domestic violence

Nationally, the domestic abuse hotline has seen an uptick in calls since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and that trend is reflected across the Mountain West.

In Idaho, for example, the Women and Children's Alliance saw a 194% increase in calls to its domestic violence hotline in April, according to the group's communications director, Chris Davis.

Mussi Katz via Flickr.com

Summer is almost here and for those living with domestic violence, this could be a reason to worry. Studies suggest that as the weather gets warmer, domestic violence rates tend to increase.

freestocks.org via Public Domain

Domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy groups are still providing services around the state, but they've had to adjust how individuals can get help. Many victims have been stuck inside the house with their abuser, unable to find the privacy to reach out to friends, family, or crisis hotlines. 

Chris Clogg, Public Domain


For many of us, being asked to stay home during the pandemic is inconvenient. For others, it is down right dangerous. Wyoming Public Radio's Megan Feighery spoke with Sydney Allred, executive director of the Fremont County Alliance Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, who says social distancing is putting those already living with domestic violence at greater risk.

The Fremont County Alliance Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is asking for the community's help to build a new shelter.

Savannah Maher

Two-dozen young people rode 20 miles on horseback from Ethete to Arapahoe over the weekend. This ride, meant to honor Domestic Violence Awareness month, was the latest in a series of healing rides hosted by the Wind River Reservation's Horse Culture program. Many of the riders painted red handprints across their faces, a symbol of solidarity with Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.

Eastern Shoshone Tribe

A grant from the U.S. Department of Justice has allowed the Eastern Shoshone Tribe to establish a new Victim Services Program. 

Tennessee Watson

The Laramie Police Department is one of just six law enforcement agencies from across the country selected to participate in a pilot program to help improve investigations of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Lynette

A program that helps victims of domestic violence is increasingly having trouble finding safe places for people to stay because of an energy boom that has filled all the housing options in the area. Converse Hope Center Director Lisa Thalken said recently, when a woman sought their help, they couldn't find anywhere to put her.

JASMINE BELL

Hoop Dancer Jasmine Bell of the Crow Creek Dakota Sioux tribe in South Dakota has danced for Mohamad Ali and for all the presidential first ladies. Even the actor Kevin Costner. 

Jasmine Bell

Two-time world champion hoop dancer Jasmine Bell spoke and performed at a conference on domestic violence and sexual assault in Riverton last week. Bell is Crow Creek Dakota Sioux and one of the first girls to learn the traditionally male Native American dance when she was five years old. 

Melodie Edwards

This week Wyoming Public Media engaged in a bit of an experiment. Reporters Tennessee Watson and Melodie Edwards set up a pop-up newsroom at the third annual Wyoming Conference for Violence Prevention and Response hosted in Riverton. They joined Caroline Ballard for a conversation about the newsroom and its goals.

Wyomingites working to reduce violence gathered this week for the 3rd Annual Conference for Violence Prevention and Response. A major portion of the conference was devoted to spreading awareness about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, or ACES for short.

yoming Public Radio's Tennessee Watson sat down with Jennifer Davis from the Wyoming Children's Trust Fund and Todd Garrison from the Montana-based not-for-profit ChildWise to understand why ACES could make a difference in Wyoming.

Safe Project

The Albany County-based SAFE Project is heading up a new effort to engage men in the movement to end violence against women.

CC0 Creative Comments

Advocates for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence are marking some big wins after this year’s legislative session. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Tara Muir, the public policy director for the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, who has been characterizing this session as "The Year of the Survivor."

WCADVSA

A bill strengthening how stalking offenders are prosecuted and sentenced is moving through the Wyoming legislature.

 

But Tara Muir, Public Policy Director with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said the bill has met debate every step of the way. She said lawmakers have been caught up on whether a prosecutor has to prove a victim suffered a substantial amount of fear. Muir added most states are moving towards an objective test that focuses on the behavior of the perpetrator.

 

Wyoming State Legislature

Wyoming’s House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would sharpen anti-stalking laws.

House Bill 8 raises the maximum penalty for misdemeanor stalking from six months to one year, with up to three years of probation. The maximum penalty for felony stalking is 10 years under existing state law.

Wyoming Humanities

The artwork of 31 of the Middle East's premier contemporary women artists is coming to Jackson. “I AM” is an international traveling exhibit focusing on the contributions that Middle Eastern women make to local and global culture, and movements for peace and harmony.  

It’s already made stops in Jordan, London and Washington DC, and will open at the Center for the Arts in Jackson on Friday evening.

 

Wyoming Sexual Violence Prevention Council

Most states have existing laws or pending legislation requiring public schools to teach sexual violence prevention. That leaves Wyoming as one of the few states with absolutely nothing on the books. The Wyoming Sexual Violence Prevention Council is working to fill that gap by supporting a growing network of local projects; among them is a program that works with K-12 student athletes.

Maggie Mullen

For many women, getting their hair cut means going to the same stylist every six weeks for years, or even decades. In an effort to take advantage of those enduring ties, the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is training beauticians to recognize the signs of abuse and how to help. Getting the program off the ground, however, has been slow going.

No More

UW’s football game against Fresno State on Saturday, November 18, will promote the “No More” campaign, which aims to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

Wikimedia Commons

A Take Back the Night candlelight vigil honoring the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence will take place 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Prexy’s Pasture on the University of Wyoming campus. Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard sat down with Sydney Stein – a senior in the Visual Culture of Gendered Activism class that organized the event – to talk about why they put this together.

Newsday.com

Wyoming ranks number one in the nation in gun-related deaths. That’s according to a new report from the Violence Policy Center. While the national average is just over ten deaths per 100,000 people, Wyoming has more than twice that beating out states like Louisiana, Alaska and Mississippi. The report shows that most western nations like the United Kingdom have rates of less than one death 100,000 people.

Caroline Ballard

Hundreds of people gathered in Laramie earlier this month in memory of victims of Domestic Abuse. Since 1985 over 60 people have been killed in Wyoming in instances of domestic violence, and each year the Silent Witness Ceremony and March pays remembrance.

As a bagpipe plays at the head of a column of people, Sonny and Laurie Pulver hold wooden silhouette between the two of them as they march through the streets of Laramie.

“We’re carrying my husband’s sister’s silhouette. She was killed New Year’s Eve of 1999,” says Laurie.

MrPhilDog / Phil Thomas / Flickr Creative Commons

A man has been charged with two counts of felony assault for an incident in Grand Teton National Park last week. Vincent Hagey is accused of stabbing another man at an employee dormitory. The victim was taken to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson and has since been released.

  Park Spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs says assaults this severe are very rare in the park.

Administrator takes down "UW Crushes," apologizes

Apr 26, 2013

Page administers have removed UW Crushes from Facebook.  This follows a public backlash to a post that directed violent sexual language at a University of Wyoming student.

UW Crushes was not affiliated with the university.

The page allowed users to anonymously submit messages about other UW students. Many were vague compliments, but some were sexually explicit or use real names.

When we talk about domestic violence, we usually focus on the perpetrators and the victims. But children in abusive families are also deeply affected. We’re joined now by Haylee Reay. She’s a sophomore at UW, and her father killed her mother.

The Violence Against Women Act has now passed both the Senate and House of the US Congress.

The law seeks to address violent crimes against women, to aid in the prosecution of offenders, and to provide resources for victims. But Wyoming’s three congressional lawmakers all voted against renewing the bill.

Representative Cynthia Lummis says for her, the provision allowing tribal courts to prosecute non-Native people who abuse Native women on reservations was the deciding factor.

A few weeks ago, we reported that victims of domestic violence are staying in shelters longer than they used to, in part because it’s gotten harder for them to find jobs and affordable housing. We turn now to a different aspect of domestic violence: children. When a victim decides to leave an abuser, there are often battles over custody. Dona