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Towards Thriving Cover

April 12, 2018

Everyone deserves to live free from sexual violence. In April, we honor Sexual Assault Awareness Month and bring attention to sexual assault on high school and college campuses, in workplaces, and in our daily lives. One out of every six women are victims of attempted or completed rape – behind these staggering statistics are millions of lives that are never the same. And one in five senior girls in Idaho has been forced to have sexual intercourse in the last year – far above the national average. 2017 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

With the rise of the #MeToo movement, people across communities are more open to talking about sexual assault. It is exciting to see so many programs holding events or organizing public awareness campaigns to build a culture where everyone is valued, everyone is safe, and everyone can thrive – from the Women’s & Children’s Alliance and many others promotion of Denim Day on April 25th to the Shoshone Bannock Victim Services training on sex trafficking and sexual exploitation to the YWCA Lewiston-Clarkston sexual assault awareness teal rock project to Safe Passages wearing teal to support survivors on a day of action to Advocates Against Family Violence Run for Respect with the College of Idaho. At the end of April, we will send out a brief survey to capture everyone’s activities and share them among all of you.

Additionally, community domestic and sexual violence programs who oversee Child Advocacy Centers – Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, Safe Passages, and Family Crisis Center – honored April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month by hosting Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children training or distributing blue pinwheels throughout the community.

Finally, congratulations to Teena McBride on her 25th year anniversary at the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center!

Kelly

Pornography: Changing the Debate

Pornography. Porno. Porn. Nearly all of us have a relationship with these words and just as many have formed an opinion about them and the form of media which they represent. There are many conversations to have around pornography and its impact on women, men, and people of all genders. Is pornography always harmful? Are there certain forms which could be a healthy expression of sexuality or does it distance men and all genders from their humanity? Is all pornography a manifestation of patriarchy and the exploitation of women, girls, and people who are gender non-conforming? How do we remain healthy and sex positive for our young people in a world where pornography has become mainstream?

These and many other questions can generate healthy conversations regarding masculinity, femininity, healthy sexuality, and humanity. And they can also lead us into an ideological debate where each of us digs their heels into our own perspective rather than stay connected to our collective humanity. What if at least some of our work was in fact much simpler? Rather than weed through the endless stances on pornography, what if we shifted our focus towards a different conversation? Fighting the great power that is the pornography industry may be the work of many of us, especially those of us who work with and care deeply about our young people. We can also choose to fight for what we love, rather than what we may hate.

What we do know is that more of Idaho’s youth will be exposed to pornography at a young age than will be offered medically accurate, healthy sexuality education. And at least some of our young men turn to pornography from a place of curiosity to fill a void left by their lack of education. In our work to engage men at the Idaho Coalition, we consistently encounter young men who have received little or insufficient education about their inherent sexualities and who are moving through adolescence with little or no skills in having meaningful, human conversations around sex and intimacy. We can no longer decide whether or not our young people should receive sexuality education, but we can shift from whom (or what) they will receive it. Young men and people of all genders are perfectly capable of making healthy, respectful decisions regarding their sexuality if they are provided with education, support, and safe environments to ask questions and have conversations. Pornography can seem like it is everywhere – but where are we? We can choose to support our young people in staying connected to their full humanity and move with them towards healthier horizons. If we begin here, no form of media can replace our inherent humanness.

– Bryan Lyda

Bryan Lyda_Staff Photo_2017

Bryan Lyda
bryan@engagingvoices.org
208-284-1622 (cell)

Three Things to reach out to me for:

  • Engaging Allies
  • Youth Engagement
  • Reaching Marginalized Communities

Legislative Roundup

Idaho CapitolOn March 28, 2018, the Idaho Legislature adjourned sine die from the 2018 Legislative Session. Here is a final round up on some pieces of legislation the Idaho Coalition was tracking throughout the session.

  • Strangulation/Counseling (passed): House Bill 360 provides that people who plead or are found guilty of strangulation must undergo evaluation to determine whether or not they shall receive counseling. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 19 and is effective July 1, 2018.
  • Patronizing a Prostitute (stalled in committee): House Bill 377 sought to make any sexual conduct or contact with a prostitute a felony for the patron. This bill did not receive a hearing in the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee.
  • Conversion Therapy (stalled in committee): House Bill 398 sought to add to the existing law the Youth Mental Health Protection Act professional standards violations and enforcement for professionals who perform conversion therapy and to prohibit the use of state funds therefore. The bill did not receive a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee.
  • Civil Rights/Gender Orientation (stalled in committee): House Bill 408, sought to provide freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (known as Add the Words). This bill did not receive a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee.
  • Sex Education (stalled in committee): House Bill 414 sought to update the definition of sex education established in the 1970s. This bill defined sex education as the “study of … anatomy and physiology of human reproduction; and … the development of healthy relationships” (emphasis added). This bill did not receive a hearing in the House Education Committee.
  • Foreign Laws/Sharia Law (stalled in committee): House Bill 419 sought to prohibit the application of foreign laws in Idaho courts in certain instances. This bill passed the House but did not receive a hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
  • Crime Victim Protection (stalled in committee and see House Joint Resolution 8): House Bill 426 sought to provide additional government obligations to protect crime victims. The bill did not receive a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee.
  • Crime Victim’s Compensation (passed): House Bill 429 as amended amends existing law regarding payment of sexual assault forensic exams to provide for full payment by the state for exams on adult victims. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 26 and is effective July 1, 2018.
  • Crime Victims Confidentiality (passed): House Bill 430 amends the existing crime victim address confidentially law to include victims of stalking, human trafficking and malicious harassment and allows for additional types of mail to be processes through the system. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 19 and is effective July 1, 2018.
  • Child Custody (stalled in committee): House Bill 438 sought to provide that certain mental injuries (including parental alienation) constitute child custody interference (a misdemeanor) and to include custody decrees in a maintained database. This bill did not receive a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee.
  • Homicide (stalled in committee, but see Senate Bill 1313): House Bill 444 sought to amend criminal laws to justify the use of deadly force in certain circumstances (also known as the Stand Your Ground law). This bill did not receive a hearing in the House State Affairs Committee.
  • Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer (stalled in committee): House Bill 583 sought, in part, to allow for expedited eviction of tenant when any criminal act is committed on a rental premise. This bill did not receive a hearing in the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee. It is our understanding Idaho Apartment Association plans to bring this bill again next year and the Idaho Coalition will strongly oppose it unless concerns regarding victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking are adequately addressed.
  • Firearms and Domestic Violence (defeated on House Floor): House Bill 585 sought to prohibit possession of a firearm for a certain time period for persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. The bill was defeated on the House Floor 31-39.
  • Equal Rights/Sexes (stalled in committee): House Joint Resolution 5 sought to amend the Constitution of the State of Idaho to provides for equitable rights and responsibilities based on sex. This bill did not receive a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee.
  • Same Sex Marriage (stalled in committee): House Joint Resolution 6 sought to amend the Constitution of the State of Idaho to repeal the provision that bans same-sex marriage to align with the United States Constitution as interpreted by the US Supreme Court. This bill did not receive a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee.
  • Marsy’s Law/Crime Victims’ Rights (defeated on House Floor): House Joint Resolution 8 sought to amend the crime victim’s rights afforded in the Idaho State Constitution. The bill, which required a super majority because it was a proposed constitutional amendment, was defeated 42-28 on the House Floor. It is expected that Marsy’s Law will be introduced again in 2019.
  • Wireless Telephone Service (passed): Senate Bill 1254 authorizes a court to issue an order to transfer wireless telephone service, billing responsibility, and telephone numbers to a party that is not the account holder in cases involving domestic violence. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 22 and becomes effective July 1, 2018.
  • Aggravated Sexual Battery (passed): Senate Bill 1269 creates the crimes of sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 27 and becomes effective July 1, 2018.
  • Self-defense, Castle, Stand Your Ground (passed): Senate Bill 1313 allows for justification of homicide and other forms of violence for defense of self, others, a place of habitation, business or employment, or an occupied vehicle. This bill became law without the Governor’s signature on March 21 and will become effective July 1, 2018.

If you have any questions regarding any of these failed bills and law, please do not hesitate to contact me at annie@engagingvoices.org.

Annie Pelletier_Staff Photo_2017
Annie Pelletier
annie@engagingvoices.org or 208-389-8050 (cell)

Three Things to reach out to me for:

  • Legal Questions
  • Legislative Updates
  • Sexual Assault/Title IX

Piece of Hope Campaign

Piece of Hope Campaign In April, the Women’s and Children’s Alliance launched a fundraising and awareness Piece of Hope campaign with Idaho’s Stinker Stores and five other domestic violence service providers – Advocates Against Family Violence, ROSE Advocates, The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, YWCA of Lewiston, ID – Clarkston, WA and Family Services Alliance of SE Idaho taking place April 9 – May 6, 2018. #WhatCompassionAccomplishes #PieceofHope2018. It is exciting to see programs collaborating across the breadth of our state to increase services for survivors and their children.

National Sexual Assault Resource Center – Es mi cuerpo, son mis derechos Materials

Es Mi Cuerpo Son Mis DerechosThe National Sexual Assault Resource Center has new materials for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Spanish for and by the Latin@/x community. The goal of the SAAM 2018 campaign materials is to help Spanish-speaking and Latin@/x communities have conversations about sexual violence. The campaign focuses on empowerment and body rights. The materials use the tagline: “Es mi cuerpo, son mis derechos,” or “my body, my rights.” The goal of this message is to empower individuals and communities to challenge unhealthy attitudes and behaviors and promote a culture of respect.

Read an overview about the new materials here: https://www.nsvrc.org/blogs/behind-scenes-look-new-spanish-resources-just-time-saam.

Para más información sobre los recursos nuevos para el SAAM visite a: https://www.nsvrc.org/es/blogs/recursos-nuevos-para-el-saam.

Social media As we share these materials on social media, we will be using the hashtag #CambiaLaCultura. We will also be using #YoSoySAAM, a hashtag created by Arte Sana as a collective effort to promote the inclusion and participation of Latin@/x communities in SAAM. Arte Sana is also hosting a #YoSoySAAM Spanish language webinar series available for bilingual Latin@/x advocates with partners across the country.

Training & Events

ChalkHeART Challenge – LIVE
May 3rd | Challenge begins at 6:30 | Challenge 6:00 – 8:30 PM | Linen Building
Encourage a school or youth group in your area to register for the Statewide or LIVE Challenge here!

FREE Train-the-Trainer: Addressing and Responding to Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking in Community Health Centers across IDAHO
May 23rd and 24th | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm | Linen Building
There is substantial research describing the dynamics and effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) and sex trafficking and related co-morbid health and behavioral health outcomes for women and adolescents. The purpose of this Training of Trainers is to first offer health center staff and other professionals a simple trauma-informed, evidence-based tool on IPV and sex trafficking for use in primary care settings. Providers can help their patients make the connection between their relationship and health outcomes and offer a supportive referral to a domestic violence program.

This Training of Trainers will begin with a 3.5 hour demonstration of the trauma-informed curriculum by FUTURES faculty, followed by 3.5 hours in the afternoon developing attendee readiness as trainers, providing time to practice the curriculum, ask questions, and refine training approaches.

Speakers:

  • Anna Marjavi; Program Director, Futures Without Violence
  • Erica Monasterio, MA; RN, MN, FNP; Consultant, Futures Without Violence; Clinical Professor, Family Nurse Practitioner, University of California-San Francisco

Registrants are encouraged to attend both training days if possible. Click to register. Contact mercedes@engagingvoices.org for additional information.

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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