Spring 2012 Newsletter - Page 4

Program Highlight: Take Back the Night in Emporia

Take Back the Night was held on April 3rd in Webb Hall on Emporia State University's campus. The event was co-sponsored by Greek Life, Panhellenic Association, and SOS.

Take Back the Night is an event designed to bring awareness and empowerment to individuals and to bring an end to violence against women, specifically sexual assault.

Aneta Bodkin was the keynote speaker. Bodkin said that the human spirit is stronger than just about any situation and people can overcome situations from the past. They need not carry guilt or shame.

Several college students came forward to take back their voice and share their experience of childhood sexual abuse and rape. One participant said, "It's amazing that so many people came forward to share their stories, it's so brave, and so sad that in one room there are probably many more that did not choose to share. I'm glad I was here."

KCSDV begins Legal Assistance to Victims (LAV) Project with Focus on Sexual Assault

KCSDV recently began providing legal services to survivors through the Legal Assistance to Victims (LAV) Project. The LAV project is intended to provide holistic legal representation to sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking victims at little or no cost to the client. Project staff includes Gary West, Senior Counsel for Legal Projects, Kursten Phelps, Immigration Project Attorney, Stephine Bowman, Protection Order Attorney, Shelby Grau, JD, Project Coordinator, and Jessica Vanderweide, Special Immigrant Legal Advocate.


Representation by an LAV attorney is limited to civil legal matters. The project has a special focus on developing legal representation for victims and survivors of sexual assault. Civil cases under this grant may include but are not limited to: civil protection orders, divorce, custody/visitation, paternity, immigration, disability, crime victim compensation, housing, employment, education, Title IX, name change, consumer, and administrative agency matters.

Survivors needing legal services should work with their local domestic violence/sexual assault program to complete and submit an application to the LAV team. All forms and information necessary to complete an application is available on the KCSDV member program pages at www.kcsdv.org. The project attorneys and staff are very excited to begin providing these much-needed services to survivors and to developing more legal representation for sexual assault survivors!

Pictured from left: Shelby Grau, JD, LAV Project Coordinator, Jessica Vanderweide, Special Immigrant Legal Advocate, Kursten Phelps, Immigration Project Attorney, Sara Zafar, Staff Attorney, Stephine Bowman, Protection Order Attorney, Gary West, Senior Counsel for Legal Projects.

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