Monthly Archives: January 2014

Kathleen Krenek quoted in KGO-TV

Kathleen Krenek, Next Door’s Executive Director, was contacted by ABC’s David Louie to get her take on President Obama’s approach to sexual violence on campus. Click here to see the story and the video.

Go to jail – do not pass “go” – do not go to college

Last week President Obama gave a speech outlining the startling extent of the college rape epidemic. One in five women on a college campus have been sexualy assaulted, and only one in 8 reported it. One study found some students commit up to six rapes and are never caught. What’s going on here?  Surely college doesn’t turn 7% of the students into rapists over night.  And although much of the news coverage about Obama’s speech focused on what women can do to prevent rape, the speech itself targeted college’s responsibility to report and prevent rapes on campus. If colleges aren’t reporting, and our media is still blaming victims, how will high school’s manifest their own accountability in protecting students?


The tragedy in Saratoga might explain why some young rapists go to off college instead of to jail. Saratoga is the well-to-do community where Audrie Pott lived. When her parents were away, a sleepover quickly turned into a booze party. What happened to Audrie when she was passed out cold? Three 15-year-old boys sexually assaulted her, then wrote in sharpie on her body, then distributed the photos of her half naked body to their friends. The photos went viral. Eight days after the assault, Audrie must have decided she couldn’t take it anymore. She went into her mother’s bathroom, where she was later found hanging, barely alive. She died two days later in the hospital.


Her tragic suicide should be a wake up call, not just for parents, but for all of us. The perpetrators got very light sentences; One young man got 45 days in juvenile hall, and two others had to spend weekends there for 30 days. They were free to complete high school and apply to college, resuming their lives. What kind of message does this slap on the wrist sentence send? The 16-year old rapists in the Steubenville, Ohio case got one and two years respectively, compared to 10 years for a typical adult case.  What length sentence is enough to send the right message? Will more education reverse this dangerous trend? One of the perpetrator’s parents was quoted in Rolling Stone, saying “It was just a prank by a few kids.”  A prank with deadly consequences. Even after Audrie’s death, the boys were found with more electronic photos of naked girls. They clearly felt no remorse. Are we sending high school rapists on to college so they can strike again in the safety of a dorm room? Let’s hope come September the President’s task force has some effect on safety on college and high school campuses.

Next Door Volunteers Shine at Holiday Boutique

On December 17, Next Door hosted its annual Holiday Boutique Open House, which provided great food, music, and a lively atmosphere that was enjoyed by 75 plus attendees of all ages. A big thank you goes out to the dozens of volunteers who showed up, got to work, and created a magical holiday setting for the event. For more pictures of our holiday angels, visit Next Door’s Tumblr page for photos here.

Volunteer at HB 2013

Rogers Family and Rora pitch in

Rogers Family and Rora pitch in

Becca and friend HB 2013

Your Legal Rights

Next Door has just created a new page about victim rights.

Learn about victim legal rights in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

The page also has information about the 2014 laws around domestic violence and landlord evictions.

Check it out here!

All My Children Star, Aiden Turner, Loves His Monkey

Domestic violence, can and does, affect anyone regardless of fame, fortune, age, gender or ethnicity.  A poignant example of its pervasiveness in society can be found in this brief article in The Huffington Post, “All My Children Star Aiden Turner Charged with Domestic Violence.”  Mr. Turner was charged with four counts of domestic violence after he allegedly threw a remote control device at his girlfriend, wounding her eye and shoulder.  What he said after his arrest before media cameras to the victim of his abuse: “I love you, Monkey.”

This points out how victims and perpetrators of DV often have conflicting emotions about each other, leading to some questions for consideration:  How is it possible to express love, yet also inflict pain at the same time?  How do the two seem to become entangled, conflated, combined? What underlying conflicts within the relationship need to be resolved in order to find a healthier mode of expressing love?  These questions reveal the complexity at finding suitable solutions for the epidemic of violence that plagues women around the world.

Yet, there is hope as the larger community continues to learn more about DV, how to prevent it and how to appropriately intervene.  Just this past year several new California laws were passed designed to help, such as AB 16, which closes the loophole on one of the felony domestic violence statutes.  AB 16 changes the current domestic violence law to include not just spouses, but also dating partners or fiancés, ensuring that all victims are protected and bringing the included relationships in line with the overall statute.  Other actions by the California legislature will be featured in our next blog, but for now let’s ask ourselves some simple questions:

What is the levAR-312309968.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315el of responsibility of those who witness or know about DV?

Should the producers of “All My Children” do more to educate the community about DV?

Do they have a responsibility to do anything at all?  What do you think?

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