Want to support Military Sexual Assault victims?
Come to our volunteer briefing on Wednesday, May 15 from 7-8:00 pm.
We will be meeting at:
510 King Street
If you would like more information or to RSVP, please give us a call at (703)535-6682. Please join us!
At Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, UVA SSgt Aaron McCatty organized a High Intensity Tactical training for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. MAG-13 Marines and friends met at 5:45 a.m., then covered themselves in teal dust and worked a very challenging circuit. During the cool-down, SSgt McCatty reviewed some sexual assault awareness facts. The event was a lot of fun and well attended, included Installation CO Col Kukuck and MAG-13 CO Col Gough, who also went through the circuit. Installation SARC Mary Chipman was there to cheer them on. It was a creative, fun, and inspiring event!
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Lots of exciting things are happening across all branches of the US Services.
Check out the great work being done to raise awareness to the problem of sexual assault. Please send us your pics of Sexual Assault Awareness Month celebrations on your Installation!
This stunning presentation provides a brief tour of some of the many innovative programs and exciting advances NOVA has been making assisting victims.
Some of the highlights include:
- New Military Advocate Certification Program – D-SAACP
- New Cyber Safety Advoate & Consumer Training – AWARE
- NOVA’s Crisis Response Team deployment assisting Hurricane Sandy victims
- Improved access and resource channels – Updated website, Facebook and Twitter
- Reliable programs demonstrating continued success – CRT and Identity Theft Victim Advocate Trainings, Victim Relations Trainings, toll-free victim helpline, victim advocate certification and resources
We are proud of our extremely positive achievements this year, and would love to share them. Please take a look.
The University of Houston-Clear Lake’s clinical psychology program is conducting a study on how different types of trauma affect individuals’ relationships with others. Following the experience of trauma, individuals may develop problems in relationships due to factors such as difficulty expressing feelings, difficulty connecting to others, irritability, emotional distancing, and distrust. If an individual develops PTSD, this disorder can be worsened by dissatisfaction in close relationships. This study’s long-term goal is to help clinicians identify how relationships are affected by trauma in order to improve the recovery process for those who have experienced a trauma.
If you have experienced a trauma, are at least 18 years of age, and would like to be part of this study, please click on the link below and you will be redirected to a survey site in which you will complete the online questionnaires. All participants will remain anonymous and no information will be shared with outside sources. Participants will not be compensated for completing the study. Completion time is estimated at 20-30 minutes. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the student researchers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FJX56SG
At a time when political gridlock has become the standard, the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA 2013) has become a reality. Despite months of delay, the U.S. House of Representatives last month approved the landmark legislation that has provided federal assistance to victims of domestic and sexual violence for nearly 20 years. VAWA provides $1.6 billion to fund programs that protect victims, prevent abuse and strengthen legal actions taken against offenders. It also helps create and support rape crisis centers, hot-lines and community support programs, as well as provides money for investigating and prosecuting violent crimes against women through the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.
What new provisions were included in VAWA 2013?
#1 – The inclusion for Native American women:
VAWA now allows for the prosecution in tribal courts of non-Native men who attack Native women on reservation land. Native nations operate under tribal sovereignty, and as such, their own courts administer justice. For example, if a perpetrator from New Jersey attacks women in New York: New York could easily prosecute the defendant without jurisdictional objection. Not so for Native women living on reservations, where, under the previous legislation, survivors would have to hope for a federal prosecutor—sometimes 500 miles away—to investigate and charge a non-Native suspect. It’s no wonder, then, that prosecutors fail to try nearly 70 percent of these sex abuse cases. The new law closes that loophole, and restores the way non-Native men who attacked Native women on reservations were prosecuted before 1978.
#2 – Help for rape and assault victims on college campuses
Included in VAWA, the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, SaVE, is the most significant legislation to address college rape in 20 years. The law requires colleges to include reports of dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in their annual crime statistics. Schools also have to provide awareness programs for new students and employees, and must offer students or employees who are victims of abuse a change in housing or work environment.
The goal of SaVE, “is to change the cultures on campus that tolerate sexual violence,” said S. Daniel Carter of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation, a campus safety group formed after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre and a primary player in drafting Campus SaVE. “This is akin to vaccinating against a disease rather than treating the symptoms of it after a patient is infected.”
#3 – Specific provisions for LGBT victims
2013 VAWA ensures that all domestic violence victims, including those who are LGBT, will not face discrimination when they seek services, including explicit protections in the federal code for “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” It also prohibits any program or activity funded by the bill from discriminating against a victim based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, more specifically in the two key VAWA grant programs.
#4 – Assistance for Human Trafficking Victims
2013 VAWA includes the Trafficking Victims and Protection Act which authorizes a pilot program to create comprehensive residential care facilities throughout the country to provide safe havens for minors who are victims of domestic sex trafficking. The pilot program also ensures specialized training of law enforcement officers and social service providers in identifying and serving these victims. Funding will also be expanded to provide law enforcement with new tools to investigate and incarcerate the pimps and traffickers who force young women and girls into prostitution.
The re-authorization of VAWA helps millions of victims get the services they so desperately need.
Rushing to do something immediately, even giving money, isn’t necessarily best. The reason? In the immediate aftermath, communities aren’t ready to receive funds even as fraudsters are. Yes, funeral and medical expenses can be immediate. But each state has a crime victim compensation fund that can support qualifying expenses. And there will still be a host of financial needs that follow in the weeks and months to come when the media interest fades. As well, giving time for a community to establish equitable ways to collect and distribute funds is important to supporting all the needs in a community after such loss.
While it might be therapeutic for you, sending food, toys, clothes and handmade crafts isn’t usually very helpful to victims. In some natural disasters, food, water and shelter can be crucial but there are already organizations equipped to provide those (e.g., The Salvation Army). Not only does inundating a community not help, it can create more difficulty as victims and community leaders now have to manage the onslaught of items. Handling and storing massive amounts of donated goods can create serious challenges that thoughtful but uniformed donors don’t realize. It might make you feel good to paint a picture to donate but candidly, it isn’t about you.
Financial donations are commonly the best and most prudent assistance. Once trustworthy and reputable mechanisms are established for donating, save the money you would spend on buying materials to make something and donate it. Or buy gift cards. Not only are those easy to distribute more equitably, they become like cash for victims to pay expenses that the average citizen has no idea follow these crises.
Victims and communities want as much control over their decisions as possible. Why? For one, loss of control is a result of the horrible events. For another, gaining some control back is part of the recovery process. Unless they specifically ask for it, state and federal officials deciding what they believe is best actually demonstrates a lack of respect for victims’ ability to assess and determine what the victims believe is best for their recovery. While community individuals might disagree with one another about decisions, they are still the central stakeholders in the aftermath of a tragic event and need the liberty to work out solutions.
While we are careful not to speak specifically for victims, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) has been training people to respond to mass casualty crime scenes and natural disasters for over twenty-five years. This has provided insights into the needs of victims of crime and crisis.
This is the anatomy of a phishing scam. The key is to pay attention to details.