foot down and say ‘no’.”  Honestly, saying “no” is one of the most challenging responses to give to another person. Saying “no” requires boundaries, which are clear guidelines about what actions we feel ok and not ok with in a relationship. In most teen relationships, boundaries are either missing or are nonexistent. Boundaries help us build trust in a relationship. If a dating partner understands and upholds our boundaries, it shows that they respect us. If they don’t care about or disregard boundaries we have put in place, this is an indication that this relationship is unhealthy. We can have boundaries regarding our bodies, our thoughts and emotions, our personal belongings and property, our sexual interactions, our time and space, our religious or spiritual beliefs or disbeliefs and how we want people to interact with us. 

In order to support a child as they develop their own boundaries, it is important to teach about consent. Consent is freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific agreement to participate in an interaction with another person. Development of boundaries starts when children are very young and are able to begin making their own choices. We can teach consent to young children by giving them options about how they want to greet family members and friends. Instead of telling our children to give someone a hug or kiss, we can provide options. For example, “Would you like to give grandma a hug, high five, or handshake?” or “Can I give you a kiss on the cheek?”  are effective ways to help children outline their options and support the choice that makes them feel the most comfortable. Building this foundation is vital to the development of autonomy.

Autonomy refers to a sense of self that includes personal responsibility. Autonomy is what allows children the ability to set and maintain boundaries with others, make choices that align with their individual values and beliefs, and prioritize personal safety. We can build autonomy by including teens in conversations about their bodies and health, gaining their feedback about goals and needs, and addressing concerns in an honest yet compassionate way. Healthy relationships require boundaries, consent, and autonomy. By providing opportunities for children to practice making choices and supporting their decisions, we are allowing them to develop the skills needed to build safe connections with others.

I ask you to join Prevail in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). This February, look for our TDVAM toolkit (available on Prevail’s website at https://prevailinc.com/index.php/prevail-special-events/awareness-month-activities/teen-dating-violence-awareness-month), social media posts, and follow-ups to this article. Each of us has the opportunity to encourage and empower teens to create healthy connections with others. Please consider how you can support Prevail’s mission of eliminating violence from our community by promoting healthy relationships. Look for part 3 of this series next week with information about modeling healthy relationships and tips to make conversations with teens the most effective.

How Do We Prevent Violence? By Helping Each Other Thrive!

Asset 18:  Youth Programs 

After-School Activities: They May Be Extra But They’re Also Essential!

It’s appropriate that the word extracurricular starts with the letter “E.” But the word should really be essential-curricular. In fact, they’re so important many schools are now calling them co-curricular activities. For many young people, youth programs at school and in the community are the highlight of their day. They meet new people who share their interests or introduce them to new pursuits. They spend time with adults who also enjoy the activity. And they boost their skills. Youth Programs is Asset 18 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the Facts

Research shows that young people who regularly spend time in sports, clubs, or other youth programs have higher self-esteem and better leadership skills, and are less likely to feel lonely. About 57 percent of young people, ages 11–18, spend three or more hours a week in youth programs, according to Search Institute. Young people involved in interesting activities helps bring out their best.

Tips for Building this Asset 

Encourage young people to join a school or community activity that matches their interests, or try one they have never considered before. People can learn a lot about themselves by taking a chance on something new. Clubs and programs can also help young people make new friends of all ages, give them leadership opportunities, and make life more fun. Many groups also let them choose how much time and energy to commit.

Also You May Want To Try This: 

In your home and family: With a child, make a list of activities he or she wants to learn about. Rank the ideas according to her or his level of interest. Together, research ways to try out the top two choices.

In your neighborhood and community: Check with the Chamber of Commerce on what types of programming already exists for youth.   How can you help those endeavors?   Volunteer to help youth programs out!   Donate money to an entity that provides evidence-based programming for youth.

Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them?  Visit www.search-institute.org/assets, www.parentfurther.com, or contact Prevail’s Primary Prevention Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 773-6942. 

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

February 2019 Blog Post 2

In this age of technology and instant news, it seems that reports of sexual assault or domestic violence offences committed by celebrities are a daily occurrence. The reality is that violence occurs across our nation every single day. Violence knows no limits. While it might be a knee-jerk response to ignore or avoid these “taboo” topics, they offer a vital teachable moment for the teens we interact with. Instead of thinking “that has nothing to do with me” or “it was probably an over exaggeration”, these situations can be used start discussion and facilitate learning.

Many of the images of relationships that teens are surrounded with, whether it is television and movies or books and music, romanticize characteristics of relationships that are unsafe or abusive. In my work as an adolescent advocate, I often use these images and representations in my conversations. Referring to these fictional characters can provide a reference point that is not personal or intimidating. In the Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) toolkit, there are many discussion starters and activity ideas that provide an interactive way to challenge unsafe relationship messages and representations and open up an opportunity for conversations about healthy and safe connections with others.

So next time you are sitting down watching an episode of a TV show or a movie together, pause it partially through and talk about what is happening. What actions have the characters taken that are healthy and safe? What behaviors are warning signs that things are not so great? What things are unsafe or unhealthy? Are characters respectful of boundaries? Are there ever conversations about consent? What messages are being shared about relationships that are totally wrong or inappropriate?

I ask you to join Prevail in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). This February, look for our TDVAM toolkit (available on Prevail’s website at https://prevailinc.com/index.php/prevail-special-events/awareness-month-activities/teen-dating-violence-awareness-month), social media posts, and follow-ups to this article. Each of us has the opportunity to encourage and empower teens to create healthy connections with others. Please consider how you can support Prevail’s mission of eliminating violence from our community by promoting healthy relationships. Look for part 3 of this series next week for information about helping teens understand consent.

February 2019 Blog

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1.5 million teens experience physical violence at the hands of a dating partner each year. This does not include millions of others who are experiencing verbal/emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual, or technological abuse in a relationship. Central Indiana is no exception. Abuse knows no limits and does not care your race, religion, income, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, level of education, or where you live. While we like to think that our teens are surrounded by safety and are unaware of potential harm, the reality is that they are saddled with pressure and expectations to fit into the mold of what they think others want them to be. Our teens believe that having a dating partner set guidelines of what they can wear means that they care; that rules about who they can be friends with means that they are looking out for their partner; that being hit by their partner means they made a mistake and need to do better next time. We are living in the time of social media where #relationshipgoals encourages teens to ignore the downsides of a current relationship and focus on their image and what other people can see. Teens see representations of relationships in the shows and movies they watch, the music they hear, and the books and magazines they read. Often, these depictions are not of healthy interactions between dating partners.

Knowing this, it is our responsibility as adults to promote a culture where we encourage conversation about relationships, provide support without judgement to teens who are struggling, and challenge our own misconceptions and messages we share to ensure we are modeling safe, stable, and nurturing relationships ourselves. Throughout February, Prevail will have daily social media posts and we encourage everyone to pick a day to wear orange, take a picture, and post it online using the hashtag #GoOrangePrevail.

I ask you to join Prevail in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). This February, look for our TDVAM toolkit (available on Prevail’s website at https://prevailinc.com/index.php/prevail-special-events/awareness-month-activities/teen-dating-violence-awareness-month), social media posts, and follow-ups to this article. Each of us has the opportunity to encourage and empower teens to create healthy connections with others. Please consider how you can support Prevail’s mission of eliminating violence from our community by promoting healthy relationships. Look for part 2 of this series next week for information about opening up conversations with the teens you interact with using teachable moments.

How Do We Prevent Violence? By Helping Each Other Thrive!

Asset 17:  Creative Activities 

The Arts for Fun and Learning

Whether it’s Mozart or the Rolling Stones, Picasso or graffiti, most people like some type of music or art. Being creative—singing, playing the piano, drawing, or acting—can be fun, and helps young people improve basic and advanced thinking skills. Performing and creating works of art helps young people develop cognition (intellectual comprehension), cultural understanding, communication, and creativity. Learning that’s fun and worthwhile—what could be better? Creative Activities is Asset 17 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the Facts

Research shows that young people who spend three hours or more a week in music, theater, or other arts are more likely to grow up healthy. Only 21 percent of young people, ages 11–18, do so, according to Search Institute surveys. It’s important to help young people find creative outlets that are fun, teach them about themselves, and provide a way to relieve the stresses of everyday life.

Tips for Building this Asset 

Everyone is an artist in some way. Think of how you may create a new way to surprise someone on her or his birthday, hum along to the radio, dance when you’re in a good mood. These small bursts of artistic expression are important ways people communicate individuality. By bringing more art and music into young people’s lives, caring adults can help to develop another side of their personalities, talents, and skills.

Also You May Want To Try This: 

  • In your home and family: Play magnet art. Here’s how: Visit an art museum as a family. Have each person walk toward the first painting that catches her or his eye (drawing you to it like a magnet). Let each family member explain what he or she likes about the painting he or she chose.
  • In your neighborhood and community: Encourage the creative energies of everyone in the community by supporting your local community theater.
  • In your school or youth program: Integrate music into your regular curriculum or program. Start the day with a bit of classical music, followed at lunch by rock and roll or jazz, and end the day with opera. Discuss everyone’s preferences and invite students and participants to help select songs for the next day..

Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them?  Visit www.search-institute.org/assets, www.parentfurther.com, or contact Prevail’s Primary Prevention Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 773-6942.

From the Desk of Odle:

Happy December! It is the season of the 25 days of Odle! I have loved telling people about how they can support Prevail and thanking all the people who help make our mission possible. Check out our Facebook page to see all my adventures. I hope you will consider how you can help support our mission this Holiday Season. Our biggest need is gift cards for food and transportation for clients.

From July 2017 – June 2018, we served 910 youth, an increase of 23% from 2016-2017. Personally, I attended 1,065 individual appointments and 73 groups. Some of the highlights of my year included: starting a new group at Hamilton Southeastern High School and Fishers High School for adolescent survivors of sexual assault; having two new employees join our youth team, Jennifer Atkisson and Stephanie Pomerenke, and the building expanding (I have so many new places to play in).

In 2019, I am looking forward to Prevail implementing a trauma-informed yoga group for children (ages 6-12). I am so enthusiastic about all the growth of clients I will witness and the support the community has for their healing.ave loved telling people about how they can support Prevail and thanking all the people who help make our mission possible. Check out our Facebook page to see all my adventures. I hope you will consider how you can help support our mission this Holiday Season. Our biggest need is gift cards for food and transportation for clients. 

December Blog Post ~ 'Tis the Season for Giving!

We get it, it’s the end of the year and your mailbox (both virtual and physical) is about to be loaded with heartfelt end of the year asks. Each organization is out there, doing some good for the world and it’s hard to support everyone. There’s no doubt each one put a lot of time into the mailer and each one is in need of your support.

First of all, if Prevail’s is one that you take the time to read, THANK YOU and if it is one you choose to support, THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES! A gift from YOU saves lives and moves all of us towards a more positive change in our community; but not all gifts are financial. It is a gift to be able to share our story with you.  The time you give to us while volunteering or touring and by using your voice to share our FREE resources with those neighbors who may need them is a priceless gift.  We appreciate everything our community does to help spread Prevail’s mission to the ears, eyes and hearts of others.

If you do choose to support Prevail financially, there are many convenient ways to do so. Monthly or reoccurring gifts are a huge help to Prevail and make giving simple for you! YOU have the control in the amount, frequency, and method that your gift is provided to our agency. Three of the most common ways to set up a reoccurring gift are through your company, through the United Way, and of course through Prevail directly.

Through your company:

Some companies offer an automatic payroll deduction and a few will also MATCH your contribution to your favorite not-for-profit. Your HR office should be able to tell you if they offer a way to give directly from your paycheck and if they match your gift.

Through United Way:

Another way to give, if your company does not offer a direct paycheck withholding is through the United Way. Simply complete the designation form and designate “Prevail, Inc.”.  This may be a separate form from the one used to make your pledge.  Ask your company’s United Way representative for information on how to designate your contribution to a particular charity.  Minimums may apply.

Directly through Prevail:

The last (and still very simple way) to give is directly to Prevail. We are able to set up monthly, annual, or any type of reoccurring/one time gift to the agency through your preferred credit card for any amount over $10.00 USD per month.  You may set up your gift own your own through our website (www.prevailinc.org) or by contacting our office directly at (317) 773-6942 or email Natasha Robinson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are happy to help in any way we can!

Thanks to all of you, 2018 has been an outstanding year for Prevail both in the amount of client’s we have served and the lives we have touched outside of the Prevail office. We are looking forward to 2019, and the possibility of reaching community members before they experience a crime or abuse. With your help, we will be able to do just that! Together we can build a safer and healthier community.

Warm wishes this holiday season to everyone in my community,

Natasha Robinson

Marketing & Event Coordinator

Prevail, Inc.

Why is Prevail Working with Incarcerated Women?

October 2018

Many people in the community may be interested to learn that Prevail offers group support to women at the Hamilton County Jail who have experienced violence. As part of our mission, we are working to end ALL acts of violence and we are going where we are needed in order to accomplish our agency’s goal of a healthy and safe community. For incarcerated women the trauma rates are even higher compared to women not under correctional supervision. According to research, 90 percent of incarcerated women were victims of sexual or physical violence at some point during their lives. Three out of four women in prison experienced physical abuse by an intimate partner and over one in four women were raped before entering prison. Over 90 percent of women who were convicted of murdering an intimate partner were victims of abuse by an intimate partner.

 So what does this mean? For us, it means that prison facilities for women are filled to the brim with mothers, daughters, cousins, and friends dealing with untold trauma. Furthermore, since women tend to deal with trauma in very different ways than their male counterparts, and have much higher rates of sadness and depression, it is crucial for these women to receive trauma informed care. Prevail  utilizes our time at the jail by exploring PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)  and how to respond to triggers so that the women are able to better cope. It is important to understand that women who are incarcerated do not have the typical flight or fight stress response so a triggering event can result in aggressive or anti social behavior that results in some form of harsher treatment or behavior by guards or fellow inmates. By providing education about violence and abuse 101, we can help identify their triggers so they are able to apply healthy coping skills in their daily lives.

When dealing with trauma in general, studies show that over half of children and adolescents who have PTSD go on to experience substance abuse problems. What we have learned so for through the jail support group is that, almost 100% of these women struggle with substance abuse issues and are serving time due to drug related, non violent offenses. Therefore, Prevail feels that it is crucial to see addiction as a symptom with the root being chronic trauma that has been masked or dormant for years.  It is also important to inform the public that the effects of violence on women has devastating and rippling outcomes that is tearing apart families and creating bigger mental health issues for our communities.

Our main focus is to create a space for these women to have a voice and to build self esteem in order to create a better life for themselves and provide them with community resources, like Prevail, while doing so.

Kelsey Carrier
Adult Advocate

How Do We Prevent Violence? By Helping Each Other Thrive!

October 2018

Asset 15:  Positive Peer Influence

The Power To Be Positive!

Too often, people jam the words peer and pressure together and think of it as a bad thing. Truth is, that’s only part of the story. Sure, peers have power. But this pressure is only negative when young people feel they’re pushed to do something they know is too risky. Peers can also help young people become more independent by encouraging and supporting healthy choices. Peers can invite one another to join teams or clubs, help with homework, or simply listen. You can help young people choose the kind of peer power they want in their lives and what kind of friends they want to be. If young people and their peers are responsible, positive, and supportive, they are more likely to succeed. Positive Peer Influence is Asset 15 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the Facts

Research shows that young people whose closest friends behave responsibly do better in school, get into less trouble, and choose activities that give them the best chance of future success. It makes sense for young people to surround themselves with people who bring out their best qualities. In return, they can multiply the benefits by being friends who are also positive influences. About 63 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say their best friends model responsible behavior, according to Search Institute surveys.

Tips for Building this Asset

 Peer pressure can be especially strong in school. When you notice trouble brewing or young people who are about to make a poor choice—in school or elsewhere—remind them that they have the power to say no—even to a peer or a friend.

Also You May Want To Try This:

 In your home and family: Identify people, stories or images that exemplify the positive power of peers. Use these examples to help your child make a collage of inspiring quotes and images for a friend.

In your neighborhood and community: Talk with young people in your neighborhood about the qualities you admire in each of them. Encourage them to be a positive influence in the lives of their friends and peers.

In your school or youth program: Pair off students and participants. Have them take turns discussing a time when they positively influenced a friend or peer. After each story, talk about how it felt to use positive peer pressure..

Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them?  Visit www.search-institute.org/assets, www.parentfurther.com, or contact Prevail’s Primary Prevention Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 773-6942.

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Preventing Violence Begins with ALL of Us

September 2018 Blog Post

We, as many of you, were horrified to learn of the shooting at Noblesville West Middle School this past May.  Schools are central hubs of our community and should be safe havens for young people.  When that security is shaken, it can be terrifying for students, educators, and families.

As much as we were shocked by this shooting, at Prevail we see the effects of horrific acts of violence in our community every single day.  Everyday, our advocates help people who have experienced devastating events cope with their trauma.  Everyday, kids, teens, and adults fill our offices and share their own stories of violence, emotional abuse, stalking, and sexual assault.

Hamilton County is remarkably safe, especially when compared to many other places across the state and even the country.  We have incredible assets and strengths that offer opportunities and advantages many places lack.  Our schools are top-notch, our parks are pristine, our law enforcement agencies are responsive, and there’s always something fun to do.  While these resources contribute to a wonderful sense of security, we cannot ignore the gaps in our community.  We cannot turn a blind eye to our friends and neighbors who are struggling.

One of the greatest assets our community offers is the wide array of service agencies and community organizations dedicated to improving our individual and collective well-being.  However, many of these agencies, like Prevail, are often overwhelmed by the immediate needs of individuals and families in crisis.  Though these intervention services are critical, they do little to reduce the number of people walking through our doors every day.  In order to make our community safer, we need to be proactive rather than reactive—and we need your help to do that.

Preventing violence begins with all of us working together to create safer and loving environments.  That means building relationships, strengthening connections, and checking in on the people around you. It means encouraging each other, building others up, and breaking down the stigma that surrounds seeking help. 

It is easy to point fingers, hurl blame, and wait for someone else to do something about the conditions that contribute to violence in our community. But every single one of us has a responsibility to our friends, families, and neighbors to do our part in keeping Hamilton County safe.

When it comes to making our community even better, we are all in this together.

 

September Asset 14: Adult Role Models

How Do We Prevent Violence?  By Helping Each Other Thrive! 

Asset 14:  Adult Role Models 

Young Eyes Are Watching You!

Sometimes adults do things they aren’t proud of—swear, watch too much television, argue. Making mistakes is understandable, but remember young people look up to adults. They see you—especially if you’re a parent—as the type of person they want to become someday. They want heroes. That’s why it’s so important to be the best person you can be. Adult Role Models is Asset 14 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. 

Here are the Facts

Research shows that young people are more likely to exhibit positive, responsible behavior when they have parents and other adults in their lives who model positive, responsible behavior. Having good role models is one of the greatest desires of most young people. However, only 27 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say their parents and other adults model positive, responsible behavior, according to Search Institute surveys. Let’s all try a little harder to “practice what we preach.” 

Tips for Building this Asset

According to experts, what most young people need more than anything else in their lives is positive social interaction with adults. These interactions expose young people to real-life heroes. Be a role model for the young people around you, and help them find other responsible adults to be part of their lives as well. The more positive role models young people have, the better! 

Also You May Want To Try This:

In your home and family: Do your best to model appropriate behavior at all times. When you make mistakes, admit them. Apologize for missteps.

In your neighborhood and community group: Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with a young person. Begin by asking: How did you meet your best friend? What is your favorite family tradition?

In your school or youth program: As a group, list questions young people can ask their adult role models to learn more about choices they made. Then, have students or participants interview that person. Discuss their findings.

Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them?  Visit www.search-institute.org/assets, www.parentfurther.com, or contact Prevail’s Primary Prevention Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 773-6942. 

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

July Asset 12: School Boundaries

How Do We Prevent Violence?  By Helping Each Other Thrive! 

Asset 12: School Boundaries 

Make Sure Everyone Knows The Rules

All schools need rules. In fact, young people actually learn better when school boundaries—expectations for how they should act—are clear and consistent. Setting these standards isn’t always easy, however, and neither is enforcing them. Many schools struggle with how to discipline students appropriately and effectively. It’s a balancing act in which school administrators, parents, and students play important roles. Working together, families and educators can ensure young people reach their highest potential. School Boundaries is Asset 12 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. 

Here are the Facts

Research shows that young people who attend schools with clear rules and consequences are more likely to display positive behaviors and attitudes, rather than engage in risky behaviors. About 52 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say their schools provide clear rules and consequences, according to Search Institute surveys. Work to ensure schools help young people focus on positive, rather than negative, behavior. 

Tips for Building this Asset

It’s important for parents to stay involved in their children’s school. Teachers and administrators can help by creating and enforcing a conduct code.. Parents can reinforce the rules set by the school. Conflicts may still occur, and when they do, allow everyone—students, parents, teachers, and others in the community—to feel comfortable voicing their concerns and suggesting solutions to the problem. The more families, schools, and communities work together to establish consistent boundaries, the better off young people will be because they’ll know what to expect. 

Also You May Want To Try This:

In your home and family: Learn about school boundaries by visiting or volunteering at school. Ask yourself: Overall, how are students behaving? How do adults and students interact with one another? When conflicts occur, how are they resolved? How do the school boundaries match your home boundaries? When you’re with children, talk to them about why school rules are important.

In your school or youth program: Work with the young people in your school or program to create clear rules and norms about appropriate behavior. 

Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them?  Visit www.search-institute.org/assets, www.parentfurther.com, or contact Prevail’s Primary Prevention Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 773-6942. 

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Working to Overcome Financial Abuse

July 2018 Blog Post 

A very common question asked in conversations surrounding domestic violence is “why do they stay?”  This is a valid question with a very complicated answer.  Numerous variables are considered when a survivor is trying to make the decision to leave their home, their relationship, and their established life. Financial stability is at top this list. 99 percent of domestic violence survivors also experience financial abuse. As with all forms of abuse, abusers use finances as a way to gain power and control over their victims.

Financial abuse can affect many aspects of a person’s ability to establish self-sufficiency.  Such abuse can lead to low credit scores, poor employment histories, evictions, illness, and more.  In addition, survivors are often isolated from support networks and resources by their abusers. These factors create an environment extremely vulnerable to homelessness. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV at www.nnedv.org) 63 percent of homeless women have experienced some form of domestic or sexual violence at some point in their lives.

What are some signs of financial Abuse?

  • Your partner controls how all of the money is spent and you are denied access to your accounts.
  • Your partner offers you a minimal allowance for food and daily expenses.
  • Your partner does not allow you to work or sabotages your existing employment.
  • Your partner creates a large amount of debt on joint credit cards
  • Your partner purposely doesn’t pay bills and affects your ability to rent/buy a home or even hurts your credit score.

As complicated and overwhelming as this may sound, there are ways WE can support the members of our community to help them get past these challenging barriers.

  • Create an open environment for conversations with survivors so their needs are heard.
  • Support local organizations that provide empowering tools and support to survivors.
  • Advocate for continued and/or increased funding for affordable housing resources.How can Prevail’s advocates and Self-Sufficiency Program help survivors?
  • Prevail is a free, confidential, and a safe space to talk and get support.
  • Provide connections to resources in the community.
  • Financial, employment, and housing education resources are available.

For more information contact Stephanie Holmes-Gullans, Prevail's Self-Sufficiency Advocate, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 773-6942

Stephanie works with clients to help break down barriers that have historically kept victims from leaving their abuser.

Here are just a few of the things she does here at Prevail:

  • Assists clients with career building by identifying and developing work readiness skills.
  • Works with community partners within the business community for access to employment opportunities.
  • Provides financial education via budgeting, financial goal setting, and all around financial literacy.
  • Workshops include the Financial Fair and Financial Literacy.
  • Offers housing resources and supports clients in planning and searching for housing options.
  • Establishes and maintains relationships with community partners in the housing industry.
  • Facilitates the Boundaries Support Group

A Victim's Community

June 2018 Blog Post

In the early morning hours of October 29th, 2013, six armed men entered the home where my parents and I slept. For two hours, they destroyed our home and abused my family. My mom was shot twice when she tried to run for help, and then sexually assaulted. I was gang raped by 4 men. My dad was beaten with drawers.

It was, beyond a doubt, my worst nightmare. In fact, it was much worse than anything I could’ve concocted in my head (and I have a pretty vivid imagination).

After the home invasion, my mom and I were taken to a nearby hospital. We were almost immediately separated, as my mom needed treatment for her gunshot wounds and multiple scans because she was kicked in the head. I was in my own room in the emergency department, and although people were streaming in and out of the room, I was left alone a few times. In those moments, I started reliving the nightmare we had just been through. I did not want to be alone.

Shortly after I was left for the first time, a detective walked in the door. He said he wanted to ask some questions. He was so professional, so kind, and so attentive. I didn’t say anything to him about not wanting to be left alone, but when he left the room, I overheard him say to a nurse "make sure she isn’t left alone." He knew what I needed and said something. He probably thought that act was minor, but it is a story I tell over and over because it made such an impact on me. Next, a woman from Prevail came to my room. I had never heard of the service, but she said she was there for anything I needed. I asked her to stay with me even though I didn’t feel like talking. She sat quietly in the corner of the room while others streamed in and out, and her presence was so reassuring. Again, a seemingly small act that made a huge difference.

That morning would be the first time I saw how much my community — and often, total strangers — played a role in my healing.

After we left the hospital, the community outreach was stunning. We had foods, cards, flowers, and clothes streaming in from people we had never met. We heard that a local yoga studio was doing a donation-based class in our honor. My dad was given a car from a religious ministry. We were showered with kindness. Throughout every step of the criminal proceedings, from the first questions asked by our detective to the sentencing hearing, my family encountered new people that were so willing to do anything they could to help us.

This, sadly, is not the story many victims get to tell. They are often kept at arm’s length or even ignored. But as a community, we can have such an influence in victims’ lives. It takes so little to make a difference. Every member of our community can play a role in a victims’ healing. It can be as minor as listening to their story and saying "I believe you."

If we all took just a little bit of time to help, every victim could have a community like my family and I did. You may think that you have nothing to offer, or that what you can offer is too small. But every small thing can make a bigger difference than you realize. And if each of us did something, maybe then we could all begin to heal.

Allison Emhardt

Alli is a proud voice for victims in our community and a member of Prevail's Speaker's Bureau 

June Asset 11: Family Boundaries

How Do We Prevent Violence?  By Helping Each Other Thrive! 

Asset 11: Family Boundaries 

Clear, Concise, Consistent Boundaries—For All

What happens if you’re late to a business meeting? Run a red light? Fail to pay for your morning coffee? Rules and expectations are important. They help establish the do’s and don’ts for society and help things run smoothly. But rules are not automatically known; they must be created and learned. That’s where parents come in. If young people are not taught early on that there are rules they must follow, they think they can do anything they want at any time. And, while we may like the freedom to make choices, having boundaries to follow—and expectations to live up to—can make life easier for everyone. Family Boundaries is Asset 11 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. 

Here are the Facts

Research shows that young people are more likely to engage in positive behaviors and attitudes—and less likely to practice high-risk behaviors—if their families set clear rules and consequences and monitor the young people’s whereabouts. About 46 percent of young people, ages 11–18, have families with clear rules and consequences and parents or guardians who regularly monitor the young people’s whereabouts, according to Search Institute surveys. Working with young people to set boundaries is an important way to show them you care. 

Tips for Building this Asset

As a family, set clear, concise, and consistent boundaries based on your values and expectations. Make sure everyone—not just the children—is following the same rules, although there may be some differences depending on ages and maturity. Be sure to set up clear consequences for family members who break the rules. Also, make it clear everyone must always let the rest of the family know where he or she is. 

Also You May Want To Try This:

In your home and family: Meet monthly as a family to discuss boundaries: Are they fair? Do they still work? Do they reflect your values and principles? Adjust them as needed.

In your neighborhood and community: Communicate with your neighbors about rules and boundaries.  Ask for their support. For example, neighbors can remind children to ask a parent’s permission before accepting sweets.

In your school or youth program: Divide students or participants into groups. Have each group discuss family boundaries and consequences. Identify the reason for each rule. 

Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them?  Visit www.search-institute.org/assets, www.parentfurther.com, or contact Prevail’s Primary Prevention Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 773-6942.

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Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Justin Growden 100 Men Campaign Committee Member

June 2018 Blog Post

Justin GrowdenI can remember my earliest childhood memories of meeting adults and thinking they knew everything about anything.   I was instantly drawn to them and asked many questions about whatever they were doing at that moment.  It’s the little things that I remember most.  Spending hours in the garage with my dad, tinkering with my first car.  The Scout Master that incessantly encouraged me to earn my rank as an Eagle Scout.  The soccer coach that helped me turn my boundless energy into solid fundamentals.  The incredibly patient teacher that stayed after school with me while I figured out long division. Now, at 37 years old, I look back and realize how crucial those positive interactions were as they influenced my childhood and helped make me who I am today. 

The world can be a harsh place, and I’ve experienced firsthand the difference a solid support system can have when things go wrong.  The 100 Men Campaign strengthens our community, enabling our kids and our neighbors to feel safe, connected, and supported.  100 Men empowers good-hearted men to make a positive impact in their community by serving as strong role models for young people, while also encouraging other men to step up to reduce violence in our community.  This campaign is so powerful because of its ability to shape the future of our community through simple actions so we can all live a better life.

Being a part of 100 Men isn’t hard or complicated.  It means being there for the people around us.  It means doing the right thing, even when we think no one is watching.  It means modeling healthy and respectful relationships.  It means investing our time and talents in the well-being of others.  It means building a strong community that embraces its members, empowers the vulnerable, and helps each other thrive. 

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