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.

#  #  #

Shout out to the good guys!

My husband and I talk a lot. Every evening, we get home from work and we share the details of our days. He’s very loving and supportive of the work I do at CAPSA. However, sometimes he’ll comment or joke about all men being monsters.

I told him I watched #That’sHarassment PSA’s by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. I explained how uncomfortable I felt watching them, and it made me feel like I never wanted to be near a man again. After that comment he jokingly asked if that’s why I didn’t want to hug him when I got home.

Sometimes it seems like advocacy against sexual assault is advocacy against men. There has been a lot of discussion about Aziz Ansari and if the publicized sexual encounter with him was assault or not. On Twitter, there are women and men making comments such as, “If that’s assault then every woman I know has been assaulted.” In response to those comments some women are saying, “That’s exactly the point.”

The #YesAllWomen hashtag indicates that all men may not be abusers, but every woman has been abused or harassed within her lifetime. The #MeToo movement also had many women telling their stories of sexual harassment and unwanted advances. I was surprised when I read #MeToo stories written by my friends and family members.

Sexual assault and domestic violence are no small issues. 1 in 4 women nationally, and 1 in 3 women in Utah will be affected by abuse within their lifetimes. There are heart-wrenching, disturbing stories of abuse. Two notable examples are Warren Jeffs & the FLDS community and Larry Nassar’s abuse of more than 100 athletes.

This is a big deal, and I agree that #TimesUp and it’s time for women and men who have been abused to be heard, validated and liberated from fear. I also just want to emphasize that not all men are monsters. Not all men take advantage of a situation. Not all men are sexist and not all men are looking for a sexual favor in return for a kind act.

I want to thank the many men in my life who have kept me safe and made me feel safe.

First among them will always be my husband. He has never pressured me into anything. Before or after we got married, he understood and respected my feelings and desires. He accepted it if I needed space; he accepted it if I wasn’t in a cuddly mood and he never has asked me to do anything I may not want to or may feel uncomfortable with.

My co-workers have also made me feel safe. As a college student, Brandon was my boss. I knew he would always protect me if ever there was a need.

Also in college, I received a soccer jersey from Mexico with the bread sponsor, Bimbo, on the front. I liked the jersey so I decided to wear it. Though one man did ask me how others felt walking with a bimbo, the majority of men respected me and talked about how cool it was that I liked soccer and knew the team.

In high school, there was a classmate named Wyatt who ended a conversation when it became sexist. I was grateful for Wyatt and grateful for his desire to end the conversation instead of participating or speaking in hushed tones.

And still there’s my father, my father-in-law and all my brothers. There’s my current co-workers, and my neighbors. There are the kind strangers and grocery store workers who will cheerfully help you to your car when desired. Though the world can be a tough place, and abuse is prevalent, there are still so many wonderful, amazing men in the world, and they deserve a shout out.

Katie Stringham | Development Support Coordinator | Katie@capsa.org

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.

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

#   #   #

 

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.