Sexual Violence Prevention E-News

Sexual Violence Prevention Network


July 23, 2009

SVPN Meeting: “Sex Trafficking: A Climate Change in Minnesota” August 7, 2009, Duluth, MN

The next Sexual Violence Prevention Network meeting will be:
   Friday, August 7, 2009, 9:50 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
            at the: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth
            835 W. College Street, Duluth, MN 55881, 218/724-0308
Join us for a panel presentation on:

Sex Trafficking: A Climate Change in Minnesota

Record Highs, Record Lows
Is sex trafficking a problem in Minnesota? What are the facts?
Today’s Temperature
Where do things stand today?
Forecast for Change
What can we all do to end sex trafficking in Minnesota?

The panel will include Mary Ellison, Esq., from The Advocates for Human Rights (see Mary’s article in #2, below)

Sarah Curtiss from the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO)

and others!
Please join us for this important presentation/discussion!

Lunch will be provided (no charge) however,
Registration is Required (by Wednesday, August 5, 2009), contact

Please note: requests for special accommodations must be made by Tuesday, July 28, 2009. (Please provide name, telephone number and type of accommodation needed to )

9:50 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Registration
10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Welcome, Introductions
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 – Prevention Overview
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. – Presentation
12:15 p.m. - 12:45 - Lunch and small group discussions
12:45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. – Prevention Action Activities
1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. – Resource Sharing, Networking, Wrap up and Evaluations

***(Please be sure to bring resources to announce/share)***
Anyone interested in or working in the field of sexual violence prevention is WELCOME TO ATTEND.

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Mary Ellison: A stronger fight against human trafficking -- here in Minnesota

A stronger fight against human trafficking -- here in Minnesota
By Mary Ellison
Updated: 07/08/2009

In a recent column ('Build on progress in fight against human trafficking'), Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton highlighted the U.S. government's concern about the grave human rights violation of trafficking throughout the world, including in the United States. We in Minnesota share this concern, because as local media have reported, the sale of human beings for sex is alive and well in Minnesota.
In fact, sex traffickers and "johns" even dare to call themselves "Minnesota Nice Guys," attempting to portray an image of clean-cut and trustworthy men. Meanwhile their victims suffer debilitating harm: an experience described as "brutally physical ... (with) serious psychological torture" ("Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment for the State of Minnesota, the Advocates for Human Rights," 2008).

To address this devastating human rights violation, Clinton called on those engaged in the fight to add a new element to the existing strategy of prosecution, protection and prevention: partnerships. Over the past several months, seasoned state legislators, experienced law enforcement officials, a statewide human-trafficking task force, tireless advocates and passionate citizens rededicated themselves to even stronger partnerships in combating human trafficking in Minnesota.

Spurred on by the recommendations of the Advocates' needs assessment, this coalition drafted amendments to strengthen Minnesota's state law, which complements the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Led by Minnesota state Sen. Sandy Pappas, chief author of Minnesota's sex trafficking law in 2005; Sen. Mee Moua; and Reps. Michael Paymar and John Lesch, this coalition of committed partners testified in eight committee hearings and persuaded the Legislature to unanimously pass critical changes to Minnesota's sex-trafficking law.
Sex trafficking is defined in Minnesota law as "receiving, recruiting, enticing, harboring, providing or obtaining by any means an individual to aid in the prostitution of the individual." The amendments provide a stronger deterrent for those who sell human beings for sex and a stronger tool for those enforcing the state law.

The amendments, effective Aug. 1, will:
·  Provide law enforcement and prosecutors with the ability to arrest and charge sex traffickers with higher penalties where an offender repeatedly traffics individuals into prostitution, where bodily harm is inflicted, where an individual is held more than 180 days, or where more than one victim is involved.
·  Increase the fines for those who sell human beings for sex.
·  Criminalize the actions of those individuals who receive profit from sex trafficking.
·  Categorize sex trafficking with other "crimes of violence" to ensure that those who sell others for sex are prohibited from possessing firearms.
·  Add sex trafficking victims to those victims of violent crime who are protected from employer retaliation if they participate in criminal proceedings against their traffickers.

With these changes, Minnesota has made great strides, but much work still needs to be done. Bills to address comprehensive victim services, public benefits, training and public awareness were tabled during the 2009 legislative session due to the lack of available funds. These issues must be discussed and passed in the next legislative session.

Clinton suggested the "problem (of human trafficking) is particularly urgent now, as local economies around the world reel from the global financial crisis." She stated that "trafficking weakens legitimate economies, breaks up families, fuels violence, threatens public health and safety and shreds the social fabric that is necessary for progress." While Minnesota will continue to face economic pressures, we cannot afford to have our economy or community further weakened by sex trafficking.

We must prosecute traffickers and johns, and simultaneously protect women and children exploited and victimized by sex trafficking and prostitution. We must promote and protect their rights to dignity, life, liberty and security of person. Doing so not only raises the status of the United States and our state as complying with the very obligations to which we hold other governments, but strengthens our local, national and international community.

Minnesota has positioned itself as a leader in holding offenders accountable for violence against women and children. By continuing to improve its laws combating human trafficking, Minnesota upholds this proud legacy.

Mary C. Ellison is staff attorney for the Women's Program of the Advocates for Human Rights organization, based in Minneapolis. Her e-mail address is
Link to full article:

Thank You Mary Ellison!

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A Day of Renewing/Recharging/Reaffirming, August 10, 2009, New Brighton, MN

Imagine our lives without sexual violence or exploitation. Many of us in Minnesota share that vision and hope. In August 10, 2007, supporters from across the state created the framework for the statewide plan to prevent sexual violence. Since then, many of us have served on Action Teams, the Sexual Violence Prevention Network, and other initiatives to give "legs" to the plan.

Minnesota's work is pioneering, and we are considered a national leader. We have momentum; we are planting the seeds for some spectacular growth. Please help us grow more friends of the sexual violence prevention movement by attending our August 10 meeting of all the Action Teams, Retreat and Launch participants, and others who are committed to prevention. Help us move closer to our vision!
A Day of Renewing/Recharging/Reaffirming
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lunch included
Monday, August 10, 2009
New Brighton Family Service Center
400 10th Street, NW
Near Intersection of I-35W and I-694 Map

* Hear from the three Action Teams (Messaging, Data and Research, Policy and Legislation): What have they done and learned? What issues have they discovered? Where does their work come together?
* Participate in a result-driven activity to share your thoughts about framing sexual violence prevention for policy makers, youth, and other varied audiences.
* Learn about special initiatives including Minnesota Champions, Clean Hotels, and the State Summit planned for December.
* Meet the many diverse people and communities that have come together to make Minnesota a state that does not tolerate sexual violence.

Has it been a while since you have been involved? We need to hear from you! Come, and bring someone you know or work with, to join our list of Champions!
Be sure to RSVP by Wednesday, August 5 for this free event! Contact Doug Palmer,, 651-201-5484. A reminder with program details will be sent to registered participants in a few weeks.

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Coaching Boys Into Men: A FREE Event for Any Coach, Any Sport!

Coaching Boys Into Men
Monday, August 10, 2009, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
National Sports Center, 1700 105th Avenue, Blaine, MN

You’re invited to our kick-off distribution of the Coaching Boys Into Men Playbook. Written by coaches for coaches, this book guides coaches in teaching their athletes how to recognize and value respectful behavior for themselves, among friends and especially toward women and girls. Join us for:

Free Golf Clinic 5-5:30 p.m. (Registration Required)
Registration, Light Refreshments & Resource Fair 6-6:30 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Frank White, Respect Sports
Special remarks by State Representative Jim Abeler and Anoka County Commissioner Scott LeDoux
Door Prizes (Twins Tickets & Merchandise and more!)

Registrations preferred but not required (except for golf clinic). To register contact: Kelly Nelson at 763-422-7028 or

The best time to keep a man from becoming abusive is before he becomes a man.

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Prevention Action News: Minnesota County Seeks To Keep Porn Out Of Hotel Rooms

Minn. County Seeks To Keep Porn Out Of Hotel Rooms

Rochester was one of the first places to enact a smoking ban in hotels, now the city is going after publicly-available pornography.

"Olmsted County passed a county-wide resolution for prevention of sexual violence," said Jeanne Martin.

Martin says the public health initiative starts by asking Rochester hotels to voluntarily stop offering pay-per view porn movies.

"There have been quite a few different research studies that connect porn to sexual violence. If there has been an analysis of porn and how much violence happens in porn," said Martin.

Olmsted County administrator Richard Devlin says the first step will be to restrict employees from staying in hotels or motels that have pornographic material in the room. County Commissioners will vote later this year on whether to prioritize clean hotels as the first choice for public officials and employees who travel.

Devlin hopes this message spreads across the state, eventually leading to all hotels restricting access to pay-per-view porn.

"That's kind of our ultimate goal, is to discourage that type of material in hotels and motels," said Devlin.

The Minnesota Department of Health created a list of hotels that do not offer adult pay-per-view entertainment. Seventh-five percent of hotels in the state with more than 30 rooms do not.

For some hotel guests, trying to get other hotels to follow suit is a tough sell.

"I don't use it myself, but I don't think that they have the right to take that away from people," said Mike Pegliese, a hotel guest.

The Minnesota Department of Health says it is not possible to treat, prosecute or educate our way out of the problem of sexual violence.

Curtailing pay-per-view porn is one way the MDH hopes to change the environment that feeds sexual violence.

Link to full article:

Thank you Jeanne Martin!!

We can all help with this effort! The next time you make hotel reservations (for business or vacation) ask if the hotel has in-room pay-per-view pornography. If it does, consider making your reservation in a “clean hotel.”

You might also want to pursue a policy change within your organization. As reported in the SVPN 3-23 E-News, MNCASA ratified a policy change directing MNCASA staff, board and volunteers when traveling on official MNCASA business to inquire if a potential lodging site is “clean,” e.g., does not provide in-room pornography for purchase or viewing. For more information about MNCASA's policy, contact Donna Dunn, MNCASA Executive Director (

Also, see #6, below

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Clean Hotel Initiative Resources Available On-Line

The MN Men's Action Network has posted information about the Clean Hotel Initiative on their website (Clean Hotel link is located in the left column):
This initiative is a collaboration between the MN Men’s Action Network and the MN Department of Health to curb the degree to which sexually violent and degrading material is increasingly more accessible and mainstreamed into our social environment.
The Clean Hotel Initiative encourages business, public/private organizations, and municipalities to modify their meeting facility policy to clarify that meetings and conferences will be held in facilities that do not offer in-room adult pay-per-view pornography, and that travel policies be amended to reimburse employees’ lodging costs only when staying at hotels that do not offer in-room adult pay-per-view pornography.
We have created several documents that can assist you in the development of policies at your state and local levels of government, as well as private businesses, organizations, and agencies.

We imagine a society where every individual can grow to their full potential. The social environment can support that growth. We are joining others in their historical efforts to create and nurture communities that are safe, just, and equitable.

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 MDH Champions Initiative Invites Minnesotans to Act to Prevent Sexual Violence

The MDH Sexual Violence Prevention Program and a host of public and private partners have developed a statewide strategic plan which includes strategies reaching all levels of society, from individual knowledge through public policy.
Minnesota Champions...Working Together to Prevent Sexual Violence is a new initiative from MDH, building on Commissioner Jim McDonough’s leadership in Ramsey County, creating a prevention plan and adopting a county resolution to end sexual violence. Additionally, Commissioner McDonough, who is also president of the Association of Minnesota Counties, sent a letter to all county commissioners, encouraging all Minnesota counties to take action to prevent sexual violence.
We invite all counties, tribal governments and tribal communities, businesses, schools, faith communities…all Minnesotans to participate in this initiative. We invite you to become Minnesota Champions! If you’re ready to champion or co-champion this issue in your community please link to the MDH Sexual Violence Prevention Program website to see Commissioner McDonough’s letter to help start conversations with your colleagues:

For more information and resources, contact Amy Kenzie (, 651-201-5410.

You Have the Power to Prevent Sexual Violence!
1. Ask yourself... What am I doing as a professional to prevent sexual violence? What is my county doing?

2. Learn about local programs and identify the experts in your community.

3. Speak out about preventing sexual violence, using your influence with: children (boys and girls), friends and relatives, co-workers, civic groups, faith communities and neighborhood or community groups.

4. Ask about policies and practices that promote safe and welcoming environments and prevent various forms of sexual violence. You may find these policies at your place of work, your place of worship, your child’s school, or youth/sports groups. If you find good policies, send them to MDH so they can be shared elsewhere!

5. Pay attention to the potential influence of pornography with its changing content (more violent and degrading depictions) and its reach through technology.

6. Attend or arrange a presentation on sexual violence prevention to a group to which you belong (e.g., county board, employee group, book club, church, PTA). Ask MDH, MNCASA or other contacts for speakers on sexual violence prevention.

7. Consider presenting the TPT 30-minute video "Stop Sexual Violence: Listen and Lead." Available from the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault: 651-209-9993.

8. Present an award to an individual, organization or business in your community for their role in taking action to prevent sexual violence.

9. Work with your local sexual assault program, local public health agency and County Commissioner to develop a board resolution stating the county's commitment to stopping sexual violence.

10. Congratulations and thank you! You have become a Prevention Champion! You’re not alone, contact us for more ideas and help getting started!

Imagine all of Minnesota working together to prevent sexual violence!

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New Report from CDC: Improvements in Sexual and Reproductive Health of Teens and Young Adults Slowing

After a period of improvement, trends in the sexual and reproductive health of U.S. teens and young adults have flattened, or in some instances may be worsening, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC analyzed data from 2002-2007 from the National Vital Statistics System and numerous CDC reports and surveys including the Youth Risk Behavior Survey of high school students, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the National Survey of Family Growth, the HIV/AIDS Reporting System, and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

The data are reported in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summary, “Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons Aged 10-24 Years – United States, 2002-2007.” All the data are not new, but the goal of this report is to present data from multiple sources in order to summarize trends in the sexual and reproductive health of America's young people.

Findings include:
* There were approximately 745,000 pregnancies among U.S. females under age 20 in 2004.

* In 2006, the majority of new diagnoses of HIV infection among adolescents and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24 occurred among those aged 20-24 years and among males.

* About 1 million adolescents and young adults aged 10-24 years were reported to have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis in 2006. Nearly a quarter of females aged 15-19 years, and 45 percent of those aged 20-24 years, had a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection during 2003-2004.

* Approximately 100,000 females aged 10-24 years visited a hospital emergency department for a nonfatal sexual assault injury during 2004-2006.

Although the sexual risk behaviors and negative health outcomes tended to increase with age, the youngest age group – youth 10-14 years of age – were also affected:

* An estimated 16,000 pregnancies were reported among females in this age group in 2004.

* Approximately 17,000 young people in this age group were reported to have a sexually transmitted infection in 2006.

* During 2004-2006, 30,000 females in this age group visited a hospital emergency department because of a nonfatal sexual assault injury.

* Approximately one third of adolescents had not received instruction on methods of birth control before age 18.

“This report identifies a number of concerns regarding the sexual and reproductive health of our nation's young people. It is disheartening that after years of improvement with respect to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, we now see signs that progress is stalling and many of these trends are going in the wrong direction,” said Janet Collins, Ph.D., director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The full report is available at

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Announcing the New MDH Refugee Health Lending Library!

The NEW Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Refugee Health Program’s Lending Library, will be housed at the MDH Barr Library. This exciting new tool for community health education will offer free access for organizations and community groups to a large variety of videos related to refugee health and resettlement.

The RHP Lending Library will maintain a comprehensive collection of educational materials about refugee populations.  There are many topics, presented in multiple languages, ranging from tuberculosis, lead safety, and domestic abuse to the crisis in Darfur and dental health. The library currently holds over 60 videos, and we expect it to continue to grow each year.
These items will be available for free loan (except for the cost of return postage) to any public health organization or community group (including schools, churches, book clubs, etc.) in the United States. The entire collection will be searchable by topic or by language on our online catalogue.  Users will need to fill out and submit separate online request forms for each of the materials they would like to borrow.

To check out the MDH Refugee Health Lending Library, visit our website at:
Questions? Contact: Sara Chute, MPP, Refugee Health Consultant,
Sara., 651-201-5543

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Funding Alert

The Funding Alert provides a weekly synopsis of current fellowships, scholarships, and grants that may be used to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking. To subscribe to the Funding Alert, email with subject “Funding Alert.”

Current issue:
Volume 4, Issue 17: July 16, 2009 (8 p.) by National Resource Center on Domestic Violence & National Sexual Violence Resource Center (July 2009)
Government and private funding opportunities are included in this issue:


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August 7, 2009, Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN), Duluth, MN. Contact Amy Kenzie (
August 10, 2009, A Day of Renewing/Recharging/Reaffirming – Sexual Violence Prevention Action Teams. Contact Amy Kenzie (
August 10, 2009, Coaching Boys into Men, Blaine, MN. Contact Donna McDonald at 763-422-7047.
August 25-27, 10th National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention, New Orleans, LA. Contact Marilyn Grundy ( at 256-327-3863.
September 9-11, 2009, National Sexual Assault Conference, Alexandria, VA. Link to:
September 21-11, 2009,  14th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, San Diego, CA. Link to
October 6-7, 2009, MESA: Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault 10th Annual Multicultural Gathering. Contact Kimber J. Nicoletti ( at Purdue University.
October 19-22, 2009, Midwest Conference on Child Sexual Abuse, Middleton, WI. Contact Jim Campbell ( or Denise Nolden (
November 6, 2009, Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN). Contact: Amy Kenzie (
Please note: This distribution list 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.
Amy Kenzie
Program Coordinator,
Sexual Violence Prevention Program
Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
PO Box 64882
St. Paul, MN 55164-0882
Phone: 651-201-5410, FAX: 651/201-5800

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PLEASE NOTE: Sexual Violence Prevention Network 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.

mdh logo
Sexual Violence Prevention Program
Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
PO BOX 64882
ST PAUL MN 55164-0882
(651) 201-5484

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