Summer 2003 Newsletter

Sexual Assault Center Opens in Leavenworth

Sexual assault victims in Leavenworth now have a more comfortable alternative to emergency rooms to receive medical exams and receive counseling after an assault.

Kay Andersen, Executive Director of the Alliance Against Family Violence (AAFV) in Leavenworth, said the agency opened a new Sexual Assault Center in April that provides private exam rooms for children and adult victims of sexual assault.

The rooms are professionally decorated to eradicate the cold, sterile feel of an emergency room examination area and are located off-site from the hospital. The children’s exam room is colorfully decorated and contains anatomically correct dolls and toys to help young victims explain what has happened to them. The adult room resembles a nice hotel room more than an exam room, but contains a state-of-the-art colposcope that should greatly enhance evidence collection, Andersen said.

The rooms are designed to maximize comfort and privacy for victims and their family and friends. A law enforcement officer, an on-call sexual assault advocate and SANE nurse, who have completed the Kansas SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) certification, accompany the victim to the center.

When a sexual assault victim has to go to the hospital, she has to walk through the waiting area, often with a police officer and sexual assault advocate with her. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what has happened to her,” Andersen said. “The Sexual Assault Center allows for the victim to have privacy and increased comfort. There is a private waiting area for friends and family, comfortable rooms, a private area for law enforcement personnel to wait, and a bathroom where the victim can go to clean up and change clothes after the exam. It is a more private setting for victims where they can feel they are really cared for, they don’t have to be rushed, they are able to do what they need to do and feel that they’re respected and nurtured,” she said.

Law enforcement, advocates, hospital staff and community members worked together to create a response team to provide more respectful treatment for victims of sexual assault.

Leavenworth residents raised about $16,000 towards the center’s construction. AAFV, led by Police Response Advocate Anna Andersen, collaborated with the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office and the Lansing, Basehor and Tonganoxie Police Departments to receive a Byrne Grant totaling $258,430, which funded the purchase of digital cameras for law enforcement and the colposcope, and will fund the salaries for advocates and nurses providing services at the center. Area medical centers donate lab work, the facility and other supplies. AAFV Outreach Coordinator Sister Jane Albert Mehrens, who led the fundraising campaign, said without the community standing behind the project, the center would never have happened.

“It has been an exciting adventure to be involved in such a wonderful project that the community has become so immersed in,” she said. “This is another step to protect victims and everyone wants to be a part of it.”

KCSDV & SRS Join Together in a Safety and Accountability Assessment Project

This spring, KCSDV approached SRS on a new project and, as a result, KCSDV, in partnership with SRS, will be conducting a safety and accountability assessment (SAA) of the EES and CFS systems in Kansas. We are all very excited about this project and the prospects of improving the safety of adult and child victims and accountability of perpetrators when domestic violence and child maltreatment are occurring in the same family. As we have said to SRS, this is not about placing blame on any one person, office, or system. This project is about finding the best practices and the problems within the institutional system itself and correcting them, with the intention of increasing safety and accountability across the state.

In a nutshell, the project will look like this: SRS and KCSDV will select four communities in Kansas where the assessment will be conducted. An SAA Team, hired and supervised by KCSDV, will visit the offices and will begin by mapping the contacts adult and child victims and perpetrators have with the system, everything from the initial phone call to the intake and assessment process. The Team will then interview and observe supervisors and workers in that office, asking them about resources, reviewing forms, and generally examining all points of contact for safety and accountability considerations. Case files from each office will be selected for review and text analysis. The case files will be made anonymous by having an independent person “redact” the files, removing all identifying information. Focus groups of victims who have been touched by the system will be conducted in each community, again, with the intention of gathering information about safety and accountability. Community partners will also review the information gathered, possibly with the exception of the redacted files, and will offer additional insights into how other community systems impact and intersect with the EES/CFS system. Finally, the information gathered from all four communities will be forwarded to the Safe at Home committee. Committee members will review and make recommendations for institutional changes. Kelly Rhoades will be the KCSDV staff contact for this project. Jane Mershberger will be the Project Manager for SRS.

KCSDV believes this is a great opportunity for battered mothers and their children in Kansas. We are excited that SRS has agreed to embark on this critically important project.

What can you do to help?

We will be hiring two SAA team members. Applicants must have the ability to be neutral and unbiased, but must also be familiar with the dynamics of domestic violence and social institutions. These will be full-time temporary positions, lasting approximately ten months to a year.

If you know someone who would be good for either of these positions, have them contact Kelly Rhoades.

If you would like to involve your community in this project, contact Kelly Rhoades.

Questions? Contact Kelly Rhoades or Joyce Grover at KCSDV, 785-232-9784.

2003 Legislative Update

Thanks to all of you who participated in this year’s Legislative Day last February 14. While KCSDV had no major legislative packet, there were a variety of bills that will or would have had an impact on sexual and domestic violence. Here are some of the highlights of the legislative session.

Unemployment Insurance
HB 2353, the Employment Security Insurance Act for Domestic Violence, passed overwhelmingly in both the Senate and the House and is effective July 1, 2003. Under this new law, someone who voluntarily leaves employment due to abuse as defined by this statute may be eligible to receive benefits, providing all other eligibility criteria are met. KCSDV supported this bill as amended.

Protection Orders
HB 2033 would have amended the Protection from Abuse Act and the Protection from Stalking Act to limit the time between the occurrence of the abuse or stalking and the filing of the PFA or PFS petition. KCSDV offered amendments making exceptions to these time limitations. The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on this bill, but did not take final action.

HB 2275 also concerned the PFAA and would have amended the Act to require that the court assess costs against the defendant and to allow for the award of attorney fees to the plaintiff. KCSDV offered amendments. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee; no action was taken.

Elder Abuse
HB 2254, relating to the reporting of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults, passed both Houses and is effective on July 1, 2003. It expands the definition of abuse to include financial exploitation and requires financial officers and guardian/conservators to report abuse. KCSDV offered an amendment and supported the bill as amended.

Utilities and Cold Weather Rule
HB 2186 would have created a “cold weather rule” by statute; currently, the Kansas Corporation Commission defines the rule. The bill would also have created a “three strikes” provision, which would have allowed utility companies to ignore the cold weather rule and terminate utility services after a customer made three attempts to pay the arrearage on their bill. The House passed HB 2186 but the Senate Utilities Committee took no action. HB 2186 will be reviewed over the summer and recommendations will be made to the Senate Utilities Committee next session. KCSDV opposed this bill.

Privileged and Confidential Communications
HB 2170 would have modified the meaning of privileged and confidential communications for professionals regulated by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB). The House Health and Human Services Committee heard the bill; no action was taken. The Committee asked BSRB to work with opponents of the Bill to propose language that would be more acceptable to all professions regulated by BSRB. KCSDV opposed this bil

District Attorneys
HB 2049 would have created the office of district attorney in certain judicial districts. The House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee heard the bill and re-referred it back to the Committee for interim study. KCSDV continues to monitor this bill.

Fault Divorce
SB 179 would have reinstated “fault divorce.” SB 179 was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee where no action was taken. KCSDV opposed this bill.

Open Records
Under SB 67, public records would be open in cases where a child is fatally injured or near fatally injured as a result of alleged child abuse or neglect. The Senate passed SB 67; the House passed an amended version; the bill is currently in Conference Committee. KCSDV is monitoring this bill.

Sex Offender Registration
SB 64 amends the Kansas Offender Registration Act, requiring a sex offender who is enrolled in an institution of higher education to register with the KBI. The bill passed. KCSDV supported this bill.

HB 2062 would have amended the Kansas Offender Registration Act, requiring any registered sex offender (SO) to attach a symbol to the front and rear bumper of any vehicle owned, borrowed, leased, rented, or in which the SO was a passenger. HB 2062 was referred to the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, but no action was taken. KCSDV opposed this bill.

Sexual Harassment
HB 2352 requires a state sexual harassment and anti-discrimination policy. These policies have traditionally been enacted by Executive Order. HB 2352 passed the House, was introduced in the Senate, and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. KCSDV supported this bill.

Cell Phones

As advocates, most of us can’t live without them. A cell phone frees advocates from being tied to a landline for on-call shifts and helps us stay in contact with co-workers and survivors we are working with. For survivors, cell phones can be a lifeline to safety or support from family and friends.

Cell phones have given us new tools and options in our work, but they have given batterers new tools and options as well. Being aware of the risks involved and being able to communicate that information to the survivors we serve can alleviate some risks and allow us all to make better choices about how we use cell phones.

The most common ways advocates use cell phones in their work are to discuss confidential information with other staff or to answer a crisis call. Confidential information is not safe to discuss on a cell phone. Calls broadcast in analog mode can be picked up easily. Digital phones are harder to intercept, but even these may broadcast in analog in rural areas. Even with digital phones, batterers or perpetrators who work for law enforcement or phone companies may have easy access. If you must use a cell phone to talk to a survivor, you can inform her that you are using a cell phone and confidential information may not be secure. As soon as possible, switch to a corded phone.

Cell phones are also increasingly being used by all of us for personal convenience and safety. Many battered women use personal cell phones. Cell phones can make the difference when she needs to make a call for safety or support. However, the same cell phone can be a tracking and monitoring device for her batterer or perpetrator.

If the phone was a gift from the batterer or he was ever on the account, he may have readily available access to its usage, including billing statements and invoices of all calls made and received. Also, if the phone is equipped with GPS technology, it could be used to track the exact location of her whereabouts.

Safe use of cell phones and other technology should be incorporated into safety planning with survivors. Ask survivors if they are using a cell phone. Ask her if the batterer knows about the phone or if he gave it to her. If she is concerned that her batterer may try to track her through her cell phone use, or may have gained access to billing and account information, you should work with her to find ways to make her cell phone use safer, including limiting the types of calls she makes or finding a different cellular provider.

Cordless phones present many of the same benefits and risks as cell phones. The safest phone to use is still a corded phone. Conversations on cordless phones, which many shelters use for convenience and portability, can be monitored with devices easily and cheaply obtained from electronics stores. Newer cordless phones (2.4 Ghz or higher) are safer and cannot currently be monitored with readily available equipment. One way to alleviate some of the risk of using cordless phones is to switch to a corded phone as soon as you realize that the call is a crisis call, or only use cordless phones to take calls on the business line. If you switch from a cordless phone to a corded one during the conversation, you need to unplug the cordless phone to ensure it doesn’t continue to broadcast your conversation.

As with cell phones, you also should ask the survivor calling in if she is using a cordless phone and let her know that your communication may not be secure if she is. She may decide to proceed with the call, but you can at least notify her of the risks and help her identify alternatives if she is concerned her batterer may be using a listening device to monitor her calls.

Technology is ever changing. While this article may give you some ideas about how to make telephone communications safer, it is wise not to become complacent and think you have covered all of the safety gaps. This information may be current as of today, but tomorrow may undoubtedly bring new technology and new concerns. The best advice is to be aware and be smart. Keep informed as much as possible about new technologies as they come along. For more detailed information about safe use of phone technologies, contact Sarah Thomas or Sarah Morrison at KCSDV.

Material in this article adapted from training provided at the National Safe and Strategic Technology Meeting, February 20-21, 2003 Dallas, TX, hosted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Internet Safety

Imagine the following scenario:

A battered woman uses her computer to look for some options. She logs onto the community site for a nearby town. She sees rental listings, job ads and a link to the local domestic violence and sexual assault resource center. She wonders if her experience is domestic violence and she finds the answer online. She finds an advocate to talk to about her situation. She also finds jobs to apply for and possible apartments to rent. She doesn’t know that her batterer is monitoring every keystroke, seeing every site she sees and reading every email she sends.

Survivors now have access to information via the Internet that they may never have been able to access before. The Internet gives advocates an opportunity to reach out to survivors who previously may have been unreachable. It offers advocates more ways to provide information about their agencies and domestic and sexual violence. Used safely, this resource can be invaluable to survivors. But determining what is safe Internet use isn’t as easy as it once was.

Previously, clearing the cookies, cache and Internet history files made it difficult for someone to track what sites a user had visited. Now, there are a multitude of ways in which computers store information about Internet activity. It is impossible to delete all of this information. The only way to completely erase data is to destroy the hard drive. For survivors, attempting to clear their tracks could even be dangerous. An attempt to erase data may alert the batterer and he may attempt to monitor her in other ways.

Survivors should know that computer use, even in a location where the batterer doesn’t have access to the computer she is using, isn’t completely private. Technology can allow for a computer savvy batterer to monitor her computer use and email without ever accessing the actual terminal she is using. Email virus and worms can carry software onto a computer from a remote location and allow the hacker to monitor the computer without the user’s knowledge.

There are additional considerations for safe email use. Email has become so common people sometimes forget how unsecured it is. Email can be intercepted and monitored easily. When deciding what information to include in an email, remember this: don’t send anything in an email you wouldn’t want published in the newspaper. Email is not confidential and confidentiality can be compromised if sensitive information is transmitted by email. If communicating with survivors by email, encourage them to continue the contact with you in a safer way.

To help survivors use the Internet and email more safely, always post safety information on every page of your website. Discuss technology risks when safety planning with survivors. To obtain more detailed information about ways you can increase your agency’s safety, technology safety planning with survivors, or sample information you can post on your website, contact Sarah Thomas or Sarah Morrison at KCSDV.

Material in this article adapted from training provided at the National Safe and Strategic Technology Meeting, February 20-21, 2003 Dallas, TX, hosted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Offensive Websites

A woman’s face appears on the monitor. Then, a hand reaches out from one side of the screen and hits the woman, resulting in a black eye and a bleeding face. This image was on a website called The Wife Beaters Union (, which was self-described as, “a site dedicated to the age old tradition of wife beating.”

What can advocates do about websites like this? Isn’t the internet full of offensive sites protected by freedom of speech? Offensive speech may not be illegal, but that does not mean that nothing can be done.

With one email, advocates from the National Network to End Domestic Violence were able to alert the hosting Internet Service Provider (ISP) and have this offensive web site taken off-line. If you have access to the Internet and a few minutes to do some research, you too can turn your activist efforts to ridding the Web of these offensive web sites.

Internet Service Providers who rent web server space to people to use for their own sites do not want their names associated with anything illegal and possibly anything offensive and encouraging violence. These Service Providers do not have the time or interest in checking every site they host for content — they rely on people reporting potential violations to their abuse/security staff so they know to investigate. Even if the offensive site does not violate any laws, it still may be shut down. If someone has enough money and resources to host his or her own site on his or her own server, then that person will only be bound by state and federal laws not by the ISP terms and conditions. If they are hosted by an ISP, it is worth 10 minutes of research and a 2 minute complaint to get a site at least temporarily taken off the internet.

A tool called WHOIS ( can be used to look up domain name records. In most cases, looking up the domain name record will show you what ISP is hosting the website. The domain servers listed at the bottom of the record are most likely the servers for the ISP. Example: It may list a domain server such as “”. Find the main domain by removing the first part of the address and inserting “www” ( This should take you to the ISP or server the site is hosted on. Look for an Acceptable Use Policy or Net Abuse Policy or Terms of Service. It might be a link at the bottom of the page, on the side, or at the top of the screen. You can always check the SITE MAP if you need help finding it. Once you find this policy, look for an email or web form link to report potential abuses. Then send a brief note stating your concern and include the name of the website in your message. Clearly state in the first sentence what you find objectionable and what you would like them to do about it. For example, “The content on promotes violence against women and I would like you to stop hosting this page.” Then cite the agreement clause that best supports your argument. For example, “Your terms and conditions page, paragraph 3 allows you to end your agreement with this site at any time. Please strongly consider doing so now.” Give a reasonable period of time for the company to respond. For example, “Please respond to my request immediately. I will contact you again if I do not hear from you in one week.” If you are prepared to take further action, you may decide to mention it now or reserve it for your next letter.

If a Web-Hosting Internet Service Provider does shut down a web site, it is good to periodically check the old URL to see if they have reposted on someone else’s web service. You can add the website to your favorites/bookmarks so you can click on it every so often. If you find the site is online again, research and complain again – 10 minutes of research can result in one more offensive site being shut down — grassroots advocacy in action!

Even though the creators of the offensive website might choose to sign up with another ISP and put the site back up using the same web address, your efforts will at least have inconvenienced them and cost them some money. Additionally, the next ISP might be willing to shut them down, too.


Web-Hosting – a website is housed on an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) main web server for a monthly fee, or some companies offer hosting for free for a basic site. A hosted site can have its own domain name. When you type the URL, you will not know if the site is Web-Hosted or housed on their own personal web server.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) – a company that provides individuals and other companies access to the Internet and other related services such as Web-Hosting.

WHOIS – a tool that is used to look up domain name records in the Registrar database.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – the address of a file (resource) accessible on the Internet. is a URL.

Domain Name – A domain name locates an organization or other entity on the Internet. is a domain name.

(At the time of publication, The Wife Beaters Union site had still not returned to the Web.)

Adapted with permission from the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Created by Cindy Southworth and Dawn Marron, Esq., 2001.

PRIVACY: What does it mean in this age of information and technology?

As sexual assault and domestic violence advocates, we often worry about confidentiality and privacy, knowing how closely they can be tied to safety. How is it that so much personal information has become public today?

Our governments (i.e., we, the people) have decided that open records are important. Our right to a public trial is written into our constitutions, in the belief that a public trial is one that will be fair. As a society, we have embraced the idea that the more openness we force our government to have, the better off we, as citizens will be. It is out of those values that our Legislature has enacted “sunshine laws” such as the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA). On the federal level, Congress crafted the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Under Kansas law, as a general rule, records of public agencies, whether state or local, are open and accessible to the public unless specifically stated otherwise. The KORA also includes a long list of exceptions to this general rule (43 to be exact), in effect stating that there are some records that need not be open. In addition, there may be other statutes outside the KORA that indicate a record need not be public. The Legislature has stated that exceptions to the KORA should only be made if they involve public records of a sensitive or personal nature concerning individuals, a public record that is necessary for the effective and efficient administration of a government program, or a public record that affects confidential information.

It is also important to keep in mind that public records can be more than just paper files. They can be any recorded information regardless of its form, which is made, maintained, or kept by any public agency. They can include computer data and photographs, court records, zoning information, property tax records, and other information or evidence submitted to a public agency. Each public record should be presumed open to the public until one tracks down the law that says otherwise.

Sometimes, as advocates, we want public records to be open; at the same time, we want them to be closed. Take, for example, the advocate who wants to see how many arrests are made after examining police reports on certain crimes. She wants those arrest records to be public. At the same time, that advocate may be concerned about a victim’s name appearing and being accessible to the public in these same reports. Open records can be both a sword and a shield for those of us assisting victims and survivors.

With this information in mind, it is critical for advocates and others assisting victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence to be aware of the public’s access to records, and the information contained in them. For example, an advocate may want to review the various public agencies a victim has had contact with and what information they may have about her that would be public. While her welfare file would not be public information because of the personal nature of the information, her protection from abuse case at the courthouse will be. For a woman who is attempting to flee and remain hidden from her abuser, an address or other information inadvertently or unnecessarily included in a public record can be fatal. Victims and survivors should always be reminded of or be told about how much information is in the public domain. Knowledge of the public’s access to open records will be critical to her ability to develop and update her safety plan.

In this information age, little is private any more. Perhaps the values that created the “sunshine laws” are now coming up against our value of personal privacy. There is much legislation and litigation happening in this area of the law. Ultimately, it will be our values as a culture (and as voters) that determine where we end up.

For more information on the Kansas Open Records Act see the Kansas Attorney General’s website at:

KBI and FBI Working to Stop Cyber Crimes

“While the Internet and other information technologies are bringing enormous benefits to society, they also provide new opportunities for criminal behavior.” Janet Reno, January 10, 2000.

As computers continue to become more sophisticated, and more user-friendly, criminals have found new avenues for committing crimes, especially with vulnerable populations such as children. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas City Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are working to investigate and stop cyber crimes.

Kyle G. Smith, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs, with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation explained that investigating “high technology” crimes will be the biggest area of growth within the KBI. The KBI High Technology Crime Unit is devoted to investigating crimes against persons, committed with the aid of computer technology. Much of the focus of the unit is investigating crimes against children, such as kidnappings, child pornography, solicitation of children, and at times, murder.

The FBI’s Cyber Crimes Task Force in Kansas City is involved in similar types of investigations involving interstate crimes throughout Kansas and the western two-thirds of Missouri. Tom Maiorana, a Special Agent at the FBI Kansas City Field Office explained that the Task Force focuses its efforts on all crimes related to child predator laws and other crimes against children, Internet fraud and computer intrusion (hacking).

According to Rick Sabel, Special Agent in Charge of the Technical Services Unit at the KBI, sexual predators frequently target children. “Most of the crimes investigated by the High Technology Crime Unit are crimes such as sexual exploitation.” Sabel gave an example of a recent investigation where a Kansas man was soliciting children online. When law enforcement received information about his activities, an agent posed as a young girl in an online conversation. Sabel stated that within minutes, the predator engaged in “disgusting conversation,” and made arrangements to pick up the young girl from out of state and return to Kansas with her. The man was apprehended, convicted, and is now serving four years in prison. Sabel explained that crimes such as this are becoming a widespread problem and can happen extremely quickly. “These guys are smooth talkers,” Sabel warned, “They will play to children’s sympathy, and take advantage of their vulnerability.”

Predators frequently use chat rooms, instant messaging, or email to access both adults and children. There have been at least two well-publicized murder cases in Kansas within the last year that began with online exchanges between the perpetrators and their victims. According to the Garden City Telegram, Kim Phoung Tho Lam met Chi Kim Thi Nguyen online and they exchanged many email messages. Kim Phoung Tho Lam later confessed to killing eighteen year old Thi Nguyen in a motel room in Garden City. In the case of convicted serial killer John E. Robinson Sr., prosecutors say that Robinson engaged in online relationships with several of his victims, lured them to the Kansas City area, and eventually murdered them.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 in 5 youth has been sexually solicited online (JAMA 2001). Sabel’s advice to parents is to monitor their children’s online activity as closely as possible. He also said that parental controls can be used to help limit the child’s access to inappropriate websites.

Sabel gave some tips for documenting and reporting inappropriate or illegal online activity.

Helpful information when reporting a computer-related crime is:

  • Approximate time and date crime was committed
  • Description of the incident
  • Internet information such as websites accessed, email addresses, screen names involved, chat rooms involved, etc.
  • Hard copies of chats, if possible
  • Victim’s information, including name, age, address, email address
  • Suspect information if known, including any screen name, email address, IP address, etc.

Sable also recommended saving any emails that were sent and turning off the computer until law enforcement is able to respond. Contacting law enforcement as quickly as possible is also helpful, Sabel explained.

KCSDV Welcomes...

Marilynn Ault, Delta Project Coordinator
Marilynn Ault came out of retirement in April to join the Coalition staff as the DELTA Project Coordinator. She will be the staff to contact about DELTA (Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancements and Leadership Through Alliances). This is an exciting project with Center for Disease Control and Prevention to utilize 14 state coalitions and designated local programs that have Coordinated Community Response teams who are willing to branch out and add primary prevention of intimate partner domestic violence to their efforts.

Marilynn comes to the coalition with more than a decade of experience working to end violence against women. She was Program Director of the Topeka YWCA Battered Women Task Force for 14 years and took a year off before helping KCSDV as the legislative liaison during the past legislative session. She joined the staff full time as the DELTA Project Coordinator last spring. Marilynn has also served on the KCSDV Board Executive Committee and as past board president.

Marcia Hornung, OARS Project Assistant
Marcia Hornung joined the Coalition in May. Marcia will assist with the implementation and maintenance of the Kansas Advocacy Training Institute, a statewide domestic violence/sexual assault training project. Marcia will be facilitating the coordination of training opportunities for advocates, SRS workers, and other allied professionals. She will also provide technical assistance and coordinate regional meetings for OARS Advocates and other member program advocates.

Marcia comes to the Coalition with direct service experience as a domestic violence/sexual assault advocate at the Crisis Center Inc., of Manhattan. She has experience coordinating outreach services in rural areas, shelter management, providing on-site crisis intervention as a police response advocate, and was most recently the OARS Advocate in the Manhattan SRS Office.

Kim Pentico, Economic Justice Coordinator
Kim Pentico returned to Kansas and KCSDV in June. She will be taking over the Economic Justice Coordinator from Sarah Morrison, who is moving into the Training Coordinator position.

Kim has spent the last two years working in Washington, DC, first for the S.T.O.P. TA Project then for the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Prior to that, she worked three years for KCSDV as the Community Advocacy Coordinator and seven years at the Manhattan Crisis Center.

We are thrilled to welcome the expertise that Marilynn, Marcia and Kim bring to the Coalition staff.

Words that Make You Go "Huh?"

Don’t know what Cache means, but too shy to ask someone? Look no further.

Back up:
To keep a second copy of the material that’s on your computer. You “back up” your hard drive onto diskettes, tapes or other backup media so that if your computer has a problem, you don’t lose all your work and data.

The address of a frequently visited Website. A list of bookmarks is kept on your browser so you can get back to the sites quickly.

The “translator” that lets your computer take the information from the Internet and turn it into Web pages and graphics like the ones you see here.

The temporary storage area on your disk or in your computer’s memory where recently used material is stored.

A cookie is information that a Web site puts on your hard disk so that it can remember something about you at a later time. Typically, a cookie records your preferences when using a particular site. (

Reorganize your hard drive’s data. After repeated openings and closings, data you’re using can get put back in the wrong place — fragmented. With the Windows “defragmenter” or “defrag” tool, the computer organizes the data more neatly so there’s more room and so the computer can find it more quickly and speed up the whole operation.

A computer security system that prevents unwanted data from entering the computer it’s intended to guard. (J Deaver)

A person who “breaks and enters” private computer systems, sometimes to steal information or services stored there.

Hard Drive:
Your computer’s central storage device. The programs you use, the documents you store and lots of native information on your computer — it’s all stored there. It’s pretty hard to trash it once it’s on there unless your hard drive “crashes.” That’s why we urge you to back up your drive on a tape or Zip drive or other backup mechanism. (

In a Web browser, the history is a detailed list of Web sites the computer has visited which remains in a computer’s memory for a pre-determined number of days. (The number of days the computer retains its history can be set in the browser’s preferences.) History can be used to backtrack where you have gone on the Web; the list of Web sites in a browser’s history can be viewed by date, time of day, title, address (URL), alphabetical order, or number of repeat visits. (

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language):
The basic programming language of the World Wide Web; its simple code tells your browser how to display all the information coming at it. (

A part of a Web page that “links” to another page — lets you move on to the other page with a click of your mouse. It’s usually bright blue and underlined. (

A message board on the Internet. Also known as Internet discussion groups, they are like player piano rolls of messages devoted to a particular topic. It all starts by someone posting an initial query or comment, and other members reply. Still others reply to the replies, and so the “discussion” forms a chain of related postings called a “message thread.” (

Operating system (OS):
Another thing that’s just what it sounds like. Your operating system is the system that runs your computer itself. Windows 98 is an OS, for example.

Random access memory; the main memory of a computer. It’s used to run programs.

Read-only memory, the permanent memory that holds the basic material your computer needs in order to operate.

Unwanted email, often mass-mailed advertising or marketing material.

Software that sends information about your Web surfing habits to its Web site. Often built into free downloads from the Web, it transmits information in the background as you move around the Web. The license agreement that you often accept without reading may say that the information is anonymous. Anonymous profiling means that your habits are being recorded, but not you individually. ( SpyWare is also used to describe computer monitoring programs and Trojan Horses.

Trojan Horse:
A program that appears legitimate but performs some illicit activity when it is run. It may be used to locate password information or make the system more vulnerable to future entry or simply destroy programs or data on the hard disk. A Trojan horse is similar to a virus, except that it does not replicate itself. It stays in the computer doing its damage or allowing somebody from a remote site to take control of the computer. Trojans often sneak in attached to a free game or other utility. (

A program that invades and “infects” your computer. Like the flu or a cold, a computer virus can be mild or serious. It can harm almost nothing on your computer, or it can infect your file or even your hard drive. A virus protection program can keep most of them at bay.

Web page:
A document on the World Wide Web. Many Websites are divided into lots of pages, one for each segment of a subject.

A destructive program that replicates itself throughout disk and memory, using up the computers resources and eventually putting the system down. (

Jeffrey Deaver: Glossary in “The Blue Nowhere”, 2001
NNEDV National Safe & Strategic Technology Project – Cyberstalking/Technology Glossary


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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:

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 attn: Publications Specialist.

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