Towards Thriving Cover

June 13, 2019

On July 1, 2019, a change in Idaho Code Section 67-2919 will go into effect that will impact survivor options regarding processing of the evidence collected during a sexual assault forensic examination. Under the revised law, all kits – except those collected anonymously or where the allegation is determined to be unfounded (i.e. there is evidence to prove no crime occurred) – shall be sent to the Idaho State Crime Laboratory for testing.

This change was made to address concerns regarding the high rate of kits not being returned to the lab for testing. Under the prior iteration of the law, law enforcement could decline to return a kit to the state lab for testing if: there was no evidence to support a crime was committed; the matter was no longer being investigated as a crime; or an adult survivor expressly indicated that no further forensic examination or testing should occur. Under each of these categories, the rate of kit declination was much higher than expected. The amended law seeks to increase the use of evidence collected which will help to connect cases across time and jurisdictions and may also help in individual cases.

However, because identified survivors can no longer request a kit not be tested on their own, it is important for community members to understand that survivors who do not want their kits submitted to the lab must request and anonymous exam. Survivors who request anonymous exams will be provided a number that matches up with their completed kit and they may still report the assault to law enforcement when and if they choose to do so. If a criminal report is filed, the anonymous kit can be connected to the survivor via the kit number. Because anonymous kits must be requested prior to evidence collection, we encourage programs to push out information about the amended law and how to request an anonymous kit over the course of the next few months. For more information, or assistance with messaging for awareness building activities, please do not hesitate to contact Annie.

Annie Pelletier_Staff Photo_2017
Annie Pelletier Hightower

Three Things to reach out to me for:

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

Program Spotlight | Bingham Crisis Center

Bingham Crisis Center imageThe Bingham Crisis Center has undergone many significant changes in the last year. We have opened up the Community Closet and More inside our facility. The Closet has basic necessary items including bedding, clothing, kitchenware and some small appliances and furniture. These items are available for any members of the community, not just domestic or sexual assault survivors. It has been a means to reach more survivors that haven’t received services and, more importantly, has benefited the community in a way that hasn’t been reached before. Last year, between May and December, we assisted 586 people with just the Closet alone. It has shown to be a huge asset to our small community where resources can be difficult to come by.

We have also seen an increase in direct services, especially in our outlying communities. We currently have a satellite office in Aberdeen where our advocate had traveled there twice per month, but now visits the community once per week. It has increased our communication with city officials and law enforcement while enhancing our community presence. We are now expanding to Shelley where we will have an advocate there twice per week. We expect to reach more survivors through this additional satellite office and more fully assist all the citizens within Bingham County.

The Bingham Crisis Center is currently undergoing renovation in the upper floors of our building. We are renovating two bathrooms and some other needed updates in anticipation of using it for another, permanent, emergency shelter.

April was a very busy month for us with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We held our Annual Walk-A- Mile in Her Shoes event and saw the attendance triple from just one year ago. The Mayor of Blackfoot held a Sexual Assault Proclamation reading and we saw staggering numbers attend our Annual Dart Tournament Benefit the likes of which had not been seen with this event in numbers of people attending and total funds raised.

We have seen many changes recently, all of which have allowed us to expand our resources and enhance our working relationship with the Police Department and Sheriff’s Office. We have seen an increase in referrals from both of these respected Offices either in Emergency Call Outs or through our fliers. Our relations with the Court personnel and Victim Witness Coordinator continue to be paramount in our mission and efforts.

We have been very blessed to see the growth we have had in such a short amount of time. We still have many things to accomplish in our small community, but have seen strides in the right direction and look forward to the future with community and survivors needs as our guide.

Scott Smith | Executive Director, Bingham Crisis Center | Connect/Email

Refreshing the Basics | Transitional Housing Funds

abstract homeWe would like to notify programs and advocates (who are MOU partners of this grant) that funds are available to provide transitional housing and other qualified expenses for survivors, children and dependents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking who are fleeing violence and for whom emergency shelter is not available or insufficient.

The Idaho Transitional Housing Project directs its resources towards individuals with the highest need, with special consideration for survivors of domestic or dating violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking who are from traditionally marginalized and/or underserved populations, which may include, but are not limited to, survivors with limited English proficiency, survivors who have been resettled as refugees, survivors who are undocumented, LGBTQ survivors, survivors with a physical or mental disability, or survivors from rural communities with little low-cost housing or employment opportunities.

The project’s goal is to transition survivors into permanent housing.

Funding Snapshot:

The project provides funding for short-term housing assistance and other qualified expenses that will meaningfully meet survivors needs.

  • Eligibility: An adult person who is fleeing domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking, who is homeless, or in need of transitional housing or other housing assistance, and emergency shelter is unavailable or insufficient. This person may or may not be transitioning out of shelter, looking for housing, or already in a living situation, but would benefit from additional stability.
  • Eligible participants may receive funding assistance for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 24 months.
  • Monthly rental payments may vary; the maximum amount a survivor may access per month is $1,000 – keep in mind that a survivor must receive a minimum of six months assistance. Support may initially include budgeting a larger amount to secure stable housing and pay a smaller portion of the rent as time goes on, or equal monthly amounts.
  • MOU Programs/partnering organizations accessing the Transitional Housing funds must agree and certify that survivors will be offered voluntary supportive services. Survivors who are receiving housing assistance choose which support services to access, if any.
  • Programs working to access on behalf of a survivor these funds may not be receiving Transitional Housing funds through OVW.
    • Please contact Lacey Sinn if your program is working with a survivor who is eligible to access Transitional Housing funds and would like to being the process of requesting/accessing these funds and/or for all additional questions. Programs who are not MOU partners of this grant, but would like to explore options on how they might work with MOU partners to access these funds should contact Lacey.

      Lacey Sinn

      Three Things to reach out to me for:

      • SASP (including how to access SASP Emergency Funds)
      • Transitional Housing
      • Idaho Coalition Store and Materials Orders

      Finding Balance Towards Thriving

      Our society places a great value on output.

      Photo by Olesya Grichina on UnsplashInstead of defining our worth by aptitude or stability, we define our worth by zealousness and yield. If we begin to do more or produce more, we are often perceived or recognized as “better.” If we go into overdrive or sacrifice for our work, we feel a heightened sense of purpose and significance. Our perceptions of “more” and “better” become increasingly synonymous in our culture—especially as advocates; however, in turn, we end up creating a growing culture of over-glorified workaholics.

      To concede, we rarely become workaholics for joy, liberation, or fun. We often become overzealous workers due to (real or imagined) obligations to perform, achieve, and bend over backwards for something better.

      Stories that exemplify this output-driven society’s toxicity are easy to find. Whether they tell of businesspeople who lose their marriages after prioritizing work over family or we hear about pregnant women who go into labor while picking up Lyft ride requests while en route to their delivery room, finding tales depicting people who work too much and do too much at the expense of their general well-being are easy—frequently, these stories are similar to our own.

      But what is there to be done?

      Neglecting time for our loved ones to make an extra buck is not cute nor dreamy—it points to how fundamentally lopsided our livelihoods are for expecting us, frequently as depleted workers, to output, output, output. We need to collectively acknowledge this truth and find liberation from it.

      Going into overdrive each day is not pride-deserving like we build it up to be, especially when it leads to our abandonment of self-care, nourishment, and centeredness—it points to how much we displace our worth onto productivity rather than our own thriving. We need to collectively recognize this issue and stop these habits.

      Within a society that already emphasizes too much labor on marginalized identities, we cannot feed into yet another system of extraction and exertion. To opt out of overworking and to interrupt demands of depletion, we must take on the radical challenge of finding time for self-love and self-care. To work hard and bend over backwards not inherently bad, but we must be willing to identify when this habit is hurting us, and we need to redirect the value we place on overworking. We must stop glorifiying the workaholic pattern/obsession. We need to start now—we needed to start yesterday.

      For a healthier, more balanced lifestyle that centers you, rather than your production, I implore y’all to begin today. Start small, like turning down a lunch you may feel an obligation to attend, or go bigger, and take a short vacation from work, or set a new boundary that encourages a clearer work/life balance and stop answering (and reading) work emails after 6 pm or before 7 am.

      Spring is the time for growth and renewal. Let’s take some time to recommit to our well-being so that we may all move towards balance and away from depletion.

      For a list of ways to create self-preservation, click here.
      For a video with insight on workaholism and overworking, click here.

      I believe in you—and your future self will thank you for this new commitment to thriving.

      Tanisha Jae Newton

      Three things to reach out to me for:

      • Youth Engagement

Training & Events

Two Spirit Awareness Event
Thursday, June 20th | 8:30 am – 3:30 pm | Shoshone-Bannock Hotel & Casino

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: Lenny Hays, MA Therapist Consultant. An enrolled citizen of the Sisseton Wahpeton-Oyate of the northeast corner of South Dakota. The presenter will discuss the high rates and the impact of domestic violence on the Two-Spirit/LGBTQ community. Presenters objectives to educate participants about impact of DV on the Two-Spirit/LGBTQ individual and community; awareness to participants about high rates of DV within this community; define the characteristics of DV on the Two-Spirit/LGBQ community; give ideas on how to work with individuals who identify as Two-Spirit/LGBTQ who are impacted by Domestic Violence

Learn more here.

Crafting Narratives: Tell the Stories Behind Your Data
Monday, June 24th | 11:00 PM – 12:00 PM Pacific | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Mountain or
Thursday, July 11th | 11:00 PM – 12:00 PM Pacific | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Mountain

You can join this online webinar with closed captioning in English and/or a toll-free phone line. Please contact or call 1-800-922-VAWA (8292) with any additional needs or questions.

Semi-Annual Progress Reports document the impact OVW grants make on victims of domestic/sexual violence, their families, and their communities.

Have you ever wondered what to include in the narrative sections of your progress report? You can use these sections to illustrate the impact of your agencies’ work, but it can be hard to know where to begin.

Please join OVW and VAWA MEI staff as we discuss best practices for writing compelling narratives and documenting your grant-funded activities through the narrative questions.
This one-hour webinar opportunity is being offered twice! Please select from the two training dates below.

Register for the June 24th webinar here.

Register for the July 11th webinar here.

Intermountain Fair Housing Council | Statewide Training Events

Fair Housing Training | Moscow, ID
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 8:30am-4:30pm
Moscow, Idaho
Register now

Fair Housing Training | Lewiston, ID
Thursday, September 19, 2019 8:30am-4:30pm
Lewiston, Idaho
Register now

Fair Housing Training | Coeur d’ Alene, ID
Fall Date To Be Determined
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Register now

Community Members, Housing Providers, Advocates, Government Personnel, and Attorneys encouraged to attend.

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.

Coupon Code