August 11, 2016
A national study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research “Status of Women in the States: 2015” Idaho ranked 50th overall on the status of women; 50th for women’s employment and earnings. Gender inequality is a root cause of gender violence – abuse and rape – in our schools, communities, and in our state. One in five girls are sexually assaulted as a child. One of five female high school students in Idaho have experienced sexual dating violence one or more times during the past 12 months. One in five women are sexually assaulted on campus.
We must work to change our culture to value girls and women as we do men and boys, and in sharing power and value – everyone thrives. We must work to undo the many ways our culture devalues, objectifies, and dominates girls and women.
The White House recently expanded the It’s On Us campaign for sexual assault to include the voices of Olympic athletes. Communities are exploring ways to bring conversations about sexual assault – from high schools to elementary schools. Earlier this week, NPR featured a story on how schools and parents can start lessons on valuing and respecting everyone, no matter their gender. “High-profile cases of sexual assault — from elite prep schools to public middle and high schools — have underscored the problem in younger grades. Close to 100 elementary and secondary schools are now being investigated for their alleged mishandling of sexual assault allegations — 2.5 times the number a year ago.”
Sadly, Idaho recently had a high profile case of a sexual assault. In June, local and national newspapers reported that a five-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by three boys age seven, ten and fourteen. We cannot imagine the pain of the young girl and the families and community members who have been impacted.
The case rose to national attention as a few people masked the roots of this abuse – the devaluation of girls and women – and instead promoted an anti-refugee, anti-Muslim agenda. Blaming “others” for “bringing” violence with them is easier than looking ourselves in the mirror and having hard conversations about what we teach and what we demonstrate to girls and boys in this country, and who we uphold as valuable.
We must work to change our culture to value girls and women as we do men and boys, and in sharing power and value – everyone thrives. We must work to undo the many ways our culture devalues, objectifies, and dominates girls and women. Just as we must work to undo the many ways our culture devalues and dominates anyone based on religion, race, ability, class, socio-economic, refugee status and immigrant status. We must turn away from the unwarranted fear and hatred against the refugee community. It is misplaced, a distraction from what is really at stake – a culture of domination and violence permeating the soil we till, the air we breathe. Ending domination and violence must happen together. They are connected.
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
The Domestic Violence handbook had been revised and printed. We want to thank the domestic violence programs that had survivors review and provide feedback on the content. Back orders have been filled. Spanish versions should be available by the end of the month. If you need to order Domestic Violence handbooks, please, click here.
When asked why the program has had such success, Carol Caulford, their Executive Director, replied “sometimes you have to think outside the box to serve your community” and this program has unquestionably “filled a need and been very successful in ours.” Carol also indicated that the program has built a lot of trust within their rural area. It is often difficult when you’re working in the field of domestic violence, “a shelter and a domestic violence program may be intimidating for many people.” Getting people into their space and around their caring, supportive staff demonstrates to people in the class that this program isn’t as intimidating as they once may have believed. Carol remarks that “once people are opened up to our program and who we are, people aren’t as fearful to come to us for other services.” The class makes Oneida Crisis Center a familiar place and introduces people to their mission and the work that they do.
How did Oneida Crisis Center create such a thriving program? Carol notes that the most important part of developing a new program for your community is to find out “if there is a need.” After that, you work on finding resources and allies to help make the program come to life. Oneida Crisis Center began the Healthy Baby Beginnings class after Carol was able to secure and cultivate a partnership with Good360. Next she worked hard to secure monetary donations which would help match costs that would not be covered by the Good360 partnership. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Oneida Crisis Center, thru the Good360 partnership, has received goods from Bye Bye Baby, Bed Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn Kids, Williams Sonoma, and more!
Carol encourages other programs in the state to check out Good360 to see if a partnership may support a current program or possibly a new program being developed.
As we end our conversation about the Healthy Baby Beginnings program, Carol reiterates, we are always “working to help everyone [in our community] in some way” and this program is just another way to accomplish that goal.
The mission of the Oneida Crisis Center is to educate and promote safe and healthy individuals, families, housing and a prosperous community by working to ensure peaceful family relationships and providing support to victims of abuse.
Class capacity is twelve people (six pairs) per class and is held one night a week for six weeks.
Program is “open to all families” living in Oneida county. Classes are free and are designed for expectant mothers and an additional team member (significant other, parent, sibling, friend, etc.). Day care is provided for individuals who have older children.
Following completion of the course a layette of baby supplies valued at over $500 will be given away to the mothers provided by the generosity of corporate donors.
The program covers:
With the new civil protection order available for stalking victims, many advocates are in the position of assisting individuals who are being stalked or harassed via technology. There are numerous resources available for advocates to guide individuals through this process. Two fantastic resources include the National Network to End Domestic Violence SafetyNet Project resource list and the Stalking Resource Center’s online Use of Technology to Stalk class
The SafetyNet link has articles on numerous technologies and suggestions for safety planning and the Stalking Resource Center’s link allows you to take a self-paced class to understand the various technologies and how they may be used against the individuals you are working with.
Cell phone technology is perhaps the most prevalent technology being used by survivors. Keep in mind it is never acceptable to ask survivors to stop using technology in your office or your shelter. You can educate survivors about the risks involved, but taking the technology away from survivors only isolates them from their support systems.
The first cell phone technology that we will discuss is Caller Identification. While caller ID allows us to monitor calls from the person stalking the victim, caller ID can be manipulated. Through a process called spoofing, a stalker may manipulate the caller ID so that another number shows up on the caller ID instead of the stalker’s number. App can be downloaded or SpoofCards can be purchased which allows a stalker to call the victim and have another number show up on the caller ID. Commonly, this is the children’s daycare or school phone number or the victim’s employer. The call recipient answers the phone expecting it to be the daycare or school, only to find out the stalker is on the other line. Spoofing apps are often free and easy to use. You can even change your voice to sound like a man or a woman. Victim’s phone logs will show that the daycare or school called, not the stalker. While there are not a lot of ways to intervene and stop caller ID spoofing, educating individuals you are working with about spoofing allows them to develop a safety plan around the spoofing. Because Idaho is a one-party state, it is perfectly legal for the victim to record the call in hopes of gathering evidence against the stalker through the things that the stalker is saying to the victim.
Check out the above websites and watch for further updates in our newsletter about technologies that are used to harass or stalk individuals who experience domestic violence or stalking.
The hit movie Ghost Busters is back in theaters this summer, but besides the exciting fact that we’ll see a movie with an all-female cast of heroes, why are we talking about it? Well, we’re talking about calling in the experts and being part of a diverse, rockstar team. We are experts in domestic and sexual violence. But that doesn’t mean we are accessible to all survivors, or that we are done learning! We don’t want survivors to have to fit into a one-size-fits-all model. And none of us can be expected to be experts on the lived experiences of every person who is seeking safety and liberation. But we must do our best to learn, and not put our responsibility of learning on the survivors we are serving. So…. Who We Gonna Call? Culturally specific organizations! LGBTQ and disability rights groups! Tribal partners! Faith leaders! Immigration rights activists! Reproductive health specialists! Refugee resettlement workers! Interpreters! Cultural Consultants!
If you’re not sure where to start, then just start somewhere. With someone. It’s truly that simple. Begin the search for allies in the movement to end violence and those who are experts in matters that are important to survivors from diverse backgrounds. We will make friends, learn from each other, reduce isolation for survivors, and increase options for safety.
Have fun at the movie, and in the meantime, who YOU gonna call?
By: Melissa Ruth *The author wants to point out that she has not yet seen the new Ghost Busters movie. Although women are the heroes and they have diverse body types that are not constantly objectified, they do not adequately represent cultural or racial diversity, and may even play into stereotypes – keep the dialogue going!
Futures Without Violence, in collaboration with the Ad Council, has partnered with the US Department of Justice to develop a national campaign that will raise awareness, teach skills, and inspire public action to address children’s exposure to violence and childhood trauma.
“Changing Minds” is scheduled to launch the week of September 5th, the campaign will 1) educate on the problem of childhood trauma and the solutions that exist; 2) advance programs and practices that help to make schools, homes, and communities safer for children and youth, and 3) help grow leadership in various fields (e.g., education, health, community, and justice).
Campaign assets will be available to organizations for co-branding and easy dissemination. A short list of campaign toolkit materials which will be previewed on the webinar include:
Please register for one of two webinars introducing the Changing Minds campaign:
Connecting to Others Have you done a quick check-in with your people today? Creating space to connect with others is another form of self-care! By investing the time in seeing each other’s humanity (and in being seen), we build relationship and trust. And that is the foundation for a powerful movement for social change.
Today’s Challenge –
At one of your meetings, instead of going straight into the agenda, do a short check-in with folks first. Try these prompts or create one of your own:
How did starting by connecting as human beings affect your experience? Did you learn anything new about your colleagues? Appreciate them differently? Did the tone of the meeting shift?
Deepen Your Practice
Want to connect more deeply with your colleagues? Try out our love notes toolkit by checking out resources from Move to End Violence.
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