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AWAIC Newsletter: Sexual Assault Awareness, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, & Denim Day



Support STAR, our sister agency, in their efforts to combat sexual violence. 

From our Executive Director


AWAIC had the honor of having Senator Lisa Murkowski visit our facility. Along with several board members and staff we were able to talk about the many efforts AWAIC is involved in and stressed the critical need for investment in prevention efforts such as the Anchorage Alliance for Violence Prevention. We shared the dynamics of the economic impact on AWAIC and how sequestration will impact AWAIC and victims. Senator Murkowski was able to tour the facility and listen to the experiences of those in shelter. We sincerely appreciate her continued efforts combatting domestic violence and her visit to AWAIC.


murkowski visit 2013
Senator Lisa Murkowski (center) visited the AWAIC shelter in March.  Pictured L to R with Executive Director Suzi Pearson & Board Members: Monica James, Lydia Garcia, Allen Bailey, Amanda Clayton & Raquel Edelen.

International Denim Day

April 24th, 2013



Please consider joining together with your co-workers and employees to recognize International Denim Day on April 24.
Denim Day is a day of protest against violence and support of survivors.


Denim Day began in Italy in 1997 when an 18 year old woman was raped by her driving school instructor. In an appeal to the Italian Supreme Court, it was ruled that the woman would have had to help the man remove her jeans, thus making the act consensual. Women of the Italian Parliament protested the court's ruling by wearing denim to work and holding signs that read, "Jeans: An Alibi for Rape." Americans quickly took notice and have been wearing denim on April 24th for more than a decade.



As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, AWAIC is helping to promote activities that benefit our partner agency, Standing Together Against Rape (STAR). STAR would like to invite your business to promote violence intolerance and sexual assault awareness by wearing denim on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.  We would ask that each employee makes a suggested donation of $5 to STAR in order to wear denim that day. If your employees would not be allowed to wear denim, STAR also has denim ribbon/sexual assault awareness pins for sale for $3.

If your business is interested in participating in International Denim Day to raise funds and awareness for STAR, please contact Samantha or Jillian at 907-276-7279 or advocate@staralaska.org.

For more information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month events, visit STAR Alaska.


Green Dot
Training for Domestic Violence Prevention

AWAIC is pleased to announce that the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is bringing Green Dot, etc. to Anchorage to present a series of five trainings over the next calendar year. Green Dot, etc. is a nationally recognized, evidence-based Prevention program that trains communities in strategies for recognizing and preventing cycles of domestic violence and sexual assault. These trainings are free and a wide range of community members are encouraged to attend!


The second training will be on April 24th from 9-5pm and April 25th from 9am to 12pm. Location: Cook Inlet Tribal Council - Rasmuson Conference Center.  

For more information about Green Dot, visit: www.livethegreendot.com.

To RSVP or request an invitation for members of your service agency or organization contact:

Leslie Cohen at 907.743.5735 or leslie_c@awaic.org.


Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and for this reason we are highlighting the Safe Haven program. This program, run by a local pet rescue group, provides safe foster care for the pets of domestic violence victims who stay at AWAIC.



Victims of domestic violence face many barriers to leaving an abusive situation. One of these barriers is their pets- many victims will not leave if they know their pets will be harmed. According to the American Humane Association and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "71% of pet-owning women entering women's shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims". This is a huge number. Pets are beloved family members for many people, and are therefore targets of abusers. Seeing a pet abused or losing them because of abuse takes an emotional toll and is commonly used as a strategy to control victims.

Questions about past and present animal abuse are asked when victims screen to come in to shelter. If pets are present and also need safe shelter, the person is told about the program. It is completely confidential, so the AWAIC resident and the foster care provider never meet. The name of the rescue group is also confidential, for the protection of everyone involved. Staff members provide the foster care provider with information about the animal, including health status or needs. Pets are kept in foster homes or in veterinary boarding if medically necessary. While in foster care, the pet's medical needs are dealt with, from vaccinations to spay/neuter surgery. Visits can be arranged as well, which is very important to people who have had their lives turned upside-down by domestic violence.

AWAIC is very lucky to have the Safe Haven program available, and we are very appreciative for all they do for pets in need. If you are interested in supporting this program or becoming a foster care provider, please contact us at 907.279.9581.

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