June 15, 2017
Elder abuse is a hidden yet growing problem that impacts older adults of all races, cultures, sexual orientations, social classes, geographic areas, faith communities, mental capacities, and physical abilities. Although definitions of elder abuse vary, the term generally refers to any physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, or financial exploitation of an older person either within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust and/or when an older person is targeted based on age or disability.
Last year, the National Center on Abuse in Later Life created the Working with Older Survivors of Abuse: A Framework for Advocates report. This summary report describes seven guiding principles with minimum guidelines and practical strategies for advocates and programs to consider when creating or enhancing their services to better meet the needs of older survivors. Hyperlinks to 34 video segments of experts discussing key content are interspersed throughout the document. To download this resource with captioned videos, please click here. To download this resource with visually described videos, please click here. And the Resource Sharing Project previously launched the Championing the Wisdom of our Elders: Addressing Sexual Assault in Later Life resource collection that you can find here.
Here’s a few ways you can get engaged now:
June is also PRIDE month and an opportunity to demonstrate strong support for the LGBTQ+ community and survivors of gender violence. The Idaho Coalition is partnering with the WCA to have a booth at the Boise Pridefest to engage young people on advocating for gender inclusive restrooms in public schools. Finally, as a commitment to increasing meaningful access to the LGBTQ survivors or gender violence, we encourage you to review the National LGBTQ Institute on IPV’s new website, a joint effort between the Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse and the National Coalition Anti-Violence Programs, organizations founded “by and for” LGBTQ survivors of abuse, knowing the power of centering survivors’ expertise when building solutions to violence.
We Choose All of Us,
Those of us who work with individuals who experience gender violence (sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking) are affected by our culture, which contains explicit and implicit biases. These biases affect our ability to respond to individuals who experience gender violence and show up in assumptions such as believing an individual who experiences violence should look or behave in a certain way. Or the belief that the harm from a sexual assault is lessened if the offense is committed by an acquaintance or if a victim is intoxicated. The intersection of racial and gender stereotypes and biases can pose unique difficulties for women and LGBT individuals of color who seek services.
The article “Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence”, produced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) begins to examine the compelling research that suggests that implicit bases are pervasive and that people are often unaware of how these biases can predict their behavior. Certain aspects of law enforcement response appear to be particularly susceptible to bias. As such, DOJ urges the consideration and integration of the following principles:
For more information, please contact Jennifer Landhuis.
As part of the Thriving Families project, Idaho Coalition staff worked with Voices Against Violence to conduct listening sessions with the Latina community, specifically youth and mothers who have experienced relationship abuse. Participants shared powerful experiences about how we can better support Latina families and the great benefit of advocates in their journey toward safety and healing.
One courageous Latina teenager shared that she had nowhere to turn when she experienced racism and bullying. Without the love and support of her mother, she may have committed suicide, she said. Despite her mother’s ongoing struggles with experiencing domestic violence, she was strong for her daughter, and gave her hope. This speaks to what we know about protective factors – even one consistent, loving, support in our lives can make all the difference in the world! This teenager urged us to find our way deeper into the Latina community and for us to understand how racism can prevent people from reaching out for support. Voices Against Violence has multiple advocates that are working alongside the Latinx community. Voices continues to go deeper with under-served communities, the living example of “meeting people where they’re at”.
Multiple women shared how resources don’t match their needs, and that safety can look different for women of color and immigrants. Sometimes advocates or counselors may not realize the full lived experiences and fears clients face, and the importance of connection to community and culture. Women talked about how service providers can help them feel safer: Make it obvious that I am welcome and understood. Speak my language, understand my fear of deportation, fear for my children, the racism we face daily. How does my faith or community strengthen me, and how is it challenging me? Talk to me about this. Honor my parenting practices, beliefs, food, and desire to freely practice cultural traditions. Understand that what you think I need for my current situation may harm me. Seek to understand. Try harder to find me and reach my community. Help be a champion and make our community safer.
We were honored to work with Angie and Donna and the rest of the team at Voices Against Violence, and most honored to be entrusted by courageous women who came to these sessions.
We hope to continue to lift their voices through Idaho Thriving Families, hearing more stories, and sharing what we learn. We know that across Idaho we are all working hard to reach more underserved survivors and their children. We appreciate all you do.
Check out The Resource Sharing Project’s NEW Crisis and Support Line Tip Sheet, created for rural programs!
This guide was inspired by real rural programs around the country and is meant to be used while you answer the crisis and support line. One side provides helpful responses to use while you are supporting sexual assault survivors on your rural crisis and support line. The other side is for you to use after you have completed the call, including some grounding techniques to use.
The Mask You Live In
Thursday, June 15th
6:00 – 8:30 PM MST
Farnsworth Room, Student Union Building | Boise State University
1700 University Driver Boise, ID 83725
The film follows the stories of boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. Click here to view the film trailer.
Webinar: Economic Empowerment with Survivors
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
1:00 – 2:30 PM MST | 12:00 – 1:30 PM PST
Many survivors of domestic violence have experienced at least one form of economic abuse and a survivor’s economic situation is often impacted for many months and even years after an abusive relationship because of this. Economic stability for survivors in transitional housing is imperative in order to achieve self-sufficiency and successfully move on to permanent housing. This webinar will focus on how advocates can begin to talk to survivors about their economic and financial situation in a trauma-informed way, and will give advocates useful tools to use with survivors. The presenter for this webinar will be Kim Pentico, the Economic Justice Program Director at the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
In this full-day interactive virtual summit, we will unpack the impact of mandatory reporting on help seeking and identify practical strategies advocates can use to decrease negative consequences of reporting and increase survivor safety and self-determination.
Results of a recent survey indicate mandated reporting impacts domestic violence survivors, and most often that impact is detrimental. 50% of survivors in the survey said the mandatory report made things “much worse.” Youth under 18 and trans* and gender variant people were especially impacted – almost half said that they had avoided seeking support for fear that they would be reported. Youth and especially LGBTQ youth are not talking to trusted adults about their relationships because of fear of being reported. In this webinar, we will unpack the impact of mandatory reporting on help seeking and identify practical strategies advocates can use to decrease negative consequences of reporting and increase survivor safety and self-determination.
with the National LGBTQ Institute on Intimate Partner Violence, a project of the NW Network and NCAVP
Civil Justice for Victims of Crime in Idaho
The seminar will explore how victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, child sex abuse, drunk driving, homicide, workplace violence, terrorism, elder abuse, identity theft and financial and property crimes can use civil lawsuits to obtain justice, hold responsible parties accountable, prevent future crimes, and obtain the financial resources victims need to rebuild their lives. The program will cover resources and strategies for victims considering civil lawsuits, and will include a panel of attorneys to answer specific questions of Idaho law. The training is for victim advocates, law enforcement officers, social workers, mental health professionals, and other allied professionals. There is no charge for any attendee, and a free breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack will be served.