Showing posts from December, 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (At least for some of us)

The holiday season is upon us with Christmas music, decorations, buying presents, giving to the less fortunate, and spending quality time with family and friends. Even though the holiday season tends to bring out the best in people, it is important to keep in mind that domestic violence, sexual assault, and other serious crimes unfortunately never take a day off.
However, the National Domestic Violence Hotline reports a decrease in calls, nearly 53 percent fewer on or around Christmas day. This could be due to survivors wanting to “keep the peace” for the holidays; it could also be because they don’t want to disturb Christmas for their children or more importantly, survivors may not be able to find a safe and private place to make a call to a hotline number during this busy season. Whatever the reasoning, although hotline calls may seem to decrease around Christmas time, the holiday season doesn’t last forever, and victims will always be in need of services such as emergency shelter, c…

Staying Safe on College Campuses

College can be a great experience and learning opportunity for students. There are always many activities on campuses and plenty of studying to be done at the library. Nobody would think that 25% of women that go to U.S. college campuses are sexually assaulted during their time on campus (Koss, Gidycz & Wisniewski, 1987). Through the decades there have been many approaches to spread awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. However, not all schools have the funding to acquire proper professionals and services for victims. Some of these approaches include health services, counseling services, prevention programs, consciousness-raising programs, law enforcement responses, and target hardening strategies.                                     Health services on college campuses usually offer prevention and responsive treatment for basic healthcare needs. Clinics may provide vaccinations, sexual health resources, birth control, condoms, or emergency contraceptives. They also p…

Empowering Parents & Youth Mentors: How can we give boys and young men the tools they need to respect girls, women, and themselves?

With one in six women in the U.S. having experienced sexual assault1, the first question that springs to my mind is: Why aren’t there more abundant resources for shaping boys’ and young men’s perspectives on healthy sexuality and relationships? Our boys need clear information and guidance on growing into responsible young men who reject pervasive cultural influences of macho violence, domination/subjugation of females, and glamorization of violence against women in pop culture. We have to start with the basics: How do we talk about women’s and girls’ bodies? What does consent for any kind of touching look like? While the resources for parents and mentors may seem lacking at first glance, there are books and websites as well as education programs available specifically for youth ages 12-19, ranging from PSA campaigns to year-long interactive courses to prevent attitudes and behaviors that lead to sexual assault and dating violence.
One recent review by the Sexual Violence Research Ini…