0 Comments · Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Exhume your bellbottoms, disco shirts and
dashikis and head to Horseshoe Casino, where Women Helping Women is
hosting a far-out night for a serious cause.
by Natalie Krebs
38 days ago
Posted In: News
at 01:45 PM | Permalink
Eight-month endeavor results in new informational campaign and city portal for support services
A task force created by City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld unveiled new initiatives at a Tuesday press conference aimed at better supporting survivors and educating the community about sexual assault. The effort, called the Task Force Reduce Campus Gender-Based Violence, involved eight months of concerned parties working together to come up with ways the city can reduce campus sexual assault and better aid survivors. Participants included the Cincinnati
Police Department, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University,
Cincinnati Public Schools, local nonprofits, university students and
sexual assault survivors. As chair of Council's Education and Entrepreneurship Committee, Sittenfeld said he saw sexual assault as a disruption to a student's right to education. "Last fall, Cincinnati became one of the first and only cities in the country to convene a city wide task force to address reducing gender-based violence, especially on and around our college campuses," Sittenfeld said, "and we've been developing community-specific best practices around awareness and prevention, survivor support, and policies and protocols." Kristin Shrimplin is the executive director of nonprofit Women Helping Women and co-chaired the task force. She introduced the city-wide gender-based violence awareness campaign called, "It's On Us, Cincinnati." Based off of the national "It's On Us" initiative created by President Barack Obama in 2014, the campaign focuses on educating and engaging the general public about gender-based violence by having people sign a pledge to make a personal commitment to help end sexual assault on campus. "This campaign is about energizing and educating the community and surrounding students about what gender-based violence is," Shrimplin said, "how it impacts all of us and how we all have a role in ending it, and supporting those students who have already experience such violence." Kate Lawson, chief Title IX officer for Xavier University, who also co-chaired the task force, said members also developed and launched a one-stop city web portal that will include information for survivors and the community on support services. The portal will also feature videos from task force members dispelling common myths and misconceptions associated with sexual assault. Task Force members Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac, Xavier President Michael J. Graham and University of Cincinnati Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Beverly Davenport also spoke at the conference about the importance of the new initiatives and newly established cooperation between community resources. In recent years the prevalence of sexual assault on campus has been a growing concern nationwide for universities. A 2015 National Sexual Violence Resource Center Report found that one in five college women and one in 16 college men will experience some form of attempted form of sexual assault as a college student. Kristen Meyer of Oakley said when she sexually assaulted five years ago just before her sophomore year at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, the university's police department did little to support her. "I was told this was happening every weekend on campus, and I was also told that 70 percent of rapes go unreported," said Meyer, who was visibly emotional while recounting the experience. "On top of that, I was told this process would be grueling. That's when I realized this crime is shrouded in silence, and it incriminates the victims rather than the offenders." Meyer said the experience led to pushback from her friends and members of the small campus community. She developed severe anxiety and depression from the assault and aftermath and eventually dropped out of school. Meyer's speech at the end of the conference was abruptly interrupted when Sittenfeld collapsed about 25 minutes into it. Medics quickly tended to him, and he said later that the incident was caused by overheating and having low-blood sugar. Sittenfeld attended other meetings later in the day.
by Katherine Newman
53 days ago
Posted In: COMMUNITY
at 12:36 PM | Permalink
Women is a nonprofit agency serving survivors of domestic violence, sexual
assault and stalking. The organization was founded in 1973 to provide advocacy,
support and safety to survivors. WHW serves around 12,000 people yearly between
the two offices in Hamilton County and Butler County.
counseling, court advocacy, support groups and hospital accompaniment are just
a few of the free services that are available. The education and prevention
team gives presentations to business and community service agencies that focus
on recognizing sexual assault and domestic violence along with how to access
“We rely so much
on our volunteers,” says Ellen Newman, Hamilton County volunteer coordinator.
And for good reason: There are about 40 volunteers right now covering a range of
survivor services from the 24-hour hotline to court room accompaniment.
hotline is mostly operated by volunteers. This is a daytime opportunity to
answer calls from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. in the office on East Ninth Street. The
hotline is an anonymous support system for survivors who might need someone to
talk to or advice on how to move forward.
advocates are on call anywhere from 11-13 hours per day. If a survivor is at
the hospital and asks for someone to talk to, the on-call volunteer will be
contacted to answer questions and provide support.
attend arraignment court with, and sometimes without, survivors. “They are
there to answer questions and help them in the initial first step,” Newman says.
If a survivor can’t attend the arraignment, the volunteer advocate will make
notes of what happened there. As the trial progresses, advocates continue to
attend and support the survivor.
advocates help with community awareness. Volunteers travel to businesses,
churches, schools and events around the Greater Cincinnati area to provide information
on recognizing and surviving sexual assault and domestic violence. There is
also a Teen Dating Violence Prevention curriculum the travels to area high
schools focusing on preventing violence before it starts. The program helps
teens identify healthy and unhealthy behaviors in relationships and encourages
them to challenge the social norms that encourage dating violence.
Women will often need volunteers to work a table at an event, talk about the
programs and hand out information. They are also looking for people to help
with Light Up The Night, their annual fundraising event on April 28.
“We are survivor-centric
— that is the first and foremost quality you have to have,” Newman says. To
become a volunteer, you first need to fill out the online application; after it’s
reviewed, there will be an interview to determine if you are a good fit for
“Our name is a
little misleading — we are really searching to add more male volunteers,” Newman
says. The organization is nondiscriminatory and they are hoping to grow in the
number of male volunteers they have available to work with survivors.
program is 40 hours and includes an overview of the programs and services along
with the ethics of the organization. There is information about what to report
and how to work with survivors. They also focus on how to work with specific
populations of people to ensure all survivors feel safe.
must be 18 and have a clean background check. Women Helping Women asks that
volunteers stay with them for at least a year and complete two sessions a month
in any of the programs.
always evolving with the needs of each survivor. Feel free to contact the
organization to find out what is in immediate need. Some things that can always
be used are feminine hygiene products, new clothes and bus passes for survivors
to get home, to court and to the doctor’s office.
For more information on WOMEN HELPING WOMEN and to
access the volunteer application visit womenhelpingwomen.org.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Founded in 1973, Women Helping Women
(WHW) began as a community-based, feminist response to the many unmet
needs of local women.
2 Comments · Wednesday, August 21, 2013
In 1999, amidst sharing studio space
with local artists, Diane Debevec began taking writing classes at the then
eight-year-old foundation, Women Writing for (a) Change.
Today, as the director of the now-nonprofit organization, she and the
staff are hard at work encouraging women of all ages to find and
celebrate their individual voices.
by Jac Kern
Skirtz will discuss and sign her new book Econocide: Elimination of the Urban Poor
today at Findlay Market’s Skirtz & Johnson. The book looks at how
Cincinnati “has used legislation and the administration of public policy to
serve the ends of privatizing public assets and displacing people who are
perceived as undesirable because they lack economic power and privilege.” Skirtz
is also a social worker and founder of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the
Homeless — proceeds from tonight’s book sales will go to the organization. The
signing runs 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Helping Women is a 24-hour crisis service helping victims of domestic violence,
sexual assault and stalking. The non-shelter program offers intervention and
support services for women — and men — in Southwestern Ohio. Tonight,
Sharonville transforms into Oz for Light Up the Night: Emerald City Ball, a benefit for Women Helping Women. Don your best ruby slippers as you enjoy
dinner-by-the-bite, Wizard of Oz-themed cocktails, auctions and music — all for
a wonderful cause. Tickets should have been reserved in advance. Go here
to get involved with the
organization by adopting a family, donating or volunteering.
Theater Cincinnati takes audiences on a “trip down musical memory lane” with
its production of Life Could be a Dream, onstage tonight. Fans of ETC’s Wonderettes productions will feel at
home with this sock hop-era musical that follows the Crooning Crabcakes as they
try to make the big time and win a local radio contest. Sing along to classic
hits like “Runaround Sue,” “Earth Angel,” “Unchained Melody” and more tunes
from the time. Tickets to tonight’s 7:30 show are $36.Check out our music blog for tonight's live show lineup and our To Do page for more events, art shows and performances.