Michigan State University Agrees to Change Its Response to Complaints of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced today that it has resolved its investigation of two sexual violence complaints filed against Michigan State University. The university, which has taken important positive steps to provide and maintain a safe learning environment for everyone on campus, entered into a resolution agreement to correct violations found during OCR’s investigation.

“With this agreement, Michigan State University undertakes a strong and comprehensive commitment to address sexual harassment and sexual violence, which will benefit more than 50,000 students and employees,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights. “I am also grateful for the university’s good work during the course of our investigation in taking steps to provide a safe learning environment for its students and employees.”

Full story of Michigan State and complaints of sexual harassment at ed.gov

Guidance Issued on Responsibilities of Schools to Address Sexual Violence, Other Forms of Sex Discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today released new guidance describing the responsibilities of colleges, universities and public schools to address sexual violence and other forms of sex discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

The guidelines, highlighted by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault’s new report released earlier Tuesday, provide greater clarity about the requirements of Title IX around this critical issue – as requested by institutions and students.

Full story of schools addressing sexual violence at ed.gov

Teen Dating Abuse

Teen Dating AbuseAbuse knows no rules, no boundaries, and does not take exception with the wealthy or the poor. Abuse doesn’t care if you are the clever one, the beauty, or the hunk down the street. Anyone can find themselves in a potentially abusive relationship. Once in one of these relationships it may place you in a trance and you may find yourself unable to extract yourself.

Domestic violence is also known as intimate partner violence. Violence is an interesting word. It can speak about physical harm, sexual harm, or an entire array of emotional repercussions. Often people think domestic violence has to do with marriage, hence the word domestic. If we use the description of  intimate partner violence we see it opens up how we think about abuse.

Can teenagers be involved in intimate partner violence? Absolutely. Teenagers date, they engage in sexual intimacy, and they spend lots of time together. Most of their time together is spent in isolation and away from the watchful eyes of others. This is clearly different than a married couple where parents, in-laws, and even neighbors or children have a viewing angle of the relationship. Teen relationships often exist in a very private setting.

Full story of teen dating abuse at Psych Central

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Silence on Rape Is the Biggest Obstacle to Prevention

Silence is Rapes Biggest ObstacleI recently held a seminar on rape in war with military lawyers from across the world. We talked through a number of obstacles to prevention and elimination of sexual violence, but at the end of the seminar everyone agreed that the biggest of them all is silence. “We don’t ever get to have this conversation,” the participants agreed.

Unfortunately, this is particularly true in the countries most affected by sexual violence in war: Not only is rape not talked about, but many of those who try to address this terrible crime are attacked, often violently. On Oct. 25, unknown men carried out an assassination attempt on Dr. Denis Mukwege, and succeeded in killing his bodyguard, Joseph Bizimana. Dr. Mukwege is known for his tireless work in defense of women victims of sexual violence in the Congo.

Silence also reigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This week, Amnesty International launched a briefing paper detailing the continued silence about the rapes in Republika Srpska, almost two decades after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended. To the extent there is any attention to the widespread rapes during the 1992-95 conflict, it is focused on the perpetrators — though many are still at large. Meanwhile, the women and girls who suffered systematic rape and forced pregnancies are overlooked.

Full story of sexual violence at Huffington Post

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RAINN Day Conversations Shed New Light on Sexual Violence

New Light Shed on Sexual ViolenceJerry Sandusky. "Legitimate" rape. Daniel Tosh. The women’s health care debate. If there were ever an era in which sexual violence was inextricably linked to many of the most talked-about headlines, this would be it. While today marks the 18th year in which the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization,RAINN (which stands for Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), has worked to raise awareness of the issue and the recovery resources surrounding it, the underlying problems press on.

Someone is sexually assaulted in the U.S. every two minutes. More than half of those assaults go unreported. Some 97 percent of rapists never spend a day in jail. So, what’s being done about it? Is there any hope at all?

The statistics are discouraging at best, but significant signs of progress are visible. The year prior to RAINN’s establishment in 1994 by musician Tori Amos and Scott Berkowitz, who continues to serve as the group’s president, 485,000 Americans were victims of sexual violence. To date, the number has plummeted to just over 200,000. The 60-plus percent decrease isn’t enough for advocates to rest on their laurels by any means, but it does illustrate something: the conversation itself is critical.

Full story of sexual violence at Huffington Post

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Men walking in heels raise awareness of sexual assault (VIDEO)

Men in Heels Raise Awaireness of Sexual AssaultWILLMAR — Some of the 36 men walked in scandals, some in pumps, others in high heels and a few in their own shoes.

Regardless of the footwear, all participants walked, jogged or ran to raise awareness and funds to provide safety and healing for victims of abuse and sexual assault during the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event Saturday morning at the Willmar Middle School track.

The event is part of a 10-year international movement in which tens of thousands of men have slipped into women’s shoes and raised tens of thousands of dollars to support their local agencies that provide services to victims of rape, sexual assault and gender violence.

Locally, this was the third annual walk sponsored by Safe Avenues of Willmar. The agency works for social change and provides shelter to those at risk of domestic abuse and survivors of abuse or sexual assault including children in the west central area.

Most walkers wore a black T-shirt with a pair of red high heels and statement across the top saying “I am strong enough to walk a mile in her shoes.’’

Full story of sexual assault awareness at West Central Tribune

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TeachME: New Courses for August

New Courses for TEACHMECEUsPathological Gambling and Alcohol Use Disorders

$10.00 [2.00 CE Hours]
This short intermediate level course is designed to give psychologists and other mental health professionals an overview of the association between pathological gambling (PG) and alcohol use disorders (AUDs). The incidence, prevalence, and common features of PG, AUD, and co-morbid PG and AUD are outlined as well as key research in these areas. Diagnostic criteria, treatment implications, and promising areas for future research are also discussed.

Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence

$40.00 [8.00 CE Hours]
This intermediate level course for psychologists and other mental health professionals was developed using current research-based material from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The purpose of the course is to summarize the highlights of the The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) which identifies the prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence. Significant social and public health consequences of these types of violence are discussed as well as prevention and intervention strategies.

Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Goals for Children

$5.00 [1.00 CE Hours]
This beginning level course gives a brief overview of strategies to guide children in making healthy food choices and becoming more physically active. It was developed using the US Department of Health and Human Services publication, Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Across your Lifespan: Helping Your Child, which provides excellent information and resources for parents and other adults. Methods to improve young people’s eating habits and physical activity goals as well as ways to help the overweight or obese child are included. This course would be appropriate for mental health professionals, dietitians, educators, and students.

Overview of Diabetes in Children and Adolescents

$10.00 [2.00 CE Hours]
Diabetes is associated with serious complications and premature death, and the incidences of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in U.S. children and adolescents are increasing. This beginning level course, based on information from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), was developed to give an overview of how these diseases are currently impacting young people. Symptoms, risk factors, management recommendations, and prevention strategies are discussed. This course is appropriate for educators, dietitians, health professionals, mental health clinicians, and others who come into contact with youth who may be at-risk or who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Full course information at TeachME CEUs

Webinar Examines Sexual Exploitation of Girls by Gangs

Sexual Exploitation of Girls in GangsAlthough gangs are a chronic problem in many urban and suburban areas of the nation, this city included, certain aspects of gang life don’t receive the attention – and therefore the resources – necessary to combat them.

In particular, the sexual exploitation of girls by gangs is a serious problem currently facing law enforcement, courts, educators and social service programs across the country, according to a panel that met this week to discuss the issue.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention presented a webinar Wednesday through the Missing and Exploited Children’s Program to address promising practices for targeting the commercial sexual exploitation of girls in gangs. The webinar built on MECP’s June presentation about exploitation by offering organizations and individuals suggestions for internal practices and appropriate interaction with victims.

Full story of sexual exploitation of girls in gangs at Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

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