Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Have a Prestuffed Workout then Say , "Pass the Stuffing, Please"

Saratoga Core Fitness at 68 West Avenue in Saratoga Springs is holding their annual Thanksgiving Prestuffed Morning workout at 10a.m. Cost is $10 with all proceeds benefiting Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services. Sign up in the studio or call 518-583-FITT (3488) or email Vicki@saratogacorefitness.com

Kids Coming Home from College for Thanksgiving?

More traffic crashes and alcohol-related highway deaths occur during holiday periods than other times during the year. We often associate New Year's Eve of St. Patrick's Day with alcohol use, but don't overlook Thanksgiving. It's a time when friends who have been separated as they attend college get back together and celebrate (often for the first time in months.) Some of these friends may regularly drink alcohol as they're enjoying the freedoms of college life. They may be underage drinkers or even if they are of age, their friends at home may be underage.  So talk with your kids about drinking and driving, before they head out on the road to see old friends this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Thanksgiving pass the pumpkin pie, but not ...

This Thanksgiving pass the pumpkin pie... but not alcohol to underage drinkers
Did you know that 28% of adults think it's okay for high schoolers to drink alcohol? 
With Thanksgiving around the corner, we want to bring up a very dangerous topic - allowing teens to drink under your watch. It's not cool, it's not safe, and as a reminder, underage drinking is illegal. 
Believe it or not, teens yearn for the special time they spend with their families around the holidays, so don't neglect it - cherish it and keep it sober. 
For more sobering facts about underage drinking and tips on how to curb this trend, visit TimeToFaceTheFacts.com.
Funding was made possible (in part) by Grant Number 5U79SP01556 from SAMHSA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Monday, November 25, 2013

What's Important About November 25th?

Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime. Globally, violence against women is a pandemic problem that encompasses domestic violence, rape, trafficking, female genital mutilation, and other forms of oppression. Barriers to healthcare and education perpetuate the oppression of women in many third world countries.

The United Nations had declared today, and every November 25th, International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women. Want to know more? Visit their website to learn more and to find out what you can do to help.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Talking Amid the Landmines

I've been following the heated discussions generated by Emily Yoffe's article in Slate about college binge drinking and sexual assault. She reignited some familiar debates about victim blaming and ignoring the actions of the rapist. Some writers such as Washington Post columnist, Ruth Marcus,  came to Yoffe's defense, others question the validity of our focus on alcohol as a factor. There's truth in both sides and this isn't a new discussion. I'm sometimes asked why we don't do more work to prevent people from raping rather than to educate victims about how to be safe. It's a good question. We do talk to youth about how having sex with someone who says no or is too intoxicates to consent is rape. We talk a lot about validating consent before proceeding. We also talk about being an ally and intervening if you see something happening that's not right (like taking a drunk girl up to your dorm room.) But frankly, other than educating it's difficult to create prevention programs that keep someone from choosing to assault someone.

Talking about sexual assault prevention is full of landmines (denial, resistance, flippancy)... but one of the most potent landmines comes from an unexpected source-women. Why? Because when we talk to groups about sexual assault prevention, we'd be remiss if we didn't talk abut the association between drinking and sexual victimization. Yet some women feel that talking about that association sounds like victim blaming.

Over half of all sexual assault involve alcohol (some studies place the percentages even higher.) And the risk is especially high when there is excessive alcohol consumption.in which the victim is so incapacitated that she(he) is unable to consent. Often these situations happen at parties and the assailant has also been drinking to excess, undoubtedly resulting in reduced inhibitions and poor judgment.  So when we talk with youth about sexual violence prevention we do talk about the risks of intoxication... knowing we'll detonate some landmines. Women often become very upset that by we're blaming the victim... not at all. We're reminding them that if they drink to a level that they can't look out for themselves, they're at risk of becoming a target for sexual violence. They aren't to blame for the assault in any way. The consequence for a night of overindulgence should be a hangover ... not being raped. But we do mention the connection between alcohol and sexual violence because it's important to know what you can do to increase your safety. It's also important to know that if you were drunk and raped... it's not your fault... you shouldn't feel ashamed... and you are entitled to our legal system holding the assailant accountable for the rape. It's equally important that we tell young men that not only is it not cool to take advantage of a drunk girl... it's a crime. The roots of sexual violence re much deeper than a bottle of tequila or a keg, but sometimes alcohol brings those roots to the surface.