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

CAPSA urges community members to donate locally

Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse has created a campaign designed to help local CPA’s and accountants encourage community members to donate to local non-profits.

Similar to Lee’s branded Buy Local campaign, this campaign encourages residents to keep their charitable giving within Cache Valley.

Matt Whitaker, executive director of the Cache Community Food Pantry, said the Give Local campaign will assist the Food Pantry in many ways.

“Although we receive many food donations throughout the year, we still need financial support to pay for foods that are not commonly donated, overhead, etc.,” Whitaker said.  “The Give Local campaign will go a long way in filling that need.”

Whitaker also expressed appreciation for CAPSA and its efforts to benefit the community at large. Speaking of CAPSA’s development director, James Boyd, Whitaker said, “The efforts by James Boyd to initiate the Give Local campaign is a perfect demonstration of the quality organization that CAPSA is. They are interested in lifting the entire community, not solely those who rely on the services that CAPSA provides.”

Since beginning the campaign in October, Boyd, Whitaker and other non-profit participants have reached out to local financial advisors and met with them regarding the Give Local program.

Troy Martin of Cook Martin Poulson, PC said he’s “All in” when it comes to the Give Local initiative.

“Everyone wants to go travel to South America and work in orphanages or build grass huts, but you don’t have to leave Cache Valley to help someone,” Martin said.

Sammie Macfarlane, executive director of Common Ground Outdoor Adventures, said it’s the willingness of people to give within the community that makes it so special.

“Common Ground Outdoor Adventures is thrilled to be a part of the Give Local Campaign! Seeing individuals invest right here in their own community, to assist those in need, is at the core of what makes Cache Valley such a great place to live.”

As executive director of CAPSA for more than twenty years, Jill Anderson has seen first-hand how generous community members are.

“While we sometimes see the worst of what’s happening in our community, we also get the honor of seeing the best of our community in the support they give to us every year,” Anderson said.

That support enabled CAPSA to become the first and only zero-turn-away shelter in Utah. This means if anyone experiencing domestic violence or sexual abuse comes to CAPSA needing therapy services, shelter or any form of assistance, they will receive it.

“I can only imagine the courage it takes to leave an abusive situation,” Anderson said. “CAPSA is making sure that courage is not in vain. We are here to be a safe place for everyone.”

Boyd said he created the Give Local campaign because he knew what a difference every non-profit makes.

“The Cache Education Foundation is bringing technology into the classroom,” Boyd said. “Stokes Nature Center is providing outdoor learning opportunities to children, and Four Paws Rescue is finding homes for pets who have been deemed by someone else as too old or too much work to care for. I wanted to highlight these great things and show individuals they could make a drastic difference in someone’s life by giving locally.”

Learn more about this program by visiting capsa.org/GiveLocal.

Contact:

Katie Stringham, CAPSA Development Support Coordinator, katie@capsa.org, 435-753-2500.

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An interview with NUVPEC chair, Ana Hernandez

Most of us probably haven’t heard of NUVPEC, but it stands for the Northern Utah Violence Prevention Education Coalition. To learn more about it, I interviewed the coalition chair, Ana Hernandez.

Q. Can you tell me the history of NUVPEC – when and how it was started?

A. In 2009, CAPSA’s prevention department completed a curriculum for male and female peer-to-peer discussion groups. At that time, CAPSA employees felt it was important to create a coalition.  It was called the Northern Utah Violence Prevention Education Coalition in order to address prevention efforts at the community level.

Our mission as a coalition is to reduce the incidences of sexual violence among youth in Cache County. The Northern Utah Violence Prevention Education Coalition aims to provide professional, respectful, sensitive and age appropriate prevention education to youth of all ages. NUVPEC will unite to implement developmental assets with an emphasis on positive values, social competencies and positive identities to help our future generations establish healthy, responsible and caring relationships.

Q. Who’s involved in NUVPEC?

A. Several organizations sit on NUVPEC: The Family Place, Alpha Chi Omega, the Logan Police Department, the Cache County’s Sheriff’s Office, Utah State University, Cache Makers, Pregnancy for Choices, the Department for Children and Family Services, Utah State’s Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information Office, Intermountain Healthcare, the Bear River Health Department and concerned citizens.

Q. What is NUVPEC doing in our community – what are the positive results you can point to from the program?

A. We hope that we are making a difference by raising awareness of domestic and sexual violence within our youth. Currently, we have several projects in the works.

Upstanding Youth Leadership Conference: Hosted at Utah State University on December 2, we have worked tirelessly with the Utah State Health Department and CAPSA to put this conference together. It is targeted specifically for Cache and Rich youth leaders, and we are hoping that by providing training by Marty Liccardo and other helpful workshops youth will be able to go back to their respective communities and teach their peers about making a difference and changing social norms.

Media Contest: Every year from January to the end of February the state of Utah holds a Media contest surrounding healthy relationships. This contest is for students, and NUVPEC participates by informing all the Middle and High School students about the contest and its theme.

Safe Dates: We partner with the Logan Police Department and the Fun Park to create an environment for youth to have fun while gaining an understanding of how to stay safe on a date and what to do if you feel uncomfortable at any portion of a night out.

Q. How are youth involved in NUVPEC?

A. NUVPEC raises awareness and holds events specifically for our youth. Members of the CAPSA Youth Council also help educate their peers with a member of NUVPEC.

Q. How does NUVPEC inspire and create youth leaders?

A. I hope that by making a difference the youth can see that they too can make a difference. A lot of times youth, and even adults, feel that in order to make a difference they have to be labeled as a leader. However, you do not have to be in any type of position (although it can be helpful) to make a difference and rise to inspire and be a leader.

Q. What have you learned from chairing NUVPEC?

A. When I started, I met with each member individually and listened to their concerns, ideas, and successes with the intention of making the coalition better. So far, I have been able to include more members from our community. I am also reaching out to the Latino community in hopes of bringing awareness to them,as well. I realize that although I am not perfect, I have learned that by showing others that I am human, that I care and that I am there to help them make a difference we become more united and are able to achieve more.

Q. What are the long-term goals of NUVPEC?

A. I want to continue inspiring youth to become the leaders of tomorrow. I also want to reach out to more community organizations and involve them in order to bring more awareness to families, and specifically youth.

#MeToo

By now, I hope you’ve heard of the #MeToo social media campaign. It was started by Alyssa Milano on Sunday, October 15, as a way to show all of us how prevalent sexual assault and sexual harassment are.

Milano tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” She then shared a photo which read, “Me too. Suggested by a friend: ‘If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote, ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.'”

Personally, I think that goal has been accomplished. My co-workers, family members, neighbors, friends and casual acquaintances have found their voice, and stated, “Me too!”

One post I found most interesting came from a local clergy member in Cache Valley. He shared an article written by a female pastor in California. This pastor, Jennifer, told the stories of her colleagues who have been harassed in church, some have been harassed by congregation members and others have been harassed by congregation leaders. It was a reminder to me that, unfortunately, sexual assault and domestic violence happen everywhere.

Maybe along with declaring, “Me too,” we should stand up to say, “Here too!” It happens in our churches. It happens in our schools. It happens at parties. It happens at work. Unfortunately, it may feel like there is no safe place to turn to, because everywhere people are being assaulted. But I don’t want you to feel unsafe. Even if it is Halloween in a week, I don’t want you constantly looking over your shoulder wondering when something bad will happen. Instead, I want you to first, recognize it happens everywhere, and it’s not your fault. If you’ve been abused, please don’t add to your pain by retracing your steps and just thinking if I hadn’t have gone there… If I hadn’t gone to that party, if I hadn’t gone to his apartment, if I hadn’t gone on that date… It happens everywhere. You are not at fault. There are people who believe you, hear you and care about you. Seek help, and find peace.

Second, I want you to recognize it happens everywhere! If something looks or feels out of place and inappropriate, it definitely might be. Don’t just think because you’re at church, at school, at work or at a friends house that you’re safe. Logan is not a big city. It is a generally safe town, but Logan and Cache Valley are not immune to violence. Please don’t be nervous to walk outside your front doors, but please don’t be oblivious to people’s safety, and don’t just assume we’re safe because we’re in Logan or we’re with friends or we’re at a university sanctioned event. Unfortunately, abuse happens everywhere. It happens in our homes, which seem like they should be the safest places possible. For this reason, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves on signs of violence, and realize how we can stand up for those who we think might be in danger. In that vein, Loveisrespect.org has warning signs and resources for helping a child, a co-worker, a friend, an acquaintance, etc. utilize these resources, and help stop abuse.

#MeToo showed us the prevalence of sexual assault within our communities. Hopefully, thinking about #HereToo can help us realize our role in both not blaming victims of abuse, and helping those in need. Abuse happens everywhere, but kindness and hope are kindled everywhere as well.

Thank you to all who have supported CAPSA.

Thank you, Gail

At the beginning of October, Gail Weinshenker stepped down from the CAPSA Board. A tremendous force for good, we want to thank her for the indescribable amount of service she has given to CAPSA throughout the years.

In 2016, Weinshenker’s gift of $100,000 allowed CAPSA to

move forward with it’s plans to renovate and expand it’s therapy services and children’s center.

A constant supporter of CAPSA, many employees remember her for her generosity, and her willingness to give whatever she could to CAPSA.

“She donated hand-made purses, large pillows with hand-made pillow cases, clothing, and just so much of her time and her heart to CAPSA,” Katie Stringham, CAPSA’s Development Support Coordinator said.

Along with giving to CAPSA, Weinshenker has improved the lives of students at Utah State University and members of the Cache Valley Center of the Arts’, through her donations of artifacts and money to both organizations.

Learn more of Gail’s giving nature through the following articles:

Major gift helps CAPSA develop needed therapy area and children’s center

Great Chair-ity Challenge decorates sidewalks of Main Street

USU College of Science Honors Scholars, Donors at Fall Convocation

Dine out for CAPSA in October

Monday’s in October, you can support CAPSA by dining at the following restaurants. Enjoy good food for a good cause!