Options Domestic & Sexual Violence Services, Jana's Campaign, and FHSU Announces "What Were You Wearing" Survivor Art Installation in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month
HAYS, Kansas, April 5, 2019 – Every April, victim advocacy and prevention organizations across Kansas, and the nation, recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and an opportunity to bring awareness to the ongoing issue of sexual violence in our communities. This year, Options Domestic & Sexual Violence Services, Jana’s Campaign, and the FHSU Women’s Leadership Project are collaborating to bring “What Were You Wearing” a sexual assault survivor art exhibit to the FHSU campus and the community at large for the second time in as many years. The exhibit features recreations of outfits that survivors of sexual assault were wearing at the time of their assault, based on personal testimony from the survivors themselves.
The survivor art exhibit was born out of an advocacy lens. The question, "What were you wearing?" is pervasive for most survivors. The project's intent is to place the work of bearing witness to this question's answer back onto the shoulders of the community. The exhibit asks viewers to understand that sexual assault is NEVER about the clothing the survivor wore - and the act of shedding those clothes is never enough to bring peace or comfort to survivors. The violence is not simply woven into the fabric of the material, it is a part of the survivor's new narrative.
The exhibit requires all of us to evaluate what caused us, as individuals and as a society, to ask victims of sexual assault, "What were you wearing?" in the first place. To ask the question, "What were you wearing?" costs the questioner nothing; however, the survivor pays dearly in not only their answer; but also in the burden of self-blame.
"Everyone in our community needs to see this exhibit and understand the survivor is never at fault. The exhibit is also personal; attendees can see victims as their friends, family, neighbors, even themselves, and realize sexual assault can happen to anyone." Kim Cebula, Executive Director of Jana’s Campaign.
"Research shows that one in five women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime; and in eight out of ten cases, the rapist already knew their victim. As you read the stories in this powerful exhibit, you'll see that statistic rings true. Demand for sexual assault services at Options has increased 655% in the last three years alone. This isn’t a problem in other comminutes – it’s a problem right in our own backyard," said Jennifer Hecker, Executive Director of Options Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.
The "What Were Your Wearing" exhibit will be open April 15-18 from 10am to 4pm in the south end of Forsyth Library on the Fort Hays State University campus. The exhibit will also be featured in the Spring Art Walk in Hays on April 26th from 6pm – 9pm at Styles Dance Centre at 1501 Main St.
Options Domestic & Sexual Violence Services, Inc. is a non-profit agency dedicated to providing direct assistance to victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking through individual support. Options provides services to 18 counties in Northwest Kansas; services are always voluntary and provided free of charge, with complete confidentiality.
Jana's Campaign is a national education and violence prevention organization with the single mission of reducing gender and relationship violence. In honor of the late Jana Mackey and other victims and survivors of gender and relationship violence, Jana’s Campaign delivers educational programs that prevent domestic and dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking.
If you or someone you know needs help because of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, call Options free Helpline at 800-794-4624 for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Let’s be honest, no one really wants to talk about sex, let alone sexual assault, but if we want to end it – we have to talk about it! It’s not easy, but if we can get past being uncomfortable for a minute, these are important conversations for us to have as communities, as educators, as parents, as friends.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and sexual violence affects millions of Americans. According to RAINN, every 92 seconds an American is assaulted (rainn.org). The Kansas Bureau of Investigation reports that in 2017 one rape occurred every seven hours and six minutes in Kansas (Domestic Violence, Stalking and Sexual Assault in Kansas, KBI 2017).
The vast majority, 99% of perpetrators will never go to jail or prison for their acts of violence. Sexual violence also has long term effects on victims. Most victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder following the rape. There are significantly higher rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts for victims – 13% of women who are raped attempt suicide. As well as increased rates of substance abuse, problems at work or school, and feelings of isolation and distrust (rainn.org).
Jana’s Campaign provides prevention education programs to reduce gender and relationship violence in middle and high schools, at colleges and universities and throughout the community. We are thankful for everyone who believes in the #PowerofPrevention and supports our work. Together, we have a role in building safe, healthy relationships and communities. When we start having conversations about these difficult issues, we remove the barriers for victims, teach and encourage healthy, consensual relationships and ultimately prevent the violence from happening.
It’s time … to talk about it!
Kim Cebula, Executive Director
Jana’s Campaign, Inc.
Many adults are unaware that teens experience dating violence. Yet in 2010, the U.S. Congress enhanced what had been Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week to Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, based on the rising number of incidents in teens ages 11-17 across the country.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that nearly 1 in 9 female teens and approximately 1 in 13 male teens report having experienced physical dating violence. In addition, over 1 in 7 female teens and 1 in 19 male teens report having experienced sexual dating violence. 23% of women and 14% of men first experienced these or other forms of violence by a partner before age 18. (CDC 2017)
Teens who experience relationship violence are at risk for additional difficulties such as depression, substance abuse and suicide. Victims are also at greater risk of experiencing the same patterns of violence later in life. As a community, we have a responsibility to make dating and domestic violence an intolerable act – anytime, anywhere. Jana’s Campaign is thrilled that many communities recognize this is a social issue that can be eradicated, and are willing to do the work involved in that process. We are extremely thankful to the hundreds of people who believe in the #PowerOfPrevention, who help support and fund our work.
We believe education is the most powerful instrument of social change and development. We believe through education, we can change and improve social attitudes, behaviors, customs, interactions, relations and social norms. Since 2013, Jana’s Campaign has worked with nearly 550 middle and high schools educating about and preventing against gender and relationship violence. We commend these schools for understanding the importance of talking to their students about healthy– and unhealthy– relationships.
Throughout February and beyond, please join our efforts to educate and raise awareness about the hidden social disease of gender and relationship violence - dating and domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. We ask you to encourage your local school or organization to invite us in for a presentation about these important issues! Learn more about Teen Dating Violence and Jana’s Campaign at www.janascampaign.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Kim Cebula, Executive Director
The December 2018 Jana's Campaign newsletter is now available for viewing here.
Hays, KS – Jana’s Campaign received a $1,000 donation from the Midwest Energy Community Fund fall disbursement. These funds will be used to assist our Youth Advisory Council in developing Character Building Kits that can be used with elementary age students. The kits include interactive lessons on character development, leadership, and anti-bullying. These lessons will be meaningful, age-appropriate and relevant for younger students.
As Jana’s Campaign works to prevent gender and relationship violence, we are often called upon to work with younger students. Additionally, our middle and high school students serving on the Youth Advisory Council recommended we start sharing our message with elementary students to increase our success at preventing teens and young adults from being in violent and unhealthy relationships.
The Midwest Energy Community Fund was created in 2005. Five committees of Midwest Energy customers determine who receives the awards ranging from $50 to $1000. The committees can direct funds to activities that focus on youth, arts, education, libraries, community events or other priorities they choose. This year there were many great applications under consideration and Jana’s Campaign is honored to be one of the recipients.
The Midwest Community Fund awards grants twice a year; application deadlines are March 1 and September 1. To learn more about their commitment to the communities they serve, please visit www.mwenergy.com for more information.
Hays, KS- Jana’s Campaign, a Hays-based nonprofit with the single mission of reducing gender and relationship violence, hosted their annual Empty Place at the Table Gala at the Rose Garden Banquet Hall in Hays on Saturday, October 20.
This year marked the tenth anniversary of losing Jana Mackey to an act of relationship violence. The event focused on celebrating the legacy that lives on in her name and all of the work that has been accomplished in her honor. The 210 attendees raised more than $70,000 – the most successful gala in the history of the organization – more than doubling the amount raised in 2017.
“This event raises awareness and needed funds for the prevention education we provide,” says Kim Cebula, executive director of Jana’s Campaign. “It is a special year and the support we received is phenomenal, it means we can serve more teens and young adults, preventing them from being in violent and unhealthy relationships.
The evening featured a festive cocktail hour, dinner and live entertainment, along with both a silent and live auction. Businesses throughout the community and country donated unique items and experiences to support the event. (For a full list of sponsors and auction donors visit the EPATT page at www.janascampaign.org.) A special performance by the Hays High Chamber Singers, featuring a video appearance of a young Jana singing the Lord’s Prayer, brought many family and friends to tears, while providing others a glimpse of the young woman who was taken from us.
The organization celebrated impacting over 56,000 students in 516 middle and high schools across eight states. They also shared they have hosted attendees from 320 colleges and universities at their regional campus safety summits. All of the numbers reflect work completed since 2013, when Jana’s Campaign formalized their data collection processes.
“To honor Jana with a room full of people who understand why prevention of gender-based violence is so important and who are fully committed to making a difference is unbelievably inspiring,” shared Christie Brungardt, Jana’s mom and organization co-founder. “We will be able to accomplish great things with the funds raised at the gala this year.”
Hays, KS – Jana’s Campaign Inc. was awarded the 2018 Partnership Award at the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Teachers of Nebraska Recognition Banquet in Kearney, Nebraska. This award recognizes individuals or groups who help support FCS Education in Nebraska schools. Jana’s Campaign is proud to be chosen as this year’s recipient.
“The staff and board of directors at Jana’s Campaign are honored to receive this award. We know we are only able to do our work and share our prevention message with students because of the great partnerships we have with teachers and schools. Their invitations to classrooms and school assemblies means we can share information about the red flags of unhealthy relationships to help prevent dating and sexual violence before it begins,” shared Kim Cebula, executive director for Jana’s Campaign.
Nebraska FCS integrates family and career readiness with technical skill instruction within a critical science perspective. Since 2015, Jana’s Campaign has collaborated with 72 Nebraska FCS teachers and 98 schools to provide education about teen dating violence in addition to their work in Kansas and Colorado.
Jana's Campaign is a national education and gender violence prevention organization located in Hays, Kansas. The organization was created in honor of Jana Mackey who lost her life to domestic violence in 2008. Mackey, a law student at the University of Kansas at the time, spent years volunteering and helping victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. In addition to providing prevention education in middle and high schools, Jana’s Campaign also works with colleges and universities to prevent and respond to dating and sexual violence on campus. The organization similarly provides community prevention education through workshops, speaking engagements, community service projects and social media. In 2017, Jana’s Campaign also received the Merit Award from the Kansas Association of Teachers of FCS.
Thank you to all FCS teachers for believing in our work and inviting us to work with your students.
More information about Jana’s Campaign can be found at the website: janascampaign.org
Hays, KS – The Love Doesn’t Hurt program provided by Jana’s Campaign was featured in Rural Health Models & Innovations, a national collection of successful rural health programs and interventions maintained by the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub).
The Love Doesn't Hurt: Teen Gender Violence and Prevention Program provides prevention education to middle and high schools and youth organizations, to reduce gender and relationship violence by promoting healthy relationship behaviors, ultimately to create a culture of strong respect among adolescents. Jana’s Campaign provides this secondary education programming mainly in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado, but various components of the work have been done in nine states. The mission of Jana’s Campaign is to provide quality educational programming that prevents gender and relationship violence by delivering specialized prevention strategies and curricula designed to prevent violence, build healthy relationships, and create new social norms.
Since the inception of the secondary education program, Jana’s Campaign has impacted 490 middle and high schools and more than 53,000 students in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. Jana's Campaign consistently collaborates with FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) programs, FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), and both the Kansas State Board of Education and the Nebraska State Board of Education to implement their prevention efforts in area schools.
Christie Brungardt, co-founder of Jana’s Campaign and Jana’s mom, stated, “By providing prevention efforts in middle and high schools, adolescents can better understand healthy relationships, making unhealthy relationships less likely and encouraging peers to intervene when witnessing a situation of abuse.”
The Love Doesn't Hurt: Teen Gender Violence and Prevention Program was selected by RHIhub because of its innovative services and impact on rural communities. To read the full project summary, visit: www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/1013.
RHIhub is a national online information center on rural health issues, funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Their website includes over 12,000 resources specific to rural health. Rural Health Models & Innovations features hundreds of successful programs that are serving rural residents across the nation.
The Summer 2018 Newsletter is now available for viewing here.
Jana’s Campaign is happy to announce that Kim Cebula has recently accepted the position of Executive Director. Kim was a senior coordinator with the University of Kansas Medical Center's Area Health Education center, located in Hays, KS. She is also the former vice president of resource development with the United Way of Greater Topeka and prior to that served as the coordinator for the Kansas Safe At Home Program and other special programs with Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh. Kim brings a vast array of experiences and talents that will enhance Jana’s Campaign.
“I am honored to serve as the Executive Director for Jana’s Campaign,” Cebula said. “This organization is doing life-saving work by providing education on violence prevention issues. I am excited and look forward to working with the Board and staff to continue the growth and success of the organization.”