Spring 2005 Newsletter

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The Ribbon Tree – Remembering Rape

Only one in five rapes are reported to law enforcement, and this alarming statistic is the focus of the new display, “The Ribbon Tree – Remembering Rape.”

Created by the members of KCSDV’s Sexual Assault Task Force, the display visually demonstrates for the public what advocates already know: that approximately one-fifth of rapes are reported to law enforcement.

One hundred nine teal ribbons hang from the ten-foot fichus tree, representing the number of rapes committed in Kansas every week. Twenty-two tags with stories of the rapes and the word “Reported” in bold block letters also hang from the tree, representing the number of rapes reported each week to law enforcement.

The Ribbon Tree was unveiled at the Kansas Capitol during the Safe Homes, Safe Streets press conference February 10.

Stories from the Ribbon Tree
  • The survivor is a 15-year-old African-American woman. The rapist was her father. “He knew what he was doing was wrong, but it didn’t stop.”
  • The survivor had not been in this country very long, but she was afraid if she reported, she would be in trouble.
  • An adult woman with a mental disability lived in a group home. Another resident of the home sexually assaulted her.
  • The survivor is a 13-year-old Mexican girl. The rapists were her classmates. “I am ashamed to even look at them because I know they will start to spread rumors.”
  • The survivor is a 20-year-old Caucasian woman. A friend raped her at a dorm. “I felt as if it were my fault for accepting an invitation to his room to talk.”
  • The survivor is a 32-year-old man. He was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance. “I never thought anyone would believe me.”
  • A woman who had many bruises on her face told the story of how her husband beat and raped her.
KCSDV thanks Target Distribution Center for its support of this edition of the newsletter.
Safe Homes, Safe Streets: Putting the Spotlight on Sexual Violence

2nd Annual Event a Tremendous Success

Ending men’s violence against women was the focus of the second annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day and Reception on February 10, 2005.

More than 300 people attended the day’s activities, including more than 20 member programs and 100 advocates from across the state.

The theme this year was “Putting the Spotlight on Sexual Violence.”

The day’s keynote speaker asked men to join in the work.

“My challenge to men is stepping up and using your voice,” said Don McPherson, former NFL quarterback and current violence prevention activist. “Being a good guy is not enough.”

Join in what I think is the last of the good fights,” McPherson said during the evening reception. “We have to confront sexism and misogyny every place it exists.”

The day’s other speakers included Governor Kathleen Sebelius; Frank Henderson, executive director of the Crime Victims Compensation Board; Megan Bushell, Miss Kansas; Bob Stephan, former attorney general; Laura Patzner, outgoing KCSDV Board President; Sarah Terwelp, incoming KCSDV Board President; Sandy Barnett, KCSDV Executive Director; and Marlou Wegener, a representative of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas.

The evening reception honored this year’s recipients of the Juliene Maska Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award. Two advocates received the award this year: Kathy Williams, executive director of the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center, and Jack Cooley, volunteer with the Liberal Area Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Services.

For more of this story plus photos from the event, visit https://www.kcsdv.org/shss.html.


Safe Homes, Safe Streets Sponsors

KCSDV thanks the following for their support of the second annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day and Reception:

Topeka Capital-Journal
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas
Preferred Health Systems, Inc.
Community National Bank
Goose One
Goose Too
BG Products, Inc.
John Martin, Waddell & Reed
Craig and Ann Case
Dwight Menke
Laura Patzner
Wright, Henson, Clark, Hutton, Mudrick & Gragson, LLP
Department of Corrections – Victims Services Division
Boston Market
Chocolate Elegance
First Bite
Jersey Mikes Subs
Mr. Goodcents
Olive Garden

Protection from Stalking Act Declared Constitutional

On February 18, 2005, in the case of Smith v. Martens, the Kansas Supreme Court held that the Protection from Stalking Act (K.S.A.2003 Supp. 60-31a01 et seq.) is constitutional.

In this case, Becky Smith sought a protection from stalking order against her ex-husband, Phil Martens. The district court issued the one-year order and ordered that Martens pay $5,000 in legal fees to Smith. Martens argued that the Act was unconstitutionally vague in its description of prohibited behaviors and unconstitutionally overbroad and thus impeded his First Amendment right to free speech.

The Court ruled against Martens on both counts, finding that the Act is indeed constitutional. It specifically noted that “[Martens’] contacts must be considered in the context of the other threatening communications and evidence that he was watching Smith and her son . . .” The Court held that the purpose of the Protection from Stalking Act is a legitimate one: “allowing persons ‘to protect themselves from recurring intimidation, fear-provoking conduct, and physical violence.'”

In 2002, KCSDV supported the passage of the Protection from Stalking Act, which allows victims of stalking to seek court-ordered protection from their stalkers. The stalking victim does not need to have a prior relationship with the stalker. Passage of the Protection from Stalking Act was a great step forward in protecting victims of stalking.

KCSDV is pleased that the Kansas Supreme Court has found the Act to be constitutional and that this law will continue to be an important safety tool for stalking victims.

Further information about this Act can be found at the KCSDV website https://www.kcsdv.org/pfs.html. The Court’s opinion is available online at http://www.kscourts.org/kscases.

Kansas Trio Attends Inaugural Summit on Dating Violence

KCSDV staff member Marilynn Ault was among the attendees at the first Teen Dating Violence Prevention Summit in Washington, D.C. in November.

“The summit was a powerful day-and-a-half of very emotional content about the terrible toll of dating violence,” said Ault, Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinator at KCSDV.

Sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the summit gathered teams of three from 20 states representing high school students, high school officials, and state government.

The Kansas team also included Hadley Beier-Green, Topeka High School sophomore, and Carmen Hatfield, Wellington Middle School health and physical education teacher who is also a program trainer in physical and health education for the Kansas Department of Education.

Participants heard from victims, victims’ families, and experts about the their experience of dating violence. Attendees also developed a comprehensive handbook of dating violence awareness and prevention materials with recommendations for parents, teens, high school personnel, the legal community, community organizations and leaders, and other professionals. It will be distributed nationwide in 2005.

“Our Kansas team was inspired,” Ault said, noting that discussions during the summit will result in a handbook that will be teen-focused. “That’s exciting.” The ABA is also planning the first national teen dating violence awareness week to take place in 2005.

Ault said that the energy created at the summit has excited her teammates, and they are interested in continuing dating violence awareness and prevention activities in their respective fields.

“We are so excited about the ABA taking such a strong role in working toward more awareness of teen dating violence,” Ault said.

Teen Dating Violence Facts
  • A dating partner has physically or sexually assaulted one in five high school girls.
  • Two in five girls between the ages of 14 and 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
  • Between 1993 and 1999, an intimate partner killed 22 percent of all female homicide victims 16 to 19 years of age.
  • The severity of violence among intimate partners has been shown to increase if the pattern has been established in adolescence.
Pornography's Relationship to Sexual Violence

The connection between pornography and sexual violence is the focus of a recent article by a scholar and activist Robert Jensen.

“Pornography and Sexual Violence,” released by VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, explains two decades of research on the matter and its implications on advocacy work.

Jensen writes, “No one argues that if pornography disappeared that rape would disappear. Instead, the discussion should be about the ways in which pornography might be implicated in sexual violence in this culture.”

Jensen also discusses how society defines pornography, its consumption and related effects, and implications on policies.

The article is available in HTML and PDF formats on http://www.vawnet.org (search under author or title) as well as from the KCSDV resource library.


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/

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/

This newsletter is published quarterly, hard copy and online, JAN, APRIL, JULY, and OCT. Deadlines for calendar and article submissions are DEC 1, MAR 1, JUNE 1, and SEPT 1. Submissions will be reviewed for content and space availability.

Please send submissions to:
KCSDV, 634 SW Harrison, Topeka, KS, 66603
FAX: 785-232-9784, or coalition@kcsdv.org attn: Publications Specialist.

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