Winter 2012 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Okay, I’m about to go down a risky road of talking about Program Executive Directors without having the space to talk about each of them individually. These women are the unsung heroines of this movement. As I looked around the room when we last gathered for our Program Council meeting, I was amazed by all of them collectively and by each of them individually. They are amazingly dedicated leaders and advocates, working nearly 24-hours a day to assure that every survivor receives optimum services every time services are needed. They each bring their own experience, background, humor, longevity and depth to the work. Let me highlight a few of them.
Laura Patzner, of Great Bend, grew up in the movement. Her mother started the program there and, after 30 years, Laura has elevated services to a whole new level. Last fall, they opened an outreach office with space for a child exchange and visitation center, domestic violence and sexual assault outreach services, and a child-focused forensic interviewing center.
LaDora Lattimore, an advocate and CEO for more than 30 years in Kansas City, Kansas, can fill a ballroom with community members in a flash. Her leadership is fierce and filled with kindness. The support for her work and that of her staff is palpable when you attend one of their events.
Sharon Katz, of Overland Park, is driven in her devotion to providing services for survivors of domestic violence and their children. An expanded administrative and shelter facility opened several years ago as the program planned for growth. Alas, shelter services have been overflowing for months now.
Andrea Quill is in Salina. Since taking that position, she has tirelessly worked to build solid reserves and stability for DVACK, one of the oldest programs in the state. She is quiet and fearless in her community leadership.
LeeAnn Riediger and Rebecca Scott, in Winfield, were both new to the work. They have tirelessly rebuilt a program that had lost staff and funding and had been struggling for several years. They have revitalized that program financially as they learned to be advocates.
Rebecca Brubaker followed a similar path when she took the reins in Pittsburg, rebuilding the infrastructure and stability there. She has now moved the organization into a new building. Her quiet determination will not be stopped.
Robin Shelden in Garden City moved into her position following a long-time director who had retired. As the former financial manager, Robin brought financial know-how to her position while at the same time she moved the organization ahead by updating advocacy practices. Her learning curve was steep and her work is strong.
Okay, here’s where I get in trouble. I can’t talk about everyone individually. But, all of the Executive Directors in Kansas have similar stories, strengths, and savvy.
Susan Moran, Kate McPheeters, Becky Dickinson, Candace Dixon, Darla Carter, Kathy Williams, Kay Andersen, Jennifer Hale, Palle Rilinger, Jan Jones, Elena Morales, Joan Schultz, Sara Jane Russell, Sherry Dunn, Charlotte Linsner, Mia Korbelik, Kit Lambertz, Hope Alvarez, Stacey Mann, Dorothy Sparks, Beth Savitzky, and Judy Davis have all been leaders in the movement that will end violence in the lives of women, children and men. Some have been there for years; some have just begun their journey. The path is never an easy one, nor is it paved with gold and silver.
These directors all deserve their own spotlight in this article. Each and every one of them is literally on call 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, every day, every year. They answer crisis calls, write grants, balance budgets, beg for money, run board meetings, clean up messes (real and imagined), hold the hands of survivors, listen to the stories of children, challenge authorities, supervise staff, train community members, work on committees, worry about funding, push back on bias, and on and on.
So, as we head into a new year, let me say “thank you” to all of these women.
I hope if you are a community member reading this article that you will also take a moment to thank these leaders. The work of ending violence against women, children and men could not be sustained or moved forward without them. Our work together across the state weaves a strong fabric of safety for survivors and their children; each of these leaders is a piece of that fabric and lends it strength.
Each year, we at KCSDV look forward to Safe Homes, Safe Streets as a time to bring together advocates and community leaders from across the state. This year’s event includes activities that range from advocate training and recognition to displays at the State Capitol, and many other events in between. This two-day event culminates at the 9th Annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Reception and Silent Auction to be held at the Ramada Regency Ballroom.
Activities that are free and open to the public include:
Beyond Statistics Silhouettes at the Capital – These life-size silhouettes tell the stories of women who lost their lives because of domestic violence or sexual assault. This moving tribute may be viewed on Wednesday, February 8th, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kansas State Capital Complex (exact location TBD).
KCSDV Press Conference – Wednesday, Feb. 8th at 10 a.m. at the KCSDV Office, 634 SW Harrison St, Topeka, KS 66603. All members of the press and general public are invited to hear about the incredible work happening around the state as a part of KCSDV Projects and Member Program Services. Hear from community leaders as the testify to the life-changing and life-saving work being done through advocacy in Kansas.
9th Annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Reception and Silent Auction – Join us on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 6 p.m. at the Ramada Inn of Topeka. This event has earned the reputation of a must-attend event for community leaders and elected officials as a rare opportunity to learn about community-based advocacy programs and celebrate their success.
The evening will include:
- Presentation of Recognition Awards
- Silent Auction* to benefit KCSDV
- Informational displays from KCSDV and KCSDV Member Programs
supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation
Admission is free of charge, but RSVPs are appreciated. Please RSVP by Thursday, February 2nd to Audra at 785-232-9784 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*Donations welcome for the Silent Auction. Contact Kimber Welker at email@example.com if interested.
For more information on Safe Homes, Safe Streets 2012, visit the Advocate Pages or contact Audra Fullerton at 785-232-9784 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Be a part of the event from anywhere! Follow us on twitter @KCSDV or #SafeHomesSafeStreets
Our upcoming Safe Homes, Safe Streets 2012 event is quickly becoming one of our signature fundraising events. We are asking for donations of silent auction items to be used during the event on February 8th. The items can range from a basket of goodies, to sporting or event tickets, a weekend getaway, golf, or anything that you believe would peak someone’s interest and open their wallets. We are hoping to keep the minimum value of the items above $100, but would love to talk to you if you have an idea that doesn’t meet these requirements.
If you have any questions or would like to donate, please contact Kimber Welker at (816) 695-2585. Your gracious support is appreciated, and we are looking forward to an amazing event!
KCSDV is off to an exciting start this New Year, receiving two new grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women: A three-year Rural grant and a two-year Legal Assistance for Victims grant totaling $1.6 million. Both of these projects will target services and responses for survivors of sexual assault.
The Rural Grant will specifically focus on enhancing advocacy services for survivors of sexual assault in the rural areas in the state, specifically addressing the development of collaborative relationships, the needs of foreign-born survivors, and the delivery of training to these rural areas. KCSDV has partnered with its member programs in western Kansas to carry out some of these projects and expects to be working in targeted communities as well as offering support throughout rural Kansas. Needs assessments, community meetings and training are just a few components under this project.
The Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Grant will allow KCSDV attorneys and private attorneys to provide much needed legal services and representation to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. While the focus of this LAV grant will be directed toward representing and providing legal services for victims/survivors of sexual assault, some representation will also be provided for foreign-born victims, those survivors with complex family law matters, protection order issues, and more. The legal needs of survivors of sexual assault have been unmet for many years in Kansas. Under this project, referrals for these services will come only from sexual assault and domestic violence programs. By the end of this project, KCSDV hopes that attorneys will be able to recognize the legal needs of survivors of sexual assault and become more effective in their representation in these cases.
“We are excited about these new projects and believe they will move the state toward improved representation and services for survivors of sexual assault in Kansas,” says Joyce Grover, Executive Director of KCSDV. “Over the last several years, we have seen discrepancies in the number of incidents reported to law enforcement and the number of survivors served by the advocacy programs, with some counties having no reports to law enforcement. Through these projects, we hope to directly improve responses and services to survivors of sexual assault in Kansas communities.”
In preparation for these projects, KCSDV hosted Kris Bien from the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s Resource Sharing Project, a national technical assistance provider on rural sexual assault projects. Kris first addressed working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and then spent the next day strategizing and planning with staff on KCSDV’s new projects.
“Our focus will be to assist in the development of quality services and responses for survivors of sexual assault throughout the state, working closely with rural programs to make that happen. I am confident that these projects will increase the level of awareness of sexual assault and the needs of survivors in Kansas,” said Grover.
On December 14, 2011, the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) welcomed the release of new data that once again confirms many things known about sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking: this type of violence is widespread in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its first National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), which describes the astounding prevalence of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence – with domestic violence alone affecting more than 12 million people each year. This large-scale, ongoing study by the CDC underscores the heavy toll of this violence, the immediate impacts of victimization, and the lifelong health consequences to survivors.
Highlights of the survey’s findings include:
- Women are disproportionally affected by sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking. They experienced high rates of severe domestic violence, rape and stalking, and long-term chronic disease and other health impacts such as PTSD symptoms.
- Female victims of domestic violence experienced different patterns of violence than male victims. The data states that women are four times more likely than men to be beaten; six times more likely to be slammed against something; and nine times more likely to be strangled or suffocated. Seventy-two percent of women and 18 percent of men reported being frightened by the violence they experienced.
- The majority of this victimization starts early in life – highlighting the importance of prevention efforts and early intervention. Approximately 80 percent of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and nearly half experienced the first rape before age 18. Almost a third (28 percent) of men experienced their first rape when they were ten years of age or younger.
In Kansas, the NISVS report estimates, 29% of women have been the victim of sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. This translates into approximately 312,000 Kansas women.
A recently released Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) report, Domestic Violence, Stalking and Rape in Kansas, underscores these numbers. In 2010, 32 adults and 6 children were killed in domestic violence-related incidents, reflecting an increase in the percentage of all homicides that are domestic violence- related from 27% to 31%. “Both reports remind us that sexual violence, stalking, and domestic violence are important and widespread public health problems in the United States and in Kansas,” says Joyce Grover, KCSDV Executive Director.
On November 30th, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was introduced for re-authorization. “VAWA has been the cornerstone of the federal government’s efforts to bring an end to this type of violence and has received consistent support from the Kansas Congressional delegation,” adds Grover. “The numbers released in NISVS and the recent KBI report lead us to the same conclusion: sexual and domestic violence and stalking have broad societal impact and require broad societal response. Congress must act to reauthorize VAWA now.”
Link to NISVS Fact Sheet:
Link to KBI Report: Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Rape in Kansas:
In response to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) own annual Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Report, the DOD has announced two new policies for addressing sexual assault. The report and the new policies were released on December 27th, 2011. The new policies are as follows:
- Expedited Transfer of Military Service Members Who File Unrestricted Reports of Sexual Assault: this provides a service member who has been a victim of sexual assault and filed an unrestricted report the option to request an expedited transfer from her/his unit and/or installation. This is only available to service members that file unrestricted reports on SA. Restricted reports are confidential.
- Document Retention in Cases of Restricted and Unrestricted Reports of Sexual Assault: this standardizes the retention periods for sexual assault records across the military services. In unrestricted cases, specified documents will be retained for 50 years and in restricted cases, for five years, to ensure victims have extended access to documents related to the sexual assault. This will allow victims to seek services and file claims with the Department of Veteran affairs at a later date.
In addition to the new policies, DOD Director Leon Panetta has recommended the following initiatives, some of which may require legislative action. These new initiatives include:
- Establishing a DoD sexual assault advocate certification program, which will require military SA response coordinators and victim advocates to obtain a credentials aligned with national standards.
- Expanding assault victim support to include military spouses and adult military dependents who can now file confidential reports and receive the services of victim advocate and a SA response coordinator. This was not available before.
- Increasing training funds for investigators and judge advocates. The funding increase will total $9.3 million over five years.
- Creating an integrated data system to track sexual assault reports and monitor case management.
Assessing how DoD trains commanding officers and senior enlisted leaders on sexual assault prevention and response, and strengthening that training.
In response, the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) issued a statement regarding the new measures. Anu Bhagwati, Executive Director of the Service Women’s Action Network and a former Marine Corps Captain, called the announcement noteworthy but expressed concern that the new measures will not have the desired impact. Read the full statement here: http://yubanet.com/usa/SWAN-Responds-to-DOD-Announcement-to-Reduce-Sexual-Assault-in-the-Military.php
Also, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence issued the following (from naesv.org):
The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) applauds the efforts of the Department of Defense to put into place initiatives and directives that strengthen the military’s prevention and response to sexual assault within the ranks.
With the military setting new standards and initiatives promising to make it easier for victims and survivors to report the crime committed against them, our hope is that it serves as an example for civilian institutions to adopt and implement those same standards and practices. The NAESV agrees with Defense Secretary Panetta that sexual assault has no place in the military, but is just as important for us to recognize that sexual assault also has no place in our communities.
Spouses and dependents of active-duty military personnel, who are victims of sexual violence, often receive services outside of the military system. We are pleased to see that the Defense Secretary pledges to expand victim advocate and sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) services from active duty personnel to spouses and dependents. This step in the right direction provides a more inclusive and cohesive military installation and shows that they understand that sexual violence doesn’t just affect an individual soldier, it affects an entire family.
While these new proposed initiatives are aimed at reducing the number of sexual assaults within military branches, it is important for us to remember that sometimes stricter and more intense training and certification for victim advocates isn’t enough. The military justice system and the military as an institution are deeply rooted in victim blaming and norms and behaviors that tolerate sexual violence. Unless those norms are challenged and environments on military installations are made even safer for victims to report, the potential for sexual violence to occur will continue to exist.
Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it during the month of February.
The repercussions of teen dating violence are impossible to ignore – they hurt not just the young people victimized but also their families, friends, schools and communities. Throughout February, organizations and individuals nationwide are coming together to highlight the need to educate young people about relationships, teach healthy relationship skills and prevent the devastating cycle of abuse.
For more information and ways to get involved, visit www.teendvmonth.org
Centers for Disease Control – Fact sheets and other resource information.
Break the Cycle
Futures Without Violence
Faith Trust Institute
KANSAS CRISIS HOTLINE: 888-END-ABUSE | 888-363-2287