Blue Cross and Blue Shield Employee Recognized

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Marlou Wegener pic

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Employee Receives Award

TOPEKA, KS, May 2, 2014 — Marlou Wegener, employed with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) as manager of community relations and chief operating officer of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation, received the State Level Ally of the Year Award from the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) at their Empower Gala last Friday night.

The KCSDV State Level Ally of the Year is given to someone who demonstrates a commitment to enhancing victim safety, increasing perpetrator accountability, or working to end or prevent sexual or domestic violence, stalking or dating violence in Kansas. Award winners show sustained leadership and public service in efforts that are consistent with victim-centered, empowerment-based advocacy.

Ms. Wegener has worked with KCSDV for many years in its efforts to increase public awareness and to increase the understanding of the challenges victims face. She has been involved with the statewide Safe Homes Safe Streets awareness event for the last 11 years, often acting as the emcee. Two years ago she served on a committee to recognize the 30th anniversary of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV).

Ms. Wegener has also been a leader in recognizing the importance of a workplace response to domestic violence. With her assistance, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas was one of the first major employers in the state to implement a workplace policy on domestic violence. She has assisted with efforts to encourage other employers to do the same. Ms. Wegener recognized the critical nature of financial stability for victims. Additionally, she understands the long- and short-term health consequences that domestic and sexual violence has on individuals and on our broader society.

“Ms. Wegener exemplifies everything a state level ally can be,” said Joyce Grover, executive director of KCSDV. “Marlou has helped many Kansans recognize the importance of addressing domestic and sexual violence in our workplaces, in our communities, and in our families,” Grover said, “we can’t do this work without community partners like Marlou Wegener.”

Ms. Wegener received the award at the organization’s Empower Gala held in Topeka on April 25. Nearly 400 people attended the fundraising event.

 

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Founded in 1982, the purpose of KCSDV is the prevention and elimination of sexual and domestic violence through a statewide network of programs providing support and safety for all victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, with primary focus on women and their children; direct services; public awareness and education; advocacy for victims; comprehensive prevention; and, social change efforts. Learn more at www.kcsdv.org.

 

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Wichita Advocate Honored Nationally

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National award honors Wichita advocate as leader in sexual violence prevention

TOPEKA, KS, April 9, 2014 - April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In observance, 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 the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). Stolz-Newton was among 29 individuals recognized 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.

“The Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center is honored to have one of our staff recognized nationally for her work,” said Kathy Williams, WASAC executive director. “Mary and other advocates offer the support and hope that sexual assault survivors need for rebuilding their lives.”

Stolz-Newton facilitates yoga groups and develops creative ways to help survivors heal from the sexual violence they have experienced. She trains other professionals and works on other sexual violence intervention and prevention efforts within the Wichita community and across Kansas. Stolz-Newton is a graduate from Kansas State University and holds a Master of Social Work from Wichita State University.

“The impact of these individuals and programs is vital to sexual violence prevention,” said Karen Baker, NSVRC Director. “Celebrating these successes and honoring voices on a national level reminds us we can all play a role in positively changing our communities.”

“There is great work happening in Kansas communities to address sexual violence,” said Joyce Grover, KCSDV executive director. “Mary is part of that work and the Coalition is honored to partner with NSVRC and WASAC to recognize her dedication and creativity during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.” KCSDV nominated Stolz-Newton for the award.

 

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Founded in 1982, the purpose of KCSDV is the prevention and elimination of sexual and domestic violence through a statewide network of programs providing support and safety for all victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, with primary focus on women and their children; direct services; public awareness and education; advocacy for victims; comprehensive prevention; and, social change efforts. Learn more at www.kcsdv.org.

The Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center is a member of KCSDV and provides services to victims of sexual violence in Wichita and Sedgwick county. Learn more at wichitasac.com

 

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April 2014 Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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Kansas Observes April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Topeka, KS – 4-1-2014— The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) welcomes April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual violence is one of the most insidious crimes impacting women, children and men across the state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment report that nearly 1 in 10 women in the United States and in Kansas has been raped by an intimate partner or someone else in her lifetime. Much of the sexual violence experienced by women and men occurred before the age of 18. Every year, at least 1,100 rapes are reported to law enforcement in Kansas.

Rape and sexual violence have long-term health consequences. Sexual assault victims carry the physical and emotional trauma with them for years, many having increased health problems across their life spans. A recently released report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported that the likelihood of reporting fair to poor health was twice as high with rape victims as with those who had not reported prior sexual violence. Statistically supported chronic health conditions reported by victims included asthma, arthritis, COPD, and high cholesterol. Those who have food and housing insecurity are particularly at risk, the research shows.

"Through the month of April, we hope Kansans will observe Sexual Assault Awareness Month by learning about how this issue impacts them," said Joyce Grover, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. "Rape is one of the most underreported crimes we know of so the 1,100 rapes in Kansas is the tip of the iceberg," Grover stated, "We thank Governor Sam Brownback for signing a declaration that recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Kansas. Every one of us is impacted by rape and sexual violence: whether it is because we are afraid to walk or live alone, because we live in a culture where victims are too often blamed for being raped; or, because we spend untold numbers of dollars on responding to and recovering from sexual violence," said Grover.

Learn more about what you can do, and find a list of statewide events at kcsdv.org or check with your local DV/SA program. Join the conversation at facebook.com/kcsdv.

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PDF of Proclamation

About KCSDV

Founded in 1982, the purpose of KCSDV is the prevention and elimination of sexual and domestic violence through a statewide network of programs providing support and safety for all victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, with primary focus on women and their children; direct services; public awareness and education; advocacy for victims; comprehensive prevention; and, social change efforts. Learn more at www.kcsdv.org.

Nationwide Survey Reveals Urgent Need for Increased Funding for Domestic Violence Service Providers

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Nearly 66,000 Domestic Violence Victims Helped On a Single Day, But Almost 10,000 Requests for Help Go Unanswered

Topeka, KS – March 10, 2014— The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released a new research report last week that found, in a single 24-hour period, more than 66,000 victims of domestic violence received help and support from service organizations in the United States, yet nearly 10,000 more who needed assistance could not be helped due to a lack of adequate resources.

In Kansas, 727 victims of domestic violence received services in that 24-hour period, but 296 could not be helped because local programs here in Kansas did not have sufficient resources, of which 83 were for emergency shelter.

“We are very concerned that victims cannot receive all the services they need in their own community. The number of victims who had to be referred elsewhere is more than twice what it was the year before. This is unacceptable,” said Joyce Grover, executive director for the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). All Kansas domestic violence programs participated in this study conducted by NNEDV. “Reductions in funding, not enough staff, and reduced donations to Kansas domestic violence programs were among the top causes of these unmet requests for help,” said Grover.

“The report, “Domestic Violence Counts 2013: A 24-hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services,” examined a random day, September 17, 2013, and collected information from 1,649 domestic violence programs throughout the United States from midnight to midnight on that day. It identifies needs that were met and unmet on that day and provides a snapshot of how budget cuts are affecting the staffing and resources of these organizations.

Key findings for Kansas include this 24-hour data from September 17, 2013:

  • 727 domestic violence victims and their children received services in just one day.
  • 333 calls to domestic violence hotlines were answered.
  • 384 individuals were educated on domestic violence during trainings conducted by programs.

“Every day in this country, victims of domestic violence are bravely reaching out for help, and it’s essential that they have somewhere safe to go,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the NNEDV. “We have made so much progress toward ending violence and giving survivors avenues for safety. But continued program cuts jeopardize that progress and jeopardize the lives of victims.”

When program providers were asked what most likely happens when services are not available, 60% said the most likely outcome was that victims returned to their abusers, 27% said the victims become homeless, and 11% said that victims end up living in their cars.

“Kansas has seen an increase in referrals to domestic violence programs through community initiatives such as lethality screening and referral by law enforcement,” said Grover. “While these initiatives are critical and can be life-saving, they are often unfunded without adequate resources to meet the need.”

In 2013, 1,696 staff positions were cut by domestic violence programs nationwide due to funding reductions, an average of 1.2 staff per program. Of the staff cut in 2013, 70% were direct service positions, such as advocates, shelter staff, and child advocates. In Kansas, domestic violence programs have also experienced staff cuts and continue to try to meet an increased demand for services with fewer resources.

“When one in four murders in Kansas is related to domestic violence and the number of domestic violence incidents reported to law enforcement is at a 20 year high, more attention and resources must be dedicated to these essential, life-saving services,” said Grover.

Download the full “Domestic Violence Counts 2013” census report, including the Kansas census summary at www.nnedv.org/census.

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Contact for KCSDV: Joyce Grover, o: 785-232-9784 c: 785-231-8933; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact for NNEDV: Monica McLaughlin, 202-543-5566; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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About KCSDV

Founded in 1982, the purpose of KCSDV is the prevention and elimination of sexual and domestic violence through a statewide network of programs providing support and safety for all victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, with primary focus on women and their children; direct services; public awareness and education; advocacy for victims; comprehensive prevention; and, social change efforts. Learn more at www.kcsdv.org.

Soroptimist International of Hays honored with Award

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Coalition awards its Community Ally of the Year Award

Topeka, Kan., February 20, 2014— Soroptimist International of Hays, Kansas has received the Community Ally of the Year Award by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV).

The service club was awarded the honor during KCSDV’s 11th Annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day and Sunflower Safety Breakfast event in Topeka in February. Olivia Becker, President of Soroptimist International of Hays, attended the event and accepted the award on the club’s behalf.

Since 1995, KCSDV has been recognizing outstanding advocates and allies who are working to enhance victim safety, to increase perpetrator accountability, and to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in Kansas.

“Soroptimist International of Hays has been an ally to us and our work for over 20 years,” said Charlotte Linsner, executive director of Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Inc., an agency serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Norton, Osborne, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego, and Wallace counties. Options nominated Soroptimist International of Hays for the award.

“Their mission of providing public service to the community is solidified through their many projects which include education and mobilization, awareness and prevention efforts, leadership, and helping Options continue to provide domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy services,” said Linsner. “They are extremely dedicated women who support Options and the betterment of life for victims.”

“Options has a small staff with a huge service area of 18 counties in northwest Kansas,” said Joyce Grover, executive director of KCSDV. “Soroptimist International of Hays continues to support Options, helping advocates provide life-saving services to victims. It is this type of community service organization that deserves the Community Ally of the Year Award,” said Grover.

Soroptimist International of Hays regularly helps Options with their community service, education, and awareness events, including the Walk-Away-5K, the annual garage sale, the “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes” event on Fort Hays State University campus, and much more.

“Options’ board of directors and staff cannot begin to thank each and every Soroptimist member for their dedication to our agency, willingness to act when asked, and their understanding of victims’ needs. We congratulate them on receiving the 2014 Ally of the Year Award from KCSDV,” said Linsner.

Other award winners at this year’s event included Shirley Collins from Overland Park for the Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award; Helen LaValley from Overland Park for the Volunteer of the Year Award; and Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s Victim Services Program project called SAFESTAR for the Project of the Year Award.

Photos available upon request.

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Founded in 1982, the purpose of KCSDV is the prevention and elimination of sexual and domestic violence through a statewide network of programs providing support and safety for all victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, with primary focus on women and their children; direct services; public awareness and education; advocacy for victims; comprehensive prevention; and, social change efforts. Learn more at www.kcsdv.org.

Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Inc. is a member of KCSDV and provides services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Norton, Osborne, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego, and Wallace counties. Learn more at www.help4abuse.org/.

<PDF of this release

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Employee Recognized

05-06-2014

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Employee Receives Award TOPEKA, KS, May 2, 2014 — Marlou Wegener, employed with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) as manager of community relations and chief operating officer of the Blue Cross...

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Wichita Advocate Honored Nationally

04-09-2014

National award honors Wichita advocate as leader in sexual violence prevention TOPEKA, KS, April 9, 2014 - April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In observance, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s (NSVRC) annual Visionary Voice Award recognizes creativity and hard...

Read more

April 2014 Sexual Assault Awareness Month

04-01-2014

Kansas Observes April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month Topeka, KS – 4-1-2014— The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) welcomes April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual violence is one of the most insidious crimes impacting women,...

Read more

Nationwide Survey Reveals Urgent Need for Increased Funding for Domestic Violence Service Providers

03-10-2014

Nearly 66,000 Domestic Violence Victims Helped On a Single Day, But Almost 10,000 Requests for Help Go Unanswered Topeka, KS – March 10, 2014— The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released a new research report last week that found,...

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Soroptimist International of Hays honored with Award

02-20-2014

Coalition awards its Community Ally of the Year Award Topeka, Kan., February 20, 2014— Soroptimist International of Hays, Kansas has received the Community Ally of the Year Award by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). The service club was...

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Overland Park Therapist, SAFEHOME Organization Volunteer Receive Statewide Honors

02-20-2014

Topeka, KS, 2/20/2014 - An Overland Park therapist and volunteer with an organization working on behalf of victims of domestic violence have been recognized by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). Shirley Collins was presented with the...

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Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Honored with Statewide Award

02-20-2014

Coalition awards its Project of the Year Award Topeka, Kan., February 20, 2014— The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Victim Services program has received the Project of the Year Award by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV). Prairie Band...

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National Speaker Addresses Statewide Audience on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

02-12-2014

Topeka, KS, 2/12/2014-Kim Gandy, CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence from Washington, D.C. will be in Kansas on Thursday, speaking at the Sunflower Safety Breakfast as part of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence’s 11th...

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KCSDV Hosts National Consultant for Training on Sexual Assault in the Military

02-11-2014

Topeka, KS, 2/11/2014 - Pamela Jacobs, J.D., national consultant specializing in sexual assault and domestic violence intervention and prevention, will be in Topeka on Wednesday to present the training, “The Hidden Wounds of War: Responding to Sexual Assault in the...

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2014 Budget Restores & Increases Resources for Victims

01-17-2014

But funding still woefully inadequate to meet victims’ needs Washington, DC, 1/17/2014 - Last night Congress passed a 2014 funding bill, restoring significant cuts that had been imposed through sequestration last year. The measure commits increased resources to the Violence Against...

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January is National Stalking Awareness Month

01-02-2014

Topeka, KS, 1/02/2014 - January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affects 6.6 million victims in one year.1 This year’s theme—"Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It."— challenges the nation to fight this...

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