Thursday, April 17, 2014

Naval Base Guam – Victim Advocate Appreciation Luncheon


The Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence (GCASAFV) would like to thank the Department of the Navy – Sexual Assault Response Prevention and Response program for extending the invitation to attend the Victim Advocate Appreciation Luncheon and would also like to congratulate those that received the Certified Victim Advocate Awards today:

CFAF DET AIMD/ASD
AZ1 Hughes-Batalla
LS2 Paredes
CRG-1
MA1 Trowbridge
MA2 Borgus
MA2 Ubiera
CSS-15
YNC Harris
EODMU-5
ITCS Hafer
ND2 Patterson
IS3 Peters
HSC-25
AM1 Maxson
AT3 Dvorak
JRM
SMSgt Felicia Simon
YN1 Batts
Navy Recruiting District
PSC Guardino
NAVFAC
LT Gutierrez
NAWMU-1
AO1 Blair
AS1 Boese
AO2 Montgomery

NBG
RPC Cleridor
YN1 Booth
MA2 Brown
MA2 Velez
MA 3 Williams
Ms. Marsea Lewis
Mr. Fernando Meave
NCTS
IT3 Hermosura
NMC EAD
IT2 Ehrs
NOSC
PS2 Gomez
NSWU-1
IT1 Scott
USNH
LT Debo-Trosclair
LT Helfrich
HM1 Calalo
HM1 Devera
HM1 Vegamora
LS2 Gutierrez
HM2 Isiorho
HM3 Lindstrom
HN Odegard
USS CHICAGO 
HM1 Eustaquiao
USS FRANK CABLE
ENC Rodriguez
HT1 Castillo-Figueras
ICI Kornexl
MM1 Rabago
GM2 Castellanos
EM2 Hannah
HT2 Lacaillde
BM2 Pena
EM3 Dalton
GM3 Doolin
MM3 Grant
ET3 Bishop 

USS OKLAHOMA
ET1 Goldy


Monday, April 14, 2014

How can we as a community prevent Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence?

The Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence (GCASAFV) purpose is to address sexual assault and family violence issues with one united voice providing education, outreach and training regarding sexual assault and family violence. The goal of the Coalition is to achieve commitment in the community to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence, by identifying gaps in services to victims of sexual assault and family violence, as well as making recommendations for changes; speaking out so that victims of sexual assault and family violence on Guam can readily get the services that they need; building the capacity of organizations and networks through training and education in order to meet Guam’s sexual assault and family violence needs; and ensuring that voices of survivors of sexual assault and family violence guide the work of the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence.

To prevent Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, we as a community need to work together to educate, prevent, and promote awareness on sexual assault and domestic violence. In order to prevent these things we must first understand its meaning. Sexual assault is a crime motivated to control, humiliate, and harm. Perpetrators use sexual assault as a weapon to hurt and dominate others. Sexual assault is forced or coerced sexual contact without consent. Consent is the presence of a clear “yes”, not the absence of a “no”.

Similarly, domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. These are manifested typically with violent and aggressive behaviors within the home involving the violent abuse of a spouse, partner, relative, or children.

As a community, we can prevent sexual assault and domestic violence by working collaboratively with local service agencies to improve the capacity of Guam in responding to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence through the expansion of informational resources available to stakeholders, both service agencies and the general public. In enhancing community outreach efforts and united awareness on sexual assault and domestic violence, engaging the community/public at large will achieve these objectives.  Awareness and education would also be effective in the high school level. 

We have to improve our capacity to collect data involving SA & DV cases to better understand the demographics of these incidences.  Better intervention would benefit by a clear identification of the causes of SA&DV.  Treatment and rehabilitation using programs such as the Batterer’s Intervention Program would also be beneficial.  Supporting parents through availability of parenting classes would help.


Ensuring that everyone is respected and treated equally should be part of the core of all of the community efforts.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence "Raising Awareness to KNOW MORE" Conference


The Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence (GCASAFV) is pleased to announce its "Raising Awareness to KNOW MORE" Conference.

This conference will be held on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 and repeated on Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Somnak Ballroom, Westin Resort Guam. Speakers and presenters will focus on the goal of raising community awareness to "kNOw MORE" about sexual assault and family violence.

Who should attend? Advocates in programs designed to address sexual assault, domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence; systems advocates; and community leaders engaged in efforts to ending the violence.

The Wednesday, April 23, sessions will be geared for those working in social services, law enforcement, judicial, and other faith-based and community-based organizations interested in knowing more about sexual assault and domestic violence.

The Thursday, April 24, sessions will be geared for those working closely with the Chuukese communities on Guam and for Chuukese community leaders and concerned community representatives. Chuukese interpreters will be available to summarize the presentations and facilitate the discussions.



Registration is free.

Seats are limited so please register early.

The deadline for registration is Monday, April 14, 2014.
Check-in will start 7:30 AM.


To Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/kNOwMORE




Monday, March 31, 2014

Speaker Judith T. Won Pat, Ed.D. is Guam’s 2014 National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) Visionary Voice Award Recipient

                                                                                           (Center: Speaker Judi Won Pat)
1. Can you please tell us briefly about the outstanding work you do to end sexual violence in our island community?

In my capacity as the Speaker of the Guam Legislature and as the Legislative Chair of the committee that has oversight of both education and women’s affairs, I have worked to raise awareness and support policy that puts an end to sexual violence in our community. I was the primary co-sponsor of the laws against human trafficking. I have sponsored resolutions raising awareness about sexual violence and commending the efforts of community advocacy groups who work hard every day to provide services to victims of sexual violence. I have also used the forum of my weekly radio address to encourage our community to ban together to prevent sexual violence. I have supported various community groups that combat sexual violence by attending meetings, helping to organize and speak at community events, and participating in community waves.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a spokesperson for women and women’s rights at local, regional and international forums. I have delivered keynote addresses about the advancement of women and young girls here, in the Marshall Islands, Chuuk and Palau.

I am one of the founding members of Fuetsan Famalao’an (Women’s Strength), a group of local women leaders who came together in response to the announcement of the movement of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. In particular, we voiced legitimate concerns about how the military build-up would impact the lives and safety of local women and children. 

In local forums and presentations I always say, “na påra” – enough is enough. We must stop the violence in our community. I will continue to use my voice to help bring an end to sexual violence.

2. What do you see are Guam’s strengths to support the efforts to end sexual violence, and where do you feel Guam could improve and why?

Strength: Because Guam is a small island community, we are all closely interconnected. In the Chamorro culture this has translated into the custom of inafa’maolek – the act of making things good for each other. We have an innate ability to care for those around us, especially during times of crisis. I think of how our families come together during a death, and despite the pain of the loss, we are able to help each other and grow stronger. Or the way we come together as an island community during a natural disaster. We are able to set aside our differences and rebuild our island, together. This is a strength that must be used to end sexual violence. The increase in crime and sexual violence in our community is a crisis, and the only way we are going to stop it is if we work together in the spirit of inafa’maolek.

Need for Improvement: Since statistics show that sexual violence often involves a perpetrator who is known to the victim as either a close family member or friend, more needs to be done to provide safe spaces for victims to go to report this violence. Just as our small, interconnected community is a strength in combating this crisis, it can also be a weakness. Victims are often afraid to report what has happened to them because they fear breaking up their family, or being ostracized. Victims should never have to feel this way, especially our young girls, who may not even know there are resources available to them. We need to strengthen services for victims at every level and provide them with the resources they need to feel safe and empowered. We also need to educate our young boys and girls about healthy relationships and respect. More could be done in the schools to teach our children about the impacts of sexual violence, the resources available to them if they have been assaulted, and how to treat and respect others.

3. Please tell us about any current projects and work that you are presently doing and/or any upcoming plans.

Our island needs more information and statistics on the advancement of women in our community. My office is working on legislation to improve data collection related to women and women’s affairs. For example, we are drafting a bill that would require the tracking of data on the number of women-owned small businesses to eventually be able to provide a preference for these businesses in government contracts. I also see a need for more frequently released statistics and data about sexual and other types of violence in our community to increase awareness and strengthen policy. I am also interested in strengthening the role of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs in advancing opportunities for our local women.

I am committed to supporting the efforts to open a one-stop Family Justice Center for victims and their families. I truly believe in this idea, because I know it will help victims feel safe when reporting violent crimes. I would also like to explore and introduce legislation that will help to provide more resources for the victims of violent crimes, and that will help to prevent these crimes from happening in the first place.

As an educator and a mother, I am always encouraging more education about sexual violence. I would like to work more closely with the Department of Education to develop curriculum and programs that will promote healthier relationships and educate our children about sexual violence and how to prevent it.

4. Who else would in our island community do you feel is also deserving of this honor and why?


I was very moved and inspired by the story of Monique Baza. When she spoke up about what happened to her, and challenged us all to improve the way victims are treated, I was blown away by her strength and courage. Since her assault, she has become a voice for victims and has really pushed our community to do better. I admire her efforts and believe that she is definitely a visionary voice. 

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The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) announces the Visionary Voice Awards annually. These awards, offered in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April, recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding advocacy and community work to end or prevent sexual violence. The NSVRC relies on each state, territory, and tribal coalition to select one outstanding individual deserving of this honor (only coalitions may make selections). While we encourage coalitions to look to their local community partners for outstanding individuals, coalitions may select the person to receive the award on whatever basis they wish.

GCASAFV has participated in this since 2010.

Friday, March 28, 2014

AnnParo Rios is Guam’s 2012 National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) Visionary Voice Award Recipient

                                                                         (Left: AnnParo Rios; Right: Dr. Ellen Bez)

                                                                                                             (Healing Hearts Crisis Center)

1. Can you please tell us briefly about the outstanding work you do to end sexual violence in our island community?

I'm currently employed at Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (the former Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse) Healing Hearts Crisis Center (HHCC) as a registered nurse with specialized training as a sexual assault nurse examiner.  Healing Hearts Crisis Center is a program dedicated to providing services to people who have been sexually assaulted.  I hold two certifications in sexual assault SANE-A (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner - Adults/Adolescents) and SANE-P (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner - Pediatrics).  When I received this award in 2012, I obtained my second certification and was the only SANE-A and SANE-P practicing within the region at the time.  Also during this time, HHCC was in a state of transition.  We were understaffed but still had the obligation to provide services to our victims, continue our outreach efforts, while still complying with grant requirements and section duties.   I wore many "hats" but owe my recognition to the continued support of my family, my co-workers, GBHWC (DMHSA) and our grantors (Bureau of Statistics and Planning-Edward Byrne/Justice Assistance Grant). 

2. What do you see are Guam’s strengths to support the efforts to end sexual violence, and where do you feel Guam could improve…and why?

Our culture has always been centered around respect and family.  Unfortunately, sexual assaults occur by someone known to the victim and is a family member or close enough to the family where they are considered family.  It was taboo to speak out about abuse but now with more community partners (local government, military, non-profit and faith based organizations) and continued outreach (presentations) people are becoming more aware and taking a stand.  It's been a joy to see the growing community support to end sexual violence where old partnerships are strengthened and new partnerships are forged. 
There's always a need for improvement, any step forward to raise awareness is a step in the right direction.  Whether it be personal conversations with our loved ones, or reaching out to the community and schools, whatever we do to raise awareness allows someone to find their voice and take the first steps to end sexual violence. 

3. Please tell us about any current projects and work that you are presently doing and/or any upcoming plans.

HHCC has Red Flag/ Green Flag presentations to various public elementary schools.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.  We have a wonderful partnership with other service providers within the community, and have several events scheduled for the month of April.  Table presentations at Agana Shopping Center, reading at Hagatna Public Library on Saturdays, Red Flag/Green Flag presentations at Finegayen Elementary, public service announcements, as well as other presentations with our community partners.

4. Who else would in our island community do you feel is also deserving of this honor and why? 

There are so many behind the scenes players.  One person who stands out to me is my co-worker, Candida Lapid.  She is a Community Program Aide with Healing Hearts Crisis Center.  She has many duties within the office but her primary duty is outreach.  She has evolved from a person who was so conscious about speaking in front of people and when she started off in our program, she didn't understand the dynamics of sexual assault.  Now, she has forged relationships with public elementary school teachers/nurses/counselors that she has a steady schedule of Red Flag/Green Flag presentations throughout the year and recognizes the importance in educating our children on what types of touches are okay "green flag" and what to do if you have a "red flag" touch.

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Ann has been a psychiatric nurse for nearly a decade, she is also a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Adults and Adolescents (SANE-A).  She performs medical-legal examinations on adult and child victims of sexual assault/abuse and  testifies in court as an expert witness. Ann also focuses on training examiner assistants to keep professionals in this field abreast of new developments and best practices in order to ensure that victims/survivors receive the highest standards of care. Ann demonstrates a commitment that ensures victim/survivors are cared for as a whole person.

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The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) announces the Visionary Voice Awards annually. These awards, offered in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April, recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding advocacy and community work to end or prevent sexual violence. The NSVRC relies on each state, territory, and tribal coalition to select one outstanding individual deserving of this honor (only coalitions may make selections). While we encourage coalitions to look to their local community partners for outstanding individuals, coalitions may select the person to receive the award on whatever basis they wish.

The 2014 awardees will be announced on March 27, 2014.


GCASAFV has participated in this since 2010.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Leticia Piper is Guam’s 2011 National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) Visionary Voice Award Recipient

                                                                                                (Left: AnnParo Rios, Right: Leticia Piper)

1. Can you please tell us briefly about the outstanding work you do to end sexual violence in our island community.

When I received recognition for the Visionary Voice Award, I was working for the Healing Hearts Crisis Center, so my work was solely in the area of serving victims/survivors of sexual assault. I was fortunate to be a part of their first steps towards healing when individuals decided to come forward after being assaulted. I also had the opportunity to participate in prevention efforts with other agencies in the community which included talking to children in the schools to teach them the differences between red/green flag touches and situations, respecting other people’s bodies and who to turn to in the event that they found themselves in a red flag situation, so that hopefully they could prevent a red flag touch. I also worked with the Healing Hearts team and our main funder, the Edward Byrne grants, to ensure that there was funding set aside for public awareness efforts to make sure to get the message out about how serious a problem sexual abuse is on our island and that the Healing Hearts Crisis Center was ready and willing to help them.

2. What do you see are Guam’s strengths to support the efforts to end sexual violence, and where do you feel Guam could improvement…and why?

What I see as a strength of our island is that there is a growing number of individuals and groups in the community that are dedicated to the efforts to end sexual violence. These individuals don’t shy away from talking about sexual violence and the need to end this violence that plagues families on Guam. We as a community have come a long way and are starting to talk to our children more than shy away from conversations surrounding these issues.  In time, this can only strengthen the island as a whole, and when everyone believes that sexual violence must stop, we are that much closer to ending the problem.

3. Please tell us about any current projects and work that you are presently doing and/or any upcoming plans.

In my current position, I was involved with putting together an application for the Office on Violence Against Women’s Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program in an effort to expand the services that we at Guam Legal Services Corporation-Disability Law Center can provide to victims of sexual assault, family violence and stalking.

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Leticia has many roles at Healing Hearts Crisis Center. Leticia has done the work as program manager, intake social worker and child forensic interviewer. Leticia assists those most vulnerable to assault and abuse, has devoted her career to the care of sexually abused children, and has hopes and aspirations to develop a Children's Advocacy Center on Guam.

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The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) announces the Visionary Voice Awards annually. These awards, offered in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April, recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding advocacy and community work to end or prevent sexual violence. The NSVRC relies on each state, territory, and tribal coalition to select one outstanding individual deserving of this honor (only coalitions may make selections). While we encourage coalitions to look to their local community partners for outstanding individuals, coalitions may select the person to receive the award on whatever basis they wish. 

The 2014 awardees will be announced on March 27, 2014.



GCASAFV has participated in this since 2010.