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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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