PCVT Logo CMYK

celedad

Safespace

safesoace blog into

PCVT Closed 'til Monday

on Tuesday, 21 November 2017. Posted in Safespace

PCVT Closed 'til Monday

The Pride Center will be closed until Monday. We're grateful for this community and are sending you warm wishes. We know that holidays can be difficult for LGBTQ+ folks. If you need support please know there are resources available--

LGBT National Hotline- glbthotline.org 888.843.4564
The Trevor Project- thetrevorproject.org 866.488.7386
Trans Lifeline- translifeline.org 1.877.565.8860
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.8255

If you're craving a more accurate history of Thanksgiving-- check out these resources from Border Crossers (click here). If you're wondering how to start important conversations like "How can we feel grateful for this land, food and water in ways that don't erase Indigenous people and the history of what white people have taken and/or benefited from?"-- check out SURJ's discussion guide and holiday discussion placemats (click here)!

 

Magic: the Gathering tournament to benefit the Pride Center

on Tuesday, 07 November 2017. Posted in Safespace

Magic: the Gathering tournament to benefit the Pride Center

Come join the Pride Center at Quarterstaff Games located on 152 Church St Burlington VT

The Benefits go toward The Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community Project of the Pride Center of Vermont

Is quitting tobacco your New Year's resolution?

on Tuesday, 31 October 2017. Posted in Safespace

Do you use tobacco?

Is quitting tobacco your New Year's resolution?
 Are you resolved to quit/cut down or maintain your smoking in the coming new year?

Get the tips, tools and community support you need before the new year!

The Pride Center of Vermont is offering a free 4-week smoking cessation program. Programming starts the second week of November  in Chittenden County. Programming starts in January for Washington County.

If you're interested in participating sign up: 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGBTQuits

If you have questions- contact Mike at LGBTQuits@pridecentervt.org.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

on Monday, 30 October 2017. Posted in Safespace

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Vermont, 50% of homicides are domestic violence related.

SafeSpace works to end violence in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected people. We provide information, support, referrals, and advocacy to LGBTQH survivors of violence.

In conjunction with the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, SafeSpace is able to connect survivors to the Legal Assistance for Victims Clinic (LAV).

LAV provides services and representation to survivors, free of charge. Their legal team can provide support pertaining to:

  • Restraining orders- both Relief from Abuse Orders and Orders Against Stalking

  • Custody Issues

  • Name change/social security number change, needed as a result of violence

We are here for you.

Advocates are available to meet in person or answer your call Monday - Thursday 10a - 6p and Friday 10a - 2p. 

You can reach us at our Support Line

Local: 802-863-0003

Toll-Free: 866-869-7341

Or contact us anonymously, here.

TIC Conference

on Tuesday, 10 October 2017. Posted in Safespace

TIC Conference

The Pride Center's SafeSpace Program will be hosting an affinity space for survivors of violence at this year's Translating Identity Conference happening this Saturday at UVM.

Read more below and register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uvm-tic-attendee-registration-tickets-33566877434

Opening its doors to the public once more, the Translating Identity Conference (TIC) explores a wide array of topics in discourses regarding gender and transgender identities, expressions, communities, and intersections. The largest conference of its kind in New England, TIC is a free, student organized, non-profit conference that seeks to reach not only the University of Vermont & the Burlington community, but the nation as a whole. A one-day event, TIC has numerous sessions to choose from at any time, ranging from healthcare to law to education, that are directed towards people at all levels of inclusion in the trans and allied communities. This conference is a safe space for everyone to come, learn, and enjoy themselves! 

This conference is open to the national public, but space is limited. Please register as soon as possible to guarantee your spot.

Registration and attendance are free!

Milk With Dignity!!

on Wednesday, 04 October 2017. Posted in Safespace

Milk With Dignity!!

We are so thrilled to hear that the Milk With Dignity agreement has been signed!! As of yesterday, dairy workers who supply the milk for Ben & Jerry's ice cream will finally have access to human rights. Read more below from the amazing folks at Migrant Justice/Justicia Migrante who have worked tirelessly alongside farmworkers to make this happen. Learn more (and stay looped in about where they'll expand to next) at migrantjustice.net. Also check out their FB page to read more well-deserved press about this momentous victory. Si se puede!

A new day for dairy: Milk with Dignity agreement signed! Watershed moment for workers’ rights in the dairy industry (article copied from migrantjustice.net/victory)

On Tuesday October 3, farmworker leaders from Migrant Justice and the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s jointly signed the Milk with Dignity agreement.  The legally-binding contract establishes Ben & Jerry’s as the first company in the dairy industry to implement the worker-driven human rights program.  This momentous occasion marks the beginning of a new day for dairy, one that provides economic relief and support to struggling farm owners, in the form of a premium paid by Ben & Jerry’s, while ensuring dignity and respect for farmworkers.
 
Before putting his signature on the document, Migrant Justice spokesperson Enrique “Kike” Balcazar spoke to those assembled:
 
“This is an historic moment for dairy workers.  We have worked tirelessly to get here, and now we move forward towards a new day for the industry.  We appreciate Ben & Jerry’s leadership role and look forward to working together to implement a program that ensures dignified housing and fair working conditions on dairy farms across the region. And though this is the first, it won’t be the last agreement of its kind.”
 
Today’s signing ceremony brings to a close more than two years of public campaigning by dairy workers and their allies, as well as intensive negotiations between Migrant Justice and Ben & Jerry’s.  The agreement follows the “Human Rights Can’t Wait” speaking tour -- which brought dairy workers to a dozen cities along the east coast -- and comes just two days before the October 5th National Day of Action.  Migrant Justice is calling off the actions that were to take place at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops around the country in order to focus on the coming work of implementing this ground-breaking agreement in Ben & Jerry’s supply chain.
 
Ben & Jerry’s implementation of the Milk with Dignity program will result in transformational changes to a troubled industry.   
  • Farmworkers will see concrete improvements in wages, scheduling, housing, and health and safety protections
  • Farm owners will receive a premium on their milk and support in improving working conditions
  • Ben & Jerry’s can sell a product made with cream produced free from human rights abuses
  • Consumers -- thousands of whom have called for this change -- will be able to see their solidarity with farmworkers bear fruit in the form of a major company’s concrete commitment to promoting human rights through worker-driven social responsibility.
Developed by Vermont dairy workers, Milk with Dignity is modeled after the world-renowned Fair Food Program.  Through a series of 14 Buyer Agreements with major food corporations -- from McDonald’s to Walmart -- the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has transformed the Florida tomato industry.  Once considered ground-zero for modern day slavery in the United States, the tomato fields of Florida are now recognized as one of the best workplaces in U.S. agriculture.  The change has been accomplished through the CIW’s bold vision of “worker-driven social responsibility:” harnessing the market power of corporations to set conditions in their supply chains using standards and enforcement led by the workers themselves.
 
The Milk with Dignity Program will be implemented throughout Ben & Jerry’s dairy supply chain using the five essential elements of worker-driven social responsibility developed by the CIW:
 
1. Farmworker-Authored Code of Conduct: Farms in Ben & Jerry’s supply chain must meet the standards defined by farmworkers in wages, scheduling, housing, health and safety, and the right to work free from retaliation;
 
2. Farmworker Education: From day one, workers in the program will be educated on their rights under the code of conduct and how to enforce them.  Workers will become frontline defenders of their own human rights.
 
3. Third Party Monitoring Body: The newly-created Milk with Dignity Standards Council (MDSC) will enforce the agreement by auditing farms’ compliance with the code of conduct, receiving, investigating and resolving worker grievances, and creating improvement plans to address violations.  The MDSC will work with farmers and farmworkers in order to problem-solve issues as they arise seeking to improve communication and participation in the workplace.  It may suspend a farm from the program if the farm is unwilling to meet the standards in the code of conduct, creating strong market incentives to improve conditions and make workers’ human rights a reality.
 
4. Economic relief: Ben & Jerry’s will pay a premium to all participating farms in their supply chain. The premium provides workers with a bonus in each paycheck and serves to offset farms’ costs of compliance with the code of conduct.
 
5. Legally-binding Agreement: Ben & Jerry's has signed a legally-binding agreement that defines the program as a long-term contract enforceable under law.
 
On the strength of this structure, the Milk with Dignity program has garnered tremendous support.  The national Presbyterian church, representing millions of parishioners, issued a statement lauding the program.  15 renowned human rights organizations, including the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and the Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote in an open letter that Milk with Dignity “promises ... transformational reforms for the dairy industry in Vermont, and presents a valuable opportunity for Ben & Jerry’s to establish itself as an industry leader.”  And the country’s largest labor union, the National Education Association, recently awarded Migrant Justice their prestigious César Chávez Civil and Human Rights Award.
 
This watershed moment is only the beginning.  As the program rolls out on the farms in Ben & Jerry’s supply chain, dairy workers will be preparing to expand Milk with Dignity to other companies.  Your support over the past years was crucial in getting to where we are today -- join us for this next phase in the Milk with Dignity campaign!

PCVT is Pulling for Outright VT!

on Wednesday, 13 September 2017. Posted in Safespace

PCVT is Pulling for Outright VT!
This past week and weekend was SO AMAZING. So many beautiful people coming together in love, solidarity and fabulousness. THANK YOU!!! We wouldn't be the vibrant community we are without all of you, and we're so grateful to those of you who came out to celebrate, to learn and to be together this past Pride Week. 
 
We're still cleaning up the glitter and putting some flags and tables back but we're starting to think about the next fabulous, rainbow-y event coming up to support LGBTQ+ folks in VT... Outright VT's Fire Truck Pull!! We so appreciate and admire the important work that Outright does for queer and trans youth, and we decided to put together a Pride Center team to support them in that work. Our goal is to raise $1500 (or more!) for Outright. If you're able to contribute anything to our fundraising page (every $1 helps!) we would be so grateful. And if you want to join our team to help pull the fire truck and/or to help fundraise- we would love to have you!! Email Julia at julia@pridecentervt.org to get involved.
 

OVW Grant Updates!

on Friday, 25 August 2017. Posted in Safespace

OVW Grant Updates!

Work with our OVW grant partners is moving forward! In the past couple months I’ve led multiple workshops with Migrant Justice, WomenSafe and Voices Against Violence to help deepen their understanding of LGBTQ+ identities and strengthen their skills in working with LGBTQ+ individuals and survivors. More workshops to come! Each organization (also including HOPE Works) will receive a series of individualized trainings from SafeSpace as well as technical assistance in making their programs and services more affirming and inclusive for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual and/or domestic violence.

Each organization in our partnership has unique experience and expertise to bring to the table and we’re working together to fill in the gaps in each others’ knowledge and capabilities. Migrant Justice is opening our eyes to the realities of migrant farmworkers on dairy farms here in Vermont (read more: migrantjustice.net), and we’re learning more about the isolation, the fear and the many barriers that stand in the way of farmworkers accessing support. We’ll continue doing cross-trainings between all our partner orgs to share information and skills around working with undocumented, Latin American, migrant farmworker and LGBTQ+ survivors.

This past weekend I was able to attend Migrant Justice’s Torneo de Futbol (soccer tournament), where migrant farmworkers and allies from around the state came together to play hard, eat delicious food and have fun. I talked with some folks about our grant and the work we’re doing to strengthen the support network for migrant farmworkers who have experienced sexual and/or domestic violence, and passed out papers about consentimiento (consent), violencia/abuso (violence/abuse), identidades LGBTQ+ (LGBTQ+ identities) and recursos (resources: PCVT/SafeSpace, Migrant Justice, WomenSafe, HOPE Works and Voices Against Violence). The folks at Migrant Justice were super-helpful in translating and editing the handouts, and as all of our work is continually evolving I’m sure the handouts will also evolve with more input from migrant farmworkers and grant partners.

I feel so honored to get to work on this project and to do so in a collaborative and continually-learning way. Together we’re putting the pieces in place and figuring out best ways forward. I’m excited to see what we create together. Si se puede!

- Julia Berberan, SafeSpace Coordinator

Fraudulent Web Page

on Friday, 11 August 2017. Posted in Safespace

Fraudulent Web Page

To our LGBTQIA community - please note that a fraudulent web page with a domain similar to the Center's and mimicking the look of our Pride Center Vermont web site has recently been published.  We are sorry for any confusion or concern this has created.  We are not affiliated with nor do we endorse this fraudulent page. Please direct questions or comments to Susan Hartman, Pride Center of Vermont Executive Director.

Holiday Closures and Events

on Monday, 26 June 2017. Posted in Safespace

Holiday Closures and Events

Our offices will be closed on Monday, July 3rd and Tuesday July 4th but there are still fun things happening in the community!! 

Join GLAM for Kablooey on Monday! 

http://www.pridecentervt.org/calendar/calendar/event/13618-glam-s-kablooey

And check out the Barbs' Big Beach Bash on Tuesday!! 

http://www.pridecentervt.org/calendar/calendar/event/13619-the-barbs-july-4th-big-beach-bash

The Trans Support Group that usually meets on the first Tuesday of the month will be meeting on Wednesday, July 5th instead, from 6:30-8pm. 

http://www.pridecentervt.org/calendar/calendar/event/13417-trans-and-gnc-support-group-1st-weds

We wish you all a fun and safe holiday!

To our community members

on Thursday, 22 June 2017. Posted in Safespace

To our community members

To our community members,

In light of the recent resurgence of violently transphobic sentiments within our community, The Pride Center wishes to extend our capacities in full as a healing presence to those affected. The SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program at the Pride Center offers advocacy and support to LGBTQIA individuals who have experienced any type of violence, bias, or discrimination. If you or someone you know needs help or support- please reach out to our advocates at 802.863.0003 or safespace@pridecentervt.org. You can also report violence anonymously at bit.ly/reportvt. Please know that we are here for you.

The Pride Center of Vermont is committed to ensuring the safety of all members of the LGBTQIA community, especially those of us who identify as trans. We are receptive to the concerns that have been brought to us by the trans community and we are dedicated to moving forward with our advocacy in a way that is informed by the past. Stepping up and advocating for our most marginalized community members in the time ahead is our foremost priority. As an organization that advocates for inclusivity, acceptance, and safety, we seek to bridge the gaps in our community that allow for transphobic rhetoric to take root and divide us. On principle, we do not condone violence of any sort, and we especially condemn violence that affects our trans community members. Our trans community is deeply valued by the Pride Center; these are folks filled with kindness and love who work every day, just by existing resiliently, to make Vermont a safe and inclusive place for trans people to thrive. At the Pride Center, we are deeply aggrieved and disheartened to see such a staggering revitalization of increasingly persistent transphobic hatred and violence, and we are calling for our brilliantly diverse LGBTQIA community to resist hatred and come together for the sake of our most marginalized.

A critical part of coming together and healing is listening to one another, particularly to the trans community members who have been silenced and subjected to hatred. Supporting our trans community can take the form of actively listening and accepting what people have to say at face value, acknowledging their feelings, and letting them know they are heard. Transphobic rhetoric is a threat to the integrity of our whole community, not just to those who are trans. Recent discussions about transphobia have provided much insight on just how much work remains to be done on the part of the LGBTQIA community as well as the community at large towards learning, healing, and uplifting. In the face of the recent vitriolic transphobia, we challenge our fellow LGBTQIA Vermonters to confront bias every day and to support the trans folks in the community by giving them space to exist safely, listening to their concerns, and taking action when the inherent value of a trans person’s life is questioned. We have to do better by our trans community, and we will persist in the effort to accomplish not only a basic understanding, but a wide spread acceptance as well. We will not tolerate this violence.

 

 

Honoring and Remembering Pulse Victims and Amos Beede

on Monday, 12 June 2017. Posted in Safespace

Honoring and Remembering Pulse Victims and Amos Beede

Today marks one year after the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida. This horrific attack was waged specifically against LGBTQIA people of color seeking sanctuary and a place to be themselves, two things that should be available to everyone. The massacre claimed 49 lives and left 53 injured, making it the deadliest attack on the LGBTQIA community in U.S. history. It is crucial to recognize the identities of the communities that were targeted in this attack because it allows us to see that this was not only born from homophobia, but of racism as well. Today provides an opportunity to remember the victims of the Pulse shooting and honor their legacy by continuing the efforts towards uprooting hatred, discrimination, and violence towards LGBTQIA individuals and people of color.

The SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program at the Pride Center of VT offers advocacy and support to LGBTQIA individuals who have experienced any type of violence, bias, or discrimination. If you or someone you know needs help- please reach out to our advocates at 802.863.0003 or safespace@pridecentervt.org. You can also report violence anonymously at bit.ly/reportvt. If you need support- please know that we’re here for you.

If you are able, we encourage you to consider participating in the #HonorThemWithAction Campaign, an effort lead by Equality Florida to honor the memory of the victims of the Pulse shooting. Opportunities to donate to the families of the victims, information on how to become a Pulse partner, and solidarity actions/event listings can all be found on the #HonorThemWithAction Campaign website, honorthemwithaction.org.

We also take the opportunity today to uplift the memory of a member of our own Vermont community, Amos Beede. Amos’ life was cut short by an act of brutal violence rooted in homophobia and transphobia, and he passed away on May 28, 2016. Both the Pulse massacre and the tragic loss of Amos Beede are examples of unchecked homophobia and transphobia that had deadly consequences. We will continue to fight for our community and provide opportunities for others to do so as well. Now more than ever is the time to come together and resist hatred, wherever and however it manifests. The violence has to stop.

Rest in Power

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old

Christopher “Drew” Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

KJ Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Lestat Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald “Jerry” Arthur Wright, 31 years old

Amos John Beede, 38 years old

 We see you. We honor you. We mourn for you. We fight for you.

TransForm Project Launch!

on Sunday, 28 May 2017. Posted in Safespace

Interest Meeting

TransForm Project Launch!

We believe that no trans person in Vermont should have to come out and transition alone. Come help us make that vision a reality!

The TransForm Project is a new initiative to provide resources, support, and community connections for transgender and gender-nonconforming Vermonters. This summer we'll be launching a mentoring program to connect trans folks with peers across the state, and we need you!

Join us at the TransForm interest meeting to share your ideas and learn about ways to be involved:
- Connect with a peer mentor to find one-on-one support around gender from someone who's been there.
- Become a mentor to show trans and questioning people in your community that they are not alone.
- Share your experiences and skills to help us build an online, step-by-step guide to transitioning in Vermont.
Refreshments will be provided!

(If you're in central or southern Vermont, we'll be holding interest meetings in your neck of the woods soon -- send us an email and we'll keep you updated.)

Questions? Ideas? Can't make it to the meeting, but still want to be involved? Contact us at transform@pridecentervt.org.

TransForm is a collaboration between the Pride Center of Vermont and the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.

SafeSpace Updates

on Friday, 21 April 2017. Posted in Safespace

SafeSpace Updates

Hello everyone!

As you may know, the SafeSpace office here at the Pride Center serves survivors of violence, harassment, and discrimination. We offer emotional support, provide resources, and connect people with organizations that can assist them in areas that we may not be able to, such as emergency housing. The reason we are able to offer these services is primarily through the Victims of Crime Act, or VOCA. Every year, we receive funding through VOCA in order to continue working with communities and individuals who need us.

Part of our work through VOCA includes gathering data about what kinds of communities we serve. This includes gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, age, ability, and more. We would like to share a snapshot of the work we’ve been doing and the people we have been serving with all of you.

“We believe that the first step to eradicating violence in our community is to acknowledge that it is happening,” said Catarina Campbell of the SafeSpace office. Currently, the Pride Center is the only organization in Vermont that specifically serves LGBTQH+ adults statewide. “We think it is important to recognize the various experiences of members of our community, and to support those who need it,” Catarina said.

This quarter, from January 1 through March 31, we served 26 individuals. Of these 26 people:

  • 53% identified as having a disability (14 of 26)

  • 50% identified as trans* or gender nonconforming (13 of 26)

  • 15% lack secure and stable housing (4 of 26)

  • 65% of those we served were between the ages of 25 and 59 (17 or 26)

  • We provided approximately 115 units (about 30 hours) of emotional support

  • There were 49 instances of violence reported (some intersecting)

    • 35% of cases were hate violence (17 of 49)

    • 20% of cases were domestic violence (10 of 49)

    • 18% of cases were sexual violence (9 of 49)

    • 27% of cases were another form of violence (bullying, stalking, etc.)

If you or someone you know is seeking emotional support, legal counseling, housing assistance, or other resources, please reach out to SafeSpace. You can reach us by phone at 802-863-0003 Monday-Thursday from 10am-6pm, and on Fridays from 10am-2pm. You can also email us at SafeSpace@PrideCenterVT.org at any time. To report violence anonymously online: bit.ly/reportvt

-Alanna Moriarty, Blogging and Social Media Intern

Healthy Relationships

on Monday, 27 March 2017. Posted in Safespace

Healthy Relationships

Hello everyone!

Today at the SafeSpace office we received two boxes full of booklets about healthy relationships, and we are all quite excited about them. Though these particular booklets are aimed at teens and young adults, it’s important for people of all ages to understand what makes for a healthy relationship and what habits can lead to being in an unhealthy relationship.

We engage in all kinds of relationships, every single day. Some of these relationships are platonic, like with our friends, coworkers, and classmates. Others are familial, like with parents and siblings. Some of us engage in romantic relationships with partners, date-mates, girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses, etc. No matter what kind of relationship we engage in, it is important to know what it means for the relationship to be healthy or unhealthy.

Healthy relationships rely on three main elements: trust, communication, and mutual respect. Without these three building blocks, people in relationships are prone to jealousy, misunderstanding, and negative feelings.

With all close relationships, it is important that you trust one another. If you trust someone, you can confide in them and feel comfortable sharing things about yourself. Trust leads to open and honest communication, which is another important aspect of a healthy relationship. If something is bothering you but you don’t feel comfortable expressing your feelings, you are more likely to hold in the negative emotions. Not only does this not solve the original problem, but it could also breed resentment and anger which lead to even more problems like passive-aggression and arguing.

Both trust and open, honest communication are essential to healthy relationships, and neither are possible without mutual respect. It is essential that all people in a relationship acknowledge one another’s humanity, individuality, and personal needs. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. But knowing that you are cared for and respected regardless of any shortcomings makes it easier to address problems and insecurities that may arise.

Another essential aspect of any relationship is consent. Consent is often associated with sexual and romantic relationships, and is emphasized most in the context of intimacy. However, consent is important in any relationship, whether it’s platonic, familial, or sexual. Consent just means that you have someone’s permission before you make a decision or take an action that affects them. This could mean that you ask your friend’s permission before you hug them or offer them other kinds of physical comfort. It may mean that you ask whether it’s okay to share a piece of information about your friend with someone else. Getting consent is an important way to check in with a friend or partner before you cross a boundary.

In any relationship, it is also nice to be reminded that you are valued and cared for. If you feel as though you are in a healthy, loving relationship with friends or partners, make sure they know you appreciate them. Every once in awhile it is good to send a text, write a note, and/or thank them in person for supporting you and being present in your life.

If you ever feel unsafe in your relationship or need support, please reach out to SafeSpace. Our advocates are available Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can call 802.863.0003, email (safespace@pridecentervt.org) or just walk in. We are here for you.

- Alanna Moriarty, Blogging and Social Media Intern

[12 3 4 5  >>