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Showing posts from April, 2013

Institutional Betrayal and Sexual Assault

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As Sexual Assault Awareness Month comes to an end, it beckons for everyone to reflect on how to continue opening other’s minds to the pandemic of sexual assault. This is not a 30-day sprint to educate the world about an ongoing oversight in public health, but should be seen as a month to brainstorm and reflect on progress, milestones reached, and the steps that need to be taken in the next year to continue the awareness.
A particular area of interest in sexual assault research and awareness is campus sexual assault. Many researchers have looked at a variety of causes and consequences of being sexually assaulted while attending a university.
A recently published article investigated one of the many possible reasons why sexual assault is hardly ever reported, institutional betrayal. These institutions are often entrusted and are depended on by the individuals that are enrolled. When a sexual assault is reported and not prosecuted or the institution perpetuates an atmosphere where sexual…

The Fortress

The poem below was something I wrote in 2009, only a year and a half into actively working on recovery. To me it's a statement of the silence and isolation that abuse often impose on it's victims. It's also a statement of the additional affects sexual abuse has on male victims. Our need to appear strong, to appear in control, and the mask of anger and distance boys and men often adopt to hide the fear and anxiety we feel inside. Our society tells us we're not allowed to be hurt, or feel pain, we're not allowed to be victims. So we often seize upon the ideas of independance, power, and anger to keep ourselves safe......   yet sadly in erecting that impressive fortress, we only build a prison that keeps us alone, in pain, and stuck without any idea how to break free and move forward into real living again.

The Fortress
Quiet and dark upon a perilous crag,
sits a lonely fortress.
Waves far below crash against it's
foundation of stone.
The cold and icy breeze blowing…

Origins of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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April is designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).SAAM’s purpose is to educate our communities and raise awareness about sexual violence. Over the years, the national campaign for SAAM has emphasized the prevention of sexual violence. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) has unveiled the 2013 campaign. The focus of this year’s campaign is healthy sexuality and child sexual abuse prevention.Their slogan is “It’s time…to talk about it!Talk early, talk often.Prevent sexual violence.”



SAAM was nationally recognized for the first time in April 2001.The roots of SAAM date back to the first documented Take Back the Night march that took place in Brussels, Belgium during The International Tribunal on Crimes against Women. The Tribunal was held March 4-8, 1976. As a result of this march a movement known as Reclaim The Night was born. Reclaim The Night marches occurred throughout Europe, Australia, and India. The most notable Reclaim The Night march occurred in Leeds,…

Long Lasting Effects of Child Sexual Abuse

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Sexual assault can affect anyone men, women, and unfortunately even children.Every year, an alarmingly high number of children become victims of sexual assault and many of these children never get the support or assistance they need after such a traumatic occurrence.In the spirit of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we hope to raise awareness on the importance of educating children, parents, and communities about child sexual abuse prevention, in hopes that far less children are affected by sexual assault.
Child sexual abuse can be a devastating event in the life of a child.Many children are embarrassed, scared, or too confused to come forward with the abuse that has happened to them.In many cases these children live the majority of their childhood and perhaps the rest of their lives without ever telling about the abuse that has happened to them.When a child goes on without disclosing abuse it can follow them and affect them even into adulthood.According to 1in6, children who experience …

We are happy to announce Adam H. as a summer intern!

Transitions is happy to announce Adam H, an intern from Penn College, who has been with us since January will be staying through the summer.
My name is Adam H. I have been pursuing an education in the Human Service field at Pennsylvania College of Technology. In May I will be graduating with an associate’s degree and hope to eventually further my education and receive my bachelor’s degree. I have done some volunteer work at the Donald Heiter Community Center in their after school program. I volunteered a day of work at 10,000 Villages in Lancaster and also volunteered at a 10,000 Villages sale that was put on by the school. I have been volunteering at Transitions through an internship at Penn College. I have also been blessed with the opportunity to help children at the prime stages of their lives at Transitions.

Abuse Happens Even In Controlled Environments

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According to a study funded by the United States Department of Justice, many youths who are detained are being victimized.These numbers are self-reported by the youth who are detained.
10.8% of males and 4.7% of females reported sexual activity with facility staff.9.1% of females and 2.0% of males reported unwanted sexual activity with other youth.Youth with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual reported significantly higher rates of sexual victimization by another youth (12.5%) compared to heterosexual youth (1.3%).
Youth who had experienced any prior sexual assault were more than twice as likely to report sexual victimization in the current facility (24.1%), compared to those with no sexual assault history (10.1%).
The above statistic is especially unsettling to me.We know that in the general population, an adult who was a sexual abuse victim as a child is an average of 2.5 more likely to be a sexual abuse victim as an adult than a woman who had not been abused in childhood. (Cl…

Reflections of Yesteryears

Reflections of Yeseteryears
Reflections of yesteryears with the sweet aromas
of gram-ma’s perfume lingering in my mind.

Kind words and a smile that reminded me of her love
as fries potatoes and sausages cooking on the stove.

Looking back with my childhood eyes, the
thoughts running wild of a better place in time.

Believing life was wonderful with no grief or pain
numb to the suffering of my lost childhood dreams.

Sexually abused by an uncle with desires of his own;
with my mind racing with nightmares of yesteryears grows.

Looking back has a place in your today, and
looking ahead has a place in tomorrow.

But, living today is what God has given us,
so by His grace that is where I will stay for the day.
Poem submitted by Patti S.

Bystander Awareness

April has been designated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) as Sexual Assault Awareness month.Granted, sexual assault is not a pleasant topic, especially when it involves children, which is the focus of this year’s awareness.When we hear of cases where adults have used children as a means to gratify themselves sexually, most of us are appalled and outraged.It is always an additional shock to find out that many people knew or suspected the wrongdoing all along, and did nothing to stop it.

Surely if bystander adults only knew of the dire, sometimes life-spanning, physical and mental health issues that face our young victims, more people would step forward to prevent all forms of sexual harm to children.
No matter how objectionable the topic, this is a serious issue that needs to be at the forefront of our thoughts, our plans, and our policies, not just here at Transitions, but in our homes, schools, churches, and communities.When research findings suggest that an est…

Coasters Educate Patrons About Consent

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As the month of April begins, we here at Transitions are preparing for another sexual assault awareness month.It is during this month that we focus on spreading awareness and informing the community about sexual assault, its prevalence, its effects, and who it can happen to.This year, during the month of April, one of our focuses is on sexual assault and alcohol use.
According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), alcohol is involved in more incidents of sexual violence than any other drug.When an individual is under the influence of alcohol, even if they consent to drinking, they may not be able to make sound decisions.If they participate in sexual activities, it can be considered rape.A drunken person (man or woman) is unable to give consent when they are drunk.Giving someone alcohol in hopes that they will loosen up or lower their inhibitions and have sex is rape.
Some people may not realize that using alcohol in this manner is rape.So, it is important to inform the comm…