Support local representatives

As individuals, there are many ways for us to work toward ending abuse within our communities; we can stop victim blaming. We can intervene if we feel an individual is being pressured into unwanted physical activity or if their significant other is ignoring or mistreating them. We can alert authorities when we hear whispers of abuse, or threats of individuals taking their lives or that of their children if a relationship ends. Another way we can end abuse, however, is to support our local leaders making a difference.

Two Utah politicians are constantly moving forward bills and amendments to further free and empower survivors of abuse. Angela Romero of the Utah House of Representatives and Todd Weiler of the Utah State Senate, are enacting laws that are making a difference.

Previous Laws

In 2015, Romero and Weiler introduced a bill defining what consent means. They proposed consent could not be given if an individual is incapacitated, and consent could not be given if the individual was unable, at the moment, to understand the consequences of their choice. The bill passed, and now these definitions of consent are used in Utah courts.

In 2017, Romero and Weiler introduced Sexual Assault Kit Processing Amendments. The bill required all sexual assault kits, except for those classified as restricted kits, to be tested and obtain DNA profiles. It also mandated that sexual assault kits be completed within a certain amount of time. The Department of Public Safety was given authority to implement a sexual assault kit tracking system, and the Department of Public Safety and the Utah Prosecution Council were required to provide training to law enforcement on how to respond to sexual assault cases. This bill passed and all provisions therein became effective on May 9, 2017.

Also in 2017, Romero and Weiler introduced Campus Advocate Confidentiality Amendments. This bill defined terms and made it clear who was responsible for reporting information in a case of domestic violence or sexual assault in a higher education setting.

Upcoming Bills

In 2018, Romero and Weiler are introducing the Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Amendments. This bill proposes a cohabitant can be defined as an individual who, “is or was in a consensual sexual relationship with the other party.” By adding this definition, individuals who were not married or living together, but experienced abuse, can file for protective orders and seek safety within the courts.

The proposed bill also adds many responsibilities to law enforcement officers who are called to an abusive situation. The bill proposes, “A law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of stalking shall use all reasonable means to protect the victim and prevent further violence including:… confiscating the weapon or weapons involved in the alleged stalking; making arrangements for the victim and any child to obtain emergency housing or shelter; providing protection while the victim removes essential personal effects; arranging, facilitating or providing for the victim and any child to obtain medical treatment; and arranging, facilitating, or providing the victim with immediate and adequate notice of the rights of the victims and of the remedies and services available to victims of stalking.”

The bill also requires victims of stalking be given a list of local shelters and directions on how and where to file a stalking injunction.

This bill will be discussed in the 2018 general legislative session, and a decision will likely be made in March 2018. We encourage each of you to let your representatives know you support Senate Bill 27, and we encourage you to reach out to Representative Romero and Senator Weiler and thank them for their work.

We can make a difference through our policies, laws and political involvement.

Talk about abuse

Domestic violence and sexual assault is hard to talk about. We want to make a difference in society, and we want survivors to feel like they can talk about their feelings and experiences, but it’s scary.

It’s scary for the survivor of abuse to open up about what happened to them, but it’s also scary to hear.

I presented to parents and their children today, and I had no idea what to say. I wanted to teach the kids what CAPSA is so they can be a resource for their peers, but I also didn’t want to introduce them to a world they may never have been exposed to. For those who came from loving families, I didn’t want to be the one to tell them that some parents hit their children and their spouse. I didn’t want to tell them of the policeman who called CAPSA because a man threatened to kill his mother-in-law. I didn’t want to be the one to take away a child’s innocence. That’s part of why I didn’t want to talk about domestic violence today. But what other reasons do we have for not talking about abuse? Can I suggest a few?

Not in my…

Just like we don’t want to shatter the innocence of children, we also don’t want to ruin the reality we’ve created for ourselves. Even though we know abuse happens, we don’t want to own up to the fact that our society and our families are imperfect. We want to believe that our family’s better than that; our neighborhood’s better than that; our state’s better than that; our church is better than that, but abuse happens to everyone and anyone. It is no respecter of person’s, and though we can take steps to prevent it, we can’t ignore it when it does exist.

I should have known

We also may not want to talk about abuse because we don’t want to feel guilty or like we should have known. When a brother, sister or neighbor tells you they’ve been abused, you don’t want to be the one thinking, “If only I had known…” You also don’t want to be thinking back on your interactions and wondering how you missed the signs. That happened to me once. A co-worker unexpectedly disappeared and said she’d moved to Texas. She’d been inconsistent in her work recently, and I just thought she had a more whimsical, care-free personality than I did. I later found out she’d been taken by her partner to Texas and kept hostage in an apartment. She secretly sent a message to her parents letting them know her location, and with the help of police, they rescued her and brought her home.

Even though she was free from her abuser, he still called asking for her at work. I was always the one to answer the phone, and I didn’t know if it was better to tell him she no longer worked at the office or to tell him she was unavailable. I wasn’t sure what would be safer. But I still look back on that situation and think about how my coworker’s partner was always on Skype. We’d be in a meeting and he’d Skype in, and she had to answer it. He made her wear a ring on her left hand, and we all thought she was engaged or married, but she just said it was a promise ring. I look back and I see all these signs of abuse. How did I not notice them before? But although I was interning at CAPSA at the time, I was still caught in reason number one of why we don’t talk about abuse. I thought nothing like that would happen to my family, friends or co-workers. I may even have underestimated how common abuse is in Logan. Even being an intern, I may have thought, ‘well yeah, it happens to some people, but not my kind of people. Not people who are working where I am, pursuing a master’s degree and living a successful life.’ I was wrong.

Though it’s scary to talk about abuse, and it’s sad to think about individuals like my co-worker kidnapped and trapped, it’s important to talk about abuse, because you never know who’s going to talk to you about it. You also can’t end abuse if you don’t know what it is or what it looks like.

How to talk about it

Here are a few tips for discussing abuse with your family and peers:

  • Use the media. TV shows, songs, music videos, movies and video games all provide opportunities to discuss domestic abuse and sexual assault. The National Network to End Domestic Violence has a list of more than 60 popular movies with domestic violence themes in them. Use this resource to know how and when to talk to children about what they’re seeing.
  • Allow children to express themselves. Sometimes children won’t want to talk to you about domestic violence, but they may find it helpful to draw a picture about it or write in their journal about their feelings. Allow them to learn in whatever way is beneficial for them.
  • Ask questions. Ask your peers about their dating lives. Talk about concerns and frustrations. Allow individuals to share their feelings with you freely.
  • Do service. Providing service for CAPSA, or a similar organization, can be a good way to introduce people to domestic violence. If doing a coat drive, individuals may ask why we need coats. If helping in daycare, explain to those around you why CAPSA has a daycare, and how it helps clients.
  • Refer to the experts. If you don’t know how to talk about a certain issue, you can always give CAPSA a call at (435) 753-2500, and we’ll help you out. We understand you may not know all the statistics, legal terms or complications associated with domestic violence or sexual assault. We’ll help you understand these things, as you have a desire to learn more.

New Board Members: Christy Glass & Beth Foley

This December, CAPSA has welcomed two new members to its governing board: Christy Glass and Beth Foley. Below is a little bit about them.

Dr. Christy Glass received her Master’s and PhD in Sociology from Yale University. Following her graduation, she began teaching at Utah State University in 2005. In 2016, she was named Researcher of the Year for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Glass primarily studies women in the workforce and their barriers toward promotion, as well as how mothers are perceived in a work environment.

Thank you, Christy for joining with CAPSA to make a difference.

 

Dr. Beth Foley is Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in communication disorders from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and she began teaching at Utah State in 1993. She served as head of the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education from 2004 to 2009. She has also served in the community by aiding individuals with communication disorders at the Cache Employment and Training Center. Internationally, Foley has worked with children in a Mexican orphanage called Gabriel House.

Thank you, Beth for your work!

Learn about the role our board members play on our blog.

Board Meetings

Board meetings and board members, what are they for? A non-profit governing board serves many purposes. First and foremost, the board oversees financial and legal decisions. CAPSA’s governing board approves new hires and salary increases. They also make new policies such as our Donor Privacy Policy. CAPSA board members have also testified before the state legislature about the need for funding to ensure continued use of the LAP.

Board members provide support for CAPSA, it’s employees, it’s events and it’s mission. CAPSA board members assist the organization by helping organize and facilitate events. Throughout December, board members open and close the CAPSA gift wrap. During the spring, members help plan and execute the 5K, and members make invitations to friends, family and associates to attend events such as CAPSA’s Wine Pairing and Trivia Night.

Our board consists of university professors, accountants, law enforcement personnel, business owners, stay-at-home moms and lawyers. The diversity of our board members should be reflective of the valley. It should also allow for in-depth discussions about how CAPSA’s policies and practices will affect various community members. Domestic violence is no respecter of persons, and neither is our board. We want to know what the challenges and barriers would be to both a businesswomen and a police officer facing a domestic violence situation. By having a variety of backgrounds represented, a healthy dialogue can be created.

Board members are constant representatives of CAPSA. Board members tell their friends, family and colleagues about CAPSA and it’s latest initiatives. Board members invite their connections to Lunch with CAPSA or on a tour of our facilities, so that men and women throughout the valley can learn more about our services, and how we can help them. Board members are also advocates within the community.

Truthfully, our board members do a lot. There is no limit to their influence on CAPSA and it’s employees, and there’s no adequate way to express our gratitude for them.

Thank you to our board members: Beth Foley, Brad Franke, Chris Guymon, Christy Glass, Donna Alder, Jan Stander, Kacie Malouf, Mike Guthrie, Ronda Callister, Scott Stettler and Tara Williams. You all are amazing and do tremendous work on behalf of CAPSA.

To learn more about how a non-profit board should run, visit Nonprofits Are Messy by Joan Garry Consulting.

 

Domestic Violence Trivia

CAPSA’s Trivia Night is February 24, 2018. To get us in the spirit, we’ve created a set of trivia questions revolving around domestic violence. See how you do:

  1. Which state first rescinded the right of a man to inflict violence upon his partner?
  2. In what year did domestic violence become a federal crime?
  3. In what year did the first shelter for abused women and children open in the United States?
  4. Which film did the domestic violence term, “gaslighting” originate from?
  5. The classic Cycle of Abuse has four main stages: tension building, acute violence or acting out, reconciliation and what?
  6. True or False, domestic violence rates in Utah are higher than the national average.
  7. Including CAPSA, how many domestic violence shelters are there within the state of Utah?
  8. On average, how many times does an individual try to leave an abusive relationship before succeeding?

STOP!

It’s time to review your answers:

  1. Alabama was the first state to rescind this right in 1871. The defining case in the matter was Fulgham V. State.
  2. Domestic violence became a national crime when the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed by the United States Congress in 1994.
  3. The Women’s Advocates was the first domestic violence shelter in the U.S., and it opened its doors in 1974.
  4. The term gaslighting originated from the 1944 movie Gaslight. The term is used to describe a form of emotional abuse where the victim feels it is their fault for provoking the abuser to anger. Many individuals who have dealt with gaslighting feel they are going crazy and cannot do anything right.
  5. The Cycle of Abuse culminates in the Honeymoon or calm stage where the abuser is kind and loving toward their victim and they promise they will change and no longer be violent, controlling or manipulative.
  6. True. Nationally, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men will be abused in their lifetime. In Utah, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience abuse.
  7. There are 16 domestic violence shelters throughout Utah.
  8. On average, it takes a survivor of domestic violence 7 attempts to escape before succeeding.

Learn more about domestic violence and how to help a loved one on the Get Help part of our website. If you or a loved one experiences or experienced abuse, call CAPSA at (435) 753-2500.

 

Be Santa for CAPSA

From now until December 11, Citizens Against Physical & Sexual Abuse is accepting gift donations for the women, children and men within shelter and transitional housing.

Desired items include: gloves, hats, ITunes gift cards, Google Play Cards, movies, makeup kits, perfume, cologne, hair straighteners, curling irons, stocking stuffers, family oriented board games, playing cards and puzzles.

In addition to gifts, individuals can donate wrapping paper, gift bags, bows and ribbons.

“Financial abuse is prevalent among the families we see,” Jill Anderson, CAPSA’s executive director said. “The mothers within shelter don’t have the means to provide presents for their children. They can’t be Santa for them, and that’s heartbreaking.”

For the past five years, Anderson has watched as women from shelter and the transitional housing program have been able to pick out presents for their children amongst the gifts donated to CAPSA.

“It’s empowering,” Anderson said. “Everything may not be going right for these families, but it’s a liberating feeling knowing your child will wake up Christmas morning and see that not only has Santa not forgotten about them, but neither has their mom.”

Along with Anderson, the women and children within shelter are thankful for the donations they receive.

When asked what they were grateful for, children within shelter said, “Nice people, food, clothes, shoes, a house, family and friends.”

A mother in shelter added, “Your donations are beyond our expectations. Your kindness is a godsend. Thank you.”

Individuals wishing to donate can drop-off items at Cox Honeyland & Gifts, Global Village Gifts or Even Steven’s Sandwiches in Logan.

A longtime partner with CAPSA, Even Stevens is excited to give back to the community in this way. Logan restaurant manager, Acea Spencer said customers have already come in and expressed a desire to serve.

“I’ve seen parents come in and they tell me they’ll come back with their kids, so they can see them and understand the importance of giving, along with receiving,” Spencer said.

In an effort to encourage individuals to donate, Global Village Gifts will give 20% off one item from your purchase when you donate a gift to CAPSA.

“We really are grateful for the community’s support,” Anderson said. “Because of all of you, more than 200 families will have a Christmas this year.”

Contact: Katie Stringham, Development Support Coordinator, Katie@capsa.org, 435-753-2500

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The History of CAPSA

In 1976, two high-profile rape cases occurred on Utah State University’s campus. This troubled many community members, and deciding to act, they created the Cache Valley Rape Crisis Team. The team was a hotline and calls were directed toward the university’s Women’s Center.

In 1979, Utah passed a spousal abuse act, which made domestic violence illegal. With this legislation, both the need and funding for domestic violence shelters increased. The response team changed it’s name to Citizens Against Physical & Sexual Abuse, and community members began housing individuals within their own homes.

It wasn’t until 1984 that CAPSA gained enough monetary support to allow a shelter to be purchased. The board then hired CAPSA’s first five full-time employees, and on Valentine’s Day of 1985, CAPSA began serving clients.

Also in 1985, Somebody’s Attic was formed to address CAPSA’s need for continual funding. A CAPSA board member created the organization with the idea that all sale proceeds from the items donated would go to CAPSA. Since its inception, Somebody’s Attic has raised more than $1 million to help end abuse. In 2017, CAPSA received more than $60,000 from Somebody’s Attic.

With this new source of funding, CAPSA was able to form the Mobile Crisis Team in 1992. Team members then and now meet with victims of abuse and stay with them as a rape exam is completed or as they recount what happened to law enforcement personnel. Members of the Mobile Crisis Team are seen as both advocates and friends to the victim, and they are there when family, friends, roommates and others cannot be. When the crisis team was created in 1992, it was the first of it’s kind in the state of Utah.

Ten years after the Mobile Crisis Team was created, a new shelter opened in 2002. This shelter nearly doubled the capacity of CAPSA’s previous shelter and allowed for two new living room areas and kitchens.

In 2017, CAPSA expanded again, when it opened the Gail Bird Weinshenker Therapy Center and the Mary Flynn Palley Children’s Center. These needed additions aid CAPSA staff as they provide therapy and other services to all individuals in need within Cache & Rich Counties.

To learn more about CAPSA’s expansions and current initiatives, follow us on Facebook or contact Katie Stringham at katie@capsa.org.

CAPSA receives $750,000 grant from U.S. Department of Justice

Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse, in conjunction with Fast Forward Charter High School and the Cache Youth Resource Center, has received a $750,000 grant from the United States Justice Department.

The grant came from the Office of Violence Against Women, and its goal is to train youth, particularly boys and men, to become leaders in the community, and be engaged in violence prevention.

To that end, CAPSA has hired a full-time clinical therapist whose office will be located in Fast Forward, and whose time will be devoted to the teens there.

This new therapist, Alicia Stettler, said she’s excited to begin working with the youth.

“I love that CAPSA looks at everything so holistically,” Stettler said. “They look at the children, the adults and the youth, to see how they interact with each other. I’m very excited to get to know the students and help all of their interactions improve.”

CAPSA also hired a full-time prevention educator, Bethany Balady, whose role will be to teach those attending Fast Forward about healthy relationships, personal boundaries, consent, how to prevent bullying and other strategies to assist youth in dealing with their emotions and challenges.

Fast Forward will also be adding staff to support the engagement of students within violence prevention, and to support families who are currently struggling with abuse.

Jill Lowe, the Principle of Fast Forward, said she’s excited to have these professionals and the resources they bring within the school.

“Many of our students do not have access to the resources they need to be successful,” Lowe said. “With the help of this grant, we will be bringing the resources to them and their families.”

Fast Forward’s mission is to serve students who are at-risk of not completing degree requirements and challenge them in healthy ways. Lowe believes the training students will receive will challenge them in positive, non-academic ways.

“These students are remarkable,” Lowe said. “However, similar to any other school in our valley, many have experienced trauma. If these students can gain social skills which help them interact with others and express themselves in healthy ways, as well as learning healthy coping mechanisms, that will drastically improve their lives right now and in the future.”

Jill Anderson, executive director of CAPSA, is looking forward to partnering with Fast Forward, and she’s very grateful to the Department of Justice for their support with this grant.

“We were one of only fifteen organizations to receive this grant,” Anderson said. “Other recipients were based in New York City, Cleveland and Seattle. I’m grateful the Office of Violence Against Women saw that our need in Logan, Utah is of equal importance to that of these bigger cities. Regardless of population size, we all want to do the same thing, and that’s to change and save the lives of our youth.”

CAPSA has previously received grants from the Department of Justice, and in Fiscal Year 2017, grants equated to 70% of CAPSA’s overall funding.

“We can’t do what we do without the support of the community,” Anderson said. “But we also can’t do what we do without the support of larger, national organizations who have dedicated their time and money to helping end abuse and violence.”

Learn more about CAPSA at capsa.org. Learn more about Fast Forward Charter High School at ffchs.org.

Contacts: Katie Stringham, Development Support Coordinator, Katie@capsa.org, 435-753-2500

Jill Anderson, CAPSA Executive Director, Jill@capsa.org, 435-753-2500

Jill Lowe, Fast Forward Principle, Jill@ffchs.org, 435-713-4255

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Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP)

The Lethality Assessment Protocol or LAP, is a major tool used by both local law enforcement and CAPSA personnel. So, what is the LAP?

Originating from Maryland, Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, of The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, studied the factors associated with domestic homicide within the state. She studied these cases for more than 25 years, and from her study, she found 20 warning signs indicating an individual was at high risk of being killed by an intimate partner.

Inspired by this research, the State of Maryland worked with Dr. Campbell to create an 11 question assessment to be used by law enforcement. Now when a domestic violence call comes in, officers ask the victim of abuse these 11 questions. Depending on the answers, victims are determined whether or not they are at high risk of being murdered by their intimate partner. If at high risk, law enforcement personnel connect the individual to a local domestic violence shelter.

In the seven years since implementing the LAP in Maryland, domestic homicides have reduced by 60%. Since implementing this system in Utah, more than 1,500 individuals have been identified as being in a high-risk situation. Because of the LAP, these 1,500 individuals are receiving the help they are in need of. Before the LAP, only 4% of these at risk individuals visited a domestic violence shelter or sought any type of aid in preventing or dealing with their abusive situation.

We’re grateful for our law-makers and officers for making the LAP a life-saving part of our response to domestic violence within the state.

Learn more about CAPSA and the LAP at the links below:

CAPSA has a new tool to fight domestic violence

Local law enforcement agencies, CAPSA, collaborate to adopt domestic violence protocol

New program connecting domestic violence victims to resources

Policeman honored for implementing domestic violence victim assessment

Give Local

With Thanksgiving coming up, we think of our blessings and how we can better help those in need. As you consider what you can do to give back for all you’ve been given, consider giving local. By giving local, you’re ensuring your gift has an immediate impact on your neighbors and friends.

CAPSA development director, James Boyd created a flyer to learn how to give local and how to use your tax write-offs or estate planning to give local, but another good way to give local is to follow non-profits on social media. Often, the most pressing needs are expressed through this outlet.

Planned Giving Flyer

CAPSA Facebook | Stokes Nature Center Facebook | Cache Education Foundation Facebook | Cache Community Food Pantry Facebook | Common Ground Outdoor Adventures Facebook | Four Paws Rescue Facebook | The Family Place Facebook | Cache Valley Veterans Association Facebook | Little Lambs Foundation for Kids Facebook