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AWAIC Newsletter: Women's History Month


Letter from our Executive Director

March is Women's History Month, a time to honor the impact of women on history. Those whose stamp is larger than life from Susan B. Anthony to Hilary Clinton to Rosa Parks. Women whose names we know, whose deeds we know and whose bravery and integrity have given western women the opportunity to live in a time when women garner respect.

I want to add a few more to the rest; Connie Kanen, survivor and public speaker; Judy Veerman and the Log Cabin Quilters for their 10th Annual Teddy Bear Tea; Jacqui Ertischek, artist, business owner and philanthropist; Lorraine Beaver, advocate; and so many other women I know that make a difference every day. Each woman who walks through our doors makes an impact on the lives of others just by reaching out for help.

Thank the women in your life. Honor their strength and honor the beauty inside yourself as a woman.




Women's History Month


In 1977, Women's History Month was first recognized in California. In the same year, AWAIC opened its doors to victims of domestic violence in Anchorage. By 1980, President Carter would declare March 8th the start of National Women's History Week. From there, congressmen, representatives and state governments would lobby for several years in favor of national recognition for the historical accomplishments and progress women in America have made.


At the same time that the federal government was enacting proclamations to honor women's efforts to foster equality, empowerment and freedom for both genders, AWAIC was combating domestic violence by providing education, advocacy and safe shelter to men, women and children. Nationally we have made great strides to honor women and by 1994 the Violence Against Women Act would impose a federal mandate on states to provide for the needs of female victims of domestic violence.


Alaska now faces with one of the highest rates of intimate partner violence in the country. With prevention and early intervention efforts well under way it is our responsibility to educate our fellow Alaskans on issues of healthy dating, domestic violence and sexual assault. In this month that honors 51% of the world's population, we owe it to our mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, wives, girlfriends, and loved ones to help create a future free of fear, violence and pain. In the words of Jimmy Carter, "...the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well". Happy Women's History Month! 


Click here for a list of events held by UAA this month. 


Violence Against Women Act

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is the cornerstone of our nation's response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and because of VAWA, millions of victims have received lifesaving services and support. Despite VAWA's proven ability to substantially improve lives, it has not reached all victims. VAWA's reauthorization provides an opportunity to build upon the successes of the current law by including key improvements to protect and provide safety and access to justice for Native American, immigrant, and LGBT victims, as well as victims on college campuses and in diverse communities. Additionally, a reauthorized VAWA must include strengthened housing protections that provide emergency housing transfer options for survivors, as well as implementation of transparent and effective accountability measures that support and strengthen, rather than endanger, those programs that assist victims. We are thankful that Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich have both been strong supporters of VAWA reauthorization and have continually prioritized safety and services for all victims of interpersonal violence. Thanks to their efforts, VAWA has passed in the Senate. However, your voice is still needed to ensure VAWA is reauthorized and successfully passes in the House of Representatives.


To find out how to thank the Alaska Delegation or to further show your support for this important legislation, visit the Legislative Action Center of National Network to End Domestic Violence.



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.


The first training will be on March 11th 9-5pm in the Cook Inlet Tribal Council building at 3600 San Jeronimo Dr.  For more information check out Green Dot, etc. at www.livethegreendot.com.


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

Leslie Cohen 



Volunteer Highlight
AmeriCorps Vista Member: Leslie

This month's Volunteer Spotlight is on Leslie, AWAIC's AmeriCorps Vista member for the 2012-2013 year. As a VISTA member, Leslie's primary purpose at AWAIC is to do capacity building through our prevention department. She runs a coalition of different service agencies and organizations around Anchorage that is tasked with developing an Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Plan for Anchorage. She says that this work has been incredibly rewarding and has allowed her to develop relationships with different key groups in Anchorage.


Leslie also helps with various events and prevention opportunities such as running booths at resource fairs and the Domestic Violence Awareness Month ceremony, and is currently working on a Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month art competition. Reaching out to youth in this way is a crucial component of AWAIC's prevention efforts. She also develops prevention materials for AWAIC's volunteer training.


Leslie says, "I've really enjoyed my job, largely because of the people I work with and how helpful the entire staff has been in acquainting me with the agency." She has been a wonderful addition to the AWAIC team and her hard work on this important issue is much appreciated!

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