Reports of sexual assault have increased at the University of Maine in Orono: There were fewer than 10 per year until 2013 when there were more than 30. That’s probably a good thing; universities should want more people coming forward to seek help. But what about the response to those disclosures? Did the students want […]
MaineFocus on Sexual Violence: This year, we will examine child victims, whose lives are forever altered and the crime against them is often unrecognized, misunderstood or ignored. We’ll also examine programs that treat sex offenders, many of whom were victimized themselves as children. What can Maine do help kids and break this cycle?
MaineFocus on Domestic Violence: We will turn our attention to rehabilitation of domestic violence offenders in Maine. From the Maine State Prison to small anti-violence nonprofits, offenders are given the chance to change. The question: Will they?
Last week, I attended the National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. During several interesting sessions about child sexual abuse and conversations with colleagues from around the country, I again was thinking about how to respond to the inevitable question of, “But what can I do to help prevent and respond to child sexual […]
It’s not in the way you dance, the way you dress, or the way you act – you’re never asking to be sexually assaulted. That’s the message of Project Not Asking For It, which is meant to counteract our typical cultural response to sexual violence victims. The project is a grassroots effort which asks students […]
In a time of consistent reports of colleges and universities failing to take campus sexual violence seriously, the White House created the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, which released its first report, Not Alone this week. As with many issues related to sexual violence, the issue of campus sexual violence […]
Strap on your running shoes and join us for the second annual Erin’s Run in Bangor this Saturday at 10 a.m. The race is in memory of Erin McGrath Woolley who worked for Spruce Run in Bangor after graduating from the University of Maine at Orono. It is a 5K and money raised will go […]
If I walked up to 100 strangers on the street and asked them to define healthy sexuality, I’m guessing responses would range from uncomfortable laughs to puzzled looks to real responses. In my life, I’ve certainly had difficulty defining what “healthy sexuality” means and in fact, most Americans do. Pause for a moment and think […]
Over the last few days, I’ve been sent the New York Times’ latest interactive article on campus sexual assault several times. The article details the error-filled investigation of a rape reportedly perpetrated by star freshman quarterback – and Heisman trophy winner – Jameis Winston. People are (rightfully) outraged and disgusted that Florida State University and […]
“My name’s Isaac,” the email began. “I just wanted to let you know I love what you guys are doing. I have lots of friends who have been badly bullied and have always tried to help against bullying as much as I can. I myself have been hassled about acting gay (even though I’m straight).” […]
I’ve never liked the term “domestic violence.” I associate “domestic” with air travel, wine, and my home. For decades we’ve been creating softer, gentler language to define social problems. Culturally, we do this to distance ourselves from things we don’t want to imagine experiencing. In this manner, we invalidate the severity and importance of what […]
Today marks the launch of Stand Up, Step Forward. Watch it. It could save a child’s life. In 2012, almost 50 percent of contacts with Maine’s sexual assault support programs were from or about someone who experienced sexual violence under the age of 18. Because child sexual abuse is so under-reported, we cannot determine the full […]