Thursday, January 14, 2010

Volunteering with CAASA!

Do you want to get involved in your community?

Do you want to help victims become survivors? Impact Lives?

Are you interested in Victim Advocacy? Community Outreach? Education and Awareness Events? Fundraising? Grant writing?

CAASA is looking for volunteers in different areas to assist with the variety of programs we currently have, as well as some new programs that will be coming soon to Winnemucca!

Worried about having enough time?
Different types of volunteers are always welcome: some require training hours, some don’t require much time, or you can work on your own time!

Contact us now to find out more about what YOU can do to help make a difference for survivors and secondary survivors of sexual violence in
Humboldt County!

January is National Stalking Awareness Month

January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affects 3.4 million victims a year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. This year’s theme is: “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It”, which challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it. Community Advocates Against Sexual Assault is working with the Stalking Resource Center to raise awareness about stalking in our community.
Stalking is a crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, yet many victims and criminal justice professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact. In one of five cases, stalkers use weapons to harm or threaten victims, and stalking is one of the significant risk factors for femicide (homicide of women) in abusive relationships, according to the American Journal of Public Health.
Stalking behavior may include, and is not limited to, unwanted phone calls, sending unsolicited or unwanted letters or e-mails, following or spying on their victim, showing up at places without having a legitimate reason, waiting at places for the victim, leaving unwanted items, presents or flowers, and posting information or spreading rumors about the victim online, in a public place or by word of mouth.
Victims suffer anxiety, social dysfunction, and severe depression at much higher rates than the general population, and many lose time from work or have to move as a result of their victimization. Of stalking victims, 46% fear not knowing what will happen next. [Baum et al., (2009). “Stalking Victimization in the United States.” BJS.]
One in four victims report that the stalker uses technology, such as computers, global positioning system devices, or hidden cameras, to track the victim’s daily activities. Stalkers fit no standard psychological profile, and many stalkers follow their victims from one jurisdiction to another, making it difficult for authorities to investigate and prosecute their crimes.
Communities that understand stalking can support victims and combat the crime. No one should ever have to live in fear! CAASA Case Manager, Billie Wirthlin advises, “Inform your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers of the situation. Pass along a picture or physical description of the stalker. Friends, coworkers and family can help to screen phone calls, sort mail or inform the police in the event that the stalker shows up. Relying on trusted friends and family is important for victims of stalking and allows them to feel (and stay) safer, while reducing feelings of isolation and desperation”.
CAASA is collaborating with Paul Montenegro of the Montenegro School of TaeKwon Do to provide a free Self-Defense class to women and girls to promote safety awareness and public education about stalking during the annual observance. The class will be taught by TaeKwon Do Instructor Paul Montenegro and will be held Saturday, January 16 from 1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
For more information or sign up for the free class, please contact CAASA at 623-2328, 775-623-2312, Fax: 623-3251, E-Mail Address, Website:
For additional information on stalking please visit: and

January 16- FREE Self-Defense Class for Women and Girls! RSVP NOW!!!

Paul Montenegro and Community Advocates Against Sexual Assault (CAASA) are pleased to introduce:

TaeKwon-Do Self-Defense Classes for Women and Girls!!!
January is
National Stalking Awareness Month!
Did you know? 1 in 14 people are Stalked in the United States every year?
Saturday, January 16, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

5184 1/2 E. Winnemucca Blvd.
(Behind Computer Tamer and next to BLM offices)

Cost for class is: FREE

Seating is limited, so reserve your spot now!
Call 623-2328, 247-2395 or 623-2312 to sign up now!
Or email us at:
Information on the free program- Girls Fight Back! also available!

For more information on the Montenegro School of TaeKwon-Do call Paul at 623-3025 or 544-9947

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rape Trauma Syndrome

The following article originally appeared in the Humboldt Sun:

Current statistics suggest 1 out of 3 women worldwide has experienced rape or sexual assault and it is now estimated that 1 in 3 American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime as reported by Worldwide Sexual Assault Statistics from George Mason University. This means that if you go out to lunch with a group of four friends, it is likely that three out of four of you have been a victim of rape. That is a very scary thought and to put it into even harsher terms, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, in the United States a woman is raped every two minutes.

Rape is legally defined by NRS 200.366 Sexual assault as: “A person who subjects another person to sexual penetration, or who forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or another, or on a beast, against the will of the victim or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his conduct, is guilty of sexual assault.”
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Syndrome or Rape Trauma Syndrome is often associated with an assault. Following a rape, women generally react in two different ways; they may show intense emotion or maintain a false sense of control. Rape Trauma Syndrome sufferers often exhibit a cluster of psychological and physical signs, symptoms and reactions which is common in most rape victims.

There are three stages associated with Rape Trauma Syndrome. There is an acute stage which occurs within days to weeks after the incident has taken place. The amount of time that a victim remains in this stage is variable. They may show intense emotion, which ranges from hysteria to numbness. How soon the survivor tells someone about the rape provides an indication about her own feelings about guilt, what happened to her and her role in it. Talking to someone you can trust is very important, because it can help clarify feelings and justify your emotions and reactions. It may also be helpful to talk to an advocate who can provide information about the decision to report the rape in addition to other options, including medical and legal assistance if desired.

Phase two is the outward adjustment phase in which the survivor has resumed their normal lifestyle. They may still be suffering from internal turmoil which can manifest in a variety of ways as the victim copes with the long-term trauma of a rape. RAINN identifies five main coping strategies during the outward adjustment phase which are: minimization, dramatization, suppression, explanation, and flight. During this phase, the victim often chooses how they will handle the assault and it is important to remember that one is capable of going from a victim to survivor.

The final phase of Rape Trauma Syndrome is the Renormalization Phase in which the survivor integrates the sexual assault into her life so that the rape is no longer the central focus of life. Negative feelings such as guilt and shame are then able to be resolved and the individual realizes that the attack is not through any fault of their own and they are not to blame. The trauma experienced from an assault is something that never goes away, however it is important to remind yourself or your loved one that the worst is over and there are support groups available to both victims and secondary survivors.

This column is not is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or psychological advice or treatment.
Community Advocates Against Sexual Assault
P.O. Box 1338
Winnemucca, NV 89446
Contact Information:
775-623-2328, 775-623-2312
Fax: 623-3251
The mission of CAASA is to empower those victimized by sexual violence through advocacy and crisis intervention and to raise awareness in the community about the cause, impact, and prevention of sexual violence.