April 23, 2020
The Idaho Coalition launched a state-wide campaign with full-page or half-page ads in nineteen newspapers and through social media to let communities – survivors and people who know someone in an abusive relationship – that Idaho’s communities are experiencing intensified stresses and new traumas as our country and the entire world work to contain COVID-19 and save lives. Through this statewide campaign in more than eighteen newspaper ads and a Facebook campaign, the Idaho Coalition wanted to support your efforts to let everyone know about the essential services you provide.
With more and more people experiencing unemployment, food and housing insecurities — risks for domestic and sexual violence are likely to be on the rise. We are learning from other state coalitions in geographic areas where there have been earlier outbreaks of the coronavirus, that the number of survivors reaching out for help are often decreasing. Research tells us that in natural disasters, there is often a decrease in survivors seeking help for domestic violence, in particular, until the crisis begins to subside, then there usually is a significant increase in survivors seeking help.
As advocates, we know that for people living in a home where violence or abuse occur, sheltering-in-place can increase exposure with the person engaging in harmful behaviors and can limit social interaction and the ability to seek help in typical ways.
It is our collective responsibility to come together to protect the lives of those around us by limiting the spread of this disease and by interrupting violence in our homes and communities. We can do both.
We wanted to honor the many ways your domestic and sexual violence organization is meeting this moment of uncertainty with community connection, care and the ongoing provision of essential services — emergency housing, safety planning, and support. Thank you for all you are doing during this pandemic for your staff and your communities and for anyone experiencing violence.
Take care of yourselves and one another,
In Idaho and around the country, social distancing or isolating orders have been announced for weeks now to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 transmissions. High risk of infection and delayed symptoms are pushing our Public Health and Medical professionals to ends that are monumental. However, as we are doing our social responsibility to remain isolated from others in our community, my concerns are both selfish and humanitarian. One of my fears is for men. We are well practiced at “sucking it up” and focusing on our families, to the point that we have been isolating from connections with others for years. A Boston Globe article from 2017 describes the experience of middle age-men with loneliness. Former U.S. Attorney General, VADM Vivek Murthy, describes the “most prevalent health issue in the country is not cancer or heart disease or obesity. It is isolation.”
In these times of social distancing, my concern is for my self and other men who may be social isolating too well. We are taught to suck it up, stand tall, never back down, protect others; actions that can be beneficial in the care for others, but really take a toll on the individual. In the past 5 weeks, I have taken to do our families grocery shopping. This week, I justified buying a 20lb bag of white rice at the store, when our family of four only need 5lb for a few weeks. My fear of not being “man enough” was playing out in the grocery store. Inside my head I was weighing it all out. “If I don’t provide, then I am letting my family down. What kind of man doesn’t provide for his family?” My urge to hoard items is something I must fight every week at the store. Daily, I have also been fighting my habit of hoarding my own emotions, sucking them way down. I am scared, unsure, lost, but I have been refusing to let our two kids see me shook! Instead, I have been doing my best to reassure them they will still have a summer vacation from school (really the highest priority for a 4th grader and Kindergarten student), they will see their friends again, and I will continue to buy Kool-Aid after the COVID-19 isolation ends. But inside, I am shoving my fears down to generate energy to keep my face calm and collected. Just like I was taught as a boy. Never too high, never too low, all good. I am missing a fantastic opportunity to model vulnerability for our kids.
Now is the time for boldness. Two weeks ago, I reached out to a dozen men, all about my age and in similar family situations. My sales pitch included phrases like, “men are dying 5 years sooner than their wives” and “I miss talking with other men.” As I waited for men to reply to my invitation, I felt like I was 12 again, scared that nobody would come to my birthday party. After a lengthy 3 days, all the men accepted to join the call and I walked a little bit taller that day (they like me, they really like me!). We’ve had two calls using a free video call app so we can see each other. Our first call started a bit slow, but it didn’t take long for one man to share about his fear he was turning into his father. Zoom! The rest of the hour went by like a flash. Esta Stoler, Executive Director of Futures Without Violence, said that “Men are permission seekers.” This was true for our call. The next man shared and by the end of the call, we knew a lot about each other. A trust was formed, the men named it. A group of men, mostly strangers, shared their feelings, fears and some joys.
When men are connected to their hearts and head, they will be happier. And when men are happy, we won’t hurt those we love with our words, hands or by hiding our emotions. What if men were happy? I am willing to give it a try.
Join these folks from around the country practicing healthy manhood conversations. Links to sign up for scheduled conversations and webinars:
A CALL TO MEN is a violence prevention organization and respected leader on issues of manhood, male socialization and its intersection with violence, and preventing violence against all women and girls.
Men Can Stop Rape exists to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women. Check out their Healthy Masculinity Conversation series.
Three Things to reach out to me for:
Resources are often difficult to keep track of as the availability of services and funding opportunities advocates learn about and access on behalf of survivors are regularly shifting from grant-cycle-to-grant-cycle and year-to-year. With that in mind, we would like to remind our programs and advocates about the availability of SASP emergency assistance. This is a small funding stream which is allocated through the Idaho Coalition’s ISP SASP grant specifically to help provide support to individuals impacted by sexual assault.
SASP Emergency funds may be accessed by Idaho Coalition member programs, those who receive SASP funds, as-well-as program members who do not currently receive SASP funds.
We also recognize that many victims/survivors of sexual assault may not access crisis centers, but may be interacting with community organizations and agencies who are working with individuals with disabilities, culturally specific agencies, or with LGBTQ organizations. These organizations may reach out to your program looking for support, sexual assault services, and other resources; please know that these agencies and organizations may also access these funds when looking to provide emergency support on behalf of individuals impacted by sexual assault.
Emergency assistance may include, but is not limited to: counseling, medical assistance, rental or employment assistance, civil legal assistance or other approved expenses related to the victimization.
SASP Emergency assistance requests may be made directly to, Lacey Sinn at the Idaho Coalition. Each request will be evaluated to determine that it fits within the SASP priority areas and eligibility requirements and to ensure there is adequate emergency funding to support the request. Upon approval, reimbursement will be made directly to the program or community organization/agency for the request.
If you have any questions regarding SASP Emergency Assistance Funds, how to submit a request, etc. please contact Lacey.
Three Things to reach out to me for:
National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project
The RSP put together the following tips on protecting privacy when advocates are working from home or other atypical places. Please use these tips alongside your jurisdiction’s laws on confidentiality and guidance from your coalition.
Talk with survivors, significant others, and other callers transparently about the ways COVID-19 is affecting services. As we all collectively change our behavior for the care of each other, that includes your work environment. Discuss their concerns around privacy: in general, but also specifically related to this call in this moment.
Remember that privacy and confidentiality are two different things, and that both belong to the survivor. The advocate’s role is to reduce barriers for survivors while also honoring confidentiality obligations as suits each survivor. Nothing works perfectly during a pandemic, and our goal should be to provide the best service possible in these circumstances, centering survivors’ choice and power.
Talk with your program’s leadership and your state/territorial/tribal coalition about the specific regulations or laws that govern confidentiality in your jurisdiction, and what is most feasible for your program. You may also want to visit https://nnedv.org/content/technology-safety/ and https://www.victimrights.org/ for additional ideas, perspectives, and resources.
Regarding consent to services, confidentiality agreements, releases of information, and other paperwork:
For more resources and assistance, visit www.resourcesharingproject.org. For assistance related to COVID-19 and sexual violence, visit http://www.resourcesharingproject.org/covid19-emerging-response-resources.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2016-TA-AX-K032 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
$2,000,000 in Federal Grants Available for Co-Sheltering Pets and Domestic Violence Survivors
The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking applicants for up to $2,000,000 in grant funds which will support
shelter and transitional housing services to victims of domestic violence and their companion animals.
The DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime anticipates awarding five grants of up to $400,000 each for a 36-
month period of performance.
The deadline for applications is May 29.
The objectives of the grants are to:
The OVC FY 2020 Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program is open
to state, territorial, tribal and local governments; organizations and coalitions addressing domestic
violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking; and animal shelters and other animal welfare
organizations that collaborate with such governmental or domestic violence organizations.
The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence Thriving Families team invites you to join our webinar, Healing Through Hip Hop: An Innovative Bridge From Trauma, to Music and Health, presented by Rickey “Deekon” Jones of New Developed Nations.
Wednesday, April 29th | 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM MT
This webinar will explore the work of New Developed Nations, whose main focus when discussing building healthy communities is addiction and trauma. Helping community heal from within is the highest impact solution to strive for at New Developed Nations. While traditional music therapy has been utilized for a very long time, the depth achieved at New Developed Nations is what makes them unique. This is an opportunity to understand how the music creation process allows young people to reflect on their experiences, learn about the cultural focus of music and the human-centered approach to healing through music creation, and develop action steps for incorporating music creation opportunities within service providers.
April 19-25, 2020 – International Anti-Street Harassment Week
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of International Anti-Street Harassment Week, and it will be the last. Don’t miss your chance to raise awareness and speak out against street harassment. Use #StopStreetHarassment and visit stopstreetharassment.org for more details.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – Denim Day
Wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors, and educate yourself and others about all forms of sexual violence. Register now at peaceoverviolence.org to participate in Denim Day.
Adolescents: Healing from Sexual Assault Webinar
Thursday, April 30th | 8AM PT/9AM MT
This webinar focuses on supporting young people who have experienced sexual assault, addressing how communities are impacted by sexual assault, how people respond to sexual assault, options for survivors, and pathways to healing for youth who have experienced sexual assault.
Services to Minors Webinar
Wednesday, May 13th | 12:30 PM PT/1:30 PM MT
Idaho Coalition attorney Molly Kafka will be providing a webinar on the legal aspects on providing services to minors.
Idaho Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocate Book Club Discussions
The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence invites you to join one or more of the book discussions for advocates this spring on a selection of books that can inform your work! We will purchase the books (paperback, e-book or audio book if available) and mail it to your home or work address. The books and the dates for the discussion are listed below:
Join us! Complete this survey and register soon, no later than Friday, April 24th! Select the book/s that you are most energized by and want to engage in a conversation with other advocates from across the state.
Statewide Fair Housing Training
May 11, 2020 | 2 pm – 4 pm MST
Join Legal Coordinator, Alison Brace and IFHC’s Council, Ken Nagy for a look at the Fair Housing Act’s seven protected classes. Ken and Alison will discuss the basics of the Fair Housing Act and then dive into hot topics regarding protected classes. The presenters will cover assistance animals, reasonable accommodations, sex-based stereo typing, and more.
Encouraged to attend:
Community Members, Housing Providers, Advocates, Government Personnel, Real Estate Agents, Attorneys.
Reminder that shipping for all material orders made by Programs on the Idaho Coalition website store is FREE of cost, please use the below coupon for all orders.