For those who have been with us since the beginning, back in August of last year, you have had the pleasure of watching us grow in leaps and bounds. Initially we started with just a simple Calendar, had a handful of blogs, and a small list of Community resources. We've added many new features to the site as we've begun to learn and get feedback from our community members. Our Community Resources list has grown, we've added Videos, an Amazon book list and even a Forum for survivors to connect. We now have more than 90 blogs for you to read through (and we've had some amazing comments from those of you who do come back and read often -- thanks so much, we love knowing you're here!) We still have some expansions planned for the new year, so keep checking us out and we'll keep growing to serve your needs.
We are about to embark on yet another new feature here at 1 in Four. But before I get into that, I want to touch on a really important subject. Privacy on the internet. Privacy is not exactly easily maintained in a platform that by its very design is meant to keep track of where bits and bytes of data come from and go to -- if it didn't, you'd click a button and instead of getting the latest recipe you hoped for, you might get someone else's car-part quote! Obviously, the internet only works because packets of data come tagged with identifiers that your computer and, more specifically, your web browser knows how to read. And more and more often, social media is inviting you to reveal your most personal information, which is then passed on and shared with third-party investors.
As consumers of the services available for survivors of domestic violence ourselves, the volunteer staff at 1 in Four understands the need for privacy in a very intimate way -- it isn't about being a prude, it's about being safe. Let me start off by saying, we do NOT track IP addresses here at 1 in Four. Our statistics gathering will take note of where you came in to the site from (as in, did you find us through google or facebook or another site) and it will note which country you are showing as being from (this is based on your internet provider), but other than that, we do not know who you are and cannot track you down.
We would like to be able to reach out to you though, and so this next bit is a little tricky. We are going to be producing a Newsletter to keep the community informed about our expansion and our excitement! We wont contact you every day; we wont even contact you every week! We might contact you every month, but it is more likely we will contact you 4 or 5 times a year.
We invite you to sign up on the side-bar to the right with just your email address. We will never, ever share your email address with any other body. We will not sell it or use it for anything other than to contact you with 1 in Four information. We cannot trace you through your email address. We use very professional software to make your email address in our database as secure as possible. Additionally, if you are not already doing so, you may wish to consider using a third-party email supplier like gmail or hotmail which provides a higher degree of anonymity. So in the interest of safety, and we think we do a great job to keep you safe on our site -- we also will not title our newsletters with subjects like "Domestic violence -- how does it affect you?" ... part of the reason we chose the name 1 in Four (other than the obvious statistic) is that we feel it is innocuous enough to be explained away as anything else, if the need should arise.
To kick off the launch of our Newsletters, and welcome in the New Year, we are doing a draw! Anyone who is in the local Hamilton area, and able to pick up a gift basket -- which we will deliver to the Hamilton service agency of your choosing (SACHA, Good Shepherd, CFS, etc) -- is eligible to enter. Simply type your email address in the form and select HAMILTON in the Location drop-down box and we will randomly draw from the names entered, announcing the winner on February 3rd (1 month from today). The basket contains items that a woman coming out of a shelter would be pleased to receive. If you are a survivor, you will understand -- if you are signing up for our newsletter as a supporter or a service provider, we are just as excited to share this gift basket with you, and hope it can help enrich your involvement with survivors.
Without further ado, the form to enter the draw is the Newsletter Sign-Up !by