August 04
♪♫•**•.¸♥¸.•*¨*•♪♪♫•**•.¸¸♥ I like cheese, wine, art openings, art shoes, art installations, poetry, single malt scotch, the sublime if I can define it, the ridiculous whenever i can find it, food in general, ethnographic history ie OPS ie Other People's Stories.


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AUGUST 16, 2011 2:46PM

News from the Rape/Crisis Front: Yikes.

Rate: 21 Flag

(Quick overview: I work as a counselor/advocate for a program serving people who have been raped and/or are in crisis surrounding the trauma of sexual assault.)


I had a brutal week last week, and I’m a pro. The news from the Rape/Crisis front is often not good, due to the nature of the subject. But we are seeing an alarming uptick in people in extreme crisis with mental illness relying on our “hotline”. We collaborate with other organizations and can usually get appropriate help when and where it is needed. That is becoming more challenging in a “Blue” state, which makes me wonder about how much we will be confronted with calls as social programs are cut from state and federal budgets across America.

Scamerica. It’s a scam and it is scary.

I worked my ass off last week doing things that don’t translate well. Did I build a car or help shape an object that is easily defined/? No. It is my sincere hope that I saved lives, somehow.

And I don’t want any applause for that – it’s my job. I have a scary case of careworker fatigue, and I like to think I’m unbeatable.

I guess I’m writing this to say that people like me get burned out – and I include every caring profession – when the political nonsense happens and we see our careers go down the drain. I include every social service job, including teachers and fire fighters.

It is my sincere wish that nobody will be raped and end up in the ER. It is my sincere wish that nobody’s house will burn down. It is my sincere wish that children can walk to school and have a caring professional there to greet them.

I certainly don’t get paid very much for what I do. I am a colleague of everyone who does care work. I have three days off, thank goodness, to reconnect with my soul which is being slowly sucked out of my body.

I can’t break confidentiality and tell you what happened last week. I can say that people are in crisis – big crisis – 24/7.  I can tell you that the spectrum of things I dealt with last week goes from incest to schizophrenia, with a lot of blurred lines. Sexual trauma for a child can lead to mental illness. But those are two separate subjects that I dealt with last week.

One thing I want to address is the SANE program. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.  This program is vitally important, and the SANE nurses get paid a pittance. It’s a program that relies on funding, and the nurses are already trying to cover larger swaths of territory.

The SANE nurse exam is the only way to collect forensic evidence to allow a survivor to prosecute the rapist.

Without the SANE exam, well, the DA is not going to pick up the case. So basically, when you vote to cut social services you are opening the door for rapists to get away with it.

This weekend, a survivor was not even offered a SANE exam. Right now, we are outraged and can change the policy of a particular hospital (and doctor).

But that’s activism, and I am frightened that this sane policy – SANE – is probably going to disappear soon. The nurses will always show up – they basically volunteer – but without funding, the program won’t have credibility.

And this is just where I live., which is a national emblem of liberal la la land.

And that’s why I talked to people in crisis from other states. We are not a national hotline.  It means that we’re the ONLY hotline. And I only have resources from my area – I don’t know how to help someone in New Mexico.

Are you scared yet?

Welcome to my world.


I feel like a victim of trauma, again. Not being able to help people who need help is traumatic on every level. And I get to cry about it today, I guess. I’ll be back in the saddle on Thursday and doing everything in my power to make sure people have the help and support they need.

As long as I have a job, that is.






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I should also say that I post these things every few months, so the title is ongoing. And I can't break confidentiality, which is why i don't discuss anything in detail. And I'm so fucking tired....because I basically didn't sleep last week. Good News - our program runs on volunteers, and there's a waing list due to people eager to be certified - it's a 4 credit academic course, but free to anyone who chooses to take the course outside of acadmia. I also help with trainings and support groups. Right now I want to be a waitress again - but I'll recover my mojo.
Thank you for doing what you do.
We need you and the work you do, as a society as a country as humanity. It is never easy when you work in the Horror trying to ease the pain. We always take a bit of the vicitim's pain with us and it does build up over time.
Be careful, rest and be well. Godspeed.
Take care of yourself, aim. And thank you.
"Not being able to help people who need help is traumatic on every level. "

I so feel you here...but I have to believe that you're probably helping people more than you know. breathe. eat delicious food and do something that helps you, too, to be sane.

It's sad to me every time you've brought up the rape kits and their funding. liberals had such outrage over Palin cutting funding for rape kits in the Wasilla city budget but she's not the only one...apparently.

But so glad that people like you are doing your part and I only wish you were receiving more funding and support for doing it.
aim: You have saved spirits and lives too, I'm sure of it. It's been a hellua week and it's not over yet. This news really SUCKS!! Scamerica indeed. InSANE is more like it. The world needs more like you. Hang tight. xo
take care of yourself A :(
it's hard enough job when it's not being made harder
Major props to you, Aim. What you do sounds so necessary and so HARD on the soul. So sorry that you have to see so much sadness ,and I hope you pop those vitamin D's, at the very least.
Wishing you and Scamerica the best. Jeezus Christ.
our priorities are truly fucked up. yours is a job that should be extremely -ell paid!
This really sucks, that the brutalized and traumatized get to suffer *more* because of budget cuts that disproportionately hurt people without money. I've told you before: I don't know how you do it. But those folks are lucky you do, A.
Thank god you get some days to recuperate, I know you are needed, and I commend the work you do.

Also, I appreciate knowing about the SANE program.
This is among the scariest of possibilities
that people who suffer this trauma
would be denied help
and people who's life is dedicated to helping them
could lose their job because we can't raise
some bankers taxes.
rated with concern for you and your clients
We've talked about this before, but this is the worst I've heard. I wish you get have a longer rest Alison. I don't know what this country is coming to when all the advances (scrawny as they were) in caring for rape victims can be wiped out without a care.
You have the kind of job that no one wants to pay for until they need someone like you. And I doubt you're in it for the awards or big end of year bonuses. On top of that, I'm guessing the kinds of things you see every day only increase when times are tough. It probably doesn't help, but know there's a special place in heaven for you.
I am scared and angry too. While our lawmakers fight and divide on every level our victims of crime ( I am assuming mainly woman and children) are unprotected. How horrible to be subjected to more trauma after surviving an assault.
Hoping for rest for you Alison, and finding a way to reconcile all you see, all the pain and sorrow. I hope you find a place in your heart to safely put those memories for moments of calm and joy just for you.
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Bless you, aim. And that goes for all the other caring professionals, too. You make the world better.
Chica, here's hoping you get some beautiful refreshing time today . . . the kind of thing that brings rest unto your soul . . . blessings for doing what you do, and for doing it with such passion and humanity. Be good to yourself, Ms. aim . . .
This is frightening. It's just a wholesale abandoning on every level.

Please take care of yourself.
You do get applause for that, even if that isn't why you do it. I've looked into volunteering for our local crisis on-call unit, and this just might push me into it.

On a side note, it's frightening when you begin to understand how politics and religion are wrapping themselves around women's bodies in ways that are meant to shame and silence. Rape victims are victimized yet again but they're considered collateral damage.