Sexual Violence Prevention E-News

Sexual Violence Prevention Network


October 06, 2011

SVPN Meeting/Videoconference/Live Webstream: “Stepping out of the story, expanding the frame: Using ACE data to build support for social change”, November 4, 2011

Stepping out of the story, expanding the frame: Using ACE data to build support for social change

What does preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) – including child sexual abuse – have to do with preventing diabetes, heart disease, obesity, early pregnancy, substance use, or improving education outcomes? Everything! We all have a pivotal role in promoting the conditions necessary to achieve the health and wellbeing we seek for our communities - no matter where you work in public health, policy, advocacy, education, social services.

This SVPN meeting will provide you with an overview of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, how its findings have been used to craft policies and advocacy messages, and the implications for sexual violence prevention work.  We will describe the ways in which how we frame the story of child sexual abuse prevention – as advocates, policy makers, researchers, and practitioners – shapes our ability to achieve the change we are demanding.

We will also explore how the ACE study has been used to create new frames that support our prevention efforts. We will also highlight how Minnesota is planning to collect and use ACE data – and how that data will be available to you and your organization.


- Julia Johnsen, MPH, Director of Community Outreach, Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health, Division of Epidemiology &  Community Health, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health
- Ilana Blum, CDC Associate, Sexual Violence Prevention Program, Minnesota Department of Health
- Karina A. Forrest-Perkins, MHR LADC, Executive Director, Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota
- Lindsay Gullingsrud, Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Friday, November 4, 2011, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Snelling Office Park, Mississippi Room, 1645 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul, MN

REGISTRATION REQUIRED for all locations and for live webstream, link to:

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Thursday, November 3, 2011

Questions? Contact

This is a brown bag/bring your own lunch & beverage event

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Registration and Networking
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Presentation
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. – Resource Sharing
   (Videoconference portion of the meeting runs from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

Anyone interested in or working in the field of sexual violence prevention is WELCOME TO ATTEND

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9th Annual Breaking Free Candlelight Vigil, October 11, 2011

Each year at this time, we pause to remember the lives of thousands of women and girls who die each year at the hands of pimps and abusers. Join us as we celebrate and honor those women whose lives have been taken through sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

This year alone we've lost at least 4 women in our community.  We need people to stand up.  Make your voices be heard-- let everyone know we've had enough as we have a peaceful march down University Ave. Join us for cookies and refreshments afterwards.
Featured Speakers: Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL-District 65), Cordelia Anderson (MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault), Sgt. John Bandemer (St. Paul Police, Vice Unit), Nieeta Presley (Executive Director, Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corp).

For more information contact Heather Caillier

Event Info:
Meet at 5:30 p.m. at Breaking Free
770 University Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104

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Film Screening: Miss Representation, October 19, 2011

Have you heard of the film Miss Representation?  It’s a big deal.  The film explores the escalating effects of media images of gender roles on women and today’s youth. 

Feminist staples like Ms. Magazine and Feministing have written in depth about Miss Representation, but mainstream periodicals have picked up on it as well. The New York Times gives Miss Representation a mention in an article that questions Hollywood’s lack of female film directors.

Dawn Turner Trice wrote an especially compelling article in the Chicago Tribune highlighting why Christine Bork, as a mother of both a daughter and a son, wants to promote the film for both their sakes, because hypersexualized and demeaning images of women affect young men as well.  “The only way we can change our culture,” she says, “is to challenge each other to be our best selves when it comes to empowering women."

The film has got us at Gender Justice talking as well.  We were impressed at how much more inclusive the film was than it shows in the trailer.  The film also considers the effects of media images on boys as well as girls, and critiques heterosexist assumptions that are also damaging to many youth. 

We want to give you the opportunity to be a part of the dialogue this film is creating -- we want YOU to join Gender Justice at our Twin Cities screening this month to be a part of the post show discussion.  And please invite your friends, family and colleagues to join us:

Gender Justice presents: the critically acclaimed film "Miss Representation"
Wednesday, October 19th
7:00pm – 9:00pm
St. Anthony Main Theatre: 115 Main Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55414
Free Ramp Parking
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Tickets can be purchased online at  The ticket sales cover the cost of the screening and will benefit Gender Justice programs. You can see blog posts about the film, and about other Gender Justice projects, on the website:

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Breaking Free's 2nd Annual Benefit Breakfast, November 5, 2011

This is a free event and a great way to learn more about Breaking Free.
Emcee: Pam Lundell from KTIS
Keynote: Ramsey County Attorney John Choi

Breaking Free is hosting a complimentary breakfast at The Great Hall in St. Paul to share past successes, plans for the future, and testimonials from survivors who have been helped by the program. RSVP is required. The program will begin at 10:00 a.m.

We are also looking for Table Captains who would be willing to invite 9 others to join them at this event. Please contact us if you are able to be a Table Captain.  See event info below for details.

For more information contact Heather Caillier

Event Info:
RSVP required to
The Great Hall in St. Paul
180 East Fifth Street Suite 160
St. Paul, MN 55101
10:00-11:30 a.m.
 (parking in the Lowertown and Galtier garages)

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2011 Women's Human Rights Film Series

Since 2004 and in partnership with The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, The Advocates has presented a Women's Human Rights Film Series. Documentaries on a wide range of women's rights issues are screened, followed by discussion hosted by The Advocates' staff and guests.

The screenings take place at Saint Paul Public Library branches and are free and open to the public. For a list of screenings, link to:

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Article: Rape Definition too Narrow in Federal Statistics, Critics Say

(Thanks to Lt. Nancy Dunlap, head of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Sex Crimes Division, and Jude Foster from the Sexual Violence Center brought their expertise to the meeting in Washington. Thanks to you both for your efforts to expand this definition to reflect reality.)

Rape Definition Too Narrow in Federal Statistics, Critics Say

WASHINGTON — Thousands of sexual assaults that occur in the United States every year are not reflected in the federal government’s yearly crime report because the report uses an archaic definition of rape that is far narrower than the definitions used by most police departments. Many law enforcement officials and advocates for women say that this underreporting misleads the public about the prevalence of rape and results in fewer federal, state and local resources being devoted to catching rapists and helping rape victims. Rape crisis centers are among groups that cite the federal figures in applying for private and public financing.

“The public has the right to know about the prevalence of crime and violent crime in our communities, and we know that data drives practices, resources, policies and programs,” said Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia, whose office has campaigned to get the F.B.I. to change its definition of sexual assault. “It’s critical that we strive to have accurate information about this.” Ms. Tracy spoke Friday at a meeting in Washington, organized by the Police Executive Research Forum that brought together police chiefs, sex-crime investigators, federal officials and advocates to discuss the limitations of the federal definition and the wider issue of local police departments’ not adequately investigating rape.

According to the 2010 Uniform Crime Report, released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week, there were 84,767 sexual assaults in the United States last year, a 5 percent drop from 2009. The definition of rape used by the F.B.I. — “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will” — was written more than 80 years ago. The yearly report on violent crime, which uses data provided voluntarily by the nation’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies, is widely cited as an indicator of national crime trends.

But that definition, critics say, does not take into account sexual-assault cases that involve anal or oral penetration or penetration with an object, cases where the victims were drugged or under the influence of alcohol or cases with male victims. As a result, many sexual assaults are not counted as rapes in the yearly federal accounting.

“The data that are reported to the public come from this definition, and sadly, it portrays a very, very distorted picture,” said Susan B. Carbon, director of the Office on Violence Against Women, part of the Department of Justice. “It’s the message that we’re sending to victims, and if you don’t fit that very narrow definition, you weren’t a victim and your rape didn’t count.”

Steve Anderson, chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said that the F.B.I.’s definition created a double standard for police departments. “We prosecute by one criteria, but we report by another criteria,” Chief Anderson said. “The only people who have a true picture of what’s going on are the people in the sex-crimes unit.”

In Chicago, the Police Department recorded close to 1,400 sexual assaults in 2010, according to the department’s Web site. But none of these appeared in the federal crime report because Chicago’s broader definition of rape is not accepted by the F.B.I.

The New York Police Department reported 1,369 rapes, but only 1,036 — the ones that fit the federal definition — were entered in the federal figures. And in Elizabeth Township, Pa., the sexual assault of a woman last year was widely discussed by residents. Yet according to the F.B.I.’s report, no rapes were reported in Elizabeth in 2010.

In a recent survey by the Police Executive Research Forum, almost 80 percent of the 306 police departments that responded said that the federal definition of rape used by the Uniform Crime Report was inadequate and should be changed.

Greg Scarbro, the F.B.I.’s unit chief for the Uniformed Crime Report, said that the agency agreed that the definition should be revised and that an F.B.I. subcommittee would take up the issue at a meeting on Oct. 18. “Our goal will be to leave that meeting with a definition and a mechanism,” Mr. Scarbro said. But he noted that law enforcement agencies would have to support any change.

A more comprehensive definition of rape is used by the National Incident-Based Reporting System, or NIBRS, started in 1988 to address deficiencies in the Uniform Crime Report. But that system covers 28 percent of the population and has not gained wide traction as a reporting method. If the F.B.I. does adopt a broader definition, law enforcement agencies — especially those that use the federal standard in their own counts — may find themselves explaining a sudden increase in reported rapes.

“You can’t ignore the politics of crime,” said Charles H. Ramsey, commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department and the president of the police research forum, who backs changing the federal definition. “With the new definition, it’s going to dramatically change the numbers,” Commissioner Ramsey said. Police chiefs will then need to explain to the public that the increase represents an improvement in reporting, rather than a jump in actual numbers of sexual assaults.

The Chicago Police Department uses a definition of sexual assault laid out by Illinois statute. Currently, the Uniform Crime Report does not include any rape statistics from Chicago; a footnote in the report says that the city’s methodology “does not comply with the Uniform Crime Reporting Program guidelines.” The Chicago department plans to start reporting the subset of rapes that meet the federal definition to the F.B.I., said Robert Tracy, chief of crime control strategies.

Tom Byrne, chief of detectives in Chicago, said at the meeting earlier in the day on Friday, “If we conformed to the U.C.R. definition, technically we’re going to be taking rapes off the books.”

The gap between the federal counts and the real numbers reported to the police may be most apparent in small towns, said Robert W. McNeilly, police chief in Elizabeth Township, just outside Pittsburgh. “When we have a sexual assault in a small town, people know about it, people talk about it,” he said. “But when the U.C.R. report comes out at the end of the year and we report zero rapes, I think we lose credibility.”

In some cases, however, police departments contribute to the problem. The Baltimore Police Department made sweeping changes in the way it dealt with sexual assault after The Baltimore Sun revealed last year that the department had been labeling reports of rape as “unfounded” at a rate five times the national average. The problem, Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said, was rooted in the attitudes and lack of understanding of officers toward rape and rape victims. “We didn’t just suddenly veer off the road and strike a tree — this was a very long process that led to this problem,” Commissioner Bealefeld said.

After making changes, the department saw an 80 percent reduction in “unfounded” classifications. But because they had been misclassified, Commissioner Bealefeld said, those cases never appeared in the Uniform Crime Report. “When you unfound those cases, you take it off your U.C.R. numbers, as though they never occurred,” he said.

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Exploring the Intersection: Enhancing Active Living through Violence Prevention (archived webinar)

Violence and the fear of violence can have far-reaching negative consequences and undermine efforts to improve the health and safety of communities. Perceptions of areas as being violent or unsafe may often prevent adults and children from engaging in a host of healthy activities – ranging from walking to schools and workplaces to utilizing parks and recreational areas. As a result, this lack of physical activity can be a substantial factor in the onset of chronic disease.

Research has linked several chronic health conditions to a lack of physical activity, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Violence only serves to exacerbate these conditions as it is a significant barrier that keeps individuals from leading healthy, active lives. Preventing violence is an imperative step in promoting safe and healthy communities and in minimizing the burden of disease. Both violence and chronic disease can be prevented by using a collaborative public health approach.

This webcast featured presentations discussing the unique intersection between chronic disease and violence and provides examples of efforts that successfully address both issues. By utilizing innovative approaches and strategies, public health practitioners and other stakeholders at local, state, and national levels can help communities across the country benefit from integrated efforts to prevent violence and increase active living.

Link to Safe States Alliance for information on the webinar.

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Resource: Minnesota Circles of Support and Accountability

Minnesota Circles of Support and Accountability is a research driven re-entry program facilitated by the Department of Corrections.  MnCoSA is based on a program originally developed in 1994, a program called Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA). It was developed in Ontario Canada to help high-risk sex offenders successfully reintegrate into society. COSA in Minnesota is titled MnCoSA.

The mission of MnCoSA is to substantially reduce the risk of future sexual victimization by supporting released sex offenders in their task of re-entering the community by leading responsible, productive, and accountable lives. A succinct mission statement for MnCoSA is ‘No More Victims.’

The MnCoSA program is housed within the DOC Re Entry Services Unit.  This unit is comprised of professionals who have been involved in various aspects of offender transitional programming. These professionals coordinate best practice efforts to give offenders the continuity of services through a defined curriculum, pre-release classes and well built relationships with outside agencies.  A range of transitional programming is offered to offenders during confinement and in the community.

MnCoSA utilizes volunteers to transition level two sex offenders as they re-enter community and tap into a collaborative effort involving the DOC and other state agencies, county agencies, faith groups, community organizations, and private citizens.  MnCoSA has been developed through the strong identity of “best practice” models.  These models assist in the preparation for offenders to return to their communities in a positive, pro-social manner. For more information, including mentor volunteer information, please contact Joann Dillavou, MnCoSA Director, 651-361-7593 or

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Fact sheet on the Normalization of Sexual Harm

The MDH Sexual Violence Prevention Media Action Team produced a one-page fact sheet on sexually exploitive advertising that includes a definition of sexually exploitive advertising as well as well numerous facts and arguments from recent research.

You are welcome to use this document in your work. Please contact us with any questions or ideas you may have ( or

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Sexual Abuse, Violence & Exploitation Prevention Coalition Ad

With Halloween approaching, consider the ad below. Huge thanks to Korene Schmitt, Jorrie Hansen, Jeanne Royanne and others on the Sexual Abuse, Violence & Exploitation Prevention Coalition in Rochester for developing this ad (published in the Rochester Women’s magazine, September/October 2011 issue p.77).

For more information contact Korene Schmitt

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Books by Minnesota Authors

* Christine Stark, Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation
"...a perfect genius that makes the impossible in expression, possible; the unknowable in experience, knowable"
--Anya Achtenberg, author of The Stories of Devil-Girl

Nickels follows a biracial girl named "Little Miss So and So", from age 4 into adulthood. Told in a series of prose poems, Nickels' lyrical and inventive language conveys the dissociative states born of a world formed by persistent and brutal incest and homophobia. The dissociative states enable the child's survival and, ultimately, the adult's healing. The story is both heartbreaking and triumphant. Nickels is the groundbreaking debut of Minneapolis-area author and artist Christine Stark.

"Christine Stark has crafted a language and a diction commensurate with the shredding of consciousness that is a consequence of childhood sexual abuse. She brings us a wholly original voice in a riveting novel of desperation and love. Every sentence vibrates with a terrible beauty. Every sentence brings the news."
--Patricia Weaver Francisco, author of Telling: A Memoir of Rape and Recovery

"To be taken into the mind of a child can be an enchanting adventure, but to be taken into the mind of a child who is abused, confused, and taken for granted is a lingering, livid journey. I applaud her fortitude to bring an olden--too long ignored-- truth out of the darkness with blazing, innovative light."
--MariJo Moore, author of The Diamond Doorknob

"In Nickels, Christine Stark, powerfully portrays the story of abuse and its impact on our lives. When this beautifully written and compelling story leaves, you are left wanting more. It's riveting; a book that will capture you from the beginning and carry you through the end. Everyone should read this book."
--Olga Trujillo, author of The Sum of My Parts

From the Reflections of America Series at Modern History Press   Learn more at

* Grant Watkins, Unpinned: Breaking the Hold of Sexual Assault and Abuse

A story of courage and triumph, offering hope for every man and woman who have suffered sexual assault and abuse.

“ After being sexually assaulted, part of me shut down. My spirit was broken. I lived under the covers in fear for many years, until it was too painful to stay there anymore. There came a point when I knew that in order for me to get over the fear, I would have to face it, and that meant confronting the man who abused me.”    - Grant Watkins

In Unpinned, Grant Watkins tells unflinchingly of the horrors he went through and the courageous journey he took to unleash his own unique and resilient spirit. Readers learn the lessons of recovery with him as he revisits the ghosts of the past that nearly destroyed him – and makes peace.

For more information link to: or e-mail:  

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Web Resources

* Cordelia Anderson
* Minnesota Department of Health Sexual Violence Prevention Program
* Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Justice Programs
* Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault
* Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition
* Minnesota Battered Women’s Coalition
* Minnesota Men’s Action Network (link removed)
* Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse MINCAVA
* The National Child Protection Training Center
* The Advocates for Human Rights

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sexual Violence Prevention
* National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
* National Alliance to End Sexual Violence National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
* National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
* VAWnet Violence Against Women National Online Resource Center
* Prevention Institute
* PreventConnect

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Funding Opportunities

* VAWnet features sources of government and private funding that are available to support projects or organizations working to end violence against women, or to provide opportunities for individual survivors. Government funding resources includes information on the 26 United States Federal grant-making agencies, portals to federal, local, and state government funding resources, and opportunities from the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Department Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Private funding resources include grants, scholarships, fellowships and/or awards for individual women available from foundations, charities and private trusts.

* is a source to FIND and APPLY for federal grants. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proud to be the managing partner for, an initiative that is having an unparalleled impact on the grant community. Learn more about and determine if you are eligible for grant opportunities offered on this site.

* NSVRC - Opportunities. This section provides information about funding (and volunteer, job and educational opportunities, as well as award nominations of interest to those in the fields of sexual violence prevention and intervention).
Announcements are added daily and organizations are invited to submit volunteer opportunities, job listings, and calls for papers, abstracts and proposals for journals, anthologies and conferences.

* MINCAVA. The Minnesota includes information and resources on a number of violence topics and includes a section on funding.

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Note…For additional events (to attend or promote) link to the MN Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA) electronic clearinghouse (a great resource for MN events, articles, and more!)  For another excellent resource, link to the Advocates for Human Rights Calendar

October 11, 2011, 9th Annual Breaking Free Candlelight Vigil, contact Heather Caillier

October 19, 2011, “Miss Representation” Screening, for information link to

November 4, 2011, Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN). For information contact:

November 5, 2011, Breaking Free’s 2nd Annual Benefit Breakfast, contact Heather Caillier 

November 14-18, 2011, Conference: ChildFirst®, Winona State University, contact: Susanne Walters, Victim Assistance Specialist at or 941-234-3058.

Mark your calendar for 2012 SVPN meetings:

February 3, 2012, Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN). For information contact:

May 11, 2012, Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN). For information contact:

August 10, 2012, Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN). For information contact:

November 2, 2012, Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN). For information contact:

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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