Learn More about Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, & Trafficking

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The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment provides FREE and CONFIDENTIAL services to victims of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and human trafficking in Shawnee, Jackson, Wabaunsee, and Brown Counties in Kansas.

For 24-hour help, call toll-free: 1-888-822-2983

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

Defining the Issues

Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, “describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.” (CDC) Domestic violence is a way for one partner to exert power and control over another. Perpetrators of domestic violence use physical and sexual violence, threats, stalking, and emotional abuse. These abuse patterns are strategic, and can escalate over time.

Click on the image to view the Power & Control Wheel from YWCA Spokane.

Domestic violence affects most people. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men report experiencing some form of abuse from an intimate partner. Our advocates at the Center for Safety and Empowerment are here to support anyone experiencing domestic violence.

Sexual violence and sexual assault can also happen outside of an intimate partner relationship, such as sexual abuse or rape perpetrated by an authority figure or a stranger. All adults involved in any sexual activity, including virtual activity, must give full consent; sexual activity without consent, or involving a minor, is a crime.

It is important to understand that sexual violence is common, affecting 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men (CDC). If you think you have been a victim of sexual violence or sexual assault, you are not alone. The Center for Safety and Empowerment can help victims of sexual violence with support, planning, and assistance in legal matters.

According to the Department of Justice, human trafficking is any situation of labor or sexual exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of force, fraud or coercion. The United States law defines human trafficking as the act of recruiting, haboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, patronizing or soliciting a person for labor services, or to engage in commercial sex acts that is induced by force, fraud or coercion. However, if the person engaging in commercial sexual activity is a minor under the age of 18, then this is considered illegal sex trafficking even if “force, fraud, or coercion” is not used.

The risk factors for becoming a victim of trafficking, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence are similar. But, these crimes can happen to anyone regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, age, race, or income. It can happen to you or someone you know. See below for practical tips to plan for your own safety if you are experiencing sexual violence, and how to help someone you love who may need help.