Closing Time (Not to Worry – We’ll be Here all Summer!)

The Phoenix Center’s Violence Prevention Education team is wrapping up another successful year, saying goodbye to some of our educators, and thankful for the familiar faces that will be around for the coming academic year. After losing our team coordinator, we were still able to connect with our campus community through conversations about interpersonal violence (IPV), victim blaming and myths about IPV, bystander intervention, and more.

Our team facilitated over 24% more workshops than the 2014-2015 academic year, and we’re so grateful that we’ve been able to engage with our campus partners, peers, faculty, and staff. We learned from all of our interactions, trainings, and conversations at events around campus; thank you all who took the time to participate in our workshops and to give us feedback to help our violence prevention work to continue to be more intersectional and reflective of experiences and perspectives of folks at Auraria.

We had the opportunity to develop new curricula as well, and plan to have new conversations with y’all next year. These include discussions about the role language plays in our perceptions of reality and how to redefine how we use and think about words we say/hear, as well as developing tools to understand and address privileges we have (be it based on gender, race, ability status, access to education, etc.). Our hope is that this will help expand the understanding we all have of how language and our social positions relate to interpersonal violence.

From all of us at the PCA, thank you for another year centered on reframing IPV, becoming allies to survivors, and actively seeking to make the Auraria community safe, inclusive, and well informed about dynamics of relationship violence, stalking, and sexual assault. We encourage y’all to practice self-care this summer, and we look forward to seeing you next year!

The Phoenix Center at Auraria (PCA) was honored to collaborate with CU Denver’s American Indian Student Services last week with the Her Many Ways event. PCA staff were given the opportunity to assist with the Sing Our Rivers Red (SORR) exhibit, bringing space into the event centered on Indigenous women to remember the 1,182 missing and murdered sisters and mothers commemorated by single earrings.

The experience of assisting with the SORR installation process was powerful; remembering that each individual earring represented a lifetime cut short or love being stolen had a weight that statistics cannot carry. Physically engaging with SORR made the epidemic of trafficking, rape, assault, and torture that continues to be an ominous reality for First Nations and American Indian communities incredibly palpable for us. The exhibit was emotionally charged; we couldn’t help but to feel outrage and harrowing sadness that these women, girls, Two Spirit and LGTBQ+ identified community members that have yet to see justice for the crimes and suffering they have endured.

One of the Phoenix Center’s goals is to promote a cultural shift in which violence, coercion, and oppression are received with compassion, but perhaps more importantly, with justice as well. The scars left behind by colonization, gender-based violence, and exploitation of anyone for any end impact us all, whether or not we personally identify as survivors. SORR is a critical component to ensuring that with greater awareness, this shift can become possible so that all of our communities and identities can begin to heal. We are so grateful that the Denver community has had the opportunity to host the exhibit in honor of these women and girls.

Stop by the Tivoli Multicultural Lounge before April 15th to visit the exhibit, and visit https://singourriversred.wordpress.com/ to learn more about the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women or like their Facebook page,

Online Advocacy Resources

Have you ever felt like you might need someone to talk to about an experience you had or are having, but didn’t feel comfortable going into an office or making a phone call to get information or help? You’re not alone – many folks are turning to online resources when in crisis (Buffini & Gordon 2015).

The Phoenix Center currently offers its 24/7 free and confidential helpline, as well as in-office appointments. However, we recognize that these options may not be the best fit for everyone, and want to connect all Auraria campus members to assistance that meets them in a comfortable space that is most appropriate for them. Below are some online chat resources that can also be found on our Resources page.

  • For folks looking for free, confidential, one-on-one peer support that identify as GLTBQ, check out the GLBT National Help Center for online support. Their hours are Monday-Friday from 2 pm – 10 pm MST, and Saturdays from 10 am – 3 pm MST.Their services are available on a volunteer basis, so there may be a brief wait to connect with a support person. Click here to chat with someone during the above-mentioned hours.
  • loveisrespect.org offers 24/7/365 chat support for folks that are concerned that they themselves or someone they care about is experiencing relationship violence. Click here to learn more and connect with them.
  • Anyone impacted by rape, sexual abuse, or incest can contact RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) 24/7 to get confidential, judgment free support. Click here to chat with a RAINN staff member.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers a chat option. This resource includes online emotional support, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention services. If you’re going through a tough time, are interested in safety planning, or just need to connect, they can be reached here.

In addition to these resources, The Phoenix Center at Auraria is here to offer over the phone and in person support should online advocacy not be the best fit for you. Please call 303.556.CALL (2255) to reach an advocate, or call 303.556.6011 to set up an in person appointment.

References

Buffini, K., & Gordon, M. (2014). One-to-one support for crisis intervention using online synchronous instant messaging: Evaluating working alliance and client satisfaction. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 105-116.

Get to Know Your Title IX Officers: Community College of Denver

Patty Davies, Director of HR and Coordinator of CCD’s Title IX Office, is passionate about supporting CCD students, and also keeping herself and her campus informed about issues related to gender and diversity. She focuses on making sure that she’s continuing to change and grow in her position; education around these issues is especially important to her role as the Title IX Coordinator. Davies has been involved with CCD’s HR and Title IX for the last 8 years, but took over the Title IX Coordinator position in May of 2015. She also values the opportunity to continue to be a part of and support CCD’s CARE Team. She views the program as a way to prevent folks at CCD in distress going unsupported or unnoticed.

Although Davies recognizes that HR may not be the first place that the CCD community turns to when an issue of gender discrimination arises, she wants folks to remember that Title IX is there as a resource to create a safe learning environment at CCD, regardless of one’s gender identity. Though it’s unfortunate that a law needs to exist to protect CCD students, faculty and staff from gender discrimination, Davis is grateful for the fact that Title IX is a neutral process that is about facts, supports both parties involved in a Title IX report, and encourages positive change.

CCD’s Title IX Office is currently rolling out a series of trainings for full-time faculty that focus on diversity, VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), and bullying; these trainings are a part of a larger effort to create spaces for the CCD community to engage in thinking critically about diversity issues on campus, including gender identities, interpersonal violence, and discrimination. Davies believes that having conversations around these issues helps to identify microaggressions and unconscious bias, which ultimately helps work toward a more inclusive campus for everyone at CCD.

For CCD community members, be on the lookout for events and opportunities to join the conversation next semester, and remember, CCD’s Title IX Office is here for you.

 

To learn more about Title IX or to file a complaint, go to the link below:

https://www.ccd.edu/administration/non-academic-departments/human-resources/equal-opportunity-ccd

Get to Know Your Title IX Officers: CU DENVER

Many of us have heard the term Title IX, and often, there’s a lot of confusion around it – isn’t that for female athletes? So, what is Title IX (because really, who uses roman numerals anymore)? These are all questions that Nelia (Nelie) Viveiros and Will Dewese are seeking to respond to so that all CU Denver students, faculty, and staff are aware that Title IX exists, and understand how their office is there to support UCD community members who may be confronted by gender discrimination, which includes sexual assault and harassment, relationship violence and stalking.

Though the legislation for Title IX is only 37 words of the Higher Education Act (which was signed into law on July 1, 1972), it has massive implications for protection of students, faculty and staff at any institution of higher education. As the legislation doesn’t provide an explicit way in which institutions must implement Title IX, the way it’s put into operation varies from university to university. Nelia Viveiros, Special Assistant to the Provost and Acting Title IX Coordinator, is passionate about Title IX; she sees it as a moral imperative to ensure that students feel safe while getting an education so they can engage in their learning without experiencing marginalization, violence, or intolerance on the basis of their gender. Will Dewese, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, echoes this sentiment and emphasizes that Title IX’s role of calling gender discrimination into question is a means by which there can be a societal change or paradigm shift with how we view, talking about, and understand gender and gender based discrimination.

Currently, UCD’s Title IX Office has been working hard to provide education around their office by engaging with different partners of campus (like Disability Resources Center, The Phoenix Center at Auraria, UCD’s Counseling Center, campus police, and more), making website improvements, offering a Title IX ally training, and plugging into the #itsonus campaign. To improve their services, they’re also in the process of hiring a second investigator, improving LGBTQ support, and ensuring their office is a safe space for people with various identities. To find out more about Title IX, how to get involved in an ally training or to make a Title IX report, check out their website at: http://www.ucdenver.edu/policy/TitleIX/Pages/default.aspx.

Stay tuned for next week’s post for an introduction to Community College of Denver’s Title IX office!

 

 

Violence Against American Indians: What Are the Implications?

This morning, the Buechner Breakfast First Friday, an event organized monthly by the applied research arm of the Public Affairs program at CU Denver, hosted panelists to discuss the high rates of violence experienced by American Indian communities.

Professor Callie Rennison of CU Denver’s Public Affairs program discussed the fact that American Indians are at least twice more likely than any other group in the US to experience violence, according to 2003-2013 statistics of non-fatal violent victimization rates. This led to a discussion of (the lack of) trauma informed services, and the importance of culturally sensitive and historically rooted responses to both American Indian victims and perpetrators of violence. More often than not, American Indians’ experience of generational trauma leads to decreased trust of and reporting to police, low rates of utilization of resources connected to victim services, and revictimization of American Indians dealing with institutions created to respond to violence.

Dennis Swain, Executive Director or the Denver Indian Family Resource Center, talked about the power of access to culture for American Indians for successful outcomes when responding to trauma, as this promotes overall well-being. Issues of American Indians being a part of communities that are often misidentified, undercounted, and viewed as too small or complex of a population need to change to begin addressing the high rates of victimization of community members.

Discussion around these issues will be continued this Monday, October 12, 2015 at the celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day. Click here for more information about events and key note speakers.