Advertisement

Archive for Friday, May 4, 2012

Domestic violence victim advocates withdraw bid with SRS

May 4, 2012

Advertisement

— Kansas’ leading organization that advocates for victims of sexual and domestic violence has parted ways with the state welfare agency, saying new requirements imposed by Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration on an assistance program would put victims in greater danger.

Joyce Grover, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, said Friday the new requirements “violate the best interests of survivors of sexual and domestic violence.”

Laura Patzner, executive director of the Great Bend Family Crisis Center, was more blunt. “I am not going to put people at risk for dollars. I will not choose to do a contract with someone that I feel is not appropriate and would quite simply be more dangerous,” Patzner said.

The dispute is over a contract between the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence to provide services to low-income victims.

The coalition has had the contract with SRS since the program’s inception in 1999 and has provided assistance to about 17,500 victims.

The coalition withdrew its bid for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

SRS Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said she was “not surprised KCSDV is backing away from providing services” under the program.

“KCSDV had been struggling to meet our new accountability standards for several months,” Gilmore said.

“We tried to work with them, but in the end the bid that KCSDV submitted did not meet even the minimum performance standards set in the request for bid, and they were the only bidder. As a result of their withdrawal, we have decided to take the program in-house, manage it ourselves and provide direct funding to the community programs,” she said.

The amount of grant funds is $2 million, according to SRS, and is provided by the federal government.

Grover disagreed with Gilmore’s assessment and said the coalition withdrew its bid because of several new contract requirements from SRS.

One would require a victim undergo a psychological evaluation, she said. Grover said the coalition was willing to agree to make referrals for those who would benefit by an evaluation, but making the evaluation mandatory in all cases was unnecessary and could be harmful in some instances.

“The basic assumption that comes out of that requirement is that there is something wrong with the survivor,” Grover said. She also said the evaluations could be used unfairly against victims in divorce or child custody proceedings.

Another requirement said that 90 percent of those served had to be employed within 18 months, Grover said. She said this ignored the myriad of problems that many survivors faced and hurdles to employment.

In addition, there is a requirement that would force advocates to report typically confidential information, Grover said, and establish a “corrective action plan.” That insinuates survivors need to be “corrected,” or “fixed,” Grover said.

Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said the SRS action was troubling. “I have serious concerns about dismantling a system for service providers for victims of domestic violence that has been in place for years and has proven to be effective.”

Statewide, the coalition and its subcontractors serve about 1,000 people each year.

Joan Schultz, who is the executive director of The Willow Domestic Violence Center in Lawrence, said the organization would have to assess whether it would contract directly with SRS for the program, which is called OARS and stands for orientation, assessment, referral and safety.

“It is an important program to ensure survivors are able to look at all their options,” Schultz said. In Lawrence, OARS provides $85,000 and pays for 2.5 positions that help abuse victims.

The Willow Center has a shelter that can serve 29 people. It served 137 women and 114 children last year.

Schultz said she would be happy to discuss with SRS officials “about how to move the OARS program forward and to keep these services in the city of Lawrence.”

She added, “I will have to take a look at any contract offer, and the board of directors and I will decide if this contract is mission driven for The Willow. I believe SRS has the best interests of survivors in mind, and we will work with them to the best of our ability.” Schultz also added she believed the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence withdrew from the program “in good conscience.”

Schultz said the SRS evaluation requirement of victims was “very problematic.” She added, “Any time you have a state requiring services from a professional, like a mental health professional, then you are going down a slippery slope.”

Sarah Jane Russell, who is executive director of GaDuGi SafeCenter in Lawrence, deferred questions about the impact of the funding issue to The Willow. But she added, “There is an urgency for all people to sit at the table and talk truthfully about where we are going with victims services in this state.”

Comments

mikekt 1 year, 11 months ago

The only ones who should be required to have a Psych. Evaluation are Gov. Sam Brownback & the Kochs'; A.K.A.,"The Kings of Round The Clock Kansas Moral, Political & Financial Insanity"! Here we go again, with "More Of Their Self-Serving-Crazy-Making-Stuff"! Old Sam's like the "Energizer Version," of "a lunatic on a mission"! Neither he, nor the Kochs' ( & their cash ) seem to know when to stop!

0

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 11 months ago

Brownback and his administration are incompotent buffoons that are damaging the social, economic and physical infrastructure of this state. It will take decades to recover just as if we had been hit by a hurricane, tornado or flood. These clowns are unbelievable.

0

AngelFury 1 year, 11 months ago

At the center of criticism

A proposed SRS contract contains two controversial sentences: “The vendor will be encouraged to work with faith-based and community supports to increase the unification of two (2) parent families and promote pregnancy prevention through abstinence based programs.”

“The Contractor shall administer TANF funds to promote healthy families, parenthood initiatives and pregnancy prevention through abstinence based program services to encourage the formation of two parent families...

The controversial language could end up pushing more women to stay in abusive relationships, having the unintended consequence of endangering them and their children, critics say.The same contract – which also would provide services to sex-assault victims – calls for abstinence-based programs. Critics say it would be insulting to tell a woman who has been raped that abstinence is part of the solution

. Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/01/14/2175886/states-proposed-domestic-violence.html#storylink=cpy

0

Lane Signal 1 year, 11 months ago

Why does Ms. Gilmore have to try to attack the KCSDV? If she is so proud of the new rules, could she not just say that KCSDV disagreed with the new mandates and elected to walk away? If Brownback and Gilmore believe in these new rules, should they not use this as an opportunity to defend the new rules, to point out why these rules are so important? Instead Ms. Gilmore avoids the specific concerns and tries to paint KCSDV as incompetent. This makes me think these rules are not seen as defend-able, even by those who created them. So, then, the conclusion I'm left with is that the only reason for these rules is to drive victims and their advocates away from the program.

0

tomatogrower 1 year, 11 months ago

I was a victim of abuse, but my ex wasn't very good at it. He liked my extra income too much. Most abusers will not allow the woman to work outside the home, so they are too poor to leave. They are control freaks. When I left, I had a job and didn't need a shelter, which was good, since there weren't any back then. I also had supportive family and friends. They stood by me even when my ex tried to chase them away.

Abusers take away the abused sense of control and self worth. When they get up enough strength to leave, they do not need to someone else controlling them. They need to regain control of their lives. Providing job training, child care, etc. should be important. Giving them options is most important, but they need to make the decision. Then they can rise above victimhood and become stronger.

That being said, I think that if a victim is still unable to function without SRS after so many years, and refuses to get treatment, then I would guess they are playing the victim card, and maybe should be required to seek help. Of course, forcing a drug addict into rehab doesn't usually work, so I'm not sure if this would. I don't consider myself a victim any more, but a survivor. Help is sometimes needed for the abused get past the victim stage.

I'm not sure what should happen here if there are children involved. An abuser or a mother who is non functional and refuses to get help? Doesn't sound like either place is good for the children. However forcing someone to have a psych evaluation seems a whole lot like the state control most conservatives rail against.

0

AngelFury 1 year, 11 months ago

So SRS's new policy for battered mothers is to promote and fund FATHERHOOD INITIATIVES - the same bad dads who beat the hell out of mommy aka DADDY WELFARE where they 'teach' bad dad via State and Federal funded programs like "how to not kill your children'', send them and their kids to Royals games, BBQ's et el. all on our tax dollars. This is much more important than funding saving lives - this funding generates and creates new jobs for all those ppl who get to 'create Mr. mom/monster. (human experimentation - genocide of battered mothers and her children)

KS has turned Domestic Violence Programs into FATHERHOOD it's ok to beat your wife, we will help you take your children from your victim. We will enable you to further punish her for life by using her children. If you leave I will take your children and KS will help you.

I know this 1st hand, been there done it, assist hundreds of others who are going through it now. STOP THE VIOLENCE!!!! STOP PUNISHING the VICTIMS. Stop it now. http://AngelFury.org

0

verity 1 year, 11 months ago

Women who are in an abusive relationship are often reluctant to ask for help for any number of reasons, but the main ones seem to be (1) lack of confidence (being made to feel that it is their fault, they deserve it, they wouldn't be able to survive on their own, etc.) and (2) fear. The abuser feeds into both of these as a way of control.

Those of us who haven't been in this situation may find it hard to understand the hopelessness. We should not be making it harder for the victims to get the help they need or putting them in a catch-22 situation, which it sounds like the psychological evaluation could well be if it's being used against them.

0

verity 1 year, 11 months ago

I would like to see a psychological evaluation of Gov Brownback. I would like to know what goes through his mind and what he really believes and thinks. Has he really convinced himself that he is being Christian and is doing the right thing for Kansas? My personal feeling is that he has become deeply delusional, but there are other possibilities.

On the other hand, I might be sorry that I wished to know.

0

Jayhawk1958 1 year, 11 months ago

I was going to make another comment but the majority of comments made pretty much cover it. And I'm not talking about uncompassiate people like CHIBW or Alceste.

0

Jayhawk1958 1 year, 11 months ago

The right-wing has declared war on the poor, low-income, and ANY social program to help those in need. And Brownback calls himself a Christian?

0

Alceste 1 year, 11 months ago

To begin with, O.A.R.S. has ALWAYS been a joke and to the savy public assistance recipient was a key method in avoiding any obligations other assistance recipients are subjected too such as job searching; class attendance (self help; esteem building; GED, blah, blah, blah). The SRS case worker seldom, if ever was given any updates as to how the O.A.R.S. service was going: What manner of progress the proclaimed "domestic violence" (what is that anyway...."domestic violence"? I thought that was what Homeland Security was for.....; battery is battery: We, as a society, trivialize battery by creating a totally seperate INDUSTRY, naming it "domestic violence" and throwing money at it....) victim was making in their "journey" to "being made whole"; blah, blah, blah.

Now then, let it be known Alceste is no supporter of that simple simon head bobbing come out of retirement Gilmore person. She's about as progressive as Sharia law or a rock. Nada. Zero. Zippo. Hack.

O.A.R.S. won't be missed. Truth be told, there has been internal conflict going on within the "domestic violence industry" here in Kansas and Sarah Jane Russell, who is executive director of GaDuGi SafeCenter in Lawrence, and who deferred questions about the impact of the funding issue to The Willow did note: “There is an urgency for all people to sit at the table and talk truthfully about where we are going with victims services in this state.” Ummmm....that's code speak for "Look what you people have done. You've bitten your nose off to spite your faces and now we've got a big fat zero."

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence is a shadow organization that has not been compelled to demonstrate accountability for years and years (and that's where O.A.R.S. comes from). Defund them totally.

Psych evals? Let me get this right: We subject little kids to psych evals ALL THE TIME after they've been taken into custody in child abuse and neglect matters and providing such an eval doesn't give the kid (that's the VICTIM in the matter....you know....the one who has purportedly been beaten or whatever....) the very real and distinct message "You're messed up!!"?? SRS ought to be compelling the supposed abusing party to the psych eval to find out just how jacked up the beater/neglector is. That'd be too much like right.

So...we can perpetrate the fraud of the psych eval on the kid victim and same doesn't screw with the kids' head, but we can't do it on an adult victim of battery? And that's what it is....it's battery plain and simple (or assault)....it ain't "domestic violence". Domestic Violence is what Homeland Security is charged with handling.......

0

JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

What color is the sky in Phyllis Gilmore's world. This is a complete embarrassment for SRS and the State. She should be ashamed.

0

robeee 1 year, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 11 months ago

"They should just rename the Republican Party the Dominionist Party and get it over with." (From a source.)

0

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 11 months ago

Brownback stands for personal responsibility and does not mind helping those who actually need it. He, on the other hand, is just as tired as much of the electorate when it comes to all those who make lousy choices and then stick their hands out to the taxpayer. Anyone with any sense does not need or desire all these so called services and handouts, and they are not authorized by any of our founding documents.

I hope many of those who thrive on these services move to another state and mooch off of their taxpayers for a while. Maybe our property and sales taxes will get back to a normal level.

0

JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

Kansas has become a hell hole under Brownback. It never had a great climate, mountains or an ocean but it did have great people that acted reasonably. It still has those people but it's a lot harder to get a sense of those old Midwestern values when you have a waste like Brownback as the Govenor. I'm not even sure the guy is technically a Kansan anymore.

0

question4u 1 year, 11 months ago

Brownback's sense of ethics is rotten to the core, and he has actively infected every state agency and aspect of government that he can. Moderate Republicans must continue to speak out against injustice or the damage that this pathogen of a governor will do to Kansas will take decades to repair.

0

its_just_math 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm just glad SB finally clearly separated the far-left nutcases on the forum from the normal people. It's been as predicted. SR is doing a great job keeping the crazies whupped up into a frenzy.

0

pace 1 year, 11 months ago

SRS was in sorry shape, now Brownback's grabbed it and is honing it as a weapon against the people it was originally legislated to help. Did we elect a governor or a despot?

0

Christine Anderson 1 year, 11 months ago

I believe that we have a wackjob in the Governor's mansion, and several in the Ks House and Senate as well. I believe they are making a conscious choice to punish the victim.

0

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 11 months ago

Psych evals in Lawrence are problematic in and of themselves. There are almsot no providers of the service. I was referred to LMH's pain management clinic. On my initial visit I was told that before I would/could be accepted into the program I had to have a psych eval with a statement by the provider that I was not an "addictive personality". This ended up being a hellacious problem. The clinic had NO local providers to refer me to. The closest they could come was a provider in Topeka. I wasn't driving due to the pain issues for which I was at the clinic to begin with. Then I found out that my insurance wouldn't cover the cost of the eval. I am on SSDI and the cost of the eval was over 150$ (if I went through the provider in Topeka). The entire thing ended up being such a cluster you-know-what that in the end my doctor threw up his hands and just prescribed my pain meds himself. And he didn't exactly blame me for it. So, that being said, just how does SRS expect these providers to obtain and comply with their "psych eval" BS, much less pay for it? What is the stated purpose by SRS of the psych eval? Do they even give one? What's the point of all of this hoop jumping?

0

Christine Anderson 1 year, 11 months ago

Just because my injury did not require sutures or hospitalization does not mean that the abuse was fabricated. God forgive me for saying this, but I finally have slightly ( and I mean slightly) less fear of my ex's g.d. lawyer because my ex's health is deteriorating so rapidly that even if he decided to try and take me to court, he wouldn't be in a very good position.

I am sickened that the director of Willow believes SRS has the best interests of survivors in mind ! Are you crazy, lady?? You deserve to lose you job over that, and here's why.

Pres. Bush (senior) did place a five year lifetime limit on cash assistance. However, he was compassionate enough to leave some exceptions. One of those is that if you are a survivor of domestic violence or sexual assault, that five year limit does not apply to you. And no, it is not to enable us to be lazy, as some of you hardliners are going to say. It was intended to help us and our children to survive, because so many times we are in danger if we go to work. If we are not in physical danger by going to work, there is the emotional scarring that interferes with being able to succeed in employment. Guess what, everyone? Effective this year, there are no more "exceptions". Victims of domestic violence and secual assault are now left flapping in the wind, and so are our children. So then, Ms.Schultz, would you like to rethink that idiotic statement?

0

deec 1 year, 11 months ago

If no current providers can meet the criteria, it sure opens up a nice niche market for for-profits and faith-based programs.

0

deec 1 year, 11 months ago

If no current providers can meet the criteria, it sure opens up a nice niche market for for-profits and faith-based programs.

0

Christine Anderson 1 year, 11 months ago

I cannot adequately describe my loathing for Brownback. I am a survivor of domestic violence. Yes, I have PTSD, and I struggle with wondering if I am "good" enough to deserve to succeed at a job. OldEnuf, I do believe you meant well in your post, but the problem is this. One of the things our abusers use to "whip" us with is, "You're crazy. I never abused you. I would never hit anyone. You're a sh@*@ parent." (Never mind the fact that a police officer had me remove my shirt and she and her partner, and my daughter who was a minor then, saw the physical evidence on me) So, if psych evals become mandatory, it is not "just" legal wranglings. It's your life; it's your childrens' lives, and let me tell you, there will be victims who steer away from domestic violence services ouf of fear of losing their children. There is one particular lawyer in town who represents abusive fathers pro boner because he believes "fathers have been getting a raw deal." One of the things my ex still verbally fires at me is, "You're full of s@!. If I had really hit or hurt you, why didn't you go to the hospital? Huh? Trey said that because you didn't see a dr for your imagined injuries, we could get it thrown out in custody proceedings." Well, my abuser went on to do the same damn thing to his second wife, who is a decent woman.

0

autie 1 year, 11 months ago

Unreasonable demands on victims may imply that they are partially at fault for the plight. Typical Brownsack BS to 'fix' everything by some mandatory crapola. Oh it would be so nice if the world was one size fits all. And the mandate that they will be employed within a certain time period...tell us oh wise one, where in the hell are the jobs, jobs, jobs? Somewhere on the road map for Kansas?

0

OldEnuf2BYurDad 1 year, 11 months ago

""The basic assumption that comes out of that requirement is that there is something wrong with the survivor,"

Well... YEAH. If my significant other just beat the crap out of me, I might no longer be in a healthy frame of mind. I know we don't like this languaging, but these "survivors" are also victims of assault. Evaluating them for PTSD, suicidality or depression kinda makes sense.

And, yes, I can see how that might hurt them in court later, but that's about legal wranglings, not about treatment needs.

0

CheneyHawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Prince Sam/Herr Brownback earned his money the old fashioned way - he married into it. He has no concept of 'real work' nor 'real world'. Gilmore is a political hack and many good programs for Kansans are falling to the wayside because of the prince's lack of leadership and twisted focus on ideaology.

0

Kendall Simmons 1 year, 11 months ago

SRS went off the deep end under Brownback and his Florida pals. They would set up funding expectations that were utterly absurd.

For example, CROs such as the Recovery and Hope Network (RAHN) here in Lawrence were supposed to demonstrate that our consumers (all of whom have a severe and persistent mental illness) are "more spiritual" than those at Bert Nash!!!

Excuse me?

Plus SRS expected all sorts of other nonsensical "competitive" things.

The problem??? We work primarily with the same consumers of severe and persistent mental illness!!! We work COLLABORATIVELY, not in competition!

Unfortunately, while Brownback's Florida cronies are gone, things at SRS don't appear to have improved all that much. Setting unreasonable, un-achievable "accountability standards" does NOT mean that the problem is with the organization that can't meet those absurd "standards".

I, for one, am soooo grateful that disability services, including mental health services, are being moved to the current Department of Aging come July 1st. It can't come soon enough. We may not being escaping Brownback...but we are escaping the insanity that is SRS nowadays.

0

jesse499 1 year, 11 months ago

I thing there should be a pscyh eval done before you can run for office.Oh fargot Brownback admin wouldn't pass.

0

madameX 1 year, 11 months ago

Does anyone know what, if any, reasoning was given to back up these crazy new requirements? This is an honest question; why does the Brownback admin think that all DV survivors should have to undergo a pscyh eval?

0

Lisa Rasor 1 year, 11 months ago

Thank you for standing up for the survivors, Joyce. The new requirements are ridiculous, and are just more examples of the conservatives' war on women.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.