Tag Archives: Emergency

Tip of the Week: Prevention of Cyberstalking

Tip of the Week: Cyberstalking

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn: so much of our everyday life is viral! Checking and updating our accounts daily has become a normal routine, like brushing our teeth. However, we often forget the dangers that come with our social media followers. When hitting “post” we can forget the dangers of cyberstalking. Your stalker may be a stranger or someone who has an active role in your life. Along with electronic stalking and harassment, cyberstalking can also include identity theft, soliciting for sex, slander, or gathering your personal information to threaten, blackmail, or embarrass you. Cyberstalking is dangerous and can quickly escalate. Many of us have been affected or personally know someone who has. Check out the following tips to keeping yourself safe:

  1. Block any and all suspicious users
  2. Do not add or accept users that you do not know
  3. Do not respond to private messages to anyone you don’t know
  4. When posting, do not share specifics about your location.
  5. Do not share your last name, phone number, or email on online dating sites until you have met in person.

For additional resources visit:

Cyber stalking background with some smooth lines, 3D rendering, a red stop sign

https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

 

SAS Fall Semester Outreach Events

We are hoping you will stop by some of our 2019 Fall Semester SAS Outreach events. Volunteers are welcome. Comment on this post to send us a private message or email us at NOVA.SAS@nvcc.edu, or call 703-338-0834 if you are interested in volunteering at any of our upcoming events.

Professional Sports Leagues Respond to Domestic Violence

October 2, 2015: Professional Sports Leagues Respond to Domestic Violence

DVAM:
Did You Know?
Did you know that each of the major professional sports leagues in our country have policies and services to respond to domestic violence, whether their players are victimized or perpetrate violence?
MLB (Major League Baseball): The most recent league to implement a policy, MLB’s is a comprehensive response that includes investigation and discipline for current offenses, treatment and intervention for both the victim and the offender, and regular prevention education.
NBA (National Basketball Association): Domestic violence convictions are handled under the league’s rules about “Unlawful Violence” – players are immediately suspended for a minimum of 10 games, must get a clinical evaluation and attend counseling sessions. Additionally, NBA union officials said players already receive [prevention] training at least one year before they join the basketball league.
NFL (National Football League): The NFL’s policy, announced in December 2014, includes developing critical response teams for each team as well as prevention education programming for youth in football programs.
NHL (National Hockey League): Officials said they meet with players annually to discuss conduct and conduct and determine responses to domestic violence on a case-by-case basis.
Sources: Click on the hyperlinks above for more information.

What can we do?

 Get Educated!
o Watch the NFL’s Call to Coaches video

o Read this research overview on engaging men and boys and this research on how to mobilize men and boys as allies

 Promote implementation of primary prevention programs such as:

o Coaching Boys into Men

o Teach Early

 Attend George Mason University’s Healthy Masculinity workshop on 10/28.

 Use social media to spread the word!
o DVAM: Did you know that all major professional sports leagues have policies in place to respond to #DomesticViolence? Let’s take their lead and promote prevention efforts, such as Teach Early, in youth sports leagues here in #FairfaxCounty. #DVAM2015 #LookAgain

o DYK we can help stop #domesticviolence through youth prevention efforts, such as #TeachEarly. #DVAM2015 #FairfaxCounty #LookAgain
[Go to: http://teachearly.org/, when you scroll down the page, social media links will pop up on the left.]

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)! Each business day in October, we send out a “DVAM: Did You Know?” highlighting interesting research findings and statistics or best practices in preventing and responding to domestic violence. Please share with your friends, family members, community groups, and colleagues.

October 1, 2015: Look Again at Domestic Violence in Fairfax County

DVAM:
Did You Know?

Did you know that every day in Fairfax County we respond to two people who are at high risk for homicide or serious physical injury at the hands of the person they love?

The Fairfax County Police Department has teamed up with the Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Artemis House (Shelter House, Inc.), Bethany House of Northern Virginia, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and the Victim Services Section of the FCPD to better predict and, ultimately, prevent serious injury and homicide from happening.

On July 1, 2015, those agencies started the Lethality Assessment Program. In the first two months of the program, over half (54%) of all domestic violence cases screened by FCPD were high-danger.

Of those cases, victims reported serious lethality risks, such as:
1. 33% reported the presence of a firearm in the home (or easy access to one)
 The presence of a firearm makes it 5 times more like domestic violence will turn into murder.*

2. 55% reported stalking victimization (the offender following or spying on them or leaving threatening messages)
 Nationally, 76% of femicide victims were stalked prior to their murder.

3. 64% reported a history of strangulation (often referred to as ‘choking’)
 Strangulation is a serious crime that often leaves no visible injuries, even though it can create temporary or permanent brain damage in as little as 30 seconds.

 A victim of domestic violence with a history of strangulation has a 800% increased risk of homicide.

*J. C. Campbell, D; Webster, J; Koziol-McLain, C. R; et al. 2003. Risk Factors For Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results From A Multi-Site Case Control Study. American Journal of Public Health. 93(7). Accessed from: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/Children_and_Families/Guns.pdf
** Judith McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999).] More at: http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/src/stalking-fact-sheet_english.pdf
*** Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Daniel Webster, Jane Koziol-McLain, et al. “Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multisite Case Control Study.” American Journal of Public Health, Volume 93, No. 7 (July 2003) 1089-1097. A study of 300 cases of strangulation survivors conducted by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office revealed that in 50% of the cases there were no visible markings to the neck and 35 % had only minor injuries (Strack, McClane & Hawley, 2001).
Info: http://www.janedoe.org/site/assets/docs/Learn_More/DV_Homicide/JDI_MediaGuide_Strangulation.pdf

What can we do?

 Let’s change those statistics! Educating ourselves and our community members is a good first start:

o Join us for a media event today at 1:30pm at the Historic Courthouse: https://fcpdnews.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/preventing-domestic-violence-homicide/!

o Use social media to spread the word! Post or tweet responsible media articles (like any on the LAP press release above) on the subject or simple facts about the issue. Find sample posts and tweets like these each day in the DVAM Did you Know? this month:

o DVAM: Did you know that #domesticviolence is a leading cause of homicide in Fairfax County? DV-related homicides are predictable and preventable. Please help spread the word that services and support are available. For help, call Fairfax County’s 24-hour Hotline: 703-360-7273.

o DYK #DomesticViolence is a leading cause of homicide in #FairfaxCounty? Help is available: 703-360-7273 (24 HR) #DVAM2015 #LookAgain http://bit.ly/ffxdv

o Start a conversation! Everyone can speak out against domestic violence. You may be the safest person for a family member, friend, neighbor, or coworker to talk to. Check out these tips:
o What to say when you think someone is being abused
o What to say if you suspect someone is using abusive behavior

Sandy Bromley, JD
Fairfax County-Wide Domestic Violence Coordinator
Office: (703) 324-9494 Cell: (571) 215-2429
Community Events & Resources: www.fairfaxdvcommunity.org

Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC)
Web: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/domesticviolence/dvac/
Information & Intake Line: (703) 246-4573

Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
Web: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ofw
24-hour Hotline: (703) 360-7273

In light of Robin Williams’ Passing – Here is some info on helping those struggling with depression

CrisisLink – You Talk, We Listen.

 

Recognize the Signs of Suicidal Behavior

Things People Might Say…

 

  • “I’m tired of life. I can’t go on.”
  • “My family would be better off without me.”
  • “Who cares if I’m dead anyway?”
  • “I just want out.”
  • “I won’t be around much longer.”
  • “Soon you won’t have to worry about me.”
  • “I wish I were dead.”
  • “I’m going to end it all.”
  • “I just want to die.”
  • “I’m going to kill myself.”
  • “If….doesn’t happen, I’m going to kill
    myself.”

Things People Might Do…

 

  • Get a gun or stockpile pills
  • Give away prized possessions
  • Take more impulsive risks
  • Cut themselves or other gestures of self-harm
  • Neglect their appearance
  • Abuse alcohol and/or drugs
  • Isolate themselves/run away/drop out of school
  • Show a dramatic change of mood

 

In Light of Robin Williams’WarningSigns Passing  – Here is some info from Crisis Link on helping those struggling with depression.  NOVACares!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOVA Victims’ Rights Provisions

Northern Virginia Community College

Victims’ Rights Provisions – 2014

 

Sexual misconduct is not tolerated at Northern Virginia Community College.  Reports of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking are taken seriously.  It is important to NOVA that victims (complainants) are informed, protected, and respected.  The complete Northern Virginia Community College Sexual Misconduct Policy is available online at www.nvcc.edu.  More information about the College’s responsibilities under Title IX to address complaints of sexual violence can be found online.

The following rights are afforded to any NOVA student, staff, or faculty member who experiences such an incident.  It is NOVA’s hope that these rights will provide you with adequate information from which to choose your options.

  1.  CONFIDENTIALITY. Above all, confidentiality of victims must be protected.  Identifying information of a victim will be protected as much as possible.  This means that a victim’s name will not be published or otherwise publicized without her/his permission.  When a person makes an official complaint to authorities, all possible protections will be afforded this individual, whether or not she/he participates in any investigation. When the College needs to act to protect the safety of others, absolute confidentiality may not be possible. For absolute confidentiality, contact NOVA Sexual Assault Services (see below for contact information).
  2.  TIMELY WARNINGS.  Any timely warning that is broadcast through NOVA websites or emails for the safety of our community will       not identify a victim by name.
  3.  REPORTING OPTIONS.  It is your choice whether or not you decide to report your victimization. At NOVA, there are several offices to report an incident if you choose to do so.  See list below.College Police – 703-764-5000To report the incident and begin a criminal investigation

    Local Police Department – 911

    To report the incident and begin a criminal investigation with minimal college involvement

    Campus Dean of Students – Contact the Dean Of Students at your own campus or center

    To report the incident and begin a Student Code of Conduct investigation

    Human Resources – 703-323-3110

    To report the incident and begin a staff or faculty investigation

    Sexual Assault Services – nova.sas@nvcc.edu or 703.338.0834    24 hour availability

    ***To access confidential support, advocacy and intervention for those affected by these issues

    Title IX Coordinator – Mr. Therman Coles – 703-323-3266

    To report the incident and begin an administrative Title IX investigation

  4. NO CONTACT or PROTECTIVE ORDERS.  The College will honor any protective order that you may have acquired through the local courts.  Please bring a copy of such a court order to the College Police for their information and enforcement.  In addition, a NOVA administrative no contact order may be created by the Dean of Students or Title IX Coordinator once the incident is reported to that office.
  5. PRESERVING PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.  If you are considering a criminal prosecution, it is extremely important to preserve all evidence of an assault. If you go to a hospital as a result of a penetrating sexual assault, you are entitled to a free evidence collection examination called a SANE exam.  SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.  In Northern Virginia, the preferred hospital for such an exam is INOVA Fairfax, where they have specially trained nurses on call 24 hours a day for such purposes. INOVA Fairfax Hospital provides care to sexual assault victims no matter where in Northern Virginia the crime occurred. The nurse will collect the evidence and ask the police in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred to pick it up and store it for at least six months.  The evidence will be in a box marked only with a number, not your name.  You are not required to make an official police report for this evidence to be collected.  If you later decide to make such a report, the hospital will give your name to the police and the evidence kit will be tested for possible use in a court case.  For more information about how to preserve evidence, contact NOVA Police at 703.764.5000 or NOVA Sexual Assault Services at 703.338.0834.
  6. STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS.  If you are a student and your perpetrator was also a student, then you may choose to report the incident (as the complainant) to your Dean of Students to begin a conduct process.  This is not a court trial; you may or may not choose to contact the police to use this process.  A hearing will be held on campus to determine whether the perpetrator is responsible for the act that you have reported.  Sanctions for this process are confined to the College only and range from probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident.  For more details, see the current NOVA Code of Student Conduct within the NOVA Student Handbook, accessed online or in hardback copy.
  7. HUMAN RESOURCES PROCESS.  If you are an employee, then you may choose to report the incident to NOVA Human Resources, specifically to the Director of Human Resources, Employee Relations Specialist or the designated HR Campus Consultant.  Additionally, you may also choose to contact College Police to use this process or to begin a criminal investigation.
  8. REQUESTS FOR CHANGES.  You may request a change in academic setting (class or campus) or work assignment in order to be more clearly separated from the accused perpetrator.  Such a request will be granted to the greatest extent possible.  These requests should be made to the Campus Dean of Students or Title IX Coordinator (if you are a student) or the Director of Human Resources or Title IX Coordinator (if you are an employee).  Requested changes will be made as soon as alternative arrangements can reasonably be made and regardless of whether you choose to pursue an investigation into your incident..
  9. FAIR AND IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION.  You can expect a fair and just process as your complaint is handled, either through the Dean of Students, Human Resources, or Title IX Coordinator.  You can obtain more information about these processes by accessing the Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook or Classified Staff Handbook, which can all be found online at www.nvcc.edu.
  10. RETALIATION CONCERNS.  Threats, intimidation, and any form of retaliation for bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct are prohibited by the Sexual Misconduct Policy as well as Federal law and may be grounds for disciplinary action.  If any retaliation occurs, it is important to contact either the Campus Dean of Students, the College Police, the Title IX Coordinator, and/or Human Resources.
  11. COMMUNITY RESOURCES.  Since NOVA does not offer mental health counseling to students or employees, it is important to be aware of community resources that are both free and confidential. All offer 24 hour services.  It is best to choose the service listed below that is closest either to your home or your campus.  Every student or employee can use NOVA SAS, however, no matter where you live, work, or study.

NOVA CC- Sexual Assault Services  (SAS)– nova.sas@nvcc.edu or 703.338.0834

ALEXANDRIA – Sexual Assault Center – 703.683.7273

FAIRFAX COUNTY  – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS) – 703.360.7273

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY – Sexual Assault Victims’ Advocacy Services (SAVAS) – 703.368.4141

LOUDOUN COUNTY – Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) – 703.777.6652

In an emergency, call 911.  Consider reporting any of these crimes to the police. 

NOVA Police can be reached at 703.764.5000.

May is Mental Health Month

MayMonth

 

 

 

 

Recognize the Signs of Suicidal Behavior

Things People Might Say…

“I’m tired of life. I can’t go on.”
“My family would be better off without me.”
“Who cares if I’m dead anyway?”
“I just want out.”
“I won’t be around much longer.”
“Soon you won’t have to worry about me.”
“I wish I were dead.”
“I’m going to end it all.”
“I just want to die.”
“I’m going to kill myself.”
“If….doesn’t happen, I’m going to kill
myself.”

Things People Might Do…

Get a gun or stockpile pills
Give away prized possessions
Take more impulsive risks
Cut themselves or other gestures of self-harm
Neglect their appearance
Abuse alcohol and/or drugs
Isolate themselves/run away/drop out of school
Show a dramatic change of mood

Call CRISISLINK at 1-800-273-TALK for 24/7 support.

New Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Coordinator Joins NOVACares Team

Announcing a new addition to our team!

Please help us welcome Ms. Negar Ehsani to the NOVACares Team. Ms. Ehsani has accepted the Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Coordinator position. Negar has a Master’s of Social Work from George Mason University. She has experience from her position as Sexual Assault Outreach Specialist at the Fairfax County Office for Women and Domestic Sexual Violence Services. Negar comes to us with extensive community resource information for accessing community resources and programs in the NOVA area. Negar is bilingual (English and Farsi).

Negar, we are so happy that you have chosen to join the NOVACares team!

NOVACares welcomes new SAS (Sexual Assault Services) Coordinator!

NOVACares welcomes our new Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Coordinator, Sandy Nagabhushan. Sandy has been trained in psychological, medical, legal and judicial support to assist victims of sexual assault or intimate partner violence. As the SAS Coordinator, she will provide outreach and response to the NOVA community on issues of sexual assault, dating/partner violence, and stalking. Her interest in this field started as an undergraduate student interning at a domestic violence shelter where she learned how to assist and respond to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Her educational background includes psychology, sociology, and completing certification in addictions counseling. At the masters level, she is studying counseling and development with a concentration in community agency counseling. As a peer advocate at George Mason University, she responded to all reports of sexual assault and related issues of stalking and dating partner violence. Sandy has also provided crisis intervention to survivors and education on sexual assault, sexual harassment, and relation-ship violence to the community. She looks forward to serving the NOVA community to promote wellness through education and outreach.

Sandy can be reached at NOVA.SAS@nvcc.edu or 703-338-0834 24 hours a day.

Welcome, Sandy!!!!!