“Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past”

-17th annual Chautauqua tent show to take place in Lewes, Del. from June 21–25, 2015-

(DOVER, Del.—June 12, 2015)—The First State’s essential relationship with the Delaware River and Bay, and the sea, will be brought to life during the 17th annual Chautauqua tent show, “Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Events and programs will take place at a variety of downtown Lewes, Del. locations including the Zwaanendael Museum and the Lewes Historical Society from June 21 to 25, 2015. Admission is free and open to the public. Go here for a complete listing of activities. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Christian Johnson will portray Gov. William Augustus Newell, founder of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, on June 24, 2015.
Christian Johnson will portray Gov. William Augustus Newell, founder of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, on June 24, 2015.

A unique mixture of education and entertainment, Lewes’ Chautauqua will be held under a large tent and will be headlined by re-enactors from the American Historical Theatre who will take on the personas of celebrated historical figures, educating and entertaining audiences as they bring the past to life. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and interact with the featured characters who will include American-Revolutionary-War-era sea captain Gideon Olmstead; enslaved African-American poet Phillis Wheatley discussing her voyage to Britain; Gov. William Augustus Newell, founder of U.S. Life-Saving Service; and first lady Abigail Adams discussing trade and embargoes during the American Revolution. The Chautauqua will also feature several family-friendly events including “Songs and Stories of Old Sailing Days,” “Run It Up the Flagpole and Sea” and the Pyrates Royale Duo; plus a new display at the Zwaanendael Museum on His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798.

Matthew Dodd will present the family-friendly program “Songs and Stories of Old Sailing Days” on June 21, 2015.
Matthew Dodd will present the family-friendly program “Songs and Stories of Old Sailing Days” on June 21, 2015.

Chautauqua takes its name from a series of adult education programs that were first held at a campsite on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York during the late-19th century. Chautauquas spread throughout America in the late-19th and early-20th centuries bringing speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day to a wide cross-section of the nation’s rural and small-town population. Circuit Chautauquas (also known as Tent Chautauquas) were an itinerant manifestation of the movement. Programs would be presented in tents pitched in a field near town. After several days, the Chautauqua would fold its tents and move on to the next community. The popularity of Chautauquas peaked in the mid-1920s, after which radio, movies and automobiles brought about the gradual disappearance of the movement by the 1940s.

Model of His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak. Part of a new display at the Zwaanendael Museum.
Model of His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak. Part of a new display at the Zwaanendael Museum.

Reborn in the 1970s as a vehicle for humanities education, modern Chautauquas are organized around a core program in which re-enactors portray celebrated historical figures, speaking and interacting with audiences, often in the setting of a large outdoor tent. Modern Chautauquas have been presented annually in Delaware since 1999 featuring a wide variety of historical figures including Abraham Lincoln; Amelia Earhart; Dolley Madison; Eleanor Roosevelt; Edgar Allan Poe; the Lone Ranger; John Philip Sousa; and Delaware’s own Pvt. James Elbert, Maj. Allen McLane, F.O.C. Darley and Clifford Brown.

Kim Hanley will portray first lady Abigail Adams on June 25, 2015.
Kim Hanley will portray first lady Abigail Adams on June 25, 2015.

Delaware’s 2015 Chautauqua is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is being presented as a partnership between the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Lewes Historical Society and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. Additional financial support is provided by the Delaware Heritage Commission, Delmarva Power and Sussex County Council under the auspices of Councilwoman Joan Deaver.

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Department of Correction marks National Crimes Victims’ Rights Week by reviewing first year of enhanced victim services, launching new informational resource

Dover – The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) today marked National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, observed this year from April 19-25, by reaffirming its commitment to engaging with survivors and their families and unveiling a new informational brochure for community members impacted by crime.

Last spring, Commissioner Robert Coupe strengthened DOC’s victim resources by establishing a statewide victim service coordinator position. Coupe hired experienced victim advocate Renee Buskirk as DOC’s first Victim Services Coordinator to serve as a direct point of contact for victims and to engage with state and local police agencies, the Attorney General’s office, and non-profit social service agencies in an effort to coordinate resources for victims as their cases move from the prosecution, through the term of offenders’ criminal sentences, and beyond.

“For many survivors of crime and their families, the arrest of a suspect and the conclusion of the prosecution are just two steps in a years-long recovery and healing process,” Commissioner Coupe said today. “Survivors and their families continue to need the support of the criminal justice system. That’s where our Victim Services program steps in to provide information about the DOC’s supervision of offenders who are serving criminal sentences and to offer referrals to services and programs that can support victims in their ongoing recovery.”

Commissioner Coupe reported today that over the past year DOC’s Victim Services Coordinator has responded to more than 1,400 inquiries. In response to those inquiries, the DOC has developed the Guide to Victim Services, an informational brochure that outlines several state resources for survivors and their families, features answers to frequently asked questions, and provides contact information for victim serving organizations. “We’re pleased that our enhanced victim services are meeting our goal of providing a new level of individual service to victims and families who have been impacted by offenders in our custody or in community-based supervision, and we hope that our new informational brochure empowers victims to reach out for help and engage in the correctional system,” Coupe said.

The DOC Victim Services Coordinator assists victims to:
• be prepared to participate in the correctional process, if they choose
• understand DOC’s role in supervising offenders who serve criminal sentences, including its supervision of offenders in prison and in the community
• obtain information and answers to questions surrounding the processes of incarceration and probation
• receive information and referrals to services
• register with VINELink, an automated notification system that allows crime victims to obtain real-time information about criminal court cases and changes in the custody status of offenders
• check eligibility for victim’s compensation
• establish Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders
• connect with domestic violence advocacy programs

DOC victim services contact information:
Renee Buskirk, Victim Services Coordinator
Phone: (302) 857-5440
E-mail: DOC_VictimServices@delaware.gov
Web: www.doc.delaware.gov (click on “Victim Services”)

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National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

DOVER, DELAWARE- National Crime Victims’ Rights Week promotes victims’ rights and honors crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s theme is Engaging Communities, Empowering Victims reminding us all that individually and collectively, each citizen has a role in supporting victims of crime and empowering them to direct their own recovery.

The week’s feature event is the Crime Victims Tribute, scheduled for Monday, April 20th, 2015 at the Delaware State University MLK, Jr. Student Center in Dover. The keynote speaker for the night is Meredith Gardner. Meredith’s mother, Tammy Gardner was murdered in 2006 in Wilmington when she tried to escape a domestic violence relationship. Meredith was twelve years old and her brother was ten. The crime has forever changed their lives and Meredith wants her voice to be heard. She wants those who hear her voice to know she is not just a young woman without a mother; she is young woman who wants to be an advocate for change. Meredith wants to honor her mother by doing all that she can to prevent anyone else from becoming another victim of domestic violence.

For more information about this event please call 1-800-victim-1;  or visit the Delaware Victims Rights Task Force website:  https://sites.google.com/site/delawarevrtf/home/CVRW/2015-tribute

On Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 at 1:30pm a Proclamation Signing Ceremony marking the week of April 19th – 26th, 2015 as Delaware Crime Victims’ Rights Week will occur at Legislative Hall. Governor Jack Markell will sign the Proclamation as part of a week honoring victims of crime. The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council will present the 2015 Outstanding Community Service Award to Senator Liane Sorenson for her 17 years of service in the General Assembly, a member of the Coordinating Council for 20 years, and her dedication to enhancing the safety of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Before the Proclamation signing victims of crime and victim advocates will be in Legislative Hall meeting with Legislators to advocate for victims rights in Delaware.

Follow all the Crime Victims’ Rights Week and Sexual Assault Awareness Month Events:

#30daysofSAAM, #NCVRW2015, #EmpowerDE


February Dedicated to Educating Delawareans About Teen Dating Violence and Prevention

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE- Each February, President Obama and Delaware’s Governor Markell declare this month Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month to bring awareness to this issue and educate young people on the signs of teen dating violence.

1 out of 6 Delaware high school girls reported that their partner has done something on purpose to hurt them, according to the Delaware Youth Risk Behavior Survey. This makes TDVAPM an especially important month for Delawareans in which teens and their families can learn about this prevalent concern.
“Teen dating violence can be any form of physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence, as well as stalking. We know that many teens do not share with their loved ones that their partner is being abusive,” says Mariann Kenville-Moore, Interim Executive Director of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Only 33 percent of teens in violent relationships told anyone about the abuse, according to loveisrespect.org, a national resource for teens.

On February 4, 2015, Governor Markell signed a proclamation declaring February Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Speakers at the event included Sam Golder, from Red Clay Consolidated School District; Melinda Dubinski, from the REAL Relationships Program at Turning Point at People’s Place II, Inc.; Kristen Herman from the safe+respectful Program at CHILD Inc; and Gabrielle Coleman, a young woman who is pursuing an education and career in the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault. REAL Relationships and safe+respectful are two programs dedicated to educating teens on healthy relationships.

Other events this month include a statewide Instagram contest for high school students to demonstrate healthy relationship qualities through Instagram photos.
For more information and contest rules, visit www.safeandrespectful.org. Also, National “Wear Orange 4 Love” Day is on February 10th to help promote respect and healthy relationships.
There are a number of initiatives happening in Delaware, all of which are listed on a calendar of events produced by the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence and posted at www.dcadv.org.

If you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone who is, contact a confidential hotline to learn about all of your options, including shelter, legal assistance, support groups, and more. Hotline staff can help you create a safety plan personalized for your situation.

National teen dating abuse hotline 1-866-331-9474
Text “love is” to 22522
Trevor Project (24 Hour LGBT Youth Hotline) 1-866-488-7386
Live chat online at: www.loveisrespect.org

24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotlines & Shelters in Delaware:
New Castle County (bilingual services available): 302-762-6110

Kent & Sussex Counties: 302-422-8058
302-745-9874 (bilingual hotline)

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAwarenessPurpleRibbon
October is DV Awarenss Month

WILMINGTON, Del.- The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council would like to remind everyone that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Last year in Delaware, 23,985 domestic violence incidents were reported to law enforcement, and Family Court issued 1,546 orders for Protection From Abuse.

Governor Markell will declare October 2014 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month for the purpose of bringing focus to a crime that affects the health, safety and welfare of thousands of Delawareans. Elected officials and a student gender-based violence prevention advocate will share remarks, followed by Miss Delaware’s story of her own family’s tragic loss due to domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence would like to invite you to join domestic violence advocates, law enforcement officers, prosecutors and others at this kick-off event. The Proclamation signing will be held on Monday, October 6, 2014 at 1:00PM in the Governor’s Conference Room on the 12th Floor of the Carvel State Office Building.

For more information about this event, or other Domestic Violence Awareness Month events, please contact the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council or the Delaware Coaliton Against Domestic Violence.

If you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone who is, contact your local 24-hour domestic violence hotline to learn about all of your options, including shelter, legal assistance, support groups, and more. Hotline staff can help you create a safety plan personalized for your situation.

24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotlines & Shelters in Delaware:
New Castle County (bilingual services available): 302-762-6110

Kent & Sussex Counties: 302-422-8058
302-745-9874 (bilingual hotline)

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474