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March: Women’s History Month

March 13, 2011
By CATHY BROWNFIELD, Family Recovery Center

Every woman is not an Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gertrude Bonnin, Gloria Steinem, Rosa Parks or Nancy Lopez, striving to make social changes that improve the quality of life for everyone. But women contribute greatly to their community. March is Woman's History Month, and worth pondering for a few moments.

Women's stories haven't always been recorded. Frequently they have been forgotten as unimportant, unworthy, and simply denied. But according to The National Women's History Project and others, women's stories are "genuinely needed to face the extraordinary changes and unrelenting challenges of the 21st century" because women are "essential role models for everyone."

Women in Columbiana County have made their marks in business, government, and the professions. Some women have brought resources to the community that assist other women who need a second chance, resources such as Christina House, a short-term safe house for women and their children who escape from domestic violence in the middle of the night, often with nothing but what they are wearing. They receive assistance in determining where they will go from there.

Recognizing a need for a safe home for women in recovery, Family Recovery Center built the big, yellow house behind Lisbon McDonald's with the assistance of the community. Women recovering from addiction and their dependent children may live at Fleming House (transitional housing) for two years while they focus on their plans for the future and learn the skills that will help them to achieve their goals. Fleming House is named for the former director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, Luceille Fleming, herself a recovering alcoholic.

There are criteria to meet for such assistance programs, and rules of the house. Is such an option something for you? It will cost nothing for you to inquire about them. It may be just what you are looking for, what you need. It may save your life.

Family Recovery Center's Woman Focus program is an intensive outpatient therapy group for women that approaches substance abuse treatment from the woman's perspective. It meets in group session for nine hours per week. Individual sessions are included as necessary. Case management and after care groups also are integral parts of the women's treatment program.

The Woman Focus after-care group for women works on skill building for recovering women: parenting, anger management, self-esteem, codependency, relapse prevention and family violence prevention.

It is said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, but all women don't get the message or the opportunity to realize their full potential without a little guidance to point them in the right direction.

When you think of a woman of historical importance, who do you think of? Why?

Is there a woman in your family whom you admire, look up to? Why?

Are you a woman who influences other women in your family, your neighborhood, your community?

When your daughter looks at you, who do you think she sees? Who do you want her to see?

We know that children mimic the adults in their lives, learning behaviors that make them products of their environment. We know that children with alcoholic parents have four times the risk of alcohol problems at some time in their lives. We know that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are completely preventable. We know that children in families who sit down together for supper and have good communication with their parents are less at risk of substance abuse.

You don't have to be a Jeanette Rankin, Janet Guthrie, or Graciela Olivarez. But you can Google their names to see their accomplishments. And you can make history in your family through your role in the lives of the people you love and who love you.

"History is Our Strength" is the theme for 2011 Women's History Month. Women have shared many things with menbiological, economic, religious and social. What we see in those women of note are courage, tenacity and creativity. These are sources of great strength from which we all can draw. Our heroes may be the women we see every day and to whom we look up.

Family Recovery Center promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs related to substance abuse and how those issues affect everyone. For more information, contact us at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 424-1468; or email,



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