Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

Volunteer Training Right Around the Corner

In Sexual Assault Awareness on August 31, 2011 at 8:49 am

It has been fast approaching, and starting  September 7-28th, every Monday, Wednesday between 6-9 PM,and some Saturdays(TBA ) we will be holding Volunteer Training.  RCASA is so excited about presenting this training because the more volunteers the greater the impact to our community! We have three different levels available for volunteers. Please check below to see which Level is right for you.

Level I-10 hours and graduates you for office and fundraising support.

Level II-20 hours and graduates you for outreach and community education support.

Level III-40 hours and graduates you for hotline and hospital accompaniment support.

If you are intersted in this opportunity, please go to rcasa.org, and download the Volunteer application. Fill it out and fax or email it back to us. I look forward to seeing you all here.  On September 7th, please show up 30 minutes before training  for a pre-training mixer, and get to know your fellow volunteer trainees!

Prevention Tuesday: Primary prevention is working

In Sexual Assault Awareness on August 30, 2011 at 6:39 am

I want to start this blog by stating that this is all based on my own opinion and observation, but I do believe that primary prevention is beginning to show its effects.  I gave three presentations throughout the Fredericksburg community over the last week and I noticed something different in participants’ responses.  I usually give a scenario of a sexual assault and ask participants what they believe could have been done to prevent the assault from taking place; I facilitate this exercise for participants to recognize those biases that we have all been taught in the American society and expect the answers that the victim is partially responsible. *On a side note, this is where I begin to teach that it is NEVER the victim’s fault and then speak about perpetrator and bystander responsibility* However, I’m not getting these “typical” responses anymore.  Participants are responding that it’s solely the perpetrator’s fault (yay!), which leaves me without the biases to squash but with excitement and pride in my heart that all of our industry’s work is paying off.  In the middle of my speaking about perpetrator responsibility, one participant spoke up asking about the responsibility of bystanders (yay!). 

Now, I recognize that this is neither qualitative nor quantitative data on the effects of primary prevention trainings, but I take it to mean that the idea is beginning to saturate the community.  I take it to mean that my presentation is no longer likely to be the first that speaks of bystander intervention.  And more and more I’m getting the impression that community members are questioning long standing biases and expecting more out of themselves and others in regards to stopping sexual violence.  All I can say is YAY!!!!

Números a los que puede llamar para reportar un delito – Fredericksburg

In Advocacy, Awareness Campaigns, Hispanic/Latino, Legal Advocacy, Systems Advocacy on August 29, 2011 at 8:00 am

A continuación encuentren una lista de oficinas de la policía a donde pueden recurrir o llamar, inclusive en español, si son víctimas de algún delito, especialmente si son víctimas del delito de violencia sexual.

Estas oficinas sirven a la ciudad de Fredericksburg, y los condados de Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania y Stafford.



Nombre del Alguacil: Sheriff A.A. “Tony” Lippa, Jr.

Página electrónica: http://www.carolinesheriff.org

Casillero Postal:                                                               Oficina:

P.O. Box 39                                                                              118 Courthouse Lane

Bowling Green, Virginia 22427                                      Bowling Green, Virginia 22427

Teléfono: 804-633-1120   Fax: 804-633-1124   Operador(a) (de donde asignan las llamadas): 804-633-5400
En casos de emergencia, llame al 9-1-1



Nombre del Alguacil: Sheriff S.F. Dempsey 

Página electrónica: http://www.king-george.va.us/county-offices/sheriffs-office/sheriffs-office.php


9483 Kings Highway #5

King George, VA 22485

Teléfono:  (540) 775-2049     Fax: (540) 775-0376   En casos de emergencia, llame al 9-1-1


FREDERICKSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT                                                                              

Nombre del Jefe de la Policía (Chief of Police): David W. Nye

Página electrónica: http://www.fredericksburgva.gov/Departments/police/index.aspx

Sede Central:

2200 Cowan Blvd.
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401

Teléfono: (540) 373-3122     En casos de emergencia, llame al 9-1-1



Jefe del Departamento:Howard Smith

E-Mail: sheriff@spotsylvania.va.us

Página electrónica: http://spotsylvaniasheriff.org/divisions/criminal-investigations

Casillero Postal:                                                               Oficina:

P.O. Box 124                                                                           9101 Courthouse Road
Spotsylvania, VA 22553                                                   Spotsylvania, VA 22553


Teléfono Principal: (540) 507-7200            Fuera del horario de oficina llame al: (540) 582-7115    Fax: (540) 582-9448

En casos de emergencia, llame al 9-1-1



Nombre del Alguacil: Sheriff Charles E. Jett

E-mail: cjett@co.stafford.va.us

Página electrónica: http://www.staffordsheriff.com/

Casillero Postal:                                                               Oficina:

P.O. Box 189                                                                           1225 Courthouse Road
Stafford, VA 22555                                                             Stafford, VA 22554

Teléfono Principal: (540) 658-4450                            Fax: (540) 658-8570

En casos de emergencia, llame al 9-1-1

Esta es la lista de las oficinas donde estan localizados los Jueces de Primera Instancia (Magistrates) que sirven a la misma jurisdicción

Oficinas de los Jueces de Primera Instancia – Magistrates Offices

Jefe de los Jueces de Primera Instancia: Clifford Rose      Supervisor Regional: Jeffrey Lanham

Oficina del Condado de Caroline – Oficina del Alguacil

118 Courthouse Lane • Bowling Green, VA 22427

Teléfono: 804-633-9245 • Fax: 804-633-5099

*Solo Video – Video only

Oficina del Condado de King George

9483 Kings Highway, P.O. Box 595 • King George, VA 22485

Teléfono: 540-775-7820 • Fax: 540-775-2541

*Solo Video – Video only

Oficina de la ciudad de Fredericksburg y del condado de Spotsylvania

2706 Lafayette Boulevard • Fredericksburg, VA 22408

Teléfono: 540- 898-1080 • Fax: 540- 891-7182

Oficina del condado de Stafford

1745 Jeff Davis Highway, Suite 201 • Stafford, VA 22555-4120

Teléfono: 540-898-1080 • Fax: 540-891-7182


Cortesía del Concilio Rappahannock contra la Agresión/Asalto sexual, (Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault, RCASA) Servicios de apoyo a la comunidad Latina y a otras comunidades inmigrantes (540-371-5502).  Este proyecto es financiado por el Plan de Salud de la Fundación Kaiser de los Estados del Medio—Atlántico, Inc.

RCASA Saturday Case Management: Hurricane Safety

In Sexual Assault Awareness on August 27, 2011 at 6:00 am

Bad Weather can impact trauma survivors differently than those who have not experienced trauma.  Becasue we are preparing for a hurricane this Saturday, being prepared is the best thing for anyone, whether you have experienced a past trauma or not. 

What should I do? 

Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  • Evacuate if advised by authorities. Be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
  • Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.


RCASA Friday Facts: Sex Trafficking Facts

In Friday Facts, Sexual Assault Awareness on August 26, 2011 at 8:00 am

Sexual Trafficking Facts from the Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking

General Definition


“Sexual Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation (within national or across international borders),transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation.  Sexual trafficking is accomplished by means of fraud, deception, threat of or use of force, abuse of a position of vulnerability, and other forms of coercion.

Trafficking of persons exists in two distinct types: labor trafficking and sexual trafficking. “This new distinction avoids the problem of combining into a single category both labor violations and violations that are more akin to a forcible sexual assault.” 1

U.N. Definition (from Protocol to Prevent Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Person, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime)

(a) “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery of practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;

(b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used;

(c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered “trafficking in persons” even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article;

(d) “Child” shall mean any person under eighteen years of age.

Scope of the Problem

Worldwide, it is estimated that somewhere between 700,000 and four million women, children and men are trafficked each year, and no region is unaffected. 2

An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 women and children are trafficked into this country each year. 3

There have been reports of trafficking instances in at least 20 different states, with most cases occurring in New York, California, and Florida. Some Florida law enforcement officials, for example, claim that the state is being inundated with trafficked women from Russia, Ukraine, and Central Europe. INS and Labor Department officials fear that the problem is not only bigger than they thought but also getting worse. For example, INS has discovered 250 brothels in 26 different cities, which likely involved trafficking victims. 4


UNICEF reports that across the world, there are over one million children entering the sex trade every year and that approximately 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years. 5

The U.S. Department of State estimates that about 600,000 to 800,000 people – mostly women and children – are trafficked across national borders annually. 6 [Note: This estimate does not include those trafficked within national borders.]

Eleven countries score very high as countries of origin for trafficking victims.  The countries are Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine (Commonwealth of Independent States), Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, China, Thailand, and Nigeria. 7


More than 2.3 million girls and women were believed to be in the sex industry, and experts believed that more than 200,000 persons were trafficked into, within, or through the country annually.  There were approximately three million trafficking victims in the country, and two thousand rescues a year.  Women’s rights organizations and NGOs estimated that more than 12,000 and perhaps as many as 50,000 women and children were trafficked into the country annually from neighboring states for commercial sexual exploitation.  According to an International Labor Organization (ILO) estimate, 15 percent of the country’s estimated 2.3 million prostitutes were children, while the UN reported that an estimated 40 percent of prostitutes were below 18 years of age.  Tribal persons made up a large proportion of the women forced into sexual exploitation. 8


From fiscal year 2001 through fiscal year 2005, the Civil Rights Division and United States Attorney’s Offices filed 91 trafficking cases, a 405% increase over the number of trafficking cases filed from fiscal years 1996 through 2000.  In these cases, Department attorneys charged 248 trafficking defendants, a 210% increase over the previous five fiscal years.  In addition, 140 defendants of trafficking related crimes were convicted, a 109% increase over the previous five years. 9

Despite an estimated prevalence of 100,000 to 150,00010 slaves in the U.S., fewer than 1,000 victims have been assisted through the efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement since 2001, when services for trafficking victims were first made available. 11


Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey and the United States are countries ranked “very high” as destination countries of trafficked persons. 12

Prostitution in the Philippines is a de facto legal industry that is now the fourth largest source of gross national product (GNP) for the country. 13  300,000 sex tourists from Japan alone are believed to visit the Philippines every year. 14

The sex industry in the Netherlands is estimated to make most $1 billion each year. 15  It is a major Western European destination country for trafficked women with 2,000 brothels and numerous escort services, using an estimated 30,000 women. 16  Moreover, 68-80% of women in its sex industry are from other countries, a factor highly indicative of sex trafficking. 17


Foremost among the health risks of prostitution is premature death.  In a recent US study of almost 2,000 prostitutes followed over a 30-year period, by far the most common causes of death were homicide, suicide, drug and alcohol related problems, HIV infection and accidents – in that order.  The homicide rate among active female prostitutes was 17 times higher than that of the age-matched general population. 18

89% of 785 people in prostitution from nine countries wanted to escape prostitution.  75% of those in prostitution have been homeless at some point in their lives.  68% of 827 people in several different types of prostitution in 9 countries met criteria for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The severity of PTSD symptoms of participants in this study were in the same range as treatment-seeking combat veterans, battered women seeking shelter, rape survivors, and refugees from state-organized torture. 19


Why Women and Children are Trafficked

Women have been trafficked to the U.S. primarily for the sex industry (prostitution, stripping, peep and touch shows, and massage parlors that offer a variety of sexual services), sweatshop labor, domestic servitude, and agricultural work. 20

With low risk and high profit potential, human trafficking may well become

the new crime of choice. Police arrest records show that young women can be sold to brothel owners in North America for as much as US$16,000 each. In addition, when rescued, the young women tell of being forced to work off “debts” to traffickers of as much as US$40,000 by sexually servicing dozens of men per day. 21

Human trafficking is a relatively low risk business, but if successful, garners high payoffs. Some experts claim that it generates $7 billion. In February 2001, Interpol announced that it generates $19 billion [annually]. 22

How Women and Children are Trafficked

Traffickers typically lure women to the U.S. with false promises of jobs as waitresses, nannies, models, factory workers, or situations with severely curtailed freedoms. Women are prevented from leaving by security guards, violence, threats, debt bondage, and/or retention of documents. The traffickers maintain control through isolation; in many cases, the women must live and work at the location. The women may also be denied outside medical assistance when needed.  Once recruited, the women usually find themselves being threatened with physical abuse against themselves and/or their families in order to force cooperation. Traffickers also play

upon the women’s fears of arrest and deportation. In additional cases, trafficking victims suffer extreme physical and mental abuse, including rape, imprisonment, forced abortions, and physical brutality. 23

The Needs of Survivors

Non-governmental organizations call for arrested trafficking victims to be housed in appropriate shelters, not in jail or detention facilities. Currently, they say that many trafficking victims are placed in INS detention facilities and then deported. Those few trafficking victims who are designated material witnesses in federal criminal cases brought against the traffickers may be placed in US marshals’ custody and held in local jails. Even when aliens are not being used as material witnesses, INS is housing over 60 percent of its detainees in local jails throughout the country, according to a 1998 report from Human Rights Watch. 24

At present, there are few shelters and limited special funds specifically for

trafficking victims.

Call to Action

We know what works.  We can begin to defeat sex trafficking if we severely punish its national and multi-national profiteers, arrest its customers, offer a way out to its prisoners, and create self-respecting economic alternatives for girls and women who are at risk.  The question is:  “Will we?”25

1. The Protection Project, “What is Trafficking?” The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, 2000 <;.
2. USAID Office of Women in Development, Trafficking in Persons: USAID’s Response, September 2001.
3 . U. S. Department of State, Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act 2000: Trafficking in Persons Report, July 2004.
4 . Richard, Amy O’Neill, International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime, DCI Exceptional Intelligence Analyst Program, Center for the Study of Intelligence, November 1999.

5. “Commercial sexual exploitation position statement.” UNICEF UK. (2004, January 28).

6. U.S. Department of State, Office of the Under Secretary for Global Affairs. (2005, June).  Trafficking in Persons Report – June 2005.

7. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2004, April).  Trafficking in Persons Global Patterns.

8. U.S. Department of State. (2006, March 8).  Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005.

9. U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. (2006, February).  Report on Activities to Combat Human Trafficking Fiscal Years 2001-2005.

10. Bales, K. (n.d.).  International Labor Standards: Quality of Information and Measures of Progress in Combating Forced Labor.

11. U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. (2006, February).  Report on Activities to Combat Human Trafficking Fiscal Years 2001-2005.

12. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2004, April).  Trafficking in Persons Global Patterns.

13. Trinidad, A. (2005).  Child pornography in the Philippines.  Psychosocial Trauma and Human Rights Program, UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies and UNICEF Manila, p 14.

14. Marks, K. (2004, June 28).  “In the clubs of the Filipino sex trade, a former RUC officer is back in business.”  The Independent.

15. United Nations Economic Commission of Europe. (2004, December 12).  Economic roots of trafficking in the UNECE region fact sheet 1.

16. Hughes, D. (2002, September 23).  The corruption of civil society: maintaining the flow of women to the sex industries.  Encuentro Internacional Sobre Trafico De Mujeres Y Explotacion, Andalusian Women’s Institute, Malaga, Spain.

17. Thompson, L. (2005, June 22).  The Sexual Gulag: Profiteering from the Global Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children.  Testimony before the Financial Service Committee, Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives.

18. Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2004, July 24).  “Prostitution laws: health risks and hypocrisy.”

19. Farley, M. (Ed.). (2003).  Prostitution, trafficking, and traumatic stress.  Binghamton, NY: The Hayworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press.
20 . Ibid.
21 . Lederer, Laura J., Human Rights Report on Trafficking of Women and Children: A Country-by-Country Report on a Contemporary Form of Slavery, The Protection Project, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, February 2001.
22 . Dolan, Christine, A Report on the Exploitation of Children Emanating from the Balkan Crises: A Shattered Innocence, The Millennium Holocaust, International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, April 2001.
23 . Richard, Amy O’Neill, International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime, DCI Exceptional Intelligence Analyst Program, Center for the Study of Intelligence, November 1999.
24 . Ibid.
25 . Conference on Sexual Trafficking, “Gloria Steinem’s Submitted Remarks,” Washington, DC, September 13, 1999.

Thursday: Skyping group for working with male survivors

In Sexual Assault Awareness on August 25, 2011 at 8:27 am

For the last few months RCASA has blogged about working with male survivors of sexual violence; generally about how their psychological reactions vary and therefore therapy must as well.    RCASA is now looking to facilitate an online clinical peer supervision group to help trauma therapists in working with male survivors.  We are looking to bring together a group of individuals, both experienced and new to the field and/or population to help one another as a professional community. 

RCASA is hoping that the online group will skype approximately once every two to four weeks and be a place to ask questions, share new information, suggest ideas of how to grow male programs within your agency, and encourage practitioners who work with survivors to increase their knowledge of the how to best help male survivors of sexual violence. 

If you are a practitioner and are interested in joining such a group, please email megan@rcasa.org for more information.

Save The Dates..

In Sexual Assault Awareness on August 24, 2011 at 6:00 am

Mark your calendars and save the date!  RCASA will be joining Bragg Hill Family Life Center’s at their annual Community Day on August 27th. This event will be located at 400 Bragg Hill Drive, Fredericksburg, VA between 10AM-3:30 PM. Join us as “We Build People”. There will be lots of fun activities such as a basketball championship, music, games, free food, and entertainment. There will also be Health & Information booths (which is where I will be). I look forward to seeing everyone there! 

Next we will be attending the UMW Community  Action Fair on August 30th between 4-6PM.  RCASA will be looking for some good volunteers for our crisis response team as well as administrative and outreach. If you are interested in making a difference, please stop by our booth. If you want to learn more about RCASA and what we do, then stop by our booth.  We look forward to seeing everyone there.

RCASA will be providing free Volunteer training September 7-28th between 6:30PM-9PM and some Saturdays which have yet to be determined.  All volunteers interested in doing crisis response must complete the 40 hour training program.

Tuesday Prevention: Another case for bystander intervention

In Sexual Assault Awareness on August 23, 2011 at 5:05 am

There has been a large call for bystander intervention, but a lot of times the focus is solely on preventing what is thought to be the ‘typical’ assaults (i.e. male assaulting female). Video of the assault showed up on youtube (of course). An article about the assault can be found at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-mcdonalds-beating-20110423,0,3336656.story

Sadly, this is unremarkable. Attacks against transgender individuals are common, far more common than we even know because of the barriers they face when it comes to reporting. Viewers of the video note that nobody did much to prevent/stop this assault from occurring. There was an employee who stood in front of the victim. However, he did a very poor job and can be seen allowing the two girls to kick and punch the victim repeatedly. An older woman tried to help but became the target of the girls as a result. You can also hear other employees laughing and the person taking the video, when one of the blow’s to the victims head causes her to suffer a seizure, advises the attackers to leave and that the cops are coming.

There are three types of people involved in an assault.  The first two are obvious, the perpetrator and the victim.  The third is the bystander.  This person(s) plays an important role in the way the perpetrator responds and how he or she treats the victim.  The bystander can either support the perpetrator or the victim.  Unfortunately, sometimes bystanders are afraid and don’t wish to get involved, so they do nothing.  Research shows that an individual is less likely to intervene if there are other bystanders present. In emergency situations, many things prohibit bystanders from intervening:

  • If no one else is acting, it is hard to go against the crowd.
  • People may feel that they are risking embarrassment.
    (What if I’m wrong and they don’t need help?)
  • They may think there is someone else in the group more qualified to help.
  • They may think that the situation does not call for help since no one else is
    doing anything.

Are you a good or poor bystander?  Your actions can make a difference in someone’s life. In some cases, sexual assault can be prevented when people take responsibility for each other and get involved when someone is at risk. When you see someone who looks like they could use assistance do you respond in a helpful or hurtful way? You don’t have to confront the perpetrator if you are concerned that you may be in danger.  You may ask the victim to come and join you and your friends.  You may report the situation to an adult or the police.  Or, if you are willing and able, let the perpetrator know in a non-threatening manner that what is being done is unacceptable and it should stop.  If someone doesn’t recognize trouble, do something to intervene and prevent the situation from becoming worse. We all have a responsibility to look out for each other.

Some Bystander Strategies are*:

“I” statements

  • Three parts: 1. State your feelings, 2. Name the behavior, 3. State how you want the person to respond. This focuses on your feelings rather than criticizing the other person.
  • Example: “I feel           when you               . Please don’t do that anymore.”


  • Reduces the tension of an intervention and makes it easier for the person to hear you.
  • Do not undermine what you say with too much humor. Funny doesn’t mean unimportant.


  • Snaps someone out of their “sexist comfort zone.”
  • Example: Ask a man harassing a woman on the street for directions or the time.
  • Allows a potential target to move away and/or to have other friends intervene.
  • Example: Spill your drink on the person or interrupt and start a conversation with the person.

Group Intervention 

  • There is safety and power in numbers. It is much easier to avoid/ignore one person but difficult when it is several people.
  • Best used with someone who has a clear pattern of inappropriate behavior where many examples can be presented as evidence of his problem.

Bring it Home

  • Prevents someone from distancing himself from the impact of his actions.
  • Example: “I hope no one ever talks about you like that.”
  • Prevents someone from dehumanizing his targets.
  • Example: What if someone said your girlfriend deserved to be raped or called your mother a whore?”

We’re friends, right….?

  • Reframes the intervention as caring and non-critical.
  • Example: “Hey Chad…..as your friend I’ve gotta tell you that getting a girl drunk to have sex with her isn’t cool, and could get you in a lot of trouble. Don’t do it.”

When a situation makes us uncomfortable, we may try and dismiss it as not being a problem; “I’m just overreacting.” When in doubt, trust your gut! You have the responsibility to intervene. When you fail to act, you condone the bad behavior.

Bystander Intervention is a successful strategy because it discourages victim blaming behavior which contributes to the perpetration of violence and the silence of its victims. It also changes social norms, attitudes and behaviors that contribute to the occurrence and acceptance of violence. Interviews with convicted rapists reveal behaviors that began in early childhood that went unquestioned. While it is not accurate to say that bystander intervention would’ve prevented all of the crimes these men committed, it is likely that their behavior would have set off red flags and intervention could have occurred, thus reducing the likelihood of future offenses.

*adapted from Virginia Tech’s ‘Stop Abuse’ page http://www.stopabuse.vt.edu/bystander.php#strategies

Cómo hablar con los niños sobre temas sexuales

In Education, Hispanic/Latino, Prevention on August 22, 2011 at 6:58 am

Como padre o madre, usted controla periódicamente y cuida la salud física de su hijo. Cuando su hija tiene fiebre, no duda en tomarle la temperatura cada dos horas. El control constante le permite saber cómo se siente y si su estado mejora o no. Como educador y asesor sexual de su hijo, debe utilizar un enfoque similar. Debe controlar regularmente lo que su hijo ve, escucha y se pregunta sobre el sexo. También debe mantenerse informado acerca de qué información los “expertos” recomiendan debería discutir con sus hijos y a qué edades, así como también tener en claro qué valores y mensajes morales sobre el sexo les impartirá a sus hijos.

Los padres deben comunicar el tipo de información adecuada: no solo los aspectos técnicos del comportamiento sexual, sino también la orientación necesaria para controlar la presión de los compañeros. Los siguientes temas deben formar parte de la discusión.

Masturbación. O es tolerante o se opone a ella. Si es tolerante, asegúrese de que sus hijos comprendan que los autoriza a masturbarse. Lo más probable es que su primera oportunidad para hacerlo sea durante un momento de enseñanza, cuando encuentre a sus hijos estimulando sus genitales, lo cual puede ser bastante común a los cuatro, cinco o seis años. Su respuesta puede ser: “Veo que te estás tocando el pene/la vagina. ¿Te hace sentir bien? A mamá/papá no le molesta que lo hagas, pero es un comportamiento privado que solamente debe hacerse en la habitación”. Los objetivos principales son darle su autorización (impartir sus valores), intensificar la comprensión de que es un comportamiento privado y estructurar una forma privada de involucrarse en este comportamiento. Si su hijo tiene entre 5 ó 6 años, no se sorprenda si le lleva un tiempo aprender el concepto de privacidad. Lograr la tarea del desarrollo de la modestia sexual no sucede de repente. Si sus creencias personales o religiosas hacen que se oponga a la masturbación, considere que deberá ser flexible con sus hijos cuando los vea hacerlo. Recuerde que casi todos los niños se masturban, ya sea que estemos de acuerdo o no. El rechazo de este comportamiento puede generar sentimientos de trasgresión y culpa. Y los sentimientos de culpa, particularmente si se generan a partir de una sanción religiosa, pueden ser abrumadores. Sin embargo, si debe decir no, intente decir algo como: “Cuando te veo masturbarte, me siento incómodo. Nuestra religión nos enseña que no debemos hacerlo. Sé que se siente bien al hacerlo. No puedo detenerte, pero espero que intentes evitarlo”. Si no está seguro de qué es apropiado y tiene problemas para decidirse sobre la masturbación, vaya hasta la biblioteca y busque más información al respecto.

Relaciones sexuales y embarazos. La mayoría de los niños de 8 años se alegran al saber que un espermatozoide de un hombre se une a óvulo de una mujer para producir una nueva vida. No se preocupe porque quizás no tengan la capacidad para comprender plenamente el concepto de espermatozoide y óvulo, siempre que siente las bases a partir de la verdad. Defina qué son el útero, el pene, los testículos y explique qué son el espermatozoide y el óvulo. En su mayoría, los niños pequeños aceptarán esto como un hecho.

Después de los 8 años, los niños comienzan a querer saber cómo el espermatozoide se encuentra con el óvulo. Esto no quiere decir que los niños más pequeños no pregunten al respecto. Independientemente de si el niño tiene 6, 7 u 8 años, básicamente hay solo una respuesta principal. “El hombre coloca el pene en la vagina de la mujer y los espermatozoides salen de los testículos”. Este también es buen momento para compartir sus valores sobre este comportamiento. Uno podría decir: “Solo los adultos que sienten un gran amor mutuo hacen esto”. Además, como a los 8 ó 9 años, los padres pueden incorporar el concepto de que las relaciones sexuales pueden darse por razones que no sean tener bebés. “Los adultos también pueden tener sexo para demostrar que se aman mucho”. No dude en agregar más detalles si su hijo se los pide, pero no hable de posiciones, orgasmo, etc. Todavía no es necesario que sepan sobre eso.

Los padres también deben estar atentos y reconocer las diferentes formas en que se puede tener un bebé. Los niños pueden preguntar sobre los “bebés de probeta” o cómo las parejas homosexuales pueden ser padres, por lo que los padres deben estar lo suficientemente informados para dar explicaciones claras. Las discusiones periódicas sobre las relaciones homosexuales o lésbicas se prolongarán en el tiempo hasta que finalmente los niños desarrollen tolerancia y comprensión al respecto. Los padres deben comprender que las discusiones medidas sobre la intimidad sexual con nuestros niños son necesarias. Si bien necesitamos determinar a qué edad comenzaremos con las charlas sobre las relaciones sexuales con nuestros niños, nuestras charlas deben ser progresivas. Intente hablar con su hijo sobre lo que usted considera que necesita saber en el momento y comience a avanzar desde ahí, paso a paso. No es necesario que planifique esto mental y anticipadamente.

Sexo oral.El sexo oral, en realidad, es sexo y nuestros adolescentes deben saberlo. Si bien hay escasas investigaciones empíricas sobre el tema, desde un punto de vista anecdótico, pareciera que actualmente el sexo oral está ganando popularidad entre los adolescentes. Escucho hablar de él a los adolescentes de nuestras escuelas medias así como también a colegas preocupados. En general, no es necesario abordar esto con los niños menores de 10 años a menos que lo planteen. Sin embargo, hace varios años, algunos padres me consultaron en la escuela sobre sus hijos de 7 años que se preguntaban sobre “esa señora que besaba las partes íntimas del presidente”. Estaban impactados y no sabían qué hacer. Mi consejo fue que reconocieran sus preguntas y dijeran algo como: “También escuché eso en la televisión. Por extraño que parezca, algunos adultos que se aman hacen eso. No hablamos de esto públicamente, pero me alegra que me lo preguntaras”.

Para los niños de 10 años y más, este tema debe discutirse en relación con su significado como un acto importante de amor y compromiso. Siempre se debe abordar la información errónea. Los adolescentes dicen: “No es realmente sexo, no puedes quedar embarazada ni tampoco contagiarte de VIH”. “No, no se puede quedar embarazada, ¿pero los otros dos? Piénsenlo nuevamente”.

Amor, empatía, respeto, confianza y compromiso.Lo más importante que puede hacer cuando discuta sobre sexo con sus hijos es incorporar estos valores a las discusiones. Cuando hable sobre bebés con sus hijos que van a primer grado, incluya información sobre los componentes emocionales involucrados en el acto de tener bebés, es decir, padres que comparten sentimientos de amor muy fuertes y un compromiso mutuo ante la llegada de un niño. Los niños mayores que van a la escuela primaria pueden preguntar si mamá y papá tienen sexo. Este es un buen momento para hablar sobre su amor mutuo y la decisión conjunta de tener un bebé como expresión de ese amor. “Dos adultos nunca deben tener sexo a menos que se amen mutuamente”. Para cuando los niños llegan a 5.º grado, cualquier discusión sobre el sexo con sus hijos debería incluir ejemplos concretos, siempre que sea posible, sobre el compromiso emocional de una pareja como prerrequisito para tener sexo. Aproveche las oportunidades de enseñar diariamente. Si está viendo una novela y 15 minutos después de que 2 personas se conocieron están uno encima del otro en un sofá, dígale a su hijo de 9 años: “Sabes, no acepto ese comportamiento, porque no tiene sentido. Ni siquiera se conocen; entonces, ¿cómo saben que se aman?”. Luego, continúe con una discusión sobre el verdadero significado del amor y sobre la forma en que las relaciones y el compromiso progresan. Aprender sobre estas cualidades, lo que significan, lo que representan y cómo se las reconoce, toma un tiempo y esfuerzo considerables para trabajar en el tema de las relaciones con diferentes personas, incluso más que la propia vida.

Prevención del abuso sexual. Debido a factores tales como la edad más temprana en que los niños comienzan a interesarse por el sexo y la incidencia del abuso sexual, la educación sobre los comportamientos sexuales adecuados y los límites se torna cada vez más importante. La prevención del abuso sexual debe hacerse con anticipación, como parte de una discusión más amplia sobre temas como las partes del cuerpo y los límites entre lo privado y lo público. Al igual que aprender a cruzar la calle, la capacidad de un niño de generalizar lo que aprende sobre la prevención del abuso en las situaciones de la vida real probablemente llevará tiempo. En consecuencia, los padres deben discutir las estrategias de prevención periódicamente con sus hijos y deben personalizar la discusión para adaptarla a la edad del niño. Además de discutir la forma en que los adultos pueden abusar sexualmente de los niños, es igualmente importante hablar con los niños sobre la forma en que algunos niños pueden abusar de otros niños. Cuando se habla con niños de 6 años, resulta útil decirles: “Algunas veces otros niños intentarán tocar tus partes íntimas. A veces lo hacen porque intentan llamar la atención, a veces para fastidiarte o a veces porque no comprenden que te hace sentir incómodo”. Al llegar a 5.º grado, continuar con la discusión sobre cómo los adultos u otros niños pueden abusar de otros, comienza a convertirse en una comprensión del acoso sexual y del uso de la violencia.

Las escuelas intermedias están desbordadas de todo tipo de acoso. Los niños acosan a las niñas, las niñas acosan a los niños, los niños acosan a los niños y las niñas acosan a las niñas. También hay un acoso importante de estudiantes gay, lesbianas y transexuales. El mensaje adulto es simple: “No hay lugar para ningún comportamiento, acción ni palabras que no sean aceptadas o deseada por los demás. Si no estás seguro de cómo otra persona tomará tu acción, ¡no lo hagas!”. Entonces, si su hija de 10 años le cuenta sobre un comentario obsceno o sexualmente inapropiado que un compañero le hizo a ella, dígale: “Me alegra que me lo hayas dicho. Nos aseguraremos de que esto no continúe. Hablaré con el director. Este niño necesita comprender que sus palabras son incorrectas e hirientes”.

En conclusión

Los padres son los modelos de roles de sus hijos, quienes aprenden respeto, confianza y compromiso emocional con la familia. Los padres pueden y deben ser la fuente más influyente en las vidas de sus hijos con respeto a cómo se comportan sexual y socialmente. Lamentablemente, muy a menudo los medios de comunicación y los compañeros son las fuentes de influencia. Piense en todos los diferentes mensajes sexuales a los que están expuestos los niños diariamente, imágenes de personas casi desnudas en las revistas, imágenes sexuales en Internet o en una película, charlas sexuales entre amigos y compañeros, observar cómo los compañeros y adultos expresan su sexualidad, el cartel sexy en un edificio. Los mensajes sexuales están en todos lados y nuestros hijos están expuestos a ellos diariamente. Ahora, imagínese a sus hijos sentados a la mesa. Por cada mensaje sexual al cual están expuestos, se coloca un bloque de una pulgada por una pulgada de extremo a extremo en la mesa frente a ellos hasta que los bloques lleguen al final de la mesa. Luego, se inicia una segunda fila de bloques sobre la primera, y luego una tercera fila sobre la segunda, y así hasta que se construye una pared. Con cada exposición a un mensaje sexual, la pared se eleva más y más. Cuando los niños llegan a la pubertad, la pared será increíblemente alta. Los padres deben ayudar a sus hijos a comprender y darle sentido a esta pared.

Los padres deben brindar una base sólida de información y valores con respecto al comportamiento y las actitudes sexuales. Entonces, los niños estarán mejor preparados para controlar el flujo continuo de contenido no solicitado al que están expuestos a partir de los medios y los compañeros.

Si bien no siempre se puede controlar lo que verán, escucharán o harán sus hijos, puede tomar medidas preventivas al hablar y comunicarse con ellos de manera regular. ¿Cómo hacemos esto? Mire a sus hijos a los ojos, dígales que los ama, abra la boca y comience a hablar.

RCASA Volunteer Corner

In Sexual Assault Awareness on August 21, 2011 at 6:10 am

I can’t even begin to express how disgusted, tired, and just plain sick of hearing about celebrities, sports stars, and politicians sexually assaulting people.


Stop Assaulting Other People.


Here’s a list of some on the ‘Wall of Shame’ from wherestheoutrage.org.

How about the comments from this guy?

What about this football player?

We all remember this heavy hitter.

We can’t even begin to talk about all of the political assaults and scandals.

Don’t forget this ongoing case.


Stop Assaulting Other People.


Why do we as a society keep letting these people act as role models?

Why do we continue to promote, accept, encourage, and pay these people to behave atrociously?

How is a celebrity that rapes children any different than the convicted sex offender down the street?

They aren’t.

Why do parents let their children associate themselves with celebrities that assault other people?

They certainly wouldn’t let them wear a jersey with the name of an average convicted sex offender on it.


I wish more people would speak up and tell celebrities it is NOT ACCEPTABLE to assault anyone, no matter who they are.


I’m saying it right now.

I don’t care if you are a celebrity, politician, or college student; Stop Assaulting Other People.


%d bloggers like this: