Governor Signs SANE Requirement Into Law; Survivors to Benefit

A bill YWCA Stepping Stones staff have advocated for has been signed into law. HB5245 requires hospitals have SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) Nurses available within 90 minutes of a survivor of sexual assault presenting at the emergency room (ER) for an evidence collection kit. The bill also mandates hospitals meet this requirement no later…

Teen dating violence awareness month

There’s never been a time where awareness of sexual violence was higher than it is right at this moment. Whether it’s the Larry Nassar case, the #MeToo Movement, Aziz Ansari, or the multiple victims of Donald Trump, you can’t log into social media, turn on the TV, or read People magazine without hearing about sexual…

An Open Letter to the Men in our Community

If you are a man who felt uncomfortable because you haven’t had to think about this topic before, good. We felt uncomfortable, too. If we felt uncomfortable reading the posts, imagine how uncomfortable women and trans people may have felt both during the assault and when they wrote and read other posts. We cannot allow our discomfort to keep us in a place of inaction. Inaction is unacceptable.

Are Girls Not Allowed to Have the Same fun as Men?

I should make it clear that I am not shaming the male population as a whole and not every single man is guilty of such things. There seems to be a certain culture surrounding the nightlife at bars. There are also certain stereotypes in place surrounding the men and women in attendance. If you are…

Night in a College Town Bar

I was fortunate enough to spend my spring break in Phoenix, AZ because my best friend goes to Arizona State. We had a lot of fun enjoying the sunshine, laying by the pool, hiking mountains, and so much more. I got to meet a wide variety of people, primarily from the west coast. It was…

Finding Your Happy Place

While sightseeing with my family along the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris a few years ago, I noticed a “HAPPY IS THE NEW CHIC” sign displayed at a boutique. It really caught my attention and made me think about the message that was being conveyed and why the words had such a profound effect on…

Hitting is Not Flirting

Since when does hurting a person mean you like them? If society is telling the younger generation of this world that hitting is okay, at what age will violence begin?

Domestic Violence 101: Types of Abuse

It may come as a surprise to many that Domestic Abuse (DV) is not just physical violence against a spouse. There are a range of behaviors that constitute domestic violence. The fact that our society paints a picture of domestic abuse as only physical makes it difficult to recognize the early signs that a partner…

From Bystander to Upstander

There has probably been a time in all of our lives where we’ve thought, “Should I intervene?” Being a bystander in any given victim-perpetrator situation can be scary; and most of the time the “bystander effect” (in which we choose not to intervene because we assume others around us will) develops out of our fear;…

What Does Your Vagina Say?

It’s that time of the year again. It’s the time to celebrate vaginas! Illinois State University is hosting “The Vagina Monologues.” There are still two performances left: tonight, February 14, and tomorrow February 15, in the Bone Student Center, Old Main room. The night begins with the Vagina Fair, which starts at 6 p.m. and…