Tag Archives: Wisconsin

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

5 Apr

Hello to my powerful, dynamic readers! Did you know? It’s April aka SAAM aka a great time to attend free events that are open to the public that provide information and insight about the social problem of sexual violence. And you KNOW I’m gonna be at those Madison, WI events!! Here’s the… I hope you’ll join me!

Chimera Self Defense Designed for Women – April 11th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Madison East High School.

Chimera teaches women of all cultures, ages, backgrounds, and physical abilities that they have the right and ability to protect themselves from violence. Space is limited in this FREE workshop. Call (608) 251-5126 x10 to register or email Chimera@danecountyrcc.org. Sponsored by the .

Excerpts from Film “Very Young Girls” – April 13th at 6:30 p.m. at Lussier Community Education Center.

Excerpts from the film “Very Young Girls” features the Director of G.E.M.S. (Girls Education Mentoring Services) in New York City as she works to help girls who are victims of sex trafficking. Producers of this documentary hope to change the way law enforcement, the media and society as a whole view sexual exploitation, street prostitution, and human trafficking that is happening right in our own backyard. Light dinner served before viewing. Post-film viewing discussion facilitated by Annette Sallay of . April 13, 2012, dinner at 6:30 p.m., film viewing at 7:00 p.m. at the 56 South Gammon Road, Madison, WI. For more information contact annette@respectmadison.com, or (608) 283-6435 x10. Sponsored by Project Respect.

 SAFE (Yes! I will be teaching this!) Self-Defense Class Fundraiser for Lilada’s Livingroom- April 15th from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at Monona Terrace.

A women’s empowerment event to raise funds and awareness about sexual assault and violence against women. In this fun and dynamic class, women will learn to recognize and avoid dangerous situations, communicate assertively, escape various grabs/holds and strike with power and accuracy in a safe, women-only space.
• Great Entertainment!
• Fabulous Door Prizes!
• Women of all ages and stages!
The proceeds raised from this event will help to fund healing services to young survivors of sexual abuse and our Teen Mom Empowerment Programs.
Suggested Donation: $5 for students, $10 for adults
ADDITIONAL DONATIONS WELCOME!
Please make donations via:

Sponsored by Lilada’s Livingroom.

 Keynote Speaker, Jaclyn Friedman – April 17th at 7:00 p.m. at UW Memorial Union (TITU).

, editor or “” (and one of my heroes!) will be speaking about her new book “What You Really Really Want“. Her interactive presentation discusses the mixed messages that women receive daily about sex and safety, “separating fear from fact, decoding the dangerous message all around us, and discovering a healthy personal sexuality.” (I will be there as a representative of the Dane County RCC!) For more information email uwpaveoutreach@gmail.com.Sponsored by UW PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment).

Cover art from

(I will be speaking at this!) Take Back the Night – April 19th at 5:00 p.m. on UW Madison Campus

A broad-based community event that will focus on violence in our communities. It will include a march to the state capitol, speakers, a candlelight vigil, and a speak out. For more information visit Sponsored by UW Campus Women’s Center.

Speaking at Take Back The Night rally, April 2010

 Healing through Art and Movement – April 20th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at 16 N. Hancock Street, Downtown Madison.

Come to an open house and explore creative experience that promote creativity and vitality. Art therapist Laura Teoli will talk about experiental treatment for depression, anxiety, and eating disorders at Rogers Memorial Hospital. Grace Valentine and Tara Rollins, dance/movement therapists at Hancock Center, will talk about the importance of grounding, finding reconnection with the body, and experiencing the joy of movement. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP appreciated but not required. For more information, please call (608) 251-0908 or email grace@hancockcenter.net.

 RCC Spark – An Online Auction to Benefit RCC - April 23rd

A group of concerned Dane County residents are hosting an online auction, , to help the RCC. Local goods and services, memorabilia from national celebrities (Elton John, Lisa Loeb, Kenny Rogers, Cheap Trick) plus many fun experiences and meals with local VIPs (Rep. Peter Barca, Matt Rothschild) will be up for bid. Winning bidders donate their high bid amount directly to RCC. All items/services will be revealed and open for bidding for one week, beginning April 23rd at noon. Auction ends April 30th. For more information, please contact Meg Rothstein at megrothstein@gmail.com.

 ”The Purity Myth” – April 26th at 7:00 p.m. at UW Memorial Union.

A based on‘s hit book, ““, is a critique of society’s obsession with virginity and how it affects girls and women. For more information, email uwpaveoutreach@gmail.com. Sponsored by UW PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment.

 Sexual Health Fest – April 27th from 10:00am-4:00 p.m. at Library Mall.

Resource fair with tables from many organizations. I’ll be there repping the Dane County Rape Crisis Center from 12:30-4pm! Sponsored by .

 Voices of Courage Awards Luncheon – April 28th from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church located on 312 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison.

The Voices of Courage Awards Luncheon recognizes the extraordinary work being done throughout Wisconsin and honors the outstanding work of individuals and organizations that have exceeded the highest standards in their efforts to end sexual violence and support survivors. Tickets are $20.00 per person. For more information, please visit the event page at . Sponsored by .

 Wrap Around the Capitol – April 28th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the North Hamilton entrance of the Capitol, Madison.

Wrap Around the Capitol, 2:00-3:00 p.m., Saturday, April, 28th North Hamilton entrance of the Capitol building, Madison. We will encircle the Capitol to show our support for survivors of sexual violence in the observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We will meet at the North Hamilton entrance immediately following the Voices of Courage Award Luncheon. For more information, visit .

 Big Read, selections of “What You Really Really Want” by Jaclyn Friedman – April 30th (I’ll be there!) and May 1st at 7:00 p.m. at UW Memorial Union (TITU).

Using research, reality-based advice, revealing quizzes and creative exercises, “What You Really Really Want” will show readers the way to separate fear from fact, decode the dangerous messages all around us, and discover a healthy personal sexuality. For more information, email uwpaveoutreach@gmail.com. Sponsored by UW PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment).

War On Women Spreads to Wisconsin

24 May

When I started this blog, I thought to myself, “I’d better not get too political here.” So I pressured my brilliant activist sister to start a , instead. But you know, I’ve reached a point where I can’t not speak out against the blatant attacks on women by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin state government.

I’m talking about Governor Walker and his unquestioning, morally bankrupt Republican majority in the House and the Senate, whose latest genius idea (<- I must be angry if I’ve been driven to use sarcasm) is to defund family planning services in Wisconsin.

spell out how the proposed budget will affect family planning and health care services in the state:

All 12 Republicans in the Joint Finance Committee voted to:

  • Eliminate state funding for Planned Parenthood health centers in Wisconsin
  • Against tens of thousands of women, men, and teens who rely on Planned Parenthood
  • Against lifesaving cancer screenings, HIV testing, birth control, and annual exams
  • Put the entire BadgerCare Family Planning program at risk. A program that provides 60,000 patients across the state with basic, preventive health care each year

Now, for those who may be thinking,“Well I’m opposed to abortion so I don’t know if the state should fund clinics like Planned Parenthood…” I can totally understand where you are coming from. That being said, only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s funding goes to abortion and exactly NONE of that funding comes from the state.

We’re talking about tens of thousands of uninsured, low-income and working class women and families losing access to BASIC health care such as cancer and STI screenings, breast exams and pap smears, annual check ups and access to birth control.

What will this mean for Wisconsin? A rise in unwanted pregnancies, STIs, and women dying of cervical cancer.

for the :

The medical director of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene says women will likely die of cervical cancer if Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal eliminating $266,400 for cervical cancer screening prevails.

“I see at least 1 – 2 high-grade lesions every day during cytologic evaluations,” Dr. Daniel Kurtycz says in prepared remarks to…the Joint Finance Committee…. “Without follow-up, there is no doubt that some of these lesions will become invasive. Because cervical cancer takes at least two years to run its course, sometime after 2015, we will have women dying of cervical cancer as a predictable consequence of the funding reduction for testing in this budget.”

This cannot stand. Please by contacting your representatives or volunteering. Spread the word. Organize!

When we think of sexual assault, men are often seen as the problem. It’s true that the overwhelming majority of sexual assault (and violent crime in general, for that matter) is committed by men, but it is also important to remember that most men do not commit violence.

Many men, in fact, go out of their way to prevent violence (and sexism).  You go, men! Let’s take a moment to recognize how awesome you are:

In Milwaukee recently, a have come together to respond to a string of attacks against women in their community.

In Wisconsin in general, we have a lot of great men doing anti-violence work. trains law enforcement to approach sexual assault cases with sensitivity. works for the and is a long-time member of . Some fraternity brothers at UW-Madison take a class through the School of Social Work () to change the rape culture for which fraternities (and college campuses in general, for that matter) have become so .

In the blogosphere, shout outs to Thomas at and at .

Then there’s the men I every day. They are AWESOME! Shout outs to Clint, , Scott, Marcus, Ted, Will, Robert, Doug, Jason, Andy and Marco who volunteer their time to serve as practice attackers for my women’s self defense classes. Shout out to Troy who, when a kickboxing student bragged to him that he was “only there to pick up girls”, stood up for the women at our studio and shamed the guy so he never came back! (Funny side note- he was worried I’d be mad about that.) The men I work with are so respectful, one of my kickboxers was telling me how she feels more comfortable as a woman at our studio than at places she’d worked out at previously with “macho” instructors. I reminded her that we have male instructors too and she said, “Yeah but your male instructors are great!”

I asked some of these men and others to share their thoughts about how men can work against violence. Here’s a few of the responses I got:

“What men need to do is really pretty simple: reject this culture. I believe it’s honestly not true that men are biologically sexually aggressive. The rejection of this culture in its most exaggerated form is obvious in the constant ridicule placed on the “bro” stereotype by everyone else, but there is still that undercurrent that seems to sometimes seep into otherwise decent men.”

“I’m dumbfounded that I still meet men who believe that women serve two purposes: Cleaning the house, and making babies. Those kind of men will never listen to women and change their ways. They feel they are right because so many of their friends think the way they do. Men need to voice their opinions more, so that those men still stuck in the dark ages will realize they are in the minority and at least consider changing their views. It won’t change all of their minds, they’re too stubborn. But with time and pressure from the rest of society, their numbers will dwindle.”

“Aside from the obvious one – “don’t commit sexual violence” – men need to be aware of the social & cultural forces that suggest that sexual violence doesn’t happen, isn’t a problem, is a joke, etc. Men should talk about these things openly, with one another and with women. They should understand what exactly constitutes sexual violence – that it isn’t always a strange guy jumping a woman in an alley somewhere. They should see adult men treating their female partners with respect.”

Men absolutely must be a part of the movement to end sexual violence. I send so much love and appreciation to the men who are already there. I challenge women who are doing this work to reach out to  men as allies, friends and brothers and welcome them.

P.S. Shout out to West High’s (directed by my dear friend, teacher and mentor ). High school kids perform about racism, sexism and other issues like these to elementary through high school audiences. Check out this video of Benny and Terri discussing consent in front of a very awkward high school audience. It’s pretty darn cute.

Reminder to Wisconsin Women: VOTE!

4 Apr

Tomorrow, Tuesday April 5, is an election day in Wisconsin and I urge all my readers to get to the polls and vote, vote, VOTE!!

Top 3 Reasons Women Should Never Miss An Opportunity to Vote:

1. Our foremothers fought– HARD– to earn our right to participate in democracy.

When I was growing up, I remember reading one paragraph (or maybe two) in my history books that stated some version of, “The suffragettes fought for women’s right to vote and were given that right in 1920 with the institution of the 19th amendment.” Maybe they mentioned Susan B. Anthony.

To put it simply, they left out the most important parts of this story. If you don’t know about , please do some reading or check out the movie and prepare to be moved by the history of women’s suffrage for the first time.

Alice Paul being dragged by police

Alice led wartime outside the whitehouse. Protesters were attacked by mobs and arrested, where they staged hunger strikes and were mistreated and painfully force fed.

Women weren’t given the vote. Women fought for the vote and won against all odds. VOTE!

2. We are still dramatically underrepresented in government.

According to :

As of 2011, 17 of the 100 U.S. Senators are women. Thirteen of the women who have served were appointed; seven of those were appointed to succeed their deceased husbands.

There are currently 72 (16.6%).

We make up just over 50% of the population but only 17% of the government. Oh and we’ve been represented in the office of the president exactly never. VOTE!

3. The provides handy fact sheets to prepare voters for the polls.

Forget that old excuse of “I don’t have the time to get informed”! The League has done the legwork for you! Thank you, League of Women Voters! You’re the best! Now, please, don’t disappoint the League: VOTE!

…and for a heartwarming audio introduction to some spirited members of the League of Women Voters, please check out my dear pal ‘s piece: !

See you at the polls, ladies!

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