Towards Thriving Cover

August 13, 2020

Boundary County Victim Services logo

In the small mountain town of Bonners Ferry near the Canadian border, Boundary County Youth Crisis and Domestic Violence Hotline (dba Boundary County Victim Services), provides community-based advocacy, resources, support, and education to the victims of all crimes and survivors in their community. During the peak months of the pandemic, the Boundary County courthouse where our office is located was closed, so our agency found alternative ways to remain available to our clients. We ensured our crisis line was staffed 24/7 so we could continue to assist with online civil protection orders, provide safety planning and resources, and offer the support needed. We had one to two advocates in the office full time to see clients by appointment or meet them in the community while others worked from home. Advocates and volunteers took advantage of the time at home to participate in continuing education, as we are always looking to improve our understanding and ability to meet the ever-changing needs of clients. In addition, to ensure services continued to be collaborative, we utilized Zoom and other technologies to meet with our community partners regularly.

Once the courthouse reopened, we have been back to business as usual but have implemented additional safety precautions for both clients and staff including wearing masks, increased cleaning and sanitation, and social distancing when possible. Since then, Boundary County Victim Services, like many other service providers, has seen a significant increase in client need, particularly, requests for assistance with Civil Protection Orders and Crisis Line calls.

At the beginning of August, Laci Click joined our team of advocates. She brings with her 6 years of experience working with vulnerable populations, approximately 2.5 years working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and a passion for empowering survivors and victims. We are excited to have her join us in our mission to promote the rights of victims and enhance the well-being of our community members.

Each autumn our agency and our community look forward to our fundraising auction and fashion show; however, in lieu of current events and to protect the health of our community, we will be altering the gala to keep everyone safe. Our hope is that by offering an online experience, we will be able to virtually open the doors to participation for more of our community and state. Stay tuned for more information regarding this event.

Going forward, as always, we will continue to provide excellent service to the victims and survivors in our community through our 24 hour crisis line; on-call and in-the-office advocates providing non-judgmental and compassionate connection to community resources, court assistance, emergency shelter options, and counseling options; as well as maintaining strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies, the prosecutors’ offices, and other community service providers.

Becky James
Executive Director
Boundary County Victim Services

2020 National Sexual Assault Conference

National Sexual Assault Conference logo

The 2020 National Sexual Assault Conference is a free, three-day conference providing advanced training opportunities for victim advocates and other professionals working to prevent sexual violence, provide critical intervention services and support those who have experienced sexual violence. With the issue of sexual assault garnering more attention than ever before in the last 40 years, this conference takes place at a time when it is necessary to highlight the solutions toward ending sexual violence.

This year’s conference theme, “NSAC 2020: #BoldMoves”, we will be broadcasting three days’ worth of impactful presentations and discussions where leaders, such as yourself, will have the opportunity to engage on a meaningful topic related to our theme, #BoldMoves. We believe each of us has a role to play in preventing and ending violence and we know it will take small, yet impactful steps (Bold Moves) to get there.

Tai Simpson with the Idaho Coalition will be facilitating the session (Re)Imagining a World Without Sexual Violence on Friday, September 4th at 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (PT)/12:00 PM – 1:30PM (MT)

Accessibility: Spanish registration and can offer ASL, Spanish, and CC for all sessions

Important Message for Members

We highly encourage our members to attend NSAC! Programs with contracts under SASP and OVW Rural can bill their time during the conference.

Register here!

Beyond the Paper: Living into the Vision of the Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA 30 Year Anniversary Logo

This July marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As we celebrate this beautiful moment in history and one of the most progressive pieces of legislation to protect historically marginalized communities, let us celebrate the true heroes of justice behind it. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed under the George H.W. Bush administration with bi-partisan support and represented a national commitment to create spaces and communities where people of all abilities can thrive. While legislators and government officials crafted the Act itself, they were responding to decades of activism since the 1950’s and the radical voices of Individuals with Disabilities, Deaf individuals, and their allies. These are our heroes. We celebrate them this year, along with the countless in our own communities and beyond, who continue the struggle to ensure that the Americans with Disabilities Act is not only a piece of paper, but a vision and commitment to create thriving communities for all.

The Disability Rights Movement, like all other social movements, is led by individuals and communities who have not been fully included, heard, or valued by our society. Activists who lift up the identity “disabled” have taught us that individuals are not disabled by their bodies or their lives, but by our collective decisions, policies, and systems. We have made progress as a society, and our local and national heroes still deserve our support to continue the vision of the Americans with Disabilities Act beyond its foundation. This movement does not exist in a silo and is connected to all other social movements, calling us to listen, act, and center the voices and experiences of historically marginalized communities in creating the conditions where all of us can thrive. The demand, “Nothing about us, without us!” used by the Disability Rights Movement and many others reminds us that these voices and experiences carry with them the solutions we all need to end violence and all forms of oppression.

As advocates and allies to individuals impacted by violence, the Americans with Disabilities Act is only a foundation, a starting point to show us our minimum level of responsibility. In Idaho and nationally, our friends, family, and neighbors with disabilities are impacted by violence at significantly higher rates and continue to experience often impassible barriers to services and support. Many of us have taken action to make our organizations and programming more accessible and inclusive to survivors of all abilities and we all have further pathways to take to ensure our organizations and communities meet the needs of all individuals impacted by violence.

Here are a few ways we can all celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and live into a vision of communities where all of us can thrive:

  • Follow and share information from ADA 30 Idaho, the Northwest ADA Center-Idaho and the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities on Facebook
  • Build or cultivate a meaningful relationship with your local Center for Independent Living to begin to co-create solutions for Individuals with Disabilities and Deaf individuals impacted by violence
  • Visit ADA 30 Idaho at to discover ways you and your organization can participate in the virtual Hands Around the Capitol campaign
  • Contact Bryan Lyda at the Idaho Coalition to explore your organization’s work at the intersection of gender violence and disability. Email: or call: (208) 284-1622
Bryan Lyda_Staff Photo_2017

Bryan Lyda

Three Things to reach out to me for:

  • Engaging Allies
  • Youth Engagement
  • Reaching Marginalized Communities
  • Training & Events

    Raising Boys to Men Flyer

    Coeur D’alene Tribe STOP Violence Program Presents
    Raising Boys to Men: Moving out of the Man Box: Inter-generational Community Conversation Promoting Healthy Manhood and Relationships

    When: All Zoom Meetings
    11 AM — 1 PM PST/12 PM – 2 PM:
    August 26, 2020
    September 2, 2020
    September 9, 2020

    Featured Speakers:

    Jeff Matsushita, with Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
    Ryan Oatman, MSW, IVision Coordinator, with Nez Perce Tribe Youth Project
    Tai Simpson, with Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence

    • Build relationships and connectivity among adult male mentors and male youth
    • Explore dynamics of gender roles and masculine socialization
    • Examine Native American cultures and teachings as a healing and violence prevention strategy
    • Identify men and young men’s individual and collective strengths and roles in ending gender violence

    Register here!

    Save the date: Ti Novitawi Kocheukaakwe Virtual Conference Honoring Missing & Murdered Indigenous People
    Througout October 2020

    MMIW Conference Logo

    All people are sacred and worthy of protection, justice, and wellness. The issue of Missing & Murdered Indigenous People should receive adequate response and prevention measures, and Idaho is taking steps toward that end. As we acknowledge this crisis and the changes urgently needed to save lives, and respond to this reality we begin the process of removing barriers to the safety of Native communities by strengthening the ability of Indigenous nations to protect mxn, womxn, and children. During October, the Idaho Coalition will host Ti Novitawi Kocheukaakwe Virtual Conference Honoring Missing & Murdered Indigenous People. Each presentation will be delivered virtually via Zoom.

    Featuring Sarah Deer, Author of “The Beginning and End of Rape” On October 6th, 11:00AM-1:00PM

    We will announce additional speakers from Indigenous communities across the country whose powerful voices and insight and renown in the movement to end violence against Native folks.

    Registration is now open!

    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