Towards Thriving Cover

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,


Social Isolating Concerns for Men

two hearts made of yarn connected together

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.

  • Wednesday, April 29th, 11 am MST: “Men’s Mental Health with actor Justin Baldoni and former NFL player Dwight Hollier.”
  • Wednesday, May 13th, 11 am MST: “Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color/Fostering Resilience with Michael Bennett.”

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.

Jeff Mashusita_Staff Photo_2017

Jeff Matsushita

Three Things to reach out to me for:

  • Engaging Men Workshops
  • Athletic Culture and Violence Prevention Strategies
  • Criminal Justice Engagement and Reform

Accessing SASP Emergency Funds

grant application illustration

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.

Please click here to review current SASP emergency funds guidelines for submitting a request.

If you have any questions regarding SASP Emergency Assistance Funds, how to submit a request, etc. please contact Lacey.

Lacey Sinn

Three Things to reach out to me for:

  • SASP and SASP Emergency Funding
  • Transitional Housing
  • Idaho Coalition Store and Materials Orders
  • Practical Privacy Tips

    keyboard with information privacy key

    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 and for additional ideas, perspectives, and resources.

    • Acknowledge that you are in a non-private space so survivors can assess and decide what’s best for themselves.
      • For example: “I am working from home and my kids are watching a movie in the next room. They know they shouldn’t come in to talk to me right now, but kids don’t always listen! Can we brainstorm some ideas about how to handle this? I want to provide the most private space for you that I can.”
      • Come up with a way to abruptly end the conversation, if needed, on either side, or signal that you no longer have privacy.
    • Find the most privacy you can, even in odd spots.
      • For example: the car in the driveway, bathroom, garage, laundry room o Outside where possible (or send the kids/roommate/partner outside!) If you live in a building complex with shared or close outdoor space (apartment balconies, for example) you’ll want to factor that into decisions as well.
    • Set up guidelines about things like using names: “I likely won’t refer to you by name during this call, even when I normally would, in a concerted effort to minimize the personally identifying anyone on my side could potentially hear.”
    • Keep your end of the conversation minimal and careful.
      • If your roommate only hears you saying “uh huh” “yes” “I understand” and the like, they are not learning any private information.
    • Use a headset or headphones to minimize the possibility of others overhearing the survivor’s end of the conversation.
    • Get a white noise machine (perhaps you can borrow one from the office) or use a white noise app.
    • Teach partners, kids, roommates the cues or a signal for your need for privacy. Ask that they go find something else to do when your work phone rings, for example.
    • Set aside a few hours, wherever possible, for one on one time with survivors by negotiating household care schedules/nap schedules/favorite TV show time or other short-term scheduling.
    • Consider using chat or text options to connect when there is no way to have a conversation. Even old school email may feel helpful to some survivors needing to connect. Let survivors know the limitations and privacy concerns of all chat, text, email options.
    • Have a plan for protecting your computer and phone records, case files, and notes.
      • Phone access and records: if an advocate does have to use their personal phone for service provision, issues related to confidentiality and phone records arise. It might be advantageous for a program to provide temporary cell phones to advocates, if they don’t already provide phones.
      • Temporary file storage: if advocates need to work remotely for some time, they will likely need to bring client files home. Best practice would be to get lockboxes for each advocate so they can store files confidentially. This might be something that the coalition wants to bring up with funders, as programs are unlikely to have budgeted for this. With electronic files, the program will want to set expectations and perhaps policy for advocates who will share a computer at home with partners, children, or others. The policy/supervision expectations should address signing in and out of databases, clearing history, etc., to protect confidentiality.
    • Regarding consent to services, confidentiality agreements, releases of information, and other paperwork:

      • If you don’t require a form to be signed before speaking with someone via phone or in-person, then you don’t need anything signed before speaking with them by video, or communicating via chat or text.
      • Some programs are finding ways to send documents to survivors for electronic signatures. This is great, but do not make this a requirement for services.
      • An advocate can also read or explain the forms over the phone or chat, ask the survivor to give verbal consent, and note that in the case notes. Later, when you are able to serve them in person, you can have forms signed

      For more resources and assistance, visit For assistance related to COVID-19 and sexual violence, visit

      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.

      Federal Grants Available for Co-Sheltering Pets and Domestic Violence Survivors

      $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:

      • Increase the number of shelter beds and transitional housing options to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence who need shelter or housing for them and their companion animals; and
      • Provide training to local stakeholders on (1) the link between domestic violence and the abuse and neglect of companion animals; (2) the needs of victims of domestic violence; (3) best practices for providing, or referring, support services to such victims; and (4) best practices in designing and delivering services that protect victims’ confidentiality.

      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.

      Training & Events

      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.

      Register here!

      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 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 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.

      Register here!

      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:

      • Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky (2009) (288 pages) – Friday, May 8th 12 PM PT/1 PM MT – 1:30 PM PT/2:30 PM MT (90 minutes – Advocate specific discussion) – A longtime trauma worker, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky offers a deep and empathetic survey of the often-unrecognized toll on those working to make the world a better place. We may feel tired, cynical, numb, or like we can never do enough. These, and other symptoms, affect us individually and collectively. Joining the wisdom of ancient cultural traditions with modern psychological research, Lipsky offers a variety of simple and profound practices that will allow us to remake ourselves – and ultimately the world.
      • The Age of Overwhelm: Strategies for the Long Haul by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky (2018) (200 pages) – Friday, May 15th 12 PM PT/1 MT – 1:30 PM PT/2:30 PM MT (90 minutes – Advocates specific discussion) – Whether we are overwhelmed by work or school; our families or communities; caretaking for others or ourselves; or engagement in social justice, environmental advocacy, or civil service, just a few subtle shifts can help sustain us. Laura van Dernoot Lipsky shows us how by offering concrete strategies to help us mitigate harm, cultivate our ability to be decent and equitable, and act with integrity. The Age of Overwhelm aims to help ease our burden of overwhelm, restore our perspective, and give us strength to navigate what is yet to come.
      • The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America (2015) (232 pages) by Sarah Deer – Part I Friday, May 29th and Part II Friday, June 5th 1 PM PT/2 PM MT – 2:30 PM PT/3:30 PM MT (90 minutes: 2 sessions – Broader Community Discussion) Violence against Native women is historical and political, bounded by oppression and colonial violence. This book is aimed at engaging the problem head-on—and ending it. Deer provides a clear historical overview of rape and sex trafficking in North America, paying particular attention to the gendered legacy of colonialism in tribal nations—a truth largely overlooked or minimized by Native and non-Native observers. She articulates strategies for Native communities and tribal nations seeking redress and describes how tribal self-determination efforts of the twenty-first century can be leveraged to eradicate violence against women. Her work bridges the gap between Indian law and feminist thinking by explaining how intersectional approaches are vital to addressing the rape of Native women.
      • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies (2017) (300 pages) by Resmaa Menakem – Friday, June 12th -1 PM PT/2 PM MT – 2:30 PM PT/3:30 PM MT (90 minutes – Broader Community Discussion) In this groundbreaking book, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. Menakem argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn’t just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans—our police. My Grandmother’s Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.

      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.

      Register here!

      Idaho Coalition Store Materials

      Engaging Voices Website Store *** ALL material orders are currently on hold, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. ***

      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.

      Visit the online store to view current Idaho Coalition materials available for order. For store questions, please contact Lacey Sinn.

      Coupon Code