Friday, October 30, 2009

What is your Pumpkin Personality?

With Halloween just a few short hours away, I'm wondering what your "pumpkin personalities" are?

Do you prefer the classic and always-popular jack-o-lantern?

Or maybe something more haunting and scary is your style?

How about these shiny little cuties? No messy guts and all sorts of glitter.

A non-traditionalist at heart and in carving?

Or maybe you're like me and in love with these beautiful - yet time-consuming - styles?

So, let's hear it! What is your pumpkin personality? And, most importantly, have a happy and safe Halloween! (Any extra candy can be dropped off at my office!)

Can You Make a Connection for Us?

from Sondra Miller, Vice President of Community Engagement

Do you know anyone who teaches in a K-2nd grade classroom in Cuyahoga County? Do you know a guidance counselor or principal that oversees K-2 classrooms? Do you have children in an elementary or primary school? If so, would you be willing to make a connection on CRCC’s behalf?

We are trying to get our “Three Kinds of Touches” program into new school districts (public, private, charter). A flyer for the program is attached. In summary, a CRCC representative visits K-2 classrooms to talk about child sexual abuse in an age-appropriate way. Teachers usually recognize the need to talk about this in classrooms, but are often reluctant to bring the topic up themselves. That’s where CRCC can help! With the teacher in the room, we present the topic and answer children’s questions. We make this easier on the teacher and there is no cost to the school.

You can help by forwarding the name and contact information of teachers or school administrators you know who might be interested. Feel free to get their permission first. You can even forward the attached information to them and ask them to contact us directly.

We have contracted with Samantha (Sami) Bevis to facilitate this program in the classrooms. Sami will not be keeping office hours at CRCC, but will be checking messages at ext. 124 daily. You can always forward inquiries to me too.

Thanks for your help spreading the word about this much-needed program!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gang Rape at a High School Dance and the Role of Bystanders

Many of us, I'm sure by now, have heard about this case from California involving a 15-year-old girl who was beaten and gang-raped outside of her Homecoming Dance. The clip below offers a summary of this horrific case.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Clearly the actions of the perpetrators are inadmissable and illegal. But what about those who may have encouraged this assault? Witnessed what was happening and didn't take action to stop it? Or possibly even videotaped or documented it in some way?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Self Care: I Bet Colby Can Make You Smile!

from Janet Boehler, Face to Face Advocate since 2005

Colby is a one year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She came into our lives (and stole our hearts) December 8,2008. Colby was born in Nebraska.

Colby and I are currently in training for Colby to be a therapy dog. Colby has visited University Hospitals since she was a puppy and has the ideal personality to be a therapy dog! After we are certified I would like to bring her along for a F2F call, she gives lots of love and great hugs which a survivor can definitely use at a traumatic time.

Colby is small for a Chessie-she only weighs 50 lbs-but her size makes her swim like a speed boat and run like a rocket. Colby is very kind, obsessed with retrieving but by far her all time favorite is dock diving in Canada on the French River. She has no fear, she was going off 10-12 ft cliffs without any hesitation; she swims and dives for hours on end. We are going to join Buckeye Dock Divers so we can play with other water and diving addicted dogs.

One look into her beautiful golden eyes and you would love her in an instant!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Operation Cross Country 4

It's a tragedy that human trafficking exists at all. And it's terrifying to realize how close it is to our own front door. The good news is that Operation Cross Country 4 and the agencies that support this project are taking steps in the right direction.

from C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cleveland Division

Over the past week, the FBI, its local, state and federal law enforcement partners, along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) concluded Operation Cross Country 4, a three day national enforcement action as part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative.

The operation included enforcement actions in 36 cities across 30 FBI field divisions around the country and led to the recovery of 52 children who were being victimized through prostitution. Additionally, 691 others, including pimps, were arrested on state and local charges.

The Northwest Ohio Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force (NWOVCACTF) was involved in this National Initiative in Allen, Fulton and Lucas Counties. As a result of the investigative activity conducted in Northwest Ohio, seven child victims were located and/or identified, four pimps were arrested, and seventeen other adults were arrested for their respective involvement in prostitution activities.

In addition, seven individuals were detained on immigration charges in Fulton County after information was developed that they were also involved in prostitution activities with juveniles at residences maintained by migrant farm workers. Additional charges are being considered by prosecutors including compelling prostitution, promoting prostitution and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Victims as young as 10 and 13 years of age were identified as part of this investigation. The mother of the 13 year old has been charged with promoting prostitution.

The NWOVCACTF is comprised of investigators from the FBI, Toledo Police Department, Fulton County Sheriff's Office, Lima Police Department and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. The NWOVCACTF was also assisted by the Department of Homeland Security, United States Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Other assistance was provided by Lucas County Children Services and Lucas County Juvenile Probation.

Comments on Baldwin Wallace's Take Back the Night

from Alex Leslie, Community Educator

My comment on the Baldwin-Wallace Take Back the Night is below; as soon as I get some pictures from my contacts there, I’ll also send to Wendy to post:

“It takes two people to speak the truth: One to speak and another to hear.” – Henry David Thoreau

It was pretty cold. It was dark too; amazingly dark for a college campus. It also looked like it was going to rain any second, since it had been all day prior. Did I mention it was Thursday night?

Despite so many reasons to stay inside, about 100 people—students, faculty, staff, and community members included—came out to support the Baldwin-Wallace Take Back the Night (TBTN) March and Rally put on by the student group POWRE (Promoting Our Women’s Resources and Experiences). I caught up with the group of people mid-march, which wasn’t terribly difficult. “What do we want?!” “SAFE STREETS!” “When do we want them?!” “NOW!!”

Anyone who has ever been to a TBTN event knows that these chants are the rallying calls during the march, and B-W’s was just as engaging, drawing looks out front doors and causing megaphone reverberations throughout the neighborhood. The tone of the march was passionately harmonious, with many people linking arms, and everyone carrying candles. I jumped into the pack and saw some familiar faces; we had but a minute to exchange “hellos” before we were roped into another chant, “Racist, sexist, anti-gay; don’t you take our night away!” For the remaining quarter mile of the march, I joined in with the group, not knowing how many people were there until we all gathered in a fire pit area outside of the student union.

From there, Emily Mastroianni, executive board member of POWRE and former CRCC intern, took the reigns and encouraged all attendees to practice something the Quakers call, “holding in the light.” This meant that people could speak about hopes, concerns, fears, joys, etc… by first saying, “I hold in the light…” What was most powerful about the experience was how moving some of the things people were willing to “hold in the light;” some people said, “survivors,” others “those who can’t get out of dangerous relationships.” One young man said, “women who have been raped or battered,” and a woman said, “men who have been raped or sexually abused.” No one said what came to my mind; the campus of Baldwin-Wallace, a joy for an activist like me.

After about 10 minutes of sharing, everyone had the opportunity to leave, yet most stayed to chat and eat s’mores with each other (let it never be said that being an activist doesn’t have its benefits). With hugs all around, the executive board of POWRE celebrated their achievement, and thanked some student groups who sent representatives to march and speak out on violence against women in their communities.

The whole event served as a renewal to my commitment to college campuses in Northeast Ohio; if students can come and speak truth to each-other, I can certainly continue to do so myself. I look forward to continuing to work with POWRE, and look forward to greater regional partnerships between campuses, so that all violence on campuses can be addressed. I look forward to the day when the kind of truth spoken at B-W that night is the action that every student takes to prevent men’s violence against women, and indeed, all violence, on their campus.

If you are interested in the history of Take Back the Night, you can check out this link from the national organization:

If you want to plan a Take Back the Night on your campus, you can use this guide to start, and please contact me to provide support:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From the Desk of Kate Sass

Thanks, Wendy, for the very warm welcome to the CRCC and 24-Hour Services Department! I am absolutely thrilled to join the team and be a part of the Movement with all of you and I truly look forward to getting to know each of you.

All of us have been called to work with survivors and their loved ones for one reason or another. Advocacy is extremely rewarding and life-changing work, though the work can be heavy on the heart at times. As the CRCC Advocacy blog and the Volunteer Training modules continue to emphasize, it is so important that we make self-care a priority in each of our lives. I know that the team at the CRCC is devoted to helping ensure this happens for all of you amazing volunteers, and I am invested in this too.

I admire each of you for the time, talent and service you continue to give to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. I am excited to learn from you and, with your help and feedback, assist in growing the Face to Face Advocacy Program. If there is any help I can provide, or if you have questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to meeting you! Thanks for all that you continue to do for survivors and their loved ones in the community!

Scholarship Contest from the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is offering its scholarship contest again this year and it wants to get the word out about the contest to as many parents of students in grades 6 – 12 as possible. There are three scholarship prizes ($50,000, $25,000 and $15,000) for students in the 11th and 12th grades to attend an Ohio university or college.

There are also smaller prizes for students in grades 6-10.

The contest is open to students from any school (including home-schooled) in Cuyahoga, Geauga, lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit counties.

Students can submit their 500 word-essay on line. For more information including deadlines, contest rules and entry form, please visit

Monday, October 26, 2009

Very Exciting News!

I am so very excited to report that Kate Sass has joined the 24-Hour Services Department as a Face to Face Advocate!

Kate is coming to the CRCC from the Medina and Summit County Rape Crisis Center where she has extensive experience in working with survivors of sexual violence as well as victims of domestic violence. She has also worked with this population in Key West, Florida!

Kate is a graduate of Kent State University and received her Masters in Higher Education from the University of Toledo.

Kate's role is a new position that was created through the ARRA funding I posted about a few weeks ago.

She will help us expand and develop the F2F Program to meet the increase need we've seen from the community. She and I will be working over the next few weeks to evaluate the program, seek your input and work to make decisions that will further improve the quality of our F2F services, the number of requests we recieve and our rates of response.

You can expect to hear from Kate in her own words just as soon as she gets settled but in the meantime, put your hands together to welcome her to our team!

I'd also like to apologize in advance for any confusion I may cause as the result of hiring two women named Kate!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Silenced: Sexual Assault in the Military

While underreporting of sexual assault in civilian life continues to be a problem for many complex reasons, the problem has reached epidemic proportions in the United States military.

The article excerpted below examines this issue, and begins to discuss the numerous reasons that female soldiers do not report rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Excerpts from
US: Culture of Unpunished Sexual Assault in Military
Thursday 30 April 2009
by Dahr Jamail - Inter Press Service

It is not difficult to ascertain the reason for so few sexual assaults being reported in the military. Jen Hogg of the New York Army National Guard told IPS, "I helped a woman report a sexual assault while she was in basic training. She was grabbed between the legs from behind while going up stairs. She was not able to pinpoint the person who did it."

Hogg explained that her friend was afraid to report the incident to her drill sergeant, and went on to explain why, which also sheds light on why so many women opt not to report being sexually assaulted.

"During training, the position of authority the drill sergeant holds makes any and all reporting a daunting task, and most people are scared to even approach him or her," Hogg told IPS, "In this case, the drill sergeant's response was swift but caused resentment towards the female that made the report, because her identity was not hidden from males who were punished as a whole for the one."

The incident displays another tactic used in the military to suppress women's reportage of being sexually assaulted - that of not respecting their anonymity, which opens them up to further assaults.
Furthering the difficulty many military women face is the "sexist and misogynistic" culture of the military:

Like countless others, Guzman learned early that the culture of the military promoted silence about sexual assault. Her experience over the years has convinced her that sexual violence is a systemic problem in the military.

"It has been happening since women were allowed into the service and will continue to happen after Iraq and Afghanistan," Guzman told IPS, "Through the gossip mill we would hear of women who had reported being raped. No confidentiality was maintained nor any protection given to them making them susceptible to fresh attacks."

"The boys' club culture is strong and the competition exclusive," Guzman added, "To get ahead women have to be better than men. That forces many not to report rape, because it is a blemish and can ruin your career."

"When victims come forward, they are ostracised, doubted, and isolated from their communities," Fitzsimmons told IPS, "Many of the perpetrators are officers who use their ranks to coerce women to sleep with them. It's a closely interwoven community, so the perpetrators are safe within the system and can fearlessly move free amongst their victims."

One note of hope on this issue is discussed in the article. Several former soldiers who experienced sexual assault in the military have begun to organize and speak out on the issue, such as Guzman herself. Guzman is one of the founding members of the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), which works to advocate for women in the military on numerous problems, including sexual violence.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

From a Fellow Advocate

from Maria Miranda, Hotline Advocate since Fall 2007

Who votes against rape? Thirty Republican senators that's who. This year, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment that would deny defense contracts to companies that ask employees to sign away the right to sue. The amendment passed, but with THIRTY votes against it. Sounds awful enough, but when you find out why the amendment was necessary, it makes you cringe.

The amendment came in response to a case where a Haliburton employee was gang raped. She was then harassed and had her case obstructed by her offenders and other Haliburton employees. According to the article linked below, the woman was "not allowed to sue KBR because her employment contract said that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration--a process that overwhelmingly favors corporations."

So the amendment is a good thing, right? Helps survivors seek justice, right? Well, I guess the interests of multi-billion dollar coporations are more important than women's safety or employee rights to these senators.

Go here to find out WHO these thirty senators are:
Thankfully, our senators for Ohio are not on the list.

Here is the article from the Huffington Post by Alex Leo and below that is a clip from Jon Stewart who manages to present the horror of this situation in a humorous way.

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her Halliburton/KBR co-workers while working in Iraq and locked in a shipping container for over a day to prevent her from reporting her attack. The rape occurred outside of U.S. criminal jurisdiction, but to add serious insult to serious injury she was not allowed to sue KBR because her employment contract said that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration--a process that overwhelmingly favors corporations.

This year, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment that would deny defense contracts to companies that ask employees to sign away the right to sue. It passed, but it wasn't the slam dunk Jon Stewart expected. Instead the amendment received 30 nay votes all from Republicans. "I understand we're a divided country, some disagreements on health care. How is ANYONE against this?" He asked.

He went on to show video of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) arguing that it's not the government's place to decide who the government does business with and juxtaposed that with Republican sentiment on how the government should deal with ACORN. "I guess it's an efficiency thing. You don't want to waste tax-payer money giving it to someone who advises fake prostitutes how to commit imaginary crimes, you want to give it to Halliburton because they're committing real gang rape."

Read more at:

Friendly Reminder: Take Back the Night at Baldwin-Wallace

You heard about it here a few days ago, but the date has finally arrived!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Advocating for Public Policy - It Works!

from Kara Porter, Executive and External Affairs Coordinator

Part of my role as the Executive and External Affairs Coordinator is to advocate for changes and improvements in public policy. That is the reason that sometimes on this blog you may see me asking you to write to a senator or representative about a particular issue. Public policy advocacy is a confusing topic.

Before I was involved with CRCC, I didn’t know much about how to get issues noticed by elected officials – sometimes I didn’t even believe they listened to what constituents were saying. However, my experiences at CRCC have shown me that this is not the case. It is important for citizens to know that you really can make a difference on a local, state, or national level.

You can use this information about public policy advocacy for CRCC, but it also works for any issue that you are passionate about!

So what is public policy advocacy? As a very general description, I would say that it is informing elected officials about a specific issue (and your opinion on that issue) in order to influence their actions. This may involve getting an elected official to vote one way or another on an issue or encouraging the creation of legislation, among other things. This can be done through letter writing campaigns, calling your elected officials, even going to testify in front of a legislative body.

Doing these things is vitally important. Elected officials may represent hundreds to hundreds of thousands of people and they are always working on multiple issues – it is impossible for them to be an expert on every issue. Therefore, they count on the public to keep them informed.

People often say that they don’t write to or call their elected officials because they feel like their message does not actually get to that person. Honestly, I relate to that – I used to think that, too! However, elected officials have staff members to keep track of all of the phone calls, letters, etc that they get from constituents. So if they hear a lot about a specific issue, policy, or piece of legislation, their staff will make sure it is on their radar. This is why the letters that you write and phone calls you make on behalf of CRCC can be so important!

CRCC has seen success in public policy advocacy in the past few months, from helping the organization get stimulus funding to Congressman Steven LaTourette co-sponsoring The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act.

You CRCC Advocates already do so much for individuals who have survived sexual violence. It can sometimes feel like things are not changing fast enough on a big picture level. But every day people are out there advocating for systems change – and you can be one of them! Thank you for the hard work you have already done and thank you in advance for any letters you write or phone calls you make in the future. And don’t forget that you can use the same tactics for things that matter in other areas of your life.

Keep up the good work!

pictured: Ohio Statehouse in Columbus

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Killing Us Softly - Uncanny Timing of Final Installment

Here is the last installment of Killing Us Softly 3. If you haven't done so already, please check out parts one, two and three.

And I can't believe my timing but as we wrap up our blog posting on Jean Kilbourne's work, I can also announce that she will be speaking at JCU next week. I know! When do things ever come together like that?! It must be fate ...

7:00 PM
LSC Conference Room

Dr. Kilbourne is the creator of the video documentaries Killing Us Softly, on images of women in advertising, and Generation M: Misogyny in Media and Culture; as well as three other documentaries and three books on the media and culture. She has been described as “a superstar lecturer” by the Boston Globe.

Dr. Kilbourne will be speaking as part of
funded through
a Mandel Foundation Grant for Conversation and Inclusion,
and an SAF Diversity Initiatives allocation.

For more information, please contact: 216-397-4283

Monday, October 19, 2009

BW Take Back the Night Event

My name is Lorrin Pringle, and I am a senior student at Baldwin-Wallace College, in Berea, and a member of the executive board of POWRE (Promoting Our Women's Resources and Experiences), a student group on campus dedicated to service, education, and activism about women's issues.

I'm writing to each of you to invite you (and the organizations that you represent at your respective campuses) to join us for BW's 3rd Annual Take Back the Night March, which will be held at 8:00pm on Thursday, October 22nd.

We will gather in the basement of the student union at 8:00pm, to hear a brief history of Take Back the Night, both internationally, and here at BW, and then will leave together for the march. Following the march on campus and through parts of downtown Berea, we will be gathering together at the conclusion of the march for a brief reflection and smores.

It is our hope to have as many persons as are able in attendance at this event to shatter the silence and to speak out against violence toward women! The executive board of POWRE would like to extend the invitation to your campus groups to be a part of our Take Back the Night march, and to collaborate throughout the year with large events by supporting one another!

We would also like to invite you to make signs and bring them if you are attending the march. For example, a sign may say "John Carroll supports the end of violence against women!" or "Oberlin says NO to violence against women" or "Case demands an end to the violence!" Be creative and have fun with it! Many of the student organizations here on BW's campus are doing the same!

Friday, October 16, 2009

From a Fellow Advocate

from Shari Weir, Hotline Advocate since Winter 2004

No More Suffering in Silence
By CHARLES M. BLOW (Op-Ed piece from the New York Times)

Last Saturday, actor, playwright and impresario Tyler Perry posted a heart-rending message on his Web site recounting the abuses of his childhood. It was hard to read it without welling up.

His father had constantly belittled and savagely beaten him. Perry wrote that one beating was so merciless that “the skin was coming off my back.”

When he was about 10 years old, while trying to leave a friend’s house, Perry wrote that the friend’s mother made lewd and disgusting suggestions and pulled him on top of her.

At another point, Perry wrote about a man from church who had molested him.

Coming on the heels of the arrest of Roman Polanski for his 1977 crime of plying a 13-year-old girl with Champagne and Quaaludes before raping and sodomizing her, and the revelation from Mackenzie Phillips that she had had a 10-year “consensual incestuous” relationship with her own father that she believes began when she was a teenager, it raises the question: How pervasive is child sexual abuse and how often do these crimes go unreported?

The statistics are sobering.

According to a 2000 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 70 percent of all sexual assaults are committed against children. While the age with the greatest proportion of assaults reported was 14, more than half of all child victims were under 12. And of those under 12, 4-year-olds were at the greatest risk.

According to a Unicef report released this week, “5 to 10 percent of girls and up to 5 percent of boys suffer penetrative sexual abuse.” Up to three times of those numbers experience some type of sexual abuse.

The good news: Reports of sexual abuse in the United States seem to be sliding. The not-so-good news: Reports and prevalence are not the same, and it’s not conclusive that they move in concert. The bad news: If up to 3 in 10 girls and 3 in 20 boys are still being assaulted, these are epidemic proportions. And, if most cases are never reported, it’s a silent epidemic.

Like Perry, most child victims — scared, confused and ashamed — tell no one. Instead, they shunt the unsavory secret into a dark corner of the mind, where they try, alone, for years to make sense of it.

We must do a better job of helping these children realize that they are not alone, not at fault and not powerless, that there is hope and help and healing.

We need a public education campaign that speaks directly to children — on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, at the beginning of G-rated movies, on classroom bulletin boards, everywhere. Nothing graphic, just something simple: “If it feels wrong, it’s wrong. Say something. It’s your body.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

From a Fellow Advocate

from Amanda Maggiotto, Hotline Advocate since Spring 2009

Rape Survivor “Uses her Voice”

The following story was highlight on MSNBC’s The Today Show this week. This is a story of an eight year old girl, Jennifer Schuett, who was abducted, raped, and left for dead 19 years ago. Today she and her family celebrate the arrest of her perpetrator.

After the perpetrator assaulted Jennifer, he slit her throat and left her to die. Doctors did not think Jennifer would be able to speak again, but amazingly, she made a full recovery and has used her voice to tell her story. Jennifer’s story is a paragon of what many sexual assault survivors go through. Like Jennifer was literally silenced by her horrible injury, so many sexual assault survivors are silenced by those around them.

Survivors are silenced by their perpetrator, again by those who do not believe their story, and again by a society that does not want to hear about sexual assault. I commend Jennifer for telling her story—in my eyes, using her voice is the perfect revenge for her abuser.

This story also offers s another example why a hotline advocate’s job is so important. Every day we give survivors the chance to tell their story and use their voice. I hope Jennifer inspires you to use your voice to combat sexual assault.

Self-Care: Begin Again

from Claire Campbell, Child & Family Therapeutic Services Coordinator


The time of year when the light is especially nice, the shadows long, and crisp autumn air abounds. The memory of summer barbeque, endless, bright days and swimming pools make way for the scent of fire ablaze, rustling leaves and the cool darkness to begin creeping in. I have always found the seasonal shift especially potent; a time to reflect, renew, slow down and begin again.

And so, I have considered what this shift into Fall can mean for clients and all of us working to help others. Recognizing and transitioning gracefully with change is an enormous task in our hurried and busied lives. Add in trauma, and this task can easily feel like a mountain to climb. Being mindful of nature’s cue and embracing the endless rhythms and cycles is one way I illustrate and make sense out of change.

Change is all around us.

The ancient wisdom of endless change can be a wonderful gift for anyone curious and willing, to unwrap and discover. I often put forth the ideas of growth and renewal in the work I do with families, and rely on many examples to back up these sometimes seemingly momentous tasks of ‘moving through’ and beginning to heal. In my work with traumatized children and families, looking out my office window at the CRCC is an easy and obvious way we can notice the changes that are happening all around us, every moment.

In the art studio, layering a canvas with thoughts and feelings followed by color after color of paint can begin to transform the hurt into healing. A shifting of the body, our posture or muscles and the way we hold them tight can be changed to relax and notice the difference.

I am hopeful that as the beauty of fall unfolds, each one of us can take a moment each day to stop and notice the changes around us. The decision to shift and move with change is a choice I believe we can all consider.

Feeling connected to the changes around us can keep us in the present, instead of time and life moving too quickly, or out of our grasp.

Reflect, renew, slow down, breathe and begin again.

Many thanks to all of the volunteers who give of their time to support others. Keep up the amazing work!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Doctors May Be Able to Predict Domestic Abuse

I'd love to read your comments on the information below ...

Doctors May Be Able to Predict Domestic Abuse
Analysis of electronic medical records holds the key, study finds.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- It may be possible to use a person's electronic medical records to predict the likelihood of domestic abuse years before it actually occurs, according to U.S. researchers.

They analyzed the medical records of more than 500,000 adults that included at least four years of data on hospital admissions and visits to emergency departments. In total, the electronic records included more than 16 million diagnoses.

The researchers developed a scoring system to predict which people were likely to receive a diagnosis of domestic abuse. The system was able to predict future diagnoses of abuse an average of 10 to 30 months in advance, the researchers said.

For women, the risk for future diagnosis of abuse was highest among those treated for injuries, poisoning and alcoholism. Among men, the risk was highest among those treated for mental health conditions such as depression and psychosis.

The researchers also developed a prototype "risk-visualization environment" that offers doctors instant overviews of patients' medical histories and related profiles."In conjunction with alerts for high-risk patients, this could enable clinicians to rapidly review and act on all available historical information by identifying important risk factors and long-term trends," wrote Ben Reis, of the Informatics Program at Children's Hospital Boston and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, and his research colleagues.

Their findings were published Sept. 30 online in the British Medical Journal.Domestic abuse is the most common cause of nonfatal injuries among women in the United States, according to the researchers, and accounts for more than half the murders of women each year."

Doctors typically do not have the time to thoroughly review a patient's historical records during the brief clinical encounter," Reis said in a news release from the journal. "As a result, certain conditions that could otherwise be detected are often missed. One such condition is domestic abuse, which may go unrecognized for years as it is masked by acute complaints that form the basis of clinical encounters."

More informationThe American Academy of Family Physicians has more about domestic violence<>. [cid:image001.png@01CA4272.103E3E20] <>

(SOURCE: British Medical Journal, news release, Sept. 29, 2009)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Killing Us Softly - Part 3

The third installment of Jean Kilbourne's Killing Us Softly - an examination of modern-day advertisements and the effect they have on perpetuating a rape culture.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ticket Give-Away!

All you loyal readers are surely aware of the upcoming event with the No-Name Band. The great news is that this talented group of musicians is putting together a fabulous concert to raise money for the CRCC.

And the news just keeps getting better ... we have a limited number of FREE tickets available! Yes. FREE. I'm even willing to waive my usual handling fees!

If you are interested, please contact Megan O'Bryan ASAP ( or (216)619-6194 x 108) - they are first-come, first-serve and the deadline is Wednesday. Enjoy!

Programs Offered through Fairview Hospital

Teen Dating and Violence Prevention
Tuesday, October 13th

One in five teens are hit, slapped or pushed in a serious dating relationship during their teen years.

Tim Boehnlein, associate director of the Domestic Violence Center, will address the issue of teen dating violence through the use of local case studies, video presentation and discussion. Healthy relationship behaviors for teens will also be presented.

This program is cosponsored by the SANE Program at Fairview Hospital and the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

Talking to your Teenagers about Sexual Assault and Sexting
Monday, November 23rd

This educational program, co-sponsored by the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and the SANE Program at Fairview Hospital is designed for parents of teenagers and college students. Now is the time to talk to your children about preventing rape and sexual assault.

Attend this program to learn the myths and facts about sexual assault, how students can protect themselves on campus, special dynamics of alcohol and sexual assault, how to respond to a sexual assault disclosure from your child or a friend, and the legal consequences of sexting or sending nude photographs via cell phones.

These programs are free. Registration is required. Please contact 1-877-234-FITT to register for each course. Classes held at the Fairview Hospital Wellness Center, 3035 Wooster Road, Rocky River

CRCC Fundraiser with the No-Name Band

from Sarah Trimble, Director of Development

Eleven prominent Northeast Ohio community leaders will transform into rock stars and perform a benefit concert in honor of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s 35th Anniversary. The No-Name Band, which has been playing together for nine years, is made of local attorneys and judges. Their play list includes classic rock as well as music from the 1950-70s- American Oldies, British invasion and Motown.

Band members include:
Peter Broadhead - Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber
Brent Buckley- Buckley King
Steve Daniels - McMahon, Degulis, Hoffmann & Lombardi
Gina Davidson - Calfee Halter & Griswold
Hugh McKay - Porter Wright Morris & Arthur
Doug Williams - Squire Sanders & Dempsey
Judge K.J. Montgomery - Shaker Heights Municipal Court
Jim Robenalt - Thompson Hine
Randy Solomon - Baker & Hostetler
Kris Treu - Moscarino & Treu
Robert Walker - Jones Day

When: Saturday, October 17, 2009
8 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Where: Masonic Temple
3615 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland

Why: The No-Name Band will donate 100% of the proceeds from the concert to benefit Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, which is dedicated to serving survivors of sexual violence and those who support them with free comprehensive healing and advocacy services, and to creating social change in the community through education, training, and activism. For more information, visit This year marks the agency’s 35th Anniversary.

Tickets: $35 each. Includes munchies and parking. Cash bar.
Call Michelle at 216-619-6194 x148 or visit

To volunteer at the event - and get in for free - contact Kate at 216-619-6194 x116 or

Friday, October 9, 2009

Expanding Treatment for Survivors through Collaboration

I just received the NSVRC (National Sexual Violence Resource Center) Newsletter and wanted to share an excerpt from the front page ...

Excerpted from "Expanding Treatment for Survivors through Collaboration"
by Jennifer Pierce-Weeks

When victims come forward for intervention and treatment after an assault, their journey is often just beginning. It is common for victims to experience significant post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety-related symptoms, clinical depression, substance abuse problems and repeated episodes of sexual victimization.

Although the SANE/SAFE approach to caring for this specific patient population is recognized as the most effective, a greater emphasis is currently placed on evidence collection rather than overall patient health. The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) is working to change that by collaborating with victim advocates.

A wrap-around support system in the form of victim advocacy is critical ... Through education, both the advocates and forensic nurses can become familiar with the range of services each profession provides. When SANE services and victim advocates work together, the immediate and long-term needs of victims are best addressed.

Nothing you didn't already know but isn't it great to hear someone else recognize the importance of victim advocates and a collaborative response? What do you think?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Elizabeth Smart Testifies

I'm sure many of you remember the story of Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah and held captive for nine months back in 2002.

While scanning the headlines, I was surprised to come upon Smart's name once again. According to the following article from National Public Radio (, Smart's abductor, Brian David Mitchell, is undergoing proceedings to determine his competency to stand trial - for the third time since the abduction. One major difference in this third proceeding is that Elizabeth Smart herself was able to testify.

Elizabeth Smart Testifies Abductor Raped Her Daily
by The Associated Press

"Smart was poised and composed while testifying for just under two hours.
She was 14 when she was abducted from her Salt Lake City home at knifepoint in the middle of the night. Shortly after her abduction, Smart said Mitchell took her to a mountain camp and performed a ceremony she said was intended to marry the two.

"After that, he proceeded to rape me," Smart said.

She said he held her captive with a cable attached to her leg that had
a 10-foot reach. That line was attached to another cable strung between two trees.

Smart said Mitchell plied her with alcohol and drugs to lower her resistance.

"He said that he would kill anybody that would come into the camp, or kill me if I ever tried to escape or yell out," Smart testified.

Smart said Mitchell was motivated by sex and used religion to get what he wanted.

Mitchell's defense attorneys had sought to limit Smart's testimony to her experiences with Mitchell, without her opinions about his mental state.

The defense objected to the 39 so-called "lay witnesses" proposed by prosecutors, including Mitchell's family, friends or workers at Utah State Hospital, because they lacked the expertise to evaluate competency.

In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball rejected the argument as it relates to Smart, saying her testimony may help the court settle differences in the findings of experts who have evaluated Mitchell.

Experts have split opinions over Mitchell's competency and have relied on statements from others — including Smart — and past evaluations to prepare reports for the court. Kimball's ruling said Mitchell has been uncooperative with evaluators and refused to participate in diagnostic tests.

In the state court system, Mitchell was twice found incompetent to stand trial."

Personally, I was surprised to hear that Mitchell's trial is still going on, some 7 years after the crime was committed; let alone that his competency to stand trial has yet to be determined. What is your reaction to hearing this update on Elizabeth Smart's case? What impact do you think the extremely lengthy trial process may have on the number of sexual assault cases that are reported and ultimately prosecuted? I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Action Needed for VOCA

from Kara Porter, Executive and External Affairs Coordinator

October 12, 2009 is the deadline for securing co-sponsorship for The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act. The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act will:

- Establish a minimum annual cap on Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) through 2014
- Increase the VOCA cap by 23 percent each year, while leaving a balance of at least $800 million in the Fund
- Provide steady, reasonable and predictable growth in victim services through 2014

All of this, using no taxpayer dollars

This act is vitally important to Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and other organizations that serve victims of crime. We need your help! Please contact your Senator and Representative before October 12, 2009 and encourage them to co-sponsor The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act.

Contact information for your U.S. Senator can be found at
Contact information for your U.S. House Member can be found at

Please take a few minutes and email or call your Senator and Representative. Your advocacy on this issue will make a difference to victims of crime and those who serve them! Below are some suggested templates but feel free to personalize them.

For your Senator:
I am writing to encourage you to co-sponsor S.1340 The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act of 2009. The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) created the Crime Victims Fund as an important source of non-taxpayer revenues to support a wide variety of services for crime victims.

The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act of 2009 bill calls for a VOCA cap next year (Fiscal Year 2010) of $705 million, an increase of $70 million over the 2009 cap. The cap would then increase by 23 percent for each of the next four years. At the end of this period, the VOCA cap will more than double to $1.6 billion. These increases are possible because deposits into the Crime Victims Fund -- which comes entirely from criminal fines and other penalties paid by federal offenders -- are projected to substantially increase over the five year period due to a number of extremely large criminal fines.

The need for these funds is growing; the National Crime Victims Helpline reports a 25% increase in calls this year. I strongly urge you to co-sponsor this bill and provide critically needed resources to help victims of crime.


For your Representative:
I am writing to encourage you to co-sponsor H.R. 3402 The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act of 2009. The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) created the Crime Victims Fund as an important source of non-taxpayer revenues to support a wide variety of services for crime victims.

The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act of 2009 bill calls for a VOCA cap next year (Fiscal Year 2010) of $705 million, an increase of $70 million over the 2009 cap. The cap would then increase by 23 percent for each of the next four years. At the end of this period, the VOCA cap will more than double to $1.6 billion. These increases are possible because deposits into the Crime Victims Fund -- which comes entirely from criminal fines and other penalties paid by federal offenders -- are projected to substantially increase over the five year period due to a number of extremely large criminal fines.

The need for these funds is growing; the National Crime Victims Helpline reports a 25% increase in calls this year. I strongly urge you to co-sponsor this bill and provide critically needed resources to help victims of crime.


You can also help by passing this information along to your colleagues, allied professionals, family members, friends and whomever can support this important grass roots effort. Your investment of 30 minutes to contact your Congress Members and spread the word is critical to our success!

Thank you!

CRCC Receiving ARRA Funding - And Getting National Attention

I know a lot of you have heard the good news that the CRCC has received a large amount of stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act because we've received a lot of local attention. Well, now we've gone national! Check out this article that mentions the CRCC, some highlights are included below!

The government is spending $225 million in stimulus money on programs that deal with violence against women, and $100 million more to help victims of crime. This comes amid a general decline in private and state funding for such programs. The money is spread among states, territories, American Indian tribes and nonprofit social service providers.

Domestic violence and other programs have been laying off workers as private donations shrink and states including California and Illinois cut their domestic violence budgets.

Advocates are reporting more violence in crimes — even as the FBI says the number of violent crimes declined slightly in 2008 for the second year — and needier victims as support systems fray in the bad economy, said Susan Howley at
the National Center for Victims of Crime.Foundations and big donors are giving less, while some deficit-ridden states have cut aid to the programs, Howley said. Many are laying off workers. Some are even closing their doors for good. Fighting crime was one of the rationales for the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — but most of the focus has been on police, not victims.

"These funds are a vital component in our effort to not just revive our economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity and security," President Barack Obama said in March. "By keeping police officers on the streets whose jobs were threatened by budget cuts and ensuring states and municipalities have the tools and equipment necessary to fight crime, this money will simultaneously help jump-start the American economy and protect our citizens."

In Ohio, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is getting more than $770,000 in stimulus grants. It plans to hire 10 people to add therapy services, staff satellite offices and see more rape victims in hospitals. Executive director Megan O'Bryan said demand is up dramatically in the last year.
Stay tuned for updates about how we'll be making use of these funds!

Blogging 101: What does it mean to leave a comment? How is this done?

Upon reaching the CRCC blog and browsing for a bit, we hope that you will leave a comment or two on some of the postings you have read. A comment does not have to be anything fancy – it can simply be a reaction, question, or response you have regarding a post you have read.

How to Leave a Comment
Make sure you have followed the steps outlined in the previous posting. You must have a Blogger account and be signed-in in order to leave comments. So sign in, and make your way from the Dashboard to the actual CRCC blog.

At the bottom of each posting you will see a line that says “Posted by (name) at (time)” Follow along that line to the right side of the post and you’ll see the word “0 Comments” or, if others have already left a comment, it may say “2 Comments”, etc.

Click on the word “0 Comments”, and you will be directed to a new page. A white text box will appear under the words “Post a Comment”. Type whatever you want to say in that box.

Click the button that says “Post Comment” to submit your comment, or click “Preview” to see how your comment will look once it is posted.

PLEASE NOTE that all comments are moderated by Wendy Hanna. This means that when you click “Post Comment”, what you wrote will not immediately pop up on the screen. Wendy will read your comment, approve it, and at that time it will be viewable by all. So be patient and very soon, your comment should be on the blog!

Voila – you’ve just mastered the basics of blogging, and are ready to be an avid participant on the CRCC blog (which I hope you all will be!)

10/7/09 ADDENDUM
One of our volunteers, Tim Hemphill, helpfully noticed and suggested a way to leave comments without signing up for a Blogger account. When you are finished typing your comment in the text box, look beneath it and click on the pull-down menu next to the words "Comment As". You will see a list of different websites and applications, such as LiveJournal and AIM. If you have an active account with one of the sites listed, you may use that sign-in information to leave a comment. Just select the site you belong to, and click "Post Comment". You will be prompted to sign-in to your LiveJournal or AIM account, for example, and once this is done your comment will post (pending approval from Wendy!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

From a Fellow Advocate

from Maria Miranda, Hotline Advocate since Fall 2007

The recent news about Roman Polanski has gotten celebrities and "regular folk" talking about the case. While many people are calling for overdue justice, some celebrities are defending Polanski saying that enough time has passed, he's a celebrated director and that he should be forgiven. That's atrocious enough considering the life-long impact of sexual assault. What's even worse are rape apologists like Whoopi Goldberg who seems to think there is a difference between rape and "rape-rape". You see, Whoopi thinks that Polanski having sex with a 13 year-old girl wasn't "rape-rape", but some milder version of the crime.

We cannot let star power get in the way of punishing offenders who have committed criminal acts. As advocates, we can use this news headline as an opportunity to talk about the impact of sexual assault and why we need to remain vigilant in combating rape culture.

Roman Polanski is not a hero, he's a convicted rapist who never served time. There is no such thing as "rape-rape". Rape is real and we don't need people defending a criminal. We need people committed to eradicating sexual assault.

What are your reactions? Please take a moment and share them with us.

Great Volunteer Opportunity!

The CRCC is excited to announce a great fundraiser – a concert with the “No-Name Band”! The group is made up some of the Center’s biggest supporters and performs classic rock from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The concert is Saturday, October 17th at the Masonic Temple at E. 36th and Euclid from 8:00p-12:00a. All proceeds go directly to the Center.

And, of course, we could really use your help!

We’re currently looking for volunteers to help out in the following capacities:
Selling drink tickets
Selling raffle tickets
Photographers (the informal kind!)

If you are interested in volunteering, we are asking for a 1 hour commitment and then you get to rock out for free the rest of the night! Please get in touch with Kate at x116 or and check out our website for more info …

Monday, October 5, 2009

From a Fellow Advocate

From Holly Kossover, Hotline and F2F Advocate since Fall 2006 Like most of my classmates waiting for class to start, I paged through the Daily Kent Stater, just sort of scanning the articles. I don't think that the majority of people realize that most sexual assaults happen to someone that the survivor knows.

When I spotted the article, "It Was Stolen From Me", it really hit home. I don't know Denise Wright, and I can't begin to comprehend the courage it must have taken to not just write this article but know it was going to be published in a college newspaper. Not only did she put her story out there with her name attached, but she encourages people to email her. I hope that this article helps people understand how prevalent sexual assault is, and how detrimental the effects can be.

While not every sexual assault can be prevented, she does include a few good tips. I really love that she never seems to blame herself in this article (something I tend to deal with a lot on the Hotline). While I'm sure the article does not contain anything new or groundbreaking, I thought others might appreciate hearing this strong young woman's tale.

I'd like to add a thumbs up to Kent State for publishing this piece and acknowledging that sexual assault is a problem everywhere - including on their campus!

It Happened to Me

Visitors from Milwaukee

from Dan Clark, Director of Professional Training and Outreach

On September 28th and 29th, members of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team (CCSART) hosted visitors from Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s SART and Sexual Assault Advocacy Allies.

The Milwaukee team chose to visit Cleveland after conducting research to identify best practice models throughout the United States and upon recommendations of a widely cited researcher on sexual assault topics from Michigan State University and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. According to the team’s consultant, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center was identified as a best practice model in large part due to its effective collaboration between community, government and business entities, the high level of involvement and outreach of its staff and advocacy volunteers, and its strong growth in its 35 years of existence.

The following is an excerpt from an email received after the Milwaukee team returned home “We are just THRILLED with the results from our trip. You might want to prepare for CRCC getting a strong reputation as a technical assistance site -- you really showed us how it's done!” My sincere thanks go out to everyone associated with CRCC for helping to make us a nationally-recognized for serving survivors of sexual assault.

Blogging 101: What does it mean to "follow" a blog? How do I do it?

"Following” a blog is a lot like adding someone as a friend on MySpace or Facebook – by becoming a Follower, you will automatically see the latest posts to the CRCC blog when you sign-on to Blogger just like you would see your friends’ updates on the main Facebook page. As we detail below, these updates will appear on your Dashboard page on Blogger (which is very similar to a News Feed on Facebook, for those who are familiar).

As outlined below, the steps to following a blog involve:
1) Signing up for a Blogger account
2) Signing in to Blogger
3) Becoming a Follower of the CRCC Blog

1) Signing up for a Blogger Account
If you already have an account with Gmail (Google’s Mail application) you can sign-in to Blogger using your Gmail username and password. Otherwise, here is how to obtain a Blogger account:

Go to
Click on the orange button that says “Create a Blog”
Follow the next few screens and input your information (this is an easy process, since only a few of the information fields are required to register)

The registration process involves setting up your own blog, which you may choose to use or not. Once you are registered for Blogger, however, you will be able to leave comments and follow the CRCC blog!

2) Signing In
Once you’ve created your Blogger account, signing in is easy.

Go to
In the top right hand corner, put in your username and password and click “Sign In”
Presto! You’re now logged in to Blogger.

3) Becoming a Follower of the CRCC Blog
So now you’ve completed the first two steps, and are ready to become a Follower of the CRCC Blog.

The easiest way I have found to do this is provided here:
Sign up, log-in, and navigate to the CRCC blog at
At the very top of your CRCC blog screen, you’ll see a blue strip with several clickable buttons on it. Starting at the top left corner, follow the blue bar in toward the center until you see the button that says “Follow Blog”.
Click that button and you are now an official Follower!

If you do not see those buttons as an option, you may need to Sign-In again – sometimes Blogger is pesky and signs you out when you navigate to a new page.

Navigating to the CRCC Blog
The next time you visit Blogger, I’m sure you will be anxious to get to the CRCC blog!
This is easy to do.
Upon signing in, you’ll be taken to your “Dashboard” page
Scroll down the “Dashboard” page a little bit and you will see a section called “Reading List”
Under “Reading List”, click on the “Blogs I’m Following” tab. This will show you the latest posts from the CRCC blog.
If you want to visit the actual CRCC blog at this point, click on the title of any CRCC blog post and the CRCC blog will pop up in a new window.

Stay tuned for another useful post on leaving comments on what you read here on the blog!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Job Opportunities in Therapeutic Services

from Kirsti Mouncey, Clinical Director

The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is in the process of hiring for the following time limited positions with funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Please pass along to anyone who might be interested in such an opportunity.

Group and Outreach Therapist
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC) seeks a clinician to provide individual and group therapy to adult survivors of sexual assault and rape. The Group and Outreach Therapist will assist in implementing new programming such as support groups to underserved populations in mental health and substance abuse treatment settings, as well as individual therapy in satellite locations.

A qualified applicant will have experience in working with trauma survivors, mental health and substance abuse as well as a degree in Social Work, Counseling, or Expressive Therapies. Master’s degree, License (LSW, LISW, LPC, LPPC) preferred. Must be able to work some non-traditional hours. Position involves travel. This is a full time, contracted, time limited (12 months) position funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The CRCC is EOE and seeks diverse applicants. Submit cover letter and resume to Outreach Therapist Search, CRCC, The Leader Building, 526 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114; or email to No phone calls.

Family Therapist
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC) seeks a clinician to provide individual and group therapy to child & adolescent survivors of sexual assault as well as non-offending family members, guardians and other close supporters. The family therapist will assist in implementing new programming such as a child survivor support group and a psycho-educational parent group.

A qualified applicant will have experience in working with trauma survivors of all ages, as well as have a degree in Social Work, Counseling, or Expressive Therapies, such as Art or Music Therapy. Master’s degree, License (LSW, LISW, LPC, LPPC) preferred. Must be able to work some non-traditional hours. This is a full time, contracted, time limited (12 months) position funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The CRCC is EOE and seeks diverse applicants. Submit cover letter and resume to Family Therapist Search, CRCC, The Leader Building, 526 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114; or email to No phone calls. No phone calls.

Case Manager
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC) seeks a qualified individual to assist survivors of sexual assault over the phone and/or face-to-face with initial needs outside of therapeutic realm such as emotional support; referrals for services within CRCC and to appropriate community agencies; facilitation of follow-up care and discharge planning.

A qualified candidate will have experience in working with trauma survivors of all ages; knowledge of community resources and local social service providers as well as a degree in Social Work or related field, LSW preferred. Must be able to work some non-traditional hours. This is a full time, contracted, time limited (12 months) position funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The CRCC is EOE and seeks diverse applicants. Submit cover letter and resume to Case Manager Search, CRCC, The Leader Building, 526 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114; or email to No phone calls.

Thank you!

Fall Support Groups Begin

from Allison Hrovat, Adult Therapeutic Services Coordinator

After taking the summer off to move and get settled into our new home, I am happy to report that we have recently started up our survivor support groups here at our new home. Our survivor support groups offer participants a chance to meet other survivors in a safe, therapeutic environment where they can support one another in working towards personal goals.

The support groups are most appropriate for survivors who have had the opportunity to do some work in individual therapy and are now looking for an opportunity to focus on some aspect of how each person’s trauma history impacts their life in the present. Some common themes that arise in these present-centered support groups include relationship issues, communication concerns, difficulties dealing with family, self-esteem problems, anxiety, boundary issues, etc. Though many common themes emerge, each group member sets her/ his own goal to work towards during the 12- week group module.

I’ve been so excited to get this round of groups going. We’ve had a lot of interest in support groups over the summer and many people have been patiently waiting for group to start. In our old space we had only one official group room and here in the new space we have more spaces available for that purpose, so I’m really hoping that our support groups will only continue to become more and more popular.

I oftentimes get calls from people who have heard about our support groups through calling the hotline, so thank you all for your part in getting the word out about this program. I’ve recently created a new flyer promoting our survivor support groups and thought I’d share it with you here:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Self-Care: In the Kitchen with Allison

from Allison Hrovat, Adult Therapeutic Services Coordinator

In my work at CRCC, I spend a lot of time working with clients on developing plans for self-care. Trauma impacts an individual on many different levels, and making the decision to seek support and begin working on the effects of an individual’s trauma history requires hard work. During this work it is especially important that clients are able to find time for self-care.

Likewise, trauma impacts the people that support survivors. In order for staff and volunteers of CRCC to be able to effectively do their jobs, it is important that we are able to do the very thing we encourage clients to do- namely to take really good care of ourselves. One of my favorite methods of self-care is cooking. I love being surrounded by fresh ingredients and creating something new every time I step into the kitchen. As summer comes to a close and the end-of-the-season produce is in abundance, I start thinking of the soul-satisfying meals of fall. With the leaves beginning to change, so does my appetite…whereas the summer days have been filled with guacamole and corn on the cob, fall promises satisfying soups and anything made from apples.

One of my favorite recipes isn’t much of a recipe at all- just a few ingredients thrown together and cooked for a few hours. If you have a slow cooker or a crock-pot and like apple cider, I encourage you to try this out (you can also make this in a pot on the stove, it just requires attention). I can think of few things more comforting than the way the house smells as this cooks...I hope you’ll enjoy and be encouraged to continue to find new methods of self-care in your own life!

Spiced Cider
-apple juice (qty. depends on the size of your slow cooker, usually 1-2 large bottles. I use the unfiltered kind, I think it has better flavor)
-2 to 3 cinnamon sticks
-1 orange
-whole cloves

1. Pour apple cider into slow cooker, about 1 inch from the top.
2. Use whole cloves to “stud” the orange (push the pointy end of the clove into the orange, I usually put about 10-15 cloves into the orange).
3. Place studded orange into the apple juice along with cinnamon sticks.
4. Cook on low for a few hours until fragrant….enjoy!
*As you begin to drink the cider, you can continue adding more juice to keep cooking more cider.

Sexual Violence Prevention on College Campuses

from Sondra Miller, Director of Education, Outreach and Community Partnerships

We’ve all heard the statistics that women of college-age are most at risk of being raped, so of course CRCC is working with local campuses to prevent sexual violence. Alex Leslie is our resident expert at working with the college population. Here’s a quick list of things he’s working on:

· Partnered with John Carroll University and Domestic Violence Center on the university’s new Safe Space: Violence Prevention and Action Center

· Co-facilitate John Carroll’s 1 in 4 program for college men interested in sexual violence prevention

· Train Case peer educators on how to talk to fellow students about sexual violence prevention

· Presented to John Carroll’s football and men’s soccer teams

· Worked with women’s group POWRE on Baldwin-Wallace College’s campus to expand outreach

· Led a prevention committee convened as a part of the Ohio Campus Safety Task Force, sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Women’s Initiatives

· Presented at the Ohio campus safety conference as a panelist addressing prevention efforts

Do you have ideas about people, campuses or organizations that we can partner with to reach more college students? We’d love to hear them!