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Nov 15, 2018 2:46 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Community Partners Work Together To Combat Sexual Violence In Hampton Bays

Hampton Bays Teen Librarian Erick Gordy meets with Jessica Mills, Nicole Keller, and Vicky Urbelis to discuss the SHAPE initiative at the Hampton Bays Public Library on Wednesday. VALERIE GORDON
Nov 20, 2018 2:14 PM

The Retreat is working with several community partners in Hampton Bays to help combat sexual violence in the community.

The East Hampton nonprofit, whose mission is to provide safety, shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse, has partnered with the Hampton Bays Public Library and the Hampton Bays School District to construct a curriculum at the district’s middle and high schools, teaching students how to recognize and prevent violence and bullying.

Though it’s still in its infancy, once the SHAPE—sexual harassment and abuse prevention education—curriculum is complete, teachers will begin educating students through classes on three basic programs: One Circle, Bringing in the Bystander and Shifting Boundaries.

According to Vicky Urbelis, the head of teen services at the library, each of the classes is tailored by age to help students feel empowered, and to give them the tools to recognize and reduce peer and dating violence and sexual harassment.

“All together, they give the complete picture of violence prevention and education,” she said.

Nicole Keller, The Retreat’s project coordinator, added that sexual violence among young adults and children is much more common than most people think.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four girls, 24.7 percent, and one in six boys, 16 percent, are sexually abused before the age of 18. Additionally, 74 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 have said that they were assaulted by someone that they knew personally.

Drawing from her experiences at the library, Mr. Urbelis said that a number of the children she sees on a daily basis experience violence in their homes or at school.

“I see it every day,” she said. “A lot of them experience violence every day. Not just bullying—they experience relationship violence, and they don’t understand that that’s not okay. And that’s how it perpetuates.

“Our goal is to change these social norms,” she continued. “It’s a change to say, ‘It’s not okay.’”

Currently, the Hampton Bays School District’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Denise Sullivan, is reviewing several years’ worth of data, which is collected by the Southampton Town Youth Bureau every three years, to determine what she called the “red flags.”

The data, she explained, are from surveys completed by the district’s middle and high school students, which contain questions such as: “Do you have stress or anxiety?” “Have you tried marijuana?” and “When was the first time you had a drink of alcohol?”

For instance, if the biggest problem areas are anxiety and underage drinking, the curriculum will be tailored to those issues, Ms. Sullivan said. “It identifies where the red flags are and helps us put programs into place.”

However, prior to bringing the program to the hamlet’s schools, its teachers must first attend trainings to become certified in each of the aforementioned methods.

Ms. Keller said that each of the trainings, which are taught through their respective agencies, will be provided free of charge through a $ $612,260 Rape Prevention Education Grant awarded to The Retreat—in partnership with LI Against Domestic Violence of Central Islip—from the CDC and the New York State Department of Health.

Ms. Urbelis, who is One Circle certified, did, however, note that the next training—Bringing in the Bystander—is scheduled for January 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cicatelli Training Center on Eighth Avenue in New York City. The grant would cover the cost for eight participants, including Hampton Bays High School physical education and health teacher Jake Davidson, and Hampton Bays Middle School English teacher Jessica Davis, to attend the training. However, Ms. Keller stressed that the training is not open to the public and is strictly limited to the community partners working with The Retreat.

On Wednesday, Hampton Bays Library Director Susan LaVista supported the coalition wholeheartedly.

“In this world that we live in, with all the crazy stuff that’s going on, I feel that this is an important initiative aimed not only at children but at educators,” she said. “It’s training everyone to have a different mindset and to be mindful of what’s going on around them.”

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What sexual violence in Hampton Bays? Why hasn't the residents been made aware of this? Is the Library and School aware of sexual violence that the residents are not being made aware of?
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 19, 18 6:46 PM
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There are not specific incidents of sexual violence in Hampton Bays that rise to a climate or a trend. However, if there are incidents, school officials and others take the appropriate and immediate steps to address it and involve law enforcement, the family, mental health professionals, and Child Protective Services. The SHAPE Coalition is more aimed at getting to young people to help assess their mindsets, beliefs and attitudes about relationship health more holistically. From there, programming ...more
By hblc (31), Hampton Bays on Nov 19, 18 9:27 PM
This sounds like a solution in search of a problem then. At least the Press should change the title of the article. I don't know what training the Library Director has to comment on this issue. A lot of people overstepping their mission and training as I see it in HB.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 19, 18 11:13 PM
On July 1, the NYS Board of Regents passed new standards for instruction. The Mental Health Literacy Standards include teaching kids about relationship health. For the school’s part, the data mentioned that is being reviewed will be used to tailor instruction to meet the state mandate and needs of our kids. Happy Thanksgiving! LC
By hblc (31), Hampton Bays on Nov 20, 18 7:26 AM
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Lars, I appreciate you insight however as a taxpayer and resident of Hampton Bays, I do not appreciate the headline of the Press. I also don't appreciate that the Library has turned into an unrecognizable institution.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 20, 18 7:49 AM
The headline is like asking a man if he is still beating his wife, guilty till proven innocent. Teach the kids to read, write and math, stop the BS. The library is trying to justify its existence. Hampton Bays HS should concentrate on academics.
By P. Revere (125), hampton Bays on Nov 20, 18 4:23 PM
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Another stupid feel good grant for a false narrative of rape. From what I hear the state controller says the administration needs a course in accounting and ethics. Pissing money In the wind
By chief1 (2605), southampton on Nov 23, 18 10:04 AM
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Who is the dude in the picture??????
By watchdog1 (509), Southampton on Nov 23, 18 8:50 PM
That's Hampton Bays Teen Librarian Erick Gordy -- learn how to read the photo captions, watchdog1.




By Frank Wheeler (1809), Northampton on Nov 23, 18 10:44 PM
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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By icecreamman (451), Southampton on Nov 24, 18 8:23 AM
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While I think the intentions of the school district and library are on point, the headline does seem a bit extreme.
By Infoseeker (271), Hampton Bays on Nov 24, 18 10:55 AM
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The headline gave me the impression that there was a big problem going on in Hampton Bays with sexual violence
By toes in the water (736), southampton on Nov 25, 18 6:46 AM
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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By P. Revere (125), hampton Bays on Nov 24, 18 9:58 PM
27east
Community Partners Work Together To Combat Sexual Violence In Hampton Bays
Publication: The Southampton Press

This is a great initiative and and makes me proud to know we have a superintendent of our schools and public library that collaborates to work on preventive measures to end domestic violence. Children cant reach their academic and societal potential when these issues are ignored. As was mentiomed, the community is taking a holistic approach to education and supportive ...more
By Infoseeker (271), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 7:57 AM
The Library has turned into an unrecognizable institution with untrained people "knowing enough to be dangerous" getting involved in things that they should not be involved in. I am old enough to respect Libraries as places of higher learning and now this library has continued to turn into a social service agency. They need to take the Library sign off and stop collecting taxpayer monies for a Library.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 9:18 AM
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That is your opinion GA Lombardi. What is "untrained" about having a staff with bachelor and master's degrees in a variety of fields that are representive of the library staff. Collaborating with a local Shelter and school district to combat domestic violence is certainly not dangerous. Your opinion of what a library should be is antiquated. The HBPL is a community center that is open 7 days a week from early morning into the evening. It is ashame that you see such little value that is offered at ...more
By Infoseeker (271), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 9:46 AM
I have a Bachelors, Masters and Licence to practice as a Certified Public Accountant - that doesn't make me a social worker.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 11:29 AM
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"the HBPL is a community center" -NO its a LIBRARY The town community center is just down the road. The library needs to focus on being a library. The place is overstaffed and noisy- and its usually the front desk staff chattering away non-stop and socializing. Be QUIET and get to work or go home.
By CaptainSig (700), Dutch Harbor on Nov 27, 18 5:50 AM
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I guess NYPL should take their Library sign down too.
https://hyperallergic.com/469986/new-york-public-library-offers-ties-and-briefcases-you-can-check-out-for-job-interviews/?utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=SocialFlow
By Infoseeker (271), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 9:56 AM
Many of the NYC Libraries closed.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 11:03 AM
The NYPL is in pristine condition with over $300 million in annual revenue. of which only 55% comes from NYC taxpayers - the rest from NYS, grants investments etc. There is no comparison between a small town local library and a NYC iconic institution.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 3:32 PM
Infoseeker is employed by the HB library in the computer room.
By P. Revere (125), hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 12:45 PM
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Why the Hampton Bays library and not any other libraries? Is there a real problem in Hampton Bays? If there isn't a real problem, then there is no need for the program. If there is a real problem, I fear it's about to get worse. Stop trying to make Hampton Bays a sanctuary city.
By pigroast (80), East Quogue on Nov 25, 18 1:08 PM
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Good thing the library isn’t trying to anything that might benefit the community. How does this program make a sanctuary city? Sounds like a good program to me.
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 25, 18 1:52 PM
The library administration has ignored needed repairs and maintenance potentially putting the patrons health at risk, but yet they continue to expand their programs into areas that are akin to a social service agencies which needs a different skill set and risk assessment. They continue to squeeze the taxpayers and I am suspect will come back with a new proposal for a new building. I don't understand the reference to "sanctuary city"". This is about the appropriate due care and use of a taxpayer ...more
Nov 25, 18 2:18 PM appended by G.A.Lombardi
due care and use of a taxpayer funded building.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 2:18 PM
G.A. , I understand your concerns. But won’t combating sexual abuse I benefit not only library users but the community as a whole? Not nitpicking but it does sound like a good program.
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 25, 18 2:34 PM
Again, from my very first post...what sexual abuse????
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 3:09 PM
According to the cdc, one in four girls and one in six boys. You being a cpa would agree that’s a rather large percentage. Unless Hampton Bays has escaped sexual abuse, by anyone, I’d say the facts speak for themselves.
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 25, 18 3:21 PM
As a CPA, I understand data collection and the analysis of data collection. If the CDC has data, then the HB data should be part of those statistics and available to the residents. I also understand that a homogenized statistic is not indicative of any one location just as income, ethnicity, crime, etc. is not. Apparently, this is a NYS mandated program. I don't understand how this is a news story if it SOP for the Schools and I certainly don't agree with Library staff involvement.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 3:55 PM
I agree to disagree
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 25, 18 4:01 PM
I agree too...but I suspect you are not a HB taxpayer and resident and I don't see the same headlines for "sexual violence" in Southampton involving the Southampton School and Library.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 4:26 PM
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True, I don’t live in Hampton Bays, my comment was about the program. I still think it’s a good thing.
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 25, 18 7:58 PM
Fred S., HB has the lowest property values and the highest tax rate in the Hamptons. We need our leadership to be prudent and responsible with our tax monies and have real solutions to real problems handled by professionals. I am all for programs where there is a need or obviously mandated by a NYS. I don't need to choke on my cup of joe reading that there is "sexual violence" in HB and the Library resources are used to address the issue.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 6:09 AM
If one case of sexual violence is prevented, it’s a success. It starts with teaching kids what’s right from wrong.We are arguing two separate points. Taxes are irrelevant to sexual abuse. I understand from your posts where you are coming from, I wasn’t arguing about taxes, just the program.
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 26, 18 6:17 AM
Sorry Fred S. you are still missing my point. I am a CA - hire me to audit your books and records, but don't hire me to build your deck. The Library is NOT the appropriate resource.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 6:21 AM
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and Fred, since you believe taxes are irrelevant, why don't you provide your full name and address and taxpayers of HB can sent their tax bills to you. Seniors citizens that have seen taxes go up 150% while their COLA has gone up only 50% over the past 19 years need to chose between buying groceries and paying their taxes - their lives matter too.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 6:33 AM
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Criminal behavior can't be stopped by community and library programs. My tax bill indicates I'm paying more for the HB library than the police. Check your tax bill and tell me if I'm wrong. What's going on here? More for library than police?
By P. Revere (125), hampton Bays on Nov 25, 18 7:43 PM
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You are correct - the cost of the police is spread across all of Southampton township while the taxpayers of HB bear the burden for the Library and the School. If this is a NYS mandate and /or a pervasive problem, then why is this not a program across all the districts? The HB Library leadership continues to complain that they can't stay under the cap, can't afford to fix the building, the parking lot is overcrowded, tries to eliminate some of the senior programs, but continues to take on more ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 7:05 AM
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Fred s: The kids know" right from wrong". The library and school don't need programs to teach that sexual violence is criminal. Fathers and the police should enforce the law and protect their daughters.
By P. Revere (125), hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 6:47 AM
P.Revere, that’s one of the most ridiculous statements.Anything to help stop sexual abuse helps. 1 in 6 females experience sexual abuse, fathers and police are failing, don’t you think?
Nov 26, 18 7:11 AM appended by Fred s
Change that to ignorant, and ridiculous
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 26, 18 7:11 AM
Fred, I am certainly not a social worker, but I am a daughter and was a young woman in corporate american when sexual harassment was "rated A - F", not reported. We knew not to go to HR since they protected the company not the employee. I think today is different, the training can be done in two steps "JUST SAY NO" and GO TO THE POLICE, even if it your father who is abusing you. The Catholic Church is finally coming to task for what they did. It is no longer a secret.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 7:52 AM
Education is the key. “Just say no” was Nancy Regans slogan, it failed miserably in relation to drugs. Educating the youth of America about this is a good thing. Read up about it, it’s one of the steps that’s recommended.education , that is.
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 26, 18 7:57 AM
Again, those TRAINED in this area and have no vested interested in seeing it buried should be doing the TRAINING. Go back to the original posts.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 8:10 AM
and I am old enough to know that "just say no" was Nancy's Regan's slogan for drugs. My point was that if this is a NYS mandate, the State should have a well vetted curriculum for all the school districts and provide the schools with the resources to execute the mandate. Whatever is going on here in HB doesn't make sense or cents as I said. Clearly, we should stop the dialogue since we are not going to convince the other of our position and just agree to disagree. However, as a HB taxpayer, I ...more
Nov 26, 18 8:26 AM appended by G.A.Lombardi
However, as a HB taxpayer, I will continue my journey to make sure my dollars and the dollars of my fellow taxpayers are being used in a prudent and effective manner.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 8:26 AM
Ok, I give up. The Retreat is a qualifyed organization. Just say no then
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 26, 18 8:31 AM
I give up too. If the Retreat wants to run the program with charitable donations and grants, I am all for it, but that is not the fact pattern here. We clearly see things differently. I also see the big picture for the overall health and well being of all of Hampton Bays.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 8:50 AM
Fred, Not this father and the fathers I know are not failing. Bureaucrats trying to justify their jobs. We have more BS programs, meetings, civil servants doing nothing, Excessive taxation, regulations, large government,etc, etc, because of people like you. I'll take care of it myself the old fashion way.


By P. Revere (125), hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 8:37 AM
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People like me? Yeah, keep on keeping on. Foolishness has no boundaries.
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 26, 18 9:03 AM
Fred, I am not sure about you, but it seems to be that people who don't live and pay taxes specific to Hampton Bays seem to have a lot to say about what should go on in Hampton Bays. The YIMPBY (yes in my backyard) people are really YIYBY people - yes in YOUR backyard and on your tax dollar.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 9:24 AM
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I was born in Southampton hospital, lived in Southampton most of my life. Sexual abuse is a national problem. If you don’t want your taxes used toward education, that’s fine. P. Revere, you and your dad friends are failing then. If you think 1out of 4 girls being sexuall abused is a good stat, then I’m done. Let Hampton Bays handle, P. Revere can be in charge.
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 26, 18 9:41 AM
Why don't yo take the lead in Southampton then if you believe this is such a pressing national issue and not worry about what is going on in HB. Education is very important - I am the first to graduate college in my family - I would like effective education in HB not fat and waste.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 10:06 AM
That’s what The Retreat does. Maybe they will in Southampton, partner with the library. It’s for the good of the community. I only commented, saying it was a good thing. I stand by that.
By Fred s (1997), Southampton on Nov 26, 18 10:39 AM
Based on Lars' comment it is a State mandate for a program which means all the schools should be doing it. My main concern was why the Library? It makes no sense or cents and I took offense to the headline as if sexual assault was rampant in Hampton Bays.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 11:27 AM
It seems like the only connection to the library is that one of their employees is certified to train educators in one aspect of the new program. Am I reading that right?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (5552), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 26, 18 11:41 AM
Sorry, but I am not going to debate the use of the Library facility turning into a social service agency...been there done that...not doing it again.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 12:54 PM
Who is using the facility for what? I can't seem to find that anywhere in this article.

In fact, the article specifically says training will take place "at Cicatelli Training Center on Eighth Avenue in New York City."
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (5552), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 26, 18 1:03 PM
Our current president is the paradigm for how to treat humans in regard to sexuality, youth can learn all they need from his exemplary behavior. I'm against all government spending unless it pays for weapons or walls.
By Aeshtron (283), Southampton on Nov 26, 18 10:44 AM
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and there is at least one person that goes off topic and circles back to Trump.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 11:08 AM
If you're surprised that people associate sexual violence with the current POTUS, you haven't been paying attention.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (5552), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 26, 18 11:17 AM
It is irrelevant and off topic.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 12:54 PM
Returning to the topic at hand, what exactly are you opposed to? This article doesn't identify a single thing that will be happening at the library.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (5552), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 26, 18 1:54 PM
The East Hampton nonprofit, whose mission is to provide safety, shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse, has partnered with the Hampton Bays Public Library and the Hampton Bays School District to construct a curriculum at the district’s middle and high schools, teaching students how to recognize and prevent violence and bullying.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Nov 26, 18 2:02 PM
So the curriculum will be carried out at the schools, not the library? Great!

What exactly is it that you oppose?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (5552), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 26, 18 2:34 PM
Sexual harassment programs don’t belong in a library. Hampton Bays library needs to stay within their blue collar budget and hold democratic board elections.
By pigroast (80), East Quogue on Nov 26, 18 11:20 AM
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Then you'll be happy to learn the curriculum will be taught at "the district’s middle and high schools" according to the second sentence of the article you just commented on.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (5552), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 26, 18 11:25 AM
I'll be happy when they change our NY slogan from the empire state to the corruption state.
By pigroast (80), East Quogue on Nov 26, 18 11:29 AM
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