Attend Stop Violence Against Women Day 2011: Transform Laws to Transform Lives
Join us on February 3rd, 2011, as we come together with hundreds of fellow Georgians from across the state to raise our collective voice against domestic and sexual violence!
Stop Violence Against Women Day is an annual event held at the Georgia State Capitol at which advocates, survivors, and allies come together to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence against women and to advocate for laws and policies that enhance safety and promote justice for survivors.
This event gives attendees an opportunity to get connected with each other and with the larger movement to end violence against women. It also gives them an opportunity to foster relationships with their legislators in order to inform them of how domestic and sexual violence is impacting the lives of their constituents and their communities.
Stop Violence Against Women Day begins on February 3, 2011 at 8:00 AM with breakfast and educational briefing at Central Presbyterian Church, 201 Washington St., SW, Atlanta, GA 30303. Attendees will be escorted to the Capitol building across the street to talk to their legislators before the day is ended with an inspirational and powerful rally in the Capitol's Rotunda at 12:00 noon.
This year, GCADV's celebrity spokesperson, Grammy-nominated, Singer-Songwriter Cri$tyle, will be in attendance and share how she has been affected by domestic violence and what inspired to her start the, "Be the Voice," campaign.
Please make sure to RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to download a printable flyer for this event. We hope to see you there!
GCADV and Georgia's Own Credit Union
GCADV is partnering with Georgia’s Own Credit Union as they help us promote our, “Give a Phone, Save a Life,” used cell phone drive in their 23 Georgia’s Own Credit Union branches across the state. By collecting cell phones for GCADV, donors can give a new life to their old phones and support GCADV’s programs that impact systemic responses to domestic violence.
“Georgia’s Own has demonstrated how easy it is to start a cell phone drive that makes a huge impact and raises awareness of this social issue,” said GCADV Executive Director Nicole Lesser.
GCADV would like to thank Georgia’s Own PR/Social Media Specialist William Miller for his role in managing the distribution of materials to the credit union’s branches and promoting the drive through Georgia’s Own publications, including Georgia’s Own website homepage, their i[x]website, blog
, twitter, and Ne[x]t Magazine that educates young people to help them take control of their financial futures.
“Georgia’s Own Credit Union and i[x]ga are proud to partner with the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence for a cell phone drive to help raise awareness about domestic violence in Georgia,” Will said.
Creating awareness is a major concern in preventing abuse and getting help to victims before it is too late. Since 1 in 3 teens experience dating abuse, GCADV believes that teens need to be aware about ways in which abuse occurs so they can identify unhealthy relationship behaviors.
“Economic abuse and limiting access to finances is a common way that people in abusive relationships control each other. By learning about this early, teens and young adults may enter into relationships knowing that it’s important to have a say in a relationship’s finances,” explained Economic Justice Coordinator Allison Smith.
“Starting your own cell phone drive and giving your old phones to places like GOCU keeps them out of landfills and helps victims call for safety. If the phone is too old to re-use, the parts are sold to help fund GCADV’s essential services. It’s so easy and truly a win-win for everyone,” explained GCADV Communications Coordinator Susan Swain.
To learn more about how easy it is to start a cell phone drive, please visit GCADV’s website and fill out the form to receive your cell phone drive packet.
Responding to Domestic Violence in the Military as a Civilian Domestic Violence Advocate
Georgia ranks 5th in the nation for the state with the most military personnel. Therefore, advocates that work with civilian domestic violence programs, especially in areas like Fort Stuart, Columbus, Warner Robbins and others are likely to serve victims that are connected with the United States Armed Services. This area of advocacy is very specialized and requires advocates to be highly informed in both civilian and armed services processes in order to prevent further harm to the victim.
This article will discuss some of the precautions civilian advocates should take, but GCADV highly recommends that domestic violence programs become familiar with the publication, “Understanding the Military Response to Domestic Violence: Tools for Civilian Advocates,” from the Battered Women’s Justice Project
. It is the document upon which this summary is based. An important point that should be made is that military installations have different policies and procedures for handling domestic violence. Therefore, advocates are encouraged to build relationships with the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) in their areas to gain local expertise.
Advocating on behalf of a victim of domestic violence that has connections with the armed services is complex. Whether the victim of domestic violence is a service member or the spouse of a service member, one of the primary reasons that support is sought off-base is because of both real and perceived career and/or family consequences
. For example, if a victim discloses abuse to the military and the claim is substantiated, the service member could be demoted or discharged. Because many spouses and their families are often unemployed or under-employed and dependent upon the service member’s income, they may fear losing their family’s housing, medical benefits and other services the military provides, therefore putting their family and safety in greater jeopardy.
As a result, one of the primary reasons survivors may seek civilian domestic violence services is because of the confidentiality you can offer that the military installation may not.
Victims in the military that choose to disclose the violence in their intimate relationship to armed services support systems are given two options, the unrestricted report and the restricted report. When a victim discloses abuse through an unrestricted report, the allegation of abuse will be reviewed by multiple parties in the service member’s chain-of-command which will require mandated action processes. Alternatively, a victim may file a restricted report to specific individuals that may not have to report the abuse. These individuals include victim advocates at the FAP and health care providers, such as an OB/GYN. HOWEVER, if the command or FAP finds out about abuse from another source (such as a neighbor, friend, colleague, etc.), it will be fully investigated by the command as if it were an unrestricted report. Therefore, the confidentiality, resources and support you
can offer as a civilian advocate cannot be underestimated.
When a civilian advocate conducts a needs assessment with a military victim of domestic violence, fully understanding how the base in your area commonly proceeds with restricted or unrestricted reporting is essential. The Battered Women’s Justice Project has created an amazing resource document for advocates to help them “fill their military toolbox”
so that you are ready when you need to help safety plan and advocate on behalf of a survivor. It will guide you on what items military victims of domestic violence should gather to escape quickly, how to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the installation in your area, who to contact and specific guidance on safety planning with someone involved with the armed services.
If you are an advocate and have any specific technical assistance needs around supporting survivors, please call GCADV at 404.209.0280.
Technology and Stalking - How Advocates Can Help
"The information superhighway world we live in is a two-edge [sic] sword for survivors. The whole goal of escaping an abuser is to do just that, escape. After one has gone through the trauma of leaving, often with small children in tow, how horrifying it is to wake up to the reality that you can't escape at all. The Internet doesn't hide anyone." ---Survivor in Texas, excerpt from, “A High-Tech Twist on Abuse: Technology, Intimate Partner Stalking and Advocacy,” Cindy Southworth et al.
January is National Stalking Awareness Month, and because technology is a growing way in which abusers stalk victims, GCADV would like to offer some information about how advocates and community members can assist victims who suspect their abusers are stalking them through technology. By understanding how technology can be used by advocates and survivors to counteract technology abuse, survivors are able to better plan for their safety and make choices that could keep them safer. GCADV has been trained by the Safety Net Team of the National Network to End Domestic Violence
and encourages advocates to contact us for advanced technical assistance that is beyond the scope of this short article.
How do you tell if a victim is being stalked by technology? There are many warning signs that may be apparent, or it could be hard to tell. A common warning sign of technology stalking includes the abuser appearing all-knowing about a victim. Many times, stalkers know private information that is discussed on the phone, written on the computer or that occurred while the victim is in particular places.
Victims can empower themselves by doing a bit of detective work and tracking where they think the abuser is getting their information. Is it when they are driving, when their kids are with them, when they are at their house, or when they have their cell phones with them? Ask survivors to keep a log of this information and try to narrow down the times that the stalker knows where they are or what they are doing, saying or writing. Victims of stalking may feel like the stalker has others helping spy on her, but many times it is the far reaching scope of technology that is used by stalkers.
It is important to discuss technology as a possible stalking risk with all survivors and to believe survivors’ concerns about technology stalking, no matter how unusual the story might seem. Despite the risks, GCADV believes that technology is a positive resource and that programs should work to understand the ways in which survivors use technology in their everyday lives and how to keep them safer with technology. To learn more about basic technology safety, please visit http://www.gcadv.org/survivors/technology-safety
. If you would like to discuss ways in which GCADV can provide your staff technology safety training or if you need technical assistance, please contact Christy or Susan at GCADV.
National News: Dr. Phil Talks, Reauthorization of FVPSA Funds
Dr. Phil McGraw addressed domestic violence and the ways in which individuals across the nation can help end the silence on domestic violence during his season premier. Featuring Sue Else, President of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), Dr. Phil spoke directly to an abuser about why abuse is not okay. Click here to view the video clip of Dr. Phil's show.
As mentioned in the Dr. Phil video, funding for domestic violence services through the reauthorization of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act is vital for providing essential advocacy, counseling, legal and safety planning services for victims of domestic violence. In a recent press release from NNEDV, they announced that President Obama has signed the reauthorization of this bill into law. Click here to read more.
GCADV Thanks Graduate Intern Jenny Aszman
Jenny Aszman began her internship at GCADV in August 2010 as part of her Master's of Social Work program at Georgia State University.
Jenny was brought into the field of social work at a young age through mission work and the realization that inequality and oppression in society are systemic. In college, Jenny studied different theories regarding oppression and came to the realization that all forms of oppression are interconnected. While Jenny’s passion for social justice is in advocacy for domestic and sexual violence survivors, she is committed to dismantling the overarching systems of domination and exploitation in our society that support all forms of oppression.
Jenny’s Master’s of Social Work degree from Georgia State University concentrates on how nonprofits can utilize community partnerships to solve the various challenges that communities face. “I am excited to see what organizations can accomplish when they work together on social justice issues,” she shares. “Because all forms of oppression are interconnected, organizations fighting any form of injustice can unite their voices and power, support each other, and bring valuable insight and experience to the table.”
“There’s a lot of work to do,” she acknowledges, hopefully, “and we can do it, when we collaborate on all issues concerning oppression and discrimination.” Jenny leaves us with a quote by Audre Lorde, "I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own."
Jenny received her Bachelor’s of Social Work from the University of Georgia in 2009, and a Bachelor’s of Art in Women’s Studies in 2010. She interned at The Cottage Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center in Athens, Georgia from 2008-2009 and was the Women’s Studies Student of the Year at the University of Georgia in 2010.