Alliance Against Family Violence In Leavenworth, Kansas Temporarily Closed

Alliance Against Family Violence In Leavenworth, Kansas Temporarily Closed

Contact: Lucca Wang, Communications Coordinator, Media Contact
Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office: 785-232-9784 Extension 335 | Mobile: 785-633-6648
http://kcsdv.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 30, 2017

 

Alliance Against Family Violence In Leavenworth, Kansas Temporarily Closed


TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) coalition member Alliance Against Family Violence (AAFV) in Leavenworth, Kansas is temporarily closed. KCSDV is working with AAFV’s Board of Directors, who are committed to reopening the victim advocacy organization as soon as possible.

Alliance Against Family Violence serves all of Leavenworth County, including the cities of Basehor, Lansing, Leavenworth, and Tonganoxie. Victims and survivors in the Leavenworth County area can call the Kansas Crisis Hotline at 888-363-2287 for help during the temporary closure. Information about sexual and domestic violence and where to find help across Kansas is on KCSDV’s website at http://kcsdv.org

Kansas Crisis Hotline: 888-END-ABUSE (888-363-2287)
24-Hour Support

“The financial issues that have resulted in the Alliance Against Family Violence (AAFV) closing are cash flow issues. Most of the major grants going to the AAFV are paid on a reimbursement basis. In other words, they have to have money in order to get money,” said Joyce Grover, Executive Director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). “Unrestricted donations for AAFV are critical right now in order to increase the cash available to reopen services.” 

People can donate online or by check. Checks should be made out to "Alliance Against Family Violence" and mailed to AAFV's mailing address:

Alliance Against Family Violence

PO Box 465

Leavenworth, Kansas 66048

 

Questions should be directed to KCSDV’s Communications Coordinator Lucca Wang at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) is Kansas’ leading statewide voice for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. KCSDV works with 27 coalition members and with partners and advocates across the state of Kansas to prevent and eliminate domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. Find more information, visit KCSDV’s website at http://kcsdv.org. Contact KCSDV by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and by phone at 785-232-9784.
The 24-hour Kansas Crisis Hotline is 888-END-ABUSE (888-363-2287).

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Updated 12/5/2017

KCSDV Mourns Death of Coalition Member Organization Staff Member Murdered by Partner

KCSDV Mourns Death of Coalition Member Organization Staff Member Murdered by Partner


Contact: Lucca Wang, Communications Coordinator, Media Contact 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office: 785-232-9784 Extension 335 | Mobile: 785-633-6648
http://kcsdv.org

KCSDV on Facebook KCSDV on Twitter KCSDV on Instagram KCSDV on Snapchat KCSDV on Linkedin KCSDV on Youtube

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 15, 2017

KCSDV Mourns Death of Coalition Member Organization Staff Member Murdered by Partner


TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) received news of Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC) Director of Outreach Perla Rodriguez’s murder on Tuesday morning. Reports indicate Perla was found dead in her home in Wichita early on Tuesday morning. It is suspected her boyfriend murdered her.

 

STATEMENT

KCSDV is saddened and shaken by the news of Perla Rodriguez’s murder. We have worked with Perla, and we work closely with the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC) as one of our coalition member organizations. This feels like a death in the family. We are thinking of her loved ones and her coworkers at WASAC.

At KCSDV, we work with domestic violence every day, yet this comes as a shock to us too. We say this with great sadness: We know that domestic violence can happen to anyone. No one is immune – not even our own victim advocates.

Domestic violence impacts so many individuals and communities across Kansas and the United States.

We are grieving her death.

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The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) is a leading statewide voice in Kansas for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. KCSDV works with 27 coalition members and with partners and advocates across the state of Kansas to prevent and eliminate domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. Find more information, visit KCSDV’s website at http://kcsdv.org. Contact KCSDV by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and by phone at 785-232-9784.
The 24-hour Kansas Crisis Hotline is 888-END-ABUSE (888-363-2287).

KCSDV on Facebook KCSDV on Twitter KCSDV on Instagram KCSDV on Snapchat KCSDV on Linkedin KCSDV on Youtube

Crime Victims’ Rights in Kansas

Robert Stephan Writing Part 3: Crime Victims’ Rights

By Robert T. Stephan, Kansas Attorney General (1979 – 1995)
September 2017

Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault always had the right to appear in court, but all too often, they were left out of proceedings when a plea was made in front of a judge. [A plea is a formal statement by or on behalf of a defendant or a prisoner, stating guilt or innocence in response to a charge, offering an allegation of fact, or claiming that a point of law should apply.] It was incumbent on [or the necessary duty or responsibility of,] the District Attorney or County Attorney to advise the victim, but unfortunately on numerous occasions this obligation was neglected. I concluded that the only way to make this occur and to make this right was to make this part of the Kansas Constitution.

As Kansas Attorney General, I set out to get grass roots support to get a victims right amendment on the ballot. I held public hearings commencing in 1988 in Wichita, Overland Park, Topeka, Garden City, Hays and Pittsburg. A Victims’ Rights Task Force was formed.

I followed the lead of President Reagan who established the President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime. He said that innocent victims of crime have been overlooked.

Four years after the task force was formed, a state Constitutional Amendment was placed on the ballot. I presented to the House and Senate Judiciary committees a petition that was signed by 4,000 Kansans. It was passed by 84% of voters. The amendment provided that victims of crime have the right to be informed of and to be present at public hearings and to be heard at sentencing. This important right to be heard was no longer optional but was a constitutional right.

States continue to pass laws meaningful to victims of sexual assault. In 2017, Kansas joined 31 other states in passing legislation allowing a judge to issue protection orders to survivors of sexual assault.

The legislature in 2017 amended the Protection from Abuse Act and Protection from Stalking or Sexual Assault to the definition of abuse, and the legislation updated the Crime Victims Compensation Bill to allow sexual assault victims the right to seek crime victims’ compensation for mental health counseling.

Derek Schmidt, the current Kansas Attorney General, has been active in ensuring senior citizens that are in need of proper care are heard. I chair the Senior Consumer Protection Advisory Committee that was established by General Schmidt. The Committee hears, among other things, neglect and abuse, theft, and fraud that occurs to senior citizens and recommends preventative action.

The Committee alerts County and District Attorneys as well as care givers for what to look in regards to financial abuse [which is one of eight, main, universal tactics of domestic violence abusers]. For example, an individual was charged in court, because they took more than $94,000 from an 87 year old woman by lying to her about the upgrade of lightning rods and the need for continued work on her home. People are warned to never open their doors to strangers. Always get references before dealing with a person or company. The Better Business Bureau should be contacted to check on a person or company.

 



Read more of Robert Stephan’s writing about his own experience of domestic violence and about creating victims’ rights constitution in Kansas.


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call a domestic violence or sexual assault organization in Kansas near you or contact national resources that are available to you.

 


Updated 11/21/2017

2017 Kansas Crime Victims Conference Speech

Crime Victims’ Rights

Former Kansas Attorney General Robert Stephan, who championed crime victims’ rights in Kansas, wrote the following speech and had planned to give it at the 2017 Kansas Crime Victims Conference but did not get the chance due to illness.

 

By Robert T. Stephan, Kansas Attorney General, 1979 – 1995
January 2017

Robert Stephan Writing Part 2: Crime Victims’ Rights

In most instances when a defendant in a criminal case where violence is involved is arrested, the victim will say that he or she looks forward to closure. The victim honestly believes that if the perpetrator is convicted they (the victim) can put the matter at rest and put the horrible experience behind them. In almost every instance they will find that there is no such thing as complete closure. The experience is going to be a living nightmare for the rest of their life. There is no way to do away with the memory of the injustice that was visited upon them.

I have lived the life of having been in a home with a father who was an alcoholic and when he was drunk, he would beat my mother into unconsciousness. For the past 80 years I have had nightmares reliving the violence. I have never had closure, and I doubt anyone who has experienced violent crime will ever have closure.

It is hard to believe anyone would oppose treating victims of crime with compassion and respect. When I proceeded to press for a victim’s rights constitutional amendment in Kansas, I was shocked this was not the case. I proceeded to form a Victims Rights Task Force in 1987 to begin the initiative for a constitutional amendment. It didn’t take long for opposition to raise its ugly head.

The president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers issued a press release stating, “By calling someone a victim of crime, you’re assuming guilt. The person may or may not be a victim. The defendant may be the victim. By letting someone sit in the courtroom, you’re saying the presumption of innocence is less important.”

What a ridiculous statement! Was she saying that the individual that said he or she was harmed should not be allowed to testify?

Even a Washington State Supreme Court Justice joined the ranks of those who believe that victims should not be a part of the judicial process.

In opposing victims’ rights amendments he said, “The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the individual against the government, and a victims’ rights amendment protects an individual against an individual. That’s not what the constitution is for.” Funny, I thought criminal statutes were there to define conduct and to help keep people safe.

I traveled to different parts of the state gathering support for a constitutional amendment and in 1989 the Kansas Legislature at my urging began passing victims’ rights legislation. The legislation included dramatic increases in funding for victim’s rights programs, a Victim’s Bill of Rights and a law that insures victims the right to be involved at all critical states of the criminal justice process.

In 1992 the Kansas legislature placed a Victims’ Rights Constitutional Amendment on the ballot. At that time only eight states had constitutional amendments. Today about 33 states are included in that list. In Kansas the amendment passed by more than 84% of the vote. The following states without constitution amendments include Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. There are about 3 currently working on it: Georgia, Maine, and Kentucky. We should continue to promote state victims’ rights constitutional amendments until it is realized in all 50 states.


Part 1 of Robert Stephan’s writing for our blog, and stay tuned for Part 3.

For more information about crime victims’ rights in Kansas, visit the Kansas State Government Attorney General’s Office website. For more information on crime victims’ rights, visit the National Crime Victim Law Institute website and the Marsy’s Law website.


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call a domestic violence or sexual assault organization in Kansas near you or contact national resources that are available to you.

An Adult Survivor’s Story of Domestic Violence

An Adult Survivor’s Story of Domestic Violence

Robert Stephan was Attorney General for Kansas in 1979 – 1995. He has been very active and involved in reform and making laws and processes better for victims and survivors in the state of Kansas.

"I thought I was dying, and I was glad. I was probably 8 or 9 years old." - Robert Stephan


By Robert Stephan, Former Kansas Attorney General
September 2017

Robert Stephan Writing Part 1

It is difficult to know how to start this story about the domestic violence in my home while I was growing up. Our family consisted of my brother and sister and me, and my Mom and dad. I am going to relate some of the violence.

My Mother, Julia Stephan, was an angel, and dad Taft, was OK when he was sober – but he was an alcoholic.  When he was drunk, he was a monster. My Mom and dad had a small neighborhood grocery store in west Wichita across the street from our house.

One of my earliest memories of violence was one night after the store was closed my dad, who was drunk, started beating up on my Mother.  I ran out of the store and climbed up a tree. I fell out of the tree, and it knocked the breath out of me.  I thought I was dying, and I was glad. I was probably 8 or 9 years old.

On another occasion, my dad was beating up my Mom at home. I ran out of the house and hid in the bushes.  Shortly my dad came out of the house, carrying my Mother, and put her in the car and drove off.  I don’t remember what happened next.

Another memory of violence occurred at my Grandparents’ home.  Mom was lying on the couch half-conscious, shouting he is going to kill me.  The police carted him off.

When I get back to Wichita, I often drive by the house where we lived.  I have been tempted to knock on the door and ask if I could see upstairs where my bedroom was.  The room was enclosed with plaster board, and I carved out a section in the attic closet where I could hide from my dad. I wonder if the entrance is still there.

Mom stayed with my dad until my sister, the youngest, graduated from high school, and then she divorced him.

She was a brilliant person and started buying old houses and an outdated trailer court, where she placed small house trailers and rented them out. She was an extremely successfully business woman.  I was blessed to have such a kind and loving Mother.

All of my adult life I have done what I can to prevent domestic violence and sexual abuse.


Stay tuned for two more pieces of writing on KCSDV’s blog by Robert Stephan.


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call a domestic violence or sexual assault organization in Kansas near you or contact national resources that are available to you.

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