Thursday, April 26, 2012

You Don't Have to Wait for Summer for Dog Days

I’ve got a standing date every Saturday and Sunday morning with the most adorable guy in my life… my pooch, Andy, and I are regulars at our local dog park (my other special guy, my husband of 25 years who is more distinguished than adorable, joins us there most days too—I’m a lucky gal). However, this Saturday we’ve all got different plans. We’ll be at Impressions of Saratoga for Dog Days.

They’ll have fun activities for pups, kids and adults, as well as pet adoptions, photos by Tracey Buyce, and barrels of doggie biscuits. DVRC will be there promoting our Safe Pet Partnership. Marianne Barker and her whole staff at Impressions have been long-term supporters of DVRC’s Safe Pet Partnership, which helps the furry, feathered and finned family members who also suffer when there’s abuse in the home.

Stop by this Saturday and say hi (and give Andy a tummy rub) at

Impressions of Saratoga
368 Broadway, Saratoga Springs NY 12866

From Academics to Art to Social Action

To me, one of the greatest tragedies of domestic abuse is that it happens in private and no one talks about being abused in their intimate relationships. As a result, victims often think they, alone, endure verbal, emotional or physical abuse by someone who purports to love them.

I think increasing awareness is the key to not only helping survivors, but more importantly, to changing the norms in our society so that we can END abuse. And DVRC recently found a terrific partner to help us do this. Skidmore College's Spring 2012 Feminist Theories and Methods class, led by Professor Mary Stange, partnered with DVRC of Saratoga County to research, design, and produce 3 video vignettes which communicate the prevalence, dynamics, and impacts of domestic violence. This group of talented and enthusiastic Skidmore College students help viewers to recognize the signs of domestic violence early in relationships through powerful depictions of the impact of abuse in real life scenarios.

What a project… taking classroom learning and applying it to create social change! Help us to increase awareness by sharing these videos. Together we can END relationship abuse! I invite you to watch the videos and share your thoughts:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sexual Assault... It's not very common, is it?

Here are the fact. You decide:

According to new findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story – more than 1 million women are raped in a year, and over 6 million women and men are victims of stalking. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are major public health problems in the United States. In addition, they underscore the heavy toll that violence takes on Americans, particularly women.

·         Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetime while 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime.

·         Approximately 80% of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half ex­perienced the first rape before age 18.

·         About 35% of women who were raped as minors were also raped as adults compared to 14% of women without an early rape history.

·         28% of male victims of rape were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger.

  • Only 30% of sexual assaults are ever reported to the police (Source: RAINN). Even so, that means somebody reports a forcible rape every 6 minutes in this country (Source: FBI).
  • The majority (73%) of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim  knows or is acquainted with. 40% of sexual assaults take place in the home. (Source: RAINN)

Friday, April 20, 2012

This Definitely Isn’t Casual Dress Friday

Next Friday, April 27 all over the world people wear jeans to work in recognition of Denim Day. They’re not paying tribute to Levi Strauss or enjoying a dress-down Friday; they’re taking a stand against sexual violence.

Here’s the story:

In 1988 in Italy, a teenaged girl was picked up by her 45 year old, married driving instructor for her very first driving lesson. He drove her to an isolated road, dragged her out of the car and pinned her to the ground.  As she fought him off, he got one leg out of her jeans and raped her…then made her get back into the car and drive home. He threatened her life if she told anyone. She had the courage to tell her parents and report the rape to the police. The driving instructor was arrested, convicted and sent to prison.

He appealed the decision and a male Supreme Court judge overturned the conviction reasoning, “…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.”

This decision enraged the public.  Women in the Italian Parliament wore jeans to work the next day to express their outrage. More than two decades have passed… but, sadly, sexual assault victims still encounter stigma and victim-blaming.   

Please take a stand to raise awareness about sexual violence on April 27th, 2012. Wear jeans and something teal  (e.g. a t-shirt or scarf) to support survivors and rally against sexual violence in our community. 

Send pictures of your group to dvrc@crisny.org as we recognize on our website our community partners who are taking a stand (in denim) to end sexual violence.