Towards Thriving Cover

November 29, 2018

The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence announces the launch of the Latinx Thriving Families Campaign to increase access and to improve systems and their responses to Latinx survivors and their children. This Latinx-specific campaign is crucial to ensuring that anyone who experience domestic or sexual violence, regardless of their social or racial identity, is aware of and feel comfortable accessing resources.

The campaign content was created out of listening sessions with Latinx mothers and their children across Southern Idaho who are survivors of domestic violence. Latinx values of resilience, family, healing, community, cultural pride, and safety are featured on the posters. The Latinx domestic violence handbook provides a foundation to improve the experience of Latinx parents and their children in seeking help for domestic violence.

All materials honor Latinx culture and heritage and feature captivating imagery by nationally acclaimed artist, cultural organizer, and social justice activist Favianna Rodriguez, whose name you might recognize as Ben & Jerry’s new Pecan Resist ice cream flavor, featuring Rodriguez’s artwork.

The Idaho Coalition thanks the survivors, the community domestic and sexual violence programs, and community partners who assisted with organizing the Latinx listening sessions with survivors and their children and for their feedback on the posters and campaign – Voices Against Violence, ROSE Advocates, Advocates Against Family Violence, and the Community Council of Idaho!

The campaign materials, t-shirts, handbooks and customizable posters, are now available to order in English and in Spanish on our website.

Click here to learn more about the Latinx Thriving Families Campaign or contact Mercedes Muñoz at

Reporting Social Impact

It is the time of year that many of us are reporting our impact to donors and supporters via our annual reports and annual donation appeals. Most government and foundation grants require us to report outcomes. An increasing number of donors are asking about outcomes and want reassurance that their contributions are improving the lives of people receiving our services. It is important that we provide funders with social impact outcomes.

Social impact outcomes are those that improve the behavior, status, attitude or skills of the target population (people or animals) or things (rivers or wilderness). When organizations report impact based on the number of people assisted or educated or the number of events or classes completed, it is an indicator of use, need and reach. To show social impact, however, a quality organization takes the next step and reports on what changed for these people or things that were educated and assisted.

Here is an example of the different ways to report impact in an organization’s annual report:

Result: 147 people graduated from the Job and Life Skills Training Program and 90% obtained jobs. Response: “Wow – over 132 people got jobs because of that program! I will invest in this program due to its impact.”

Result: 1,962 people received bystander intervention training. Response: “That is a lot of people but so what. What did they learn or do because of the training? I don’t know. Hmmm.”

Reporting Social ImpactWhat if we read that 95% of the 1,962 people who received bystander intervention training said they would safely intervene the next time they see an incident of interpersonal violence. We think, “Wow – that is 1,864 people in our community that are going to do something to stop interpersonal violence. That is a lot of people. The program is worthy of our investment.”

Measuring social impact outcomes takes more thought, planning and work. Therefore, it is important to develop a few key outcomes that can be evaluated without too much difficulty. Thinking about what is realistic to collect and analyze is important prior to initiating or seeking funding for a program. My organization, The Advocates, started a youth mentoring program many years ago. We outlined a brilliant set of outcomes involving measuring improvements in grades, social interactions, and self esteem. When it came time to collect data to measure, analyze and report on the outcomes it became clear that we would need a team of researchers, parental permission to access grades, cooperation from the schools, and more. We changed the outcome to be a simple evaluation by the mentor, parent and mentee as to whether the mentor match was a positive experience and if the mentee was happier due to the match.

For domestic violence and sexual assault organizations there are several valuable social impact type outcomes that are research based and suggested in studies and academic papers available online. Outcomes that are commonly seen are related to measuring increases in awareness of resources, improvements in overall well-being or happiness, and increases in safety due to access to services. Additional outcomes include monitoring changes in service needs as housing stability increases.

Outcomes can be measured a variety of ways with one approach being to have clients fill out services evaluations at periodic intervals and/or measure baselines at intake and changes in status at exit, for example shelter or other housing program exit. Evaluation forms can be simple and ask clients to answer yes/no to the outcome questions or circle a word or number on a scale. The bottom-line is to keep evaluation easy and focused on a few key and significant results. These results are how you want your clients lives to improve due to access to your services and programs.

Results focused social purpose organizations strive for social impact outcomes. They work to give people increased access to resources to change their own lives. This includes education, job and life skills training, money, housing, and more.

The next time you read about a social purpose organization’s results in a newsletter, annual appeal or report ask yourself “and so what”? If the “so what” is answered you are reading about social impact. If not, you are reading about more social work type services being provided. Most social purpose organizations need to provide social services and track and report on these services and their use. In the long-term, however, organizations that are also serious about addressing their missions have a strategic direction focused on improving behavior, status, attitudes or skills so that people have access to education, better jobs, more income, and safe stable housing and our rivers are clean, animals safe, and wilderness protected. Our funders want to support programs and organizations with social impact! Where we all invest our hard earned money and time is important.

Tricia Swartling, MPH
CEO, The Advocates

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

After over a year of waiting, on November 16, 2018, the Department of Education issued a new proposed rule that would, if implemented as is, significantly roll back protections for survivors of sexual violence in schools and on college and university campuses.

The proposed rule proposes to:

  • Reduce the scope of employees considered “Responsible Employees.” Responsible employees are those that must report disclosures of sexual harassment or violence to the appropriate school officials to ensure that the matter is investigated and that appropriate interim measures and supportive services are offered. By narrowing who is considered a responsible employee, this rule essentially allows reports of sexual harassment and violence to be ignored.
  • Remove off-campus sexual assault and online sexual harassment from the purview of educational institutions’ responsibilities. This is a significant reduction in the scope of what schools were required to investigate and respond to in the past and will result in survivors leaving school instead of getting the institutional response they deserve that would allow them to continue their education.
  • Change the definition of sexual harassment in such a manner that schools will be allowed to ignore reports of sexual harassment until the harassment is bad enough to deny equal access to education. Unfortunately, this would likely be interpreted by many schools as requiring a student to miss class or drop out of school before the institution had any responsibility to do anything about reported harassment.
  • Change the evidentiary standard making it harder for survivors to receive justice and protection in the school setting. Until recently, schools were supposed to use a preponderance of the evidence standard (more likely than not). This made sense given it was an administrative proceeding with no possibility of jail time, sex offender registration, or monetary penalty attached, and is what is currently used in similar civil court proceedings. The rule allows schools to use a clear and convincing standard, which is both unclear, and instead of treating both parties equally, provides an advantage to the person being accused.
  • Require institutions of higher education to allow respondents (those accused of a policy violation) to cross examine the reporting party (the person who was raped or assaulted). This is not only traumatizing for survivors, it is directly contrary to best practices, which include a civil rights investigation model in which the survivor and accused are never placed in the same room nor do they ask each other questions directly.

The Department of Education is taking public comment on this proposed rule for 60 days after the publication in the Federal Register. Please consider making a comment on this rule to help ensure that any final published rule adequately addresses the needs of survivors of sexual violence. For the text of the proposed rule, and information on how to make a public comment, please visit or contact Annie at

Annie Pelletier Hightower_Staff Photo_2017

Annie Pelletier Hightower

Three Things to reach out to me for:

  • Law and Policy
  • Legislative Updates
  • Title IX

Training & Events

Interviewing Victims of Sexual Assault: A Victim’s Perspective

December 10 | Boise | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Police Dept. Training Room
December 10 | Caldwell | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Canyon County Sheriff’s Office Public Meeting Room
December 12 | Twin Falls | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Twin Falls City Council Chamber
December 13 | Pocatello | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Idaho State Police Pocatello Training Room

For more information and course enrollment contact: Christina Straub, 208-884-7280

Click here to learn more.

Adult/Adolescent SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Training Course

January 21-25 | Pocatello | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Portneuf Medical Center
January 28 – February 1 | Meridian | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM | St. Luke’s Meridian
February 4 – 8 | Lewiston | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM | St. Joseph’s Hospital

This course provides RNs and APRNs with the knowledge to practice as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE). The SANE uses the nursing process and applies established evidence-based standards of forensic nursing practice to ensure that all patients reporting sexual violence and victimization receive competent a nursing, medical-forensic evaluation, taking into consideration developmental, cultural, racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual, and socioeconomic diversity.

For more information and course enrollment contact: Christina Straub, 208-884-7280

Click here to learn more.

Idaho Coalition Store Materials

Engaging Voices Website StoreReminder 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.

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