By, Tiffany Stickney
Founded in 2003 by a group of local concerned citizens, the Winnemucca Domestic Violence Services (WDVS) organization has continued to expand and become a proven successful non-profit program benefitting Humboldt and the surrounding counties. On call advocates are available 24/7 to help get an abuse victim to a safe environment, apply for a protection order or transport sexual assault victims to Reno for an exam. WDVS does not stop there, recovery and re-establishing a future are just as important as crisis intervention. Staff works one on one with participants to discuss the available options through WDVS, other local resources, state and federal programs. Options are presented to them on housing, education, mental health treatments, finances, job opportunities and care for their children. It is our staff’s goal to inspire feelings of safety and strength within our participants when their world has been turned upside down. A success for us is when a participant sees themselves as a survivor and feels empowered and confident in their decisions and the steps before them look attainable and joyful.
WDVS receives funds from the State of Nevada, Department of Child and Family Services, the Attorney General’s Office and the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. In addition, WDVS is financially supported by local Corporations and their employees such as Newmont, NV Energy and Barrick as well as local organizations such as Nevada Muley’s, Bengoa Eye Center, Bella Grazia, Scrap DV and several supportive individuals within our County. Approximately one third of our budget is secured through local support. This shows commitment and passion within our community and sustainability within WDVS. These funds are used to provide emergency housing, short-term housing, deposits on permanent housing, individual counseling, food, gas, child care and relocation costs. Furthermore, these funds assist with expenses incurred when securing ID’s and legal documents that have been destroyed or lost during the abuse but are necessary to secure employment or insurance benefits.
WDVS staff is dedicated and steadfast to its mission and goals. The organization has received several awards lately including the “Open Heart Award” from the Alliance for Victims’ Rights, as well as Senatorial Recognition and Congressional Recognition for “Outstanding Agency”. Within the last year, WDVS has been the only agency to receive a perfect score from the state on its Audit and Financial Reviews in Nevada. WDVS also continues to be an organization chosen to implement different pilot programs initiated by the state and national institutes. We do this to ensure that our participants are receiving the most current and comprehensive services available to them. Our directors often times will assist other programs in streamlining their policies and procedures and offering advice and encouragement in their development. WDVS is proud of its staff, volunteers and the members of the Board who support them.
By, Adrienne Openlander
Just recently, as in hours ago, I learned of a new term for a sexual trend making its way into headlines. “Stealthing” is new to me and may be new to you or maybe not. The term stealth can be defined by Webster’s Dictionary as secret, clandestine or surreptitious behavior. Stealthing can be defined by the Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia as the removal of a condom during intercourse without consent of the partner. This is after an agreement has been made for the use of a condom.
Articles on stealthing can be found with USA Today, CNN, CBS News, Women’s Health and several magazines and publications in England and Australia. This is not a new practice and it isn’t strictly an issue about removal of a condom. As this terrible practice becomes a trend, sites such as condomdepot.com, speak of strategic damage of contraceptives during use. Damage of contraceptive use can have emotional, physical and financial effects.
Since the publishing of Alexandra Brodsky’s paper, in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, a discussion has been ignited. She interviewed numerous women who’ve been victims of stealthing. All these women considered this a form of sexual assault. Her paper calls this a rape adjacent crime violating consent. Currently, there is no law or definition in sexual assault legal language on stealthing or contraceptive tampering. Some experts think the law should focus more on the consequence of these actions.
Wisconsin representative Melissa Sargent and California assembly member Cristina Garcia have presented a bill, LRB-3346, for the expansion of sexual assault definition. They are looking to focus on consent and classifying the willful removal of a condom. Representative Melissa Sargent tweeted, “The issue isn’t whether or not ‘stealthing’ is happening, it’s whether or not we’re going to do something about it.” England is equating stealthing to rape without legal precedent. A Swiss court convicted a man, who deliberately removed his condom, with defilement instead of rape.
During the process of learning about stealthing and the discussions around this topic we see it is not a new topic. Contraceptive tampering has been a conversation or issue for many. Is this any different than the poking of holes in condoms? Is this different then hiding a person’s birth control or removing their NuvaRing? The removal of contraceptive devices without the consent of another is a violation of their reproductive right. Alexandra Brodsky did her research and found forums on social media where men, who used the stealthing method, bragged about it. Those accused called it “their right to spread their seed”. One man interviewed in an Australian magazine admitted to doing it with every partner and had only been caught once. Brodsky cites this trend as a support in an ideology of male supremacy. Social media forums for stealthing encourage and educate on ways perform the action. This trend is impacting both straight and gay communities.
Tips to minimize stealthing: