Spring 2006 Newsletter
Advocates around the state are participating in April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year KCSDV member programs are partnering with local museums, bookstores, businesses, middle schools, and colleges to spread the word about sexual violence. Programs are organizing marches, candlelight vigils, table displays, performances and poetry readings, poster contests, and races throughout Kansas all with the goal of ending the violence. See page 2 for more details.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was re-authorized and signed into law in January by President Bush.
Initially passed in 1994, VAWA created the first federal legislation to recognize sexual assault and domestic violence as crimes. It was re-authorized in 2000 and the 2005 version expands and extends VAWA until 2011.
“This is a comprehensive law that strikes the right balance between rejuvenating core programs, making targeted improvements and responsibly expanding the Violence Against Women Act to reach the needs of America’s families,” said Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), co-author of the bill.
VAWA includes many groundbreaking provisions, including those affecting victims of sexual assault.
One of the provisions is the creation of the Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP), the first federal funding stream dedicated to direct services for victims of sexual assault. SASP will also provide resources for state sexual assault coalitions.
In addition, the VAWA provision serving victims in rural areas has been expanded to include services to victims of sexual assault, child sexual assault and stalking as well as domestic violence.
VAWA 2005 also includes the re-authorization of the rape prevention and education programs and the grants to combat violence on college campuses.
For More Information
The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence www.naesv.org/news.html describes VAWA provisions specific to sexual assault.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence www.nnedv.org has a full summary of all VAWA provisions.
For more information on the following activities, contact the local program. The numbers provided below are office numbers, not crisis lines.
Light of Hope 5K Run/Walk
All proceeds benefit SOS. All pre-registered participants receive a t-shirt. Awards will be given for top male/female finishers, top age group finishers, top individual and team fundraisers, largest team, door prizes, and kid’s activities.
Various Activities – Kansas City
- Poster contest in two Wyandotte county middle schools. MOCSA is partnering with the Victim Assistance Unit of the Kansas City, Kan. police department.
- Distribute Men as Allies posters in men’s locker rooms at local YMCAs.
- Distribute posters about sexual assault to local bars.
“Take This Moment: Reflection through ARTS (Awareness, Renewal, Thought, Support)”
April 6 – Lawrence
This program features performances and presentations in order to raise awareness of issues of sexual violence through artistic expression and community involvement. GaDuGi is partnering with the Spencer Museum of Art and the Office of Sexual Violence Education and Support Services at the University of Kansas.
Various Activities – Salina
- Hold a candlelight vigil featuring a survivor singing.
- Staff a sexual assault display and distributing awareness materials at Kansas Wesleyan University.
- Plant flowers in honor of survivors.
- Distribute sexual assault awareness bracelets.
Take Back the Night March
April 28 – Wichita
Sexual Assault Poetry Slam
April 6 – Hutchinson, Hastings Bookstore
Victims are invited to read or write poems. Dessert bar provided. Open to the public.
Sexual Assault Awareness Reception
April 18 – Hutchinson
Features speakers from the sexual assault and child abuse fields, and recognizes the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center’s crisis line volunteers.
Kansas has a new coordinator of the Rape Prevention and Education Program (RPE) at the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE). Laurie Hart, formerly with GaDuGi SafeCenter, a KCSDV member program located in Lawrence, became the RPE Coordinator in late January.
The RPE program strengthens sexual violence prevention efforts by supporting increased awareness, education and training. It is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Kansas has seven RPE project sites: two in Kansas City, and one each in Lawrence, Manhattan, Ulysses, Wichita, and Winfield.
Hart will be facilitating the implementation of community-based education programs in conjunction with KCSDV and the Office of the Kansas Governor.
For more information about the project and Hart’s contact information visit the KDHE website at: www.kdheks.gov/rpe/index.html.
We must do more for victims. We can do more for victims.
Those were the key messages of KCSDV’s third annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day and Reception on February 9, 2006 in Topeka.
“Recent proposed legislation is focused on enhancing penalties and oversight of convicted sex offenders – well today we focus on victims,” said Sandy Barnett, executive director at KCSDV, during the morning press conference.
More than 350 people attended the day’s activities, which also included public awareness activities by advocates, visits with legislators and an evening reception. The day was made possible by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas and the Shumaker Family Foundation.
The keynote speaker, the Rev. Al Miles, stressed that people could do more for victims by partnering.
“Partnerships offer the best avenue for safety, healing for victim-survivors and accountability for batterers,” Miles said. “It’s vital that we join together—the advocacy community, the business community and the faith community – because we are strongest when we work together.”
Other speakers included Juliene Maska on behalf of Governor Kathleen Sebelius; Attorney General Phill Kline; Graham Bailey and Marlou Wegener from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas; Lorrie Gfeller, KCSDV Vice President of Programs; and Kathy Williams, KCSDV Vice President of Advocacy.
Advocates LaDora Lattimore, Susan Moran and Judy Davis were recognized with 25 years of service awards.
Reception host Marlou Wegener recognized Tom Myers as the Ally of the Year, and Gina Cooper as the Advocate of the Year.
KCSDV thanks the following for their support of the 3rd Annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness Day and Reception.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas
Community National Bank
Kansas Department of Corrections Victim Services
Goose One Sports Bar and Grill
Goose Too Sports Bar and Grill
Dwight Menke Insurance
Shumaker Family Foundation
Sunflower State Bakery
Ron and Diane Rupert
Men play a vital role in ending sexual violence in Kansas’s communities. The following information is courtesy of Men Can Stop Rape and can be found online at www.mencanstoprape.org.
1. Men rape
The great majority of all sexually violent crimes are committed by males. Even when men are sexually victimized, other men are most often the perpetrators.
2. Men are raped
We don’t like to think about it, and we don’t like to talk about it, but the fact is that men can also be sexually victimized. Studies show that a staggering 10-20% of all males are sexually violated at some point in their lifetimes. Men are not immune to the epidemic of sexual violence, nor are male survivors safe from the stigma that society attaches to victims of rape. Male survivors are often disbelieved, accused of being gay or blamed for their own victimization when they report an incident of sexual assault. Frequently, they respond, as do many female survivors, by remaining silent and suffering alone.
3. Rape confines men
When some men rape, and when 80% of those who are raped know the man who attacked them, it becomes virtually impossible to distinguish men who are safe from men who are dangerous; men who can be trusted from men who can’t; and men who will rape from men who won’t. The result is a society with its guard up, where relationships with men are approached with fear and mistrust, where intimacy is limited by the constant threat of violence and where all men are labeled “potential rapists.”
4. Men know survivors
At some point in every man’s life, someone close to him will likely disclose that they are a survivor of sexual violence and ask for help. Men must be prepared to respond with care, sensitivity, compassion, and understanding. Ignorance on the part of men about the situation of rape and its impact can only hinder the healing process and may even contribute to the survivor’s feeling further victimized. A supportive male presence during a survivor’s recovery, however, can be invaluable.
5. Men can stop rape
Rape is a choice men make to use sex as a weapon for power and control. For rape to stop, men who are violent must be empowered to make different choices. All men can play a vital role in this process by challenging rape-supporting attitudes and behaviors and raising awareness about the damaging impact of sexual violence. Every time a man’s voice joins those of women in speaking out against rape, the world becomes safer for us all.
Dear Ms. Glad You Asked,
I know a really good guy who wants to help battered women and children in my community. He doesn’t really know how to get involved and I am at a loss as to what to tell him. Can you help me out?
I am so glad you asked! More and more non-violent men are getting involved in the movement to end violence against women. Non-violent men have been working in the area of prevention of domestic and sexual violence for some time. I am sending along some web sites that you and your friend might find helpful. Another helpful suggestion would be to call your local domestic violence and sexual assault program and find out how to get involved locally. Hope this helps and I am sure glad you asked!!!
Author and psychiatrist Judith Herman suggests that there are two distinct types of trauma. Trauma associated with “acts of god” such as tornados, floods, fire, illness or disease, and trauma associated with “acts of human design” such as sexual and domestic violence. The traumatic response of victims in each of these categories is similar. However, the individual and community response to the victims is often very different. More often than not, communities and individuals respond to victims of natural disaster with compassion, sympathy, and emotional and financial support. The same does not hold true for victims of sexual violence.
Victims of sexual violence ask individual helpers and the whole community to share in their burden of pain. Simultaneously, perpetrators of sexual violence ask individuals and communities to simply do nothing. Perpetrators want us not to hear or see the victims, not to believe the victims and not to hold perpetrators accountable for their sexually violent behavior.
“Perpetrators of sexual violence play on the knowledge that many victims will not come forward and those that do have a very difficult road in front of them,” said Stacey Mann, advocacy services coordinator at KCSDV. “We have recently witnessed local and national community demands for accountability for perpetrators of sexual violence, however there has not been the same outpouring of support for the victims of sexual violence. Victims need support in the recovery process and individual and community support are crucial.”
The first step of healing from the trauma of sexual violence is to recover a basic sense of physical safety. Victims also need full access to medical care directly after being assaulted. Some victims need additional medical care long after the initial assault. Additionally, the vast majority of victims benefit from both immediate and ongoing advocacy after the assault. Advocates can play a vital role in assisting victims through the criminal justice process, providing basic emotional and informational support and offering a safe place for victims to heal.
Communities need to take an active role in supporting victims of sexual violence. Individual community members can help achieve this by educating themselves and others about the effects of sexual violence. Community members can challenge victim-blaming statements in private and in public. Finally, community members can financially support their local sexual assault program to ensure that all victims have access to advocacy and recovery services.
- “Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence—from domestic abuse to political terror” by Judith Herman, 1997.
- “Transforming Trauma: A guide to understanding and treating adult survivors of child sexual abuse” by Anna C. Salter, 1995.
Protection orders are critical tools for interrupting domestic violence and stalking. Over the past decade, annual Protection from Abuse Act filings in Kansas district courts have ranged from 8,548 in 2002 to 4,528 in 1992, with 7,914 petitions filed in 2004. Additionally, with the 2002 passage of the Kansas Protection from Stalking Act, 3,036 protection from stalking petitions were filed in 2004.
But, even as tools of safety, protection orders can be both positive and negative. Separating from a perpetrator of domestic violence can be the most dangerous time for a victim. Stalking in the context of domestic violence can signal increased lethality. For these reasons, any recommendation or encouragement to get a protection order should be accompanied by a discussion about safety. In Kansas, domestic violence-related homicides have ranged from a high of 41 deaths in 1993 to 15 in 2003 and 25 in 2004. It is unknown how many of these homicide victims had protection orders or were otherwise trying to separate from the violent relationship when they were killed.
For the last several years, KCSDV has begun to look closely at Kansas protection orders from pre-filing safety planning to enforcement of the final order. KCSDV will soon complete a safety and accountability audit of this system and has now received a grant to follow that work for another year. The Protection Order Collaboration Project will be staffed by Mary Curtis, who will bring together a group of people to continue to examine how to make the system work better and provide the most safety for victims.
It is critical that victims and those assisting them know more about how this protection order system is working. Without a system that is working together with an understanding of the violence that is driving victims to seek protection orders, victim safety is jeopardized. KCSDV looks forward to seeing the results of this project and its impact.
Statistics from the article can be found in “A Report on Domestic Violence and Rape Statistics in Kansas, 2004” at www.ksgovernor.org/grants/gdvfrb.shtml.
The Kansas Supreme Court will soon consider the legality of charging a defendant’s DNA with a crime in those instances in which the defendant’s identity is unknown.
The Court’s decision to hear oral arguments is based on a string of crimes that began more than 15 years ago by truck driver Doug Belt.
Between 1989 and 1994, there was at least one serial rapist that we know of at large in Kansas. Fearing that the statute of limitations was going to prevent him from charging the crimes, Ty Kaufman, McPherson county attorney, filed a warrant charging “John Doe” with the rapes. Kaufman based this charge on the DNA collected at the time the crime occurred. He is thought to be the first prosecutor in the U.S. to file what has become known as a John Doe warrant—charging the unknown person to whom the DNA belonged. John Doe warrants were also filed in Thomas, Saline and Reno counties where similar rapes had occurred. DNA tests pointed to the same person committing each of the rapes.
Due to a crime lab labeling error, the DNA collected from the rapes was not connected to a specific person until 2002 when Douglas Belt was charged with beheading a woman in Wichita. His DNA found at the murder scene matched DNA collected from the earlier rapes. Belt was sentenced to death in 2004 for that murder.
For a variety of reasons, judges in Reno, Saline and McPherson counties dismissed the sexual assault cases against Doug Belt. These dismissals were appealed.
In January, the State filed a motion to transfer these cases to the Kansas Supreme Court and also to consolidate them for purposes of an appeal. On February 1, the Kansas Supreme Court granted both motions and will hear these cases together in the coming months.
Since these warrants were filed, the Kansas Legislature changed state law to allow prosecutors up to a year after a DNA match is made to file charges. Such a law would have made a difference in these cases but was not passed until well after these John Doe warrants were filed.
The Kansas Supreme Court has not yet set the date for oral arguments. A companion rape case against Belt is also pending in Illinois.
The “Stop Family Violence” stamp is 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 (HHS) for domestic violence programs.
Since its release on October 11, 2003, more than 25 million stamps have been sold. In October, 2005, HHS used proceeds from stamp sales to award $1.2 million in grants to programs across the country, including those in Oklahoma, Colorado and Michigan.
- 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
Chandra McCrae comes to KCSDV with a vast amount of experience in accounting and budgeting. Chandra graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in Accounting and Finance and has been employed with the University of Memphis and the University of Kansas, assisting with financial processes. Chandra will be working as the Accounting Assistant.
Mary Curtis has worked for 20 years to provide equal access to the criminal justice system and legal representation for the poor. After graduating from the University of Kansas Law School in 1984, she worked as a public defender in Missouri and Kansas, representing indigent clients at trial and on appeal. She has represented numerous individuals facing the death penalty, including several women who killed in self-defense and who were able to successfully assert a battered woman syndrome defense. Mary will be working as the Protection Order Project Attorney on the Protection Order Collaboration Project.
Jennifer Woodward comes to KCSDV with many years of experience in office management and organizational skills. She has spent 19 years in customer relations as the the senior cost estimator of a large manufacturing company. She will be working as the Staff Support Assistant.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org attn: Publications Specialist.
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