The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence



Ways to Support Stalking Awareness in Your Community #4 – Appreciation

Are there programs or individuals in your community who has worked to stop stalking or raise awareness?  Recognize those folks for their very important work whether public officials, community members, law enforcement officials, non-profit workers, or volunteers–anyone in your community who has worked to stop stalking–with a certificate of appreciation.

Stalking Awareness Month has a a sample certificate you can download and use:

Certificates of Appreciation

On-Air for WRIR and Blogging for the Pixel Project

I am excited to begin a couple new projects in my anti-violence work.

On December 9th, my first blog on Rape in War – a small article and a list of 16 resources that range from international organizations, documentaries, books, and news articles will appear on The Pixel Project Website – 16 for 16 Days of Activism.  I am proud to be part of the 16 for 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women.  I have spent the last 6 years focused on running a local rape crisis center and centered on response and direct education for a small regional community.  It was a great opportunity and learning element to turn my focus on sexual assault in the context of war and conflict.  When looking at rape in communities, families, and organizations; you become focused on the known predator of interpersonal crime and address the issue of sexual assault with a single survivor and family.  Sexual assault as a war crime brings home the link to larger issues of sexual assault as a part of society’s response to conflict.  The numbers of victims becomes a global number and is staggering, the extended families as secondary survivors is even more staggering when looked at as a group.  My research for this simple blog brought home the enormous amount of crime that accompanies war and conflict.  Crime that is overlooked or ignored.  The impact of trauma on the survivors, the families, and the community that will carry on is equally enormous and with the reduction of resources that happens in war, will be even more difficult to address and treat.   The impact of these crimes will continue even when peace is obtained.

My other project is going to be a weekly short spot on my local radio station WRIR  (Richmond Independent Radio).  I begin taping this weekend with the spots to be starting after the New Year.  I so look forward to sharing information on the social impact of interpersonal violence (sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, dating violence, trafficking) that are at epidemic levels in our communities.  More to come!


Welcome new stand alone Rape Crisis Center in Virginia

Here is a re-post from the Roanoke Times


Sarah Bruyn Jones, Roanoke Times

October 29, 2011

The Roanoke area’s sexual assault crisis center is now an independent nonprofit, as it seeks to maintain its long-standing presence in the community.

The Sexual Assault Response & Awareness program, or SARA, operated out of Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare until July 1, when it separated from the agency. On Friday the organization held an open house and silent auction at its new offices at 3034 Brambleton Ave. S.W. in Roanoke.

The process toward separation began in the fall of 2009, when Blue Ridge said it could no longer subsidize the administrative costs for running SARA.

Blue Ridge sought to find another administrative home for the group, but by this year, it had become clear that SARA would have to stand on its own, said Teresa Berry, who has worked for the program for a quarter-century and is now the executive director of the newly formed nonprofit.

The new organization incorporated with the state in March as Sexual Assault Response & Awareness Inc.

By May, SARA had successfully filed with the Internal Revenue Service for nonprofit status.

SARA, which provides free support services to sexual assault victims including counseling and accompaniment to court hearings, continues to operate with grants from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Berry said. SARA gets about $165,000 annually from three DCJS grants, she said.

But that doesn’t cover general fund expenses, including legal fees and other startup costs, she said. To cover those expenses, Berry has put in about $8,000 of her own money and received another $6,000 from donors.

Friday’s open house was intended, in part, to kick off some needed fundraising. Berry said she would like to add three more people to her staff, which currently includes herself and one other person.

SARA serves about 350 victims a year and has recently seen an increase in need, particularly among young adults and teenagers, she said.

“We need to be doing more education,” she said.

Off to get my retreat on

It’s time for the Action Alliance’s Annual Retreat. In honor of its being 30 years old, the theme is: our history, our present and our future as a movement with the theme of “” There will be workshops, networking, and self-care opportunities over today, tomorrow and Thursday. The conference is at a new site this year, JMU in Harrisonburg. The keynote speaker this year is Connie Burk from the Northwest Network in Seattle, WA.

Tonight is the Catalyst Awards dinner and socializing with all our comrades to end violence. Tomorrow I give two presentations with my staff, how exciting!

First is my presentation on Art in Response to Violence. Then Megan J. joins me for a presentation on Working with Adult Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse. In between I get to hear great presentations from others. I’ll be tweeting!

Ways to Support DV Awareness #19 – Attend the Clothesline Project at Safe Harbor

Host a clothesline project in your community.

October 19th – 23rd Clothesline Project, Sponsored by Safe Harbor. Will be hanging in display throughout the week. The Clothesline Project is a visual display of shirts with graphic messages and illustrations that have been designed by women survivors of violence or by someone who love a woman who has been killed. The purpose of the Project is to increase awareness of the impact of violence against women, to celebrate a woman’s strength to survive and to provide another avenue for her to courageously break the silence that often surrounds her experience. For more information contact Stacie Vecchietti at 804-249-9470  x15.

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