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Monday, May 16, 2011

Rape Victim Advocates and IMPACT Chicago

In an effort to better educate ourselves and help connect with Rape Victim Advocates (RVA), the IMPACT Chicago board participated in a workshop at the RVA headquarters downtown in March 2011. RVA has been around 30+ years, and sets the gold-standard for rape survivors, their families, and loved ones. They do support work, legal and medical help, counseling, and, perhaps most well-known, their emergency room advocacy.
Their ER advocates receive 56 hours of training to be a responder to survivors of sexual assault. Once trained, advocates are on call (on a rotating basis) for 24 hour periods, and are called/paged to respond to participating Chicago area hospitals when a rape survivor shows up in the emergency room. Needless to say, we are happy to be forming a connection with RVA.
Eva Ball was our instructor/facilitator for the two-hour period. She was fantastic – full of energy, helpful, and charismatic. We talked about systems of oppression and power differentials in our society, including how language for sexually active women. We also watched and discussed a video of images of women in popular media (music, music videos, film).
The final part of the training was reviewing RVA’s materials to see the shift to a “pro-consent” approach from an anti-rape approach. Board members and instructors will discuss how best to incorporate these ideas and materials into our classes and on our website.
The next step is for IMPACT to provide training for RVA. We are looking forward to continued collaborations.
Rob Babcock
IMPACT Chicago Board member and instructor
For more about IMPACT Chicago and its Board of Directors, visit http://www.impactchicago.org/about.html
For about the IMPACT Chicago mission, see IMPACT Chicago Director Martha Thompson’s blog “IMPACT Chicago: Committed to Ending Violence

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