Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

I wish you all a happy and safe Memorial Day.

And a very sincere THANK YOU to those
who have served our country.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tell Congress to Help Stop Child Marriage


Sixty million girls around the world are forced into marriage before the age of 18.

Child brides are twice as likely to be beaten or threatened with violence by their husbands, are put at risk for complications during and after early child bearing and have diminished chances of completing their education - resulting in a major barrier to escaping poverty.

Right now Congress is considering a bill, the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act, which would recognize child marriage as a human rights violation and make our efforts to combat child marriage more successful and effective.

But the bill needs more co-sponsors in order to pass. Please help by asking your Congressperson to co-sponsor the bill and help protect the rights of girls around the world.

Every day, 25,000 girls are forced into marriages that leave them facing severe risks.

Complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death for girls ages 15-19 worldwide.

The United States is in a potentially very powerful position to help stop these forced child marriages, but we need to increase and improve our efforts around the globe. The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act would do just that by scaling up successful strategies to prevent child marriage and integrating child marriage prevention approaches throughout U.S. foreign assistance.

You can help end this practice by asking your Congressperson co-sponsor the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act. Click here to send a letter instantly >

Thank you for helping girls everywhere,
- The team in partnership with CARE

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Male Athletes Encouraged to do the Wrong Thing

I read this article at that seems to point out exactly why we have the Men of Strength (MOST) Club. The MOST works to promote the change that this Sally Jenkins calls for in her article. Alex Leslie, a Prevention Specialist at the CRCC, will be speaking about the MOST Club at the July Continuing Education Event.

MOST strives to provide:

  • Access to positive male mentors
  • Fun environments

  • Healthier understanding of manhood and masculinity
  • Increased awareness of men’s role in preventing violence against women
  • Increased skills to take public action to prevent violence against women

I included the whole article below because I think you need to be signed into facebook or need to create an account in order to read it on their website but I did also include the link to their website at the end of the article.

By Sally Jenkins
Saturday, May 8, 2010

George Huguely is said to have been a vicious drunk who menaced Yeardley Love, yet there has been no indication that any of his teammates said anything to police. Ben Roethlisberger seems to be a serial insulter of women, whose behavior is shielded by the off-duty cops he employs. And if the charges are true, Lawrence Taylor ignored the bruises on a 16-year-old girl's face as he had sex with her, never thinking to ask who beat her.

It's a bad stretch for women in the sports pages. After reading the news accounts and police reports, it's reasonable to ask: Should women fear athletes? Is there something in our sports culture that condones these assaults? It's a difficult, even upsetting question, because it risks demonizing scores of decent, guiltless men. But we've got to ask it, because something is going on here -- there's a disturbing association, and surely we're just as obliged to address it as we are concussions.

"We can no longer dismiss these actions as representative of a few bad apples," says Jay Coakley, author of "Sport in Society: Issues and Controversies," and a professor of sociology at the University of Colorado. "The evidence suggests that they are connected to particular group cultures that are in need of critical assessment."

What do we mean when we ask whether there was something in the lacrosse "culture" that led to the murder of Yeardley Love? The Latin root of the word "cultura" means "to grow." It means the attitudes, practices, and values that are implanted and nourished in a group or society.

There's a lot we still don't know about Huguely and his "brothers," but three attitudes and practices of at least some members of the Virginia lacrosse team seem obvious: physical swagger, heavy drinking and fraternal silence.

In 2008, a drunken Huguely was so brutally combative with a female cop that she felt she had to Taser him. Last year, he assaulted a sleeping teammate who he believed had kissed Love, several former players say, and this year, he had other violent confrontations with Love herself, witnesses say.

We can argue about gaps in the system, but one constituency very likely knew about Huguely's behavior: his teammates and friends, the ones who watched him smash up windows and bottles and heard him rant about Love.

Why didn't they tackle him? Why didn't they turn him in?

Undoubtedly, many of the young men on the Virginia lacrosse team are fine human beings. I don't mean to question their decency. I don't mean to blame them.

But I do mean to ask those who knew of Huguely's behavior an important question. Why did they not treat Yeardley Love as their teammate, too?

Where were her brothers?

Why was she not deserving of the same loyalty as George Huguely? She played lacrosse. She wore a Virginia uniform. She was equally a champion. And yet because she played on the women's team, she seems not to have been accorded the same protection that Huguely was.

That doesn't just break the heart. It shatters it into a thousand pieces.

The allegations against Huguely, Roethlisberger and Taylor share something in common. In all of these cases, the alleged female victims were treated as undeserving of inclusion in the protected circle. They were "others" rather than insiders.

Sports Illustrated's profile of Roethlisberger and the men who look after him is utterly damning. According to the magazine story, on the night that he allegedly accosted an over-served undergrad in a Milledgeville, Ga., restroom, Roethlisberger held up a tray of tequila shots and hollered, "All my bitches, take some shots!" He exposed himself at the bar. He forced his hand up someone's skirt. Yet police sergeant Jerry Blash described the alleged victim as "this drunken bitch," and Roethlisberger's bodyguards apparently blocked off the area. Protecting Roethlisberger, being "in" with him, took precedence over ethics.

"Who needs the bodyguard here?" Coakley asks incredulously. "What is the role of bodyguard? It's not to maintain male hegemony and privilege. It's to maintain order."

The charge of third-degree rape against Taylor prompts another question. Police allege that a 16-year-old runaway was beaten by a sex trafficker and brought to Taylor's hotel room, where, according to police report, instead of protecting her, he allegedly protected himself with a condom. If Taylor is guilty, how could he have acted in such a depersonalizing way -- unless he viewed her as more object than person?

According to Coakley, the data is clear: Certain types of all-male groups generally have higher rates of assault against women than the average, and their profile is unmistakable. They tend to include sports teams, fraternities, and military units, and they stress the physical subordination of others -- and exclusiveness.

Common sense tells me that "sport" in general is not the culprit in all of this so much as excessive celebration and rewarding of it: binge drinking, women-as-trophies, the hubris resulting from exaggerated entitlement and years of being let off the hook. We are hatching physically gifted young men in incubators of besotted excess and a vocabulary of "bitches and hos."

What has happened to kindness, to the cordial pleasures of friendship between men and women in the sports world? Above all, what has happened to sexuality? When did the most sublime human exchange become more about power and status than romance? When did it become so pornographic and transactional, so implacably cold?

The truth is, women can't do anything about this problem. Men are the only ones who can change it -- by taking responsibility for their locker room culture, and the behavior and language of their teammates. Nothing will change until the biggest stars in the clubhouse are mortally offended, until their grief and remorse over an assault trumps their solidarity.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thanks to the "Greenies"

We all know that being "green" is a good thing. You are eco-conscious and earth-friendly.

Now being green means something even better!

The following Advocates are considered Greenies because they have met or surpassed the requested number of volunteer hours in the past four months! (The phrase comes from the color of their 4-month report).

A large congratulations to them for their great work. A small congratulations to me for creating a cool new category of Advocates!

Kerry Anderson, Valerie Anderson, Theresa Backman, Chioke Barkari, Janet Boehler, Jillian Carroll, Lily Cunningham, Heidi Dobran, Linda Ferris, Julia Fisher, Patrick Fleming, Sarah Goellnitz, Sylvia Green, Erika Harper, Jacqueline Keene, Holly Kossover, Liz Lierman, Rachel Mackson, Amanda Maggiotto, Mandie McCarthy, Callie Merry, Alexis Mitchell, Debbie Nicholson, Lisa Paladin, Sheronda Peterson, Leslie Quilty, Natalia Rodas, Jill Shankar, Carli Sidoti, Heather Tripp, Karla Ullrich, Natalie Wheeler, Veda Wise, Elaine Wolan, Tasneem Zaben.

A beautiful picture of a golf GREEN! I may be taking this too far ...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Would You Try To Help A Battered Woman?

From ABC News, What Would You Do?

Domestic violence is a serious problem that often takes place behind closed doors. One in four women will be victims, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even celebrities like pop singer Rihanna have fallen victim to abuse at the hands of a boyfriend.

But, what would you do, if in a public place, you saw a woman who showed unmistakable signs of physical abuse? Would you comfort her, call the police, or mind your own business?

ABC's "What Would You Do?" decided to find out and set-up cameras at a diner in Union, N.J. Jennifer, an actress, portrayed our abuse victim. A professional make-up artist created the illusion of large bruises on Jennifer's face and cuts on her wrists. Chris, another actor, played her abuser.

Minutes after Jennifer took her seat, a concerned man, Adam Weiss, approached from a nearby table. Bending down, he asked softly, "You need help with something?"

In a sheepish voice, Jennifer answered, "I'm just waiting for my boyfriend to come inside." The man's wife, Jamie Weiss, joined them at the table and invited our battered woman to join them while she waited. Looking away and on the verge of tears, Jennifer showed her apprehension, "He's going to be coming in soon and he's going to be upset if he sees me talking to you."

When the boyfriend walked in, the couple reluctantly retreated back to their table, but they kept a suspicious eye on them.

Almost immediately, the boyfriend began to verbally abuse his girlfriend. "What the hell was that about?" he snapped. "What the matter, are you stupid? Look at me!" Then he reached across the table and grasped the wrist of his girlfriend - - and that's all it took.

It was a galvanizing moment. Suddenly a burly man was on his feet and shoved the abuse boyfriend out of harm's way. Within seconds our security guard -- an ex-cop -- stepped in.

When the dust settled, we told Weiss about the scenario. Asked why he intervened, his response was simple, "It's my nature. When there's something not right, you try and fix it."

"[Weiss] was really impressive. He noticed her crying. He saw the bruise, so he intervened even before the abuser showed up," said Raquel Bergen, a professor of Sociology at St. Joseph's University, who watched our social experiment from a control vehicle nearby.

Bergen was encouraged to see that men got involved. "I think that sends such a powerful message to other men that you can be involved," she said. "We need to challenge other men to do the right thing, to step in and say, 'That's not cool.'"

To see the clip and also take a "What would you do?" quiz, click here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Some Sing Out! Facts

from Michelle Feinberg, Special Events Coordinator

2010 Sing Out! Event Fact Sheet

Sing Out! for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC) is a community event that raises awareness about sexual violence, as well as financial support for the only local agency providing comprehensive services to sexual assault survivors and those who support them. The all-star Sing Out! chorale is comprised of community, civic and business leaders who join voices to sing out against rape and sexual violence. The result is an unparalleled, inspiring musical evening that both empowers and educates the audience, while raising funds to support the proactive and reactive services of CRCC.

When: Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 7 p.m.
VIP pre-performance dinner begins at 5:30 p.m.

Where: The Cleveland Play House
8500 Euclid Avenue

Honorees: Richard W. Pogue, Senior Advisor, Jones Day
Joanna Connors, Reporter, The Plain Dealer

Co-Chairs: Chuck Fowler, President & CEO, Fairmount Minerals
David Hooker, Managing Partner, Thompson Hine
Geri Presti, Senior Vice President, Forest City Enterprises

Tickets: $250 – includes dinner, performance and dessert
$100 – includes performance and dessert

Sponsors: Exclusive sponsorship packages are available for corporations and individuals offering many benefits including presenting sponsor naming rights and opportunities throughout the event for recognition.

Contact: For tickets and additional information call 216-619-6194, x148 or visit

CRCC is dedicated to serving survivors of sexual assault and those who support them with superior direct services and advocacy; education and training; and activism. All of these services are provided confidentially and completely free of charge to more than 15,000 people every year. CRCC is the only organization in Cuyahoga County dedicated to serving survivors of sexual violence.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cleveland Public Safety Fair and Expo

from Ashley Hawke, Director of Advocacy Services

Looking for something fun and different to do with family or friends this weekend?

Check out the Public Safety Fair and Expo!

Saturday, May 22nd

2:00 – 6:30pm

Mall B at the Cleveland Convention Center

This event is free and open to the public. There will be special demonstrations, children’s ID kits, K9 maneuvers and tactics, rifles drill team, firearm simulation trailer, specialized vehicles, and many organizations to educate our community about crime prevention and personal safety.

There will also be a cookout and a petting zoo for children! The event is sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society and the Cleveland Division of Police. Be sure to stop by the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s table to say hello!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thank you and more info on the Continuing Education Series

Thank You, Tracie Paine

I want to extend a sincere thanks to Tracie Paine for coming and speaking at the May Continuing Education Event. Tracie did a great job of explaining the complexities of the brain to a group that does not specialize in neuroscience. Tracie discussed several interesting topics surrounding Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

We discussed the prevalence of PTSD, the diagnostic criteria of PTSD, the normal stress response, and then what the stress response looks like in someone who has developed PTSD. I thought it was very interesting that researchers are having trouble figuring out what is cause and effect. Do people have these different biological responses because they have developed PTSD after a stressor, or did they develop PTSD because they already had this different biological responses to the stressor in the first place?

A lot of research still needs to be done on PTSD. Tracie shared that during her research to make this talk geared more towards the CRCC she had trouble finding research on victims of sexual assault. This seemed to be due to the lack of funding of research in this area. A lot of the research funding on PTSD seems to come from the Department of Defense, so most of the research has been done on veterans with PTSD.

So thank you again Tracie for coming and broadening our understanding of what happens to survivors of sexual assault.

Continuing Education Series

While we are on the topic of the Continuing Education Series, I also want to do a general update. The series has really taken off. We continue to receive positive evaluations about the events. Both CRCC staff and volunteers have found this series to be educational and beneficial to their work with survivors. And attendance has been steadily increasing over the course of this series. Tracie was our 5th speaker and we had 18 people in attendance.

I am so glad to know that we have volunteers who are willing to take the time to continue to increase their knowledge around sexual assault and other related topics and am excited that we are able to offer this program to you. We have several super star volunteers who have attended 4 or 5 of the events that have been offered.

We want to continue to grow this program and offer topics that are both interesting and beneficial to our volunteers. I encourage you to continue to email me with suggestions about topics you would be interested in learning more about. I will do my best to continue to provide interesting topics and presenters.

Events Announced

June’s Event has been rescheduled for June 10th. Claire Campbell from therapeutic services will lead us in a self care exercise, share some of her clients' artwork, and be able to speak about her role as the Child and Family Therapeutic Services Coordinator.

The presenter for July’s Continuing Education Event will be Alex Leslie one of CRCC’s very own Prevention Specialist will speak about the Men of Strength (MOST) Club. Alex is the State wide program coordinator of this club which is spreading throughout Ohio. This club works in engaging men and boys to be allies in ending violence against women.

Continuing Education Series 2010
January 25th - Christy - Domestic Violence Center
February 11th - Cricket - a SANE nurse
March 23rd - Steve - 211 First Call for Help
April 15th - Lydia Troha - Department of Developmental Disabilities and SART
May 17th - Tracie Paine - PTSD and the Brain
June 10th - Claire Campbell - Self Care and Art Therapy
July 21st - Alex Leslie - Men of Strength Club
August 31st - TBA
September 20th - TBA
October 20th - TBA
November 18th - TBA

Again, please contact me with any suggestions of topics that you would be interested in hearing more about. If you know you would like to attend the June or July events please RSVP to or 216-619-6194x116.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pepsi Refresh Project

Many of you have probably heard of the Pepsi Refresh Project. In case you aren't, here's the quick run-down:

Pepsi is giving millions of dollars to people, businesses and non-profits that have great ideas on helping their community. Awards are of varying amounts ($5k - $250k) and are given out based on the amount of support an idea receives.

(Looking for a video that can explain this project better than I did? Check it out!

It's definitely inspiring to learn about all the great ideas floating around on their website! I strongly suggest you find a few minutes to browse around. It left me feeling uplifted and optimistic - something that doesn't happen all that often!

And we're fortunate enough to have not only an entry that is local but is also based around preventing the sexual victimization of children.

A Westlake woman has created a molestation prevention program for schools to use to reach young children. The following are the goals of the program:
  • Heighten kid's awareness that people they know can cause them harm.

  • To educate (empower) children to prevent or stop child molestation.

  • To educate children about appropriate & inappropriate touches.

  • Advance development of my program to be used nationally in schools.

  • To gain funding toward video, doll, & book production for this program
This is definitely a great cause worthy of your vote. To do so, you will need to register an email address and password with Pepsi, but it only takes a second. Each person can vote 2 times per day through the end of the month.

You can also sign up for daily reminders at:

Monday, May 17, 2010

May's Continuing Education Event

I am excited to let you all know about May's Continuing Education Event. Tracie Paine, a Neuroscientist from Oberlin, will be speaking about traumatic events and the brain. Some topics she will cover are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Resilience, Traumatic Events and Brain Function, and research into reducing the effects of trauma on the brain.

Tracie’s presentation will be a great follow up to issues we discussed during training. We all know about the symptoms of PTSD but Tracie will be able to explain some of the physical changes that take place in the brain in order for these symptoms to take place. You also know from the training that trauma is stored differently in the brain then other memories. Tracie will be able to give us a better understanding of the brain function actually involved in processing a trauma.

Tracie will be speaking Today, May 17th, from 6-7:30 at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Social Work CEUs will be provided.

Who: Tracie Paine - Neuroscientist from Oberlin

What: Trauma and the Brain

Where: CRCC Training Room on the 14th Floor.

When: May 17th from 6:00-7:30

Why: To learn about the physical effects that a sexual assault can have and CEUs!

How awesome is the CRCC Continuing Education Series for Volunteers!?!

Please RSVP to me, Sarah, to let me know if you will be attending and if you need Social Work CEUs. or 216-619-6194x116.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sarah Haskins in Target Women

An Advocate made me aware of this site and, if you have some time, this is definitely worth checking out. I've included one of my favorite segments below.

Target Women is a recurring segment on Current TV's weekly television show, infoMania. In each episode of Target Women, Sarah Haskins takes a look at the often-ridiculous way the media reaches out to women.

infoMania is a half-hour satirical news show that airs on Current TV. The show puts a comedic spin on the 24-hour chaos and information overload brought about by the constant bombardment of the media.

Hosted by Conor Knighton and co-starring Brett Erlich, Sarah Haskins, Ben Hoffman, Bryan Safi and Sergio Cilli, the show airs on Thursdays at 10 pm Eastern and Pacific Times and can be found online at or on Current TV. And make sure to check out our facebook profile for special features at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Channel 3 - Middle School: The new sexual frontier?

CLEVELAND -- Parents used to worry about their children becoming sexually active in high school, but new studies show it's happening even earlier.

Click here for the piece that aired on Tuesday night's news

In 2008, Case Western Reserve University completed a youth risk-behavior survey that found 18 percent of 7th and 8th grade students had already had sexual intercourse.
A national study found 28 percent of tweens between 11 and 14 say sex is a part of normal relationships at their age.

Education Reporter Kim Wheeler brought together a panel of four teenagers and an educator from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center to talk about this issue.

"We know our culture is hyper-sexualized and kids are getting more sexual information from Nickelodeon than trusted adults, like teachers and parents," says Sondra Miller, of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

"It's starting at about 12 or middle school," said a young man from a Cleveland high school. "If you aren't doing it, then you are feeling pressured to lose your virginity."

We had teens from suburban and city schools, as well as public and private schools, and they all agreed that middle school is when many kids are having sex.

"It's an unemotional attachment, holding hands means more than hooking up," said a female teenager who was part of the panel.

All of the students agreed that sex is seen as more casual than it used to be. Many blamed the shift in attitudes on the media.

"We see it everywhere, on TV, in music videos, or on the internet, everyone is doing it," said one of the teens.

The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center says there is a link between early sexual activity and teen dating violence, so it is important that parents talk to their kids about sex and appropriate relationships.

Teenagers want to talk to their parents about sex, even if they don't act like it
Dating is the same today, so find common ground
Timing and location is everything
Use stars in the media to start the conversation
Listen more than you talk, ask questions
Don't Freak
Model and talk about what should happen in an intimate relationship

Isolated from family, friends, activites
Making excuses for partner's behavior
Keeping secrets about relationships

Calling names
Acting jealous
Constantly checking up via phone & text

Allow Me to Introduce ... Amanda Maggiotto!

To know Amanda is to love her. For those of you who have not yet had the chance to meet Amanda, allow me to introduce her ...

What led you to volunteer with the CRCC?
Sexual assault is an issue I have always had a special interest in. I was involved at John Carroll in work on sexual assault/violence there and wanted to continue my work after I graduated. I thought CRCC would be the perfect place - and I was right!

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with the CRCC?
When I feel like I have helped someone, even in a very small way. I also like being connected to other people (hotline callers and other advocates) who are interested in the same issues I am and who think about rape and sexual assault like I do.

What do you find most challenging about volunteering with the CRCC?
The hardest thing for me is not being able to "give advice". It took a lot of practice to learn how to just listen and support as opposed to trying to give someone an answer or advice. It is also hard getting off the phone with someone with things unresolved or if they are still upset. It is hard feeling powerless sometimes - I just want to solve everyone's problems.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not volunteering?
I am lucky to have a lot of friends in town and we spend a lot of time eating out, going to movies and hanging out. I really like sports -so I love to go to or watch a Cavs or Indians game. I spend a lot of time on the phone with family back home in Buffalo, including my sweet little nephews! In addition to the CRCC, I also volunteer at the Providence House (a crisis nursery) and help out with a friend's (Cullen Sweeney) campaign for judge in Cuyahoga County's Court of Common Pleas.

If you had a magic wand and 3 wishes, what would those wishes be?
1. That all my family and friends would live LONG, HAPPY, HEALTHY lives
2. I could have the magic power of being able to transport from one place to the other and/or to freeze time.
3. WORLD PEACE, of course!

If you won the lottery, how would you spend the money?
Funny you should ask - I think about what I'd do if I won the lottery a lot - have to be prepared! First, I'd pay off my student loans. Because my student loans are quite hefty, I doubt there would be any money left to do anything else! But assuming I have some cash left over, I'd then give a big chunk of cash to my family and friends. Next, I would give money to places I care a lot about like my high school, John Carroll, CRCC (of course), Providence House and my brother's business. Anything left over would go into the bank for my unborn childrens' college fund!

(I can never pick just one!)

Website or blog: The CRCC blog of course!!! And my brother's website sells t-shirts that promote by hometown Buffalo, NY - check it out!

Musician or group: I LOVE music so here are a few of my favs - Dixie Chicks, Coldplay, John Mayer, Ne-Yo, James Morrison, Mat Kearney, Carrie Underwood, Maroon 5, Blackstreet (oldie but goodie)

Meal: I have two favorites - Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, mashies, stuffing and gravy) and 2 eggs over medium with toast, crispy bacon and crispy home-fries.

Sports teams: Cavs

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Channel 3: Sex abuse in nursing homes

Investigator Exclusive: Nursing home sex abuse unreported, unprosecuted

CLEVELAND -- The state Attorney General's Office received 158 complaints of sexual violence against elderly and disabled residents of long-term care facilities in Northeast Ohio since January 2006, but only two of those cases ended with a conviction, a Channel 3 News investigation found.

Most of the complaints were forwarded by the Ohio Department of Health, which received 324 complaints statewide, alleging rape and other sexual abuse of residents in nursing homes, residential care facilities and assisted living facilities.

Two other complaints came from local law enforcement in a seven-county region that includes Cleveland, Akron and Lorain.

Attorney General Richard Cordray said such cases are "hard to prosecute" because victims of sexual abuse in long-term care cannot always recall what happened to them.

"It's hard to get victims who can hold up on the stand," Cordray said. "It's hard to verify when some of the elderly victims (are abused because) their memories aren't good."

Click here to read the entire piece, including comments from Megan O'Bryan and Allison Rerko (Fairview's SANE Coordinator).

To watch the video that aired on Monday night's broadcast, click here.

DVC's Dancing for Dollars

Come support the Domestic Violence Center at....

Dancing for Dollars

Sunday, May 16th, 2010
2pm - 6pm
Springvale Ballroom and Golf Course (5871 Canterbury Rd/North Olmsted)

Join us for one of Cleveland's biggest dance parties! All are welcome.

Special guest this year is nationally renowned choreographer Frank Trace. Frank's beginner dance (Mamma Maria) recently won "Absolute Beginner Dance Of The Year" at the Crystal Boot Awards in Blackpool, England, and was also awarded the title "Beginner Line Dance of the Year" and given the "Dancers Choice Award" at the Las Vegas Dance Explosion in Las Vegas. Frank will be teaching us a couple of his new dances from 2p - 3p.

There are two ways to enter: you may either pay a $15 entry fee OR get sponsors to pledge you for each dance you complete. Entry forms may be obtained by e-mailing Mary Harwood at Donations are tax deductible.

Prizes will be awarded to top fundraisers!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In Defense of "Dirty Girl" Culture

Author Jaclyn Friedman says we should stop worrying about ''bad girls'' and focus on the men who put them in danger.

by Jaclyn Friedman, Special to CNN

Last Friday, Carol Costello interviewed me for a story about what she called a "dangerous," "dirty girl" trend, (embodied by pop-star-come-lately Ke$ha) saying it involved girls being "rude, crude, and sometimes very, very drunk," and asking if mothers should worry.

While Carol and I agree about the importance of women's safety, watching the final edit of the piece made me realize how much we disagree about how to get there. Kindly, she's invited me to share my perspectives with you.

Now, I'm no Ke$ha fan. (I just cringed as I typed that ridiculous "$" in her name.) Her lyrics and videos embrace shock value for no reason beyond shock. But pop stars being blandly offensive are nothing new – Elvis was no different. Except for one tiny detail: Elvis was male.

And that's what's really at issue here. Bad boys make us shriek and faint. Bad girls make us worry. Don't they know that acting like that is dangerous?

Of course they do. That's why they're doing it. Know what else? All the girls dancing to their music know it's dangerous, too. That's why they like it.

Young adulthood has long been a time for rebelling against social norms, and that's not likely to change anytime soon. Want to keep girls safe while they figure out where their limits are? Don't ask them to be good girls in order to stay safe, when they can see that no one asks boys to do the same thing. That's not just unfair – it doesn't work.

... you can find the rest of this article right here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Challenges of a Justice System Advocate

from Marya Simmons, Advocate

I would first like to say “Thank you” to all of our volunteers. The work that you do is priceless. From the first time that you have contact with survivors, you are forming a lasting impression on them which begins the supportive relationship that they need!

In my daily role as an Advocate, I face many challenges. Scheduled hearings or trials that do not start on time and ensuring that I make at least one appearance at the agency per week to let everyone know that I am still working there (!) are just two examples.

A few tasks that are usually on my weekly schedule are trials that are scheduled at 9:00am; however, trials could be postponed hours later, a day later, or months later. That is a challenge sometimes because it intensifies the already existing anxiety the survivor/secondary survivors have built up believing that they could come to trial and then go come home. In most cases, I am supporting survivors for hours, days, or even months after the first initial trial date due to continuances or other issues with case.

Forming good relationships with Prosecutor’s aids in receiving updated information on the status of the trialsis important; thus making it easier to keep the survivor informed of what is happening with their case. I also meet with my clients when they are subpoenaed to testify at the Grand Jury, when they complete their statement with a Detective, when they are requested to meet with their assigned Prosecutor, and completing Intakes with new referrals.

My biggest challenge is trying to break the barrier with a new client that has been re-traumatized by a bad experience at a police department.

Although the JSA team provides trainings for law enforcement regarding sexual assault and how to work with victims of sexual assault, there are still cases where the victim feels they were not believed or mistreated. Forming a trusting relationship with my clients at that point is essential for me to work with them.

I believe that I am only as good as my word, so I need to do what I say I am going to do, whether it is returning a phone call or keeping my clients updated with their case status. Follow-up and documentation is one of the most important tasks of my job.

Another challenge is working with survivors and their cases don’t move forward to prosecution or working with survivors and the defendant is found not guilty or pleads to lesser charges – which in turn reduces sentencing time in prison.

The most rewarding part of my job is working with survivors from the beginning to a successful end of their case. Hearing and seeing their gratitude is an awesome feeling. Knowing that my client is satisfied makes what I do even more fulfilling. But being able to help and be a voice for those that would in some cases be ignored is a mission that I am committed to fulfill.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Great Resource: CRCC Men's Support Group

Strength in Support
A group for Men who are survivors of sexual trauma

This 10-12 week support group will provide male survivors with a safe environment to process the ways in which their history of sexual trauma impacts life today.

Each participant will receive support in creating a personal goal for their work in the group. Information on trauma will be presented, as well as opportunities to explore issues of coping, trust, self-worth and other challenges.

This is a closed group and will be offered once a week from 6:00-7:30 pm.

For more information please contact: Intake Department 216-619-6194 x141

A pre-group interview is required for participation.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tell Craigslist to Make Real Change in the Adult Services Section of Craigslist

by Amanda Kloer from

Last year, announced they would remove their erotic services section. The announcement came after pressure from the anti-trafficking community and complaints that Craigslist was being used widely to promote prostitution, sometimes involving children and human trafficking victims.

However, that section has been replaced with an adult services section which contains many of the same ads, though now thinly disguised as legal erotic services. The change has been in the title alone, not in the content.

Sign up today and tell Craigslist to make a real change in the adult services section and refuse to promote the exploitation of women and children.

The petition reads:

Last year, you made a very important and commendable choice to remove the "erotic services" section of As someone who cares deeply about the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children through prostitution, I commend that decision and thank you for it.

However, the new "adult services" section which has replaced it still contains ads for illegal prostitution, many of which are thinly veiled as legal erotic services. These ads are similar in tone and content to those which were previously used to advertise the sexual services of trafficked women and girls in the Craigslist erotic services section. I hope Craigslist will renew its commitment to reducing human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children by taking the following important steps:

1. Publically release the new standards which are being used to review the ads in the new adult services section, including the standards for staff training and supervision.

2. Take further steps to cooperate with law enforcement in the identification of illegal activities taking place on

3. Take further steps to identify the euphemisms and codes which are being used to conceal illegal activities and use that knowledge to prevent ads for such activities from being posted.

Craigslist provides many valuable community services and should not be tainted with advertisements for illegal activities, especially the exploitation and trafficking of women and children in commercial sex. Please renew your commitment to this important issue by making real and lasting changes by creating barriers to prevent the exploitation of women and children and the conducting of illegal activity on

Click here to sign the petition.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Survivors Speak Out

from Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio

One in seven women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. But despite this fact, many legislators in Ohio are still opposed to House Bill 333, which would ensure that ALL survivors of sexual assault receive comprehensive treatment including Emergency Contraception after their assault.

This is where you come in. We need your help to put a face on this issue, to show legislators that this is not an issue about statistics, it happens to real people living in their communities.

Unfortunately we are all touched by sexual assault, either as survivors ourselves or because someone we love is a survivor.

YOU can be the face of change for rape survivors!

Please help us by sending us a picture of yourself with a sign saying “I am a survivor” or if you know someone who is a survivor, a picture of yourself with sign explaining your connection - “My sister is a survivor.” In all photos, please list your hometown so that legislators know that this happens everywhere in our state.

To participate, you can upload your photo and information on our web page or email us at

Images submitted will be displayed May 12th at the Ohio Statehouse. The event will highlight the strength of our fellow Ohioans who are survivors of sexual assault, help our legislators understand that this is about real people in Ohio, and that the time has come to pass the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act.

It is easy for legislators to brush aside statistics. It’s not so easy when they are forced to look a survivor in the eye and say that legislation like CARE is not a priority for them, or that they care more about protecting hospital employees than rape survivors.

Thank you for putting a face on the issue of sexual assault to make sure that all survivors of sexual assault receive comprehensive treatment following their assault.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jeon's Top Five Most Interesting Professions

from Jeon Francis, Office Manager

Writer Oscar Wilde once said. “The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”

At one time or another, all of us have questioned why we chose the profession we’re in. Whether it be a paying job or one that we volunteer our time, the daily stresses and challenges of any career choice can sometimes leave one longing for another path.

However, before you make the turn, think hard and consider the alternatives! Enjoy our top five list of fun, interesting and just flat out weird professions found around the world!

5. Fortune Cookie Writer - Yes, we've all wondered who the heck writes those fortunes in English!

4. Ostrich Babysitter - Apparently someone gets to sit in a field full of ostrich and make sure that they didn't peck each other to death or get stolen. Any job where you can sit down, read a book and do absolutely no work is always a plus, but I have heard that these birds' behavior can get a little aggressive.

3. Odor Tester - This one is pretty odd, but some chemist has to make sure that all of those deodorants and anti-perspirants are operating properly to keep their users free of funk

2. Waste Station/Water Treatment Worker - Maybe more dirty than weird, but anytime someone has to deal with other peoples crap (literally) I think you can classify it as a weird job. Let us just take a minute to think about the things that go down our toilets and have a moment of silence for these brave men and women.

1. Chicken Sexer - Going through baby chicks and separating them according to sex. I hear this job is pretty easy, if you just play bad 80's music and set things up like a 5th grade dance, they separate themselves.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day of the Diva Event

from Maria Miranda, Hotline Advocate since Fall 2007

When people ask me what I like to do in my spare time, I say: volunteer. There are so many things in this world that need to fixed, I don't have time to rest!

Like you, I care about CRCC and it's mission. I want to live in a society where rape doesn't exist. In reality, we know that we have to combat this horrific crime with our time, talents and energy.

Here's something that needs your attention:

Did you know that there are hospitals in Ohio that don't provide rape survivors with the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their health after a sexual assault?

I'm sure our Face-to-Face advocates can attest to some of the difficulties survivors face in emergencies rooms and we all know how important it is for survivors to be empowered. A part of the solution to this problem is the CARE Act (Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies). CARE is a piece of state legislation that would ensure ALL hospitals provide ALL survivors with the information and access to medication that they need after a sexual assault.

CRCC has been working with other advocacy orgs to make sure CARE is passed. On June 13, CRCC is partnering with NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio raise money to support the passage of CARE.
Day of the Diva is a day of pampering and fun! The event will offer performances, brunch, mimosas, a speaker, mani/pedis and other beauty services, a DJ and more! I am asking my fellow volunteers to help promote the event! More attendees, means more support for the vital work that CRCC does in the community to advocate for rape survivors.

It's easy: invite your entire friend list on Facebook! Visit the event link: and 1) add your RSVP to the list and 2) click the Invite People to Come option and add all your friends.

You can include a personal message telling them why you support CRCC and why it means something to you. It takes less than 15 minutes and you're helping to support this vital piece of legislation. No survivor should be denied access to information that she needs to recover. Help CARE today by logging into your FB account and sending this invite to your list.

In solidarity,
Maria Miranda