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Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Trastorno de Estrés Postraumático en los menores de edad

In Hispanic/Latino on October 31, 2011 at 4:52 am

Un niño que sufre trastorno de estrés postraumático desarrolla síntomas como miedo intenso, conducta alterada y desorganizada, insensibilidad emocional, ansiedad o depresión, después de estar expuesto directamente o de presenciar una situación traumática extrema que involucra una lesión grave o una amenaza de muerte, o de escuchar sobre un hecho que involucra a un familiar. Las víctimas de maltratos reiterados o los niños que viven en entornos violentos o zonas de guerra pueden experimentar TEPT. El tratamiento incluye apoyo de la familia y la comunidad, y psicoterapia.

Los síntomas del TEPT infantil se dividen en las siguientes categorías:

Reconstrucción
* Momentos en los que un niño aparentemente reproduce el hecho en su mente
* Intrusión de recuerdos recurrentes del hecho o juego repetitivo sobre el hecho
* Pesadillas y sueños atemorizantes

Excitación
* Conducta alterada y desorganizada
* Irritabilidad o enojo
* Nerviosismo sobre todo y todos los que rodean al niño, como cuando las personas se acercan demasiado
* Sobresaltos cuando se escuchan ruidos fuertes

Evasión
* Evasión de pensamientos, sentimientos o lugares que le recuerdan al niño lo que sucedió
* Insensibilidad o falta de emociones

Otras conductas
* Regresión a conductas previas, como apego, incontinencia urinaria, succión del pulgar
* Dificultad para dormir o concentrarse
* Alejamiento de otros y exclusión social
* Abuso de alcohol u otras sustancias para automedicarse

Hasta hace poco, los hechos traumáticos eran poco frecuentes en la vida de la mayoría de los niños. Se les diagnostica trastorno de estrés postraumático a tres millones de niños por año. Después de un hecho traumático, como el ataque en el World Trade Center el 11 de septiembre de 2001 o un trauma o desastre natural, los niños y adolescentes que se encuentran en mayor riesgo de sufrir TEPT son aquellos que presenciaron el hecho directamente, sufrieron consecuencias personales directas (como la muerte de uno de los padres o lesiones propias), tenían otros problemas mentales o de aprendizaje previos al hecho y carecían de lazos sociales sólidos.

La intervención temprana es imperiosa. El apoyo de los padres influye en cuán bien el niño afrontará las secuelas del hecho. Los padres y profesionales pueden ayudar a los niños si

* mantienen una presencia física sólida;
* modelan y controlan su propia expresión de sentimientos y afrontamiento;
* establecen rutinas con flexibilidad;
* aceptan las conductas regresivas de los niños mientras que a la vez motivan y apoyan el regreso a una conducta apropiada para su edad;
* ayudan a los niños a utilizar estrategias de afrontamiento familiar;
* ayudan a los niños a compartir y a mantener su seguridad;
* les permiten a los niños contar su historia con sus palabras, juegos o imágenes para reconocer y normalizar su experiencia;
* analizan lo que se debe hacer o lo que se hizo para evitar la reincidencia del hecho;
* mantienen un ambiente familiar y estable.

Se ha demostrado que la terapia conductual cognitiva es eficaz para tratar niños con TEPT. La capacitación cognitiva ayuda a los niños a reestructurar sus pensamientos y sentimientos para que puedan vivir sin sentirse amenazados. Las intervenciones en la conducta incluyen aprender a enfrentar los miedos para que los niños no eviten más a las personas y los lugares que les recuerdan el hecho. Las técnicas de relajación se utilizan con la narración reiterada supervisada de la historia del niño sobre el hecho, para enseñarle cómo debe controlar los miedos y el estrés de manera eficaz. A menudo también se incluyen la capacitación de los padres para ayudar a los niños con estrategias nuevas de afrontamiento y la enseñanza de estrategias de afrontamiento a los adultos.

RCASA Volunteer Corner

In Prevention, Sexual Assault Awareness, Volunteer on October 30, 2011 at 6:00 am

Have you read some of the so-called ‘Sexual Assault Prevention Tips’ that are out there?

Like–

  • Don’t drink too much
  • Don’t dress revealingly
  • Don’t go out alone
  • Take a self-defense class
  • Don’t talk to strangers
  • Carry your keys as a weapon
  • Check the backseat of your car before you get in
  • Don’t let your car breakdown on the side of the road

Forget all of that, IT IS CRAP.

Yup.  Crap.  They are all deeply offensive, misogynistic, and perpetuate myths about the reality of sexual assault.

I like the way Feminally turned that on its head, THIS is how to prevent Sexual assault:

Halloween Safety From Case Management

In Sexual Assault Awareness on October 29, 2011 at 9:37 am

Halloween is almost upon us, and with the recent abduction attempts in Spotsylvania, parents should be considering children’s safety first.  Kidsafefoundation.org was teaching a prevention class, and came up with these recommendations based on what the students told them they were aloud to do on Halloween.

  • Use the Buddy System – seems like common sense, but many kids are telling us they are walking around by themselves.  If your child does not have a group you need to go with them, (many of the kid’s say their moms claim they “have” to stay home to give out candy – REALLY? That is more important than keeping your child safe? NO!) Set a time you will walk around with your child, and then come home and give out candy. A win – win!
  • Only go to people’s homes you know. (Children tell us they are allowed to go to every house in their neighborhood.)
  • Tell your children to NEVER go inside someone’s house. (Children shared some pretty frightening stories about knocking on the door and being told to come in and get candy. We won’t go into details about the frightening situation that occurred, however even if our children may not understand the danger of going into a house – you do!) So before your child goes trick or treating sit down and have a discussion about the rules.
  • Tell your children NOT eat any candy until you have looked it over and deemed it “SAFE.” (And you have picked out some of the favorites for yourself.)
  • Tell your children to not go near dogs that you do not know. (One student shared a near miss attack by a pit-bull last year.)
  • If your children are going out with their friends and not with a grown-up, make sure you set up designated times for them to “check in” in with you.
  • Walk on the sidewalk if there is one. (If they are walking, especially on the street and wearing dark costumes, a flash light is highly recommended.)
  • Do not talk to anyone driving by in a car. (Remind them that adults they do not know should not be asking kids for help – they should be asking other adults.) If approached they need to report this to a grownup immediately

Holloween should be a fun holiday, but let’s keep it safe as well.  Happy Halloween!

http://www.kidsafefoundation.org/halloween-safety-should-be-on-the-minds-of-all-parents/

 

 

RCASA’s Friday Facts:Women’s Experiences of Abuse as a Risk Factor for Incarceration Part 2

In Friday Facts, Sexual Assault Awareness on October 28, 2011 at 8:00 am

RCASA’s Friday Facts:Women’s Experiences of Abuse as a Risk Factor for Incarceration Part 1

Processes That Entrap Women in Violent Relationships and Coerce Them into Crime
Economic offenses. Many women are in prisons for economic crimes, primarily larceny for shoplifting and using stolen credit cards. Some women charged with economic offenses are runaways, street women and drug-addicted women, but others may have no prior illegal activity or drug addiction. They may be coerced into crimes by abusive partners, they may try to support themselves and their children with stolen items, they may be caught in welfare fraud, or they may steal or forge checks in order to escape from abuse (Kopels & Sheridan, 2002).

Battering may force women into poverty and homelessness; it can cause women to lose jobs, welfare benefits, housing and educational opportunities (Browne & Bassuk, 1997; Davis, 1999). Financially abusive partners may steal women’s earnings and possessions, force them into debt and harass them at work until they lose their jobs. Women who escape often have no resources of their own and cannot afford housing, food, medical care and childcare. Recent changes in welfare policies have left many abused women with even fewer choices and resources (Hagen & Owens-Manley, 2002). Low-income women of color experience the highest rates of domestic violence (Wyatt, Axelrod, Chin, Carmona, & Loeb, 2000) and are the most affected by welfare reform policies (Coker, 2000).

Women arrested for harming others. Arrest and incarceration can result when women try to protect or defend themselves and their children from abuse, as well as when they cannot protect their children. Arrests of women for domestic violence assaults have increased since mandatory and pro-arrest laws and policies have been implemented (Peng & Mitchell, 2001). The increase of women arrested under mandatory arrest laws and policies may be due to officers’ reluctance to do careful investigations, perhaps in part as backlash against women (S. Miller, 2001). Some abusers call the police to have their partners arrested and use arrest as an additional tool of power and control (NCDBW, 2001). Some battered women do fight back to defend themselves and are treated as the primary aggressors by the police and courts. However, we have few examples of women arrested for harming their male intimate partners who fit the profile of batterers (Dasgupta, 1999; Miller, 2001)–the majority of women who fight back do so in self-defense.

Battered women report being pressured by prosecutors and their defense attorneys to plea bargain for a “light” sentence even when they were wrongly arrested (Miller, 2001). One of the reasons women give for accepting plea bargains is to get released from jail in order to care for their children and to protect them from the batterer (NCDBW, 2001). A plea of guilty leaves a woman with a permanent criminal record. Women with criminal records may lose welfare (TANF), food stamps and Medicaid, may be subject to deportation if they are immigrants, face employment barriers and may be permanently denied the right to vote (Coker, 2000; Haviland, et al., n.d.; NCDBW, 2001). A battered woman facing criminal charges and imprisonment has even less power and fewer resources to ensure her own and her children’s safety (NCDBW, 2001).

Browne (1987), Walker (1989) and Leonard (2002) studied battered women who killed abusive partners in self-defense after long struggles to protect themselves and their children from terrifying violence. Those studies show how women can be completely trapped by severe violence, yet the criminal justice system still rarely acknowledges the history of abuse in its definition of self-defense. The number of intimate partner homicides in the U. S. dropped by more than 60% from 1976 to 1998, with the largest drop for women who kill their partners (Rennison & Welchans, 2000). A study by Browne and Williams (1993) suggested that the decrease might be due to the increasing availability of domestic violence services for women. Unfortunately, the rate of male-perpetrated intimate homicides has not decreased (Rennison & Welchans, 2000).

Battered women who defend themselves and harm abusers resemble battered women who kill batterers, but may look as if they are not “good victims;” for using too much force, or using alcohol or drugs, or having an arrest record. They are unlikely to be treated as victims when they try to use law enforcement and the courts for protection. Another controversial trend in social policy is prosecution of battered women as child abusers or for “failure to protect” their children even in situations where the batterer prevents them from protecting their children (Kopels & Sheridan, 2002; Mills, 1998). There are increasing efforts in research, policy and practice to understand and address the issues of battered women whose children are also abused.

Enforcement Violence. Battered women with multiple issues, such as poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, criminal records and prostitution histories face steep barriers to receiving services and benefits, and are not taken seriously as victims by the criminal justice system (Zweig, Schlichter, & Burt, 2002). Most women with multiple issues are not eligible for domestic violence shelters and face discrimination and further abuse wherever they turn. Enforcement abuse is victimization, entrapment, coercion and harm that results from enforcement of policies, laws and institutional practices (Bhattacharjee, 2001). Some of the consequences of arrest discussed above (loss of rights and benefits) are examples of enforcement abuse. Particularly serious enforcement violence affects groups who have few legal rights or access to legal resources for protection. These include refugees and immigrants as well as people under correctional control. Although not the focus of this paper, additional groups exposed to enforcement abuse include people institutionalized in settings such as psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes and facilities that house people with disabilities.

Battered immigrant women, who may or may not have any of the above issues, face a particular kind of enforcement violence from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) (Raj & Silverman, 2002), including rapes by border patrol agents (Arguelles & Rivero, 1995). They may be isolated from extended family and unable to access information and services due to language barriers. Abusive partners may keep them from learning about laws and services in the U.S. Immigration status can be used as a weapon of abuse by threats or destruction of vital documents and threats to turn women over to INS for deportation. Immigration laws allow men to sponsor their wives and thus to control wives’ immigration status and keep women dependent on them. Recent immigrants are not eligible for TANF or Medicaid for 3 years unless a woman can obtain a waiver as a battered woman. It is difficult for women to get waivers because of the legal complexity, women’s lack of information about the provisions and not being believed by authorities. Many immigrant women also fear that the batterer will be deported, perhaps taking the children with him and they may risk their own arrest and deportation if they call police. Immigrant women may be detained in INS detention centers without access to attorneys or visitors and little information on them is available.

Over two million women are arrested each year and nearly a million women are currently under correctional control (Sourcebook, 2000). Eighty-five percent are on probation or parole and fifteen percent are incarcerated in local jails and state and federal prisons (Greenfield & Snell, 1999). The number of women in prison tripled from 1980 to 1990 (Chesney-Lind, 1997) and more than doubled again between 1990 and 2001, reaching 161,000 in 2001 (Beck, Karberg, & Harrison, 2002). The largest increases are for drug-related and property offenses (Greenfield & Snell, 1999). Although the portion of women arrested for violent offenses increased 80% between 1987 and 1997, women¹s violent offenses still total only 3.6% of all arrests and 17% of violent offenses (Greenfield & Snell, 1999; Sourcebook, 2000). What has changed is the percentage of women arrested who are being convicted and incarcerated, whatever their offenses (Beck, et al., 2001).

Incarcerated women are predominantly poor women with little education and few employment options; most were either unemployed or receiving welfare assistance prior to their arrests (Greenfield & Snell, 1999). A study of women in Cook County Jail in Illinois (Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, 2002) found that over half of the women were homeless and unemployed and one-third relied on prostitution for income. Twenty-nine percent of the women had recently lost or been denied government assistance.

Native Americans are incarcerated at a rate that is 19% higher than all other groups (Minton, 2002) and non-citizens represent 29% of all federal prisoners (Scalia & Litras, 2002). Women of color, once arrested, are disproportionately sent to prison while white women are more likely to be placed on probation (Greenfield & Snell, 1999). Racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, often practiced through the discretionary power of police officers, prosecutors, judges, juries, parole boards and corrections authorities, has a devastating effect on women of color. Women of color are more likely than white women to be arrested and charged with more serious offenses, to be prosecuted, to be convicted and to serve time in prison ( S. Miller, 2001).

Drug enforcement in poor communities, harsh sentences mandated for certain offense categories, and laws requiring prisoners to serve longer portions of their sentences have increased the numbers of women warehoused in prisons. Few correctional settings offer drug or mental health treatment, job training, or rehabilitation programs to prepare inmates for release (Allard, 2002; Olson, Lurigio, & Seng, 2000). Nearly three-fourths of women in the criminal justice system were using drugs prior to their arrest, yet only 25% of state and federal prisoners and 17% of people on probation receive any kind of drug treatment (Allard, 2002). Federal welfare rules allow states to place a lifetime ban on cash and food stamp benefits for anyone convicted of a felony drug offense. Convicted drug felons are prohibited from living in public housing and cannot receive federal financial aid for post-secondary education (Allard, 2002). Such policies make it very difficult for women to legally obtain food, housing, health care, drug treatment, education and income for themselves and their children. Two-thirds of people released from prisons are re-arrested within three years, primarily for economic offenses (Langin & Levin, 2002).

Women and girls under correctional control are among our most impoverished and violated populations yet they have few advocates and virtually no resources, services, or rights that can be reasonably exercised. The interlocking forms of interpersonal and state violence and gender, race and class oppression imprison girls and women in battering relationships, lives of poverty and subsistence through illegal economic activities. Once they are placed under correctional control they have ever decreasing chances of extricating themselves.

Recommendations

Women and girls under correctional control or living and working on the streets are in urgent need of advocates, economic resources and services. Those services must be designed to be accessible, culturally appropriate, respectful and useful to the specific contexts of women’s lives. We need programs in jails, prisons, courts and at street-level. Every prison and jail should have community-run domestic violence and sexual assault services. Neighborhoods where women and girls are prostituted should have confidential and easily accessible services on the streets providing information, counseling and advocacy. Shelters must be opened to provide safe haven for street women (regardless of their drug use or legal status) and to shelter women released from jails and prisons who are at risk for abuse, homelessness and prostitution.

A host of social policies cutting across criminal justice, immigration, drug enforcement, housing, welfare and health and mental health care must be changed. We need to document the extent of race, gender and class entrapment by abusers, laws, social policies and enforcement practices. The movement to end violence against women needs the leadership and expertise of women who experience criminalization, entrapment and enforcement abuse. The movement is beginning to recognize the unintended consequences of relying heavily on the criminal justice system to protect women and children from male violence; we must begin to look for other options in order not to add further harm to already oppressed communities. We need safe places, services and strong advocacy for women who are not always “good victims,” but are real victims, women caught in the web of poverty, racism, violence, correctional control and enforcement abuse. Finally, the women’s movement should join the effort to abolish prisons and decarcerate non-violent inmates.

Author of this document:
Mary E. Gilfus, Ph.D., ACSW
Associate Professor Simmons College
School of Social Work
Boston, MA mary.gilfus@simmons.edu

Thursday: Víctimas Directas y Victimas Secundarias en la Agresión Sexual, y el proceso de sanar.

In Sexual Assault Awareness on October 27, 2011 at 1:02 am

Las víctimas de la agresión sexual a menudo sufren en silencio porque tienen sentimientos de vergüenza, auto-culpa, bochorno, y el miedo a que nadie les creerá.  A menudo los agresores garantizan el silencio de sus víctimas con amenazas de daño a la víctima y/o a los miembros de su familia

 

Menos del 20% de todas las agresiones sexuales son reportadas para la aplicación de la ley, y es uno de los crímenes menos reportados en los Estados Unidos.

 

La Agresión sexual es cualquier actividad sexual inoportuna y no deseada.  Incluye todos los tipos de violación, intento de violación, abuso sexual de niños niñas, incesto, acoso sexual, exposición y voyeurismo  (placer sexual de observar en secreto).

 

La Agresión sexual puede ocurrir a alguien de cualquier edad, sexo, orientación sexual, origen étnico, y clase social.  Los estudios de FBI, dicen que la víctima  de violación de menor edad  tiene 2 meses, mientras la victima  de mayor edad,  tiene 97 años.  La motivación para la agresión sexual es poder y control.

 

¿QUIÉN ES UNA VICTIMA DE AGRESION SEXUAL?

Una víctima desde una visión terapéutica,  es un ser humano que sufre por un suceso traumático o daño provocado por otro ser humano.

Tipos de víctimas

a) Víctimas directas

Son las personas expuestas directamente al evento traumático, lo que genera habitualmente el daño psicológico, suele ser la amenaza a la propia vida, una lesión física grave y la percepción del daño como intencionado.

b) Víctimas indirectas

Constituidas por las personas que han sido testigos directos del trauma sin haber sido, a pesar de ello, afectados personalmente-. Las víctimas indirectas pueden tener grados diferentes de relación con la víctima directa; así, pueden ser familiares, amigos o vecinos

El acontecimiento traumático puede compararse a una piedra arrojada en un estanque. Así, origina ondas que no sólo afectan a las víctimas propiamente dichas, sino también a aquellos que están cerca de ellas. Se trata de un efecto onda y de un efecto contagio. Se forma un efecto multiplicador.

La onda expansiva de un suceso traumático actúa en círculos concéntricos. En el primer círculo se encuentran las víctimas directas. El segundo círculo está constituido por los familiares, que tienen que afrontar el dolor de sus seres queridos y readaptarse a la nueva situación. Y puede haber un tercer círculo, correspondiente a los compañeros de trabajo, a los vecinos o, en general, a los miembros de la comunidad, que pueden quedar afectados por el temor y la indefensión ante acontecimientos futuros.

El efecto contagio está relacionado con la convivencia con la víctima. Un contacto cercano y prolongado con una persona que ha sufrido un trauma grave puede actuar como un estresor crónico en la familia, hasta el punto que las personas que están en estrecho contacto con la víctima,  pueden experimentar trastornos emocionales y convertirse en víctimas secundarias del trauma, y a es, a esto que se le llama traumatización secundaria.

El Proceso de curar

 

La agresión y sus consecuencias pueden ser perjudiciales para el estilo de  vida de las víctimas de muchas formas.  Un periodo de crisis puede prolongarse por varios meses después de la iniciarse la victimización o puede reaparecer muchos años después.

 

Por eso es importante que las personas que han tenido una experiencia de Abuso Sexual, puedan buscar la ayuda profesional que puedan conocer que existe un proceso de recuperación, reparación que les puede ayudar de la siguiente manera:

  1. Reconocer su situación de víctima, que fue la situación de control y poder que el abusador ejerció al momento de realizar las acciones violentas
  2. Reconocerse como sobreviviente, que implica los recursos internos que como ser humano ha enfrentado para poder estar con, vida y que le ha permitido buscar ayuda, y poco a poco,  ir sobreponiéndose a la experiencia.
  3. Celebrar la vida que es la parte le ayuda a ser creativa y enfrentar la vida una forma positiva, sin culpa, sin miedo, sin enojo, con alegría y amándose a sí misma como una persona libre del miedo de su abusador.

Todo este proceso es válido  y debe ser considerado para las victimas secundarias o indirectas.

Attention!!!! Fundraising Event Today, and on another note…

In Sexual Assault Awareness on October 26, 2011 at 4:00 am

October 26th between 4-8 PM, CiCi’s Pizza will be contributing a portion of their sales to RCASA.  Please join us and make a difference in our community.  These contributions will allow RCASA to purchase items needed for our hospital bags like pants, underwear, socks and t-shirts. It will also go to the services we provide for victims of sexual assault. We appreciate and applaud any and all who join us in this effort.  See you at CiCi’s Pizza, Carl D Silver Pkwy, Fredericksburg, VA 22401.

On another note, RCASA will be attending the CVC Kickoff for VDOT in Stafford on October 31st. We are very excited to be there, and if you would like to donate thru CVC or CFC Campaigns our numbers are CVC-6417 and CFC-78223. All donations and contributions are tax deductible.

RCASA Prevention Will Soon Be in Spotsy Middle Schools

In Sexual Assault Awareness on October 25, 2011 at 6:58 am

RCASA is happy to announce that we will soon be offering prevention classes in the Spotsylvania Middle Schools. Scheduling for all seven middle schools will begin this week and we are hoping to begin programming by mid-Novmber.

The program will utilize the Virginia Department of Health’s teen curriculum, Choose Respect. Choose Respect addresses sexual and interpersonal violence from the public health perspective, and seeks to reconstruct the way that teens think about relationships in ways that are less conducive to violence. While the program addresses issues related to sexual and intimate partner violence, it also addresses familial and communal relationships as well. The ultimate goal is to build problem solving skills, knowledge, and appropriate advocacy skills that youth may utilize both for their own benefit and for the benefit of others.

The program will begin with large group presentations to all seventh graders. From those large groups a smaller leadership corps of students will be selected. This smaller group will participate in a more intensive, once a week program which will focus on continued outreach to their school community.

If you would like more information on bringing an RCASA program to your school, please do not hesitate to contact us at prevention@rcasa.org.

RCASA Consejos para Padres de Adolescentes, para la Prevención de la Violencia

In Sexual Assault Awareness on October 24, 2011 at 5:00 am

Consejos para Padres de Adolescentes, para la Prevención de la Violencia

La violencia en las citas de adolescentes se define como un patrón de actos repetidos p amenazas  de actos que abusan de forma física, sexual o verbal a un miembro de una pareja no casada entre los trece y los diecinueve años de edad.

…Consejos…

… Reconocer los patrones de violencia y victimización puede desarrollarse en la adolescencia temprana.

 … Sepa que la violencia física no es la única señal de una relación abusiva.

 … Enséneles a sus adolescentes las reglas básicas para mantener relaciones saludables durante las citas:

  1. Conoce primero a la persona como a un amigo.
  2. Sal en grupos o con otra pareja.
  3. Establece tus limites claramente
  4. Ten un plan de repuesto para regresar a casa
  5. No vayas demasiado deprisa en la relación
  6. Aprende a estar en desacuerdo sin gritar ni discutir.

 … Ayude a su adolescente a reconocer que en una relación saludable, ambas personas:

  1. Confían el uno en el otro
  2. Se respetan el uno al otro
  3. Valoran sus puntos de vista respectivos
  4. Se apoyan uno al otro en sus objetivos
  5. Comparten la toma de decisiones
  6. Expresan sus sentimientos de forma abierta
  7.  Realmente se escuchan el uno al otro
  8. Se animan los intereses respectivos
  9. Comprenden la necesidad de pasar el tiempo

Solos, con  su familia o con otros amigos

  1. Aceptan sus diferencias respectivas

 … Anime a sus adolescentes a que le hable acerca de la persona con la que está saliendo.

 … Aprenda sobre las leyes relacionadas con la violación de menores en www.varapelaws.org

 …Llame a la línea de emergencia para la violencia Familiar y la Agresión Sexual de Virginia al:

 1-800-838-8238 para obtener apoyo y una referencia.

¡Nadie merece ser abusado!

RCASA Volunteer Corner

In Sexual Assault Awareness on October 23, 2011 at 4:13 am

Okay, so today I am going to answer another question that was recently posed to me.

This is a common question and the best information I could find comes directly from Rainn.org.

How can I help my

sister/daughter/friend/brother/cousin

who was recently sexually assaulted?

 

“There are many ways that you can help a friend or family member who has been a victim of rape or sexual violence:

  • Listen. Be there. Don’t be judgmental.
  • Be patient. Remember, it will take your loved one some time to deal with the crime.
  • Help to empower your loved one. Rape and sexual violence are crimes that take away an individual’s power, it is important not to compound this experience by putting pressure on your loved one to do things that he or she is not ready to do yet.
  • If you are dealing with an issue involving your child, create a safe place by talking directly to them.
  • If you are the non-abusing parent in a case of incest, it is important to support your child and help them through this situation without blaming them. This is also true if you are not a parent but still an observer of incest.
  • If your loved one is considering suicide, follow-up with them on a regular basis.
  • Encourage your loved one to report the rape or sexual violence to law enforcement (call 911 in most areas). If your loved one has questions about the criminal justice process, talking with someone on the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1.800.656.HOPE, and the RCASA Hotline (540) 371-1666 can help.
  • Let your loved one know that professional help is available through the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1.800.656.HOPE, and the RCASA Hotline (540) 371-1666
  • If your loved one is willing to seek medical attention or report the assault, offer to accompany him or her wherever s/he needs to go (hospital, police station, campus security, etc.)
  • Encourage him or her to contact one of the hotlines, but realize that only your loved one can make the decision to get help.

It is also important to note that having a friend or family member who is raped or assaulted can be a very upsetting experience. For this reason it is also important that you take care of yourself. Even if your friend and family member isn’t ready to talk to a hotline specialist, you can get support for yourself. You can also get ideas about ways to help your friend or family member through the recovery process.”

__________________________________________

Information from RAINN.ORG

RCASA Saturday with Case Managment: In the News this week

In Sexual Assault Awareness on October 22, 2011 at 5:00 am

From the CNN news desk.

The director of a battered women’s shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was being held Wednesday on charges that she forced the women she cared for to commit sex acts with strangers, local authorities told CNN.

Authorities were also investigating if children who lived at the shelter — some as young as 5 years old — were forced into prostitution as well, Arturo Sandoval, spokesman for the state attorney general’s office, told CNN.

“That is an aspect of our investigation, but that’s still yet to be determined,” Sandoval, whose office has taken the lead of the investigation, said.

Soledad Griensen Porras, 50, of Juarez was arrested Tuesday afternoon after one of the women in the shelter stopped police in the street asking for help, according to Adrian Sanchez, spokesman for the Juarez municipal police department.

“Our officers responded immediately and that’s when they found the shelter, which had pretty much become a brothel,” Sanchez said.

Officers found “several irregularities” at the shelter “as well as five other women…and eight children,” Sanchez said.

The children had been beaten and had “chile put on their private parts” according to a press release from the Juarez municipal police department.

“Griensen is the only person being held in relation to these charges,” Sandoval told CNN.

“She is currently in our custody. I can’t give you anymore details about her since our investigation is ongoing,” he added.

It was unclear how long Griensen had owned the Mujeres Unidas Contra la Violencia (“women united against violence”) shelter or how long its residents allegedly had been forced to perform sex acts, Sanchez said.

“That is all part of the investigation,” he added.

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