Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

RCASA Education and Outreach

In Education, Outreach on October 30, 2009 at 1:57 pm

RCASA, in collaboration with RCDV is sponsoring SAVE; a new college organization at both Mary Washington University and Germanna Community College. SAVE stands for Student Anti Violence Educators. Their purpose is to increase awareness of victim advocacy and support organizations within the community related to sexual assault and domestic violence. SAVE will work toward its goal by: developing education outreach programs and presentations, facilitating educational trainings, publishing educational brochures and flyers, coordinating a regular series of roundtable discussions of student leaders, and hosting awareness events on campus.


The chief officers of Save are RCASA interns Drew Hickey for Germanna and Mike Dooley for Mary Washington. Notice these leaders, as well as at least half of the participants are male! It is awesome to see all young people step up to the plate to work for social change, but in areas of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, which have long been considered “women’s” issues, it is truly spectacular to have young men truly passionate about the cause. Special recognition must also be given to James Sennet, student leader at Mary Washington who had already formed an organization against sexual assault on campus that merged with SAVE and enabled them to hit the ground running on their campus with the Red Flag Campaign and a full week of sexual assault awareness events. Shelly Hillberry, volunteer for RCASA, and Gwen Paulson intern of RCDV are also officers of the groups affiliated directly with our agencies. So congratulations and thanks to all of these students making a difference in their communities, they should be very proud.

RCASA Offers a Writing Course:The Art of Personal Narrative

In Sexual Assault Awareness on October 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm

RCASA is currently offering a writing course, The Art of Personal Narrative, to our post-trauma therapy clients. Through the narrative genres of biography and memoir, students are actively engaging their own life stories in writing. Every human being must face the questions of destiny and identity. Who are we? What is the meaning in our life? These questions are often best explored through writing—the writing of our own life experiences. We write to give voice to the hidden. The writer’s job is to “turn the unspeakable into words—not just any words, but if we can, into rhythm and blues.” Students in The Art of Personal Narrative are doing just that. They are learning, through the use of “creative” writing strategies to employ voice, metaphor, pacing in their own work. Students then “workshop” their stories with other class members as they revise and craft their narratives into a polished, final piece of writing.  In workshop, students learn, through the commonality of their stories, the similar themes and threads, that they are not alone.  Student involvement in a “group” process through which they learn to identify themselves as writers with viable voices and narratives continues to facilitate their recovery.  Ultimately, students become self-empowered both individually, and as a group, as they explore their lives and write their unique personal truths on the page.

Executive Order 92

In Legal Advocacy, Sexual Assault Awareness on October 27, 2009 at 8:27 pm

On September 28th. Governor Kaine signed into order Executive Order 92 directing the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services of the Department of General Services to accept and to stor physical evidence recovery kits received from health care providers.

Under Section B of 19.2-165.1 of the Code of Virginia, victims complaining of sexual assault shall not be required to participate in the criminal justice system or cooperate with law enforcement authorities in order to be provided with such forensic medical exams.”

Governor Kaine heard the issues that arose from between the regulations that victims can request physical evidence recovery kits prior to reporting to law enforcement and the lack of requirement of law enforcement to pick up the kits in the absence of a report.  This left victims often without recourse to get the kits without reporting first.  This new provision allows victims to request kits and allows forensic nurses to mail the kits to consolidated labs in a manner that retains the chain of custody.

Yeah to Governor Kaine!!  This will help to encourage victims to get the evidence collected in the required time period.

Help RCASA win the $50,0000 giving challenge

In Fundraisers, Sexual Assault Awareness on October 19, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Carol Olson Help us win 50,000 in America’s Giving challenge. 1 in 4 women are victims of sexual assault. It costs $376 to serve one victim through crisis, evidence collection, and legal advocacy. Donate to help each victim and help us win $50,000 toward Prevention.

Carol Olson is helping Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault win America’s Giving Challenge. Her cause is currently just 123 donations behind the leader for the $1,000 daily award. Donate today!

13 minutes ago via Causes · Comment · Like / Unlike · View Cause · Donate

CVC Kickoff and Agency Fair

In Events on October 19, 2009 at 11:09 pm

CVC Kickoff and Agency Fair at Ball Circle at the University of Mary Washington, on October 22, 2009 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Stop by and say hi to staff, learn more about our organization.  Learn how to donate to support sexual assault victims through the Combined Virginia Campaign.

Candlelight Vigil for Domestic Violence Awareness in held by our sister agency – RCDV in Stafford County

In Events, Sexual Assault Awareness on October 15, 2009 at 5:09 pm

The Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence in coordination with the Stafford County Domestic Violence Response Team Presents the 19th Annual Candlelight Vigil

Please join us at the vigil to help recognize October as domestic violence awareness month The vigil will feature survivors, guest speakers, the Clothesline Project, a candle lighting ceremony, and an open forum for anyone who has been affected by domestic violence.

All are welcome to attend Thursday October 29th at 6PM Stafford County Courthouse Steps (rear entrance)

The Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence Serving King George, Caroline, Stafford, Spotsylvania & Fredericksburg http://www.rcdv.com 24 Hour Hotline: 540-373-9373 1-877-734-7238 (RCDV)

UMW’s Dr. Kilmartin speaking at our sister agency – The Haven in Warsaw

In Events, Sexual Assault Awareness on October 14, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Dr. Christopher Kilmartin of The University of Mary Washington will be the key note speaker at The Haven’s community candlelight vigil on October 26, 2009 at 7:00 pm at Rappahannock Church of Christ, Warsaw, Virginia.  This annual event to honor survivors of domestic violence and to remember those who did not survive, is planned by The Haven to recognize domestic violence awareness month.  The Haven invites the community to come hear Dr. Kilmartin speak and to participate in the candle ceremony.

 Dr. Christopher Kilmartin is a college professor, author, stand-up comedian, actor, playwright, consultant and professional psychologist.  He is a Professor of Psychology at The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.  He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a licensed clinical psychologist who has a great deal of experience consulting with businesses, college students, human services workers, and counselors.   In 2007, he was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.

 Dr. Christopher Kilmartin is a college professor, author, stand-up comedian, actor, playwright, consultant and professional psychologist.  He is a Professor of Psychology at The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.  He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a licensed clinical psychologist who has a great deal of experience consulting with businesses, college students, human services workers, and counselors.   In 2007, he was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.

 Drawing on his background as a professional stand-up comedian, Dr. Kilmartin wrote a solo theatre performance on men’s issues entitled Crimes Against Nature.  This work, an integration of his scholarly and performing interests, and performed by the author, debuted in March, 1998 and toured to over 200 campuses and other venues before he retired the performance in 2004.  He is currently touring with a lecture/storytelling hybrid entitled Guy Fi: The Fictions that Rule Men’s Lives.

 Dr. Kilmartin is currently consulting with the United States Naval Academy on a revision of sexual assault and harassment prevention curriculum.  He was President of Division 51 of the American Psychological Association, the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity, in 2008.  Dr. Kilmartin is an internationally-recognized expert on gender and violence prevention.

 The freedoms we fight for around the world also apply right here at home.  Everyone has the right to a safe, violence free, workplace, community and home.  The Haven hopes the community will join us on October 26th to help to raise awareness of domestic violence and to reinforce that there is no place for domestic violence in our communities!

 For more information on The Haven Shelter & Services, Inc. go to www.havenshelter.org or call our office at 804-333-1099 or for help call our hotline at 1-800-22HAVEN.

 Sandra D. Longest
Community Relations Coordinator
Haven Shelter & Services, Inc.
(804) 333-1099  ext. 12

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In Awareness Campaigns on October 13, 2009 at 9:43 pm

* As we recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and the 25th anniversary of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.

* The Violence Against Women Act is the landmark federal legislation that provides key funding for the justice system’s responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence.

* The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act is the lifeblood of domestic violence shelters and programs across the country.

* The Violence Against Women Act, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, and state and local laws are making a difference in countless lives, especially in a time of financial crisis.

* The economic downturn is exacerbating domestic violence. o The economy does not cause domestic violence, but in abusive relationships, factors associated with a bad economy can increase the frequency and severity of abuse.

* While the demand for domestic violence services is going up, funding for them is going down. o Governmental entities, corporations and individuals are tightening their budgets and are funding life-saving programs at reduced levels across the nation. o We are appalled that the governor of California completely eliminated state funding for domestic violence services. Other states have seen funding reductions, but California represents the most extreme and shocking example.

* In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, let us renew efforts to invest in life-saving shelters and non-residential domestic violence services.

* The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act is the only dedicated federal funding source for emergency shelters, crisis hotlines, advocacy programs, counseling and comprehensive victim assistance.

* Research shows that staying at a shelter or working with a domestic violence expert significantly reduces the likelihood that a victim would be abused again and improved the victim’s quality of life.

* Shelters are effective and efficient. o The University of Connecticut and National Resource Center on Domestic Violence published a groundbreaking study of shelter services (Funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau, Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, administered by the National Institute of Justice) o It captured the experience of 3,410 shelter residents in 215 programs in 8 states. o 99% reported getting the safety they needed; 95% got help with safety planning o 99% got emotional support (counseling, access to faith community, etc.) o 93% got help finding housing, job training, managing money, etc. o 99% of mothers got safety for children, children’s counseling, health care assistance, and child care

* The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act has been extremely successful. The problem is that it has never been fully funded. It was written in 1984 and needs to be updated to reflect current best practices.

* A reauthorization bill should build upon its successes and expand its reach to all underserved populations. CURRENT FVPSA FUNDING SIMPLY CANNOT MEET THE NEED FOR SERVICES. FVPSA NEEDS TO BE FULLY FUNDED IN FY 2010

* The demand for services increases with improvements in criminal justice responses, better outreach and increased awareness.

* Use national/state DV Counts 2008 Census numbers to demonstrate the demand for and gap in services and provide local information about the need created by the economic crisis. http://nnedv.org/resources/census/232-census2008.html


Claim: Domestic violence laws represent a reduction in civil rights for those wrongfully accused of perpetrating domestic violence.

Response: The Violence Against Women Act represents a protection of rights for survivors of domestic abuse. It protects victims’ fundamental right to safety when faced with abuse.

Claim: Orders of protection can be issued even without any allegation of physical violence.

Response: Orders of protection are issued in response to physical violence or a credible threat to cause harm, as determined by a judge who weighs the available evidence. They are issued in accordance with due process, as the U.S. Constitution requires. Orders of protection are not a conviction. They are put into place to prevent future violence.

Claim: Allegations of abuse are often recanted because victims cannot produce evidence of the alleged abuse.

Response: Survivors, more often than not, recant allegations out of fear of retaliation from their abusers, not lack of evidence.

Claim: Men and women are equally likely to be the victims of domestic abuse.

Response: Men can be victims of partner abuse, but they represent a minority of cases. We know that 85 percent of the victims are females abused by male partners; they are 90 to 95 percent more likely to be the victims of abuse than are men. (Bureau of Justice Statistics and the U.S. Dept. of Justice)

Claim: Mandatory arrest policies violate the Constitution and increase the safety risk for victims.

Response: Arrest policies outlined in the Violence Against Women Act do not violate the Constitution. They are based on probable cause. Key to holding perpetrators accountable is good training for law enforcement to identity the predominant aggressor and avoid arresting victims. The Violence Against Women Act provides critical support for such training.

More information is available on the Domestic Violence Awareness Project Web site (http://www.nrcdv.org/dvam/materials/), coordinated by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.

Materials include NNEDV’s domestic violence and sexual assault fact sheet (http://www.nrcdv.org/dvam/docs/materials/09-resource-packet/Issue_FactsSheets_Handouts/DVSA_FactSheet.pdf) and our talking points on domestic violence and the economy (http://www.nrcdv.org/dvam/docs/materials/09-resource-packet/Issue_FactsSheets_Handouts/ImpactofEconomy_FactSheet.pdf).

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