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Towards Thriving Cover

March 3, 2016

We are excited to launch a bi-weekly newsletter Towards Thriving specifically for the Idaho Coalition’s community and tribal domestic and sexual violence program members!

At the Building Community convening last month for program members, advocates from across the state learned about how we can move from the state of surviving to thriving. We learned that thriving happens through practices (conscious acts) such as focusing on choices and possibilities. We can all thrive through using the language of “may” and “can,” staying open and embracing our choices, and keeping our orientation to the now and the future. When we do our work with a compassionate generosity, remembering both our interdependence and independence, we thrive. We named this newsletter in recognition of our work to create the conditions for people to move from victim to survivor to thriving.

On the last day of the convening, advocates explored their own or their organizational purpose horizon. Together, we created a shared purpose horizon- what we are all working toward. We invite you to explore the exciting vision of all of your colleagues across the state.

View the Idaho Domestic & Sexual ViolenceIdahoCoalition Purpose Horizon Community and Tribal Programs Shared Purpose Horizon click the PDF to the right to view →

Towards thriving,

Kelly Miller
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence

Legislative Updates

The Idaho Coalition has actively worked on several bills leading up to and during the legislative session specific to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Thank you to everyone who has contacted their local legislators when we have sent out action requests! Here is a current update of the bills that we have been working on:

  • Stalking Civil Protection Order – SB 1373 – The Senate Judiciary & Rules Hearing is Monday, March 7th in the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee. Jennifer Landhuis will be testifying in support of the bill. We will send out an alert with the contact information for the committee to the program member directors.
  • Sexual Assault Evidence Kits – HB 528 – The House unanimously passed the bill which will provide minimum standards for the handling and testing of rape kits in our state to better protect victims of violence and hold perpetrators accountable. Currently there are no statutes in our state to provide consistent standards for testing or tracking. The Idaho Coalition testified in support of the bill. Thank you to Representative Wintrow for sponsoring and leading this bill towards successful passage!
  • Sexual Assault Statute – SB 1277 – The Idaho Coalition was a member of the committee that drafted this bill which creates a sexual assault battery, changes current rape statute to provide that a victim of rape need not offer resistance where the victim has a well-founded belief that resistance would be futile or that resistance would result in the use of force or violence, and makes rape statute gender neutral. The Idaho Coalition provided written testimony in support of the bill and attended the hearing. The bill passed the Senate floor (20 – 15), and has been sent to the House.
  • Women’s Commission – HB 543 Repeals the Idaho Women’s Commission. Printed and sent to House State Affairs. The Idaho Coalition is working in opposition of this bill. No hearing scheduled to date.
  • Victim Restitution – HB 434 The Idaho Supreme Court sponsored HB 434, which lowers the priority of restitution payments to victims below a multitude of court-related programs not currently defined as “court-costs.” The effect of lowering the priority of restitution to actual victims is that, in many cases, victims will never be paid. The Idaho Coalition testified in opposition at the hearing, and the committee had tabled the bill. No further action this legislative session.
  • Minimum Wage – Organizing is underway to have a presence at the Idaho Statehouse on March 14, 15, and 16th to support a minimum wage increase.

Learning Communities

We want to share the innovative and promising practices from Idaho’s community and tribal domestic and sexual violence programs – from the creative process to the achievements and setbacks. Shared knowledge is central to building learning communities and can develop and shape our shared understanding.

We want to encourage conversation and learning opportunities between programs. Read and reach! Read about the great work being done in our state and reach out to the programs featured and ask questions, share information, learn from each other and most importantly deepen our relationships.

Advocates Against Family ViolenceSenator Crapo, Kim Deugan, and Kelly Miller

A few years ago, Advocates Against Family Violence, Inc., in Caldwell decided that to truly fulfill their mission of eliminating violence, efforts would have to be focused on prevention. Kim Deugan, Executive Director with the Advocates Against Family Violence was invited to be part of the Idaho Sustainability Initiative with the Idaho Non-Profit Center.  As part of the Idaho Nonprofit Center initiative, Advocates Against Family Violence created a new program – Teen Outreach Program (T.O.P.) – to focus on prevention and with a goal of ensuring sustainability. The program developed and moved forward with prevention education, providing the next generation with a foundation for healthy relationships.

Advocates Against Family Violence initial goal was to work with three local schools or community agencies serving teens. Once word got out in the community, the program was directly reaching approximately 1,500 students in three months. Twenty-two schools and adolescent service agencies reached out over the first year. In 2014, Advocates Against Family Violence provided programming to a total of 2800 students!  This past year, 2015, Advocates Against Family Violence provided healthy relationship classes to 7,100 students. “These students are learning, some for the first time, about their own worth and how to expect respect from themselves and others,” said Kim Deugan. “We want these students to understand what a validating, safe, and stable relationship looks like. We are creating a new kind of normal for so many young teens who may not know that they deserve better.”

As an extension of their Teen Outreach Program, Advocates Against Family Violence is very excited to be working with the Idaho Coalition on the DELTA FOCUS project, ensuring gender equity and youth empowerment. “We are creating, by choice, our future generations with healthy relationships and gender equality,” said Kim Deugan. In late February, Kim, Senator Crapo and Kelly Miller, with the Idaho Coalition, recently came together for a press conference in recognition of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month, and the Teen Outreach Project.

Advocates Against Family Violence are expanding their teen work to promote gender equity as a way to end gender violence, and are becoming statewide leaders in the Idaho DELTA FOCUS school-based work funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Kim, Kaitlin and their entire teen outreach staff are figuring out how to integrate gender equity into their existing work and increase meaningful access for underserved youth for greater impact,” said Brandy Selover, Idaho Coalition DELTA FOCUS Project Coordinator.

The Idaho Coalition is excited to see the progress that Advocates Against Family Violence and their partnering school, Sage Valley Middle School, in Nampa will make in the next two years in promoting gender equity through a comprehensive prevention approach to end gender violence.

Foster Healing Encounters

We are drawn to this work because we care deeply, so we strive to do our Lavenderbest and be our best. Each day is an opportunity to cultivate healing encounters with people who are working to overcome violence. These encounters are as simple as a genuine smile and warm welcome, to comprehensive services that are fully accessible, including spiritually, culturally and linguistically, for survivors and their children. They are both specific interactions, and the environment we create. We foster healing encounters when we see each other’s full humanity with love and kindness, understand that trauma touches people’s lives in different ways, and believe in our interconnection and innate capacity to thrive. By offering trauma-informed approaches, we increase the number of healing encounters survivors and their children experience. Every moment can either fuel the conditions for violence, or lay the foundation for love and liberation. Our own healing encounters (including positive self-talk, physical, emotional and spiritual self-care, and cultural connection) create the possibility for more genuine healing encounters with others, and each of those positive encounters help rewire our minds (literally!!) and our hearts, towards thriving.

Two Week Challenge: Notice your relationship with yourself (self-compassion), and interactions with others as frequently as possible. How, and with whom are you creating healing encounters? Great! See if you can create even more healing encounters in your daily life. It may help to find a way to remind you to think of this throughout the next couple weeks.

5 Opportunities to Foster Healing Encounters:

  • Start your day with a positive affirmation and a breathing exercise. Simply focus on 3 calm breaths. Breathe compassion toward yourself and others.
  • Make time to connect, laugh, and debrief with colleagues.
  • Introduce nature (live plants, fish, gentle pets, water fountains) into your environment wherever possible. Exposure to nature is calming.
  • Make every welcome mean something. Clients will always remember how they felt walking into your program or meeting you for the first time. Smile, welcome, offer water or a snack.
  • Ask clients about their children, family, spirituality, culture, passions and strengths. See them for all of who they are.
Interested in Learning More? One Hour to Full-Day workshops available:

  • Trauma Informed Approaches: Capacity building for individuals, organizations and communities (specific topics and communities to overall trauma informed approach)
  • Supporting DV/SA and Reproductive Health: What We Can Do

Contact melissa@engagingvoices.org or 208-384-0419 ext. 312

 

Radical Self-Care

 
 
Now is the time to start moving beyond the daily habits that are frequently at the center of why we neglect very importantMEV - The Power of Breathing PDF self-care moments. Those moments we are often unable to recognize or the ones that we merely brush off as “small and less important” in the grand scheme of things. Denying and/or repressing self-needs for this important cause, the people, the work, our movement, comes easy for many of us. What we’ve learned from living in this place of sacrifice, or rather what we’ve been taught by people who’ve studied the benefits of self-care in the social justice world, is that self-care is essential to our work. It is essential to our movement.

So, again, now is the time to start moving beyond habits. Now is the time to shape healthy self-care practices. Join us as we all learn to be better stewards on behalf of ourselves.

The Power of Breathing PDF (from Move to End Violence)

YWCA Lewiston, ID-Clarkston, WA is hiring an Executive Director!

The YWCA Lewiston, ID-Clarkston, WA is the single provider of domestic violence shelter and advocacy in our community and is the last remaining YWCA in the State of Idaho.

The YWCA looks to find a visionary leader as Executive Director to sustain and grow the essential service we provide for our community. The Executive Director will work collaboratively with the staff and board to forward the YWCA mission through creation and implementation of fundraising, capacity building, and community outreach initiatives. The YWCA offers a competitive salary and a generous benefits package.

Visit the YWCA website to view more details or to apply. If you have any questions please call 208.743.1535.