My head is starting to come back a bit into shape after coming home from a weeklong 40-hour training for work. For the record, I am now a state certified sexual assault victim advocate....as to whether or not I decide to volunteer time to get some field experience is another matter.
The training was great, and I am really really really trying hard not to vomit up everything I learned on everyone I talk to...I really am....but it is soo hard. I think that most people would feel the same way after 40 hours of rape content. I sorta feel like I am a walking statistic dispenser.
For instance, women spend a huge amount of time thinking and taking precautions in order not to be attacked and raped by a stranger. But stranger rape is only 8% or so of all rapes committed, the other 92% is conducted by someone the victim knows. Basically people fear the scary man jumping out at you from behind a bush, but no one really worries about "creepy uncle bob". I was really happy to see a recent security system commercial where the man breaking into a woman's house was her ex-boyfriend and not some random opportunistic stranger.
Alot of the training focused on rape culture and how media/tv/advertisements exploit women and show a false reality of what masculinity is. There was also sessions on deconstructing various rape myths, diversity, LGBTQ communities, elderly victims, and the disabled (as a side note---and coming from someone who has recently developed a killer crush on a colleague who is in a wheelchair--have you been watching the storyline on Private Practice? Kudos to bringing up the subject of sexuality and people with disabilities!)
And of course, this training was conducted in small town Richfield Utah. It was really hard not to be too negative with the locals. I did make hairspray jokes on my Twitter account....and if I see one more of those bump hair things...ugh! I don't really want to attribute this to a small town mentality...but people were constantly answering their phones and talking on them while in the class. They couldn't be polite and take the call outside.....oh no, we all had to hear about so-and-so's kid being sick....or writing down someone's fax number. It wasn't just once, but several times a day that this happened.
The best part of the small-town-ness was in the last hour of training when the coordinator for the rape advocates in the area was handing out the intake forms for victims. In the forms you have to label exactly what type of sexual activity took place....which I don't mind.....what I do mind is when the trainer who has been working for years with victims let slip that she wasn't exactly sure what "fellatio" on the form referred to. Thankfully, someone else told her. Then someone else in the classroom announced that fellatio is not something you learn about in a small town.
Please, tell me another one!