April 2020
A Message from Rosa Beltré , Executive Director, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence

What a difference a year makes!

Actually, three months have proven to count like an entire year. COVID-19 has affected the way we live, communicate, and work for this first portion of 2020. For most Americans, normal routines have been turned upside-down by this current pandemic.

In these challenging times, we are all navigating through uncertainties for ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. We are grieving life as we were accustomed to, while still serving survivors who are victimized, triggered, and made to feel, and be, isolated.

An act of sexual violence can devastate and derail an individual's life. The impact is long-lasting—months, years, even a lifetime, and now we have added the toll of social distancing.

These are unprecedented times, that require different strategies. We realize this is a very challenging time for all our organizations, our staff, and communities. We are providing services in a new landscape. We have had to be more fluid than ever, updating policies and procedures as well as ensuring advocates and educators are equipped to do their jobs remotely, while dealing with changes in responsibilities both personal and professional.

Events and trainings have been cancelled or postponed. Zoom meetings, conferences, and webinars have been inundating our workday schedules, making us feel drained, overloaded with information, and at the same time unproductive.
More than ever, we are committed to serving survivors across Ohio, being a source of information to you, advocating for funding streams that would be flexible and allow us to continue to serve, with a service that looks much different than before.
Our first priority is and will always be the health, well being, and safety of our staff and the communities we serve. We understand that the work will look different, but there is still work to be done.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. SAAM raises awareness of sexual violence and its prevention through special events, and highlights sexual violence as a major public health issue, reinforcing the need for prevention efforts. We are usually excited about all the events and fundraisers happening around the state, but this April SAAM will look, feel, and, by necessity, be different.

OAESV has a digital content package for SAAM, which we have mailed to you all, and I have attached here. You should all be thinking of launching SAAM virtually, as SAAM will not take place in the same format this year.

Here is the  SAAM Content Packet created by the Resource & Communications Team at OAESV.

This resource, created in an effort to support local programs and other members in engaging with their communities during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, includes the following:

  • Important Events in April, Form to Submit Their Local Events, and Promotional Calendar for Ohio
  • Model SAAM Resolution Language to Build a Request to Their Local Government
  • Ohio-Specific Social Media Content Package Including Captions & Image Files
  • Instructions on Creating Facebook Profile and Story Frames
  • #SAAM Affirmation Coloring Cards
  • Fundraiser Reminders
  • SAAM Online Engagement Tips
I, personally, will continue to advocate for all of you and all advocates, preventionists, survivors, and centers around the state in reference to funding, deliverables, exceptions, provisions, extensions, safety, and pay.

Please know you are not alone in this process. “We Are In It Together”.

HANG IN THERE! And remember to #EmbraceYourVoice.
Thank you for all your work in supporting survivors and your staff , Thank you for your willingness to adapt, to be vulnerable and ask questions. Thank you for allowing yourselves to feel, to mourn, to cry, and get up each morning and do it again.

I appreciate you all, more than words can say!

Please make sure you practice self-care, that you are kind to yourselves, that you pace yourselves these days. Please practice GRACE, LEAD with GRACE, communicate with GRACE.

KNOW THAT YOU ARE ENOUGH, know that you are doing GREAT in the midst of uncertainty.

We soon will share space together and laugh, cry, hug, and celebrate that we have overcome!

As we continue to navigate these currents, I strongly believe that …
This too shall pass!

OAESV is here for you! You are not alone.

2020 Visionary Voice Award Winner: Amy LaGesse
We are so proud to report that Amy LaGesse was selected as Ohio's Visionary Voice Award Winner. Each year, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center offers the Visionary Voice Awards, in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April, to recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence. Each year, state, territory, and tribal coalitions select an outstanding individual to nominate for the awards. Nominees may be partners from a local community or other outstanding individuals that have worked to end sexual violence.

Amy is the Northwest Regional Grant Coordinator for the Look Beneath the Surface Grant, a federal grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Amy partners with direct service providers in Northwest Ohio to provide training, outreach, and direct services to survivors of all forms of human trafficking. With her guidance, local programs have identified and served hundreds of survivors who, without her hard work, may still be entrapped in the sex and labor trafficking industries. Amy has also been the Secretary for the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition and worked on the University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute’s PATH (Partners Against Trafficking in Humans) Program. Amy is an incredibly passionate advocate for and ally to survivors and at-risk populations. Many young leaders in the field consider her a mentor — a shining example of a social justice warrior in the fight against all forms of sexual violence.
Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month
We are also very proud to share with you that Rosa will be kicking off Arte Sana ’s Yo Soy SAAM national webinars on April 9th from 1:30 to 3:00 Eastern Time. This is the the 3rd #YoSoySAAM seminarios web (Spanish language webinar series) that the organization has offered.

Please register here to hear Rosa's important words on El impacto del abuso sexual infantil y el incesto en la familia Latina (the Impact of Child Sexual Abuse and Incest on the Latina Family).
A Love Note to Anti-Violence Advocates | Ohio Alliance...

I feel privileged to be able to write our staff blog this month, but I also feel immense trepidation and anxiety for it to be the "perfect message" during this unprecedented time. I've started writing and stopped, restarted and stopped again. I...

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As Rosa mentioned in her letter at the beginning of this newsletter, for Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2020, our Resource & Communications Team put together a content packet for members ! This packet is meant to help you engage with your communities through the month of April and beyond.

We love the amazing content provided by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (seriously, check it out if you haven’t!). But we thought you might also want some Ohio-specific material to share online. Consider scheduling posts using the content we’ve created; this can help your followers understand what’s going on in Ohio and how we can join together as a state against sexual violence.

Log into the member portal here to access the downloadable content, including a model resolution that you can use to ask your local government to declare April as SAAM in your area of Ohio! Oh, and if you're a member, your packet is also coming in the mail this week along with some other treats!
OAESV's Advocacy Day with Ohio legislators is still on! We will be moving this event to an online platform, so please continue to register. We will have more details to you very soon, including the date and registration link for the prep webinar, where we will give information on how this all will work.

Wright State University Feminist Activism Partnership |...

OAESV has partnered with the Feminist Activism class in Wright State University's Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Through this course, students volunteer with OAESV and complete group projects aimed at ending power-based violence...

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Additional Upcoming Trainings, Events, & Announcements
First Friday Legislative Update | Ohio Alliance to End...

On April 3rd, OAESV will discuss critical federal and Ohio relief packages and their impact on survivors and rape crisis programs and go over our plans for taking our 8th Annual Advocacy Day virtual! After registering, you will receive a...

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Forum Title IX: Attorneys as Title IX Advisors | Ohio...

As part of our Excellency in Legal Advocacy Training Series, we're excited to offer this upcoming training opportunity. Forum Title IX: Attorneys as Title IX Advisors takes us through education on Title IX, current state of the law, role of...

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We are all in this together! Join OAESV staff and your peers to discuss the ways the current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our work.

Bring your questions, frustrations, struggles and ideas to this online conversation for resource sharing and support. Please choose the webinar(s) that most closely fit your role.

Please note that this space is intended for SV frontline/direct service staff. If you are the director of a program or are otherwise in leadership at your organization, we ask you to allow this space for your staff to openly process and engage with us.
Mondays -- Campus SV Staff
Tuesdays -- Preventionists
Thursdays -- Advocates
Fridays -- People of Color in the SV Field
The proposal of Jayvon Howard, OAESV Engaging Men Coordinator, has been accepted to the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence's 2020 Conference! This year's theme is " Courageous Conversations: An Empowerment Approach ", and the three-day conference features four workshop tracks: Prevention, Fostering System and Cultural Change, Healing-Centered Engagement, and Sustainability. We're very excited for Jayvon and proud to have him as part of the OAESV team.
We are currently looking for volunteers and long-term interns to help with some upcoming important projects.

These include:
  • Office Organization
  • Web Development
  • Event Assistance
  • Data Management
  • Graphic Design
  • Research
  • Social Media, and much more!

Privilege Within the Pandemic | Ohio Alliance to End...

Privilege is real. On a daily basis as a Black woman who exists at the intersection of two oppressions, I also try to remain cognizant of the privileged spaces that I inhabit. I am cisgendered, married in a heterosexual union, college-educated,...

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COVID19 Emerging Response Resources | Ohio Alliance to...

People who are or have experienced sexual violence may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the Coronavirus pandemic. Survivors often have specific needs around safety, health, and...

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Quick Notes on Trainings
Please note that many OAESV trainings and webinars are offered only to members of OAESV. In order to register, you will need to be logged in to the member portal on our website. If you aren't logged in, you will not see the red registration button but instead will see a note asking you to log in.

Members received the 2020 member portal password via email on January 1st, 2020. If you are a member or are part of a member organization but did not receive this email, please reach out to Taylr at communications@oaesv.org, or speak with the member of your staff who is the main contact for OAESV membership.

If you are not yet a member or part of a member organization, no worries! We do offer some opportunities to all, including non-members. Also, you can register for membership here, after which you will have access to all of our future trainings and past recorded webinars.

Additionally, if you would like any accessibility accommodations for our trainings or webinars, just include that information in your registration. We hope to receive the requests at least two weeks prior to the event in order to fulfill them properly.
Interested in the rest of our trainings in 2020?
Check out our 2020 Training & Events Calendar here .
Become a Member | Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence

2020 is almost here! That means it's time to renew (or start!) your OAESV membership. Remember that all of our trainings and webinars are for OAESV members, so you will need your member portal password in order to register for these offerings.

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Help support our work. At OAESV we provide many services, including  training for advocates and preventionists technical assistance for local programs , systems advocacy,  public policy work,  and  much more .
Thanks for reading! Feel free to forward to a friend.
This project was supported by Grant No. OAESV 2019-SW-AX-0020 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice , to the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. 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 U.S. Department of Justice.