The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence



The V Word: Is Rape a Pre-existing Condition?

The V Word Radio Show: Emily Westerholm talks about sexual assault in prison

Today Emily shares statistics about those most effected by the criminal justice system. She talks about the implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act and resources available.

You can listen to the show here


WRIR 97.3


The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance

The V Word: An interview with John Sutter on #Rape in #Alaska @jdsutter @wrir

Today Carol interviews John Sutter, journalist from CNN on his report on the prevalence of rape in Alaska. He talks about his journey to see why Alaska has the highest incidence of rape in the nation.

You can listen to the show here

John Sutter receiving his media and journalism award from Joanne Archembault and Herman Milhollend at the EVAWI conference 2015.
John Sutter receiving his media and journalism award from Joanne Archembault and Herman Milholland at the EVAWI conference 2015.


John Sutter at CNN 

WRIR 97.3 FM Richmond Independent Radio

Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance

The V Word broadcast: Instructions on Not to Rape

Today Carol talks about vimeo made and distributed by Cambridge Rape Crisis Center: Know Your Limits. Help change the conversation from telling women how to avoid being raped to instead telling potential rapists how to avoid raping others.

Listen to the episode here


WRIR 97.3 FM

Virginia Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-838-8238

Title IX on College Campuses – Part II

Today we talk with Ted Lewis, Associate Director LGBTQ Campus Life at the University of Richmond, about Title IX on college campuses, what this means for campuses in protecting students that have experienced sexual harassment and/or sexual violence, as well as it’s implications on LGBTQ students.


This is Part 2 of a 4 part series so please stay tuned! We will be posting the discussion in it’s entirety soon for those that want to listen to it all the way through


Listen to Part 2 Here


Do you need help or information?  Here are some options…


You can call  the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-838-8238. They can connect you with local agencies, services, as well as university services.

If you have been assaulted and feel comfortable with calling the police, call 911.

You can now text/chat The Virginia Hotline Monday through Friday 4pm-8pm at

Text: (804) 793-9999 Monday-Friday 4pm-8pm to speak to someone today!

If you have been assaulted in the last 72 hours you can get a  forensic exam to collect evidence and receive medical care. You can do this with and without reporting to the police as well.

Want to share a story or ask a question?  Email me at or tweet me at my twitter account:  @preventviolence.  You can read the transcript for this show and past shows on my blog at

Today’s host was Carol Olson. The V Word is recorded in the studios of WRIR-LP 97.3 and streamed at, The V Word is co-produced by Carol Olson and Jenn Gallienne. Music was created by The Etching Tin

The V Word: Prescriptions and Rape on Campus – A Survivor’s Story

Here is today’s broadcast of The V Word.

You can listen to today’s episode here

A survivor’s story came in yesterday. She writes:
pillbottle“I have a hard time sleeping in college, I guess it’s the noise, sharing a room, and the late nights. I had started taking a sleep aid to help me sleep. My friends, of course, knew this as I did not keep it a secret. In fact I would often take it in front of them as I was winding down for the night and before everyone left my room on study or movie nights. It took a few minutes to work and I would take it as people were leaving and I started getting ready for bed. I never felt I was not safe before.
One night though I wasn’t safe. A male friend who had been over watching a movie, stayed behind the others and came back in to my room after the sleeping pill was taking effect and raped me.
I went to the school but it went no where. He stated I asked him to, the school stated it was my word against his and I had let him over to be in my room in the first place. It was implied I led him on by taking the pills.
I had to see him on campus, I had to change my classes because he was in two of them. I finally dropped out and returned home because I got too depressed to study and my grades started dropping.”

She is not alone and as listeners are aware, rape on college campuses is finally a national topic of conversation.
Findings from a report by Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., & Turner, M.G. (2000). The Sexual Victimization of College Women. National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. include:

  • It is estimated that the percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in higher educational institutions may be between 20% and 25% over the course of a college career.
  • Among college women, 9 in 10 victims of rape and sexual assault knew their offender.
    Almost 12.8% of completed rapes, 35% of attempted rapes, and 22.9% of threatened rapes happened during a date.
  • 2.8% experienced either a completed rape (1.7%) or an attempted rape (1.1%) during the six-month period in which the study was conducted. Of victims, 22.8% were victims of multiple rapes.
  • If this data is calculated for a calendar year period, nearly 5% of college women are victimized during any given calendar year.
  • It is estimated that for every 1,000 women attending a college or university, there are 35 incidents of rape each academic year.
  • Off-campus sexual victimization is much more common among college women than on-campus victimization. Of victims of completed rape 33.7% were victimized on campus and 66.3% off campus.
  • Less than 5% of completed or attempted rapes against college women were reported to law enforcement.
  • However, in 2/3rds of the incidents the victim did tell another person, usually a friend, not family or school officials.
  • Another study by Krebs, C.P., Lindquist, C.H., Warner, T.D., Fisher, B.S., & Martin, S.L. (2007). The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study. National Institute of Justice found:

    Many women (88%) have never consumed a drink left unattended or consumed a drink given to them by a stranger (76%).

  • One-quarter of the sample (25%) reported consuming alcohol or drugs before sex at least once a month, and slightly fewer (23%) were drunk or high during sex at least once a month.
  • Eighteen percent experienced an attempted (13%) and/or completed (13%) sexual assault since entering college.
  • Among the total sample, 5% experienced a completed physically forced sexual assault, but a much higher percentage (11%) experienced a completed incapacitated sexual assault.
  • Sexual assaults were most likely to occur in September, October and November, on Friday or Saturday nights, and between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m.
    Most victims of physically forced or incapacitated sexual assault were assaulted by someone they knew (79% and 88%).
  • Freshmen and sophomores are at greater risk for victimization than juniors and seniors.

For Student Activists –

  • Know Your IX
  • Students Against for Ending Rape (SAFER). CHANGE HAPPENS anti-violence campus organizing manual. Free for students.
  • Watch PreventConnect Podcast with SAFER, Beyond Blue Lights.
  • The Center for Public Integrity. Reporter’s Toolkit: Investigating Sexual Assault Cases on Your Campus.

For Law Enforcement

  • U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services.Problem-Oriented Guides for Police Series No. 17: Acquaintance Rape of College Students.

General Campus Resources

  • The Center for Public Integrity. Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice (three-part series).
  • Los Angeles College Consortium Project (LACCP). Dealing with Campus Violence Against Women Website.
  • Office on Victims of Crime Message Board: Responding to Sexual Violence on Campus.
    Sexual Assault Program Coordinators (SAPC) listserv
  • To join:
    Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) Change Happens blog
  • California Coalition Against Sexual Assault Campus Program
    (CALCASA is the technical assistance provider for grantees of the Office on Violence Against Women’s Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus Program)
  • Campus Sexual Assault Response Teams: Program Development and Operational Management (Book)

Do you need help or information? Here are some options…

If you have been assaulted, call 911.

The Richmond area has a new regional hotline specific to the needs of sexual and domestic violence survivors: 804-612-6126

The Richmond Behavioral Health Authority has a hotline to help people who are having suicidal thoughts at 819-4100.

To get a forensic exam to collect evidence and receive medical care, the local hospitals in the Richmond area with Forensic Nurse Examiners are at Medical College of Virginia and St. Mary’s Hospital.

For help with counseling and advocacy, local rape crisis centers, child advocacy centers and domestic violence shelters can provide services. To find a center closest to you… you can call the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-838-8238. That is the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-838-8238.

Are you a family member or a bystander and want know how you can help?

  • For information on how to report an assault in the Richmond, Virginia, USA are, you can call the non-emergency line at 804-646-5100 or go by a local police station office. The main Richmond office is located at 200 East Grace Street.
  • Get involved with your local domestic violence shelter to join a group or service that is available.
  • Donate to funds services that help women recovery and restart their lives.

Want to share a story or ask a question? Email me at or tweet me at my twitter account: @preventviolence. You can read the transcript for this show and past shows on my blog at
The V Word is recorded in the studios of WRIR-LP 97.3 and streamed at, read and produced by Carol Olson. Production support is provided by Jennifer Gallienne and Bryan Connolly. Music was created by The Etching Tin

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!


Call for submissions for the Sexual Assault Report (SAR)

A repost from End Violence Against Women International:

We are extremely pleased to announce that Joanne Archambault and Kim Lonsway are now serving as Editors of the Sexual Assault Report (SAR), an excellent bimonthly newsletter published by the Civic Research Institute.

We would therefore like to invite professionals in the field to submit manuscripts to be considered for publication in the Sexual Assault Report (SAR). SAR publishes high quality articles and reviews of books, social science articles, and legal decisions related to sexual assault. The kinds of topics that might be interesting for SAR readers include a review of a book, DVD/video, report, or social scientific article in the field. Or, professionals could write an original article on topics such as the following:

Dynamics of sexual assault crimes, including new tactics and vulnerabilities
Impact of sexual assault on children, teens, and/or adults
Communities at particularly high risk of sexual victimization (e.g., people with disabilities, Native American women, adolescents, women serving in the U.S. military)
Victim recovery and advances in therapeutic assistance
New legislative developments & implications for practice
Strategies for increasing accessibility of programs for people with disabilities and others
Program development/sustainability for SART teams
Advocacy by systems- and community-based professionals
Effective strategies for law enforcement investigation and criminal prosecution
Current issues regarding forensic medical examinations
Approaches to effectively working with the media
Particularly interesting for SAR readers are articles that bridge the gap between research and practice, to provide concrete guidance for practitioners based on empirically supported knowledge. The publication is designed to be useful for practitioners in a wide range of disciplines, including:

Victim advocates and service providers
Prosecutors and civil attorneys
Law enforcement professionals
Medical forensic examiners
Researchers and educators
Policymakers and media representatives
For more information on SAR and the Civic Research Institute please see their website at:

Because SAR is a bi-monthly publication, articles will be accepted in an ongoing way. Article length varies, typically between 500 and 5,000 words, and the format includes only the most sparing use of footnotes, tables, and no graphs or photographs. If you have any questions about format, please see the style guidelines and language policy for SAR. A sample issue of SAR is also available for you to review.

Please feel free to contact one of us to discuss any possible ideas you have for articles. We can be reached by telephone at 509-684-9800, by fax at 509-684-9801, or via email at or We look forward to hearing from you and reading your submissions!

“These Feelings of Love, Life & Loneliness” Kathleen Wakeham’s poem about violence

Kathleen Wakeham published a small book of poetry in 1974 entitled: These feelings of Love, Life and Loneliness, just some poems. It’s a beautiful collection of poems about being a woman, living, loving, and feeling both a part of the world and separate from it. One of her poems she has written about rape, an intense monologue of an experience of violence against a woman.

A Rape

Her teeth knocked out, blood strewn around

the walls reek with pain,

while the floor is covered with tearful shredded garments

His calling was a leap of risk, from roof

to window pane through her

so a torrent of senselessness gushed.

Torn through slicing lips, gouging pits

plunging at lily bed roots

whose only self is to grow, give nutrients,

be caressed by nature’s rain drops.

Smashed beauty, brass knuckles into a fragile nose bridge

Crying, pleading, Why? Why?

But the lashing and the thrusting go on.

Only stopping after the last spill of sour creamed extermination

the stilhetto falls limp, the skull relaxes its hardened gourd.

But the blood, crying, sores, pain don’t ever seem to stop

Not stopping now or then or, it seems, ever.

Madmen and lunatics roam about

preying on the loving, the harmless

smashing glass into her vulva on a night of quietude.

Rampaging innocence, locking her mind in a padded cell

of fear, hurt, humiliation (no, you’re not a slut)

in the name of

the poor boy had a bad home and is misunderstood, forgive, understand, he’s aman and nature was only calling his natural need.

And her eyes are cloudy glass in a misty self

of voidful womanhood, talking with a tongueless mouth

and a slashed face of dazzlement — Why? Why?

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