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The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence

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The V Word: Voices from the Women’s March – Brad Perry

Brad Perry and his son Oliver join Carol on the V Word to talk about how men can support the Women in today’s political climate.

V Word: Voices from the Women’s March – Paul Ivey

The Women’s March that happened January 21st was the largest peaceful protest in history and while it was founded and focused on issues important to women and marginalized communities, men are part of the movement both supporting women and realizing that women’s issues are human issues.

Today, Krsyti Albus hosts the V Word and interviews Paul Ivey, WRIR DJ and local musician on his participation in the march. You can listen to the full interview below:

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

Links:

WRIR 97.3 FM

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

Community Accountability from a Survivor’s Perspective

For this episode of the V WORD we recorded live at WRIR’s first Local Voices Live event.  During this event the public got to see live some of their favorite shows/modules. The V Word was honored to be part of this event. Jenn read a piece on community accountability from a community activist who is also a black, queer, immigrant, woman.

Please listen to today’s episode here

Transcript here:

Hi my name is Shantae Taylor and I work with JusticeRVA (for racial justice against state sanctioned police violence and mass incarceration), NOACP/Richmond Resistance (for environmental justice) and with RRFP (for reproductive justice). As a queer person of color and immigrant I stand at the intersections of many issues but today I would like to talk about the intersection between state violence, violence against women and how we can create safer communities from the inside out. I want to start first here and talk a little bit about Richmond and then talk about how these issues apply more broadly. I want to be super clear that these issues may be triggering and would like us all to remember that part of accessibility is also keeping each ourselves and each other safe, I will give folks a moment to leave as needed.

-Rape Culture in RVA : I moved to Richmond five years ago and I have so much praise for such an amazing, dynamic and politically active city. However like most places, there is a very strong undercurrent of rape culture. For example, many known restaurants and bars in this city that have well known sexual assaulters and rapists in their midst and there has not as of yet been an city-wide effective campaign to hold those perpetrators accountable – just very brave people doing their best to speak out.

Another example would be our amazing and vibrant punk and hardcore scenes that we love so much. But unfortunately they also suffer from rape culture with it almost being a too common secret. Let us take the example of Dan Cleaves. (I use the example of a white man here to combat the stereotypes thrown against men of color. I also want to be clear that I am in no way using this example to stigmatize against HIV but I do think it is helpful to remember safe sexual practices and to remember that white people get HIV too! It is not just a black or brown problem).Dan Cleaves is a white male who frequented venues in Richmond and was just charged with sexually assaulting and knowingly infecting women with HIV with a particular targeting of transwomen. Many brave Richmonders, survivors included said enough was enough and were eventually able to drive him out of Richmond, but why did it take so long for people to listen to survivors and their wishes? Who is to blame? Are these individual failures or collective failures?

I would argue that these are collective failures. No individual can be solely be responsible for rape culture nor can they be solely responsible for ending it. That does not mean however that people do not need to be accountable for their own actions and take necessary steps to remedy the harm they have caused specific people and the community at large.

I will offer a personal story to help this stick. I am a survivor, however as a black woman I have serious concerns about approaching the police about what happened to me. What if they treat me differently because of my immigration status. How does my black appearance make me dehumanized, thus devalued and more rape-able and not worthy of being saved? How will my community view me? How will I be treated if I present to receive medical care? How does this relate to the long history of sexual violence against black women in this country? How does it relate to the systemic neglect of some black neighborhoods, environmental racism, economic deprivation, the war on drugs and “tough on crime” policing mentality – are these polices making our communities safer for women or more dangerous? How would this change if I were differently-abled? And why would I want to report my assaulter if I know that he would most likely not get proper treatment in jail/prison and more likely get worse after that process?

I think the INCITE! model of violence against women is especially helpful.” INCITE! Women, Gender Non-Conforming, and Trans people of Color* Against Violence is a national activist organization of radical feminists of color advancing a movement to end violence against women of color and our communities through direct action, critical dialogue and grassroots organizing.” INCITE! identifies “violence against women of color” as a combination of “violence directed at communities,” such as police violence, war, and colonialism, and “violence within communities,” such as rape and domestic violence.

They basically argue that if we want safer communities from the inside out we are going to have to be careful how we intermesh with the state in terms of mass incarceration instead of rehabilitative and restorative justice. They especially focus on the effects of violence on marginalized groups like women of color, queer folks, immigrants, incarcerated women and how we can lift their voices in this process. (this includes queer women, transwomen, differently abled and gender non conforming women too, because all women matter). It keeps in mind that violence against women of color often takes many forms from environmental racism to state sanctioned police violence and other structural forms of violence and that they need to be examined in a systemic way and addressed in order to really make solid gains in this process.

-I would argue that if we really want to see changes in rape culture in RVA we need to consider this model. Please connect with organizations such as Safe Harbor, VAVP and others that are working on this. You can read more about INCITE at incite-national.org. Thank you for your time.

The V Word: Ryan Morris from the YWCA of Richmond

ryanmorrisRyan Morris from the YWCA of Richmond comes on the show to talk about #whYWait – a new prevention awareness program for teen dating violence prevention and awareness and #wearorangeforlove for Tuesday, February 10th. Wear orange to show your support to end teen dating violence.

listen to the show here

Resources:

YWCA of Richmond 

the V word: Corrective Rape

Welcome to today’s edition of The V Word.

https://soundcloud.com/carol-ann-olson/the-v-word-corrective-rape-aired-june-9-2014

The other day someone was asking me about all the different ways we describe rape and why is it necessary. “Corrective Rape” was one of the terms brought up. What is it and how is it different from “Rape”. Really what the person was asking is that why is some rape considered a hate crime and some is, well, just rape?

As defined by E. Bartle in Lesbians and Hate Crimes – Corrective rape is a hate crime in which people are raped because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It is the use of rape against people who do not conform to perceived social norms of sexuality and gender roles. They goal is to punish perceived abnormal behavior and reinforce the societal norms of heterosexuality and defined gender roles. The common intended consequence of the rape, as seen by the perpetrator, is to turn the person heterosexual or to enforce conformity with rigid gender stereotypes.
While this practice was first identified and termed in South Africa, it can happen and does happen in any community. And while much of the literature talks about corrective rape a happening in other countries, do not kid yourself that it does not happen in the United States, it does. All it takes is an atmosphere supportive of hate crimes against gay men and lesbians to contribute to the practice of corrective rape. A study in 2000,as reported by The Human Rights Watch, suggested this “atmosphere” of acceptance includes the visibility of lesbians within a community, a reaction of indifference to hate crimes by the community, a strong belief in gendered behavior for males and females, and isolated locations.

Corrective rape and other accompanying acts of violence can result in physical and psychological trauma, mutilation, HIV infection, unwanted pregnancy, and may contribute to suicide. Corrective rape is a major contributor to HIV infection in South African lesbians.
Corrective rape is not limited to people under the traditional LGBTQ umbrella. Asexual activist and blogger Julie Decker has observed that corrective rape is common in the asexual community. In a 2013 interview in the Huffington Post, she talks about sexual harassment and assault perpetuated by men who claimed to have the victims interests at heart.

Many believe that corrective rape should be recognized as a hate crime because of the misunderstanding of homosexuality and the animus toward gay people that motivate corrective rape. Perpetrators often think that raping a lesbian, gay, transgender or queer identified person will “correct” their sexual identity, orientation, and gender expression. This type of rape is not always an individual act either, it can have a group mentality to garner support, it can be promoted within a community, and then ignored.

As a survivor, advocate and ally, I have found that rape perpetuated under the guise of “corrective rape” is often minimized by the community. Efforts to serve the victim, to solve the crime, to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice are often pushed aside as less important.

There is a viewpoint that all rape is a hate crime, because it is directed specifically against a gender, an identity, a population. Rape is used to denigrate, control, abuse and force power over another person because they are female, they are transgender, they are gay or lesbian, they display non-conforming gender or sexual identity and expression, they are vulnerable due to disabilities, illness, or immigration status.

For help or information? Here are some options…

If you have been raped, call 911 and go to the nearest emergency room.
For information on how to report in the Richmond, Virginia, USA are, you can call the non-emergency line at 804-646-5100, that is 804-646-5100 or go by a local police station office. The main Richmond office is located at 200 West Grace Street.

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 those in Virginia who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer or questioning, you can access a free and confidential telephone service called The LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline at 1.866.356.6998 Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm for help regarding intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. The Virginia Anti-Violence Project at virginiaavp.org stands ready to work with anyone who wants to address anti-LGBTQ violence in Virginia and to help build safe communities. The number again is: 1.866.356.6998.

For listeners from outside of Virginia: GLBT National Hotline @ 1-888-843-4565 or go to GLNH.org/hotline/

For help with counseling and advocacy, local rape crisis 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.

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

The V Word is recorded in the studios of WRIR-LP 97.3, read and produced by me, Carol Olson.

The V Word: Violence Against Transgender

https://soundcloud.com/carol-ann-olson/thevword-06-02-14

 

Welcome to today’s edition of The V Word.

I am sure all you have heard about the assault on two transgender women on a train. They were harassed, beaten and one was stripped. People watched … laughed…cheer… and … no one intervened. If a heterosexual and cis-gendered woman was stripped naked probably people would have helped.. well….probably. Anyone thinking this hasn’t happened in Virginia? It has … three years ago in Fredericksburg, VA, where a transgendered woman was assaulted outside a store by three individuals. Again with the laughing and watching by bystanders… only someone who knew her came to help. I was working in Fredericksburg at the time and only three agencies showed support… the anti-violence agencies of course…. No one else…
It’s hard to understand why people didn’t help, just watched and even cheered. We as a society are making gains in getting bystanders to intervene in accidents, in issues involving children, and yet this rarely happens with sexual or domestic violence and does not happen with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer individuals. Are we that afraid? Are we still that phobic about sexual minorities that we do nothing to help them? Nothing?

This month I am giving a nod to the Queer community and talking about interpersonal and sexual violence within that population. You can go to virginiaavp.org for more information, events, and help…
Sexual and gender minorities are considered to be at the highest risk for sexual and interpersonal violence and yet have the fewest resources available. Seriously, just how far can we go to marginalize a person or a group?
Well pretty far actually….

  • Aside from all the usual negatives survivors of rape, sexual assault, or interpersonal violence get to experience, if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer – you get a few more negatives and a lot more isolated… …
  • You get to feel shame over your sexual orientation or your gender identity.
  • You get to feel fear over asking for help because it may out you or you may be rejected from the provider or agency that is supposed to help you.
  • You get to have threats of being outed –
  • As we still live in a very conservative country regarding gender and sexual identity, this can be a significant threat to keep an LGBTQ victim of violence from reporting.
  • You get to experience threats of actions to take children away or actually have them removed because of lack of parental rights.

I am a survivor of sexual assault and interpersonal violence and I experienced a lot of negatives that still impact me years later. But one thing I did not have to experience is my abusers using societal fear and hatred of my sexual and gender identity to stop me from reaching out to others.

Isolation from family, friends, even the Queer community itself makes it harder for a survivor to navigate medical, legal, and mental health resources and impact healing.

Being raped and abused is bad enough, living in a society where radio hosts and journalists make fun of rape is bad enough, but to add hatred of you because of how you identify, because you are you basically…..are we as a society not ashamed?

For help or information? Here are some options…

Call 911 if you have been assaulted and go to the closest Emergency Department.
For information on how to report sexual or domestic violence 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 West Grace Street. The number again is 804-646-5100

For those in Virginia who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer or questioning, you can access a free and confidential telephone service called The LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline at 1.866.356.6998 Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm for help regarding intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. The Virginia Anti-Violence Project at virginiaavp.org stands ready to work with anyone who wants to address anti-LGBTQ violence in Virginia and to help build safe communities. The number again is: 1.866.356.6998.

For listeners from outside of Virginia: GLBT National Hotline @ 1-888-843-4565 or go to GLNH.org/hotline/
For help with counseling and advocacy, local rape crisis 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.

Want to share a story or ask a question? Email me at thevword.radio(@)gmail.com or tweet me at my twitter account: @preventviolence. You can read the transcript for this show and past shows on my blog at http://www.thevword.org
The V Word is recorded in the studios of WRIR-LP 97.3, read and produced by me, Carol Olson.

The V Word: Soliciting Prostitution

Welcome to today’s edition of The V Word.

 

There have been many times I have been out at a club or music venue, out at a diner late, out walking, or sitting in one of the many Fan triangle parks. Someone has approached me to to ask me to come work for them. The first time it happened, I did not understand what the person was asking. Then I realized, the person was asking me to do sex work for them. Sometimes they just asked and walked away when I said “no”.  Other times the person became persistent, not leaving the table or area I was in…..harassing me and requiring me to leave.  Sometimes I was even handed a card with just a phone number on it and asked to call if I changed my mind.

The other way I was often approached was walking down the street or standing around campus and someone would yell: “How much?”

Seems pretty brazen doesn’t it? Yelling at you in public or handing you a card to call them back, asking you to do sex work.

But of course, this only happened when I was either alone or with just one or two other woman. I started realizing that it does not happen when you are in a group or have males with you.

I talked with other women and trans-women. It is not really that uncommon. Both yelling at you on the street or approaching you in public places… and being persistent about it.  In fact, it happens all the time to young girls, women, trans-women, young males and trans-men.

At first, I did not know what to do and neither did many of the women and trans-women I talked to. How do you report someone who is “just offering you a job” or someone who has driven away by the time you can do something?

Is it illegal?  Yes.  This falls under harassment and is a human rights issue.  It places women and other groups marginalized by gender, gender expression and sexual orientation at risk when they are in public.  It limits women and trans-women ability to be in public as easily and safely as men.

There are legal options.

And so, what is this called legally? Soliciting Prostitution. And it is a crime in Virginia.

The law is 18.2-346 = Soliciting for the purposes of prostitution is illegal. If a street harasser solicits sexual activity from you, you can report the person.

You can also make the case that harasers who yell, “How much?!” or offers you money, or offers you anything else in trade for sex, even in jest, are soliciting prostitution.

I am not making a judgement on consensual sex work, but I do think it is inappropriate and harassing for a person to make assumptions about your sexual availability and make you feel uncomfortable. I think it is inappropriate and harassing for a person to be persistent about trying to recruit you into sex work.

There is a penalty for soliciting prostitution. Soliciting an adult for prostitution is a Class 1 misdemeanor and may result in confinement in jail for up to twelve months and a fine of up to $2500 or both.

The penalty is higher if the person is a minor.

Soliciting for the purposes for prostitution and sex work is sex trafficking. The awareness of sex trafficking has become a much larger issue now. Next week, I will talk more about sex trafficking and options to pursue.

To review: Soliciting for the purpose of prostitution or sex work is illegal and can be reported.

Need help or more information? Here are some options…

For information on how to report in the Richmond, Virginia, USA area, you can call the non-emergency line at 804-646-5100, that is 804-646-5100 or go by a local police station office.  The main Richmond office is located at 200 West Grace street.

For help with counseling and advocacy, local rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters can provide services. In Virginia, USA, to find a center closest to you… you can call the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline, hosted by The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance at 1-800-838-8238.

That is the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-838-8238.

Listening from outside of Virginia?  You can call RAINN (rape, abuse, and incest national  network) at 1-800-656-hope.

That is 1-800-656-hope.

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

The V Word is recorded in the studios of WRIR-LP 97.3, read and produced by me, Carol Olson.

My upcoming show: The Anti-Violence Advocate

My upcoming show: The Anti-Violence Advocate, is going to be focused on violence and it’s impact on the individual, relationships, families, and our communities.   Violence has great consequences across communities and is integrally linked to oppression of women and marginalized populations, the perpetuation of sexism, racism, heteronormativity, transphobia and other ideologies of domination.

 

Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against a person or against a group or community that either results in or would have a high likelihood to result in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.

 

 Violence and injuries kill more people aged 1 – 44 than any other cause and results in over 400 billion in medical care annually.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention consider this to be one the most serious health problems in the United States.  Yet the numbers of violent deaths is only a portion of the story.  Interpersonal violence in the form of child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, dating violence, and human trafficking for sexual exploitation effects 1 in 4 or more of women and 1 in 8 or more of males.  Survivors are left with permanent physical and emotional scars that can change lives forever by impacting mental health, impairing social functioning and slowing economic and social development, and require ongoing intervention.  But here again, the impact on the survivor is only part of the story.  Violence erodes our communities by increasing costs and demands on medical care, reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services.  The range of interpersonal violence I described contributes to truancy, unemployment, unplanned pregnancies, communicable diseases, unhealthy relationships, substance abuse and dependency, and reduction or loss of income. 

 

Violence is perpetuated against more than 25% of our community individually and impacts a 100% of our community.  If violence was a disease, it would be considered an epidemic.  Social forces would mobilize, funders would come out in droves, and programs would be implemented to effect change immediately.  But for violence, that still is not happening consistently or maintained strategically.  And why is that?  As violence is an intentional act, it then bodes the realization that it is preventable.  While some people with mental health disorders may cause violence without understanding what they are doing, most violence is premeditated and planned.  People intentionally make decisions to perpetuate violence against others, with the highest numbers of violence perpetuated against women and members of marginalized communities. 

 

Interpersonal and social factors are related to both the cause and the prevention of violence.  The potentially modifiable factors most associated with levels of violence are concentrated poverty, income disparity, the absence of stable and healthy relationships within families, and (what might be most controversial for some) gender inequality. 

A strategic approach addressing the underlying causes of violence is most effective in preventing violence.  Evidenced-based or scientifically credible strategies to prevent violence include nurse home-visiting and parenting education to prevent child maltreatment; life skills training for children ages 6–18 years; school-based programmes to address gender norms and attitudes; reducing alcohol availability and misuse; reducing access to guns and knives; and promoting gender and racial equality by, for instance, supporting the economic empowerment of women and traditionally marginalized ethnic and cultural groups. 

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