We all have to work together to create a safe and healthy community!
The Peninsula Points on Prevention Coalition (PPOP) is a collaborative effort of community members, resource agencies, tribal members, small business owners, law enforcement, and other local coalitions all working together to bring awareness and education surrounding prevention efforts. We are eager to build capacity within our community to address the very important issues surrounding power-based violence and to incorporate all of our prevention efforts together to develop a safety net within our community, (knowing that many of our efforts intersect with each other).
We all strive to live in communities that are healthy and safe; where our families, friends, and neighbors can reach their fullest potential.
Just by living in and moving through our community, we have power to strike change. Whether it’s through informal discussions with friends and neighbors, modeling healthy and respectful interactions with family, or working through various community institutions such as schools, churches, local government, or businesses, we possess multiple points and varying degrees of influence over those around us.
Successful prevention requires an approach of community connectedness – a model where everyone has a stake in creating change.
To enact a positive change in our community’s health and safety through collaborative prevention efforts in the Central Kenai Peninsula.
To ensure education and resources are readily available fostering a safe, supportive, and healthy community.
Please take a moment to answer our brief survey about your knowledge of Prevention Efforts in the Community.
Learn about the Prevention Coalition and how you can be a part of creating a safer community.
Did You Know? Is an awareness campaign designed to inform Peninsula Residents about issues in our community affecting our neighbors. Check out the interactive campaign for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
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The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s results of the Alaska Victimization Survey conducted in 2013 found that more than 3 out of every 10 adult women in the Kenai Peninsula Borough have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime; more than 4 out of every 10 have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime; and astonishingly 52% of adult women in the Kenai Peninsula Borough have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence or both, in their lifetime.
Comparatively, roughly 35 percent of women and 28 percent of men in the general population of the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
One specific population at a significant higher risk for domestic and sexual violence than others is American Indians and Alaska Native women. According to a study from the National Institute of Justice, 84% of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime, and more than half have endured this violence at the hands of an intimate partner. More than two-thirds of the women, or 66%, say they have been the victims of psychological aggression by a partner.
Recently, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) examined this issue and commissioned an in-depth study on violence against American Indian and Alaska Native people. The study found that the scope is even greater than previously thought. According to the study, not only are there incredibly high rates of domestic violence in Indian Country, but non-Indian intimate partner violence accounts for the overwhelming majority of it. NIJ found more than half (55%) of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime and 90% of those victims report being victimized by a non-American Indian/Alaska Native perpetrator, while only 18% report being victimized by an American Indian/Alaska Native perpetrator. In addition, more than half of all Native women who have experienced abuse say they have also endured sexual assault, and another 48% have been stalked.
Teen Dating Violence
Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. In a recent national survey, nearly 10% of high school students reported physical violence and 11% reported that they experienced sexual violence from a dating partner in the 12 months before the survey.
Teens who are victims are at higher risk for victimization during college and throughout their lifetimes. Victims of teen dating violence are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. They might also engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. (Centers for Disease Control).
We do not currently have local data regarding Teen Dating Violence however, Alaska conducted a statewide Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2015 (this survey is conducted bi-annually). The survey found physical dating violence among adolescents (high school students in grades 9-12) was 9.5% for all Alaska adolescents and 9.8% for Alaska Native adolescents, virtually unchanged from levels in 2013 (questions on adolescent dating violence have been asked on the YRBS since 2003 but the question on dating violence changed in 2013 preventing comparisons with earlier time periods).
Statistics from the US Dept. of Justice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Liz Claiborne Inc. teen dating violence survey revealed that:
· Girls and women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
· 1 in 5 high school girls is physically or sexually hurt by a dating partner.
· 1 in 3 teens experience some kind of abuse in their romantic relationships.
· Teen girls face relationship violence 3 times more than adult women.
· Many teens think this is normal.
· The majority of parents of teen victims are unaware of the abuse
In the past two decades, we’ve learned two key things about Alaskans’ health:
• Childhood trauma is far more common than previously realized; and
• The impact of this trauma affects individuals over a lifetime and societies over generations.
A keystone 1998 study asked middle class Americans how many traumas they had experienced as a child. Traumas included physical abuse, witnessing domestic violence and having a parent in jail. Researchers then developed an ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ (ACE) score — the more traumas, the higher the ACE score. Researchers compared scores to measures of adult health and well-being, and found strong links with poor health, social challenges and low earning power. If children experience trauma, this undermines their ability to learn and cope, which in turn undermines their health and ability to earn a living.
Follow-up studies found, stress from trauma shows up at the cellular level and its influence can be passed on genetically from one generation to the next. This relates directly too many of the health and social problems we wrestle with in Alaska. This information is incredibly important for Alaska, where rates of child abuse and domestic violence are so high. No nation-wide ACE study has been done, but Alaska’s first measured rates, in 2013, were higher than those of an earlier five-state study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We believe that everyone deserves to live in safe, healthy homes and communities. One way to achieve this is by inviting the community to join in to raise their awareness and learn what makes us a stronger individual. Then we are able to teach our children the same skills.
Experiences and environments shape us. Our interpretation of the world shapes our development. If we or our children are exposed to toxic levels of stress it interrupts development that can have lifetime consequences. We need to build resilience in ourselves, in our children and in our community. Resilience means having the tools to adapt to life’s challenges in more positive ways by building strategies that support our developmental process.
Every Saturday May 1st through Saturday May 29th, Peninsula Points on Prevention and Change 4 the Kenai hosted a community scavenger hunt. This was an opportunity to share information about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), how they can affect us into our adulthood, and we were also able to share information about how we can build hope and resilience within ourselves, our children and our community to trump out ACEs.
We want to send a special thank you out to the local community businesses that sponsored our location each Saturday:
Trinity Greenhouse-everyone got flowers to take home to nurture and enjoy through the summer.
Dinners Ready-everyone was able to get 2 take home ready to make meals with the recipes, we encouraged a family style meal around the dinner table with a sprinkle of rich conversation with the family.
Beemuns-the kids had a great time decorating their birdhouses. We hope they hung them in the yard; maybe it will make a good home for a feathered friend.
River City Gymnastics & Cheer-watching the all the kids jumping, tumbling and burning all that energy was awesome and we hope parents had a quiet evening that night.
River City Books/Soldotna Creek Park-everyone got book bucks, bubbles, a hula hoop and had the opportunity to make a calming jar, the calming jars were really neat, even adults could benefit from these.
Miss Mermaid Alaska-we were honored to have our famous local mermaid at the park with us the last Saturday. She came and shared information about water safety, which is so important!