Five Questions with Day One Volunteer Melissa

The work that we do at Day One would not be possible without our amazing team of volunteers. Hear first hand what Melissa’s experience has been like as a volunteer for Day One in this Volunteer Spotlight interview:

Melissa

1. What brought you to Day One?

Knowing sexual assault and domestic violence affect so many people, I want to do what I can to help victims understand the resources that are available to them and that they are not alone. I want to let survivors know that someone will always be there to support them.

2. What is the most important thing you have learned during your time here?

The most important thing I have learned during my time here is that domestic violence and sexual assault do not discriminate. These issues affect everyone, no matter where they come from or what their background is.

3. How does volunteering with Day One compare to other places you have volunteered?

Day One is a great agency to volunteer for. As volunteers, we are very appreciated and valued. Whether it is a simple email of thanks to the volunteers who have had go outs during the month or the yearly volunteer appreciation dinner, Day One always supports us. One great thing that stands out to me at Day One is the willingness and availability of the staff to always answer a question, no matter what time it is.

4. What has been your best experience here?

The best experience about being here is knowing the impact that we make as volunteers. It’s a great feeling to be able to give someone the information they need to feel safe, and to let them know there are people willing and able to help them every step of the way.

One particular go out comes to mind.  After sitting with a woman who had been a victim of domestic violence, we talked about the safety of her and her children. I supplied her with a safety plan and information about restraining orders and shelters. It was a great experience seeing the relief on her face, knowing she could go somewhere safe.

5. What advice do you have for other people who might want to volunteer?

My advice to anyone who wants to volunteer is that Day One is the place to do it. You truly make an impact and difference in someone’s life. Day One helps make volunteering a rewarding experience.

Interested in volunteering with Day One? You can apply here.

Scenes from Day One’s 2014 Conference

I hope everyone who was able to attend the Day One 2014 Conference last week enjoyed the day as much as I did! For those who couldn’t attend, we are already working on securing a date for next year’s conference.

conference panel crowd

This year’s theme was “Connecting to Create a Future Free of Sexual Violence” and all of our sessions stemmed from that central concept. The fight against sexual violence can’t be done in a vacuum; there are so many people that need to be a part of the process. From law enforcement and medical professionals, to advocates like Day One and service providers, to families and schools, and more, sexual violence is a community problem that demands a community response.

peg    Vin

Our educational sessions addressed everything from online risk factors to college sexual assault to yoga therapy for complex trauma. We heard from a brave survivor of campus sexual assault. Panel presentations took a hard look at the issues of child sex trafficking in Rhode Island and a multi-disciplinary team approach to child sexual abuse cases. Additional sessions offered insight into how to engage youth in sexual assault prevention and multi-cultural factors in trauma treatment.

There were lively discussions and thoughtful questions in all of the sessions. We were treated to a performance by A Long Walk Home for the keynote presentation that was both emotional and inspiring.

ALWHdayone_20140619_086

Thanks to all who joined us! You can check out all of the photos from the day here.

Day One welcomes “A Long Walk Home” For Keynote Presentation at 2014 Conference

It’s official! A Long Walk Home (ALWH) will perform a variation of their award-winning SOARS presentation at our conference on June 19. We are so excited that the founding sisters are scheduled to perform with Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles, one of the SOARS cast members (actress and poet).

SOARS1Scheherazade Tillet is one of the rising feminist activists and leader of her generation. At 24, she co-founded A Long Walk Home, Inc. (ALWH). She is currently Executive Director of the organization and a movement leader in the NoVo Foundationʼs Move to End Violence initiative to end violence against girls and women in the US. Scheherazadeʼs SOARS photographs are featured in two award-winning human rights documentaries, “NO! The Rape Documentary” and “Rape Is…”

SOARS2

Dr. Salamishah Tillet is a rape survivor, scholar, and writer, who has spent her career championing the rights and voices of our most vulnerable citizens. Nominated by Glamour magazine as a “Women of the Year” and named as one of the “Top 50 Global Leaders Ending Violence Against Children” by the Together for Girls’ Safe magazine, she is currently an associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.  For their full story, check out the ALWH web site.

This will truly be a performance like nothing you’ve ever seen. You won’t want to miss it! Learn more about Day One’s 2014 Conference: Connecting to Create A Future Free of Sexual Violence.Group shotheavenSala_SOARS performance

 

 

Day One Response to White House Task Force Recommendations on College Sexual Assault

 

Smiling students at the parkCampus sexual assault has been a pervasive problem for decades. Day One is encouraged that the administration, through The White House Task Force to Protect Students Against Sexual Assault, has taken a leadership role in making some of the strongest recommendations to date to combat this problem.  Day One applauds these efforts while recognizing, as noted in the report, that these initial recommendations are only a first step.

“The report is a blueprint for change,” says Peg Langhammer, Day One executive director. “It’s clear that the courageous work of so many survivors at colleges across the country has been the driver of this change and has motivated the government and others to act. We are ready to work with universities in Rhode Island to put these new recommendations into effect.”

Day One acknowledges that the report is a starting point; the work is really just beginning. Some of the report’s strongest recommendations include:

  • Campus climate survey to gain a more accurate measure of the problem by leveling the playing field and aid in transparency of reporting.
  • Engaging men as allies in the process. Although most offenders are male, most men are not perpetrators. Day One has found that the most effective prevention programs include Bystander Intervention as an essential part of the solution.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)s with local sexual assault centers. Day One is the only agency in Rhode Island that deals specifically with sexual assault and will continue to be a part of the solution.
  • A dedicated web site (notalone.gov) with central, accessible resources for students and schools in clear, unambiguous language.

Day One is eager to provide expertise in trauma-informed training, prevention, and advocacy to support colleges and universities in the work that lies ahead. We look forward to helping create real change in our state on the issue of campus sexual assault and believe these recommendations are a good starting point.

12 things you can do to help end sexual violence

Young couples in the countryIt’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month! Here are 12 ways you can be a part of the solution, no matter who you are:

 

 

 

  1. Educate yourself about how to prevent and respond to sexual violence. You can start at www.dayoneri.org.
  2. Speak out against attitudes and behaviors that contribute to a culture where violence against women is condoned and often encouraged.
  3. Men: Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women.
  4. Encourage young people to use non-violent means to resolve conflict and learn strategies of cooperation and collaboration.
  5. Believe and support victims of sexual assault. Show survivors that you hold offenders, not victims, accountable for their crime.
  6. There are no innocent bystanders. Speak up and challenge those who would commit acts of sexual violence.
  7. Support organizations, like Day One, that provide services to sexual assault victims.
  8. Dispel the myths surrounding sexual assault that put the burden of responsibility on the victim and excuses the offender.
  9. Parents: Take responsibility to talk to your children about sex and healthy relationships and be aware of the negative influences in our culture (music, radio/TV, movies, internet) that tend to demean and devalue women and girls.
  10. Make sure your institution (school, organization or business) has policies, practices and procedures relating to sexual harassment.
  11. Challenge gender roles that place girls and women at risk. Teaching girls to always put others first or be polite at all costs can put them in danger. Teaching boys to be aggressive also puts them at-risk for perpetration.
  12. Violence against women is a choice. Hold those who make that choice accountable.

Top 5 reasons to Run or Walk in the Day One 5K

Three friends whit sportswear talking after exerciseWe know. It’s cold. You’re busy. So we thought we’d provide you with some motivation to get registered for the Day One 5K Run/Walk to End Sexual Violence. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should register:

1. Because something needs to be done about college sexual assault

One in five women is sexually assaulted in college. As a state with several colleges and universities and thousands of students, addressing this is a huge priority for Rhode Island. The Day One 5K is a chance to raise awareness at a critical time for this important issue. It’s time.

2. Because our community can step in and end child sexual abuse

One in four girls, one in six boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Those numbers are more than troubling; they signify an epidemic in our community. Your participation in the Day One 5K helps give everyone a voice in the fight against child sexual abuse.

3. Because it’s time to talk about it

Talking about sexual assault and sexual abuse is how we are going to eradicate this problem. Do your part to help spread the word and get people talking about it. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Day One 5K is a great way to show your support.

4. Because we’re going to have an awesome time

On a lighter note, it’s going to be an amazing day on a beautiful course through Providence’s historic east side. This won’t be just a 5K; it’s so much more than that. Plus, there will be temporary tattoos for all those who register. So, yeah…you’re going to want to be there.

5. Because you know it’s the right thing to do

Didn’t you promise yourself back in January that you’d run a 5K this Spring? This is more than just any 5K road race. All of the proceeds go directly to Day One, the only agency in the state designed specifically to deal with sexual assault as a community concern. This is a 5K you can really feel good about participating in. Plus, we can’t wait to see you!

Register today at www.dayone5k.com. Just over a week left!

Denim Day 2014 is April 23

ImageApril is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and Day One has several events planned to get people talking about it. One of these events is Denim Day. We’re asking businesses, organizations and individuals to wear denim in support of sexual assault survivors and to raise awareness about sexual assault misconceptions.

Denim Day is a day set aside to help change victim-blaming attitudes about sexual assault, stemming from an appalling case in Italy.

In Rome in 1997, a 45-year-old driving instructor raped an 18-year-old girl then told her that if she told anyone, he would kill her. Later she told her parents and  the rapist was convicted. However, the Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1998 because the victim wore tight jeans. The court argued that “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them…and by removing the jeans…it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

The Italian Supreme Court stated in its decision “it is a fact of common experience that it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active  collaboration of the person who is wearing them.”  The day after the decision, women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans. The unpopular verdict became an international symbol of myth-based injustice for sexual assault victims. Today Denim Day Campaigns take place worldwide.

Want to participate in Denim Day? E-mail info@dayone.org or call 401-421-4100 to get your Denim Day stickers and help spread the word!