March 19, 2019
Rape was and is a cultural and political act: it attempts to remove a person with agency, autonomy, and belonging from their community, to secrete them and separate them, to depoliticize their body by rendering it detachable, violable, nothing.
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and an opportunity to engage in conversations in your communities about sexual violence.
It can be challenging to talk about the root causes of sexual violence, and it’s important to understand the root causes of violence if we are going to create meaningful solutions. What we know for sure is that girls, women, and people who are gender nonconforming are devalued in our culture. (Idaho ranks 44th in the country on the status of women.) The unfair treatment, harassment, or discrimination based on the gender or gender expression is wrong and creates the conditions for sexual assault to occur.
Sexual assault often happens because the person committing the violence wants to feel powerful, in control and feel they have a right to get what they want by any means necessary, including sexually assaulting someone else. They may or may not be consciously aware about this need for power and dominance. Often, the people who commit sexual assaults hold positions of power, privilege and dominance in society and receive messages, from the time they are very young, that they have a right to take what they want if it is not given to them. #MeToo has made this visible across the country. It is not surprising that the majority of people who commit sexual assault in the United States are cis-white-males and over 30 years old. These are all identities in our country that are provided many unearned privileges.
So, what do we do? We engage in conversations on how gender is socially and culturally constructed — it’s something we learn — not just something we inherit though our biology. We engage in conversations about how rigid gender roles and stereotypes harm all of us. We encourage everyone to embrace and value human qualities we have wrongly characterized as feminine – caring, compassion, and empathy. We transform our culture by redefining what gender means to us and valuing all bodies and all genders.
And we collectively provide multiple healing pathways to anyone impacted by sexual assault. To support the healing process of survivors, we recently revised the Healing Sexual Assault Booklet (English/Spanish) with input from sexual assault survivors from marginalized communities. We will send your organization copies for survivors and family and friends of survivors in your communities. We also encourage you to engage in conversations and provide school counselors copies of Healing from Sexual Assault for Teens and Young Adults.
Deep gratitude to everyone who is engaging in conversations about the prevention and response to sexual violence and the solutions to transform our culture – from Denim Day events on April 24 to Healing Through the Arts of Survivors and Allies exhibits.
The Mahoney House is a non-profit Safety Center located in Salmon, ID with a mission to stop, prevent and heal the effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence in Lemhi and Custer counties. Upon learning about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study, which discovered childhood trauma leads to the increased risk of domestic violence, chronic diseases , mental illnesses, obesity, and a plethora of other social ills, the Mahoney House has committed to expanding prevention programs for the youth of the Salmon Valley. ACEs are described as “stressful or traumatic experiences, including abuse, neglect and household dysfunction such as witnessing domestic violence, or growing up with substance abuse, mental illness, or crime in the home.”
A recent ACEs survey conducted at the Salmon Jr/Sr High School indicates that 36% of 6th-12th grade students report violence in their homes, and 19% of these students have experienced 4 or more ACEs which, according to the ACE Study, indicates they will have seven times the risk of alcoholism, are 1,200 times more likely to commit suicide, and forty times more likely to use injected drugs. Upon learning more about the ACE study, the Mahoney House created the Salmon Empowerment Project (SEP) in 2017, a youth mentoring program that provides opportunities for the area’s next generation to experience outdoor adventures, engage in character development, and to enrich the Salmon Valley by giving back to the community. This group of boys and girls, grades 6-8, meet once per week year round to partake in activities ranging from kayaking to volunteering to planting willows along a restored creek. Each activity is followed by a group discussion focusing on strengthening character and building healthy relationships. Through this program, the Mahoney House believes it can help end the cycle of violence and drug use in the community while promoting the many outdoor recreational opportunities the area has to offer.
In addition to implementing SEP year round, the Mahoney House advocates are in the schools daily facilitating Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) activities with 4th-8th graders. SEL is an evidence-based approach to youth development focusing on self awareness, emotion management, decision-making skills, and relationship skills. Staff working with students utilize the STRONG curriculum for Teaching the Strengthening Families Protective Factor Framework. This framework aims to educate people on five protective factors that support strong families, optimal child development and prevention of child abuse and neglect. All 4th and 5th grade students participate in focused sessions and licensed counselors work with teachers to identify at-risk 6th-8th grade students to participate in targeted girls and boys small groups. Concepts from Tony Porter’s Engaging Men are also incorporated during the boys small groups sessions for 6th-8th grade students. The Mahoney House is not only here to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and bullying. We also believe we can make an impact in
ending violence by teaching young men and young women the importance of healthy relationships and respect by providing tools, resources, and education to overcome adverse childhood experiences.
– Scott Brand
The Mahoney House
As of March 18, 2019, documents for civil protection orders are available via an online guide and file process through the Idaho Court Self Help website. The guide and file system allows petitioners to navigate through a series of questions and the responses that will be used to populate a petition (or modification) and other required forms. This process is similar to filing taxes through TurboTax.
This process can be completed at the petitioner’s convenience from any location where an internet connection is available. Currently once completed, the petitioner will be able to print out completed forms and take them to the courthouse to file. In the future, petitioners’ will be able to file documents electronically via the state’s e-filing system. A link to the guide and file systems is available through the court assistance office website protection order page or on the Idaho Legal Aid Services website.
If you have any questions regarding the upgraded filing process, please contact the Idaho Supreme Court Statewide Domestic Violence Court Manager, Amber Moe at (208) 947-7451.
Annie Pelletier Hightower
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Radical Self-Care from the Women of Color Network (WEBINAR)
Thursday, March 29, 2019 | 11:00 – 12:30 pm PST; 12:00 – 1:30 pm MST; 2:00 – 3:30 pm EST
WOCN, Inc. is excited to launch Radical Self – Care with Beckie and Zoe as part of their Healing and Wellness platform. The quarterly podcast invites National and International healing and wellness practitioners to share their vision of emotional, spiritual and physical well-being for advocates. Their first guest is CEO/Founder, of In Bold Rebirth Dayanara Marte, MPH. “
Zoom Info: https://zoom.us/j/364907191
At this event, we will build on Idaho Fair Housing Councils’s 2018 Vision Summit by shaping a movement to create homes and community for all. Cost of workshop is $25.00 per person. Please register each person attending. For any individual or organization that is unable to pay the registration fee, there is a zero-cost scholarship option. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facilitators: Attorneys Alison Brace and Zoe Ann Olson of IFHC, D&C Moderator Ana Chavez, IFHC