Moving Beyond Imagination E-News
Just a few inspired people can have an impact on preventing sexual violence. After attending the December 2009 Minnesota Summit To Prevent Sexual Violence, Jeanne Ronayne from Olmsted County Victim Services and Kory Schmitt from Mayo Clinic decided to take action in the Olmsted County area.
They, along with Judy Voss from Olmsted County Public Health, organized the SAVE coalition (to prevent Sexual Abuse, Violence and Exploitation). Members are business/professional/community people: they include the Rochester Civic Theater, Rochester Visitor and Convention Bureau, local TV and radio stations, public schools, Rochester Technical and Community College, Planned Parenthood, probation, Diversity Council, Rochester Women's magazine and many others. Kory said, "All of our coalition members are vital to the prevention work we do here locally. Everyone plays a significant role in this effort and we lucky to have such a dedicated group of individuals in our community."
The coalition formed three task groups to work on various issues. The business group is working on Clean Hotels initiative. The youth group is creating a new play on sexual abuse and exploitation prevention, for use in the schools. The media group is encouraged to e-mail each other and suggest action when they see something offensive in the media or advertising. Local media has been supportive and receptive to suggestions on how to cover stories in the media as well.
Kory stated, "I think that each community should engage in change and organize its own coalition. We were lucky to have several of our community members attend the Summit last year, it was such an amazing event and people left feeling energized. We harnessed that energy for change!"
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You can still join the short-term work of four Action Teams. Over the next year, they will focus on specific tasks to achieve this goal:Create a healthy, respectful environment in Minnesota that does not sexually exploit children.
Media Action Team
- Developing a definition of sexually exploitive advertising, so they can recognize and act on it consistently.
- Reviewing research on the impact of such advertising on children and developing a fact sheet, in cooperation with the Data Resources Action Team.
- Developing a process for responding to both positive and negative messages and images in advertising.
- Recruiting media professionals to contribute to an advisory group.
- Investigating ways to limit placement of magazines in clinic waiting rooms that carry sexually exploitive advertising.
To join this team or offer opinions, input, or resources, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spiritual Communities Action Team
- Creating a summary of sexual violence prevention policies and programs of various faith and spiritual communities.
- Ensuring the activities occur at all levels of the spectrum of prevention.
- Developing standards of excellence for sexual violence prevention in various faith communities.
To join this team or offer opinions, input, or resources, contact Amy Kenzie, 651-201-5410, or email@example.com.
Healthy Environment in Schools Action Team
- Creating an online kit of resources for schools, with listings under the following categories:
- Assess School Climate
- Implement Good Policies
- Make it Part of Core Curriculum
- Encourage All Staff Buy-In
- Really Good Resources
The team is collecting ideas for each of these categories. If you know of ideas, curriculum or policies that you find to be effective, contact Ilana or Patty. We're off to a great start! Contact Patty Wetterling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-201-5483, or Ilana Blum, email@example.com, 651-201-5467.
Data Resources Action Team
This team wants to connect Minnesota researchers and practitioners around the topic of sexual violence prevention, to foster new conversations, promote deeper insights in practice and research, and raise the visibility of sexual violence research in Minnesota toward building the next generation of researchers in the field. The team's work includes:
- Planning the Sexual Violence Prevention Research Symposium, a day-long pre-conference session at the conference of the Minnesota Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers: April 13, 2011 at the Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park.
- Looking for Minnesota researchers and practitioners working on primary prevention of sexual violence to participate in the symposium
To join this team or offer opinions, input, or resources, contact Laura Williams, 651-209-9993, ext. 202, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Here are a few things that you can do to make a difference (adapted from Sexual Violence Prevention Program website, www.health.state.mn.us/svp). Ask yourself:
- What am I doing as an individual or professional to prevent sexual violence?
- How can I use my sphere of influence in the business, government, faith, or education communities to prevent sexual violence?
- Join existing prevention groups or coalitions, such as:
- Sexual Violence Prevention Network, http://www.health.state.mn.us/injury/topic/svp/implement/network/index.cfm
- Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, http://www.mncasa.org/
- Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition, http://www.miwsac.org/
- Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, http://www.mcbw.org/
- Minnesota Network on Abuse in Later Life, http://www.mnall.org/
- Minnesota Men's Action Network, http://www.menaspeacemakers.org/programs/mnman
- Speak to neighborhood or community groups or to schools.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
- Invite speakers to a church group or professional in-service trainings.
- Learn what your organization and county are doing that promotes healthy relationships or prevents sexual violence. Report to decision-makers. Propose a resolution or prevention plan.
- Collect county-wide data about the incidence and costs of sexual violence.
- Review your organizations policies. Do you have a sexual harassment policy? A clean hotel policy? (http://www.menaspeacemakers.org/programs/mnman/hotels)
- Support public health family home visiting, which is effective in reaching people at risk for sexual violence.
- For other ideas that relate to your interests, see A Place to Start: A Resource Kit for Preventing Sexual Violence. http://www.health.state.mn.us/injury/topic/svp/addinfo/index.cfm#resourcekit
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Moving Beyond Imagination E-News is brought to you by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) with support from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Contributed items are solely the responsibility of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent official views of, or endorsement by the MDH or the CDC.
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