Sunday, July 25, 2010

Winnemucca Organization Changes Name and Updates Services

Winnemucca Organization Changes Name and Updates Services

Community Advocates Against Sexual Violence (CAASA) was formed in mid- 2008 as a grassroots social services organization to help survivors and secondary survivors of sexual violence. The organization has grown through the years to add in more services, such as the the free seminar Girls Fight Back!, free self-defense and safety classes for all ages, advocacy and court accompaniment, as well as medical accompaniment to Reno for sexual assault kits and other necessary medical and psychological care. In 2009 CAASA began collaborating with the National and Nevada Court Appointed Special Advocates Program to add some of its services to CAASA's on-going services.The mission of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, together with its state and local members, is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. In early 2010, CASA and CAASA entered into a formal agreement to officially begin efforts to bring the CASA program to Humboldt County under our CAASA organization. For more information on what Nevada CASA is, please visit their website at: groups were excited about working together, but because CAASA and CASA are pronounced the same, it was difficult to distinguish between the two programs when explaining the newly formed collaboration between them. Humboldt CAASA realized it was time to search for a new name. With the help of the CAASA board members, volunteers, and helpful supporters, the name Advocates for Victims of Abuse was chosen as the new organization name and the motto modified to encompass all that is done under the organization.Advocates for Victims of Abuse (AVA), formerly known as Community Advocates Against Sexual Assault (CAASA) is a community-based program for the prevention, education, and advocacy against family abuse, sexual violence, and child abuse and neglect. The mission of AVA is to empower those victimized by abuse and/or violence through advocacy and crisis intervention and to raise awareness in the community about the cause, impact, and prevention of family abuse and sexual violence. CASA's mission supports and promotes court appointed volunteer advocacy to protect the rights of abused and neglected children. While the organization name has changed, the previous services are still in existence, only added upon. AVA's original slogan remains the same, "Don't be a Victim, Become a Survivor!".CASA efforts are still underway to raise enough funds to bring this wonderful program here. Newmont Mining Corporation has very generously donated $10,000, helping CASA to meet it's funding halfway! Donations have also been raised with the assistance of local Scensty Consultant, Sharon Krupicka, who had a fundraiser for CASA. Twenty-five percent of sales went to aid in bringing CASA to Humboldt County and to assist AVA's services.AVA collaborates with community agencies and organizations to raise awareness and education about family abuse and sexual violence, prevention, and what to do in case of a sexual assault. We also provide referrals and resources to local and statewide agencies and programs that can assist the survivors of family abuse and sexual violence and their loved ones affected by the trauma. We provide on-call advocacy, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for family abuse and sexual assault support services, with trained advocates in crisis intervention and sexual assault support services. Donations are always appreciated if one would like to donate to either AVA or CASA. All donations are tax refundable, receipts will be given. Currently, all those who are with AVA are volunteers. Donors can be assured money will go to direct services in AVA's work with the community and clients served. Volunteers are also needed in different areas. Volunteers for community events, outreach. Advocates for CASA and AVA, and more are always welcome. For more information about AVA and volunteer opportunities please visit

Advocates for Victims of Abuse- Court Appointed Special Advocates
P.O. Box 1338
Winnemucca, NV 89446
Contact Information:
775-623-2328, 775-623-2312
Fax: 509-695-4626
E-Mail Address
The mission of AVA is to empower those victimized by abuse and/or violence through advocacy and crisis intervention and to raise awareness in the community about the cause, impact, and prevention of family abuse and sexual violence.
CASA supports and promotes court appointed volunteer advocacy to protect the rights of abused and neglected children.

Don't be a victim, become a survivor!

Nevada Sex Offender Registry Search

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Humboldt CAASA Changes Name to AVA

Humboldt CAASA Changes Name to AVA, Continues to Educate Public On Child Safety

A Feature Article by LadyJ

Humboldt CAASA, a Winnemucca based organization devoted to personal safety and support for the victims of abuse, has changed their name to better reflect all of their goals. The group is now known as Advocates for Victims of Abuse or AVA. AVA Director Chelle Robinson and Secretary Shari Hoskins staffed a booth at the recent Community Garden Farmer’s Market Grand Opening to promote just one of their many causes; keeping children safe.

“One of our organizational goals has always been to keep children safe,” Robinson noted, “We’ve been promoting safety since we started.” AVA’s booth featured fingerprinting for children, with fingerprinting cards donated by the Nevada Highway Patrol. Other materials provided by AVA provided safety guidelines for children in a variety of summer time situations.

School is out, but sports are a big part of summer for a lot of kids. AVA materials provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children stress the importance of making sure all coaches have had thorough and proper background checks. They further advise monitoring the coach’s attitude about winning and aggression to ensure that the child is not learning bullying behavior or other overly aggressive habits.

The long break from school also means a lot of time for kids to just hang out at malls, movie theatres, skate parks and other public gathering places. AVA and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children both seek to remind children to never go alone to any of these places, no matter how comfortable they feel when spending time there. The same rule applies to vehicles. It is never safer to for a child to get into a vehicle with a stranger or anyone else without first obtaining permission from a parent or guardian.

Children are further advised to never go into a public restroom alone, to avoid playing around canals, ditches and other dangerous areas, and to avoid openly displaying their name on backpacks, clothing or other items a stranger could easily see.

Despite the warm weather, many children continue to enjoy indoor activities. AVA’s information packet included reminders to children to keep doors locked and to refuse to open the door to anyone unless they know and trust the person and the visit has been approved by the child’s parent or guardian. While much of the safety information the group provided will serve as important reminders and checklists for parents and children, one topic will still be very new to many parents: online safety.

AVA now offers a pamphlet entitled “Protect Your Child’s Online Life.” The handout notes the basic online safety rules such as discussing the Internet with children and establishing rules for use, monitoring the child’s IM chat list or social networking site friend lists, and becoming familiar with all programs the child is using. It goes on to note the signs that the child might be communicating with an online predator, including changes in the child’s behavior, unknown phone numbers on the child’s cell phone or bill, or gifts from people the parent does not know. However, this pamphlet also serves as a guide parents or other caregivers can keep to help them decipher online chat dialogue. Most people know that LOL means “laughing out loud” and BRB means “be right back,” but a child may also be sending or receiving messages that say P911 to indicate that their parents are entering the room, “TOS” for “teacher over shoulder,” “143” to signify “I love you” and LIMIRL for “let’s meet in real life.”

Anyone who would like a copy of these handouts or any other information on child safety, personal safety for adults, sexual assault prevention and victims support, or information and support for any other victims of abuse is encouraged to contact AVA at 775-623-2328, 775-623-2312. “Our new name encompasses more of what we do,” said Robinson. “We’re not going to turn anybody away.”