Monthly Archives: April 2016

2016 EVAWI Conference

End Violence Against Women International

held their International Conference in Washington, DC

March 22 – 24, 2016.


This year’s theme was Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Engaging Men & Boys.

One of the conference speakers was Vice President Joe Biden.

(The photo above has a link to the EVAWI video from his speech.)


EVAWI Conference

Victim Advocates Adrienne Hillman and Donna Rosado attended the End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) Conference in Washington DC.  While there, the advocates had the opportunity to engage with professionals from the fields of criminal justice, victim advocacy and the health care profession. Some of the popular sessions included topics like Victim Blaming, Expert Testimony, Police Interviewing and Understanding the Seriousness of Stalking. The advocates also had the opportunity to engage in smaller hands-on sessions that dove deeper into specific matters on the topic of victimization against women.

“I had a wonderful time meeting and learning from some of the top leading experts in our profession. My most cherished memory about the trip was being able to sit up close to hear Vice President Joe Biden speak about the rights of sexual assault victims from a national level. It was definitely empowering!”     -Adrienne H.

 “The plenary on “It’s No Joke: The Cultural Acceptability of Stalking” was an eye opener.  The added feature of Cherry Blossom season in D.C. was beautiful!  Hearing Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks and his continuing role on the historical imprint of Ending Violence Against Women will remain a driving force in my career as a Victim Advocate.”     -Donna R.


Soul of America Radio

SOUL Radio

Join Reverend J.R. Thicklin every Monday Night from 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm for his Weekly Radio Show “Hope & Healing: A Journey to Wholeness” at 9:00 PM EST, 8:00 CST, 6:00 PST log in at or listen in and call in at (323) 784-9638. Join us for an Informative, Empowering Discussion. You don’t want to miss this compelling show.
Tune in on Monday, April 25th for ” Domestic & Sexual Violence: I Survived to Win”, as survivors share their stories of coming out, coming through and the victory that they now experience. Joining the panel is Sharon Daugherty, Sexual Assault Outreach Coordinator for Palm Beach County Victim Services & Certified Rape Crisis Center. She will be discussing services for survivors and the Start by Believing Campaign. You don’t want to miss tonight’s show!  We invite you to listen in. We welcome questions and comments during the show. Please share this and invite others to listen in!


Proclamation 2016

Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioner’s sponsored the Proclamation on April 5, 2016, and declared  April 2016 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month & “Start by Believing” Public Awareness Campaign.  In Palm Beach County, the pain and trauma of sexual assault affects men, women, and children of all racial, social, religious, age, ethnic and economic groups.  No one person, organization, agency or community can eliminate sexual assault on their own, but we can work together to educate our entire population about what can be done to prevent sexual assault, support victims, survivors and their significant others, and increase support for agencies providing services to victims/survivors.

In 2015, Palm Beach County Victim Services provided services to 1,325 victims of sexual assault, including 285 forensic exams.  Current estimates suggest that no more than 20 percent of sexual assaults will be reported to law enforcement and less than 3 percent will result in the conviction and incarceration of the perpetrator.  Research documents that victims are far more likely to disclose their sexual assault to a friend or family member.  When when these loved ones respond with doubt, shame, or blame, victims suffer additional negative effects on their physical and psychological well-being.

Start by believing

The “Start by Believing” public awareness campaign (a program of End Violence Against Women International) is designed to improve the response of friends, family members, and community professionals, so they can help victims to access supportive resources and engage the criminal justice system.

Palm Beach County recognizes the vital importance of designating a time devoted to increasing the general public’s awareness to hold forth a vision of a community free from sexual violence.  The Start By Believing

Campaign and Sexual Assault Awareness Month provide an excellent opportunity for citizens to learn more about preventing sexual violence.

The “Start by Believing” public awareness campaign is supported by Palm Beach County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), was sponsored by Commissioner Mckinlay and supported by the Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County, Florida. Join the campaign!

Educate yourself  at:  and Start by Believing!!

Lauren’s Walk 2016

Monday, March 21st – Lauren’s Walk 2016




12:30 pm – 2:30 pm at the Palm Beach County Historical Society in downtown West Palm Beach, there was a free community event open to professionals, families, children, and Lauren’s Walk participants. Lauren’s Kids, Palm Beach County Victim Services, and Biker’s Against Child Abuse joined to provide children’s activities and snacks before the walk began.


At 3:00 pm the walk began from the Historical Society and included a 4.2 mile loop around downtown West Palm Beach. 


Hope & Healing Guide

Monday, March 21st – Lauren’s Kids Hope & Healing Guide Training


This event was held on Monday, March 21st at the Palm Beach County Victim Services’ SART Office in West Palm Beach. Lauren’s Kids held a one-hour presentation which provided information to help families begin the healing process following a child’s disclosure of sexual abuse.

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The training was led by Lauren Book. She went through each page of the guide to show how it can assist both children and parents to find a new normal within their family structure.


The Hope & Healing Guide books are available for free on the Lauren’s Kids website:

Laurens kids

Media Coverage – Victim’s Rights Week



On April 10th, 2016, WPTV News Channel 5 aired coverage of the 2016 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Crime Victims Rights - channel 5

Click here for the video




Media Coverage – Ceremony in the Garden


On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, the Palm Beach Post featured an article highlighting the powerful words shared by victims at the Ceremony in the Garden.

Ceremony in the Garden - Post article

Click here for the full article


Media Coverage – Opening Ceremony


The Palm Beach Post featured an article on April 11, 2016 about the Palm Beach County Victims’ Rights Coalition Opening Ceremony.

They featured highlights from Detective Jill Raftery’s Office of the Year acceptance speech, as well as Christa Humphreys’ story of abuse.

Opening Ceremony - Post article

Click here for the full article

Denim Day 2016


Denim Day is Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

This year marks the 17th Denim Day, we would like to share the full story courtesy of  Peace Over Violence:

“An 18-year old girl is picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully rapes her. Threatened with death if she tells anyone, he makes her drive the car home. Later that night she tells her parents, and they help and support her to press charges. The perpetrator is arrested and prosecuted. He is convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.

He appeals the sentence. The case makes it all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor is overturned, dismissed, and the perpetrator released. In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999, and has continued every year since.”

Denim Day

Flash Mob 2016 Community Support

The 3rd Annual Palm Beach County Victim Services/ SART Flash Mob had an increase in community support

G-Star School of the Arts participated with the choreography and had a few students dance:


City Place businesses really jumped on board this year

Cabo Flats had several employees show up in teal who requested to learn the dance and participate:


Mellow Mushroom’s “Mel O. Mushroom” came out to dance:


We would like to acknowledge the businesses we saw participate with teal displays:

Business 1IMG_701032

Several businesses also distributed coasters which encouraged patrons to “Think Before You Leave Your Drink”