Community Development - Reaching out to Rural Kansas
Sexual and domestic violence advocates in Kansas have long identified social and geographical isolation as primary barriers for rural survivors. While a sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy program serves each county in Kansas, rural advocacy programs often serve multiple counties over long distances with minimal staff. This means that Kansas advocates and the survivors they serve often have to travel long distances for services, making appropriate responses and community collaborations to address these issues even more critical.
To strengthen collaboration efforts and improve systems’ responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking, KCSDV partners with rural Kansas advocacy programs to establish or enhance collaborations between the advocacy program and law enforcement, prosecutors, faith leaders, child welfare, and other community members and leaders and to incorporate best-practice responses. To date, the KCSDV Rural Collaboration Development Project has worked in Concordia, Hutchinson, Osage City, and McPherson. By facilitating community assessments, dialogues, and training, responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking in rural communities are improved and meaningful collaborations are developed or strengthened.
National award honors Wichita advocate as leader in sexual violence prevention
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s (NSVRC) annual Visionary Voice Award recognizes creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence.
Mary Stolz-Newton of Wichita was honored as the recipient of the 2014 Visionary Voice Award by NSVRC in partnership with KCSDV. Stolz-Newton was among 29 individuals recognized across the country for their efforts to address sexual violence and promote safe, healthy communities.
Stolz-Newton, assistant director of the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC), has advocated on behalf of survivors and to end sexual violence for almost a decade.