Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tie One to End Child Abuse in Winnemucca, NV!

Second Annual National 'Tie One to End Child Abuse' Campaign Kicks Off


The United States has one of the worst records for
 child abuse among industrialized nations. 
We cannot change this without raising awareness and 
encouraging more people to be part of the solution. 

Child abuse prevention organizations and advocates across the country are tapping community leaders, media personalities, and citizens to raise awareness this April which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year, the National Tie One to End Child Abuse is April 22nd.   Participants are asked to don an ugly or outlandish tie or scarf for a day to raise awareness that there is 'nothing uglier than child abuse.' Photos can be submitted to the website to be included in the online gallery and shared via social media with the hashtags: #tieone #stopchildabuse and #ChildAbusePreventionMonth.
According the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the United States has one of the worst rates of child abuse among industrialized nations; on average five children die every day from abuse and neglect. The Center for Disease Control has estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys experience sexual abuse.

The Tie One to End Child Abuse Campaign is an effort to unite abuse prevention organizations, advocates, community leaders, and citizens to start thinking, talking, and acting to prevent abuse. Headline partners for this collaboration include: The Mama Bear Effect, Sparks of Hope, Dreamcatchers for Abused Children, Enough Abuse Campaign, and AVA.
"Closing our eyes to the abuse of one child is unacceptable," says Adrianne Simeone, founder of The Mama Bear Effect, "and for the hundreds of thousands of children suffering in our country we have to wonder where our priorities lie if we won't do more to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Children have a right to a safe and nurturing childhood, and it is our responsibility to protect that right."
Mayors, governors, and businesses across the country are pledging their participation to increase awareness for child abuse in America, as well as the West Coast Sheriff's 17th Annual Child Abuse & Family Violence Prevention Summit which will be promoting the campaign to nearly 1,000 attendees.

Joining The Partnership

Tie One To End Child Abuse will be accepting rolling applications from other nonprofit and advocacy groups to raise awareness and take the opportunity to raise awareness on a national level by impacting individual communities on the ground level.

For More on the Headline Partners:
The Mama Bear Effect:
Sparks of Hope:
Dreamcatchers for Abused Children:
Enough Abuse Campaign:
Say it, Survivor:
SOURCE The Mama Bear Effect, used with permission for press release

AVA teams up with Together We Rise! to help foster children in Winnemucca and Battle Mountain, NV!

Help Our Local Foster Children!

Please help us help the foster children in Humboldt and Lander Counties! Now through June 30, 2016- ALL donations are tax-deductible and 100% goes to children in need in our area! 

Did you know over 700 youths go through the Child Welfare System and foster care system in rural Nevada every year? Advocates for Victims of Abuse is collaborating with DCFS to provide a new program, the Family Advocacy Program, in Humboldt and Lander Counties. This program goes to provide a trained advocate for all youths in the Child Welfare System located in these counties. Whether the child is placed in a foster home, a kinship home, or with their biological families, AVA volunteers are there to help with supervised visitations, in-home services, and in community services (including but no limited to: parenting classes, supervised visitation, budgeting, homemaker workshop and classes, recovery issues), to ensure a child's best interests and safety is a priority.
As part of the Family Advocacy Program, AVA works to assist foster, kinship and biological families that bring the youths and children into their homes and lives. Too often, children and youths who leave the only home they have ever had with their belongings in only a trashbag. Not only is the expereince of leaving their homes traumatic, but the fact of carrying their belongings around kin only a trash bag can also carry with them more traumatic connotations that further affect their mental well being.
This outreach fundraiser is to provide a "Sweet Case" for every youth that goes through our Child Welfare System to ensure No More Trash Bag Kids (see :…/no-more-trashbag-kids.htmland…/no-more-trash-bags-kids-part-2…) Cases are duffel bags filled with essentials and more for each youth: A stuffed animal, a blanket, a book, necessities such as toiletries, and other comforting items the individual can keep with them for the rest of their lives.
We are asking busininess and individuals to please help us meet of minimum goal of at least 20 cases for Humboldt and Lander Counties. Each case is only $25 each and the cost is tax-deductible since we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity. 100% of these donations go to the Sweet Cases and 100% of the Sweet Cases go to a child/youth in need. The cases will be handed out on an as-needed bases as DCFS and foster and kindship families request them.
Offered with any Sweet Case sponsorship, we would love to give you the free publicity and thanks you deserve! If you prefer to remain anonymous, we respect that as well. To donate, anyone may contact us at: email: humboldtava@sbcglobal,.net , phone: 775-722-4564 or 775-304-1243 or mail P.O. Box 1338 Winnemucca, NV 89446 or visit our website and we have an easy access link to PayPal to make donations even easier, If you prefer donations go to either Humboldt or Lander County, we also respect the donors preference and will use it so, just please remember to remark how you would like your donation used so we can earmark it for that area/program.
This event will be on-going through June 30, 2016. Please consider donating to such a wonderful cause and share with your friends, families, and local businesses! Our children can never have too much help! Help us make a difference in a child's life- and our community!

Recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault and Rape

By Sarah Reno Baker

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~MLK Jr.

How many times have we heard, “She asked for it,” regarding sexual assault or rape? Now we take that same statement and say, “He asked for it.” Seriously.  Who asks to be violently assaulted or raped?  No one. Humans do not ask to be hurt.  We do not ask for another person to take from us what is ours. Sometimes our society cannot grasp the trauma that is caused by sexual assault or rape. People need their voices heard. Humans have the right to be believed. It is time to shatter the silence.
The Joyful Heart Foundation understands the difficulties with sexual assault and rape. The organization takes pride in what they do and is respectful to every individual’s journey. “At Joyful Heart, we understand how difficult the pain of these experiences can be, and we honor the strength, courage, and time it takes to heal”.
Sexual Assault and Rape
Sexual assault and rape are different. Sexual assault is done without a person’s consent and refers to an unwanted sexual act. People often believe sexual assault is only violent physical incidents, but this is not the case.  According to The Joyful Heart Foundation, “Sexual assault refers to any sexual, physical, verbal or visual act that forces a person against their will”. This also includes attention or sexual contact that is unwanted. Rape on the other hand, is forced sexual intercourse. Penetration is not only by a body part, but also by objects.

We must take a stand against the silence. A victim is not at fault when sexual assault or rape occurs.
Through a study from the Centers for Disease control in 2010 for the United States, it was found that one in five women are raped in their lifetime.  This is approximately 22 million women. The study also concluded that one in 71 men are raped in their lifetime. This is approximately 1.6 million men. There is a misconception about rape. Many people believe that rape occurs mostly by strangers, but this is not the case.  Survivors of assault by an acquaintance, friend, relative, or intimate partner is at 60 percent. By the age of 18, 42 percent of women have been raped. Furthermore, under the age of 25 accounts for 79.6 percent of female rape victims. One in four women and one in six men experience an unwanted sexual experience in their lifetime.

Take a stand against silence.  One sexual assault or one rape is one too many.
Signs and Effects
There are signs that can help a person flag a potential perpetrator.  Abusive behavior can be derogatory sexual terms, an aggressive behavior, sexually harassing others, and threating others by sexual objects. Everyone’s response to trauma is unique.  Shock, fear, guilt, and shame consume the survivor. Sexual assault can harm a person’s health by physical, and mental aspects. A person that has survived abuse for years will have a different coping mechanism than a person who has experienced sexual assault for the first time.

Stop the stigma against silence and sexual assault. Understand that humans are unique and their reactions are also unique.

Effects of sexual assault and rape are massive. Mental effects for a person that has experienced this type of trauma can be, but not limited to, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and dissociation.  Emotional effects can be fear, guilt, feeling weak due to reaction, vulnerability, lack of trust, blame, anger, shock, numbness, loss of control, disorientation, and helplessness.

Take back your silence.  Take a stand.  You are worthy.

National Crisis Hotlines
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE,
Planned Parenthood, 1-800-230-7526,
National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224,

This column is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or psychological advice or treatment.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Introducing the Family Advocacy Program!

 Seeking Volunteers for the new Family 

Advocacy Program!

Advocates for Victims of Abuse, a.k.a. Humboldt Ava are very pleased to announce an exciting new program. In a first-ever collaboration of its kind in Nevada, AVA and the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) have entered into a collaborative agreement to establish the Family Advocacy Program for Humboldt and Lander Counties!
The Family Advocacy Program is to enable AVA to provide volunteers as requested by DCFS to assist in providing an array of services to support youths and families who are involved in the Child Welfare System.
Want to help make a difference in a child’s life? Help victims become survivors? Be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves? We need you!

We are seeking individuals interested in volunteering for this amazing new program!
To be eligible, volunteers must be:
• Age 21 or over (depending on type of volunteering sought. Please see below for examples. Advocates must be 21 or older).
• Submit to state and federal background checks, Central Registry Screening for Child Abuse, and fingerprinting.
• Must not have been convicted of a DUI in the past 5 years or fined for used of a cellular or mobile device while driving within the past 3 years.
• Must adhere to strict confidentiality rules and laws and follow all mandatory reporting requirements for Nevada.
• 3 references (must not be related to you).
• Must be able to effectively communicate via written and oral communication, be familiar with email and basic computer skills.
• 25 hours of pre-service training is required, some of which can be done via independent study. 12 hours training annually is required. Some recent training in the required areas may be used for pre-service training hours. Proof of training must be provided.
• Volunteer schedule is extremely flexible- YOU tell US when you can volunteer and what type of volunteering you feel comfortable with! A minimum of 3 hours a month is requested.
If someone would like to volunteer but does not meet all these requirements, it does not automatically exclude you from volunteering! There is an array of volunteering that may be done with AVA. In order to work with clients as a Volunteer Advocate, all the above standards must be met. 
Other ways to volunteer is to assist with outreach awareness, grant writing, social media and other forms of public relations, fundraising, and administrative assistance. Volunteers fluent in Spanish are very much needed!

With the Family Advocacy Program duties will vary and include, but are not limited to, supervised visitation, home visits, safety management services, parenting classes, collecting clothing, toys, household items, etc. donations needed by foster and kinship families, office assistance, and assisting in raising awareness and outreach about foster parenting and child abuse and neglect.
Applications must be completed by anyone wanting to volunteer. They can be found at our website at (in word format or downloadable in PDF form to complete online) or email us at to request one.
We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Denim Day in Winnemucca 2016!

Make a Statement with Your Fashion Statement- Wear Denim in Support of Survivors!
Help Dispel the Myths Surrounding Sexual Violence!

Denim Day in USA will be held this year on April 27, 2016. This campaign gives people the chance to make a social statement with their fashion statement while supporting survivors of sexual assault and spreading awareness about sexual violence. AVA will be continuing their support as registered participants for their 9th year by providing free ribbons to the community.

It all began in Italy, 1990: An 18-year old girl is picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully rapes her. Threatened with death if she tells anyone, he makes her drive the car home. Later that night she tells her parents, and they help and support her to press charges. The perpetrator gets arrested and is prosecuted. He is convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.

He appeals the sentence. The case makes it’s all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor is overturned, dismissed, and the perpetrator released. In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999, and has continued every year since.

Organized annually by Peace Over Violence, Denim Day in LA and Denim Day USA recall an Italian court case that sparked international outrage when judges did not convict a rapist because the victim wore jeans. The judges ruled that because the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her attacker remove them, thus implying consent.

Since then, Denim Day in LA and Denim Day USA has grown to become a national movement held annually during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“RAPE IS A GLOBAL EPIDEMIC,” “WHEN DATING BECOMES DANGEROUS” and “NO EXCUSE” are three of the sexual assault excuses highlighted in the ads, which are designed to inspire a critical dialogue about violence prevention. Materials are available for purchase and to find or create an event in your area, check out their site at: Http://

Across America, every two and a half minutes, someone is sexually assaulted. One in six American women have been the victim of attempted rape or completed rape. 82.8% of intimate partner rapes are NOT reported to law enforcement. This statistic also applies to Winnemucca. Then why aren’t many reported to law enforcement? There are several reasons and the biggest one being that the victim often knows the offender. There are worries of retaliation, fear the victim “led him on”, humiliation, and embarrassment. In a small town like ours, the word gets out quickly. Would you, readers, want everyone knowing about the worst, most invasive and very personal moment of your life? 

Another reason is sexual assault exams are not performed locally in Winnemucca. A victim would have to travel to Reno for an exam. After a traumatic and very painful experience, many victims do not want to sit in a vehicle for that long to go through yet, another painful experience. Additionally, when a victim does choose to have a sexual assault kit done, they cannot urinate, defecate, eat, drink, chew gum, smoke, wash any part of their body, brush their teeth, or change clothing until after the kit is completed. Keep in mind, they must wait until the time of their appointment in Reno (sexual assault exams are no longer considered emergency, as they are often made by appointment now), complete the exam (which can take up to three hours), then drive back to Winnemucca to shower and rest. The reason for this is sexual assault kits are done to assist in investigation and prosecution of the offender. The victim is the crime scene. As a practice in empathy, can you, readers, understand why some victims choose not to go through this process?

The AVA is working to expel the myths surrounding sexual violence and help survivors understand that rape is never their fault. No circumstances, whether the couple is in a relationship, how the victim was dressed, whether alcohol or other drugs were ingested: nothing excuses sexual violence.

AVA provides various programs, resources and referrals for survivors and secondary survivors of sexual violence, relationship abuse, child abuse and neglect, and bullying. Anyone wanting further information is encouraged to contact AVA.

AVA will be holding their annual Denim Day celebration by making free denim ribbons available to the public. Denim ribbons are made available for those who may not be able to wear denim at work or for those who would rather show their support by wearing a ribbon. People may call, email, or contact us via our website to request ribbons and they will be delivered at no cost. Donations are happily accepted and appreciated!

For more information about Peace Over Violence and Denim Day USA, please visit,  or, or email