FCASV Insight October 2018

FCASV Insight October 2018


This is a new column we’ve started where advocates, service providers, and others are welcome to send in questions related to our work in this field! We select a question and FCASV staff members provide a response in different editions of the Insight e-newsletter. Please send any questions to Courtney Nomina (cnomina@fcasv.org) and include this in your email header: “Question for Ask FCASV Column”. You will not be identified in the article. We look forward to receiving your questions!

Question from an advocate: We have seen an increase in reports of sexual violence via our helplines. Many of the callers have told us that they found our information through our social media or online so naturally we've had a lot more conversations about technology safety with survivors. Are there resources that can better orient advocates around other technology safety considerations for survivors of sexual violence?

Response from an FCASV staff member: We recognize that the majority of survivors are assaulted by an individual they know. While physical safety may not be an immediate concern for survivors disclosing years after their abuse occurred, the influx of sexual violence disclosures and news media coverage can be overwhelming and triggering. Discussions about technology safety should be individualized based on survivors' technology habits. For example, some survivors have fostered online communities as part of their support networks. Thus, recommending media breaks might not be feasible for that individual versus an individual whose social media feeds are causing undue post-traumatic stress.

Examples of ways that perpetrators of sexual violence may misuse technology include:

• Target victims that lack technology literacy.
• Use online communities to access victims and groom them.
• Hack into or take advantage of victim's trust to acquire private information to blackmail a victim.
• Take messages out of context to make the victim seem less credible.
• Misuse cameras or video surveillance to capture victim.
• Conduct sex trafficking via the Internet.
• Gift a victim with a technology-based tool (like a phone) that allows them to monitor the victim.
• Limit access to technology so the victim cannot find or access help.

Examples of technology considerations during safety planning:

• Limiting the amount of private information shared online.
• Changing passwords on accounts and/or devices.
• Hiding posts from news outlet social media pages, if survivor is being triggered by news coverage in social media news feed. This way the survivor can choose when to visit these pages rather than the information constantly appearing in their news feed.
• Exploring privacy features offered by social media sites/email providers to limit who and what can reach survivor.
• Bookmarking online supports so survivor can access that part of a website or social media platform and bypass other types of information or news.
• Disabling social media accounts to take a temporary break.

The National Network To End Domestic Violence's Safety Net Project has a ton of useful resources around safety planning with survivors including a Toolkit for Survivors (www.techsafety.org/resources-survivors), Privacy and Safety on Facebook in multiple languages (www.techsafety.org/resources-survivor/facebook), and agency concerns/best practices (www.techsafety.org/resources-agencyuse).

- FCASV Staff Member

Program Highlight: Volusia Rape Crisis Center

Volusia Rape Crisis Center (VRCC) has been making strides to connect with the college campuses in our county. We are excited about the progress that we have made in just a few short months.

VRCC has partnered with four local colleges to provide services, such as speaking at every freshmen orientation to discuss campus safety, awareness, and education on sexual assault. We also have connected with campus safety officers and Title IX Coordinators to assist with services on campus, like forming campus response teams that include campus advocates who will work hand in hand with VRCC, and implementing emergency response and transportation needs through campus officers. Some of the campuses have monthly discussion groups with students that we attend.

We also focus on the literature that is available to students. One of the colleges has been working with us to create a brochure that will be included in every new student packet. The advocates also work with high school students and facilitate monthly group discussions alternating months between men and women. We are currently working with instructors on campuses teaching them how to feel comfortable and respond to students if they report being a victim of sexual assault. The VRCC Counselor has also made herself available to assist with counseling services on campuses, focusing on trauma for survivors.

The campuses extend invitations to VRCC to participate in campus activities and outreach events bringing awareness to staff and students on campus. It has been a great experience and we look forward to many more partnerships in our community.

The Case for Trauma-Informed Oncology Care

Eva Fiallos-Díaz, LCSW

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month we recognize that a significant portion of people living with various forms of cancer have histories of abuse (Schnur & Goldsmith, 2017). Women who were abused or neglected as children also report more cancer-related psychological distress, fatigue, and other physical and emotional outcomes post treatment (Fagundes, Lindgren, Shapiro, & Kiecolt-Glaser, 2012).

A diagnosis of cancer and cancer treatments can be re-traumatizing for survivors of sexual violence. However, partnerships between certified sexual assault programs and oncology clinics can make a world of difference. Sexual assault advocates, 24/7 helplines, individual counseling, and support groups can form an important part of a survivor’s support network, mitigating the impacts of diagnosis and treatment.



Looking For Halloween Consent Cards to Share Online? 

Feel free to share our electronic Halloween cards! Visit fcasv.org for the downloadable versions of these cards both in English and Spanish.



Join Us in Welcoming Our Newest Staff Member

Rita Sneider-Cotter, MSW

Rita is a native-born Floridian from Tampa. She received her Bachelors of Social Work from the University of South Florida, and got her start in the movement at the Family Justice Center of Hillsborough County as a volunteer advocate. She then worked at several gendered violence agencies, and worked for two members of Congress in Tampa and the Florida Keys. In 2015 she packed up her dog in her Subaru and headed to the University of Denver in Colorado to pursue her Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Animal Assisted Social Work. Now she is excited to return to the Florida Keys as the Monroe County SART Coordinator and Advocate. In her free time, she likes kayaking and swimming in the beautiful Florida Keys with her husband, Dan, and baby, Owen.

Upcoming Events and Trainings

40-Hour Adult/Adolescent SANE Training

November 5-9, 2018
Daytona Beach, FL

For more information about the training, visit fcasv.org.

One-Day Advanced SANE Training

November 28, 2018
Jacksonville, FL

For more information about the training and to register, visit fcasv.org.

Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigations Training

November 29-30, 2018
West Palm Beach, FL

For more information about the training and to register, visit fcasv.org. Registration is free, but space is limited. Priority registration is given to PBSO detectives and Palm Beach County area responders.

Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigations Training

December 13-14, 2018
Gainesville, FL

For more information about the training and to register, visit fcasv.org. Registration is free, but space is limited. Priority registration is given to ACSO detectives and Alachua County area responders.

SANE Basic Clinical Skills Development Training

December 17, 2018
Fort Walton Beach, FL

For more information about the training and to register, visit fcasv.org.

One-Day Advanced SANE Training

December 18, 2018
Fort Walton Beach, FL

For more information about the training and to register, visit fcasv.org.

This project was supported by subgrant No. COHK4 awarded by the state administering office for the STOP Formula Grant Program. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the state or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.