Reblogged from Forensic Healthcare Online

{This post originally appeared on Forensic Healthcare Online, which I also authored, and was reprinted with my permission. See the original post.}

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Sexual violence is a widespread social issue that takes many forms. Because of the breadth of the issue, it’s easy to overlook how other crimes intersect with it. In the past, we’ve highlighted the intersection of sexual assault with domestic violence, but in recognition of National Stalking Awareness Month, we're going to take a look at some of the connections between sexual violence and stalking. 

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From the perspective of the mainstream victim rights movement, law enforcement should serve as one tool to support the goals of justice and restoration after sexual violence. It’s one option that people who experience sexual violence have as they decide the next turn they will take on their path to healing. 

In the best of scenarios, a victim who chooses to make a report to law enforcement is believed, provided with options and choices, interviewed in a trauma-informed manner, and feels that the experience of was beneficial, regardless of the outcome. 

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Back in December, former Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw was convicted of multiple counts of rape, sexual battery and other charges. All of the 13 women who came forward to testify against him were Black.

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Let’s begin with some groundwork. There are long-standing social systems that lead to the widespread oppression of certain groups of people. Actions and behaviors committed by a member of a dominant group exerting power and control over a traditionally oppressed group feed into the monstrous system of social inequity. We will not end any one form of social oppression until we end all of them. 

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So, the holidays are over, decor is safely tucked away, I survived 70 degree days in December, and we had our first actual snow yesterday! Welcome winter finally! It may have waited until the middle of January, but I will certainly not complain. We recognize January as National Human Trafficking Awareness month.

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This year’s campaign is focused on prevention – the slogan boldly declaring prevention is possible! The campaign will include resources to help everyone see their role in preventing sexual violence. The materials listed below will help to ground the concept of prevention by educating individuals, communities, and businesses on practical steps they can take to end sexual violence before it occurs. 

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I think I’ve decided that winter is just not going to come to us here in PA. Yes, I’m complaining about the weather, but I’m a skier. One cannot ski, if there is no snow and it’s 65 degrees outside, thus my sad reality. Therefore, if I can’t spend the holidays skiing, what else is out there that can occupy my time?

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SAAM 2016

Prevention is possible, and it is the theme of this April’s, Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It takes many voices and roles to prevent sexual violence. This April, we’ll focus on the ways individuals, communities, and the private sector can take action to promote safety, respect, and equality. 

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This is a guest blog post by Sally J. Laskey, NSVRC Outreach Director.

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