Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day and Reception 2006
Putting the Spotlight on Domestic Violence
KCSDV will host its third annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day and Reception on February 9, 2006. "Our goal is to bring awareness to the public, and in particular to legislators, about the prevalence of domestic violence and sexual assault and the benefits of creating a state in which everyone is safe in their own homes and in the streets," said Sandy Barnett, executive director at KCSDV.
This year's keynote speaker will be the Rev. Al Miles, a minister and anti-violence activist. Miles will also be providing a full-day training for faith leaders, advocates, and members of the public on February 10.
He speaks frequently to nationwide audiences consisting of clergy, congregation lay leaders, and professionals from a wide variety of other fields on issues of domestic violence and teen dating abuse.
Miles is the author of three books: "Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know," "Violence in Families: What Every Christian Needs to Know," and "Ending Violence in Teen Dating Relationships: A Resource Guide for Parents and Pastors."
Safe Homes, Safe Streets activities begin at the Kansas Capitol, where KCSDV member programs will staff booths and later will visit Kansas legislators and provide education about domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
KCSDV will host a press conference at the Capitol in the morning. Invited speakers include Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Phill Kline. The day's activities conclude with an evening reception. The reception will include the presentation of the Advocate of the Year Award, recognition of advocates' years of service and the keynote address by Miles.
Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day and Reception
February 9, 2006
|Kansas Capitol, Topeka Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave.|
KCSDV and its member programs, legislators and allies from across Kansas
Member Program Booths (8:30-4 p.m.): State Capitol Building, 1st floor rotunda
Advocacy Community Loses Long-time Supporter
Katie Evans passes away
Survivors of domestic and sexual violence lost a strong ally in October when Katie Evans, co-founder of a program that helps abuse and assault victims who are living in poverty, died. She was 50 years old.
Evans, who worked for the Kansas Department Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) for more than 20 years, was named the KCSDV Advocate of the Year in 2001 for her work in creating the OARS Project, a joint project of KCSDV and SRS that provides services to survivors of violence who are receiving public assistance. She is credited with providing leadership and vision for the nationally recognized project that has helped more than 9,000 victims since its statewide inception in 2000.
"Katie was very instrumental in making the OARS project work," said Janet Schalansky, former Secretary of SRS who worked with Katie for 17 years. "She always had a very strong passion in helping these woman to get skills they needed to get off of welfare and into employment." Schalansky described Katie as creative, motivational and bright, who was always strategizing the ways SRS could help women become more independent. "She was always the person to get people together and work together on a solution," Schalansky said.
Another long-time co-worker agreed. "Katie would always bring us [SRS] back to the customer and making us cognizant of the impact the policies and procedures had on the people that we served," said Paula Gibson, who worked with Evans for 14 years at SRS. "She was our mentor in that."
Evans' ability to simultaneously address the goals of SRS and survivors' needs was extraordinary, according to Sandy Barnett, executive director at KCSDV. Barnett explained that the major challenge in creating OARS was balancing the employment goals SRS had for its clients and the safety needs of survivors, which sometimes meant putting employment-related activities on hold for a while. "Katie had a knack for bridging the gap between those two things and created a comprehensive policy that has withstood the test of time," Barnett said. "Katie did so much to help the advocacy community understand and work better with SRS and vice versa. I know she dedicated her life to helping others. Through the OARS project, she continues to help hundreds of survivors every day. We will miss her dearly."
KCSDV Collaborates on the New
Safe at Home Training Project
Domestic violence and child abuse often occur in the same home, with mothers and children being subjected to abuse at the hands of the same perpetrator. Recent studies and court decisions have highlighted this co-occurrence and the urgent need for new approaches to both issues.
To respond to these issues, KCSDV, in collaboration with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS), will carry out trainings as part of the Safe at Home Training Project. Building on the work of the multi-disciplinary, statewide Safe at Home Committee and years of collaboration with SRS, the Project will provide trainings to domestic violence advocates, child welfare professionals and other community allies across Kansas in 2006.
Trainings will highlight the need for increasing safety for adult and child victims. Nurturing the relationship between a child and a protective parent is key to a child's resiliency in the face of violence. Therefore, the project will also center on ways to strengthen the relationship between the child and the battered parent.
A team of trainers will include both domestic violence and child welfare experts from KCSDV and SRS in order to provide strategies for addressing the complex overlap of these issues.
KCSDV trainers will include Jehan Faisal, the training coordinator, and Annie McKay, the new child welfare policy coordinator, as well as other KCSDV staff. In addition, SRS is hiring a full-time trainer for this project with funding from the Rural Grant award received by KCSDV.
"Battered women's advocates and child welfare professionals working together are a powerful force to help battered mothers and their children in finding safety at home," Faisal said.
Family Violence Stamp On Sale
There is only one year left to buy the "Stop Family Violence" stamp, which is scheduled to be available for sale through December 31, 2006.
This stamp marks just the third time in U.S. Postal Service history to have a stamp's net proceeds earmarked for a specified cause. Eight cents from the sale of each stamp goes to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services for domestic violence programs.
Since its release on October 11, 2003, more than 25 million stamps have been sold, which has raised more than two million dollars for domestic violence programs.
With approximately 100 million stamps left to sell, there is a potential to raise another eight million dollars.
- Price: 45 cents
- Donation: 8 cents from the sale of each stamp goes to domestic violence programs
- Purchase by phone: 1-800-STAMP-24
- Purchase online: www.usps.com/shop.
- Purchase at your local post office.
KCSDV and Kansas Legal Services (KLS) have received their first-ever collaborative grant from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. In an effort to improve the delivery of legal services to sexual assault and domestic violence victims across Kansas, the two organizations received funding for a collaborative Legal Assistance to Victims Project that will not only fund direct legal representation but will also look closely at the problems, possibilities and solutions in how those services are delivered.
The bulk of the grant is funding on-going direct legal assistance to victims, a service that KLS provides. This representation of victims will include critical legal assistance in areas such as protection orders, divorce, child custody matters, and housing issues.
Additionally, KCSDV received funding under the grant to hire two employees for the grant's two other projects —an immigration project and a coordinating committee project. The immigration project funds Deanne Flickinger, an attorney with immigration expertise, who will work to raise the competency of family law and immigration attorneys around the issue of sexual and domestic violence.
"Immigrant and foreign-born women are particularly vulnerable and this project will help attorneys learn to spot additional legal issues and improve representation of this population," said Joyce Grover, attorney and legal advocacy coordinator at KCSDV.
The Legal Services Coordinating Committee and its coordinator, Jean Rosenthal, will work to address and improve the delivery of legal services to victims of sexual and domestic violence. The committee will include practitioners from across the state to review the delivery of legal services to victims of sexual and domestic violence, to determine where the strengths of the service delivery lie, and to identify weaknesses that can be improved. The committee will also be reviewing how and where legal services to sexual assault victims are needed and will focus on how to improve services to that population. Rosenthal will also assist in completing a legal advocacy manual that will be used by legal service providers and advocates across the state.
Domestic Violence Prevention Project Update
After two years of studying the issue, carefully planning an approach, and beginning implementation, the hard work of the five DELTA communities in Kansas is evident.
>DELTA stands for Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances Program, and it seeks to help communities develop and implement plans for the prevention of domestic violence as a complement to existing intervention services.
"Each community has its own special challenges and assets, so prevention takes a different form for each," said Deborah Zelli, domestic violence prevention coordinator at KCSDV. "What is the same is the dedication and energy each community has devoted to creating a change."
For example, in Wichita, a community member has formed a men's anti-violence group. In Liberal, the Community Response Committee is working on bringing Don McPherson, an anti-violence educator, to town. In Bourbon and Geary counties, school personnel are preparing to deliver the Safe Dates curriculum. In Lyon County, the coordinated community response team and the local Delta coordinator are working with several local school districts to help them design a prevention program that will work to change attitudes by addressing the topic from multiple levels the individual, the relationship, and the community.
Kansas is one of 14 states to receive DELTA funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are five DELTA sites in Kansas, which pairs a KCSDV member program with a local community group in Emporia, Junction City, Liberal, Pittsburg, and Wichita. "While we've only been able to work in a handful of communities in Kansas so far, we hope that the lessons we're learning on this project will facilitate prevention work across the state and the nation," Zelli said.
KCSDV Welcomes. . .
Jean Rosenthal is a social justice activist and has been involved with domestic violence and human rights issues for many years. She has been employed with University of Kansas Continuing Education and with the Lied Center assisting in corporate sponsorship and membership development. Jean will be coordinating the Legal Services Coordinating Committee on the Legal Assistance to Victims Project.
Deanne Flickinger has worked with immigrants and foreign-born clients in a variety of settings from Nicaragua to Kansas City. Deanne graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1995 and has practiced as a public defender and as an immigration attorney/migrant advocate. She has also worked on the grassroots level to accompany immigrant and foreign-born women's groups as they begin to organize for self and community empowerment. Deanne will be the Immigration Project attorney on the Legal Assistance to Victims Project.
Debby Zelli joined KCSDV in October and serves as the Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinator. Prior to taking on prevention work at the state level, Debby worked as a local DELTA coordinator for SOS in Emporia and with the SRS safety and accountability assessment team with KCSDV. She has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and has been active in the women's movement for many years.
Annie McKay comes to KCSDV with experience in sexual assault advocacy, disaster relief work and tenure as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Annie recently received her MA from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She spent some of her time in Chicago working with a sexual assault program and with teen moms who were attending an alternative high school. Annie will be working as the Child Welfare Policy Coordinator and collaborating on the Safe at Home Training Project.
Hope & Power in a Kansas City Program
Program teaches financial literacy to survivors
Women often face multiple barriers in their efforts to obtain financial freedom and education. Financial matters become much more difficult when compounded with the need to protect oneself from an abusive partner.
With this understanding, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the National Endowment for Financial Education developed the program "Hope & Power for Your Personal Finances: A Rebuilding Guide Following Domestic Violence."
With a grant from SkillBuilders, a Kansas City foundation that encourages the empowerment of women and young girls, Si Se Puede ("Yes, We Can"), a KCSDV member program serving Kansas City, started its first nine-week Esperanza y Poder ("Hope and Power") course. The first group of nine women graduated in December.
Participants have learned about a variety of financial issues that can affect their financial success and freedom, such as budgeting, identity theft, banking, predatory lending, violence in the workplace, housing, and credit.
"I can see the change in the participants already," said Elena Morales, program director of Si Se Puede, adding that participants' excitement about what they're learning have made for lively discussions. "I can see the impact of the program."
Si Se Puede has enhanced the national curriculum by bringing in local experts, such as having the bilingual housing specialist from public housing present. But the program goes beyond the basics of financial literacy because safety issues are consistently being assessed. For example, when the class discussed the various types of bank accounts, they also talked about where to have the bank statement sent in a way that would not jeopardize safety.
Jerry Moran Speaks About Domestic Violence
The following are excerpts from a speech by Rep. Jerry Moran, given on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on October 17, 2005, in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Moran highlights Emporia SOS, Inc., a member program of KCSDV. The full text of the speech can be found under the "Speeches" link on Moran's website: www.house.gov/moranks01.
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Thankfully, we have made progress in raising awareness and attention of domestic violence and providing assistance to the affected victims. However, it is a problem that has not gone away.
In my small hometown of Plainville, Kansas, a family grieves over the loss of their daughter. Patty Kruse-Hicks, a kind, loving daughter, and a devoted mother to her three children, lost her life due to domestic violence. On April 19, 2004, the world changed forever for her family and all who loved her. Patty is more than a statistic, and her legacy and love will live on in the hearts of all who knew her. Too often we think an act of domestic violence does not occur on our street, in our hometown, or to people and families that we know, but this act of violence tells me no street, no community, no hometown is immune.
While the realities of domestic violence are grim, we have hope. Hope is what sustains and motivates the nine domestic violence service centers I represent in my rural, 69-county district. These agencies help advocate for victims, provide essential services, and spearhead efforts to increase domestic violence awareness throughout the most rural parts of Kansas.
I would like to highlight one such effort. In Emporia, the SOS, Inc. agency recently partnered with the Girl Scout Council of the Flint Hills, and its group Studio 2B, including 40 girls, ranging in age from 11 to 17 years old. This collaborative effort focused on teaching these youth about domestic violence and the legal system. The highlight of this yearlong project was a 'mock trial event' that the youth participated in during the month of September. The Studio 2B girls were the defense and prosecution teams, the jury, and even the victims of the crimes. This project was supported by the legal community as many lawyers and judges gave their time to work with these girl scouts. This project taught the participants that domestic violence is not OK and that our communities should take it very seriously. This project was a one-of-a-kind experience for these girls and has garnered national attention.
While I am proud to recognize these local efforts, we must remember that the federal government has a role to play as well. Most domestic violence centers rely primarily on grants and local donations. Federal grants made under the Violence Against Women Act provide essential funds for support services and shelter operations. We must continue to ensure that our shelters and crisis centers receive adequate funding.
I commend those who work every day to help victims of domestic violence, especially those who work in the nine service areas of my district, Dodge City, Emporia, Garden City, Hays, Hutchinson, Liberal, Salina, and Ulysses.
One Survivor Speaks
The following are comments from a survivor of domestic violence now living in Kansas who wrote them to show her support of the Violence Against Women Act, which is up for reauthorization this year. KCSDV thanks Barbara Tamburo for granting permission to publish her words in full.
To begin, allow me to tell the short version of a long story. In 1979 I ran with two children (ages 1 and 6) from California to Arizona. Once there I made no friends because I was too afraid to tell anyone who we were or where we came from. For 17 years (YES, 17 YEARS) my babies and I lived in hiding, my children going to school with names that didn't belong to them. Are you asking yourself 'why?' Because there was NO safe place to go, no shelter to live in (we lived in a state park in a truck that leaked from the top of the uninsulated camper shell onto us while we slept).
I bought a squeegee, a bucket and some sponges and walked through the streets of Encinitas, Calif., and begged people to let me wash the windows of their businesses—I needed money to feed my kids and be able to stay another night in the park in the hopes that my abuser would not find me so that he could finish the job of killing me in front of my children.
The last severe abuse incident happened on September 18, 1978. It took me until April of 1979 to make my final get-away—do you know that the whites of my eyes were still red in places from the broken blood vessels? The eight-inch cut on my leg had finally quit oozing but it was still very red and tender. The knots in each side of my temples would not go away and I was afraid to visit a doctor for fear he would find me. My face was no longer the size of a basketball, nor was it unrecognizable to me.
There was still no safe place to go. You may wonder why he beat me this last time. It was because I had left him before and he was sure I left him for another man. The last thing I wanted was another man or even another human being to get next to me. I was afraid of everything and everyone.
There is so much more to this story that would not be there if there had been a shelter in 1973 for me to go to when all the abuse began, but there was no safe place to go—no shelters, no hotlines, no outreach counseling for women who were beaten by a significant other in their lives. Granted, I rose above it and became the woman I am today. It took me many years (until I was almost 40 years old) to no longer be afraid and to go out and go after what I wanted. It all began at the young age of 19.
Today I work in a domestic violence shelter. I own my own catering business and am a grandmother of three. I see my children (now 27 and 32) struggling with the past. The main reason I finally took a stand and hid all those years was because I didn't want my son to grow up believing that it was OK for men to hit women, nor did I want my daughter to believe it was OK for women to be beaten by men. That part worked. Neither one of them believe in the beating of women for any reason.
I am asking you to please help to get VAWA reauthorized so that it can continue to save women and children from the people who beat them, sometimes until death. I was one of the lucky ones who survived without any outside help.
Thank you for reading this. I hope you feel my inner peace, a peace that results from the fact that women today have a safe place to go.
Possible Funding for Sexual Assault Victims
Editor's Note: At the time the newsletter went to press, the Violence Against Women Act had not been reauthorized by Congress. If Congress fails to reauthorize VAWA, the Sexual Assault Services Act will not exist.
If Congress reauthorizes VAWA, then it will have created the first federal funding stream dedicated to the provision of direct services for victims of sexual violence.
The Sexual Assault Services Act (SASA) creates this funding stream, which provides money for not only general intervention and advocacy services to victims, but also provides funding to state sexual assault coalitions to provide training and technical assistance relating to sexual assault.
Sexual Assault Services Act
- A proposed part of the Violence Against Women Act 2005
- First federal funding dedicated entirely to provide direct services to victims of sexual assault
- For more information, visit www.vawa2005.org
Disability Project Continues
KCSDV is able to maintain a collaborative project that improves accessibility and services to persons with disabilities who are victims of sexual and domestic violence because of a grant awarded by the Statewide Independent Living Council of Kansas (SILCK). This project, a collaborative partnership between KCSDV, the Kansas Association of Centers for Independent Living and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, was originally founded in 2000 and funded in 2001 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.
The grant from SILCK will help maintain project activities such as coordination of services, training and technical assistance to advocacy programs and allies, while waiting to reapply when new funding becomes available.
For more information about the project contact Stacey Mann at KCSDV at 785-232-9784 or Stephanie Sanford at the Prairie Independent Living Resource Center at 620-663-3989.
Part of Kansas' Romeo and Juliet Law Declared Unconstitutional
Most of us remember the story line of Romeo and Juliet where the relationship between the teens, disapproved of by families, ended in the tragic death of both.
While the story line is not the same, Kansas has its own Romeo and Juliet story. In 1999, the Kansas legislature passed what has become known as the "Romeo and Juliet" statute. Its purpose was to punish less severely certain sexual contact between teens and young people who fell within certain categories. A recent Kansas Supreme Court case, State v. Limon (decided October 21, 2005), has found a portion of that statute unconstitutional.
Also known as "unlawful voluntary sexual relations" or as K.S.A. 21-3522, the Romeo and Juliet statute applied to voluntary sexual intercourse, sodomy, or lewd touching when, at the time of the incident, (1) the victim is a child 14 or 15 years old; (2) the offender is less than 19 years old and less than four years older than the victim; (3) the victim and offender are the only ones involved; and (4) the victim and offender are members of the opposite sex.
When the Romeo and Juliet statute applies, prison terms are shorter and other consequences, such as post-release supervision periods and sex offender registration requirements, are less harsh than when general rape, sodomy, and lewd touching statutes apply.
In the Limon case, the defendant had engaged in voluntary sexual conduct with another resident of a group home. Both were within the age ranges addressed by the Romeo and Juliet statute but because they were of the same gender, Limon was convicted of criminal sodomy and eventually sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence (260 months) with the requirement that he register as a persistent sex offender upon his release. Limon argued that the law was unconstitutional because it treated same-gender sexual conduct differently than it did opposite-gender sexual conduct. After a lengthy appeals process that took the case up to the United States Supreme Court and back, justices of the Kansas Supreme Court unanimously agreed with Limon's argument.
Relying on U.S. Supreme Court case law, the Kansas Court struck the portion of the statute exempting same-gender conduct, finding it to be unconstitutional and a violation of the Kansas and U.S. Constitutions' Equal Protection Clauses. Limon's conviction for criminal sodomy was also reversed and the Court ordered the prosecutor to decide within 30 days whether Limon should be recharged under the constitutional version of the statute. At the time the newsletter went to press, Limon had been released, after having served a much longer prison term than had he originally been charged under the Romeo and Juliet law.
To read the Court's opinion, visit www.kscourts.org and click on "Published opinions."
Hot Topic: Convicted sex offenders
The recent media attention around convicted sex offenders has heightened public concern about keeping communities safe.
"Communities must begin to work together to address the concerns about convicted sex offenders and we must also strengthen our efforts to better identify and prevent sexual violence," said Stacey Mann, advocacy services coordinator at KCSDV.
No doubt community and victim safety and the management of convicted sex offenders is complex. In fact, KCSDV participates in the Kansas Department of Correction's (KDOC) Sex Offender Statewide Collaboration Team, a group that works to address sex offender assessment, management and treatment on a statewide level. Review of sex offender management practices is occurring in a number of states and is supported by the Center for Sex Offender Management, a project of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs.
Members of the team include Mann, sex offender treatment providers, researchers from the University of Kansas, the Secretary of KDOC, and KDOC personnel from victim's services and parole.
The Team and the Center for Sex Offender Management strongly advocate specialized treatment and adequate supervision, so that convicted sex offenders can be managed safely in communities.
Mann cautioned that convicted sex offenders make up only a small percentage of sex offenders. She cited a 1993 Senate Judiciary Committee report stating that just two percent of reported sexual assaults end in conviction. "Couple the low rate of conviction with the fact that sexual assault is widely under-reported, and we can be sure that there are many sex offenders already living undetected in our communities," Mann said. "Of those detected sex offenders, or convicted sex offenders, we know that most will get out of prison at some point and many will return to their original communities."
"Community collaboration and public education around the impact of sexual violence on victims, victim's families and the whole community, in addition to the issue of convicted sex offenders, are essential for victim and community safety," Mann said.
For information about convicted sex offenders contact Stacey Mann at KCSDV at 785-232-9784.
TRAININGS & EVENTS
No trainings sceduled
Safe Homes, Safe Streets '06
Awareness Day and Reception
Putting the Spotlight on Domestic Violence
Training: Uniting Against Domestic Violence: Advocacy and Communities of Faith
Speaker: Rev. Al Miles
Audience: KCSDV Member Program Advocates, clergy and lay people and other allies
Sexual Assault Advocacy Course
Audience: Advocates and allies
For further information and registration for KCSDV and other trainings, visit our Trainings page.
This newsletter and KCSDV brochures are available online at: www.kcsdv.org/resources/newsletters.html
Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. The safest way to find information on the internet is to use a computer at a local library, a friend's house, an Internet Cafe or at work. For more information about internet and communication technology safety, go to: www.kcsdv.org/safetynews.html
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