Spring 2004 Newsletter
ENDING SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
KCSDV held its first annual “Safe Homes, Safe Streets” Awareness Day and Reception in February. It was a huge success, with 25 member programs attending the day’s events and more than 350 people attending the evening reception. The day began early with advocates heading to the Capitol to set up display tables. After a presentation about sexual assault and domestic violence initiatives that were making their way through the Legislature, more than 60 advocates headed off to visit legislators and their staff about the work they were doing back home.
Many of Governor Sebelius’ Cabinet, as well as the Kansas Attorney General, joined us for a press conference in the afternoon. Speaking at the media event were: Victor Rivers, actor and activist; Sandy Barnett, KCSDV Executive Director; Ruth Williams, Kansas Federation of Business & Professional Women; Juliene Maska, Governor’s Federal Grants Office; Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline; Secretary Janet Schalansky, Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services; Secretary Roderick Brembry, Department of Health and Environment; Secretary Jim Garner, Kansas Department of Human Resources; and Secretary Pamela Johnson-Betts, Department on Aging. Each speaker shared his or her passion and commitment to ending violence against women and children.
The day concluded with a reception at Jayhawk Towers, where more than 350 people gathered to recognize special accomplishments of advocates across the state during the past year. Congressman Jerry Moran, just in from Washington, was even able to drop by. One of the evening’s feature events was the presentation of the “Juliene Maska Advocate of the Year” award to Secretary Janet Schalansky in recognition of her agency’s efforts to enhance their capacity to provide appropriate services to women whose lives have been affected by domestic or sexual violence.
Victor Rivers, actor and spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence, concluded the evening and the day’s events with his inspirational remarks. Rivers, who grew up abused and watching his mother be abused, spoke of his childhood and the countless acts of violence he both witnessed and received. He moved the audience with his heroic story of survival and perseverance, as well as his appreciation for the many members of his community who both protected him and believed in him as a youth. He encouraged everyone to reach out to both children and women who are victims of domestic violence. Rivers’ story affirmed our belief that protecting mothers who are battered will also provide protection for their children. Rivers’ dedication to victims and his devotion to this issue is profound.
“Safe Homes, Safe Streets 2004” would not have been successful without the sponsorship and support of the following people, businesses and organizations: Mary Kay, Inc.; Goose One & Goose Too; Ault’s Academy of Art; Bank of America; Boston Market; Planet Sub; Mr. Goodcents; and Schlotzky’s. KCSDV is grateful for their support and contributions.
KCSDV awarded Janet Schalansky, Secretary for Social and Rehabilitation Services, the 2004 Juliene Maska Advocate of the Year award for her work assisting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who receive services from SRS.
Schalansky was honored for her leadership of SRS’ efforts to enhance its capacity to provide services to those whose lives have been affected by domestic or sexual violence. SRS currently collaborates with KCSDV and its member programs to provide the OARS project, which addresses the effects of domestic and sexual violence on a victim’s safety and employment. In addition, SRS and KCSDV are collaborating on other projects that will impact the lives of victims and their children.
Schalansky, who has been the Secretary since 1999, said being named Advocate of the Year is a special honor. “I think that this is a tremendous honor,” Schalansky said. “Juliene Maska is a great role model and receiving an award which carries her name means a lot to me. I also have an enormous respect for the pioneering work that is done by KCSDV, so that makes the award even more special.”
Providing domestic and sexual violence services to survivors is an important piece to helping the people who seek assistance from SRS, Schalansky said.
“(Domestic and sexual violence) has been a very significant barrier to customers who are trying to focus on obtaining skills and meaningful work in order to become self sufficient,” she said. “When you are worried about your safety, it is extremely difficult to focus on other things.”
Research shows that many victims of domestic and sexual violence never reach out to a domestic violence or sexual assault crisis center for help. Many survivors feel unsafe accessing services that are specifically geared towards sexual assault or domestic violence. Their fear may be in response to the stigma associated with being survivors or the fear that their perpetrator’s violence will escalate.
The OARS Project, which provides a domestic and/or sexual violence advocate on-site in 23 SRS offices in Kansas, enhances SRS’ ability to provide that link to safety for those who otherwise might not ever receive it.
“It may be the only time they have found someone who understands their dilemma and can help them where they are,” Schalansky said.
to stop the violence?
to keep victims safe?
to hold perpetrators accountable?
to hold ourselves and our communities accountable?
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a month set aside across the nation for every community to collectively focus upon the societal problem of sexual violence and ways in which services like ours are working to eradicate it.
- 0ne-third of all sexual assaults reported to law enforcement agencies involve a victim under the age of twelve; one in four of these victims is male. (National Center for Juvenile Justice, 1999.)
- In 1998, females sustained rape or sexual assault at a rate fourteen times that of males – 2.7 versus 0.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999.)
Marital rape is the term used to describe sexual acts committed without a person’s consent and/or against a person’s will, when the perpetrator is the woman’s husband or ex-husband. Researchers estimate that between 10% and 14% of married women experience rape in marriage. This accounts for approximately 25% of all rapes. Women who are involved in physically abusive relationships may be especially vulnerable to rape by their partners.
Male Sexual Assault
No one knows for sure how many males are abused each year, but it is estimated that one out of seven boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they turn 18 (MCASA, 1996). Most males are sexually assaulted by other males, but the number reporting abuse by women is increasing. Females abuse males in slightly different ways. Women may be more subtle and disguise the abuse through caretaking behavior. The actual frequency of adult male sexual assault cannot be reliably estimated because of the reluctance of males to report.
Acquaintance rape is one form of rape that is perhaps least understood as an act of sexual assault. It is a form of sexual assault committed by someone we know: a friend, a relative, a date, an employer, or someone we have recently met. Regardless of whether the victim knows his/her attacker or not, rape is still a crime of violence that is punishable by law.
- In 1999, almost seven in ten rape or sexual assault victims knew the offender(s) as an acquaintance, a friend, or an intimate partner. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999.)
- Rapes committed by strangers were more likely to be reported to the police than rapes by non-strangers. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1991.)
Stalking is the willful, malicious and repeated following or harassing of another person. The victims may live in constant fear of their stalkers – who can include former spouses, ex-partners, or strangers. Stalking victims are often forced to live in fear and terror, screening telephone calls and altering living arrangements. Stalking is more than just harassment. Stalking is a form of terrorism. Stalking is a crime that can touch anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or geographic location.
- About five percent of women will be victimized by stalking during their lives (Minnesota Attorney General).
Sexual harassment is the sexualization of an otherwise non-sexual relationship. It is an assertion by one individual of the primacy of another person’s sexuality over her/his role as worker, colleague, student, or human being. Sexual harassment is about power which serves to keep the victim “in her/his place”. Although the majority of sexual harassment occurs by men to women, sexual harassment can occur between people of the same gender as well as from women to men.
Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse means forcing, threatening, or coaxing a child into sexual contact. This abuse can take many forms, including body exposure, verbal abuse, touches, and penetration. Children are usually sexually abused by someone they know and trust, and the abuse commonly develops gradually over time and occurs repeatedly. Perpetrators of child sexual abuse use their position of authority (as an older person) and trust to convince the child to submit to abuse. Abuse taking place within a family is called incest. The offender, not the child, is responsible for the abuse. The child is never to blame.
- 0ne in three sexual assault victims is under age 12. (Snyder & Sickmund. 1999).
Material in this article adapted with permission from the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Claire Cook, Data Support Assistant
Claire Cook came to work for the Coalition in February. As data support assistant, Claire tracks the OARS and DELTA sub-contract financials, keeps the coalition’s databases updated, manages the resource library materials and training equipment, and performs various other duties as part of the administrative team. She is a survivor of domestic violence and is very motivated to use her talents to work in this field and hopes that her efforts will, in some way, benefit other victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Jehan Faisal, OARS Training Coordinator
Jehan joined the Coalition in March. She will be working to coordinate the training efforts of the OARS project, as well as provide support and technical assistance to OARS advocates and other member program advocates. She is especially excited to meet advocates and talk about advocacy: transformational work in a place of chaos and creativity.
Previously, Jehan provided direct service to sexual assault survivors and battered women as the Lawrence OARS advocate for the GaDuGi SafeCenter (RVSS) and for WTCS. Her work as an OARS advocate gave her a profound respect for the many ways women survive poverty, racism and violence.
Bree Gibson, Domestic Violence Advocacy Coordinator
Bree Gibson joined the Coalition in July 2003 as the Domestic Violence Advocacy Coordinator. Bree works with the statewide Domestic Violence Task Group and continues to assist communities across the state in creating and coordinating community response to violence against women.
Bree came to the Coalition from the Crisis Center, Inc. in Manhattan. She has experience providing direct services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, shelter management, providing on-site crisis intervention as a police response advocate, and coordinating outreach services in rural areas. Bree has over 5 1/2 years experience working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and has a master’s degree in social work.
Angelica Lopez, Underserved Communities Advocacy Coordinator
Angelica Lopez joined the Coalition in August of 2003. Angelica will organize statewide efforts to address the needs of women of color, immigrants and refugees.
Angelica comes to the Coalition with 4 years of experience advocating for foreign-born women. She began her advocacy work as an intern at Heart of America Family Services, Dame La Mano program, in which she provided case management services to Latina immigrant survivors of domestic violence. The following year, she founded the Women’s MOSAIC Network in Kansas City, MO which brings domestic violence services providers, immigration attorneys, and court personnel together to address service gaps in reaching immigrant and refugee survivors. That same year she began serving on the board of the International Women’s Institute, which provides advocacy, case management, and interpreting services to refugee women in the Kansas City metro area. Prior to joining the Coalition, she worked as the Children’s Program Director and as the Assistant Executive Director at Women’s Transitional Care Services in Lawrence, Kansas.
Viola Straley, Accounting Assistant
Viola Straley joined KCSDV in October. Viola’s primary responsibilities include processing reimbursement requests, bills, and payroll. She also prepares KCSDV financial statements, assists with grant financial reporting, and provides other support as needed for the administrative team. Viola is a graduate of the University of Kansas. She gained accounting experience while working for several accounting practices where she prepared financials and payroll for both non-profit and for-profit clients.
We are thrilled to welcome the expertise that these individuals bring to the Coalition staff.
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/learn-more/resources/newsletters/
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