What Happens to the Adult Cases?

Woman relaxing in sunsetGiven the headlines in recent months concerning college sexual assault cases, it’s clear the time has come to seriously examine the way adult sexual assault cases are handled from start to finish in Rhode Island. We’re dealing with a fragmented system that needs our attention.

Most sexual assaults are never reported to law enforcement, and even among reported cases, most will never be successfully prosecuted. This reality has been a long-standing source of frustration for survivors, victim advocates, and members of the criminal justice system. As more victims come forward, attention to the issue of sexual assault has increased and has placed the entire reporting and investigation process under scrutiny.

Day One has worked closely with law enforcement and other agencies around the state to develop an effective, coordinated response to child sexual abuse with our Children’s Advocacy Center. Cases are tracked, monitored, and followed up on long after the initial disclosure. We are currently applying the same approach to the burgeoning issue of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). It’s evident we need the same type of coordinated system to address adult sexual assault in our state.

To start the process, Day One is coordinating a specialized task force to address adult sexual assault in Rhode Island that includes law enforcement, prosecution, Day One advocates, medical professionals, and higher education representatives. A sexual assault survivor may have contact with many different agencies. This team will be responsible for the oversight of adult sexual assault cases from the initial report to investigation and prosecution to trauma-informed clinical treatment and support for the victim.

Through this task force, we aim to:

  • Establish a comprehensive and collaborative multi-disciplinary team approach to dealing with adult sexual assault cases statewide
  • Develop and implement policies and protocols using a best practices approach to investigation and prosecution
  • Improve response rate to sexual assault victims in urgent need of services
  • Ensure that an efficient system of response is accessible to all victims

There is currently no consistent, centralized means of tracking of sexual assault data in Rhode Island.  Without effective tracking, many of these cases cannot be properly monitored and followed up on. We know that, based on successful models in other states, a positive experience during initial reporting creates an environment where victims feel supported and believed, and decreases re-traumatization.

We owe it to our students and to our community to provide the best possible response to all sexual assaults. Without that, we are sending a message not to bother reporting this crime, a message that has already been sent too often in Rhode Island.

Day One Honors Stars and Engages Community at Recent ‘Be Among the Stars’ gala

At the beautiful Aldrich Mansion with an Old Hollywood theme, Day One held its annual event on September 26, complete with a Hollywood film premiere of the agency’s new video

It was a night filled with Old Hollywood glamour. Rhode Island community members turned out in droves to enjoy a night of dinner, drinks, dancing and more while supporting Day One. From the raffle prizes, which ranged from a night out on the town in Providence to a high-end weekend away on Block Island, to the lively music by Nancy Paolino and the Black Tie Band to the Hollywood photo booth, there was something for everyone!

Guests got to hear from our Day One stars, who were honored for their help in the fight against sexual violence, as well as watch the debut of our new agency video!

Missed it? Check out some photos from the night, and stay tuned for details about our 2015 annual event. Special thanks to our sponsors!

Thank you to our 2014 sponsors

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From your sponsorship of the Day One 5K to our Annual Event to sustaining our critical programs that have a statewide service scope, THANK YOU!

Day One Receives Verizon Foundation Grant to Support Victim Services

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Peg Langhammer, executive director at Day One (left) accepts a $5000 grant from Michele Cinquegrano of the Verizon Foundation.

Day One received a $5,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to support victim services, in particular, a support group for secondary victims of sexual abuse. Entitled ‘Finding our Way Back: Reconnecting to Traumatized Youth, ‘ this program addresses the traumatic effect of violence committed by members of the family. This group therapy is effective support for caregivers of domestic violence victims since the caregiver has to be aware of their own emotional reactions and be able to manage it to effectively help the survivor.

Day One is among 48 nonprofit agencies across New England receiving a total of $280,000 in Verizon Foundation grants to support domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and services programs. The Verizon Foundation New England Domestic Violence Solutions Awards focus on programs that provide survivors with resources that enable them to continue treatment and recovery; support the health and wellness of families affected by domestic violence; engage men to take action to end violence against women; and educate teens on healthy relationships.

Day One is the only agency in Rhode Island organized specifically to deal with issues of sexual assault as a community concern, and is currently addressing some of the most critical issues facing the state right now, including child sexual abuse, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and college sexual assault.

“We’re seeing a significant increase in the need for our services, so this grant comes at a particularly important time,” says Peg Langhammer, Day One executive director. “We’re so grateful to the Verizon foundation for their generous support and look forward to continuing our efforts to end sexual violence in our communities.”

“Day One works hard each and every day to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault in local communities, while advocating for the rights and safety of survivors,” said Michele Cinquegrano, regional director of government affairs at Verizon. “Verizon is proud to continue to support and invest in these programs that help survivors and their families rebuild their lives and bring attention to this important issue affecting our communities.”

The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company’s innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit www.verizonfoundation.org; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook  and Twitter.

New therapy groups available

Stoop TeensDay One’s clinical staff has a number of new offerings for Fall. Check out what we have to offer and call the number below if you’d like to get involved!

  • We will be starting a yoga therapy group for female survivors of sexual assault during the last week of September.
  • In the first week of October, a “Seeking Safety” group will begin. This group uses a research-based curriculum in treating the overlap of substance abuse and trauma symptoms. This group is for male survivors.
    • We plan on starting an open support group for college sexual assault survivors in October.

Please contact Day One’s Clinical Program Coordinator, Lauren Kelly, for information on registration for any of the group offerings at 42-4100 x121.

Day One Announces 2014/2015 Lecture Series

Day One is excited to announce our 2014 – 2015 Day One Monthly Lecture Seriesamy, which kicks off in October 2014.

Workshops will be conducted by Day One Clinical, Advocacy and Education Staff. Three NASW CEUs will be available for each workshop.  

Topics include Bystander Intervention; Self-Harming Behaviors and Trauma; Developmental Disability-Focused Therapeutic Responses to Trauma; Expressive Modalities in Trauma Treatment; Responding to Elder Abuse, Combating Vicarious Traumatization, and more!

We are offering a 50% registration discount per workshop to anyone who attended our 1st Annual Conference at the Providence Marriott on June 19, 2014!

Also, please save the date for the 2nd Annual Day One Conference at the Providence Marriott Downtown on April 30, 2015! There will be a pre-conference, focused on sex trafficking in Rhode Island, on April 29, 2015. More details coming soon!  

For more information please contact: Karyn Watkins, Training Specialist, via e-mail or at (401) 421-4100 x162.

Additional information can be found here

RI Sex Trafficking Task Force Developing New Protocols

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Attendees of the August meeting of the RI sex trafficking task force at Day One.

Like all forms of sexual violence, the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) does not discriminate. According to national data, 70 to 90% of CSEC victims were prior victims of child abuse.The children we are seeing at Day One represent all cultural, racial and religious backgrounds. They are male and female.

The overall goal of Day One’s statewide task force to address CSEC is to build greater awareness and a better response system to identify at risk CSEC victims within the state of Rhode Island. Since its creation in November 2013, the task force is making great strides.

Made up of local and state law enforcement; FBI; the Department of Homeland Security; the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the RI Department of Attorney General; Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s Child Protection Program (the Aubin Center); RI Department of Children, Youth and Families; and Day One’s Administrative, Advocacy, Clinical and CAC staff, the team represents all of the agencies that have contact with CSEC cases. At its August meeting, the task force agreed on the core principles that needed to be defined in order to move forward with developing new protocols for Rhode Island.

The commitment of the meeting attendees was clear. “When a victim of CSEC is brought in, I want all of the key players connected with each other,” said Peter Neronha, United States Attorney for Rhode Island.  “Not the next day. In the next 15 minutes.”

The team developed an immediate notification system with points of contact for each member agency for when a CSEC victim is suspected.

“We acknowledge our need to better identify, track, and serve these children,” said Peg Langhammer, Day One executive director. “We know that the best care models throughout the country accomplish this collaboratively with community partners, across disciplines.”

The task force will reconvene this week, together with the SEEN Coalition out of Boston, to outline recommendations for modifying existing laws and creating new legislation the addresses CSEC specifically. Through the work of the task force, professionals working with CSEC victims will be better equipped to intervene effectively and comprehensively address their needs.