Wednesday, March 31, 2010

House Bill 10

From Progress Ohio and The Plain Dealer

Governor Ted Strickland just signed a new law that gives juvenile judges new tools to protect teens after the Ohio Senate passed the House Bill only days ago.

House Bill 10 authorizes juvenile court judges to issue and enforce protection orders defending one minor from another when one has been accused of committing felonious or aggravated assault, menacing by stalking, a sex crime or similar offense. The House Bill takes effect in 90 days.

Linda Dooley Johanek, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Center of Greater Cleveland, cites the following statistics: about one in three high school students has been or will be involved in an abusive relationship; 38 percent of date rape victims are 14 to 17 years old; 40 percent of teenage girls in that same age group acknowledge that they know someone their age who has been hit by a boyfriend.

Ohio lawmakers were prompted to write a bill after the murder of Shynerra Grant, 17, of Toledo. Shynerra was killed by an ex-boyfriend in 2005. Johanna Orozco provided fearless testimony when lawmakers were deciding the passage of the bill. Johanna survived being raped, stalked and shot in the face by a former boyfriend three years ago, and was unable to obtain a protection order from police because the law did not allow protection orders for minors.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Healing Images from the CRCC Art Studio

from Claire Campbell MA,AT,PC;NCC, Child and Family Therapeutic Services Coordinator

As many of you know, the CRCC offers the use of the expressive therapies in our clinical work with survivors of sexual assault. This approach provides an opportunity for clients to engage both verbally and non-verbally to assist in the transforming of ideas, thoughts and feelings. This expressive approach to therapy includes opportunities such as creating journals, altered book projects, sculpting, painting, collage, breath work, movement and therapeutic play. Each client is supported to work in a way that feels comfortable, safe and present centered.

The images following are just a handful of the countless transformations that happen daily at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. May you be inspired by the healing images and continue the incredible work you do as volunteers advocating and supporting survivors of sexual violence!

Acrylics, recycled book - 14 year old survivor - Altered Book Project

This project focuses on a client's strengths and abilities to transform an object ... to retell or rewrite their story.

Acrylics on canvas - CRCC staff and children at Camp Create 2009
This collaborative project allows for a shared experience including each individual contribution to the greater good. This image now has a permanent home in the CRCC's child and family waiting room.

Watercolors on paper - Camp Create Participants - Inspired by Nature Project
This project allows participants to focus in on their sense of sight and be influenced by the beauty around them at Camp. This is a non-threatening approach to introducing Campers to the landscape on their first day of Camp Create.

Sand tray, popsicle sticks, marbles, etc. - 4 year old survivor - Sand Tray Work
This type of expressive therapy allows a defined space for clients to explore feelings and problem solve in a contained, safe and therapeutic environment. This particular client found great satisfaction ordering, controlling and designing each object in the sand tray each session she visited.

Acrylic on canvas - 11 year old survivor - Layered Painting project
This project allows clients opportunities to explore all the layers of experiences that they have and an acknowledgement that one experience does not define a person.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Are We There Yet?

In 1970, 46 women filed a landmark gender-discrimination case. Their employer was NEWSWEEK. Forty years later, their contemporary counterparts question how much has actually changed.

Are we there yet?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Issue 15 Volunteer Opportunity

The Issue 15 Campaign needs your help this Saturday assembling yard signs. This event is great fun for the entire family.

9am – 12 NOON

15500 South Waterloo Road

Snacks and drinks will be provided.
Free parking in the Foodbank lot. Enter through the main door.

Vote FOR ISSUE 15, to protect the critical health and human services for hundreds of thousands of citizens throughout Cuyahoga County. These are vital services for kids, for seniors, and for ALL of us when emergency strikes.

Be the first in your neighborhood to show your support for Issue 15!

For questions, directions, or to RSVP, contact the campaign office at 216-778-0110 or
Ericka at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Regarding the Polygraphing of Victims

from the Plain Dealer, by Regina Brett

Juvenile Court Judge Alison Floyd needs a new calendar.

Last time I checked, it was 2010, not 1970.

The judge ordered three teenaged rape victims to take polygraph tests.

You read correctly.

She ordered the victims of sexual assaults to take lie-detector tests.

She gave that order after the offenders had been found delinquent, the juvenile court equivalent of guilty. The case involved four offenders and three victims.

If the judge doubted the facts of the case, why did she find the boys delinquent? Why didn't she gather more information instead of casting doubt on the victims?

Court administrators said the court wouldn't pay for the lie-detector tests the judge ordered. They must expect the victims to pay.


for the article in its entirety, including reaction from Megan O'Bryan, please click here

Thank you, Steve

Thank you to Steve Wertheim of 211.

Steve presented on services and programs that 211 offers. As Steve talked it became clear why we often refer callers to 211. 211 Cuyahoga County is one of the Top 10 211s in the country.

I can’t list all that they do but here are some of the things.
  • They are the Homeless Hotline and have a list of all of the shelters and who has openings.

  • They are the Foreclosure Prevention Hotline and offer services to prevent foreclosures.

  • They offer a translation system so that a caller can speak any language and they will be able to get a translator on the phone with them.

  • They offer assistance with prescriptions and medical care.

  • They have a list of food pantries that are open on any given day and can tell callers which Food Bank is the one they should be going to.

  • They offer information on programming for seniors.

  • They can tell a caller what documentation they need to bring with them when applying for social services.

They have an on line database of services that callers can access or you can simply refer to 211 Cleveland. If a caller has an issue that you are not sure where to refer them - 211 will probably have the answer.

Additional Continuing Education Dates Scheduled.

April 15th Lydia Troha from the Board of Developmental Disabilities

May 17th Tracie Paine a Neuroscientist presenting on PTSD and the Brain

June 16th

July 21st

August 31st

September 20th

October 20th

November 18th

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Race for the Place

from Ashley Hawke, Director of Advocacy Services

I recently started volunteering at The Gathering Place - a cancer support center in Cleveland offering a wide variety of free programs and services addressing the social, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of individuals with cancer and their families and friends.

I am on the Executive Committee for TGP's annual fundraiser, Race for the Place! On Sunday, June 6th, 2010 - National Cancer Survivors Day - The Gathering Place is hosting the tenth annual Race for the Place presented by Medical Mutual and University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center at Beachwood Place.

Show your encouragement for your community members who have been touched by cancer by recruiting your friends, classmates, families, and co-workers – near and far – to form a team. Please consider participating in this 5k or 1mile race by reviewing the save-the-date and invitation to create a team.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or visit

Registration for the race is now LIVE on the website! Also, if you raise $500 from family and friends to support your participation in the Race OR recruit a team of 25 people to participate in the Race, you will be registered to win four airline tickets on Continental and a week-long stay at a condo in Hilton Head!! For more details on this fabulous package, visit

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Polygraphing of Victims

from Megan O'Bryan, President and CEO

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center works to advocate for a criminal justice system that supports survivors of sexual violence who have the courage to come forward and report the crime to law enforcement.

Unfortunately, even in 2010, we have a confusing system and one that often re-victimizes survivors. Only 20-40% of sexual assaults are ever reported to police. A system that is unfriendly to survivors contributes to this alarming statistic.

Last week Cleveland Rape Crisis Center confirmed that Juvenile Court Judge Alison Floyd is using a practice that is counter to victims being supported and believed, the polygraph test. The judge has asked four sexual assault victims to submit polygraphs, even after their attackers had been found delinquent (or guilty). The teens have not followed through on the judge’s order. Regardless of the verdict this is a practice that CRCC opposes.

First asking sexual assault victims to undergo a polygraph violates federal law mandated within the 2005 Violence Against Women Act. By doing so, Judge Floyd is actually putting Cuyahoga County at-risk of losing federal dollars for local law enforcement and even Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Communities had up until last year to come into compliance with VAWA and end the practice of polygraphing victims.

Philosophically this practice tells victims that as criminal justice authorities we don’t believe your story. It can cause anxiety for victims causing them to decide to recant or not cooperate with the process. Polygraphing continues the pervasive myth that sexual assault survivors lie, when in fact studies show that only 4% of cases are unfounded. (This percentage is on par with other crimes.) The publicity about this practice may discourage other survivors from coming forward.

Fortunately, there has been an outcry about this outdated and unsupportive practice. CRCC has been asked to comment on this problem for The Plain Dealer, Channels 3 and 19, and Ms. Magazine’s blog. We will continue to speak out to the media and the community against polygraphing victims, and we hope you will, too!

Interested in the references Megan made above? Check them out here ...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Free Indians Tickets!

We are very excited to be able to offer you the opportunity to receive free tickets to the Cleveland Indian’s. Business Volunteer Unlimited (BVU) is offering 2 free tickets to a Cleveland Indian’s Game. BVU designed this program to promote and celebrate volunteerism in our community.

In order to qualify volunteers must register with BVU and log their 20 or 24 hours of service at their website. Hours in March will qualify you for this event as long as at least 4 of those hours were volunteered after March 15th and all hours must be logged before September 23rd.

Directions on Registering at BVU

Once you have completed your hours for the month Register with BVU and Log your hours in order to qualify.

To register with BVU visit on the bottom left click on the Get Started button. You will be brought to a new page, find the section that says Volunteer Login and click on the link Not Registered? Sign up now.

Register with your information (*be sure to enter in the correct mailing address when you fill out your profile so that once you complete your hours BVU is able to send you the voucher to the correct mailing address). Hit next and then click the link to Search for volunteer opportunities.

Enter the key word Rape with the zip code 44114 and hit search. Click on the program you will be completing your hours in. You will be brought to a new page.

At the bottom click on the link Log your hours online. There will be two boxes Select Number of Hours and Select Date leave those boxes empty.

Fill in the next section choosing the first date of the month that you volunteered and the last date of the month that you volunteered and enter how many hours you volunteered during that time. Select the Individual option and then click Okay and your volunteer hours have been submitted!!!

I will verify your hours and send a letter to BVU letting them know that you qualify for the free tickets.

I do not know how long it will take for BVU to send out the vouchers for the free tickets once you have completed your hours so don't wait until right before the game you want to see before logging your hours.

Volunteers will receive a Ticket voucher that may be redeemed for two tickets at one of the following dates: Friday, April 16, 2010; Saturday, April 17, 2010; Sunday, April 18, 2010; Friday, April 30, 2010; Sunday, May 02, 2010; Monday, May 03, 2010; Tuesday, May 04, 2010; Friday, May 07, 2010; Monday, May 24, 2010; Tuesday, May 25, 2010; Monday, June 07, 2010; Friday, June 11, 2010; Tuesday, June 15, 2010; Thursday, June 17, 2010; Monday, June 28, 2010; Tuesday, June 29, 2010; Thursday, July 01, 2010; Friday, July 16, 2010; Tuesday, July 27, 2010; Friday, August 06, 2010; Tuesday, August 10, 2010; Tuesday, August 24, 2010; Sunday, August 29, 2010; Tuesday, August 31, 2010; Thursday, September 23, 2010. Dates

If you have any questions about this opportunity please feel free to contact me, Sarah, at or 216-619-6194x116.

We are still participating in Disney’s Give a Day Get a Day event. For more information on that visit our Disney’s Give a Day Get a Day Post.

Friday, March 19, 2010

We Can Talk RALLY!

from Sondra Miller, Vice President of Community Engagement

Dear Advocates:

We Can Talk!

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is joining Bellflower Center for Prevention of Child Abuse for a campaign during April's Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month to spread the word that it is okay to talk as a community, family, organization or school about child abuse and sexual assault. The more we talk about how these issues impact us, the more likely we are to prevent them from happening.

There are three ways you can help:
  1. Join us at a community rally on April 1st from Noon -1:00 on Mall C in downtown Cleveland (Lakeside Avenue between Ontario and E. 6th) to kick-off the campaign. Ohio Senator Nina Turner will fire up the crowd and lunch will be available for just $3. More details on the attached flyer. (And nothing is better than fresh lake air over a spring lunch hour!)

  2. Become a fan of the We Can Talk! fan page on Facebook. Our goal is to get at least 2010 fans by the end of April. Link to Facebook:

  3. Invite others to do the same. Organize a group to come to the rally. Wendy can provide flyerst to post in your office and your coffeehouse. Invite others to join our fan page.

As always, we appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing you on April 1.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Allow me to introduce ... Rachel Floriano!

I'd like to introduce everyone to Rachel Floriano. A wonderful Hotline Advocate since Spring 2008 with a wonderful personality to match!

I had a few questions for Rachel ...

What led you to volunteer with the CRCC?
I was looking for something to do over the summer that was related to my field of study (psychology) and my friend at college, Kim Zarczynski, told me about the CRCC. We decided to go through training together and it was an amazing experience. (I secretly want to sneak back into training and do it all again!)
Rachel and Kim

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with the CRCC?
I like the feeling that I have helped someone in some small way. When someone leaves the hotline in a better mood than when they called, I know that I have done something good for someone else and I like that.

What do you find most challenging about volunteering with the CRCC?
What I find most challenging and most rewarding is forgetting about myself, my opinions, and how good or bad my day was, and focusing entirely on someone else for those few minutes so that I can make someone else's day better.

What do you do most often to practice self-care?
After a shift I will frequently need an hour or two of relaxation time so I make sure that it is available. If I have a particularly stressful shift I will read trashy romance novels for a few hours or watch some cartoons so that I spend the next few hours smiling and laughing to balance myself out.

If money wasn't an issue, describe your ideal vacation. Where would you go? What would you do? Who would you take with you?
I am planning my dream vacation - a trip to Rome with my boyfriend and best friend and I am SO excited about that. We plan on going to as many historical sites as we can possibly cram into 7 days. I will be sure to send pictures when I get back!

What is your dream car?
An antique 60s mustang convertible.

Well first I have to say I don't really have a favorite thing because I have this knack for loving everything. I think this makes my life richer ... my mom says it just means I hate making decisions. Lol. Maybe it's a little of both.

Book: I could spend my entire life reading if you let me so this is very difficult. A few of my favorites are Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, anything by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, I like the new Dexter novels by Jeff Lindsey, Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold ... OK I just love to read. I guess that will suffice!

Website: The CRCCs of course! Lol. I also love and

Music: Oh gosh ... I particularly love country music, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum. But I also love Jay Sean, Beyonce ... I love everything except polka, how does that work?

Meal: Mom's Swedish meatballs and brownie pie

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Irish or not, I wish you all an extra bit of luck today ...

... and extra cookies too!

The view of the parade from the CRCC offices ...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Continuing Education - 211/First Call for Help

Our next exciting Continuing Education Event is almost here!!

We will be having a speaker coming from 211 Cleveland. 211/First Call for Help is a hotline available through the United Way and is available 24/7. It can assist anyone looking for social service, health and government resources in Cuyahoga, Geauga, or Medina counties.

As you all know, 211 is a resource we use often in our volunteer work. This session will help you to better understand what 211 can do and how they do it!

Who: Steve Wertheim from 211
What: Information Session on 211
Where: CRCC’s Training room (14th floor) 526 Superior Ave. Cleveland, 44114
When: March 23rd at 6pm
Why: 211 is a common referral on the hotline and this is a great opportunity for us to gain a better understanding of how 211 works and all it has to offer.

Spots are still open! If you would like to attend please RSVP to me. or 216-619-6194 x116.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Welcome Back, Ashley!

from Ashley Hawke, Director of Advocacy Services

Hello advocates!

I am excited to be back at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center! Some of you may remember that I left the CRCC about 10 months ago to work on an Office on Violence against Women Campus Grant program at John Carroll University.

It is energizing to be surrounded by individuals so passionate and dedicated to ending sexual violence. For those of you who I already know, I am looking forward to working with you again! To the volunteers that I have not met - I can’t wait to get to know you!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at extension 103 or if you have questions or comments about JSA. Thanks for all that you do!

Friday, March 12, 2010

48 States in 48 Weeks

This guy is amazing!

Some of us get our best ideas in the shower, but they don't usually change the course of a year of our lives. Not so for Idaho resident Drew Johnson who "had an epiphany one morning in the shower." The epiphany? To travel around the country volunteering -- one state per week for 48 weeks. Since his journey began in South Dakota, he's done everything from building houses for Habitat for Humanity to working with hospice caretakers to supporting environmental initiatives. But on his trip, which is supported by gifts from strangers, Drew is also promoting a lifestyle that focuses on "STO" -- service to others.

Check out more about Drew and his project here!

What is 48 by 48? 48 by 48 is the name of my plan to travel to the forty-eight contiguous United States in forty-eight weeks doing a variety of volunteer/service work in each state.

What's the Mission of 48by48? To lend a hand to people and organizations of all ages, backgrounds, and affiliations while promoting a “Service to Others” lifestyle.

What are the Primary Goals of 48by48?

  • Travel to all 48 contiguous states in 48 weeks.
  • Serve / Volunteer in each state for a minimum of 5 days or 25 hours.
  • Lead by example in the “Service to Others” (STO) lifestyle.
  • Connect people to local organizations and connect organizations to local people (needs).
    Promote the STO lifestyle.
  • Create a variety of resources to help others accomplish the STO lifestyle.

What does the “Service to Others” lifestyle look like? The identifying marks of a person who exemplifies the STO lifestyle is one who:

  • Cares deeply about the needs of others.
  • Actively looks for ways to serve others.
  • Has a good balance of realism and creativity when helping to meet the needs of others.
  • Spends ones thoughts thinking about how to see others succeed.
  • Using their influence to bring about positive outcomes in the people and organizations they serve.

What an inspiration!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Congratulations and Thank You, Sarah Kostick!

Each year the CRCC selects one volunteer to be recognized as the United Way Spotlight Volunteer. This year, Sarah Kostick was chosen - and for good reason!

Sarah is a third year law student at Case Western Reserve School of Law, where she is focusing on criminal and international law. She spent the summer of 2009 in Arusha, Tanzania, clerking at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Throughout her three years at Case, she has been a member of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and the International Law Student Association.

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys yoga, horseback riding and pilates, attending films and concerts, cooking and running (she's even training for a 1/2 marathon that she'll run the day of her graduation!).

Somehow with all of this on her plate Sarah has found time through it all to stay involved with both the Hotline and F2F Programs. She was a clear choice for this honor and was rewarded with 3 wonderful dates to the United Way recognition luncheon and annual meeting this past Friday - her boyfriend, Sarah Bartholomew and me!

Sarah Kostick and her boyfriend, Jerid Kurtz

Sarah received recognition in the program, was acknowledged during the meeting and got a certificate to take home. She (and other volunteers) are also recognized in the UW e-newsletter.

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Sarah Kostick, 2.5-year volunteer “Sarah has been an invaluable resource for those seeking the services of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and she finds time in her busy schedule to address the needs of the community,” said Wendy Hanna, Director of Volunteers and 24-Hour Programs. “She’s a big-picture thinker with the motivation and follow-through needed to make changes for survivors of sexual assault.”

You can get more details on the annual meeting here.

Congrats, Sarah! And THANK YOU!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Positive Well Being

from Annette Kent, Group and Outreach Therapist

Self care is very important for advocates of sexual assault survivors. This article is about Positive Well Being and reminds us to focus on strengths, best qualities and empowerment for ourselves.I picked this link because focusing on "the positive" is sometimes helpful when working with trauma survivors. As advocates when we listen to survivors stories, hear their overwhelming emotions, and feel their pain from loss we are witness to a violent crime. Reminding ourselves of the positive can help balance the negativity of sexual violence.

Facilitating in a weekly teen Careers class this week brought to light something I have been mulling over for a while: why is it often the case that we immediately remember the faults or flaws about ourselves, rather than instantly call up our strengths, instead? Even the most positive of us will fall prey to negative and self-critical thinking. What is this about?

When I joined the adolescent Career class again this week and asked the students to offer a quick review from the previous week, I half expected them not to remember. They surprised me.

Several of the students said: "We talked about what we are good at. We talked about our strengths. We sculpted objects as symbols to represent our best qualities." These students get it. They get positive psychology.

Their comments got me thinking: maybe what current CEO's, leading psychologists, and even neuroscientists are proposing - that creativity and strength recognition is essential and elevates productivity and success in the workplace - is continually evidenced in both my private art therapy practice and in my coaching business. Pulling back the curtain on the psychology behind this reveals the teachings of my personal "positivity mentor," Marty Seligman, dubbed, the "Father of Positive Psychology."

Marty claims that with our disease/ 'what's-wrong-with-us' model, that has served as our foundation for over 60 years, we have really done ourselves an injustice. He believes that: "In our rush to do something about people in trouble; in our rush to do something about repairing damage, it never occurred to us to develop interventions to make people happier...positive interventions."

In the teen classroom, the college classroom, art therapy studio, and with coaching clients, we use whatever intervention is best suited to uncover strengths, creative traits, and what Seligman calls, PWB - positive well-being. With the fusion of creative materials, play, one-on-one and group dialogue, writing, one's willingness, and the psychological and mindful understanding of what is in the hearts, minds, and actions of people, we have all the ingredients for PWB.

And when we have PWB, we can do anything; get any job interview, market ourselves, land ideal employment, or launch our new business. Positivity and client strength identification is the cornerstone of my marketing and coaching business. When you feel good, you can do anything. Really.

I used an art intervention with the students I coached this week. They want to feel good. They want to be successful. They want to feel empowered, whether in the classroom or the workplace. And for me, the best takeaway of all, was that I witnessed that they loved - no, craved - learning what's right with them.

Let's be in a rush to look at what's right with you, with me, with others. Let's re-brand and market ourselves in strength and positivity. Let's change the evolutionary pattern of modern psychology and "post modern-mindfully," put a new face on it. Let's use our creative interventions, whatever they may be (and we all have them!), to go get some PWB.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

GKB - Info and Volunteer Opportunties

from Mindy Ghaemaghamy, Family Therapist

Girls Kick Butt began in 1998 as a prevention program for adolescent girls. The purpose of Girls Kick Butt is to teach knowledge, skills, and attitudes that can help prevent sexual assault to girls ages 12-18.

The main goals of GKB are to build self esteem, reduce young women’s risk of sexual violence, and teach healthy behaviors. We work very hard to create an environment where girls will not only feel physically safe but emotionally safe as well. This is a place where girls can ask questions and not be judged, ridiculed, humiliated, or belittled. Girls are not expected to share their story or even disclose whether they are a sexual assault survivor. Further, you do not have to be a survivor to attend the conference.

The conference is a free all day event that is offered on 10 Saturdays a year from 9:30-4:30. GKB offers sessions on several topics and the content is different each month to keep it interesting for participants who attend the conference more than once. Our main focus for programming is rape awareness which includes activities that address: communication, reducing your risk of sexual assault, myths vs. facts, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, how to be supportive of someone who is a sexual assault survivor and many other topics. An additional topic of focus is Women’s health issues which includes a presentation from an expert who may address topics such as puberty, drugs and alcohol, positive body image, STD’s and birth control, and breast cancer awareness. We also always have a self-esteem building art activity as part of the day and we offer other fun activities such as: videos with facilitated discussion; cultural awareness, career awareness, role plays, music, poetry, yoga, and dance.

We get very positive feedback about the program from the girls who attend and from their parents and guardians.

Our next conference will be on March 6, 2010 here at CRCC and we have two big conferences coming up that allow 40 girls to participate on the following dates:

  • April 10th at Flora Stone Mather Center of Goodrich Gannett Center
  • April 24th at Pilgraim Congregational Church

We are always looking for volunteer help. If you have volunteered at previous conferences and would like to volunteer again, please feel free to contact Stefanie Workman (x105) or Mindy Ghaemaghamy (x110).

If you have never volunteered but would like to volunteer and help with some upcoming GKB conferences, please let either Stefanie or Mindy know so that you can attend the GKB training that will be held on Monday March 22, 2010 from 6-8pm here at CRCC. Hope to see some of you at the training and upcoming conferences!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ms. Blog


On this International Women’s Day, March 8th, Ms. magazine—the flagship feminist publication that’s still going strong at 38!—proudly launches the Ms. Blog. We’re excited to be able to keep readers abreast of the latest feminist news and commentary in between quarterly issues of the magazine.

The Ms. Blog will showcase the sharp writing and informed opinions of a community of feminist bloggers from around the nation and the globe.

We expect these virtual pages to be a hub for exchange, collaboration and discussion among bloggers and readers, introducing fresh perspectives on national and global politics, culture, media, health, law and life.

The diversity and quality of our starting lineup of bloggers is already exceptional: In the months leading up to this historic launch, Ms. was inundated with blogging offers from academics, activists and journalists. There are contributors reporting on the ground from seven countries and counting, and the overall contributors’ roster ranges from well-known names to up-and-coming writers/thinkers. Most of the bloggers are women, but some feminist men have joined the team as well!

We at Ms. are thrilled about the prospects of intercultural and intergenerational exchange on this blog. If there’s one guiding notion underlying the blog, it’s that no aspect of life is immune from gender politics: Gender also intersects with race, class, nation and sexuality. We will always strive to address that intersectionality. And while there will be personal talk on the Ms. blog, it will be with the recognition that the personal is political.

So please become part of this exciting new community—a place where feminism takes center stage. We can’t wait to read your comments, whether in agreement or disagreement or just to add fuel to our feminist fire. We’ve also created two special pages—Share With Ms. and Take Action—in recognition that real feminist change requires both community dialogue and direct action.

Welcome aboard!


Documentary Film “Playground”

Sexual exploitation of children is a problem that we tend to relegate to back-alley brothels in developing countries, the province of a particularly inhuman, and invariably foreign, criminal element.

Such is the initial premise of Libby Spears’ sensitive investigation into the topic. But she quickly concludes that very little thrives on this planet without American capital, and the commercial child sex industry is certainly thriving. Spears intelligently traces the epidemic to its disparate, and decidedly domestic, roots—among them the way children are educated about sex, and the problem of raising awareness about a crime that inherently cannot be shown. Her cultural observations are couched in an ongoing mystery story: the search for Michelle, an American girl lost to the underbelly of childhood sexual exploitation who has yet to resurface a decade later.

Executive produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Steven Soderbergh, and punctuated with poignant animation by Japanese pop artist Yoshitomo Nara, Playground illuminates a sinister industry of unrecognized pervasiveness. Spears has crafted a comprehensive revelation of an unknown epidemic, essential viewing for any parent or engaged citizen.

While traveling to the Philippines in 2001, filmmaker Libby Spears gained first hand knowledge of the horrific practice of trafficking human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation. She examined a little deeper, and discovered that most of these victims were young children.

Facing death threats to be “knocked off” for only $10, Libby went undercover to infiltrate brothels in South Korea and Thailand. She held first-hand interviews with victims, their pimps, and their abusers. She mapped the trafficking routes of the sex tourism industry, and charted the commerce fueled by the purchase and sale of minors—she was disheartened to find that virtually the entire globe was involved and affected by this growing industry.

What she was astonished to find, however, was the involvement of the United States and the degree to which they were influencing the global demand and growth of the sex trafficking industry.

Previously, she had mistakenly believed that sex trafficking was primarily an “international” occurrence in countries like Philippines and Cambodia. But a meeting with Ernie Allen, President of the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, confirmed to Libby what her research was beginning to uncover: that the trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation is every bit as real in North America.

This is where Playground begins.

Music by: Bjork, Radiohead, Chris Martin, Blonde Redhead, Cat Power, Sigur Rós, CocoRosie, Basement Jaxx, DJ Shadow, Kazu Makino.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Women's eNews - Check it Out

Here's another great resource to check out when you have a few minutes ...

Women's eNews is a prize-winning nonprofit daily Internet-based news service supported by its readers, events, foundations and resale of its content. It is the definitive source of substantive news--unavailable anywhere else--covering issues of particular concern to women and their allies. Launched in 2000, the independent media outlet provides women, and those who care about women, the news they need to know. Rita Henley Jensen is founder and editor in chief.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

From a Fellow Advocate

from Maria Miranda, Hotline Advocate since Fall 2007

Right now in Ohio almost 20% of hospital emergency rooms do not guarantee access to emergency contraception to rape survivors in their emergency rooms. This is totally unacceptable, it does not matter where a woman lives or what hospital she is treated at, all women deserve CARE!

The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act is critical legislation that will ensure that all rape survivors get access to emergency contraception and medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections after the assault. Help make sure that all rape survivors receive the medical treatment they deserve. See below for how you can help!

p.s. the link below includes footage of Sondra from the CRCC speaking in Columbus.

Hello volunteering folks!

We need you to help NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio phone bank for support of the CARE bill next Tuesday! The best part is, you don’t have to actually TALK to anyone on the phone!

We will be doing patch-through calls to legislative offices leaving messages telling them to support CARE. (For more about CARE, go here: We will provide pizza and soda, and it will only take about an hour if we get enough people to help!

The phone banking starts at 6:00pm and should wrap up by 7:30 at the very latest. We will be using the 3rd floor phone room in Preterm at 12000 Shaker Blvd. The front door at Preterm is locked past 5pm, so we’ll have someone sit at security to let you in from 5:50 until 6:15. If you get here before or after that, call Kellie Copeland’s cell phone to be let in. 330-524-1577.

And as always, thank you for your time and commitment to pro-choice politics and policies in Ohio. We couldn’t do our work without you!

For choice,
Development Associate
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
phone: 216-283-2180
fax: 216-283-2184

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Disney Give a Day Get a Day

Disney wants to inspire one million people to volunteer a day of service to a participating organization in their communities. So they're celebrating these volunteers' good works by giving each of them a 1-day, 1-theme park ticket to the Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort, Free.

Hotline Advocates who schedule 20 hours and F2F Advocates who schedule 24 hours in a month are eligible for the free theme park tickets.

Volunteers who would like to participate in this program should visit.

Here's how:

  • On the bottom left find the Search For An Activity box and enter in the zip code 44114.

  • Leave the Volunteer Opportunity Interest Area as (All).

  • If you are planning on completing your hours/shifts on the Hotline choose the Hotline Advocate opportunity. If you plan on doing at least some of your hours with the F2F choose the Face to Face Advocate opportunity.

  • Fill in your information and I will be notified that you are interested in participating. You should receive an email from Hands On saying that you will hear from me in 5 days.

  • If you do not receive that email within 2 days fill out your information again. After that if you do not receive an email from me please email me or call me. I will give you a date to enter into the Hands on Network for verification.

  • Do not register with Hands On until after you have received my email with the Date you should enter into the system.

If you have any question about this opportunity please feel free to contact me, Sarah, at or 216-619-6194x116.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And Not Just Advocates in the News ...

In case you missed Sunday's Plain Dealer, check out the feature on Megan O'Bryan, President and CEO of the CRCC ...

Megan O'Bryan, president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, is part of a three-person special commission appointed by Mayor Frank Jackson to examine policies and procedures of police response to sex crimes and missing-person reports.

In addition, the 39-year-old Cleveland resident is gearing up for her center's signature fund-raiser, "Sing Out," on Thursday, May 27, at the Cleveland Play House.

She has a serious job, but O'Bryan makes time to have fun. Check out her recommendation for the best sandwich in Cleveland -- a vegetarian hot dog topped with ancho chile barbecue sauce and potato chips (with a side of Tater Tots) at the Happy Dog at West 58th Street and Detroit Avenue.

"I hope my trainer isn't reading this," said O'Bryan, who washes down the deluxe dog with a Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Tell us about living in Cleveland's Edgewater/Cudell neighborhood.
Our neighborhood is just minutes from downtown, on the Lakewood-Cleveland border. Our particular street is a little gem lined with great houses and lots of kids. It is a built-in play date! On the street we all help each other, and so many of our neighbors are engaged in the civic life of the community in some way.

The crown jewel of the neighborhood is Edgewater Park. The park is especially fascinating on summer weekends. You see people of every race and culture enjoying the simplest pleasures in life like a picnic, flying a kite and spending time with family and friends. Seeing that reminds me how much we are all connected and alike.

You've lived in Cleveland for 17 years. Where and why?
Since graduating from college I have lived in downtown, Ohio City and the Edgewater/Cudell neighborhoods. I love urban environments for the walkability, architecture, diversity and proximity to the city center and all the arts and cultural institutions. I think there is so much potential to be realized in Cleveland, and by being a city resident I can actively support and participate in that.

Give us a childhood memory.
I have great memories of spending time at Wagar Beach in Rocky River and inviting myself onto friends' boats.

You and husband Michael Rastatter are going out on Saturday night. What's the plan?
A great night would be to eat dinner at Flying Fig, where we have been patrons since Karen Small opened a decade ago. Then we would meet friends at a favorite night spot of ours, Belinda's Night Club on West 96th and Madison.

Every Saturday night Belinda's has live Latin music, from merengue to salsa. It is like stepping into a club in San Juan. There is a huge dance floor and it is pretty dark, so you don't feel self-conscious about getting out there and having fun dancing. You can't help yourself! And often ladies get in free, which is a bonus!

You and your children, Dinah, 5, and Toby, 3, are planning a day. Where will you go?
In the winter, a favorite stop is the West Side Market Cafe for pancakes and then a visit to the warm and toasty Glasshouse at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

In the summer, our favorite outing is a picnic at Lakewood Park, followed by ice cream at Malley's in Lakewood. Being surrounded by pink and green colors and the scent of chocolate is heavenly! It takes me back to my childhood.

Your food vice and where you get it?
My biggest vice is coffee. I have a bit of a problem with the stuff. Gypsy Beans and Bakery in the Gordon Square Arts District functions as a remote office for me. My standard drink is a Red-Eye, which is coffee with two shots of espresso. If it's before noon on any given day, I can be found tightly clutching a Red-Eye.

A gallery you frequent?
78th Street Studios is a great place to get lost in and explore its treasures. It is a labyrinth of art galleries, working-artist studios and creative businesses.

Where do you walk your Cairn terriers, Maya and Zeus?
Our regular route is a nice loop from our house to Edgewater Drive to Cliff Drive to take in the view of downtown and Lake Erie. The dogs like parading around the neighborhood because they get a lot of attention for their good looks and personalities.

Favorite restaurants and what you order there?
I love Ty Fun Thai Bistro in Tremont; everything is delicious. A favorite dish is stir-fried eggplant, tofu, basil and chili.

Li Wah on Payne and East 30th is a lot of fun on Sundays for dim sum. It is noisy and hectic and the kids enjoy all the action. Mom enjoys all of those steaming little dumplings that go wheeling by on the carts.

Bar Cento on West 25th is great because it is always open late with a full menu. I like the Olivo pizza and a simple mixed-greens salad with a glass of red wine.

One of the best things about Cleveland is . . .
The people! They are friendly, hard-working, proud and down-to-earth. I am outgoing and enjoy meeting and talking to everyone I meet, which is welcomed and reciprocated here. It is unique. When I engage strangers like that in other cities, people look at me funny.

Tell us about a boutique you like.
Recently when feeling a little gloomy about winter in Cleveland, I went into Busy Broad boutique at West 105th and Clifton owned by acclaimed milliner Marta Glazen. I bought some great hats, accessories and a vintage winter coat. Suddenly I felt much better about facing the cold weather!

Menaka Chandurkar - Our Latest Advocate in the News!

And it just keeps getting better!

We have another great Advocate to add to our growing list of Famous Advocates! Menaka Chandurkar has been noted by the West Shore Sun for the hard work that earned her the Compassionate Support Award at our Volunteer Recognition Event!

Thanks, Menaka! You deserve both the award and the acknowledgment!

COMPASSIONATE SUPPORT — Kudos are also due to Westlake resident Menaka Chandurkar, who recently was honored by the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center for her dedication and volunteer service. Chandurkar received the Compassionate Support Award because, the Center noted, her kind and compassionate manner grows stronger with each hotline call she takes. She has been a volunteer at the Center for nearly three years, answering calls on its 24-hour crisis hotline, providing information and comfort to sexual-assault survivors and their support networks.

For more information about the Center or volunteer opportunities, visit or call (216) 619-6194.

You can check out this article directly by clicking here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Your Comments - Whoops!

So we all make mistakes. And the learning curve of going from technological neophyte to blogger is pretty steep!

In reaction to your feedback of some difficulty leaving comments, I looked into the issue a bit further. Turns out, when I set up the blog I had programmed some pretty strict parameters for people to be able to leave comments.

I've corrected my mistake and now anyone can leave a comment providing just your name (you don't have to have or create any type of other account).

Here's the easy peasy steps:
  1. At the bottom of each post you'll see who posted the piece, what time and then "0 comments" (or "1 comment" if there was 1 comment ... I think you can take it from there!).
  2. Click on "0 comments" and a box will appear that says "post a comment".
  3. Type your comment in here.
  4. Click on "comment as" below the text box
  5. If you have any of the listed accounts (Google account, WordPress) you can sign in here.
  6. If you do not have any of these accounts you can click on "Name/URL" or "Anonymous"
  7. For Name/URL you can enter your name (first and/or last) and leave the URL blank or include it if you have a website or blog of your own
  8. For Anonymous, nothing else needs to be entered
  9. Then hit "Post Comment"
  10. You will be asked for a word verification - just type in the word you see provided

Your comment won't appear immediately. I moderate all comments, which means I have to approve it before it can appear on the site (this way I can block anything inappropriate or spammy). As soon as I verify the comment, it will be posted.

So a big whoops for accidentally making this so hard! Things should be pretty straightforward now but please let me know if you have any questions or problems!

Lisa Paladin Receives Recognition

You've all seen the well-deserved recognition given to CRCC Advocates Theresa Backman and Janet Boehler. Now we can add Lisa Paladin to the list of those in the media! Lisa was recognized at the Volunteer Recognition Event in November and the Parma Sun Post was so proud of their resident they ran the following story! You can also check it out here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Congratulations, Lisa! It's great to see all your hard work recognized!

VOLUNTEER HONORS — The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center recently honored Parma resident Lisa Paladin for her volunteer service with the center. She answers calls on its 24 hour crisis hotline, providing information and support to sexual assault survivors and those who support survivors.

Paladin received the "Dedication Award" because, the center says, she is dedicated to becoming the best advocate she can possibly be. She asks questions, seeks feedback and continually grows in her role as an advocate.

More than 100 volunteers at Cleveland Rape Crisis Center contributed the equivalent of eight full-time employees during 2009 and answered more than 3,000 calls on the hotline. Volunteers also participated in the center’s face-to-face advocacy program, meeting sexual assault survivors in hospital emergency rooms and police stations across the county at any hour of day or night.

"We simply could not reach as many people as we do without the incredible contributions of our volunteers," said Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Chief Executive Officer Megan O’Bryan.

The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center 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. The 24 hour hotline is (216) 619-6192.

For more information about the center or volunteer opportunities, visit or call the business line at (216) 619-6194.