Archive for the ‘TA Question of the Month’ Category

How can my agency be better prepared to support survivors of sexual violence who are refugees or asylum seekers?

August 1st, 2016 No comments

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.15.02 AMby Jill Merriman, formerly with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and currently founder of the Global Sexual Violence Resource Network *

We know that sexual violence affects every nation, population, and culture. But conflict and displacement can heighten vulnerabilities and diminish protective factors, increasing refugees’ and asylum seekers’ risk of experiencing sexual violence while decreasing or interrupting their access to vital survivor services.

Refugees and asylum seekers are integral members of our communities. The United States resettles more refugees than any other country on earth – more than 69,900 in the federal fiscal year 2015 alone. These individuals often have unique needs that organizations – including those conducting sexual violence prevention and response – should address. Read more…

How can victim advocates find balance when caring for themselves and supporting victims of gender-based violence?

June 30th, 2016 No comments

by Ivonne Ortiz for the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence


Engaging in self-care practices is important for all victim advocates. On a daily basis, advocates are exposed to trauma through the stories of the survivors that we work with – whether the stories are heard in person, in writing, over the phone or through social media. Constant exposure to any type of trauma can take a toll on an advocate’s well-being. As advocates, we carry these stories in our hearts and usually do not realize that we are also carrying the effects of compassion fatigue.
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How can my organization support trans sexual assault survivors?

June 1st, 2016 No comments

by Jennifer Benner, MPP, Resource Development Specialist at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 3.17.31 PM

Transgender: “An umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of people whose gender identity or expression may not match the sex they were assigned at birth” (FORGE, 2012).

Transgender is not a sexual orientation, as trans-identified people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. (Human Rights Campaign, n.d.). In this post we will use the language of trans, transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender non-binary interchangeably to reflect how individuals self-identify with regard to gender. We honor and recognize the complexity and multiplicity of gender identities and that not everyone identifies as male or female or uses other language to describe themselves. These words are used in their broadest meanings in an attempt to be inclusive of all identities.
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How can domestic violence advocates support National Community Action Month?

May 2nd, 2016 No comments

by Patty Branco for the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

This May, let’s bring our attention to the importance of building and sustaining partnerships between domestic violence programs and anti-poverty organizations, as we celebrate and promote National Community Action Month. This observance was created by the Community Action Partnership (CAP) to reinforce the critical role of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in helping low-income families achieve economic stability. Throughout the month of May, CAP directs its communication efforts into recognizing and celebrating the work that CAAs are doing around the country. Read more…

What is the theme for 2016 Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities and how can local centers participate?

April 1st, 2016 No comments

by Susan Sullivan, Prevention Campaign Specialist for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center

saammaingx_0The theme of this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign is Prevention is Possible. This April we hope to share the message that we can all stop sexual violence before it happens by addressing the root causes and social norms that allow it to exist.

Many societal factors contribute to the prevalence of sexual violence. Everything from rape jokes to the objectification of women in marketing campaigns can normalize violence and allow inequality to thrive. This year’s campaign materials help individuals, communities, and businesses to see their role in preventing sexual violence. The Campaign Brochure breaks down action steps that these audiences can take to promote safety, respect, and equality to stop sexual assault before it happens. Read more…

What role can self-defense classes play in our efforts to prevent sexual violence?

March 1st, 2016 2 comments

by Karen Stahl, Technical Assistance Coordinator for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Silhouette-of-woman-showing-stop-gesture-copy-e1410307104392The NSVRC recently received the following request for technical assistance: “As a local rape crisis center, we are frequently asked why we don’t endorse women’s self—defense classes as a way of preventing rape. We have serious concerns about the notion that self-defense classes prevent rape. Is there a national position from the anti-sexual violence movement?”

As of now, the NSVRC at least does not take an official position. We would want to see more rigorous evaluation results from proponents for self-defense classes before taking any stance. I thought it might be helpful to offer a few thoughts on my own evolution around this as I once was fairly content to agree with the questioner. But my thinking on this has evolved to consider that there is a place for certain well-designed self-defense programs that embrace an understanding of violence against women and trauma’s effects on the body as a tool of empowerment. Like so many issues, context and content are critical considerations.
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