March marks the end of the 2017 legislative session. We have been very engaged on Capitol Hill working to create public policies that will support survivors of sexual violence. For the past seven weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to work side-by-side with advocates, activists, and community partners. I’m pleased to tell you that we have made remarkable progress on Capitol Hill. In short, we’ve passed legislation to mandate the testing, storage, and tracking of sexual assault kits; we succeeded in passing legislation that will provide confidentiality protections to victims of sexual violence on Utah’s college campuses; and we defeated several bills that would have caused real harm to survivors of sexual violence.
If the 2017 legislative session has taught us one thing, it’s that we are making significant progress in eliminating sexual violence in all of its forms in our community. Our friends, neighbors, and families are getting more engaged in our efforts and as a result our society is changing.
Our work is growing and we’ve launched a new membership program called the Vanguard Network. This network is designed for community members and other interested individuals to support our statewide efforts to end sexual violence. If you like the work we’re doing, please consider joining the Vanguard Network by clicking here.
Our members are the backbone of our efforts and power the work that we’re doing in communities across the state. Here are the things that our members are helping us accomplish:
- On March 9-11, 18, and 25th we’re hosting our next 40-Hour Rape Advocacy Training at our office in Salt Lake City. This training gives sexual violence advocates the information and tools they need to handle calls from victims of sexual assault effectively and sensitively. Read more.
- With Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) coming in April, we’re working with leaders to recognize SAAM in their community and help us raise awareness of the issues surrounding sexual violence. Join us for one of our events in your community:
If your community isn’t on this list and you would like it to be, please reply to this email. Logan, Kaysville, and several other cities will recognize SAAM without hosting public events.
- Our 4th Annual Sexual Violence Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Conference is coming up on March 23rd and 24th. This conference will introduce new perspectives on the challenges we have been facing individually through our therapeutic, crisis intervention or criminal justice responses. Learn more.
- In honor of National Professional Social Work Month on March 29th we’re hosting a panel discussion at the University of Utah called “Social Work and Sexual Violence”. This panel of social workers will discuss the critical role that social workers play in sexual violence prevention and intervention. Read more.
- We’ve been traveling the Wasatch Front conducting trainings in partnership with the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) on Bystander Intervention. We’re utilizing the new curriculum developed by UDOH to conduct train-the-trainer events. Join us for one of our upcoming trainings:
If you would like to request a training in your community, simply reply to this email.
- Our next Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training has been scheduled for September 7-9th in Provo. Learn more.
This is only a small portion of what we are doing and we hope that you’ll join us. Our work is powered by our membership program. Join us on the next step of our journey by becoming a member of our newly formed Vanguard Network. By making a monthly membership payment to UCASA, you are joining the local movement to end sexual violence. Our members include community leaders with a wide range of interests, backgrounds, and experience working to combat sexual violence-related issues.
Take a moment to visit UCASA.org and get to know our organization.
Thank you for your support,
Turner C. Bitton