WHAT IS DV/SA?
Like much of Alaska, Sitka suffers from high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual violence (SV), and bullying. The 2015 Alaska Victimization
DV/SA stands for Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault. Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) provides temporary shelter and comprehensive, trauma-informed services for survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. SAFV also works to promote respect and nonviolence within our community in order to shift behaviors and attitudes that perpetuate violence.
Survey conducted in Sitka showed that 47% of adult women have experienced IPV, SV, or both, in their lifetimes. Statewide results from 2010 revealed a staggering 59% of adult women who have experienced IPV, SV or both, in their lifetimes.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence is perpetrated by a romantic partner, household, or family member. It is defined as a pattern of violent, controlling, coercive behaviors intended to punish, abuse, and ultimately control the thoughts, beliefs, and actions of the victim. This abuse usually increases over time. Domestic violence occurs in all segments of our society regardless of religion, race, class, sexual preference, or education level. LEARN MORE about domestic violence, and how to access resources to break the cycle of violence.
WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Sexual assault occurs any time a person is forced into a sexual act. However, force does not always include physical violence. Force can happen in different ways, such as: verbal threats, overpowering the person, using a weapon, manipulation, drugging someone, abusing authority or taking advantage of someone who is incapacitated from drugs or alcohol or is under anesthesia and cannot consent to sex. Likewise, someone with a cognitive or developmental disability who cannot make an informed decision about sex cannot give consent. Sexual assault can be perpetrated by friends, acquaintances, family, co-workers, and intimate partners (including spouses and gay or lesbian couples). It can also happen between doctors and patients, students and teachers, clergy and parishioners, parents and their children, and it can happen between strangers. LEARN MORE about sexual assault and SAFV's sexual assault response team.
WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?
Neglect and emotional abuse, especially being exposed to domestic violence, are two of the most common forms of child abuse in Alaska. Child abuse is broken down into four categories: 1) neglect 2) emotional abuse 3) physical abuse and 4) sexual abuse. There is a connection from being terrorized as a child to bullying and terrorizing as an adolescent and adult. Children who witness violence in their homes are more likely to become abusers themselves or victims of spousal or sexual abuse. Children who experience child abuse and neglect are also more likely to be arrested as juveniles or adults, or commit violent crimes. LEARN MORE about the effects of child abuse and how to report susepcted abuse.
WHAT IS VULNERABLE ADULT & ELDER ABUSE?
Vulnerable adult abuse is a term used to describe any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Alaska law defines vulnerable adults as a person 18 years of age or older who, because of incapacity, mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, advanced age, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or confinement is unable to meet their own needs or to seek help without assistance. LEARN MORE about vulnerable adult abuse and how to report suspected abuse.
WHAT IS TEEN DATING VIOLENCE?
Unhealthy relationships often start early. Especially in their first few relationships, teens may not know what behaviors are healthy or unhealthy. Activities such as teasing or checking a partner’s cell phone are often thought of as “normal” parts of a relationship, but these behaviors can build and set the stage for more serious emotional abuse or violence. Teenage dating violence is just as serious as adult domestic violence, especially because it often starts a pattern of abuse or victimization that lasts a lifetime. The severity of intimate partner violence in adulthood is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence. LEARN MORE about teen dating violence and how to read the warning signs.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. There are three types of bullying: Verbal bullying, social bullying, and physical bullying. Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the Internet. LEARN MORE about the roles kids play in bullying, warning signs, and how to help stop bullying.
WHAT IS STALKING?
Stalking is a violent crime where someone makes repeated unwanted contact with an individual that causes them fear. Where most publicized cases portray people being stalked by strangers, the majority of stalking is perpetrated by someone the person knows and often has been in a relationship with. The contact can be in person, through written or verbal communication, through social media, and through other forms of technology.