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Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Prevention Tuesdays: Did you know 1 in 3 teens is involved in an abusive relationship?

In Sexual Assault Awareness on January 31, 2012 at 4:44 am

Dating abuse is a serious health concern for many students:

  • One in three high school students will be involved in an abusive relationship.
  • Forty-five percent of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
  • Nearly 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser.
  • Both girls and boys can be abused by a dating partner and both girls and boys can be abusers.

The Center for Disease Control considers sexual and domestic violence to be a public health hazard…what are you doing to find a cure? RCASA is working with local schools and other community organizations to provide prevention education on a larger scale. If you would like to sponsor an event at your local organization please contact prevention@rcasa.org

Historia del Sector “Skid Row” del Centro de Los Ángeles

In Awareness Campaigns, Education, Hispanic/Latino, Outreach, Prevention, Sexual Assault Awareness, Trauma on January 30, 2012 at 5:00 am

Reproduced, translated and modified to fit translation by Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault, RCASA from:

http://www.lachamber.com/clientuploads/LUCH_committee/102208_History_of_Skid_Row.pdf

Reproducido, traducido y modificado por Concilio Rappahannock contra el asalto/la agresión sexual de:

http://www.lachamber.com/clientuploads/LUCH_committee/102208_History_of_Skid_Row.pdf

History of Downtown Los Angeles’ “Skid Row”

Historia del Sector “Skid Row” del Centro de Los Angeles

The “Skid Row”₁ of Los Angeles is a portion of the area in downtown Los Angeles east of the Financial  District  and  the  Historic  Downtown  Center,  partially  overlaying  the  core  of  the downtown Industrial District.  It is generally referred to by the City as part of the “Central City East” area, a fifty-block sector of downtown bounded by Main Street (west), Third Street (north), Alameda Street (east) and Seventh Street (south), although Skid Row’s boundaries are actually somewhat fluid.

El sector “Skid Row”₁ de Los Ángeles es una parte del área céntrica de Los Ángeles al Este del Distrito Financiero y del Centro Histórico, cubriendo parcialmente el corazón céntrico del Distrito Industrial.

Es referido generalmente por la ciudad como parte del área “del Este Central de la ciudad”, “Central City East” es un sector de cincuenta bloques céntricos limitados por el oeste con Main Street, por el norte con Third Street, por el este con Alameda Street, y por el sur con Seventh Street, aunque sus límites son actualmente un poco flexibles.

The area in which Skid Row is located was agricultural until the railroads first entered Los Angeles, in the 1870s.  The railroads paralleled the Los Angeles River, and the main rail yard and station were near the current Sixth Street/Whittier Boulevard river crossing. After the arrival of the railroads, the area  began to industrialize with an emphasis on agriculture, which is seasonal in nature and therefore includes influxes of short-term workers, especially at planting and harvesting season. The railroads themselves added to the transient nature of downtown as train crews “laid over” between assignments.  As a result, many small hotels were developed in the 1880 to 1930 era to serve this worker population.  Since many of the migrant workers were single and male, the area also saw a proliferation of bars, whorehouses and other “houses of ill repute.”  Today there is a large mission presence in Skid Row which can trace its roots to that period, when temperament and other groups established such facilities as havens to counteract the ill effects of, and provide a healthy alternative to, the bars and other  potentially self- destructive pursuits.

El área en la cual “Skid Row” está situada era agrícola hasta que los ferrocarriles entraron a Los Ángeles por primera vez, en los años 1870.  Los ferrocarriles estuvieron paralelos al río de Los Ángeles, y el patio de ferrocarriles o el terminal de trenes principal y la estación estaban cerca del actual travesía del río.  Después de la llegada de los ferrocarriles, el área comenzó a industrializarse con énfasis en la agricultura, que es temporal en naturaleza y por lo tanto incluye afluencias de trabajadores a corto plazo, especialmente en las temporadas de siembra y cosecha. Los ferrocarriles mismos agregaron la naturaleza transitoria del centro de la ciudad a medida que los trabajadores del tren descansaban entre asignaciones laborales.  Consecuentemente, muchos hoteles pequeños fueron construidos entre 1880 a 1930 para servir a esta población laboral.  Puesto que muchas de los trabajadores extranjeros eran hombres solteros, el área también vió una proliferación de bares, y de prostíbulos y de otras “casas de mala reputación.”  Hoy en día hay una gran presencia de misiones en “Skid Row”, que puede remontar sus raíces a ese período, cuando se establecieron asilos o refugios para contrarrestar los malos efectos de y proveer una alternativa saludable a los bares y a otras  potencialmente búsquedas destructivas.

The area’s proximity to the railroad station also made it the point of first arrival for all types of migrants,  including those who migrated for economic reasons from elsewhere in the United States during and  after each major recession or depression.   In particular, during the Great Depression of the 1930’s,  many displaced farmers and workers from the Midwest and South came to Los Angeles, often having abandoned their families, and/or becoming alcoholics – the “hobos” and “bums” who “rode the rails” were the homeless of their day and the social service organizations began to evolve into service  centers for such populations.  A portion of this population settled permanently in the area and became the base of today’s elderly population in Central City East.

La proximidad del área a la estación del ferrocarril también fue el punto de llegada para toda clase de inmigrantes, incluyendo los que emigraron por razones económicas de otras parte de los Estados Unidos durante y después de cada recesión o depresión significante seria.   Particularmente, durante la gran depresión de los años 30, muchos granjeros y trabajadores desplazados del Medio Oeste y el Sur vinieron a Los Ángeles, a menudo abandonando sus familias, volviéndose alcohólicos – los vagabundos que rondaban los rieles era la gente sin techo y sin hogar de aquellos días, y las organizaciones de servicio social comenzaron a desarrollarse como centros de servicio para tales poblaciones. Una parte de esta población se quedó permanentemente en el área y se convirtió en la base de la población de la tercera edad de hoy en Central City East.

During the Second World War and the Vietnam conflict, numerous military personnel and transient young men passed through Los Angeles, and the missions served as havens for them during their journeys.  This previous exposure to Skid Row attracted numerous returning drug- and alcohol-addicted and emotionally scarred Viet Nam veterans to come back to and settle in Los Angeles.  The veterans  found Skid Row accommodating because of (1) the presence of service facilities and providers and (2)  the rejection they faced in other communities.  It was after the Viet Nam era that the demographics of the area changed from predominantly elderly, white and alcohol-dependent to predominantly young, nonwhite and drug-dependent.

Durante la segunda Guerra mundial y el conflicto de Vietnam, un gran número de militares y jóvenes vagabundos visitaron Los Ángeles , y las misiones les sirvieron de refugios durante su jornada.  Esta exposición previa a “Skid Row” atrajo a numerosos alcoholicos y drogadictos y a los veteranos de Guerra de Vietnam cicatrizados emocionalmente a regresar e instalarse en Los Ángeles.  Los veteranos encontraron a “Skid Row” cómodo, adaptador por: 1) La presencia de instalaciones de servicios y proveedores, y 2) El rechazamiento que afrontaron en otras comunidades.  Fué despúes de la era de la Guerra de Vietnam que la demografía del área cambio de predominantemente anglosajana, de la tercera edad y alcoholic, a predominantemente jóven, no-anglosajona y drogadicta.

In the 1960’s, noting that many of the area’s small hotels – because of their age and lack of upkeep – did not meet the fire and safety codes cited many of the small hotel owners. The code conformance orders allowed leeway for owners to either repair or demolish the structures.  As a result of hotel owners facing costly repairs and limited income from the hotels’ low rents, this leeway had the unintended consequence of numerous demolitions.  In total the loss of 50% of the housing stock – from approximately 15,000 units in the early 1960’s to 7,500 units in the early 1970’s – contributed to the displacement of a significant number of extremely low-income, substance dependent and/or mentally unstable persons who had settled in Central City East.

En los años 60, observando que muchos de los hoteles pequeños del área – debido a su edad y carencia de mantenimiento – no cumplían con los códigos del fuego y de seguridad citó a muchos de los dueños de hoteles pequeños.   La conformidad del código le dió Libertad de Acción a los dueños a reparar o demoler estas estructuras.  Estó resultó en que los dueños de los hoteles al afrontar costosas reparaciones y al tener un ingreso económico limitado debido a las rentas bajas de los hoteles, esta Libertad de Acción tuvo una consecuencia no intencional de numerosas demoliciones.  En total se perdió el 50% de las viviendas, de aproximadamente 15,000 unidades en los años 60 a 7,500 unidades en los años 70 – contribuyendo al desplazamiento de un número significativo de personas extremadamente pobres, dependientes  y/o mentalmente inestables que se habían instalado en Central City East.

In  1975,  the  area  became  part  of  the  then  newly  adopted  Central  Business  District Redevelopment Project Area.  A Blue Ribbon Committee comprised of civic leaders, business persons and academics established shortly after adoption of the Project Area issued a report in 1976 calling for the preservation of the remaining housing stock and other steps to address the social, economic and medical problems of the downtown population.  As a result, Los Angeles embarked on a program of acquiring, rehabilitating and managing the remaining single-room- occupancy hotel units and adding a limited number of community amenities, most notably two vest-pocket parks, clinics and shelter facilities.  To date, roughly 3,500 of the surviving 6,500 single-room-occupancy units have been acquired and rehabilitated or replaced.  Another unintended consequence of the City’s action, however, has been that other communities were then able not to provide for their own social needs, but rather shipped their homeless and problem populations to downtown Los Angeles.

En 1975, el área se convirtió en lo que en eso entonces fue el Proyecto nuevamente Adoptado de Re Construción del Distrito de Negocios Central del Área(Newly Adopted Central Business District Redevelopment Project Area).  El Comité Blue Ribbon de la cinta azul compuesto de líderes cívicos, personas de negocios y educacionales establecidos poco después de la adopción del proyecto del área publicó un informe en 1976 invitando a la preservación de la reserva de viviendas restantes y a tomar otras acciones para abordar los problemas sociales, económicos y médicos de la población del centro.  Consecuentemente, Los Ángeles emprendió un programa de adquisición, reconstrucción y administración de los hoteles de habitaciones simples que quedaban, y el de añadir un número limitado de amenidades a la comunidad, los más notables fueron dos parques pequeños, clínicas y refugios y/o albergues.  Hasta la fecha, aproximadamente solamente 3,500 de las 6,500 habitaciones simples que quedaban fueron adquiridas y reconstruidas o reemplazadas.  Otra de las consecuencias involuntarias de la acción de la ciudad, sin embargo, ha sido que otras comunidades no sean capaces de proveer a sus propias necesidades sociales, pero en vez  abandonar a esas personas sin techo o sin hogar en el centro de Los Ángeles.

The area of these small hotels, missions and shelters is also characterized by numerous industrial,  warehousing and distribution activities.  This local manufacturing, processing and wholesale sector of the economy, which also dates to the coming of the railroads, has been growing  significantly; a sharp contrast to the sluggish performance of other sectors of the economy on the  national level.   Because many of these businesses are small, often run by immigrants and employing low-skilled workers who do not have transportation options, these businesses need to remain close  to  the City’s core. As they expand, however, they put pressure on the limited housing stock in the area, raising the specter of additional loss of the area’s very low cost housing stock.  In addition, many of the businesses are food-based, which engenders serious public health problems in a dense area with a large street population lacking access to sanitary facilities.

El área de estos hoteles pequeños, misiones y refugios o albergues está también caracterizada por numerosas actividades industriales, de almacenamiento y de distribución.  Este sector de la economía de la industria manufacturera local, el proceso y la venta al por mayor, que también procede de la llegada de los ferrocarriles, ha estado creciendo significativamente; un contraste agudo con el funcionamiento lento de otros sectores de la economía a nivel nacional.   Porque muchos de estos negocios son pequeños, a menudo administrados por inmigrantes que emplean a trabajadores poco expertos, quienes no tienen opciones de transporte, estos negocios   necesitan permanecer cerca al centro de la ciudad.  Sin embargo, mientras ellos crecen ejercen presión en la reserva de viviendas limitadas del área.  Levantando expectativas de pérdidas adicionales de vivienda a bajo costo.  Además, muchos de los negocios son basados en alimento,  que engendra problemas de salud pública serios en un área densa con una población grande de gente que vive en la calle que carece acceso a instalaciones sanitarias.

Moreover, while throughout most of its history the area’s population has been predominantly single and male, the recession of the 1990’s resulted in many middle class families breaking up, with both single adults on their own and single adults (mostly women) with children arriving in Skid Row and in need of shelter and other assistance.

Por otra parte, mientras que a través de la mayor parte de su historia la población del área han sido predominante hombres solteros, la recesión de los años 90 resultó en muchas familias de clase media que se separaban, en donde ambos adultos resultaban viviendo aparte, y adultos solteros (mayormente mujeres) con niños viniendo a Skid Row solicitando albergue/refugio y otro tipo de ayuda.

Today the Central City East area, including Skid Row, contains a population of approximately 12,000 persons.  Approximately 8,000 of them live permanently or semi-permanently in the 6,500 single-room-occupancy hotel rooms and approximately 2,000 persons occupy beds in shelter and transitional facilities, for periods of time ranging from days to several months.  The population living on the streets is variously estimated by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the Los Angeles Police Department and others, and numbers are estimated to range from  2,000  to  4,500  or  5,000  persons,  with  the  numbers  changing  both  seasonally  and throughout the month.    While the  population  is still predominantly made of up single males, there are increasing numbers of women and  children, now pushing five to ten percent of the total population on Skid Row.

Hoy en día el área de Central City East, incluyendo Skid Row, contiene una población de aproximadamente 12.000 personas.  Aproximadamente 8.000 de ellas viven permanentemente o temporalmente en los 6.500 habitaciones individuales de los hoteles y aproximadamente 2.000 personas ocupan camas en los albergues/refugios o en instalaciones temporales, por períodos del tiempo que se extienden por unos días a varios meses.  El estimado de la población que vive en las calles varia según La Autoridad de Servicios a Personas sin techo o sin hogar de Los Ángeles (Angeles Homeless Services Authority), El Departamento de La Policía de Los Ángeles (Los Angeles Police Department) y otros vario la autoridad de los servicios del nómada de Los Ángeles, el departamento del policía de Los Ángeles y, y los números se estiman se extienden entre 2.000 a 4.500 o 5.000 personas, con los números cambiando según la estación y a través del mes. Mientras que la población todavía está predominantemente conformada por varones solteros, hay un creciente número de mujeres y niños,  ahora empujando de cinco a diez por ciento de la población total en Skid Row.

With the increasing popularity of communities surrounding Central City East for middle- and upper-income housing, along with the pressure for expansion of local industries, there are concerns for the potential for some of the Skid Row housing to be displaced.  As a result, it is becoming increasingly important to identify mechanisms to deal with – and, hopefully, solve – chronic homelessness in Los Angeles.

Con la creciente popularidad de comunidades que rodean Central City East de clase media y alta, junto con la presión para la expansión de industrias locales, hay inquietudes que potencialmente algunas de las viviendas de “Skid Row” sean desplazadas.  Consecuentemente, se está tornando muy importante el de identificar mecanismos para tratar – con la esperanza de solucionar – la falta de vivienda crónica en Los Ángeles.

________________________________________________________

1  The term “Skid Row” derives from Seattle. Washington, where “skid roads” were the places that loggers slid their cut timber to the ports for shipment.  By the 1930’s the term referred to the rundown areas of cities, characterized by bars, brothels and the like originally attracted by loggers, and began to include the presence of homeless and other extremely low income populations.

₁ El término “Skid Row” deriva de Seattle. Washington, donde estaban los “Lugares Deslizantes” eran los lugares por donde los leñadores deslizaban su madera cortada hacia los puertos para despacharla/enviarla.  Ya en los años 30 el término se refería a las áreas de las ciudades que habían decaido, caracterizadas por la influencia de bares y de prostíbulos y sitios similares, que originalmente atraía a los leñadores.  Aquí es donde empieza a influir la presencia de personas sin techo o sin hogar y otras poblaciones extremadamente de bajos ingresos económicos.

For more information on “Skid Row” L.A. go to:

www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lopez16oct16-series,0,3994447.special

Special articles that address drug-addiction and prostitution in Skid Row.

Para más información acerca de “Skid Row” en Los Ángeles visite:

www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lopez16oct16-series,0,3994447.special

Un artículo especial que habla sobre la drogadicción y la prostitución en Skid Row.

To see pictures of “Skid Row” in L.A. go to www.google.com and type Skid Row L.A. images.

Para ver fotos de “Skid Row” en Los Ángeles vaya a: www.google.com y escriba Skid Row L.A. fotos.

Although RCASA is a non-secular agency the writer informs of a great opportunity to be exposed to “Skid Row” in Los Angeles.  A local church in the area will be going there in February 2012.  For more information, you can visit: http://salemfields.com/what-happens/global-outreach/impact/2012-missions-trips.

A pesar de que RCASA no es una agencia secular la escritora conoce de una gran oportunidad de conocer “Skid Row” en Los Ángeles.  Una Iglesia local del área irá en Febrero del 2012.  Para más información visite: http://salemfields.com/what-happens/global-outreach/impact/2012-missions-trips

RCASA Saturday with Case Management: Start the year knowing your resources: Today we highlight RCASA

In Sexual Assault Awareness on January 28, 2012 at 5:00 am

Our mission at the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault is to provide education, prevention and intervention on sexual violence in our community. 

RCASA is a private, non-profit (501c3) agency, which provides services for victims of sexual assault and their family, friends and partners.

RCASA seeks to raise public awareness of the issues surrounding sexual assault through special media events, information displays and education programs for the entire community

RCASA provides the following services to the residents of the City of Fredericksburg, and the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline, collectively known as Planning District 16.  RCASA also provides emergency medical accompaniment for victims seeking care at Mary Washington Hospital Emergency Department from other counties such as Westmoreland, Louisa, Orange, Culpeper and Warsaw.

The Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault started in 1986, is the only place in Central Virginia that specializes in treatment for victims of sexually based crimes such as: sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, and sexual harassment.

RCASA Friday Facts: Violence Against Women

In Friday Facts, Sexual Assault Awareness on January 27, 2012 at 6:00 am

Violence against Women

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It can include physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse, and it cuts across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, in farm fields, refugee camps, during conflicts and crises. It has many manifestations — from the most universally prevalent forms of domestic and sexual violence, to harmful practices, abuse during pregnancy, so-called honour killings and other types of femicide.

International and regional legal instruments have clarified obligations of States to prevent, eradicate and punish violence against women and girls. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) requires that countries party to the Convention take all appropriate steps to end violence. However, the continued prevalence of violence against women and girls demonstrates that this global pandemic of alarming proportions is yet to be tackled with all the necessary political commitment and resources.

Globally, up to six out of every ten women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. A World Health Organization study of 24,000 women in 10 countries found that the prevalence of physical and/or sexual violence by a partner varied from 15 percent in urban Japan to 71 percent in rural Ethiopia, with most areas being in the 30–60 percent range.

Violence against women and girls has far-reaching consequences, harming families and communities. For women and girls 16–44 years old, violence is a major cause of death and disability. In 1994, a World Bank study on ten selected risk factors facing girls and women in this age group, found rape and domestic violence more dangerous than cancer, motor vehicle accidents, war and malaria. Studies also reveal increasing links between violence against women and HIV and AIDS. A survey among 1,366 South African women showed that women who were beaten by their partners were 48 percent more likely to be infected with HIV than those who were not.

Gender-based violence not only violates human rights, but also hampers productivity, reduces human capital and undermines economic growth. A 2003 report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the costs of intimate partner violence in the United States alone exceeds US$5.8 billion per year: US$4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly US$1.8 billion due to absenteeism.

Countries have made some progress in addressing violence against women and girls. According to the UN Secretary-General’s 2006 In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence against Women, 89 countries had some legislation on domestic violence, and a growing number of countries had instituted national plans of action. Marital rape is a prosecutable offence in at least 104 States, and 90 countries have laws on sexual harassment. However, in too many countries gaps remain. In 102 countries there are no specific legal provisions against domestic violence, and marital rape is not a prosecutable offence in at least 53 nations.

From United Nations Women: http://www.unifem.org/gender_issues/violence_against_women/

Special thanks to Delegate Herring and Senator Herring

In Advocacy on January 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Delegate Charniele Herring:

I want to thank you for the great speech you gave at the General Assembly about the prevalence of sexual and domestic violence in Virginia.  As both the leader of a local center serving central Virginia and a Governing Body member of the Action Alliance, I appreciate the recognition you gave our work and your knowledge of the extent of what we really do.   The staff, boards, volunteers, interns, and members here at RCASA and at the Action Alliance appreciate all that you do as an individual and a delegate to support our work to help support survivors of violence. 

Senator Mark Herring:

I want to thank you for your support of the issues important to those serving survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking.  We appreciate your support of the Action Alliance license plate bill that will provide another funding source for our local centers.  Your support of the bills dealing with strangulation and firearms prohibitions related to domestic violence criminal convictions and equal protections for sexual and domestic violence victims is also an important effort for us and the safety of our community. 

RCASA’s Art Therapy Thursdays: Art As Conversation

In Art therapy, Sexual Assault Awareness on January 26, 2012 at 5:00 am

 As the brain and creativity are both tools that enable self-expression, art therapy also possesses the advantage to be a tool for conversation.  Understanding the feelings and thoughts of others is quiet a feat, much less understanding our own.  Since so much of our communication does not involve words, we have the opportunity to use this to our advantage.  One way art therapy can be helpful is through encouraging creative experiences in the context of a relationships.

 At RCASA, when an individual faces a conflict or trauma, their supporters become susceptible to vicarious traumatization (being traumatized by another person’s traumatic experience).  It may result in a difficulty for all parties to process this.  Art can become the avenue for processing that conversation. 

 We see signs every day made of shapes and symbols that convey a message to us.  Through making art together, we can use the same creative language to meet on a nonverbal level.

Legislative Advocacy Day at with VA ACTION ALLIANCE

In Sexual Assault Awareness on January 25, 2012 at 5:00 am

 2012 Preliminary Legislative Agenda 

  1. Protect funding for core safety and crisis services for victims of sexual and domestic violence.

The Action Alliance will be closely monitoring the state budget process to ensure that funding for core crisis and safety services for victims of domestic and sexual violence is protected from cuts. Funding for crisis and safety services support emergency shelter and transportation, hotlines, court advocacy, and counseling.

  1. Establish a “Building Healthy Futures Fund” to support efforts to prevent sexual and domestic violence. Support legislation to create a special interest license plate, “Peace Begins at Home.”

Virginia’s Sexual and Domestic Violence Advocacy Agencies are engaged in a wide variety of prevention efforts across the state to reduce risk factors and promote healthy communities and relationships and they are struggling to fund those initiatives. In order to sustain and expand prevention efforts—with the ultimate goal of reducing the incidence and prevalence of both sexual and domestic violence, the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance is launching the Building Healthy Futures Fund. For more information on the Building Healthy Futures Fund or pre-ordering a “Peace Begins at Home” plate, please visit http://www.vadv.org/secAction/bhff.html.

  1. Preserve access to services for ALL victims of sexual and domestic violence in Virginia regardless of immigration status.

The Action Alliance is opposed to any legislation that will hinder the ability of victims of sexual and domestic violence to access services needed to escape and/or address violence because of immigration status, including crisis intervention, emergency transportation, shelter, and advocacy services offered by Sexual and Domestic Violence Agencies. Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault already face tremendous barriers to reporting and seeking help. When victims perceive that law enforcement is to be feared rather than trusted, it undercuts community policing and efforts to enhance victim/witness cooperation in criminal investigations and prosecutions to hold perpetrators accountable. We oppose any legislation that threatens access to safety, including but not limited to, services provided by law enforcement, the courts, crisis services, and protections made available through the Violence Against Women Act.

  1. Campus Sexual Assault

The Action Alliance has been closely monitoring the State Crime Commission’s study of House Bill 2490, which relates to law enforcement response to sexual assaults that occur on campus. Our organization will support legislation that requires notification and collaboration between campuses and communities when there has been a sexual assault reported by a student. The model legislation we have offered is consistent with the best practices promoted by the Action Alliance and allied partners across the state.

  1. Protective Orders

In 2011, the Action Alliance served on the Governor’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board. Our agency will support legislation, recommended by the Board, that would allow for the extension of “permanent” protective orders issued in the Circuit Court and require Circuit Court clerks to submit protective orders to law enforcement by the end of the business day on which they are issued.

Last year, the General Assembly overhauled Virginia’s civil protective order process to provide equal access and equal protections to victims of stalking, dating violence and sexual assault. The Action Alliance will continue to monitor all legislation related to civil protective orders to ensure that Virginia’s laws continue to protect all victims of sexual and domestic violence.

  1. Enhanced Penalties for Strangulation

During the work of the Governor’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board, there were discussions about the challenges to prosecuting acts of strangulation in Virginia. As a result, the Governor is introducing legislation that creates an enhanced penalty for acts of strangulation committed against a family or household member. The Action Alliance has concerns about the narrow application of the legislation (recognizing that strangulation is an act that occurs commonly in dating violence and during a sexual assault). The Action Alliance will continue to monitor this legislation and advocate that any revisions to the Code protect all victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Please join us for a breakfast reception on Wednesday, January 25 from 9:30-11:30am in 7 West during our Legislative Advocacy Day!

http://www.vadv.org/secProjects/publicpolicy.html

Prevention Tuesdays: Did you know 22% of undergraduate females and 15% of males report being the object of intustive contact?

In Sexual Assault Awareness on January 24, 2012 at 3:49 am

January is National Stalking Awareness Month, check out the following fact sheet on stalking violence from the National Center for Victims of Crime.

What is it?

Stalking is a pattern of behavior that makes you feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger. It is when someone repeatedly contacts you, follows you, sends you things, talks to you when you don’t want them to, or threatens you. Stalking behaviors can include:

  • Writing letters
  • Damaging your property
  • Knowing your schedule
  • Showing up at places you go
  • Sending mail, e-mail, and pictures
  • Creating a website about you
  • Sending gifts
  • Stealing things that belong to you
  • Calling you repeatedly
  • Or any other actions that the stalker takes to contact, harass, track, or frighten you.

You can be stalked by someone you know casually, a current boyfriend or girlfriend, someone you dated in the past, or a stranger. Getting notes and gifts at your home, in your locker, or other places might seem sweet and harmless to other people. But if you don’t want the gifts, phone calls, messages, letters, e-mails it doesn’t feel sweet or harmless. It can be scary and frustrating.

Sometimes people stalk their boyfriends or girlfriends while they’re dating. They check up on them, page or call them all the time and expect instant responses, follow them, and generally keep track of them even when they haven’t made plans to be together. These stalking behaviors can be part of an abusive relationship. If this is happening to you or someone you know, you should talk to someone.

Stalking is a crime and can be dangerous. The legal definition of stalking and possible punishment for it changes from state to state. Contact a victim service provider or your local police to learn about stalking laws in your state are and how you can protect yourself.

If you are being stalked, you might…

  • Feel helpless, anxious, fearful, angry or depressed
  • Feel like you can never get away from the stalker
  • Think the stalker is always watching you
  • Feel frustrated that the stalker won’t leave you alone
  • Have difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Have nightmares
  • Lose or gain weight
  • Not know what might happen next

You’re not alone

  • 1,006,970 women and 370, 990 are stalked annually in the United States.
  • 77 percent of female and 64 percent of male victims know their stalker.
  • Most victims are stalked for 1.8 years.
  • 82 percent of stalkers who pursued female victims followed them, spied on them, stood outside their home, place of work, or recreation; 61 percent of stalkers made unwanted phone calls; 33 percent sent or left unwanted letters or items; 29 percent percent vandalized property; and 9 percent killed or threatened to kill a family pet.

Get help

If you are stalked, it is not your fault. Stalkers are responsible for their behavior, not the victims. If you believe that someone is stalking you, you can:

  • Contact the police.
  • Tell your parent, friend, school principal or another person you can trust.
  • If you don’t know where to go for help, contact us at 1-800-FYI-CALL or gethelp@nvcv.org.

Help Yourself

Think about ways you can be safer. This means thinking about what to do, where to go for help, and who to call ahead of time

  • Where can you go for help?
  • Who can you call?
  • Who will help you?
  • How will you escape a violent situation?

Here are other things you can do:

  • Let friends or family members know when you are afraid or need help.
  • When you go out, tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back.
  • In an emergency call 911 or your local police department.
  • Memorize the phone numbers of people to contact or places to go in an emergency.
  • Keep spare change, calling cards, or a cell phone handy.
  • Save notes, letters or other items that the stalker sends to you and keep a record of all contact that the stalker has with you. These items will be very useful to the police.
  • If you choose to tell, you should know that some adults are mandated reporters. This means they are legally required to report neglect or abuse to someone else, like the police or child protective services. You can ask people if they are mandated reporters and then decide what you want to do. Some examples of mandated reporters are teachers, counselors, doctors, social workers, and in some cases, even coaches or activity leaders. If you want to help deciding who to talk to, call our Helpline at 1-800-FYI-CALL, or an anonymous crisis line in your area. You might also want to talk to a trusted family member, a friend’s parent, an adult neighbor or friend, an older sibling or cousin, or other experienced person who you trust.
  • If you want to get advice about who to talk to, call our helpline (1-800-FYI-CALL) or an anonymous crisis hotline in your area. You might also want to talk to a trusted family member, a friend’s parent, an adult neighbor or friend, an older sibling or cousin, or other experienced person who you trust.

Help Someone Else

If you know someone who is being stalked, you can:

  • Encourage your friend to seek help
  • Be a good listener
  • Offer your support
  • Ask how you can help
  • Educate yourself about stalking
  • Avoid any confrontations with the stalker. This could be dangerous for you and your friend.

If you want to read more?

This information may be freely distributed, provided that it is distributed free of charge, in its entirety and includes this notice.

The National Center for Victims of Crime
2000 M Street, NW Suite 480 Washington, DC 20036
ph: (202) 467-8700  fx: (202) 467-8701
1-800-FYI-CALL  http://www.ncvc.org

Acoso sexual en el trabajo

In Hispanic/Latino on January 23, 2012 at 4:45 am

Es una forma más de violencia, que constituye una forma de comportamiento intolerable que atenta contra los derechos fundamentales de la persona, con una repercusión social lo suficientemente importante, ya que las víctimas, aunque se dan casos en ambos sexos, en la inmensa mayoría son mujeres. Y podría venir potenciado por una situación laboral precaria (INSHT, 1999). Todo ello afecta a las condiciones de trabajo, como un problema cada vez más grave para las empresas.

Sobre el acoso sexual, y especialmente sobre sus víctimas, existe la creencia generalizada, que puede catalogarse como mito, de que está relacionado con los cánones de belleza; sin embargo, el problema del acoso sexual tiene que ver, más bien, con las relaciones de poder (INSHT, 2001c).

La frecuencia del acoso sexual es reiterada, por lo tanto no se trata de comportamientos aislados. El acoso sexual en las organizaciones se ve favorecido por aspectos organizativos como la sexualización del entorno de trabajo, la proporción de hombres-mujeres, el tipo de tareas que realizan, la discriminación sexual, el clima laboral o la valoración del trabajo (Llaneza Álvarez, 2002).

El acoso sexual puede ser sufrido tanto por hombres como por mujeres. Sin embargo, quizá la mujer es la principal víctima porque en el mercado laboral su situación es más de subordinación jerárquica o inestable en el empleo.

El acoso sexual afecta principalmente a mujeres jóvenes, de ingresos reducidos, educación no profesional, que han sido asediadas por largo tiempo y solo se deciden a denunciar el hecho, como último recurso.

El Diccionario de la Real Academia de la Lengua define el acoso sexual como el que tiene por objeto obtener los favores sexuales de una persona cuando quien lo realiza abusa de su posición de superioridad sobre quien lo sufre.

Según la OIT (1995; 1997), para que haya acoso sexual deben integrarse tres elementos: un comportamiento de carácter sexual, que no sea deseado y que la víctima lo perciba como un condicionante hostil para su trabajo, convirtiéndolo en algo humillante. El acoso sexual es cualquier tipo de acercamiento o presión de naturaleza sexual tanto física como verbal, no deseada por quien la sufre, que surge de la relación de empleo y que da por resultado un ambiente de trabajo hostil, un impedimento para hacer las tareas y un condicionamiento de las oportunidades de ocupación de la persona perseguida.

Pueden establecerse los siguientes niveles de conductas:

  1. Acoso leve: chistes, piropos, conversaciones de contenido sexual.
  2. Acoso moderado: miradas, gestos lascivos, muecas.
  3. Acoso medio: llamadas telefónicas y cartas, presiones para salir o invitaciones con intenciones sexuales.
  4. Acoso fuerte: manoseos, sujetar o acorralar.
  5. Acoso muy fuerte: chantaje o presiones tanto físicas como psíquicas para tener contactos íntimos.

El acoso sexual incluye:

  • Conductas físicas de naturaleza sexual que pueden ir desde tocamientos innecesarios, “palmaditas”, “pellizquitos”, roces con el cuerpo, hasta el intento de violación y la coacción para relaciones sexuales.
  • Conducta verbal de naturaleza sexual como insinuaciones sexuales molestas, proposiciones, flirteos ofensivos, comentarios e insinuaciones obscenas.
  • Conducta no verbal de naturaleza sexual como exhibir de fotos de contenido sexual o pornográfico o materiales escritos de tipo sexual o miradas con gestos impúdicos.

Así, los casos de acoso sexual que se suelen describir son:

  • Que algún compañero se acerca demasiado o invade el espacio físico reiteradamente.
  • Que algún superior o compañero presiona para mantener relaciones o salir juntos.
  • Que algún superior ha insinuado mejoras laborales a cambio de favores sexuales.
  • Que han sufrido asalto o agresión sexual por parte de alguien del trabajo
  • Que sufren roces o tocamientos indeseados por parte de clientes, compañeros o jefes.

Uno de los aspectos problemáticos del acoso sexual reside en aquellos supuestos en que las conductas indeseadas no llevan a una acción violenta del primer tipo, sino que consisten en insinuaciones, propuestas, manifestaciones verbales que también violentan al trabajador afectado, pero que lo hace más desde una perspectiva psíquica que física, ya que las acciones violentas tienen una clara cobertura penal.

A cada persona le corresponde determinar el comportamiento que aprueba o tolera, lo que imposibilita el hacer una relación de conductas vejatorias. Por tanto, la determinación de qué comportamientos resultan o no molestos es algo que depende del receptor de las conductas, siendo en este punto irrelevante la intencionalidad del emisor de las conductas.

Por tanto, el acoso sexual consiste en la acción impuesta sin reciprocidad, inesperada y no bien recibida, frecuente y repetitiva que puede tener un efecto devastador en la víctima. Puede incluir tocamientos, insinuaciones, miradas, actitudes chocantes, bromas con lenguaje ofensivo, alusiones a la vida privada y personal, referencias a la orientación sexual, insinuaciones con connotación sexual, alusiones a la figura y a la ropa, etc.

En definitiva, se trata de una conducta inesperada, de naturaleza sexual u otra conducta basada en el sexo que afecta a la dignidad de la persona. Incluye conducta verbal o no verbal, física y no deseada. Hay un rango de conductas que pueden constituir acoso sexual. Esa conducta debe ser inesperada irrazonable, inaceptable y ofensiva para el destinatario.

Se deben distinguir dos formas o tipos de acoso sexual en el trabajo:

  1. Acoso quid pro quo

Chantaje sexual o acoso de intercambio (esto a cambio de eso), realizado por un superior, y que puede afectar negativamente al trabajo. En este tipo de acoso lo que se produce es propiamente un chantaje que fuerza a un trabajador a elegir entre someterse a los requerimientos sexuales o ver perjudicados ciertos beneficios o condiciones del trabajo. Se trata de un abuso de autoridad, porque supone amenazas por parte de un cargo superior de consecuencias negativas (despido, no renovación del contrato, peores condiciones laborales, etc.) si no se aceptan los requerimientos de tipo sexual.
Es decir que consiste en el abuso desde una posición de poder para lograr beneficios sexuales. La respuesta al acoso sirve de base, implícita o explícitamente, para decisiones relacionadas con el acceso de dicha persona a la formación profesional o al empleo, a la continuidad del contrato de trabajo, a la promoción profesional, al aumento de salario, etc. (González de Rivera, 2002).

  1. Acoso sexual ambiental (hostile environment harassment)

La Recomendación de la Comisión Europea se refiere a una conducta que crea un ambiente de trabajo humillante, hostil o amenazador para el acosado (INSHT, 2001c). Es decir, el acoso sexual ambiental se genera cuando se crea un clima de trabajo hostil y sexual, lo suficientemente grave e intenso como para alterar las condiciones laborales del trabajador y crear un entorno laboral abusivo. En este tipo de acoso lo definitorio es el desarrollo de un comportamiento de naturaleza sexual de cualquier tipo (bromas persistentes y graves de carácter sexual, alusiones o comentarios groseros sobre la vida íntima del trabajador, requerimientos a trabajadores para que lleven una ropa sexualmente insinuante, etc.), lo que genera un contexto laboral negativo -intimidatorio, hostil, ofensivo, humillante- para el trabajador, lo cual tiene como consecuencia que el trabajador no pueda desarrollar su prestación laboral en un ambiente adecuado, ya que se ve sometido a un tipo de presión por conductas de tipo sexual en el trabajo que termina creándole una situación laboral intolerable. En muchas ocasiones este ambiente laboral inadecuado puede ser aceptado como una costumbre o una situación normal en nuestra cultura.

Un estudio sobre el acoso sexual en España publicado por Comisiones Obreras en noviembre de 2000 revela que el hostigamiento sexual se puede producir entre personas de todo el escalafón laboral, tanto entre profesionales como entre los trabajadores de menor cualificación. Además, el acoso sexual no tiene edad. Puede afectar por igual a una joven de veinte años que a una trabajadora de cuarenta. El perfil de la víctima no queda claramente definido, depende de la persona y de su situación laboral. En el estudio mencionado se observa que algunas mujeres son más vulnerables que otras. Casi un treinta por ciento de los incidentes han tenido como protagonistas a trabajadoras sin contrato. Por tanto, se podría deducir que la precariedad laboral es un factor de riesgo. Otro dato significativo es que el cuarenta por ciento de las víctimas están separadas o divorciadas. Al parecer, tener pareja estable genera un cierto respeto que inhibe a los compañeros. En el Código Penal Español se define al acosador como “el que solicita favores de naturaleza sexual, para sí o para un tercero, en el ámbito de una relación laboral, docente o de prestación de servicios, continuada o habitual, y con tal comportamiento provoca a la víctima una situación objetiva y gravemente intimidatoria, hostil o humillante”.

En relación con el perfil del acosador, los datos indican que suele tratarse de un mando intermedio, hombre casado o con pareja estable y con hijos, con carácter infantil y caprichoso, frío, machista y con escasa empatía

Aunque el impacto del acoso sexual a una persona está moderado por su vulnerabilidad, no cabe duda que afecta negativamente tanto al trabajador como al proceso productivo, ya que genera absentismo, bajas por enfermedad, menor productividad debido al descenso de la cantidad y calidad del trabajo y a la menor motivación para el trabajo.

También se manifiesta sintomatología asociada al estrés como estados de ansiedad y depresión, sentimientos de desesperación y de indefensión, de impotencia, de ira, de aversión, de infravaloración, de baja autoestima, así como trastornos del sueño, dolor de cabeza, problemas gastrointestinales, náuseas, hipertensión, úlceras, etc.

Aunque las consecuencias del acoso sexual afectan fundamentalmente a la persona contra la cual se ejerce el acoso, también incide negativamente sobre los trabajadores que pueden ser testigos o conocer el problema.

La manera más efectiva de hacer frente al acoso sexual es elaborar y aplicar una política en el ámbito empresarial.Deben existir procedimientos tanto formales como informales. Los procedimientos informales buscan solucionar la situación a través de la confrontación directa entre las partes o a través de un intermediario; los procedimientos formales buscan una investigación del asunto y la imposición final de sanciones si se confirma la existencia de acoso. Se debe animar a solucionar el problema de manera informal. Se aconseja acudir al procedimiento formal cuando el informal no dé resultado o sea inapropiado para resolver el problema.

Si tu o alguien que tu conoces ha sido victima de acoso sexual o algun tipo de abuso sexual y necesita(s) ayuda o informacion comunicate con nuestra linea de ayuda: 540- 371- 1666. Toda comunicacion es estrictamente confidencial.

January 25th: “Personal Fouls” on NBC

In Education, Prevention on January 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm

January 25th, NBC is re-airing ‘Personal Fouls,’ an insightful and moving episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. It’s the story of men who were sexually abused by a basketball coach dangling the keys to the NBA – and the law enforcement officers who worked to bring him to justice.  This episode was first aired by NBC in September of 2011.  Interesting enough, this particular episode served as a prelude for millions of viewers to the Penn State and Syracuse University stories, which broke a few weeks later.

1in6.org,  (non-profit dedicated to male survivors of sexually violent crimes) is encouraging people to gather to watch the show together and discuss its implications.

See the PSA at at men.joyfulheartfoundation.org.

If groups should gather to watch the show and have discussions, 1in6 has a created the viewer guide (which can be accessed at  http://bit.ly/wpS1xD ) with information and questions to help facilitate a productive group discussion about the SVU “Personal Fouls” show.   1in6 encourages people watching the episode to keep in mind that watching this very powerful portrayal of abusive interactions and participating in a discussion about it has the potential of triggering deep feelings for individuals, whether they have had similar abusive childhood experiences or not.

 RCASA strongly encourages anyone sponsoring a group showing or discussion to provide on-site resources for anyone who might have a reaction to the show – ideally counseling resources present in the venue – but at the very least information about how to quickly access local resources and help if difficult feelings arise.  RCASA would be happy to provide support and information about resources available to help sort through any feelings or questions that arise,  Call us at 540-371-6771 to request assistance or call our hotline if in need of immediate phone support:  540-371-1666

Many resources, including the1in6 Online SupportLine, are listed on the 1in6 website under Get Help. Anyone feeling at risk of hurting themselves or being harmed by someone else should call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. We encourage people to move forward in their exploration of this issue at their own pace.

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