Partners in Prevention

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Partners in PreventionThe Center is an official “Partner in Prevention,” a nationally-recognized public standard to end child sexual abuse (CSA). The designation was awarded for our commitment to protecting children by training 100% of our staff on how to prevent, recognize the signs, and react responsibly to CSA.

The “Partner in Prevention” designation was created as a national standard to help parents and caregivers recognize organizations who take CSA prevention seriously by training staff and implementing effective prevention policies. The training and designation award is provided by Darkness to Light. D2L has championed the movement to end CSA since its founding in 2000 and now has education programs in 49 states and 15 foreign countries.

D2L’s training curriculum points out that CSA is pervasive in a society where it is repressed and not discussed. Though 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18, less than a third of cases are reported. Thousands of organizations across the United States and Canada are now seeking out a dialogue for prevention, and they are sending parents and the community a message with the Partner in Prevention distinction.

Rachel Valentine, the Center’s Rape Prevention Educator Coordinator, is a trained facilitator for D2L’s Stewards of Children program. In addition to training our own staff, she provides prevention education for adults across the Orange County community. The Stewards of Children program is especially designed for parents and caregivers of children. In the 2012-2013 academic year, Rachel trained 141 adults in proven child abuse prevention techniques.

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Downton Abbey’s Epic Fail, and What We Can Learn From It

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** Spoiler alert/Trigger warning: If you’re a Downton Abbey fan who has not yet seen the most recent episode, which aired this past Sunday, January 12, in the US, spoilers are ahead in this blog post. Also, there is no explicit trigger warning for sexual violence on the episode, but there should be.

If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you’re already well-aware of the show’s appeal factors, but for the rest of you, I’ll give you a brief rundown: It’s a British period drama about English aristocrats and the servants who work for them in the years leading up to, during, and after WWI. Pretty much everyone is white, and among all those white folks, there’s a lot of tea drinking, lavish costumes, light humor, and no small amount of snark. And, of course, there’s drama.

But the appeal of Downton, at least until Sunday’s episode, has always been the incredible restraint with which that drama has been handled. Much of it is entirely inconsequential to anyone who’s not a member of the early 20th century landed gentry — missing cufflinks, dinner served from the wrong side, etc. — and even when there is a genuinely catastrophic event, such as the death of one of the show’s main characters, it is handled with a subtlety and gentility that hits the appropriate emotional notes without leaving the viewer feeling their concern for beloved characters has been taken advantage of and used against them. Or such was the case before Sunday’s episode.

You can read an in-depth recap of Sunday’s episode here, but suffice it to say that all but the last 8 minutes were traditional Downton fare, with potential suitors, dinner guest drama, and a jar of jam breaking in the kitchen (no, for real, that was a whole thing). So when, in the final few minutes, we see Anna, arguably the most morally upright character on the show, downing Alka Seltzer alone in the empty kitchen while the rest of the household are upstairs listening to a performance from a visiting opera singer, my first thought was, “Oh dear, another health crisis storyline.” It wasn’t until Anna turned around to find herself face-to-face with a visiting valet whose previously open, charming face is suddenly glowering with menace (subtle!) that I realized the direction the scene was headed. Even so, this is Downton Abbey, not Law & Order: SVU. Surely someone would burst in at the last minute and stop him, right? Right?! Wrong.

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The Power of Social Connection

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PowerOver the past year, the Center and NCCASA (North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault) have collaborated to develop The Power of Social Connection: Developing and coordinating sustainable support group programs for survivors of sexual violence, a support group manual and training program that will help rape crisis centers and other human service organizations learn how to create, improve, and manage support group programs.

With limited support group opportunities in North Carolina, we hope that this manual and training program will greatly expand healing services for survivors of violence across the state. Monika Johnson-Hostler, Executive Director of the NCCASA, said, “NCCASA is proud to partner in creating this comprehensive resource that sets the standard for support groups not only in North Carolina but across the country. As one of the three partners of the National Resource Sharing Project, we will share the manual with other state coalitions.”

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Safe Passage of Safe Harbor

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Safe HarborNo one can deny that the most recent North Carolina Legislative Session was, to say the least, controversial.  But amid all the controversy came the passage of SB 683, otherwise known as the Safe Harbor Act. We first brought you news of this legislation back in April.  At the time, it was in the form of HB 825, a bill seeking to eliminate criminal prosecution of prostituted minors.  In their final vote on the bill, the NC House removed that particular provision, but it was thankfully restored by the Conference Committee before being unanimously passed on July 25 and signed into law by the governor on July 29, 2013.

Thanks to the Safe Harbor Act, North Carolina is now a safer and more supportive state for prostituted minors and all survivors of trafficking.  In addition to prostituted minors no longer facing criminal prosecution, all victims of trafficking can now have their prostitution offenses erased from their criminal record when it can be proven that they were forced into prostitution or were under 18 at the time of the offense. Read more


Hollaback! 919

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HollabackHollaback! Durham & Chapel Hill organizers are excited to announce the launch of our new local chapter. Hollaback! is an international organization dedicated to ending street harassment and harassment in public spaces.

Organizers from the teen-led Youth Against Rape Culture (YARC) activist collective have a lot to say about how street harassment affects the lives of young people in the area. “I was harassed by a guy on Franklin Street when I was 11 years old,” says organizer and Chapel Hill High School senior Hannah Hodge. “It’s messed up that some creep on the corner catcalling is what made me feel like a woman.”

Hannah’s experience of harassment is not unique. Street harassment is an often misunderstood phenomenon that affects all types of communities, whether suburban, urban, or rural.  According to a 2000 survey, 87 percent of American women had been harassed by a male stranger; nearly half had experienced “extreme harassment” such as groping, following, or assault. Harassment is experienced even more often by LGBTQ-identified individuals, who are commonly left out of mainstream discussions of harassment.

Youth organizers have enjoyed both moral and logistical support from mentors at the Center. Executive Director Shamecca Bryant explains the Center’s interest in supporting this campaign: “We recognize the role that street harassment plays in creating a culture of violence against women and violence against marginalized individuals. We see our work as complementary to Hollaback and their mission to shine a light on the seriousness of street harassment.” YARC team mentor and Center staff Rachel Valentine echoes that sentiment: “Harassment – whether it’s sexist, racist or homophobic – gets its power from the threat of violence that lingers behind it.”

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Thank You for a Record-Setting Auction!

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Holiday Auction EventOur 26th Annual Holiday Auction was another huge success, thanks to you! Thank you for all your support for the Auction: attending the event, donating items, bidding on items, entering our drawing, and more.

We are so excited about the records you set this year! The Auction had over 320 community members in attendance and raised more than $93,000! We are blown away by your generosity. These extra funds will go a long way toward making up for the $60,000 loss we had in government funding this year. Thank you for providing help, hope, and healing to our community!

Be sure to check out our Facebook page to view awesome pictures from Julie K. Koehn Photography.

 

And when you have a free minute, help us make our Auction the best it can be by sharing your feedback on our short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7PW3GG3. We appreciate your input!

Many thanks to all our supporters, including our event sponsors:

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It’s Giving Tuesday!

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#GivingTuesdayNow that we’re past Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, it’s time for… Giving Tuesday!

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help us create #GivingTuesday. A new day for giving back.  On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company, or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Be a part of a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity.

Here’s a few ways you can support the Center this holiday season:

  • Donate to our Year-End Campaign! From now until the end of 2013, your gift of $100 or more will be matched (up to $2,100).
  • Join us for our 26th Annual Holiday Auction on Sunday, December 8! We’ll have keynote speaker Frank Stasio from WUNC’s The State of Things, live music from Morning Brigade, awesome items in our silent and live auctions, delicious sweets in our signature dessert auction, and more!
  • Enter our drawing to win A Night on the Town: drinks at The Crunkleton, dinner at Lantern, and a night at The Carolina Inn. Tickets are only $5 each, and 100% of proceeds benefit the Center.
  • Visit Twig through December 5th. Mention the Orange County Rape Crisis Center at checkout to donate 20% of your purchase.
  • Donate your used cell phones and other items on our wishlist.

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Thank you so much for your generosity! Your gift makes a safer community for us all.


One Line: Consent

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Despite what Robin Thicke has to say, we know that there’s only one line: consent.

Consent is the voluntary, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement exchanged amongst individuals. The only way to know if another individual has given consent is if they explicitly say so. Consent cannot be given if coercion, manipulation, threats, intimidation, pressure, or alcohol or drugs have been involved. Asking for and obtaining consent shows that you have respect for both yourself and your partner.

Speaking of consent, come out to Local 506 on Saturday, November 22, for ONE LINE: Consent Dance Party. We’ll celebrate consent at a fun dance party with Lady DJs Fifi Hi-Hi, Playplay, and Queen Plz.

And in other consent-themed news, check out this awesome campaign from UNC students, Sex Equality Consent. They asked students what consent means and why it matters. Here are a few answers! Check out their Facebook page for more.

Consent, Liz

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Transgender Awareness Week

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Transgender Awareness Week 2013For many, November marks the time of the year to be thankful for everyone and everything we hold near and dear to us. In the trans*gender community and its allies, the end of November signifies more than that. This November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day that memorializes those who have been killed because of anti-trans violence.

Anti-trans violence is very real and its numbers are extremely disturbing. In 2012, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reported 25 hate-related homicides against the LGBTQ community in the United States. Of that 25, more than half of the victims were trans women of color, which is a shocking 40% increase of violence against trans women since 2011.  The transgender community faces particularly high rates of public discrimination as well, including unemployment; extreme poverty; harassment in schools, jobs, and on streets; and higher rates of physical and sexual assault.

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Enter to Win a Night on the Town!

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Win a Night on the Town

Enter to win…

A Night on the Town

– Drinks at The Crunkleton
– Dinner for Two at Lantern
– A night at The Carolina Inn

Use all 3 certificates for one awesome night, or use them separately to make the fun last. You could even give someone you love an awesome holiday gift!

How to Enter:

Purchase tickets here. Increase your chances: Buy 5, get 1 free! Buy 10, get 4 free!

Earn TWO Free Entries!

The Center has joined Pinterest! One of the web’s fastest-growing social media platforms, we’re excited to share and connect with you in a new way.

Until November 30, follow us on Pinterest and get a chance to win a Night on the Town! Share our Night on the Town pin (the picture on this post) and earn an additional entry!

How does it work?

  1. Follow us on Pinterest. (+1)
  2. Share our Night on the Town pin. (+1)
  3. Complete this Google form.

That’s it! You get one free entry for following us on Pinterest and one additional entry if you share our pin. The Google form must be completed and submitted by November 30. Good luck!

Join Us at Our 26th Annual Holiday Auction!

We will announce the winner of the Night on the Town drawing prize at our Holiday Auction on Sunday, December 8, at 5pm, at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel. Though you don’t have to be present to win, we would love for you to join us! We’ll have keynote speaker Frank Stasio from WUNC’s The State of Things, live music from Morning Brigade, awesome items in our silent and live auctions, delicious sweets in our signature dessert auction, and more! Find out more and purchase tickets at ocrcc.org/auction. We’ll see you there!


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