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Archive for the ‘Outreach’ Category

RCASA’s Friday Facts: College Campus Sexual Assault

In Education, Friday Facts, Outreach, Prevention, Sexual Assault Awareness on August 3, 2012 at 5:00 am

It is estimated that 20-25% of college women will be victims of an attempted or completed rape during their college careers. In 90% of college cases, the offender is known to the victim, usually a classmate, friend, or acquaintance. According to a report funded by the Department of Justice, roughly one in five women who attend college will become the victim of a rape or an attempted rape by the time she graduates.

Type of Victimization Percentage of Sample Rate per 1,000 students
Completed Rape 1.7% 16.6
Attempted Rape 1.1% 11.0
Threat of Rape 0.3% 3.0
Completed Sexual Coercion 1.7% 16.6
Attempted Sexual Coercion 1.3% 13.5
Completed Sexual Contact 3.7% 31
Attempted Sexual Contact 5.0% 49.9

Additionally,

  • Of the women who had experienced events that fit the legal definition of rape, 46.5% described their victimization as rape.
  • For both completed and attempted rapes, about 9 in 10 offenders were known to the victim, usually a classmate, friend or acquaintance.
  • Fewer than 5% of completed and attempted rapes were reported to law enforcement officials, though the victim did tell another person about the incident in about two-thirds of cases.

As the data suggest, sexual assault and other forms of coercive sexual behavior are part of college life for a substantial number of young women.  The presence of sexual violence is a source of concern for the entire community, and has a grave impact on the affected person’s psychosocial development, intellectual maturation, and identity formation.

Outreach Wednesday – Insightful Anti-Violence Public Awareness Campaign Wins Golden Lion Award at Cannes Film Festival

In Awareness Campaigns, Current Events, Education, Outreach on July 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm

A campaign designed by Y&R (a Mexican-based advertising agency) recently won the prestigious Golden Lion Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This campaign highlights the sad fact that often physical, emotional, verbal and sexual violence is cyclical. The anti-violence industry has know for quite some time that exposure to violence in the home during childhood greatly increases the risk for future victimization and/or perpetration of violence in adulthood. This creative and visually stunning campaign brings this fact to the public’s attention. They say that knowledge is power, so let’s hope this educational campaign is a step towards breaking the cycle of violence.

RCASA’s New Website and Blog

In Outreach on July 4, 2012 at 5:00 am

 

We are excited to announce that we have redesigned our website! Hopefully everyone finds it a little more user friendly (and easier on the eyes). In addition to updating the site, we have also decided to host the blog there as well.  We are moving the blog from this location (rcasa.wordpress.org) to rcasa.org/blog. This site will no longer be sending out updates, so make sure you set your email notifications/RSS feeds/bookmarks to the new location! See you there!

Outreach Wednesday – Bullying Smart Phone Apps Serve as a Resource for LGBTQ Youth

In Current Events, Outreach on June 27, 2012 at 5:00 am

The following article is taken from the Examiner and talks about a new app that allows students to anonymously report bullying behaviors from their SmartPhones, iPads or computers. While there is certainly the potential for abuse, this is an interesting concept. I particularly like author’s discussion of how this type of application could affect the number of LGBTQ youth who report victimization by their peers.

“Mobile apps are the name of the game and everybody is trying to cash in by creating the newest trend. All it takes is an idea who time has come and then someone becomes an instant millionaire. Necessity always breeds invention and Connecticut teens heard the cries of kids being bullied.

Bullying apps are the newest thing and with the rate of gay youth that commit suicide on the rise, this new wave of apps could be just what the doctor ordered. This particular app created in Connecticut is called B.O.B. which stands for ‘back off bully’. With a name like that there is no way you can have a misunderstanding about its intended purpose.

Yesterday in a WHDH Channel 7News local report one of the developers of B.O.B., Christina Puglisi is quoted as saying “students are bullied and they don’t know how or where to go to get help. Of course, that statement has documented proof of its validity every time a young gay person kills themselves because they can’t handle the torment of daily harassment.

The B.O.B. app’s major convenience and feature is the use of anonymity. You can either report bullying abuse that you see or personally experiencing without having to give your personal information. Once information is put into a database, administrators can study the data for patterns so that a remedy can be effectively implemented. With an application such as this any young person with a smart phone or computer can become a silent avenger to those who need their help.

Now what does this mean for the gay youth of this country? One of the reasons that gay youth don’t report bullying has to do with not wanting to admit they are gay. To report bullying of a gay nature to authorities mean exposing their sexuality which a lot of gay youth are not ready for. A mobile app of this caliber will certainly open up doors to stop gay harassment and protect the secret of the ones being bullied.

No doubt there will be opposition to the use of this app and someone will cry foul or find some way to justify why this app hurts more than it can help. If one gay youth or any youth for that matter, finds peace by reporting their bullying through this app, then the ends most certainly justify the means.”

It is extremely important that youth who identify as members of the LGBTQ community feel supported and safe enough to report peer to peer violence, whether it takes the form of verbal taunting, sexual harassment or physical violence. While bullying is a problem for a lot of young people, LGBTQ youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to be bullied and are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers. RCASA is dedicated to promoting and providing an accepting environment and support network for survivors of all sexual orientations and gender identities. However, if you are an LGBTQ youth or an ally who needs support, guidance or just someone to talk to you should call ROSMY’s 24/7 Youth Support Line at 1-888-644-4390. ROSMY also offers a variety of other support, education and advocacy services to youth in the Richmond area. You can find out more about them here.

Wednesday Outreach – Join Us for RCASA’s Open House!

In Events, Outreach on June 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

Please join our team on June 27th from 4 PM to 7 PM for an afternoon of food, fun and prizes as we show off our agency’s new home. We are so delighted by all of the new space that we have to serve our clients and we hope that you will come out to see our new place and to learn about all of the important services that we continue to offer. All community members, including partnering agencies should feel welcome to join us. RSVP to events@rcasa.org.  We hope to see you there!

Wednesday Outreach – Come to RCASA’s Open House on June 27th!

In Events, Outreach on June 13, 2012 at 5:00 am

Please join our team on June 27th from 4 PM to 7 PM for an afternoon of food, fun and prizes as we show off our agency’s new home. We are so delighted by all of the new space that we have to serve our clients and we hope that you will come out to see our new place and to learn about all of the important services that we continue to offer. All community members, including partnering agencies should feel welcome to join us. No RSVP is necessary. We hope to see you there!

Outreach Wednesday- In the News: Why VAWA Must Include LGBT Survivors

In Current Events, Outreach on June 6, 2012 at 5:00 am

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center works every day with some of the most vulnerable lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) survivors of domestic and sexual violence, including many immigrants — survivors who will be put at risk by the changes made by the House of Representatives to the Senate bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). These changes not only omit landmark Senate provisions barring discrimination against and increasing protections for LGBT survivors, but they make it less likely that our clients will report domestic violence.

It is bad enough that the House legislation omits all the LGBT protections that were passed in the bipartisan Senate bill (S. 1925) and ignores the reality that currently only one in five LGBT survivors receives victim assistance. But the House bill goes further: It actually contains dangerous provisions that roll back years of progress aimed at protecting the safety of victims who are immigrants, Native American, and members of other marginalized communities.

Incredibly, the House bill rolls away many of the protections under current law that allow our immigrant clients to speak out, seek help, and assist law enforcement in stopping abusers from harming other victims. By decreasing the ability of immigrant survivors to come forward, the House bill would ultimately cost lives.

At the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center we have assisted thousands of LGBT survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and know too well that the barriers to services that currently exist often result in increased violence, costly hospital services, and, for too many, death. And the barriers to service that discourage immigrant LGBT survivors are often the most significant.

Although we work with many victims at the Center, the stories of those we serve are unforgettable:

  • The transgender woman from Mexico who was targeted for sexual assault, dragged from a car (attached by a seatbelt) for a quarter mile, and then left for dead. The perpetrators were never caught.
  • The transgender woman from Central America who was repeatedly stabbed by her ex-boyfriend. The perpetrator was never found.
  • The gay man whose batterer threatened to have him killed in his home country while threatening to have him deported because of his immigration status.
  • The lesbian immigrant who called the police on four separate occasions to report four separate incidents. When the police finally took a report against her abuser, it was for vandalism. In fact, the victim had been strangled.

These are but a few of the countless victims who likely would not have sought help had the House version been the law.

One of the most transformative aspects of VAWA, a truly historic legacy, is that it gave a voice to literally millions of woman who had suffered abuse at the hands of their husbands; this was later expanded to their boyfriends and is now understood much more broadly.

And as a feminist, I commend all the work that has been done to help victims, but it is not enough. For VAWA truly to be the law it is meant to be — a law that gives voice to all survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence — it must recognize the survivors who often fall in the fringes: communities of color, immigrants, Native victims, and, LGBT survivors, and the survivors who exist across all of these categories.

Recognizing the diverse needs of communities is not singling out a community for special protection; it is merely acknowledging that access to services is not equal and that specific pathways are often necessary.

What may be the greatest benefit of this laborious process of VAWA reauthorization is that the conversation has raised awareness about the reality of domestic and sexual violence in the LGBT community so that the gay man in Arkansas and the lesbian in South Carolina and the trans woman in Los Angeles know that they are not alone, and also know that advocates of all sexual orientations and gender identities are doing their best to ensure that they will have access to services.

We call upon advocates from across the country to decry the House’s actions and to encourage their legislators to do the right thing as the House and Senate meet in conference to reconcile the two bills. This country can no longer afford to play politics with lives.

The preceding article is taken from here.

The Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault serves clients of all genders and sexual orientations. If you or someone you know is in need of our services or if you just have questions please call our hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at 540-371-6771 or visit our website at www.rcasa.org.

Outreach Wednesday – How to be an Anti-Violence Activist in Your Everyday Life

In Outreach, Volunteer on May 23, 2012 at 5:00 am
It is truly rewarding to work within the anti-violence field, however, not everyone can pursue this particular career path. Don’t be discouraged though, just because anti-violence work isn’t your day job that doesn’t mean that you can’t contribute to the effort to end sexual and intimate partner violence. The Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assaults applauds the efforts made by the countless individuals working tirelessly to make our community (and the world) and a safer place.
Interested in finding ways to get involved? Check out the list below or contact our agency to ask about volunteering at volunteer@rcasa.org:
  • VOLUNTEER for your local domestic violence and/or sexual assault program – member organization list
  • Have the hotline numbers handy in case you ever need to give them to someone in need of help.
  • Think through how you would intervene if you saw someone being harmed; be an active bystander.
  • Encourage your local schools to include sexual and domestic violence prevention education in their curricula
  • Stand up against sexist and homophobic jokes and comments.
  • Find out if the shelter in your area has a “wish list” of items needed and help fill those either through purchasing items or asking friends, colleagues or family if they can donate the items needed.
  • Talk about equality and healthy sexuality and relationships with the youth in your life.
  • Provide annual statistics on DV/SV cases to officials and publicize those statistics to raise awareness
  • Host a kitchen table discussion with your neighbors and friends at your house, talk about why you all think domestic and sexual violence happens and what you might be able to do about it.
  • Encourage officials to pass resolutions and legislation to support domestic or sexual violence victims
  • Use the town hall or other public places to display DV/SV awareness and education material (ask your local program to recommend materials)
  • Support local DV/SV awareness events such as Sexual Violence Month (April) or Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October)

This list was found here.

Wednesday Outreach – RCASA’s New Home

In Outreach on May 16, 2012 at 5:00 am

With the growing number of services that our agency provides and the growing number of clients that we serve, we found that we needed a bit more space to grow so our office recently relocated  to a new office building on Rt. 2, located next to the Rappahannock United Way. Our new physical and mailing address is:

3331 Shannon Airport Circle

Fredericksburg, VA  22408

While our goal was to make this transition is as smooth as possible for our clients and community partners there are always certain complications that arise when change occurs. Unfortunately, during the move to our new location we have temporarily lost access to our e-mail and office lines. However, serving our clients is still our priority. Case management staff will continue to be available by phone. Our hotline will also remain available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (540-371-1666). Please do not hesitate to call if you have questions, concerns or would just like to talk to someone.

We are sorry for any inconvenience that this might cause our clients or our community partners. We are working towards reestablishing internet and phone connection as soon as possible. Thank you so much for your patience during this transition period.

Outreach Wednesday – Volunteer to End Sexual Violence in Our Community

In Outreach, Volunteer on May 9, 2012 at 5:00 am

It is once again that exciting time of the year when we welcome new volunteers to RCASA’s team! Our volunteers undergo a comprehensive 40 hour training that orients them to agency services and equips them with the skills needed to serve survivors of sexual assault.

There are three levels of volunteers at our agency:

Level 1 Volunteers provide general administrative and clerical support.

Level 2 Volunteers assist agency prevention and outreach efforts. This includes providing support for public awareness campaigns and outreach events.

Level 3 Volunteers act as crisis responders, staffing our 24 hour, 7 day a week hotline and serve as hospital advocates for victims of sexual assault.

All potential volunteers must submit to a criminal background check, a drug test and an interview with a staff member before they are allowed to volunteer. If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at our agency please visit our Facebook page and send us a message with your contact information or show up to the first night of our volunteer training THIS MONDAY at 5:30 PM.

Below you will find our volunteer training schedule. We hope you will join us in our fight to end sexual violence in our community, after all our volunteers are the heartbeat of our agency!

Our agency is located at 3331 Shannon Airport Circle Fredericksburg, VA 22408.  We are located on Rt. 2 next to the Rappahannock United Way.

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