News & Updates: March 2018

 

CALL FOR SURVIVOR STORIES

Julie is collecting survivor stories for a book she has wanted to write for years regarding what happens when domestic violence victims reach out for help to their churches or pastors. Julie's retired pastor father and fellow domestic violence survivor, Rev. Bob Owens, Pastor Emeritus of First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, will co-write the book, adding a pastoral and biblical perspective. Julie hopes to tell the stories of survivors who represent a wide variety of Christian denominations and sects. Christian survivors will share their experiences seeking support in their faith communities, and how their faith impacted their victimization and recovery. Julie's hope is that the book will help victim/survivors see themselves in the stories of other women and know that they are not alone. She also seeks to help pastors and church leaders understand that domestic violence happens in every sect and denomination and consider ways they can respond ito support and empower victims.

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If you know of domestic violence (intimate partner abuse) survivors who may be interested in being interviewed by Julie for this book, please have them contact her via the website contact form. She will reply and provide an explanation about how the project will proceed. Thanks for sharing this information! 


IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Bresha Meadows, the Ohio teenager who killed her father after he allegedly terrorized and abused her family for years, is finally home. Bresha, who is now 16, was released from the residential mental health facility where she spent the last six months. Her case attracted national media attention and opened up a conversation about how black women and girls are treated by the criminal justice system when they claim self-defense. 
READ MORE→

Porn, Violence Against Women, Sex Trafficking: Undeniably Linked
"While porn has always centralized the objectification of women above all else, it is only since it took on a digital format that abuse has moved from being an 'occupational hazard' to the very GOAL of its contents. Physical violence is rife — choking, forceful penetration, slapping and hitting — but the violence can also be symbolic. Violence is a tool that oppresses and subjugates, and porn is littered with this 'symbolic' subjugation... Often, pornography is defended as being a place where people can explore fantasy without real world consequences. Now this is all well and good in theory, but as Andrea Dworkin said, “Pornography happens to women”. Not even taking into account that whatever happens on screen is happening to a real woman, you would have to be intentionally ignorant to believe that these depictions exist in a vacuum and don’t have an influence on real world attitudes towards sex and women." READ MORE→ 

IMPORTANT LEGISLATION

  • On March 21, 2018 the US Senate passed the Fosta-Sesta bill, which is expected to be signed into law. (House bill is FOSTA "Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act"; Senate bill is SESTA "Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act") Many see this as a huge success that will help put a stop the on-line sale of sex. The legislation has been hotly contested, however, by those arguing that by shutting down the sex ads on Backpage, Craigslist and similar websites (which are monitored to catch traffickers) it will drive traffickers further underground, endanger victims and hamper investigations. Craigslist just removed its Personals section when the bill passed. (Backpage closed its adults section in 2017 prior to a senate hearing, but ads are now in the "dating" section.) Victims are already being advertised on websites housed outside the U.S., where federal prosecutors have no subpoena power. The bill has also been criticized for failing to address the immediate needs of victims. 
     
  • Congress's Omnibus funding package increases funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA) and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). These fund many services for DV & sexual assault victims, as well as victims of other crimes.  A 3% VOCA tribal funding stream is included. FVPSA funding is increased and $5 million is designated for Native victim/survivors, and invests in housing for victims and survivors. Also included are provisions to strengthen laws requiring DV offender information inclusion in the national firearms background check system. READ MORE→   
     
  • 1 out of every 3 females worldwide will be abused. Gender based violence (GBV) is a barrier to solving many global challenges. The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) calls for a comprehensive U.S. response. Passage would show the U.S.'s commitment to making gender equality a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. READ MORE→  

 


 
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ADVOCATE SPOTLIGHT

We need more incredible advocate attorneys like California's Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas, who helps victims sue their abusers to help give them a chance to attain their independence.  READ MORE→

 

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE CHURCH
MARCH 27, 2018 | 9AM - 4 PM
J.E. BROYHILL CIVIC CENTER, LENOIR, NC

RSVP by March 10 to: breanna.mckay@shelterhomecc.org
Julie will be the training provider at a free, all-day conference for pastors, church leaders and others interested in addressing domestic violence in Christian homes. Julie and a number of other survivors will share their stories.  

ADVOCACY LEARNING CENTER COURSE
DEADLINE TO APPLY: MARCH 19, 2018

Praxis Intl. (developed by Dr Ellen Pence, co-developer of the Power and Control Wheel) is accepting applications for its 18-month course for advocacy teams.The course gives advocates, advocacy program managers and coalition staff a rare chance to come together for self-reflection, inspiration and an opportunity to re-think approaches to individual, institutional and community advocacy. READ MORE→


JULIE'S CURRENT PROJECTS

  • Training the Bank of America domestic violence violence employee advocacy team. Since 2016, when this unique corporate team of Life Events Specialists was created, Julie has been the primary trainer. Team members help bank employees directly affected by domestic violence, providing one-on-one support, connection to relevant resources including confidential counseling and legal services, as well as safety planning and security support at work.
  • Testifying as an expert witness for a domestic violence victim in a custody trial.
  • On-Call Expert Consultant regarding intimate partner violence, violence against women and human trafficking for News Rising, the morning news show on WCCB-TV, the CW affiliate in Charlotte, NC. Julie will begin providing in-person interviews responding to breaking news stories when she is in Charlotte, and Skype interviews when she is away
  • Consulting with the Board of Directors of "Pathways to Safety International", the victim assistance agency for Americans who have been assaulted overseas. Learn about the work of this great one-of-a-kind organization here.