April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

WILMINGTON, DE —During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Sexual Assault Network of Delaware (SAND) and its member agencies will bring the theme of “I Ask” to life by holding several awareness events through the state.   “I Ask” builds on the idea that consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions.

The month will include a Proclamation Signing Ceremony with Governor John Carney marking the month of April 2019 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  The signing will occur on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 at 9:30am at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington, DE.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) presents the Visionary Voice Award in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April, to recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence.

This year, NSVRC selected the SAND nomination of Angela Seguin, Assistant Director for Victim Advocacy at the University of Delaware.  Through her advocacy, Angela has helped students and faculty by providing individual advocacy and crisis counseling, helping victims and survivors through the university’s Title IX process, as well as civil and criminal courts and more. She also is the coordinator of a volunteer group on campus called Sexual Offense Support (SOS). Through SOS, Angela coordinates and trains student volunteer while managing a 24/7/365 rape crisis helpline on the University’s campus. Her colleagues in the field applaud her efforts to end sexual violence and her work for the rights of students on the University of Delaware’s campus.

For information about all of the 2019 Visionary Voice Award Recipients, please visit https://www.nsvrc.org/saam/visionary-voice-awards

ABOUT SAND

SAND is the sexual assault victim advocacy coalition for state of Delaware. SAND represents a group of interdisciplinary and diverse professionals including law enforcement, healthcare professionals, community leaders, victim service providers, victim advocates, and survivors.

 

 


Honoring Crime Victims During Delaware Crime Victims’ Rights Week

 

Dover, Del.- Join the Delaware Victims’ Rights Task Force and its participating agencies as we observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW).  NCVRW promotes victims’ rights and honors crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.   This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future.”  This year’s theme encourages commemoration, honor, and respect toward the crime victim advocates, allied professionals, and selfless volunteers who have courageously worked for increased rights for crime victims. The theme also invites us to look toward a future of inclusive, accessible, and innovative resources and services for survivors.

Through a grant made available by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the Delaware Department of Justice, with support of the Delaware Victims’ Rights Task Force, will hold the Annual Crime Victims’ Tribute on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at Dover High School in Dover.  The keynote speaker will be Emily Hill and music will be provided by The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware.  Ms. Hill will be speaking of her past abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend and father of her child.  He is currently serving prison time following an assault against her in 2016.  Ms. Hill uses her personal experience to talk about Intimate Partner Violence and to advocate for awareness on the topic, as well as highlighting local resources available to victims.  Doors open at 5:30pm for resource tables and light refreshments, with the tribute beginning at 6:30pm.

A Proclamation Signing Ceremony, marking the week of April 7th-13th, 2019 as Delaware Crime Victims’ Rights Week, will occur on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at Governor Carney’s office at Legislative Hall in Dover.   Governor John Carney will sign the Proclamation as part of a week honoring victims of crime.  During the proclamation signing, awards will be given to outstanding professionals and volunteers for their work with crime victims.  Mayra Reyes, Georgetown Police Victim Services Specialist, and Lindsey McAleer, a volunteer advocate for University of Delaware Sexual Offense Support, will be recognized for their work.  Capitol Police Department’s Domestic Violence Intervention Program will also be recognized.

Concluding Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Victims’ Rights Task Force is sponsoring a painting workshop for survivors with Eunice LaFate at the LaFate gallery in Wilmington on Saturday, April 13th.  For more information or to register, please contact the task force via the email address below.

 

For more information about these events please call 1-800-victim-1, email DelVRTF@gmail.com.  You may also visit: www.facebook.com/delVRTF and https://sites.google.com/site/delawarevrtf/


FBI Recognizes Two Auditors for Critical Role in Investigations

(Dover, Delaware) – On October 18, 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation formally recognized two employees of the Office of Auditor of Accounts (AOA) for their assistance with two cases.  Auditors Nicole Polite and Stephenie Tatman played a key role in the investigation that led to former Academy of Dover Charter School Principal, Noel Rodriguez, being sentenced to 13 months of imprisonment and $145,480 in restitution payments.  Additionally, Polite and Tatman conducted the investigation of the Family Foundations Academy which led to Sean Moore, the Director of Finance and Operations for the Family Foundations Academy, being sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment for embezzling $161,871 from the school.

R. Thomas Wagner stated, “Without the work of Stephenie and Nicole, the arrest and prosecution of both Rodriguez and Moore might not have been possible.  Our auditors work day in and day out to protect the tax dollars of Delawareans, and I am thankful for the contributions that Stephenie and Nicole had in bringing these violators of the public trust to justice.”

Nicole Polite, a Certified Fraud Examiner, has been employed with the AOA office since 2014.  She is currently an Audit Supervisor.

Stephenie Tatman, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner, was hired by the AOA office in 2007 and was promoted to Audit Manager.  She is currently the Internal Audit Director for the Office of Pensions.

Plaques presented to Tatman and Polite

Contact: Deputy Auditor James Spadola
James.spadola@delaware.gov
Office: 302.857.3946
Cell:  302.746.2584


February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Wilmington, Del. – Today, February 5th, Governor Markell signed the proclamation declaring February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM). Each February, President Obama and Delaware’s Governor declare this special month to bring awareness to this issue and educate young people on the signs of teen dating violence. The proclamation will hear remarks from Lucy O’Donnell (DAPI), Sue Ryan (DCADV Executive Director) and Eleanor Torres (DVCC Executive Director).

1 in 3 teens in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, according to Futures with Violence. And since LoveisRespect.org notes that violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18, awareness of this issue is imperative. In Delaware, the 2013 YRBS survey found that 8.9% of high school students have experienced physical dating violence. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Many teens do not report dating violence out of embarrassment, fear and lack of education of the signs. This makes TDVAPM an especially important month for Delawareans in which teens and their families can learn about this prevalent concern.

“Teen dating violence is a problematic issue that requires dissemination of information as well as collaboration with teens statewide. When girls and young women are among the highest rated for intimate partner violence, devoting an entire month to increasing awareness is more than necessary. When the community focuses on healthy relationship building, our young members have a solid foundation in which to stand,” says Sue Ryan, Executive Director of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“Every person has the right to healthy, respectful and safe relationships. Whether it’s physical, emotional or verbal abuse, we must continue working to ensure our youth are educated on how to protect themselves and have the opportunity to enjoy relationships free of abuse,” Governor Jack Markell also noted.

In addition to this event and many others held throughout the state, there will be a High School Instagram contest inviting students throughout Delaware to contribute their voice on social media. Participants will take a picture of one of four qualities found in a healthy relationship – Communication, Trust, Equality, or Acceptance; write a description of their photo and the quality they chose; and post on Instagram using #RelationshipRespect2016. The top 3 entries will win a monetary prize and help circulate positive, healthy relationship messages throughout their networks.

February 9, 2016 is Wear Orange Day, a national day of awareness to commemorate Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and promoting healthy relationships. The hashtag #Orange4Love and #TeenDVMonth can be used for sharing and updating messages..


Department of Justice Files With Court To Shut Down Gold Club Near Wilmington As Criminal Nuisance Property

A complaint filed by Attorney General Matt Denn’s office asks the state Superior Court to declare the Gold Club near Wilmington a criminal nuisance property and to order that it be closed.

As stated in the complaint, the action comes as the result of numerous arrests at, near or coming from the property for shootings, vehicle thefts, illegal drug possession, assaults, stabbings and other illegal activity. There have been shootings in August 2012, March 2014, May 2014, September 2015 and this past Sunday, November 15, 2015, with the most recent shooting a homicide.

The complaint was filed under the under the state’s Criminal Nuisance Abatement Act, which empowers to Attorney General “to eliminate locations that otherwise attract criminals, violence and the threat of violence,” as stated in Title 10, Section 7102 of the Delaware Code.

“Police have been called to the Gold Club at least 237 times in the last four years,” said Attorney General Matt Denn. “Shutting the doors of a business which consistently brings crime, drugs, and violence to the area is in the interest of public safety.”

The property where the club stands, 1031 South Market St, Wilmington is owned by the Kent Manor Inn, and the Gold Club itself is owned by PML Clubs, Inc.  Both Kent Manor Inn, Inc. and PML Clubs, Inc. Kent Manor Inn, Inc. and PML Clubs, Inc. are owned and operated by Michael Rose.

A copy of the complaint can be found HERE.