Blue Cross and Blue Shield Employee Recognized

kscoalition190x43

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.

 

###

 

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.

 

PDF of this release

Wichita Advocate Honored Nationally

kscoalition190x43

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.

 

###

 

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

 

PDF of this release

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

kscoalition190x43

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.

- ### -

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.

PDF of this release

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.

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...

Read more

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

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,...

Read more

Join the Conversation

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube!
Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  YouTube

Signup for our E-Newsletter

Receive the KCSDV quarterly newsletter and/or media alerts.

Subscribe

Donate Now

Your donation will provide long-term support for KCSDV.

Donate now