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Myths That Harm Survivors

Myths That Harm Survivors

April 1st, 2021

​April 1st marks the beginning of sexual assault awareness month-- a time when we raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault and provide our communities with tools to prevent sexual violence. It is also a time to uplift and center survivors’ voices and stories and offers resources to those in need. Misconceptions about sexual violence and abuse harm survivors by invalidating and erasing their feelings and experiences. By debunking these myths, we can begin to understand how to support survivors interpersonally and institutionally. Sexual assault can be misconstrued as an act of desire; however, the root cause of gender-based violence is power and control, not sexual desire. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, and it is never the fault of the victim nor the responsibility of the victim to prevent violence. Read More ›

Mindful Practices Enhance Mental Wellbeing

Mindful Practices Enhance Mental Wellbeing

March 10th, 2021

“Meditation will not carry you to another world, but it will reveal the most profound and awesome dimensions of the world in which you already live. Calmly contemplating these dimensions and bringing them into the service of compassion and kindness is the right way to make rapid gains in meditation as well as in life.” – Zen Master Hsing Yun Meditation has increasingly become more popularized in our society as prevalent research has touted its many benefits. My perspective on meditation has evolved since I first learned about the practice. The first time I heard about meditation was in a psychology class. I remember thinking to myself how "woo-woo" or unconventional it all sounded to me. Nonetheless, the day after my class, I went home, sat on my bedroom floor in a crossed-legged pose, closed my eyes, and tried to "clear my mind," whatever that meant. Read More ›

The Kids Ain’t Alright: Shining the light on teen dating violence

The Kids Ain’t Alright: Shining the light on teen dating violence

February 23rd, 2021

Teen dating violence (TDV) is far too common in this country to turn a blind eye. With rates staggeringly high in the K-12 education system, this blog article exposes trends, lack of awareness and the shyness of difficult conversations between adults and children. The purpose of this blog post is to shine a light on subject matter often swept under the rug and put off until college, when it is too late. By illustrating statistics and compiling resources, this article will offer contemporary solutions and relevant information on how to start the conversation at an early age, call to action the education system, policy makers and parents as well as providing teens the confidence to speak up about issues that directly affect them. Read More ›

Teen Dating Violence

Teen Dating Violence

February 1st, 2021

​As 2020 and the Global COVID-19 Pandemic have swept the nation and the world, they have left long-lasting impacts on our communities, particularly disenfranchised communities like Black, Indigenous, People of Color, the elderly, and the impoverished. While we have all experienced immeasurable hurt, there are few who have felt this past year more than young people. According to the International Labour Organization, COVID-19 has disrupted the education and lives of more than 70% of youth. Distance learning has sent a shock into young people’s lives, even more so for youth living in low-income areas, with less access to the internet, equipment, and a space at home. Read More ›

The Impact of Stalking on Underrepresented Communities

The Impact of Stalking on Underrepresented Communities

January 4th, 2021

As we move into January, we will be taking a closer look at stalking and the prevalence of stalking in intimate partner relationships. Stalking is common, with 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men experiencing stalking in their lifetime, according to the CDC. It's also one tactic that an abuser may engage in to maintain power and control within their relationship. The Stalking Prevention and Resource Center (SPARC) states that stalking in an abusive relationship is a strong indicator of increased risk for escalating violence and homicide. In fact, according to research, 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months before their murder. Read More ›

Connecting the Dots Between Homelessness and Sexual Assault: A Survivor's Story

Connecting the Dots Between Homelessness and Sexual Assault: A Survivor's Story

December 21st, 2020

Conversations regarding sexual and gender-based violence are ongoing in our current culture. Research by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center shows that 78.3% of homeless women have been subjected to some form of sexual violence. Now, this is an alarming statistic, but it is easy to feel disconnected from it when you aren't hearing any news of it in your own community. However, after listening to someone who has experienced it firsthand, You may realize that these issues lie closer to home than you may have thought. I spoke to a local woman who serves people experiencing homelessness about her own experiences in san luis obispo. I have chosen not to name her out of respect for her confidentiality Read More ›

Homelessness and Sexual Violence

Homelessness and Sexual Violence

November 17th, 2020

Since 2007, the month of November has been declared National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, marking a time to acknowledge those children and families experiencing homelessness and the risk associated with. According to a 2020 report by the National Alliance to End Homeless it is estimated that there are 567,715 people experiencing homelessness in the U.S, with CA accounting for 151,278 of these individuals and 1,483 people experiencing homelessness right here locally in SLO County. Read More ›

​COVID-19 is Not the Only Reason Thanksgiving Needs to Change This Year

​COVID-19 is Not the Only Reason Thanksgiving Needs to Change This Year

November 13th, 2020

Sophie Baye, shares her struggle of reconciling her school-aged education on Thanksgiving with the true history of colonization in North America concerning Native and indigenous folks. Read More ›

The Medical Protocol That Will Save the Lives of Survivors in Our County

The Medical Protocol That Will Save the Lives of Survivors in Our County

September 8th, 2020

​Imagine if you had been severely harmed by the person you loved most. As you process this moment and the possible betrayal, shock, and pain you may be feeling, you are brought to the hospital. The disbelief of the night has begun to cement in your mind, and you are brought to a nurse. However, that nurse is unsure of the specific protocol needed to examine cases of domestic violence, such as yours. The lack of a protocol extends and complicates the already unimaginable night. This reality influenced local SART nurse, Buffy Ramirez, to demand a standardized, trauma-informed medical protocol. The Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Protocol Research Project is an effort to connect with other counties – primarily in California – who have experience working with medical IPV protocols, and to examine how we can use the information gleaned from these partnerships to implement similar standardized procedures in San Luis Obispo. Many IPV survivors have highly nuanced injuries that are consequential, including high rates of intimate partner homicide. The experience of IPV survivors is painful; their examination process should not contribute to this trauma. The purpose to create a standardized and effective examination process – and one that minimizes re-traumatization and maximizes healing – guided the creation of a SLO County medical protocol for IPV survivors. Read More ›

The Place of Intimate Partner Violence in Healthcare

The Place of Intimate Partner Violence in Healthcare

July 24th, 2020

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health issue that has emotional, mental, and physical effects on survivors. Physicians are in a unique trusted position to identify victims of violence based on common symptoms and conditions consistent with IPV. Read More ›

RISE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides crisis intervention and treatment services to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and their loved ones. All services are provided confidentially, at low or no cost, to anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability or citizenship status. All crisis services are available in Spanish and English.