Summer 2011 Newsletter

Message from KCSDV Executive Director

Today’s atmosphere in Kansas and at KCSDV seems to be about change and transition, but also about strengths and priorities.

Just over two years ago, KCSDV changed its Board of Directors structure to reflect the need for more community input and support in the Coalition’s statewide work. At the same time, the structure kept the Coalition’s vital and formal link with programs through creation of the Program Council made up of representatives from sexual assault and domestic violence programs.

Two years ago, the Program Council approved Core Services Guidelines for sexual assault and domestic violence services in Kansas. Knowing that few of the programs were yet at “optimum” services, the programs created a model that would allow them to reach and build for services that “every victim, every time” deserves and should have. One year ago, KCSDV began a new and revised accreditation process that will take Kansas programs toward these optimum services for survivors and their children, regardless of where they live in the state.

In August of 2010, KCSDV’s long-time executive director left the organization for other opportunities. Whew!

And, these changes do not include a change in the Governor’s office, in state administrative agencies, and in the Judicial Branch.

In the face of these changes, KCSDV remains strong and dynamic. The Board is launching a fundraising plan this fall to build consistency and stability for the Coalition and to develop resources for the programs. The Program Council is meeting regularly and restarting its committee work to improve program administration and advocacy support and to provide guidance to KCSDV on program needs. The state steering committee on primary prevention is moving toward a state strategic plan for ending domestic and sexual violence. The Coalition staff is fabulous and filled with great advocates with expertise on a variety of issues.

Change and transition can be difficult but it can also afford opportunity for review and reflection. As the summer progresses and more changes come our way, the Coalition will stand strong and remain consistent in its support and advocacy for victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. I look forward to working with all of you on new issues, new initiatives, and new collaborations.

Joyce Grover
KCSDV Executive Director

State Coalition Honors Outgoing Governor’s Grants Administrator

The departure of Juliene Maska from the Kansas Governor’s Grants Program office is a great loss to Kansas domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs and the victims they serve. Not only did Juliene devote her career to making Kansas better for victims of crime, she was also an advocate, an ally, and a friend to victims of sexual and domestic violence in Kansas and across the nation.

In 1996, recognizing Juliene as one of the founding mothers of the movement to end violence against women and children in Kansas, the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) created an award in her name. KCSDV’s Juliene Maska Advocate of the Year Award is presented annually to an outstanding advocate in Kansas.

Juliene was one of the founders of KCSDV’s member program in Hays, now called Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Inc. Later, while serving as president of the predecessor organization to KCSDV, the Kansas Association of Domestic Violence Programs, Juliene helped then-Attorney General Robert Stephan build his vision of a strong victims’ rights movement in Kansas by serving on the Kansas Crime Victims Rights Task Force.

Since that time, Juliene has worked tirelessly to move that vision into reality in Kansas, including working on the Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights, which passed successfully as an amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 1992. She went on to serve as the first statewide Victim’s Rights Coordinator in the Office of Attorney General Stephan.

Later, while working for Attorney General Carla Stovall, Governor Kathleen Sebelius, and Governor Mark Parkinson, and in collaboration with an array of legislators and advocacy groups, Juliene helped move forward a number of key initiatives, including:

  • Adding “dating relationship” to the Protection from Abuse Act to allow protection for dating partners subject to abuse;
  • Creation of the Kansas Protection From Stalking Act;
  • Funding directed toward services for sexual assault victims, and
  • Amendments to the sexual assault forensic exam evidence collection statute allowing additional access and support for victims.

More recently, Juliene helped create the Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, which crafted the landmark Domestic Violence Designation Law, effective July 1, 2011, and chaired the Governor’s Advisory Council on Domestic Violence Training, creating consistent training materials and protocols with a multidisciplinary council. Throughout this time, Juliene served as the state administrator for the federal Violence Against Women Act, Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, and Victims of Crime Act funds.

Juliene’s public and daily support for crime victims in Kansas will be missed. Her legacy as a leader in the movement to end violence against women and children in Kansas will live on. KCSDV and its member programs extend their deepest thanks to Juliene for dedicating her career to this work.

Kansas Family Strengthening Summit held June 8

Kansans have been hearing a lot about strengthening families, promoting marriage, and healthy relationships from the current state administration. KCSDV has been involved at many levels. The Kansas Family Strengthening Summit is just one. Here’s our report on the Summit. You can also read Anne Menard’s remarks below.

Anne Menard, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, was a featured speaker at the Kansas Family Strengthening Summit held in Wichita on June 8-9th. The following are her remarks given to approximately 400 participants of the two-day summit.

It is a real pleasure for me to be here and to have been given this time to talk to you about the importance of accounting for and integrating a concern for safety into efforts to strengthen families and communities.

I’m also very pleased to be in position of underscoring this concept, rather than introducing it, and I appreciate the genuine commitment on the part of the Summit organizers and my fellow colleagues to make sure that safety is not at the margins of these family strengthening discussions, but one of the issues at the center.

And I am very aware that I am the 15th speaker and now stand between you and lunch. So let me give you the headlines up front – the 2 take aways from my 15 minutes at the podium:

The first is that we ALL have a role to play in combating and ultimately preventing violence and abuse within relationships, within families and within communities.

And the second take away is that OUR professional and organizational relationships matter – the shared values that we articulate, the common ground that we identify, and the respectful partnerships that we build and nurture with each other – our relationships are central to any successful efforts to strengthen families.

The lens through which I am looking at this shared work of strengthening families is that of an advocate working to end domestic and sexual violence. And as always, I want to define the key terms I am using.

What do I mean by domestic violence?
Domestic violence — or battering, and increasingly referred to intimate partner violence – is most usefully understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors – including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion – that adults and adolescents use against an intimate partner. Domestic violence is about one partner’s need to control the other, and the intentional use of a range of tactics to secure and maintain that control.

Domestic violence includes behaviors that frighten, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, isolate, too often injure or sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.

So domestic violence, under this definition, can be distinguished from “fights that get out of control” — what some researchers call situational couple violence – an outburst or angry and violent reaction to something a partner has done or might do but which does NOT involve a chronic pattern of controlling, intimidating, or stalking behaviors and does not typically leave the partner with ongoing fear.

As should be obvious to all of you, both what is labeled situational couple violence — those fights that get out of control — and domestic violence – the intentional and sustained use of coercive control — are problematic and have no place in healthy relationships.

We are not talking about “good violence” and “bad violence”. It is all problematic!

However domestic violence is far more likely to result in injury or death and raises the most serious concerns about participation in relationship and marriage education programs.

What do we know about domestic violence?
Research and experience tell us that domestic and sexual violence within families and relationships is not a small or insignificant problem in our society, and in most societies around the globe.

Nearly 25 percent of U.S. women and 8 percent of men report being sexually and/or physically assaulted by a current or former intimate partner at some time in their lifetime.

While domestic violence most frequently involves a male abusing a female partner, abuse by same-sex partners and of males by female partners occur and are the focus of increasing concern.

We know that the health care and criminal justice system and workplace costs of intimate partner violence against women in the United States, updated to 2003 dollars, exceed $8.3 billion annually. This does not include costs related to reduced cost of living for victims and their children.

We know that each day in the United States, an average of 3 women are killed by an intimate partner or ex-partner.

We know that literally millions of children of all ages are exposed domestic violence in their homes, and that this exposure impacts them in a range of negative ways, many of which look similar to the negative outcomes associated with divorce or being raised in families with only one-parent. We know that there is a strong overlap of domestic violence and child support.

We know that one in three high school students will be involved in an abusive relationship.

We know that domestic violence occurs in all relationship types, and cuts across all demographics groups.

Over the last 30 years, we’ve learned a lot about what matters about our understanding of domestic and sexual violence and our intervention and prevention efforts, and I want to focus on some of the more recent lessons learned that most relate to these discussions about family strengthening initiatives.

First, we know that individual experiences of violence and abuse matter.

Research and experience tell us that lifetime experiences of interpersonal intimate violence have a profound effect on the relationship decisions that adults – and women in particular – make, how they think about and approach intimate relationships; the hopes, fears, and expectations that they bring into relationships.

For many victims, experiences of child sexual abuse, child physical abuse, exposure as a child to abuse of one of their parents, teen dating abuse, and domestic violence can profoundly erode trust in others, distort the sense of self, and reduce expectations of safety and respect in intimate relationships.

It matters a great deal whether or not the traumatic impact of these early and perhaps ongoing experiences with violence and abuse are recognized, whether or not opportunities and support are provided to support healing and recovery, and whether or not they are exposed to other models of healthy and safe relationships.

There is an increasing emphasis on the development of trauma-informed services and supports to individuals and families, and this has implications for family strengthening initiatives as well as our ongoing work as domestic and sexual violence advocacy programs.

We’ve learned that what domestic and sexual violence programs do matters.

In 2010, over 3.8 MILLION calls were made to community-based domestic violence domestic violence hotlines, like those in Kansas. This is in addition to the 22,000 calls received each and every month by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, often by victims or a family or friend of a victim who are reaching out for help for the first time.

In 2010, 1,500 community-based domestic violence shelters like those in KS and Missouri, and Oklahoma and all the other states you are from provided over 8 million emergency shelter nights to victims and their children who fled homes that were no longer safe.

Almost 172,000 victims had to be turned away because of lack of bed space.

In total, over 1.2 million women, men and children were sheltered or provided advocacy services, support groups, counseling or other services and supports in 2010.

These community-based domestic violence programs also provided over 160,000 presentations reaching 6.7 million adults and almost 1.9 million youth about the prevalence and scope of domestic violence and dating violence and the importance of healthy relationships.

Research shows that victims/survivors themselves find these services to be highly responsive, very helpful, and in many cases, life-saving.

We know that intervention matters AND prevention matters.

While the historical emphasis of our work has been on intervention – responding to the everyday crisis – recent funding from CDC to promote primary prevention activities has been incredibly important, and I know that Debbie Zelli from the Kansas Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence will be talking to you about that later.

We know that children matter.

In the context of our domestic violence advocacy work, research and experience tell us that concern for their children is central to many battered women’s relationship decisions.

Concern for their children’s well-being drives many women to leave an abusive relationship. And concern for their children’s well-being, and fears of poverty and homelessness, motivates other women to struggle to “save” the relationship at the same time they seek help to make the abuser’s violence stop.

Clearly, as domestic violence advocates, we have an interest in ensuring that initiatives organized to “enhance child well-being” also recognize and respond to the negative impacts of children’s exposure to domestic violence and also fully support mothers who make decisions they consider to be in their children’s interest.

Research has demonstrated that children’s resilience in the face of exposure to domestic violence is directly related to the strength of the bond with the protective parent. Family strengthening efforts need to encompass this reality.

We have learned that economic issues matter. And that poverty particularly matters.

Family and interpersonal relationships are complex, especially when framed by economic hardship. Over 90% of victims in a recent study reported being subjected to financial abuse – and partner who systematically ruined their credit, controlled their access to $$$, and sabotaged their employment or education.

We know from research and experience that poverty and domestic violence, for example, exacerbate each other.

That living in poverty makes it even more difficult to escape a violent and abusive relationship. And that having a partner who is isolating and controlling you and actively sabotaging any attempts to become economically independent, makes it difficult to escape poverty.

Failing to understand these interconnections make our family strengthening efforts less responsive and may have unintended negative consequences.

In our work to end domestic and sexual violence, and in all of our collaborative work with many of you, we have learned that culture matters…in so many ways.

Not just in whether the content and language of the programs and services we design and offer are reflective of and responsive to the lived experiences of the diverse and multi-faceted communities we are serving but also in whether they acknowledge the impact of racial, gender and other forms of social injustice that profoundly affects too many individual, families and communities across the country.

And whether community-based family strengthening efforts reflect and support and build on cultural strengths and resilience, rich and diverse faith traditions, and tap current and emerging leadership from within these communities. That we make sure the resources are shared to support the development of culturally-specific programs and services that emerge from the communities themselves.

It also matters whether the research designed to capture the impact of our efforts to strengthen families is culturally sensitive and captures the whole picture, including the rich and diverse range of lived experiences.

We know that how we define the nature of our work together matters.

As domestic and sexual violence advocates, our constituency consists largely of women who became single parents when they left an abusive husband or who decided not to marry the abusive father of their child, and those who are struggling with whether to stay or leave their current relationship.

Many battered women have stayed in marriages and other types of intimate partner relationships because they love their partner. They want the abuse to end, not necessarily the relationship.

After repeated experiences with the abuse, many eventually reach a decision to leave because the violence has not stopped and they and/or their children remain threatened and in danger. They conclude that the ability to reconcile and the likelihood of change have passed.

For us to fully participate – beyond merely providing training on domestic violence, helping you develop domestic violence protocols, or serving as a referral when domestic violence issues arise — family strengthening initiatives need to be more broadly scoped, and include the provision of supportive services to all families, regardless of their marital status or family composition, support healthy co-parenting and opportunities to engage in early intervention and prevention of abusive relationships.

Strongly related to this, we have learned that how we define the “success” of our individual and collaborative family strengthening efforts matters.

Is the traditional nuclear family, with 2-married economically stable parents, while desirable, the only kind of family we care about and are investing in? Of course not.

What performance and outcome measures are we identifying and assigning value, and what will they really show?

Obviously, counting an increase in marriage or a decrease in divorce over time tells us little about the quality of these relationships.

If someone realizes through healthy relationship education decides NOT to marry the father of their child because she or he recognizes the abusive nature of the relationship or a fundamental incompatibility, isn’t that a positive outcome? Of course it is.

Are we designing child well-being measures that fully account for the negative impacts of child abuse, child sexual abuse, and childhood exposure to domestic violence on children, along with those negative outcomes commonly attributed to the absence of two biological economically stable parents?

What about healthy co-parenting? Should that be part of family strengthening initiative, even it doesn’t lead to marriage? If child well-being is our goal, healthy co-parenting has to be part of what we care about.

Will initiative goals be set based on what we (which begs the question of who “we” includes) want families to look like, or more fully account for the rich diversity and complex realities of the families and communities being targeted?

Will communities or individual participants be afforded self-determination in identifying the goals and outcomes of most value to them?

We have learned that the language we use to describe what we are about matters.

As the language of the federal debate shifted from “marriage promotion” to “healthy marriages” to “healthy relationships and marriage and responsible fatherhood” to now “family strengthening” – all tied, at least rhetorically, to an overriding concern for “child well-being” — what does this signal to the current or potential partners in these efforts?

Many of us in the domestic violence field are excited and encouraged, if not also nervous, about the potential that rests in emerging collaborations between domestic violence programs, batterer intervention programs, and responsible fatherhood programs.

We know that many domestic violence victims, even after ending a relationship with an abusive partner, remain in contact with that partner, either because they are mandated to by the courts under custody or visitation arrangements, or because they want their children to have a relationship with their father.

How can we, working together, create more opportunities for fathers interested in restoring relationships with their children after abuse, to do so without jeopardizing the ongoing safety of their mother?

And because of who we work with – many women with a good reason to leave a marriage – we bring a whole set of fears and trepidation to discussions and policy proposals to make divorce more difficult to secure.

Clearly, there are many questions to consider, including unintended consequences. And addressing them will require ongoing dialogue and collaborative problem-solving into which we hope domestic violence advocates will be invited as respected and valued partners.

And finally, at least for today, we have learned that the nature and quality of OUR relationships with each other matter – particularly the breadth and depth of our relationships. The respectful recognition of what we each bring to the table. And the shared understanding of the challenges that each of us face to keep our doors open and respond to the demand for services we face.

But also our attention to language differences. And perhaps our own histories of conflict, differences in philosophies, constituencies, and even language.

We’ve learned together that making distinctions between conflict and domestic violence matters. And that making these distinctions is challenging, given the development level of the research and tool development in this area.

Again, the relationships we build with each other — between domestic violence organizations, responsible fatherhood programs, healthy relationship and marriage programs, other community organizations who work with families, the educators that prepare the social workers and clinicians and counselors who work with families, the faith community, the business community and the media – these relationships and the common ground we find and expand on is critical to really bringing to the rich array of families that exist the range of supports they need to thrive, withstand adversity, and raise healthy, happy, safe children, equipped with the skills and support to build and sustain healthy, safe adult relationships.

A key focus of our work as domestic violence advocates has always been on promoting healthy non-abusive relationships. We share common ground with many in the movement to support healthy relationships and marriage and promote responsible fatherhood and certainly with those looking more broadly at family strengthening.

So will end with the overarching “what matters.” Safety is a critical element of health and well-being and family strengthening. If it’s not safe – whether we are talking about relationships, families or communities – it won’t be healthy and it won’t be strong.

Thank you for sharing our concern for safety and doing what we can do to create and healthy and safe world for our grandkids.”

The Kansas Family Strengthening Summit was held June 8-9th in Wichita, hosted by the Kansas Family Strengthening Coalition.

The Summit included a full day of presentations and speakers, an evening of facilitated “Critical Conversations”, a wide array of workshops, the unveiling of highlights from the “Critical Conversations,” and an optional post-summit, full-day training.

The first-day presentations were led by 30 local, state and national professionals from the field of Family Strengthening and Healthy Relationships, as well as elected officials. Speakers included U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo; Kansas Governor Sam Brownback; Secretary of Kansas Social and Rehabilitative Services Rob Siedlecki; Secretary of Kansas Department of Health and Environment Dr. Robert Moser; and Dr. Anne Menard, Executive Director of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. /p>

The invitation-only “Critical Conversations” were held on the evening of the first day and included a wide array of topics. Each conversation was tasked with creating three recommendations on how to strengthen families. Topics included legislative and legal Issues; addressing sexual and domestic violence; addressing the issue of sexually exploited teens; fatherhood; serving families with special needs; strengthening families of first responders, Hispanics, African-Americans, youth 0-12, and youth 13-25, among others.

As one of many co-sponsors of the event, the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence understands the importance of safety when working with couples and promoting relationships. Additionally, KCSDV and all of its member programs act as critical resources on this topic.

KCSDV and its member programs are already providing primary prevention work on sexual and domestic violence. This work includes the development and fostering of individual, community, and social norms that support healthy relationships and begin to answer questions such as: What are healthy relationships? What do they look like? How do we grow our children with those norms in mind? How do we foster social change necessary to allow for the creation of healthy relationships and healthy communities?

As the recommendations from the Summit move toward implementation, it will be critical to include experts in sexual and domestic violence at all levels; sexual assault and domestic violence do matter, and do, in fact, affect an incredibly high number of Kansas families. No marriage or relationship can be healthy if there is sexual assault or domestic violence present, or if the prior effects of either make it impossible or difficult to have a healthy relationship or marriage.

It is also important to note that this work is not only happening at the state and local level. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families recently announced the availability of $150 million for Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Relationship and Marriage Grants. This funding is intended to help fathers meet their parenting and financial responsibilities to their children and assist married couples or those considering marriage in building strong relationships with each other and their children.

“To invest in the success of fathers is to invest in the future of our children, our economy, and our communities” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “This funding provides organizations in underserved communities with the tools they need to promote responsible parenting, to encourage healthy marriage and relationships, and to remove barriers to financial security and self-sufficiency.”

The funding opportunities available (with application due dates of July 28, 2011) include:

  • Community-Centered Healthy Marriage and Relationship grants support programs that have the capacity and proven track record of providing a broad range of healthy marriage and relationship skills training.
  • Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood grants support organizations that demonstrate the ability to successfully promote responsible fatherhood, including economic stability, responsible parenting, and healthy marriage and relationship skills.
  • Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Re-Entry Pilot Project grants support re-entry programs that provide responsible fatherhood pre- and post-release case management services to recently released or re-entering fathers and mothers.
  • National Resource Center for Strategies to Promote Healthy Marriage grants support the development, implementation and management of a resource center to gather, develop, and disseminate information and research related to promoting healthy marriage.

“We recognize the need for fathers to be present in their children’s lives,” said George Sheldon, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. “These funding opportunities bring us closer to preparing more fathers to nurture and take full responsibility for their children and for couples to sustain healthy relationships.”

KCSDV looks forward to the next steps! Primary prevention of domestic and sexual violence necessarily depends, in part, on building models of the healthy relationship and marriage that will take all of us toward a violence free society.

For more information:

Office of Family Assistance:

Funding Opportunity Announcements:

Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood:

Kansas Strengthening Families Coalition:

Healthy Relationships and the Connection to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault:

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence:

Congratulations to Kathy Williams and Laura Patzner: Selected to Participate in First-Ever National Forum on Sexual Assault Services Program

The Resource Sharing Project is excited to host the upcoming National Forum on Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP), which will focus on the range and variety of services available for sexual assault survivors across the country. The forum will be held July 20-21 in Alexandria, Virginia.

To make this event successful and directly relevant to service providers in each state and territory, sexual assault service providers who are doing new and innovative work in specific areas have been invited to attend. This two-day forum held in late July will be a learning exchange about current practices, innovative responses, and the variety of services that can be provided to survivors throughout their whole lives.

From Kansas, Kathy Williams and Laura Patzner have been invited to attend.

Staunch advocate and spokesperson for the victims and survivors of sexual assault, Kathy Williams, is the executive director of the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC); a position she has held for eleven years. She also served as WASAC’s coordinator of victim services for five years. Ms. Williams knew from the beginning of her secondary education that she wanted to work with women and children who had experienced violence. She freely shares her expertise by serving on boards and councils of several state and local organizations, and will bring a wide array of knowledge and experience to the SASP Forum.

Laura Patzner has served as executive director of Family Crisis Center, Inc. (FCC) in Great Bend, since 2006. Under her leadership, FCC has increased the number of paid advocates from 7 to 13 and developed stronger, survivor-driven services in the 10 counties it serves. “What an honor to represent the incredible work being done on behalf of and for survivors in Kansas and to learn from so many from across the nation,” said Patzner.

KCSDV is proud of the work being done in Kansas and congratulates Williams and Patzner on this honor.

KCSDV Project Highlight: Child and Youth Project

Children are a central part of many survivors’ lives and an integral part of their safety and decision-making processes. KCSDV and the advocacy programs providing direct assistance to survivors of sexual and domestic violence and their children in Kansas have long recognized the importance of children’s issues in the face of sexual and domestic violence.

KCSDV’s Child and Youth Project consists of several components that work across multiple systems to develop and strengthen practices that enhance the safety and security of survivors and their children and hold perpetrators accountable for their abuse and violence. Domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy services, child protective services, custody and child protection courts, in-home visitation providers, early childhood education, healthy fatherhood initiatives, and supervised child exchange and visitation services are a few of the many systems that this project works with collaboratively to improve responses to survivors and their children.

The following are selected highlights of the current work by KCSDV’s Child and Youth Project.

Child Welfare

Child maltreatment is closely linked to adult sexual and domestic violence – more than 30 studies illustrate a co-occurrence rate of between 30 and 70 percent.1 KCSDV and the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services division of Children and Family Services (SRS CFS) began partnering in 2002 to address the issue of the overlap between child maltreatment and adult sexual and domestic violence.

With the assistance of Praxis International, KCSDV and SRS CFS conducted a state-level Safety and Accountability Assessment in 2002 of Kansas’ child protection system. This assessment highlighted areas that needed attention on both sides of the issue – child welfare and victim services. Recommendations from this assessment included resource development, training, and technical assistance for child welfare professionals on best practices that enhance the safety and well-being of protective parents and their children and that hold perpetrators accountable; and cross-training and technical assistance for domestic violence and sexual assault advocates on child welfare-related issues, collaboration, and advocacy within the child welfare system. These assessment recommendations continue to be followed and implemented by KCSDV through its Child and Youth Project.

Recent publications created as a part of this project include the Domestic Violence Manual for Child Welfare Professionals. This desk reference guide was created for child protective service investigators and child welfare case management providers to use when working with families experiencing sexual or domestic violence. Over 400 guides have been distributed statewide.

In 2010, KCSDV’s Child and Youth Project trained 478 SRS CFS social workers and child welfare case management provider staff and 423 domestic violence and sexual assault advocates.

Federal funding and contract support from SRS has allowed for staffing with both KCSDV and SRS to work jointly on the issues and this project. Immediately before publication of this newsletter, KCSDV was informed that SRS will no longer be providing this contract support. KCSDV is committed to continuing its work and sustaining efforts that improve the child welfare system’s response to survivors of sexual and domestic violence and their children.

Children's Services

Survivors often seek advocacy services to lessen the impact of sexual and domestic violence on their children. KCSDV’s Child and Youth Project works with domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs to develop and enhance advocacy services that focuses on strengthening families’ protective factors and resilience; joining with protective parents in their efforts to rebuild relationships and bonds with their children that have been undermined by the perpetrator; supporting adult survivors’ roles as parents; and engaging children in safe, age-appropriate activities that enhance resiliency to the impacts of violence and abuse in the home.

Resource development, training, and technical assistance are critical components of this project. Recent publications on this project include the guide, Working with Survivors of Domestic Violence and Their Children: A Resource Guide for Domestic Violence Advocacy Programs in Kansas. This guide provides domestic violence advocates with information and tools necessary to provide parent-child advocacy services. Four training events were held in each region of the state and 45 advocates were trained on the use of this guide. Over 90 guides have been distributed to advocates statewide.

Child Exchange and Supervised Visitation

Child exchange and visitation centers are an integral part of safety for many survivors’ and their children. KCSDV serves on the Governor’s and Attorney General’s Committee on Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Centers and partners to develop and implement target sites for the Kansas Safe Havens project. In 2010, KCSDV’s Child and Youth Project provided training to 53 child exchange and visitation center staff on best practices when serving families experiencing sexual and domestic violence.


Kathy Wood is the KCSDV Child and Youth Project Team Leader. Kathy has almost ten years of experience in the sexual and domestic violence field. Prior to joining KCSDV, Kathy provided direct services to survivors and their children as a parent-child advocate and has held other advocacy positions at a domestic violence and sexual assault program. She holds a Master of Social Work from Washburn University.

Sarah Strick is the KCSDV Children’s Services Coordinator. Sarah has over ten years of experience working in child and youth-related professions. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas.

Joan Proctor is the KCSDV Child Welfare Project Coordinator. Joan has over 25 years of experience as a social worker in various positions at social service agencies and most recently worked as an advocate for a domestic violence and sexual assault program. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Washburn University.

Serena Wecker is the Domestic Violence Child Welfare Specialist for SRS Children and Family Services and the collaborative partner for the child welfare work of KCSDV?s Child and Youth Project. Serena has eight years of experience as a licensed social worker in the child welfare field and previously worked for KCSDV. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Kansas.

For more information about KCSDV’s Child and Youth Project, including trainings or publications, contact Kathy Wood at

KCSDV Welcomes...

Mallory Bowen joined KCSDV as Administrative Assistant in May. Mallory graduated from the University of Kansas with dual bachelor degrees in sociology and women, gender, and sexuality studies in May 2011.

Shirley Fessler joined KCSDV in March as the Statewide SANE/SART Coordinator. Prior to joining KCSDV, she spent over twenty years as a Victim Advocate in the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. There she worked with victims and their families in all crime categories, including homicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, child sexual and physical abuse, and other violent crimes against persons. Shirley was instrumental in ensuring the availability of SANE services in Johnson County and establishing Johnson County’s Sexual Assault Response Team.

Audra Fullerton joined KCSDV in May as the Communications Coordinator. She comes to KCSDV from the Willow Domestic Violence Center in Lawrence where she served as the Director of Community Engagement. She has worked in the area of non-profit program management and communications for the last seven years. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2002 with a Bachelor Degree in Music.

Member Program Highlights...

Great Bend – On June 18, Great Bend Regional Hospital held Human eMotion, a ride/run/walk to benefit the Family Crisis Center (FCC). More than 100 participants biked a 62 mile or 25 mile course, ran a 1/2 marathon or 5k, or walked 2 miles. Participants were treated to lunch and conversation with Jackie Stiles, Claflin native and former WNBA rookie of the year; and Cameron Chambers, Great Bend native and 24-hour MTB National Champion. “Healthy lifestyles include healthy relationships,” said Pam Chambers, hospital administrator and event coordinator. “It all goes hand-in-hand.” Additionally, FCC is proud to be developing a Child Exchange and Visitation Center and a Child Advocacy Center to enhance current services offered.

Hays – Great News!! NKDSVS has changed its name to OPTIONS. Same address, phone number and great service. The new name and logo are great symbols for victims/survivors of violence. Just as the compass guides a person to find her or his way, so do the Options’ advocates. Call 800-794-4624 or 785-625-3055.

Hutchinson – Participants from the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center, Inc., support groups created “Speak Out Masks.” The masks were on display at Hutchinson’s monthly Third Thursday celebration as part of the community Art Walk on June 16. It was a great time for the public to see a few of the unique activities they do in their groups, HEART for adult survivors and Circles of Affection for children.

Johnson County – SAFEHOME is working with the Johnson County DA’s office and police departments in preparation for the July 1 implementation of a county-wide Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment Program. SAFEHOME is anticipating an increase in hotline calls and demand for shelter as a result of this collaborative effort to prevent domestic homicide. Preparations include expanding the Clinical Intake Advocacy (CIA) program, which offers face-to-face support within 48 hours of a victim’s call.

Lawrence – Sarah Terwelp, executive director of Willow DV Center, announces her resignation after 12 years of distinguished service. Terwelp served as the Willow’s first executive director since the organization, then WTCS, moved from a coordinated collective to a more traditional non-profit structure in 1999. Joan Schultz will serve as interim executive director while a full search is held to fill the position more permanently. An open house will be held July 27 from 4 pm – 6 pm at the Willow administrative office. RSVP to or 785-331-2034.

Manhattan – Victims’ Advocates and Riley County Police Department Officers Working Together for Safety: The Crisis Center’s Police Response Advocate Program was initiated in April of 1997, a collaborative effort of the Riley County Police Department and the Crisis Center. The Center’s Police Response Advocates (PRAs) are dispatched to the scene of domestic violence calls when patrol officers are dispatched. PRAs meet and safety plan with victims on scene, offering Crisis Center services and information about community resources. The program reaches out to 500-600 victims each year.

Salina – Saline County’s MDT has implemented changes that will increase victim safety and perpetrator accountability. The Saline County Sheriff’s Department implemented a Lethality Screening and is making additional referrals to Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas. Judge Stoss and City Prosecutor Jennifer Wyatt are holding separate monthly court hearings for all domestic violence cases. This will increase perpetrator accountability while a person is enrolled in the BIP program. Judge Stoss can quickly intervene with any consequences she deems necessary.

Wichita – The YWCA is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Chip Away at Domestic Violence golf tournament Monday September 12, 2011, at Willowbend Golf Course in Wichita. The cost is $95 per player with all proceeds to benefit the YWCA Women’s Crisis Center. Come and enjoy the beautiful Willowbend course while supporting survivors of domestic violence. Sponsorships and player openings are still available but filling up quickly. Please visit or call 316-263-7501 to register or for more information.

Legislative Briefing - Update - June 30, 2011

HB 2045
Short Title: Amending the definitions and penalties for eavesdropping and blackmail.
Status: Did not pass.

HB 2138
Short Title: Expanding crime of burglary to include entering to commit certain domestic crimes.
Status: Did not pass.

HB 2145
Short Title: Concerning orders for relief of abuse.
Status: Did not pass.

SB 55
Short Title: House Substitute for SB 55 by Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice — Authorizing relief from firearm disability for mentally ill and allowing access to certain information; house arrest and other sentencing conditions as penalties for certain crimes, interception of third-party communications, use of immigration status for appearance bond considerations; grand juries, payment of prisoners for work release, community corrections, harassment by telecommunications device.
Status: Signed by Governor on May 25, 2011.

Note: We were originally in support of this bill because it expanded harassment by telephone by including any telecommunications device and adding more inclusive language to the current statute. Later, other things were added to this bill as noted in the short title. It goes into effect on July 1, 2011. As passed, the bill is 39 pages and can be found at

KCSDV is analyzing this legislation and will provide more information in the future.

SB 69
Short Title: Requiring school districts to adopt policies against dating violence.
Status: Did not pass.

SB 91
Short Title: Public health care; sexual assault survivors right to emergency contraception information.
Status: Did not pass.

SB 98
Short Title: Elimination of certain sales tax exemptions, imposition of sales tax on certain services, provision of sales tax exemption for certain purchases of food, and reduction of sales tax and certain income tax rates.
Status: Did not pass.

Other Bills - Update June 30, 2011

HB 2030
Short Title: Continuation of certain exceptions to disclosure under the open records act.
Status: Approved by the Governor on March 28, 2011
Note: KCSDV supported this bill as it continued and recognized protections from open records for victims. This goes into effect on July 1, 2011, and it can be found at

HB 2032
Short Title: County and district attorney monthly reporting of caseloads.
Status: Did not pass.

HB 2042
Short Title: Requiring law enforcement to report pornographic materials found at scene of or in possession of person who commits a sexually violent crime.
Status: Did not pass.

HB 2103
Short Title: Child in need of care; termination of parents rights.
Status: Did not pass.

HB 2137
Short Title: Enacting the protective parent reform act.
Status: Did not pass.

SB 39
Short Title: Creating the classification of “aggravated sex offender;” creating additional penalties and restrictions for sex offenders.
Status: Did not pass.

SB 53
Short Title: Inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in Kansas act against discrimination.
Status: Did not pass.

SB 63
Short Title: House Substitute for SB 63 by Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice — Amending the crime of sexual exploitation of a child.
Status: Signed by the Governor on May 25, 2011.
Note: While this bill was passed, it was significantly revised to the point that it no longer pertains to the crime of sexual exploitation of a child. The bill now concerns civil procedure; relating to electronic filing; relating to forfeiture. It can be found at

Immigration Bills - Update June 30, 2011

HB 2006
Short Title: Repeal of K.S.A. 76-731a, which grants residency for tuition purposes to certain aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States.
Status: Did not pass.

HB 2026
Short Title: Kansas immigration accountability act.
Status: Did not pass.

HB 2067
Short Title: Voter photographic identification requirements.
Status: Signed by the Governor on April 18, 2011.
Note: This bill requires registered voters to provide certain types of identification before they are permitted to vote. The bill goes into effect July 1, 2011, and it can be found at

Additional Bills Signed By the Governor - June 30, 2011

HB 2035
Short Title: Amending statutes regulating late-term and partial birth abortion.
Status: Signed by the Governor on April 12, 2011
Note: KCSDV did not take a position on this bill, but we were watching it. Programs may be affected by changes made to the mandatory reporting of child abuse law. Included in the list of mandatory reporters is “any person employed by or who works as a volunteer for any organization, whether for profit or not-for-profit, that provides social services to pregnant teenagers, including, but not limited to, counseling, adoption services and pregnancy education and maintenance.” This bill provides stronger regulation of abortion in Kansas. It goes into effect on July 1, 2011. It can be found at