Woman appears sad using a phone

Support Phone Line

CAPSA provides support services for individuals and families impacted by domestic violence, sexual abuse, or rape.

A core service is our 24-hour Support Phone Line for those who have experienced abuse or are supporting a friend or loved one.

What is the purpose of the Support Line?

CAPSA’s 24-hour Support Phone Line is answered by trained Advocates who are there to provide information and connect individuals with support services.

The Support Line is confidential. This means your information is not given to parents, family, loved ones, police, or anyone else without your consent. You are free to share what you feel comfortable with, ask questions, and get answers without being required to commit to proceeding further. The Support Line is there for support, does not require you to start any service with CAPSA.

NOTE: CAPSA is required to report instances involving elderly adult abuse or child abuse.  

CAPSA can help if you are calling because you need a safe place to escape abuse, or need support helping a friend who has experienced sexual assault or domestic violence.

Who Works the Support Line?

The Support Line is answered by trained CAPSA employees who are trauma-informed and start by believing. This means they are prepared to listen to your needs and understand how best to assist, whatever the situation may be.

Our Advocates specialize in dealing with diverse needs and provide access to specific resources to help you overcome the challenges you are facing.

Who the Support Line is Designed to Help?

The Support Line is designed to be a resource for everyone in the community. Individuals can reach out for themselves or loved ones, and other organizations often refer clients through it. Police who respond to domestic violence calls use it to get support, ask questions and connect those who need help, directly to CAPSA.

If you are fleeing sexual assault or domestic violence and need support, or you are supporting a friend or loved one recovering from it and want to know how you can best help them, please call CAPSA’s Support Line at 435-753-2500.

Press Release – Funding for Service Awareness

CAPSA has been awarded two grants from the Utah Office for Victims of Crime to bring awareness to CAPSA’s domestic violence, sexual assault and rape support services

CAPSA is a nonprofit domestic violence, sexual assault and rape recovery center serving Cache and Rich Counties. Last year CAPSA served 1,551 women, men, and children and provided community education to 30,533 participants. CAPSA’s support services includes 24-hour support phone line, emergency shelter, casework, rape exam advocacy, prevention education, and clinical therapy. All of CAPSA’s services are FREE and confidential.

“CAPSA is the local expert on safely escaping and starting a new life after domestic violence, picking up the pieces after rape, and healing from associated trauma from both. When someone reaches out to CAPSA, they can expect to speak to an expert who believes, does not judge, and will not disclose what is shared,” stated Jill Anderson Executive Director of CAPSA. “The individual is in control during the whole process. They determine the direction they want to take and CAPSA then helps them safely and successfully reach their goals.”

CAPSA has been awarded two grants from Utah Office for Victims of Crime (UOVC), Department of Justice – one provides funds for services awareness for sexual assault and rape support services and the second to fund service awareness for domestic violence support services. These funds allow CAPSA to run a multichannel awareness campaign utilizing radio, print, social media and other channels over the next 10 months.

Example of KNOW marketing

Two examples of marketing images for the KNOW campaign

“There is a major need for service awareness. When someone needs CAPSA, it is often life or death. Yet, if someone does not feel their abuse qualifies, misunderstand CAPSA’s services or sadly does not know CAPSA exists, then they will not call CAPSA and take the first step to safety and healing,” stated James Boyd Development Director for CAPSA. “With this in mind, CAPSA will launch the Know Campaign.”

The KNOW Campaign, developed by CAPSA, is designed to empower survivors of sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence while bringing awareness to the breadth of services CAPSA offers. Messages include Know Peace, Know Hope, Know Happiness, Know your Choices, Know your Voice and Know CAPSA.

One of four launch posters being displayed in businesses and public spaces beginning 9/25/19

“Victims of sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence often feel shame and isolation. These feelings mean many suffer alone and do not receive help,” stated Boyd. “This campaign is designed to show these individuals they are not alone, help is available, and there is a future where they will be able to again KNOW PEACE. We know bringing awareness to CAPSA services will result in more people seeking support, safety, and healing.”

CAPSA has developed the KNOW Campaign and is responsible for messaging and content.

“We are grateful to the Utah Office for Victims of Crime for their recognition of the need for service awareness and willingness to fund it,” stated Anderson. “There are so many suffering and this campaign will let them KNOW there is HOPE.”

 

About CAPSA

CAPSA is the state and federally recognized domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and rape crisis and recovery center for Cache and Rich counties. Founded in 1976 on the campus of USU as a rape resource, CAPSA has expanded to provide emergency shelter, clinical therapy, community education, casework, and other resources to those affected by abuse. Anyone who feels unsafe at home or within the confines of a relationship can call CAPSA’s 24-hour support phone line at 435-753-2500.  A person in immediate danger should call 911.

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Contact: James Boyd, Development Director for CAPSA, james@capsa.org, 435-760-5277 (cell)

Press Release – Jan Miller Memorial Golf Tournament

CAPSA RENAMES ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT TO THE JAN MILLER MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT IN HONOR OF LONG TIME BOARD MEMBER WHO PASSED AWAY LAST JUNE

Background

For more than 30 years, the CAPSA Golf Tournament is held the first Monday in June at the Logan Golf and Country Club. This is CAPSA’s largest in-house fundraising events and raising more than $25,000 each year.

CAPSA is a nonprofit domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape recovery center serving northern Utah. Because all of CAPSA’s services are FREE, the money raised from this event supports individuals and families escaping violence, starting new lives, and healing from the associated trauma – services include emergency shelter, housing, therapy, and more.

Jan Miller

Jan Miller

Jan Miller founded Stander, a company that invents and manufactures mobility devices for the elderly and disabled, in 1998 and served as Stander’s Fearless Leader (president and CEO) until her passing. Jan, along with her husband Troy Miller (engineer), were first inspired to create mobility devices to assist Jan’s grandmother. These inventions enabled Essie to live independently in the comfort of her own home. This victory, combined with Jan’s commitment to better society, inspired her to create Stander, Inc. Since then, Stander has invented over 30 innovative mobility solutions to help the elderly and disabled live more independently.

Jan served on the CAPSA board since 2006 and was always passionate about helping empower survivors of domestic violence to become independent. During her service, Jan served as board president, housing committee chair, and historian. Jan lead efforts to build Independence Place (a CAPSA owned neighborhood of nine homes), establish an endowment, supported expanded therapy, and create the zero turn away fund ensuring no one qualified was turn away from emergency shelter. For the zero turn away, Jan committed her company to be the first to do payroll deductions and because of her support CAPSA’s shelter has not turned away any local family displaced by domestic violence since 2016.

Independence Place Neighborhood

“Jan was an outstanding board member whose passion for and experience leadership in empowering others to become independent influenced CAPSA and can be seen throughout our organization and programs”, stated Jill Anderson CAPSA’s Executive Director. “Jan was a mentor, a friend, and partner in this work. Her passing has left a hole in CAPSA and she will be missed.”

Jan Miller passed away on June 3, 2018 (Jan’s Obituary).

The Jan Miller Memorial Golf Tournament

The CAPSA Golf Tournament was one of Jan’s favorite fundraising events. Every year she sponsored the hole-in-one contest and paid for four teams – with the goal of connecting her employees to CAPSA.  Jan Miller passed away on June 3, 2018. This was the day prior to the 2018 CAPSA Golf Tournament.

“The morning after her passing, we meet together as a Stander family to discuss her passing”, stated Troy Holland.  “As a team we discussed many things including CAPSA’s Golf Tournament that day. We all agreed that Jan would want her Stander Family there supporting CAPSA. She loved CAPSA that much and as a company we always knew of her love for their mission.”

To honor Jan, CAPSA has renamed this tournament to the Jan Miller Memorial Golf Tournament.

“My mother’s true joy in life was supporting those in need, and helping them thrive”, stated Derek Miller Jan’s son.  “It’s an honor to have CAPSA dedicate the golf tournament in memory of her kind and loving nature.”

The Jan Miller Memorial Golf Tournament will be held one year after Jan’s passing on June 3, 2019.  It will again be hosted at the Logan Golf and Country Club and includes breakfast, food throughout the course, 18 holes with carts, and lunch. Registration, sponsorship, and tournament details can be found at www.capsa.org/golf.

In honor of Jan Miller, we are working to sponsor all holes and tees to raise more funds to support CAPSA’s mission. Jan’s Family, Stander, and CAPSA have partnered to make the largest impact possible in Jan’s memory with a goal to double the annual revenue to more than $50,000.

Jan Miller Memorial Golf Tournament benefiting CAPSA

“In honor of supporting Jan’s vision to assist CAPSA, we’d love your support [as sponsors] in helping to bring others out of abuse and move forward in life,” stated Troy Miller. “Janie would find so much joy to see her community come together to help CAPSA. Thank you in advance from her family for your support.”

Registration, sponsorship, and tournament details can be found at www.capsa.org/golf.

Contact

James Boyd, Development Director for CAPSA, james@capsa.org, 435-760-5277 (cell)

Derek Miller, Jan Miller’s son and family spokesperson, derekm@stander.com, 435-755-0453

 

Fight Against Domestic Violence will be sponsoring the playground in Independence Place for $6,000 per year

CAPSA is excited to announce Fight Against Domestic Violence, an international foundation based out of Salt Lake City, will be sponsoring the playground in Independence Place for $6,000 per year.  

Background

Independence Place, a neighborhood owned and operated by CAPSA, is made up of nine single family homes, a playground, and a neighborhood garden. Part of a larger transitional housing program, Independence Place allows for more flexibility to support families who may not qualify for other housing opportunities. While in CAPSA’s Transitional Housing Program, participants receive housing assistance and continue to work with CAPSA staff for up to two years as they work on life assets.

CAPSA is the first and only nonprofit domestic violence shelter in Utah to build their own neighborhood. Independence Place is considered a flagship transitional housing program for the state of Utah.

“Our clients really start to heal once they are safe and have a place to call home. This is why finding housing is among the first priorities when families enter our emergency shelter,” stated Jill Anderson Executive Director of CAPSA. “The vision of Independence Place is to ensure CAPSA is always able to provide housing to our clients now and in the future. By owning our own housing, it allows us to help more of our clients and their families start new lives free from abuse.”

Independence Place broke ground in 2011 and was completed in 2015. The neighborhood was fully funded by private donations from foundations, businesses, and individuals including the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, Wasatch Property Management Group, Conservice, Sports Academy, Riverwoods Conference Center, Schreiber, and many individual donors. Since 2015, CAPSA has been able to provide housing assistance and housing to an average of 30 families per year.

Independence Place Sponsorship

As a nonprofit, CAPSA relies on community support both financially and through direct support. The Independence Place sponsorship program accomplishes both by raising money to cover many of the neighborhood expenses and fund other outreach services and offset some maintenance cost. It is also to connect the community to CAPSA and demonstrates to our clients they are supported.

“The vision of this sponsorship program is more than just raising money. It is linking the community to CAPSA by giving them ownership in their sponsored home,” stated James Boyd Development Director at CAPSA. “We want these organizations to feel like these homes are their homes. We put their name of the home and give them multiple service project opportunities.”

The amount of $6,000 is the average cost for CAPSA to subsidize housing for our families.

“It is amazing to see how the healing really begins when a family is in a safe home. They begin on a path that changes generations,” stated Anderson. “$6,000 is really a small investment for this family and for our community. We are lucky to have great businesses in our community, and now across the state, who can see this vision and want to support this program and these families.”

Lewiston State Bank became the first home sponsor in January 2018. “This program does so much for our community, and we are happy to be a sponsor,” said Judd Austin, president of Lewiston State Bank. “The Bank takes pride in being an annual sponsor.”

Other businesses join Lewiston State Bank as an ongoing sponsor including Malouf Foundation, Icon Foundation, and MW Construction.

Fight Against Domestic Violence

Fight Against Domestic Violence (FADV) is committed to providing education, awareness, outreach, and resources to domestic violence victims and those who support them.

FADV’s Executive Director, Dr. Jessie Richards, is an Aggie and a long-time supporter of CAPSA and Cache Valley. “CAPSA is such an inspiration,” stated Richards. “It is one of the first shelters to implement a ‘zero-turn-away’ policy, which means it is constantly innovating new ways to support survivors.” Because of her relationship to Logan, FADV has also financially supported research on domestic violence at Utah State.

“CAPSA is a leading voice in Housing First policies, creating safe and stable environments for survivors. We want to be part of their innovation,” stated Brooke Muir, FADV’s Program Director. Muir, and Richards, along with Stephanie Buehner, FADV’s Outreach Director, chose to sponsor CAPSA’s playground at Independence Place starting in January of 2019. “We know how crucial it is for children to feel safe and happy while they are in transitional housing.” Stated Buehner. “That’s why this playground is so important to FADV and to the larger community.”

In addition to sponsoring projects such as the Independence Place playground, FADV provides funds to service providers all over the state. Over a million people each year will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. To provide the best care for victims/survivors, service providers rely on support from corporations and individuals, as federal funding does not fully meet many crisis needs. FADV works to fill those funding gaps by distributing unrestricted “Crisis Cash” grants and facilitating other donations and resources to help support survivors. To get involved, or to become a corporate partner making changing in our community, visit www.fadv.org or send an email to Stephanie@fadv.org.

CAPSA still sponsorship opportunities for four of the homes and the neighborhood garden. By becoming an annual sponsor of a home, an organization will receive signage one of CAPSA’s home, public recognition, and optional team building service opportunities. To secure your sponsorship please contact James Boyd at (435)753-2500 or james@capsa.org.

About

CAPSA is a Cache Valley nonprofit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center serving northern Utah. CAPSA provides trauma informed services including advocacy, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and clinical therapy for women, men, and adolescence impacted by abuse. All services are FREE and confidential. Please call our support line anytime at (435)753-2500 to speak with a trained advocate. Learn more about CAPSA at www.capsa.org.

Fight Against Domestic Violence (FADV) is a 501-c3 organization committed to providing education, awareness, outreach, and resources to domestic violence victims and those who support them. Learn more at www.fadv.org.

Contact

James Boyd, Development Director for CAPSA, james@capsa.org, 435-760-5277 (cell)

Jessie Richards, Executive Director for FADV, Jessie@fadv.org, 801-792-0543 (cell)

Stephanie Buehner, Outreach Director, Stephanie@fadv.org, 801-541-4941 (cell)

 

Download Full Press Release

Malouf, MW Construction & ICON join Lewiston State Bank in each sponsoring a home within CAPSA’s transitional housing neighborhood

On January 30, 2018, Lewiston State Bank announced its continual support of Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse by sponsoring a house within CAPSA’s nine-home transitional housing neighborhood, Independence Place. Lewiston State Bank’s gift has become the seed for additional sponsorships.  

CAPSA offers a transitional housing program for clients leaving shelter. The program combines rent subsidies (CAPSA pays the full rent for 3 months and then gradually transitions the rent over two years) with educational workgroups and case management for an average of 20 families between CAPSA’s Independence Place neighborhood and apartments in the community.  

The program focuses on developing independence by reducing housing expenses and assisting clients as they work toward a life asset such as a down payment on a home, starting a business or pursuing an education.  

CAPSA began seeking sponsors in response to a growing concern that the Transitional Housing – Violence Against Women Act funding will not be renewed. This would represent a significant loss in funds for CAPSA’s clients and transitional housing program. 

CAPSA has been a beneficiary of the transitional housing grant for the last nine years and utilizes the money to fund scatter site rent subsidies, workgroups, and a full-time caseworker.  

Jill Anderson, CAPSA’s executive director, thanked Lewiston State Bank for being the first business to fund a home, and thereby create momentum for this project. 

“Though CAPSA owns nine homes, if the federal funding fails to renew, it will be devastating because CAPSA will no longer have funds to assist the current twelve families or future families with scatter-site housing support and the salary of a full-time caseworker,” Anderson said. “This is why Lewiston State Bank’s initial annual commitment and example was so important.”  

Dale Buxton, Lewiston State Bank president, said he wanted the donation to spur other businesses forward. The gift was given with the hope to encourage future donations, not to bring any praise or credit to the bank.   

Buxton’s goal has been realized, as the Malouf Foundation, MW Construction and the ICON Foundation have all agreed to sponsor a home. These combined sponsorships will bring in $30,000 for CAPSA and aid four families.  

“It’s amazing to have so much community support,” Anderson said. “To have four businesses provide this kind of assistance to us within the last two months, it’s overwhelming.” 

The Malouf Foundation has supported CAPSA for more than 8 years with donated sheets, pillows, and blankets for more than 300 shelter clients each year. Starting in 2016, Malouf began hosting an annual art auction fundraiser on CAPSA’s behalf which has raised over $65,000 for CAPSA. Malouf employees also participate in a payroll deduction system, where employees donate a little from each paycheck to support CAPSA’s zero turn-a-way initiative.  

Kacie Malouf, co-founder of Malouf and member of CAPSA’s board of directors, said she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to assist in this way.  

“One of the things employees find especially engaging and fulfilling about working at Malouf is the opportunity to serve within the community,” Malouf said. “As a company, we feel strongly that our success in business motivates and allows us to give back to the community. We believe in CAPSA’s mission and we’re committed to helping them.”

MW Construction has been supporting CAPSA for years including building CAPSA’s shelter and recent Gail Bird Wienshenker Therapy and Mary Palley Children Center Addition which opened one year ago. So, when Mike Funk, owner of MW Construction, heard about the Independence Place sponsorships, he concisely and quickly said, “I’m in.” 

“I love the work CAPSA does because it truly helps people” Funk states. “I am grateful to be a small part of this organization and to show my support. I encourage other businesses to find ways to support CAPSA and see how your support will benefit our community.”   

The ICON Foundation’s committee is full of amazing people who are committed to helping CAPSA in whatever way possible. 

Part of the mission of ICON’s foundation is to help provide year-round relief for members of the community in critical need. 

“In February, we asked Jill and James to come and present on CAPSA’s needs,” ICON Foundation Chairman, Jamie Jorgensen said. “They listed security needs, technology needs and the need for families to have a safe place to stay. When they presented, I knew we needed to be a part of as many initiatives as we could to help. CAPSA has an amazing staff whose dedication to their mission is incredible. I am a native of Cache Valley and one of the main reasons I love living here so much is the generous support of the community and how everyone takes care of each other to make it a wonderful, safe and happy place for everyone to live.”  

Jorgensen continued saying she feels very fortunate to be a part of this initiative, and she looks forward to providing ICON employees with opportunities to serve.  

As part of sponsoring a home, CAPSA’s goal is to have each organization take pride in their home and help maintain its beauty. 

“We want organizations to come out and plant flowers together, rake leaves together and be involved in the upkeep and maintenance of the house,” James Boyd, CAPSA’s development director said. “For us, it’s about more than the money. It’s about getting the wonderful people from each organization involved in supporting survivors of abuse.”  

With these three new sponsorships, CAPSA now has only five homes without sponsors. Boyd said CAPSA’s goal is to have every house sponsored by the end of the fiscal year, in June. A house sponsorship costs $6,000 a year. To learn more about the details, please contact James Boyd at james@capsa.org or (435) 760-5277.  

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Contact: James Boyd, Development Director for CAPSA, james@capsa.org, (435) 760-5277 

Lewiston State Bank commits $6,000 to CAPSA

On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, Lewiston State Bank announced its commitment to sponsor a home in Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse’s Independence Neighborhood.

The neighborhood consists of nine homes, and serves as transitional housing for clients leaving emergency shelter. Residents can stay for up to two years and they pay rent on a sliding scale, based on family size and income levels.

“When your life’s been seemingly shattered, it takes a while to put it back together,” Jill Anderson, CAPSA’s executive director said. “Independence Place provides individuals with both the time and physical space to heal and progress beyond abuse.”

Lewiston State Bank’s donation of $6,000 will provide a year of housing assistance for a family in need, specifically a low-or moderate-income family.

“Schreiber’s, Wasatch Properties, Sports Academy, Riverwoods, and Conservice helped us build the homes in 2015,” said James Boyd, CAPSA’s development director. “But continued funding is needed to assist families living in the neighborhood today. I hope Lewiston State Bank is the first of many organizations to donate and sponsor a home for a family in need.”

Dale Buxton, president of Lewiston State Bank said he chose to sponsor a home for CAPSA because he knows how important it is for individuals to have a loving, happy place to come home to.

“We spend -many hours helping first-time home buyers finance their dream house,” Buxton said. “We see the joy and anticipation in their eyes. We see their hope for a future. We’ve seen how having a place to call yours impacts people. For that reason, we wanted to make transitional housing affordable for CAPSA clients.”

Boyd said there’s no way to fully express the magnitude of the bank’s gift.

“You can’t put a price on safety or security,” Boyd said.

Learn how you can sponsor a home for CAPSA clients by contacting James Boyd at james@capsa.org or (435) 753-2500.

Learn more about mortgages from Lewiston State Bank by contacting the Lewiston State Bank mortgage department at 435-753-1800.

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Logan, Utah Women’s March

On January 20, CAPSA therapist, Vikki Salinas delivered the following speech to a crowd gathered for Logan Utah’s second annual Women’s March.

Hello! My name is Vikki Salinas, and I am a therapist who works at Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse, or, CAPSA. I have worked with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault for more than a decade, but I learned about the Me Too movement, like many of you, just a few months ago. As the movement gained speed on social media, my first thought was what an excellent way to help others know they are not the only ones that have experienced sexual assault or rape. These two short words – me too – carry the weight of a centuries-long struggle to be seen. To be heard. To be understood. The pain of sexual assault and rape can be a burden too great to carry on our own, but these two short words say: “You are not alone in your experience, I hear you.” And women around the world have boldly shared these words and their stories, and with that, they have declared, enough is enough!

The activist Tarana Burke founded the Me Too movement 10 years ago. Before she started the movement Tarana was the program director for Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity, and her main goal was to empower young women of color. In 1997, Tarana found herself sitting across from a 13-year-old girl who was explaining her experience with sexual assault. Tarana was left speechless, not even working up the courage to say the words Me Too. 10 years after that conversation is where the Me Too movement started. Tarana went on to create Just Be Inc., a non-profit organization that helps victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Tarana actively sought resources that were not readily available to her 10 years before and committed herself to helping people who had been abused.

Tarana did not intend for the Me Too movement to grow into what it is today, becoming the major social media campaign that it has now become. Tarana envisioned a social movement that takes a bold stance and empowers women and girls to proclaim, “I am not ashamed, I am not alone.”  Me Too is a statement from survivor to survivor that says: “I see you, I hear you, I understand you.”

One thing I know from doing this work: survivors of sexual assault and rape want to be heard. They want to feel validated and safe. They want to know they can talk to someone and not feel pressured to make any one decision. When women are heard, they are empowered to take that next step, or finally close that chapter in their lives that has hurt them so badly. At CAPSA, we provide a safe environment free of judgment where a person can feel heard and know their experience is validated when we tell them “This wasn’t your fault.”

This is an exciting time in the struggle for gender equality. The mountain is steep, and the burden is great, but together we will reach the summit and look out on a world where instead of victims being blamed for what has happened to them or be made to feel ashamed of themselves they are encouraged and supported in their healing journey. Let us keep pressing forward, let us not lose the momentum we are experiencing. Let the Me Too movement not just be but a moment, but a movement. Tell those who are brave enough to share their stories of sexual assault that you hear them. You don’t have to walk in their shoes to feel their pain…you just have to walk beside them and tell them “I see you, I hear you, I understand you. And…I am with you.”

You can view a recording of the speech on YouTube.

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.
KATIE STRINGHAM | DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT COORDINATOR | KATIE@CAPSA.ORG

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.