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Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

RCASA Saturday with Case Management: April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month

In Sexual Assault Awareness on March 31, 2012 at 5:00 am

Increasing public awareness of the need to ensure the safety and welfare of children led to the passage of the first Federal child protection legislation, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), in 1974. While CAPTA has been amended many times over the years, most recently with the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, the purpose of the original legislation remains intact. Today, the Children’s Bureau, within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the Federal agency charged with supporting States, Tribes, and communities in providing programs and services to protect children and strengthen families.

In the early 1980s, Congress made a further commitment to identifying and implementing solutions to end child abuse. Recognizing the alarming rate at which children continued to be abused and neglected and the need for innovative programs to prevent child abuse and assist parents and families affected by maltreatment, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives resolved that the week of June 6-12, 1982, should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week. Members of Congress requested the President issue a proclamation calling upon Government agencies and the public to observe the week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities promoting the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

The following year, in 1983, April was proclaimed the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As a result, child abuse and neglect awareness activities are promoted across the country during April of each year. The Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) within the Children’s Bureau coordinates Child Abuse Prevention Month activities at the Federal level, providing information and releasing updated national statistics about child abuse and neglect. Many governors also issue proclamations to encourage initiatives and events in their States.

In 1989, the Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse began as a Virginia grandmother’s tribute to her grandson who died as a result of abuse. She tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a way to remember him and to alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse. The Blue Ribbon Campaign has since expanded across the country; many people wear blue ribbons each April in memory of those who have died as a result of child abuse and in support of efforts to prevent abuse. Based on Prevent Child Abuse America’s (PCAA) Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, some communities distribute pinwheels and coordinate outdoor pinwheel displays representing children affected by abuse or neglect. Regardless of the type of activity, the focus has shifted to a positive message of supporting families and strengthening communities to prevent child abuse and neglect.

In Title II of the CAPTA amendments of 1996, the Children’s Bureau was charged with identifying a lead agency in each State for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants. These grants support the development, operation, and expansion of initiatives to prevent child abuse and neglect, as well as the coordination of resources and activities to strengthen and support families to reduce the likelihood of child maltreatment. CBCAP grantees within each State often take leadership roles in coordinating special events and preparing materials to support Child Abuse Prevention Month, and they are required to report annually on their activities.

In 2003, as part of the 20th anniversary of the original Presidential Proclamation designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, OCAN launched the National Child Abuse Prevention Initiative as a year-long effort. The theme of the 14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect was devoted to prevention; at that time, a press conference was held to launch the initiative and release the publication, Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. In addition, OCAN and Child Welfare Information Gateway partnered with PCAA and the child abuse prevention community to produce a variety of tools and resources to support national, State, and local public awareness activities.

As momentum grew among national organizations and Federal agencies, an emerging consensus determined that building public will for child abuse prevention required engaging the public in efforts to support families and enhance parenting skills. When the U.S. Surgeon General named 2005 the Year of the Healthy Child, there was renewed commitment to make child abuse prevention a national priority. As a result, OCAN focused on making safe children and healthy families a shared responsibility, a theme that was also incorporated into the 15th National Conference. The theme expanded in 2007 when OCAN’s resource guide and the 16th National Conference encouraged communities to join the effort to promote healthy families and work collaboratively to provide responsive child abuse prevention and family support services. At the same time, OCAN invited 26 national organizations to be national child abuse prevention partners so the message could reach a wider audience.

Support for child abuse prevention efforts has expanded due in part to the growing body of evidence that suggests home visitation programs for pregnant mothers and families with young children can reduce the incidence of maltreatment and improve child and family outcomes. In 2007, the Children’s Bureau funded three grantees to implement and evaluate nurse home visitation services, and in 2008, it funded 17 cooperative agreements to generate knowledge about the use of evidence-based home visiting programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, including obstacles and opportunities for their wider implementation. Recently, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 included a provision to create the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. The Health Resources and Services Administration has partnered with ACF to implement this program to fund States and Tribes as they provide evidence-based home visitation services to improve outcomes for children and families in at-risk communities.

OCAN continues to revise and expand the mission of the Child Abuse Prevention Initiative. The goal of strengthening families and communities was the theme for OCAN’s most recent resource guide and the 17th National Conference, where the National Child Abuse Prevention Partners, now grown to more than 30 organizations, met in person for the first time. The Children’s Bureau’s Centennial Celebration in 2012 will be an opportunity to celebrate the initiative’s accomplishments while also envisioning future possibilities in child abuse prevention.

Today, the Child Abuse Prevention Initiative continues to be an opportunity to create strong communities to support families and keep children safe. Visit the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website for more information on the most current resources and national efforts.

Reference from: http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/history.cfm

RCASA’s Friday Facts: Sexual Assault of Men

In Outreach, Sexual Assault Awareness on March 30, 2012 at 5:00 am

Rape can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.  Any male can be the victim of sexual assault, regardless of age, class, race, disability or sexual orientation.

Although few men expect to be raped, it happens more than most people realize.  Approximately one in twelve adults seen by Sexual Assault Services are men.

Thousands of men are raped each year, yet only a fraction of these assaults are reported.  Male rape is one of the most under reported of crimes; male rape survivors are among the most under-served crime victims.

In our society, enormous stigma is associated with being the victim of sexual assault.

Survivors of sexual assault frequently encounter unsupportive or even hostile reactions from the criminal justice system, social service providers, family friends and lovers.

As a result, male survivors of sexual assault too often suffer the enormous trauma that rape can create in isolation and silence, trying to forget that the assault ever happened. Below are several common myths associated with male sexual assault followed by a brief outline of the facts.

Myth: A strong man can´t be raped.  He must have consented. 
Fact: In fact, being strong is no defence against rape and just because a man did not fight off his attacker does not mean he consented.  Surprise, a weapon, threats, being outnumbered or frozen by fear, makes fighting back impossible for most victims.  Any man can be raped when his attacker, for whatever reason, has more power.

Myth: Men are the offenders of sexual assault not the victims.
Fact: Although most offenders of sexual violence are men, men can also be victims.

Myth: Only gay men are raped.
Fact: Both heterosexual and homosexual men are raped and statistics show that victims are more likely to be straight than gay.  Sexual preference is not generally relevant, except perhaps where the victim is the target of an attack motivated by homophobia.

Myth: Only gay men rape other men.
Fact: Both heterosexual and homosexual men rape other men. Those who commit sexual assault are motivated by the desire for power over others and so sexual preference is not particularly relevant to them.

Myth: Men do not usually know their assailant.
Fact: Although men are sometimes sexually assaulted by strangers, it is more common for them to know their attacker.  Sexual Assault Services see men who have been raped by strangers, acquaintances, family members, teachers, colleagues, youth leaders, and others.


Myth:
 If it´s someone you know, it´s not rape.
Fact: Your rights over your body are the same whoever is involved.  If the attacker is someone you know and trust, the abuse is in many ways worse.

Myth: If a victim is sexually aroused during a sexual assault, it means he wants to be raped.
Fact: Sometimes males who are being raped experience or are forced into a state of sexual arousal.  This does not mean that the individual wants to be raped.  This response, which may be involuntary, is one way the body chooses to protect itself from the physical and emotional trauma of the attack.

Myth: Men can’t be raped.
Fact: Any person can be the victim of rape.  Although outdated laws in NY State define rape of males as “sodomy”, the reality of the crime and the intensity of its impact make sexual assault one of the most devastating acts of violence a male can experience.

Myth: Rape of men only happens in prison.
Fact: Those who claim that rape of males happens only in prisons contribute to the continuing denial of the problem of rape in the larger community.  Sexual assault can occur anytime, anyplace.

Myth: All rape victims are young and weak.
Fact: Any male, no matter how old or strong, can be the victim of sexual assault.

Myth: The best way to cope with rape is to forget about it.
Fact: Denying the impact of rape can have serious emotional consequences.  Virtually any reaction is normal.  These can include anger, fear, guilt, self-blame, denial, depression, sexual dysfunction, sleeplessness, feelings of helplessness, feelings of being out of control and difficulty with concentration.  The intensity of these feelings can contribute to the individual’s decision not to tell anyone about the assault.

Men who have been raped are often very reluctant to seek help.  They are accustomed to bottling things up rather than talking about them.  Their reluctance to speak out may be increased by the fact that they are misled by some of the myths and misconceptions about men and rape, which are common in the community.  Although it can be hard at first to talk about the effects of being assaulted, most people find that it is very helpful to do so.

Therapy Thursday-Call For Artwork

In Art therapy, Sexual Assault Awareness, Therapy on March 29, 2012 at 5:00 am

Call for Artwork- Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Check out these links.

http://vaarttherapy.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/heroes-of-hope-flyer.jpg 

http://vaarttherapy.org/index.php/home/blog

 

Wednesday Outreach-Don’t Forget the Wings!

In Events, Fundraisers, Outreach on March 28, 2012 at 5:00 am

Restaurant fundraisers are  a great way to have fun, and raise money for causes that are important to you. This Friday between 6pm-8pm, what better way to get your “grub” on then dining at Buffalo Wild Wings in Central park. Not only will you be eating great wings, but you will also be making a difference to lives of victims of sexual assault… so come on out everybody, and don’t forget the wings!

March 30th

Buffalo Wild Wings in Central Park of Fredericksburg, will be hosting a fundraising spirit night for RCASA. To help support, please call 540-371-6771 and ask for Robin Mantari or email outreach@rcasa.org and we will email you the flyer.

 YOU WILL NEED THE FLYER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Upcoming April Events

April 11th-Take Back The Night at UMW. Begins at 7:30 PM.  RCASA will be hosting a booth there. Stop by and see us.

April 14th-RCASA’s First Annual Teal Ribbon 5K Walk to End Sexual Violence.  Register online at   https://www.raceit.com/register/?event=9720.  This event will be held in Caroline County at Caroline High School.  Anyone interested in sponsoring, please email events@rcasa.org or call and speak with Robin Mantari at 540-371-6771.

April 20th and April 21st-RCASA’s First Annual Teal Ribbon Conference on Sexual Violence, Child Abuse, and Trauma.  Register at:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q5GFBZL

Receive a $25 discount when you register for both days.

Prevention Tuesday-Talking To Kids Early and Often

In Prevention, Sexual Assault Awareness on March 27, 2012 at 5:00 am

 Talking about heavy subjects like sexual assault with young kids can be daunting.  We want them to be safe, but how much should they know at what age?  And scaring our loved ones is that last thing we want to do.  However, talking to kids about their bodies and keeping their bodies safe early is critical.  Not only does it help keep your kids safe, but opens the lines of communication for the future.  Kids need to know they can feel comfortable talking to their parents about awkward things from the beginning.  So here are a few helpful tips on how to talk to your kids about sexual assault:

 

 

 

1)    Have your child identify what private and public parts of their body .                                                                                                                                                                                  

2)    Help them make “body rules” for themselves

3)    Talk to them about what to do if someone breaks those rules

4)    Make a list of people your child can go to for help if someone breaks their rules

5)    Teach them how to tell people if their rules have been broken.

 Talking to your kids early and often about sexual assault can be intimidating, but using these tips can help you approach the topic with confidence.

La carencia de vivienda y la violencia sexual

In Employment, Hispanic/Latino, Prevention, Sexual Assault Awareness, Systems Advocacy on March 26, 2012 at 5:00 am

La carencia de vivienda y la violencia sexual

De algún modo hay una correlación muy cercana entre la carencia de una vivienda fija en donde habitar y ser víctima de violencia sexual por las condiciones inseguras a las que una persona sin hogar se expone al dormir en la calle o en lugares.  Desafortunadamente, no pude encontrar reportes estadísticos mostrando esta correlación antes de escribir este artículo.

La mayoría de estadísticas demuestran la correlación entre violencia sexual y doméstica como las causas principales del porque muchas de estas personas perdieron sus hogares.

El siguiente artículo describe la condición y la calidad de vida de las personas que necesitan de una vivienda.

Artículo reproducido, traducido y modificado (para una traducción más adecuada) de: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness

Las personas sin techo o sin hogar son aquellas personas que regularmente necesitan una vivienda fija en donde puedan habitar.  Las personas sin un hogar o techo carecen del poder o de la voluntad de adquirir y mantener una vivienda segura y adecuada, o necesitan un lugar adecuado en donde puedan pernoctar.

Definiciones Técnicas de acuerdo al Departamento de Vivienda y de Desarrollo Urbano de los Estados Unido, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD

El 5 de Diciembre del 2011, HUD publicó la última definición de personas sin techo o sin hogar, que se hará efectiva el 4 de Enero del 2012.  Hasta ahora HUD había definido a estos individuos, como:

1.       Individuos que carecen de una residencia fia, regular, y adecuada en donde puedan descansar por la noche, o

2.       Como individuos que tienen un lugar en donde puedan permanecer en la noche, pero es:

1.       Un lugar público supervisado o un refugio/albergue especialmente designado a proveer comodidades de vivienda temporales (aquí se incluyen habitaciones hoteleras obtenidos por asistencia pública, refugios  públicos, y viviendas transicionales para personas con problemas de salud mental.

2.       Una institución que provee residencia temporaria a aquellos individuos que van a ser internados en una prisión, centro de salud mental, ú otros, o

3.       Un lugar público o privado no designado o regularmente utilizado a albergar durante la noche a personas.

La última definición dictada por los términos del Decreto de Ayuda Inmediata para personas sin Hogar/SinTecho – Transición Rápida a Vivienda, Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing  –  HEARTH Act es más amplia, consistiendo en cuatro categorías:

Primera – Muy similar a la previa definición, cubre a individuos o familias, quiénes literalmente pernoctan en las entradas de los edificios, parques públicos, refugios/albergues de emergencia, y otros arreglos de vivienda supervisados, incluyendo a hoteles y moteles pagados por organizaciones caritativas o por asistencia del gobierno a familias con bajos ingresos económicos.  También incluye a personas liberadas de instituciones que se quedan sin vivienda y se quedan en esos lugares por 90 días o menos.

La segunda categoría incluye individuos o familias que van a perder sus viviendas en 14 días y aún no han asegurado el siguiente lugar a donde van a vivir y carecen de recursos o apoyo para obtener una vivienda permanente.

La tercera categoría incluye a jóvenes solos (jóvenes definidos como personas menores de 25 años) y a familias con niños, quiénes no son eligibles a ser definidos bajo la definición anterior, pero son considerados personas sin hogar/sin techo bajo otras leyes federales, pero solo si demuestran no haber obtenido un contrato de renta, interés en comprar una vivienda, o algún acuerdo de ocupar una vivienda en los últimos 60 días, se han mudado dos o tres veces durante ese mismo período, y se espera continuen en esa misma situación por un buen períoo debido a discapacidades crónicas, condiciones de salud física o mental crónicas, problemas de addicción, historia de violencia doméstica o abuso durante su niñez, o dos o más obstáculos a obtener un empleo , como historia penitenciaria, o falta de educación.

Finalmente, individuos o familias escapando o intentando escapar violencia doméstica, violencia de parejas, abuso sexual, acecho, ú otra condición de peligro o amenaza a nuestras vidas que se refieren a violencia contra un miembro del hogar, pueden ser considerados sin techo/sin hogar bajo categoría 4, si no cuentan con otra residencia y la falta de recursos o apoyo para obtener una vivienda permanente.

Las razones y causas primordiales de este fenómeno como está documentado en muchos reportes y estudios, puede incluir:

–          La falta de oportunidades de empleo.

–          Pobreza, causada for muchos factores, incluyendo desempleo y subempleo.

–          Falta de atención médica accessible.  Normalmente se refiere a personas que tienen algún tipo de enfermedad crónica y debilitante, pero no pueden obtener atención médica porque el dinero no les alcanza o porque el gobierno no se los da, o simplemente porque se sienten muy débiles de trabajar diariamente.

–          Se sienten abusados u oprimidos por el gobierno o por otras personas que ejercen poder sobre ellos.

–          Guerras o conflictos armadas.

–          Desastres naturals.

–          Transtornos mentales, en donde los servicios de salud mental no están disponibles o son difíciles de obtener, o cuando estas personas son liberadas de la prisión, o de hospitales psiquiátricos.  Un sondeo federal Estado Unidense hecho en 2005 indica que por lo menos un tercio de hombres y mujeres sin hogar/sin techo sufren de serios transtornos o problemas mentales.

–          Incapacidad física o cognitiva, especialmente en areas en donde los servicios para estas personas no existen o son deficientes.

–          Exclusión social, debido a la orientación sexual o a la identidad de género.

–          Abuso de alcohol y/o drogas.

–          Falta de vivienda asequible.

–          Violencia Doméstica

–          Rompimiento de relaciones familiares en relación a la gente jóven y a sus padres.  Muchas veces los jóvenes de ambos sexos terminan huyendo de sus hogares.

–          Liberación de la prisión y reincorporación a la sociedad.

–          Desastres, incluyendo pero no limitado a movimiento telúricos y huracanes.

–          Pérdida de vivienda por diferentes razones, otras de las ya mencionadas.

Problemas que las personas sin hogar/sin techo afrontan:

–          La necesidad de un refugio en donde se puedan mantener abrigados y seguros

–          Necesitan un espacio personal seguro, confiable, tranquilo, privado, especialmente a la hora de dormir.

–          Falta de un lugar seguro en donde dejar sus pertenencias, que las terminan cargando consigo todo el tiempo.

–          Falta de instalaciones higiénicas y sanitarias

–          Falta de un lugar en donde puedan lavar y secar su ropa.

–          Falta de un lugar en donde puedan preparar y guardar sus alimentos.

–          Falta de una dirección domiciliaria fija, el tratar de mantener contacto con agencias de ayuda u otros individuos es más limitado.

–          Hostilidad y opresión por parte de las autoridades por ordenanzas municipales en contra del vagabundeo.

–          Un riesgo mucho más grande de ser víctimas de diversas clases de delito múltiples veces al carecer de un lugar seguro en donde su integridad física este mejor resguardada.

–          Desventajas sociales, acceso reducido a servicios públicos y privados.

–          Rechazo, discriminación o el ser señalados y/o juzgados por otras persona de la misma sociedad que sienten estar en una mejor situación.

–          Pérdida o rompimiento de relaciones con otros miembros de la familia y/o amistades.

Lugares a donde las personas sin hogar/sin techo pueden pernoctar:

–          En la vía pública, dentro de sacos de dormir, campamentos, o refugios improvisados hechos de cajas de carton, periódicos.  Pueden pasar la noche en contenedores de basura, sobre la banca de un parque, en un lote vacio, o en baños públicos portables.

–          Pueden permanecer la noche con otras personas que improvisan refugios a la intemperie, hacienda campamentos de cobijas bajo algún puente o cerca a una zona industrial.

–          En edificios o viviendas desocupadas o abandonadas, sin el permiso de los dueños de esas propiedades.

–          En diferentes tipos de vehículo.

–          Lugares Públicos como parques, estaciones del tren, estaciones de buses, aeropuertos, vehículos de transportación pública que operan la mayor parte de la noche, en las áreas de espera de hospitales, o universidades, en estaciones de gas, en centros comerciales amplios que operan toda la noche, en cafeterias, en áreas de descanso de la carretera Intraestatal.  Técnicamente en muchos de estos lugares no está permitido pasar la noche por razones de seguridad e imágen, pero muchos de los trabajadores de estos lugares tartan de pasarlos desapercibidos y los dejan quedarse allí por humanidad.

¿ Qué tipo de ayuda existe en Fredericksburg, Virginia?

Para nombrar a algunos:

Central Virginia Housing Coalition

Fredericksburg Office

208 Hudgins Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22408

Ph: 540-604-9943  |  Fax: 540-604-9949

Website: http://www.centralvahousing.org/

Lunes a Viernes de  9:00 a.m. a 3:00 p.m

Programa Da una mano (Lend-A-Hand Program):  Miércoles y Viernes de 9:00 a.m. a 12:00 p.m.

The greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity Affiliate:

4755 Jefferson Davis Highway

Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Ph: (540) 891-5009

Website: http://www.fredhab.org

Thurman Brisben Center

471 Central Road

Fredericksburg, VA 22401-7094
Ph: (540) 899-9853

Website: www.brisbencenter.org

Micah Ecumenical Ministries

1013 Princess Anne St.,

Fredericksburg, VA 22401

P.O. Box 3277, Fredericksburg, VA 22402

Ph: (540) 479-4116

Website: www.dolovewalk.net

¿Qué debe hacer si usted es una persona que se ha quedado sin hogar y es víctima de violencia sexual y el delito ocurrió dentro del Distrito de Planificación No. 16 (ciudad de Fredericksburg, y condados Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania y Stafford?

Puede llamar a la policía local y pedirles que los lleve al hospital Mary Washington, si no tiene tranporte.  Una vez en la sala de emergencia puede solicitar un examen forense para la recuperación de evidencias forenses.  La decisión de como proceder despúes de una violación o abuso sexual, es totalmente suya.  Allí puede enterarse de sus opciones, y es allí mismo en donde por primera vez tendrá contacto con una navegadora de salud de nuestra agencia, que estará allí para apoyarla.  O llámenos al 540-371-5502 o a nuestra línea de ayuda inmediata al 540-371-1666

La decisión de someterse a un examen forense y/o reportar a la policía sobre lo sucedido es totalmente suya.  Pero recuerde que la condición en la que está viviendo es desfavorable, si no hay evidencias palpables de lo sucedido, pueda hacer que la policía y el personal jurídico no levante cargos en contra del alegado agresor.

Estamos aquí para ayudarle.

Volunteer Corner-STOP VICTIM BLAMING

In Volunteer on March 25, 2012 at 5:00 am

                                 Short Shorts. A Hello Kitty T-Shirt. Cork Wedges. Pigtails.

                                     Stop holding victims accountable for their wardrobes.

                                     Start holding rapists accountable for raping.

                              __________________________________________

         “A response to the wave of victim blaming on Tumblr today. Feel free to share.”

       via  http://cityofbridges.tumblr.com/post/8400465293/tw-i-wasnt-asking-for-it-i-was-five-short

RCASA Saturday with Case Managment: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

In Sexual Assault Awareness on March 24, 2012 at 5:00 am

Women’s organized protests against violence began in the late 1970s in England with Take Back the Night marches. These women-only protests emerged in direct response to the violence that women encountered as they walked the streets at night. These activities became more coordinated and soon developed into a movement that extended to the United States and, in 1978, the first Take Back the Night events in the U.S. were held in San Francisco and New York City. Over time, sexual assault awareness activities expanded to include the issue of sexual violence against men and men’s participation in ending sexual violence.

By the early 1980s, there was increased interest in coordinating activities to raise awareness of violence against women. As a result, time was set aside during October to raise awareness of violence against women issues. Over time, October became the principle focus of domestic violence awareness activities. Sexual assault advocates looked for a separate time to focus attention on sexual assault issues.

In the late 1980s, the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCASA) informally polled state sexual assault coalitions to determine when to have a national Sexual Assault Awareness Week. A week in April was selected. Over time, some advocates began focusing attention on sexual violence throughout the month of April. In the late 1990s, many advocates began coordinating activities throughout the month of April on a regular basis, promoting an idea for a nationally recognized month for sexual violence awareness activities.

From 2000-2001, the Resource Sharing Project (RSP) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) polled state, territory, and tribal coalitions and found that the color teal was the preferred color for sexual assault awareness and prevention and that April was the preferred month to coordinate national sexual assault awareness activities. As a result, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) was first observed nationally in April 2001.

Since then, the NSVRC has continued to promote a degree of national unity in voice and action regarding SAAM activities, to encourage interaction and feedback from across the nation, and to build momentum based on previous years’ activities. The NSVRC has provided resources to advocates nationwide to help them plan SAAM activities in their communities during April and throughout the year. These resources have included publications (e.g., newsletters, booklets, and directories); prevention materials (e.g., palm cards and online resources); and awareness-raising products (e.g., pins, posters, stickers, and postcards).

Additionally, the NSVRC has taken an active role in making sexual violence awareness and prevention resources available to the U.S. territories and the healthcare community. Over the last few years, the NSVRC has placed increasing emphasis on the prevention of sexual violence. As a result, the SAAM campaigns have included a greater focus on prevention.

Reference from: http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/what-is-saam/history

 

 

RCASA’s Friday Facts: Am I Being Abused?

In Friday Facts, Sexual Assault Awareness on March 23, 2012 at 5:00 am

It can be hard to know if you’re being abused. You may think that your husband is allowed to make you have sex. That’s not true. Forced sex is rape, no matter who does it. You may think that cruel or threatening words are not abuse. They are. And sometimes emotional abuse is a sign that a person will become physically violent.

Below is a list of possible signs of abuse. Some of these are illegal. All of them are wrong. You may be abused if your partner:

  • Monitors what you’re doing all the time
  • Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful all the time
  • Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family
  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school
  • Gets very angry during and after drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • Controls how you spend your money
  • Controls your use of needed medicines
  • Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
  • Humiliates you in front of others
  • Destroys your property or things that you care about
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets
  • Hurts you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
  • Uses (or threatens to use) a weapon against you
  • Forces you to have sex against your will
  • Controls your birth control or insists that you get pregnant
  • Blames you for his or her violent outbursts
  • Threatens to harm himself or herself when upset with you
  • Says things like, “If I can’t have you then no one can.”

If you think someone is abusing you, get help. Abuse can have serious physical and emotional effects. No one has the right to hurt you.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

Sometimes a relationship might not be abusive, but it might have some serious problems that make it unhealthy. If you think you might be in an unhealthy relationship, you should be able to talk to your partner about your concerns. If you feel like you can’t talk to your partner, try talking to a trusted friend, family member, or counselor. Consider calling a confidential hotline to get the support you need and to explore next steps. If you’re afraid to end the relationship, call a hotline for help. RCASA’s hotline number is (540)371-1666 and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Signs of an unhealthy relationship include:

  • Focusing all your energy on your partner
  • Dropping friends and family or activities you enjoy
  • Feeling pressured or controlled a lot
  • Having more bad times in the relationship than good
  • Feeling sad or scared when with your partner

Signs of a healthy relationship include:

  • Having more good times in the relationship than bad
  • Having a life outside the relationship, with your own friends and activities
  • Making decisions together, with each partner compromising at times
  • Dealing with conflicts by talking honestly
  • Feeling comfortable and able to be yourself
  • Feeling able to take care of yourself
  • Feeling like your partner supports you

If you feel confused about your relationship, a mental health professional can help. Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect.

The above was taken from www.womenshealth.gov. For more information also visit www.rcasa.org.

Therapy Thursday-Smart Planning

In Sexual Assault Awareness, Therapy on March 22, 2012 at 5:00 am

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”  ~Pooh’s Little Instruction Book 

Most of us have experienced the stress of making numerous plans in an already tight schedule and running from activity to activity with little hope of being on time. Many people, however, have not experienced planning “me time” into their schedule. It is important to note that each person’s time for him or herself varies in length of time and type of activity. The activities can vary from a five-minute check in with oneself to a day of doing nothing but watching your favorite movies on the couch. Either way, allotting time for oneself has numerous benefits. For one, planning time for oneself hopefully makes sure “me time” happens as well as reduces guilt about not doing other things on your to do list. As Pooh’s Little Instruction Book suggests, listen to all the things on your to do list screaming to be done but simply choose to not hear them during the time set aside for yourself. 

Secondly, taking time for oneself can act as a stress management tool provided the outlet is considered a healthy one. Pooh’s Little Instruction Book was correct about not underestimating the value of “just going along” at times rather than always completing things on the dreaded to do list. According to Weiten (2007), stress is associated with several physical ailments including ulcers, high blood pressure, muscle tension, low back pain, flare ups of irritable bowel syndrome, and the common cold to name a few. Many factors are associated with the development of physical ailments but researchers believe that stress, in particular, weakens the immune system facilitating the development of illness. Stress is not inherently unhealthy. Stress can motivate people to accomplish things or to develop coping strategies and other strengths they were not even aware they had the ability to develop. Stress, however, that is not balanced with other moderating factors, such as “me time”, has the potential to be detrimental to one’s health. Balancing responsibility with self-care is important. 

If taking time for you is a new concept, no worries, we have a few suggestions. As mentioned earlier, just stopping at some point in the day and asking “How am I feeling?” or “Is my body tense or relaxed?” can be a simple way to take “me time”. Other ways might be to complete relaxation exercises. Here is a website with relaxation scripts to choose from: http://www. innerhealthstudio.com/visualization-relaxation.html. (Please pay attention to the health and safety note from website designer.) If your doctor gives permission, exercise is a great way to take time just for you. Journaling is another way to plan time for you. Here is a website for journal topics for beginners: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/ prompts.html. We wish you all the luck in creating a schedule with both responsibilities and time just for you and starting smart planning!

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