Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

02/27/2017 01:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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01:30:22 PM Start
01:30:55 PM SCR2
01:55:32 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      SENATE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                    
                       February 27, 2017                                                                                        
                           1:30 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator David Wilson, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Natasha von Imhof, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2                                                                                              
Proclaiming April 2017 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.                                                                       
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SCR 2                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH: APRIL 2017                                                                         
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MEYER                                                                                                    
02/08/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/08/17       (S)       STA, HSS                                                                                               
02/24/17       (S)       STA REFERRAL WAIVED                                                                                    
02/27/17       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
SENATOR KEVIN MEYER                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SCR 2.                                                                                         
ALIZA KAZMI, Policy Specialist                                                                                                  
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA)                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SCR 2.                                                                            
JAYNE ANDREEN, Interim Executive Director                                                                                       
Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SCR 2.                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:30:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DAVID WILSON  called the Senate Health  and Social Services                                                             
Standing Committee meeting  to order at 1:30 p.m.  Present at the                                                               
call  to order  were  Senators Giessel,  Begich,  von Imhof,  and                                                               
Chair Wilson. Senator Miccichi arrived during the meeting.                                                                      
        SCR 2-SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH: APRIL 2017                                                                    
1:30:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced the consideration of SCR 2.                                                                              
1:31:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KEVIN MEYER, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,                                                                  
provided a sponsor's statement as follows:                                                                                      
     SCR  2 would  proclaim  April 2017  as "Sexual  Assault                                                                    
     Awareness Month;"  this is part of  a national campaign                                                                    
     to  raise public  awareness  about  sexual assault  and                                                                    
     educate communities  and individuals on how  to prevent                                                                    
     sexual violence. As you all  know, sexual violence is a                                                                    
     serious problem in the  state of Alaska, unfortunately;                                                                    
     but, we  bring this  resolution forward every  year and                                                                    
     actually I've  been doing  this since  2001. I  used to                                                                    
     serve on  the [Standing  Together Against  Rape] (STAR)                                                                    
     Board  of  Directors  when  I   was  on  the  Anchorage                                                                    
     Assembly;  this  is  something  that  I  feel  strongly                                                                    
     about, not only as a  parent with two daughters, but as                                                                    
     an Alaskan. We have thought  actually about not doing a                                                                    
     resolution  every year  and putting  it in  statute and                                                                    
     just making  April the sexual assault  awareness month,                                                                    
     but so many folks have said  it's good to bring this up                                                                    
     every year and  just remind folks that we  still have a                                                                    
     problem  with  sexual  assault. Probably  until  sexual                                                                    
     assault  awareness goes  away Mr.  Chairman, I  will be                                                                    
     bringing this forward every year.                                                                                          
     Again, this  is part  of a  national campaign  to raise                                                                    
     public  awareness  and  also to  let  folks  know  that                                                                    
     there's various  groups out there that  are also trying                                                                    
     to educate on this  topic: Alaska's Council on Domestic                                                                    
     Violence   and  Sexual   Assault,  Alaska   Network  on                                                                    
     Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and STAR.                                                                            
1:33:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER reviewed sexual assault statistics from the                                                                       
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Intimate                                                                   
Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) as follows:                                                                          
   · 1-in-5 women and 1-in-70 men in the U.S. have been victims                                                                 
     of violent sexual assault in their lifetime.                                                                               
   · The 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey reports that almost a                                                                 
     third of all adult women in Alaska have experienced sexual                                                                 
He summarized as follows:                                                                                                       
     Sexual assault  is preventable; it's a  social, public,                                                                    
     health,  criminal  justice,  human rights  issue;  it's                                                                    
     something  we just  need to  keep bringing  out to  the                                                                    
     public, educate the public that  this is not acceptable                                                                    
     and that there  are things to do to report  this and to                                                                    
     stop this. So this  year, 2017 Sexual Assault Awareness                                                                    
     Month  focuses on  engaging new  voices to  broaden the                                                                    
     scope of  prevention and we  hope that SCR 2  will help                                                                    
     to strengthen that effort across our state.                                                                                
1:34:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON opened public testimony on SCR 2.                                                                                  
1:35:12 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
1:36:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON called the committee back to order.                                                                                
1:37:03 PM                                                                                                                    
ALIZA KAZMI, Policy Specialist, Alaska Network on Domestic                                                                      
Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA), Juneau, Alaska, read a                                                                    
statement from ANDVSA in support of SCR 2 as follows:                                                                           
     We offer  our full  support for  SCR 2,  Sexual Assault                                                                    
     Awareness  Month for  April 2017.  Our member  programs                                                                    
     and  affiliates which  are 24-victim-service  providers                                                                    
     from  around  the  state, prioritize  intervention  and                                                                    
     experiences  of sexual  assault  as  well as  upstream-                                                                    
     violence   prevention    efforts;   however,   Alaskans                                                                    
     continue  to  experience  unacceptably high  levels  of                                                                    
     sexual assault, as Senator Meyer stated.                                                                                   
     The 2015  Alaska Victimization  Survey showed  that out                                                                    
     of  every 100  adult  women who  reside  in Alaska,  33                                                                    
     experience sexual  violence and 50  experience intimate                                                                    
     partner violence,  sexual violence  or both.  Every day                                                                    
     emergency   service  provisions   through  our   member                                                                    
     agencies  engage  as advocates,  medical  professionals                                                                    
     and law  enforcement to establish immediate  safety and                                                                    
     longer-term  support  for  victims of  sexual  assault,                                                                    
     including through legal  advocacy during prosecution as                                                                    
     well   as  assisting   with   accessing  basic   social                                                                    
     services.  Our member  agencies continuously  strive to                                                                    
     conduct  broad  and  effective outreach,  and  work  in                                                                    
     conjunction with community partners.                                                                                       
     In spite of strained  resources, our member agencies do                                                                    
     everything in their power  to serve victims. Prevention                                                                    
     of sexual  assault is  rooted in  educational advocacy.                                                                    
     Evidence  based  and comprehensive  prevention  engages                                                                    
     multiple  stakeholders  to  build knowledge  and  tools                                                                    
     which  in  turn  enables Alaskans  to  build  community                                                                    
     partnerships around  the response to and  prevention of                                                                    
     sexual  assault, this  is critical  in dismantling  the                                                                    
     cultural normativity  of sexual assault as  well as the                                                                    
     culture of victim blaming; for  example, the Network on                                                                    
     Domestic  Violence  and  Sexual  Assault  has  recently                                                                    
     expanded  its  prevention  work  focused  on  youth  to                                                                    
     include  an emphasis  on both  teen dating  violence as                                                                    
     well  as healthy  sexuality education  alongside sexual                                                                    
     health,  this  expansion   recognizes  that  many  teen                                                                    
     relationships involve  sexual intimacy and  that youths                                                                    
     need  specific  tools  on  how  to  establish  personal                                                                    
     boundaries to promote healthy relationships.                                                                               
      In an interview conducted for a recent lead on youth-                                                                     
     summit planning,  which is just an  annual program that                                                                    
     we do,  one teen remarked, "Sexual  health is something                                                                    
     that is not often discussed  among my peers and I think                                                                    
     it would be  pretty cool to start  those discussions so                                                                    
     people  become more  comfortable around  sexual health;                                                                    
     however, in order to educate  others accurately, I need                                                                    
     to be educated myself."                                                                                                    
     Indeed, ending  sexual assault is  a priority  not only                                                                    
     for individuals, but also  within and among communities                                                                    
     throughout  our   state.  Victims'   service  providers                                                                    
     always  benefit  from  greater and  enhanced  community                                                                    
     awareness  and collaboration  around  this issue.  Each                                                                    
     and  every Alaskan  must be  informed and  empowered to                                                                    
     work  together   to  end   sexual  assault   through  a                                                                    
     rigorous,   comprehensive   and  ongoing   process   of                                                                    
     community-based intervention  and prevention,  which we                                                                    
     feel that this bill really highlights.                                                                                     
     We  are grateful  to Senator  Meyer and  his staff  for                                                                    
     proposing the  bill and we  really urge you  to support                                                                    
     it and help continue  expanding awareness and resources                                                                    
     in order to end sexual assault in Alaska.                                                                                  
1:41:11 PM                                                                                                                    
JAYNE ANDREEN, Interim Executive Director, Alaska's Council on                                                                  
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA), Juneau, Alaska,                                                                   
testified in support of SCR 2 as follows:                                                                                       
     The  council (CDVSA)  as well  as the  network (ANDVSA)                                                                    
     supports SCR 2 and the  whole concept of sexual assault                                                                    
     awareness  month;  this  is  something  that  has  been                                                                    
     happening  nationally since  the 1970s  and Alaska,  as                                                                    
     you have heard, still ranks  highest in the country for                                                                    
     the state's sexual assault rates.                                                                                          
     It's   important  to   note   from   our  2015   Alaska                                                                    
     Victimization Survey that our  rates have gone down for                                                                    
     the  number  of women  who  are  reporting having  been                                                                    
     sexually  assaulted in  the previous  year  by over  30                                                                    
     percent.  We are  making progress,  yet  Alaska is  the                                                                    
     highest in  the nation, so  anything that we can  do to                                                                    
     shed light  to this problem, to  increase the awareness                                                                    
     and prosecutions  of these  cases of  holding offenders                                                                    
     accountable is  going to be  for the benefit  of Alaska                                                                    
     as a whole.                                                                                                                
1:42:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON closed public testimony on SCR 2.                                                                                  
SENATOR GIESSEL noted that Ms. Andreen mentioned prosecuting                                                                    
afterwards, something that she agreed with; however, she asked                                                                  
Ms. Andreen  and Ms. Kazmi to  share their knowledge on  the root                                                               
cause of  sexual assault and how  the Legislature can get  to the                                                               
actual root of the problem.                                                                                                     
1:44:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KAZMI  agreed that there  definitely needs to be  an emphasis                                                               
on  prevention and  response  after the  fact.  She said  healthy                                                               
sexuality education  and other  measures beginning  when children                                                               
are just in the school system  needs to be emphasized in addition                                                               
to  what health  relationships  looks like.  She  noted that  the                                                               
council (CDVSA)  and network (ANDVSA) have  various programs. She                                                               
added that an annual summit  invites high school students to hone                                                               
on the  question of respect  and how  each student can  really be                                                               
active in protecting themselves;  but more importantly, to foster                                                               
the culture of respect.                                                                                                         
MS. ANDREEN  opined that  the root  cause really  has to  do with                                                               
gender roles and people's perceptions. She continued as follows:                                                                
     One of  the root  elements of  sexual assault  is power                                                                    
     and  control,  it  isn't  as   much  about  the  sexual                                                                    
     gratification. So  it's important  to get people  to be                                                                    
     thinking  from  that   broader  perspective.  Both  the                                                                    
     council (CDVSA) and  the network (ANDVSA) as  well as a                                                                    
     number of  our partners across  the state have  a whole                                                                    
     comprehensive  sort   of  web  of   primary  prevention                                                                    
     programming that  is happening. A  lot of it  is really                                                                    
     focused on our  youth, because we see that  as they are                                                                    
     starting  to  get into,  you  know,  separate from  the                                                                    
     family, getting into their  own relationships, that's a                                                                    
     prime  time  for them  to  either  start to  engage  in                                                                    
     abusive  relationships and  or  choose not  to. What  I                                                                    
     really  like, which  Ms. Kazmi  was  talking about  the                                                                    
     whole lead-on concept and "Stand  Up, Speak Up Alaska",                                                                    
     all  of these  youth-driven initiatives  are youth-led,                                                                    
     we kind  of guide them  with the information,  but they                                                                    
     are the ones that decide  what's the best way to change                                                                    
     their norms, to change their  culture, to get others to                                                                    
     engage with them, and it's  part of this bigger picture                                                                    
     that we have that is moving us forward.                                                                                    
1:47:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL noted that she  attended the Alaska Federation of                                                               
Natives  (AFN)  convention  and  young people  from  one  of  the                                                               
Interior  communities did  a  drama on  sexual  assault that  was                                                               
incredibly  moving, at  the  end  they said,  "This  has to  stop                                                               
because it is destroying us."                                                                                                   
SENATOR GIESSEL  stated that she appreciated  the resolution. She                                                               
pointed  out that  SCR calls  on page  2, lines  16-18, "Coaching                                                               
boys  into men."  She  remarked  that there  are  so many  single                                                               
parent families  now where  fathers are absent  and noted  that a                                                               
teacher in a  rural community has taken in several  young men who                                                               
lost their  fathers and raised  the boys  who are now  adults who                                                               
understand appropriate  relationships. She  said the  increase in                                                               
single parents  boils down to  the loss of positive  modeling for                                                               
the state's  young people, but  organizations that Ms.  Kazmi and                                                               
Ms. Andreen noted are trying to do their best at replacing.                                                                     
She  remarked that  another aspect  is mental  health. She  noted                                                               
that mental-health providers should  be considered and noted that                                                               
Anchorage  has  mental-health  providers in  their  schools.  She                                                               
disclosed that  she was a  clinician in schools around  the state                                                               
and explained  that many  times just  interacting with  the child                                                               
allows  for perceiving  something that  has happened  to a  young                                                               
person.  She suggested  that allowing  mental-health services  in                                                               
schools is another avenue that can be pursued.                                                                                  
1:48:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE joined the committee meeting.                                                                                  
CHAIR WILSON  added that  he is familiar  with programs  that can                                                               
help mentor and  teach young males. He said the  hardest piece is                                                               
providing long-term  prevention data; for  example, middle-school                                                               
intervention that plays out in adulthood.                                                                                       
1:50:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH disclosed  that he  is an  adult advisor  for the                                                               
Mayor's  Commission on  Youth  in  Anchorage and  was  told at  a                                                               
recent  meeting that  youth training  from Green  Dot Alaska  was                                                               
denied due  to Green Dot  not having appropriate  methodology. He                                                               
said his is  hopeful that the resolution might have  an impact on                                                               
Green Dot training for youth.                                                                                                   
He called attention  to the 2015 Alaska  Victimization Survey and                                                               
asked Ms. Andreen to address  the survey's report that the number                                                               
of women  reporting sexual assaults  is down 30 percent  from the                                                               
previous year and the primary reason for the reduction.                                                                         
MS. ANDREEN replied that CDVSA's  belief is the reduction is from                                                               
comprehensive prevention  programming that started 10  years ago.                                                               
She noted that during the same  time frame the level of reporting                                                               
sexual assault has gone up, which she believes is a positive.                                                                   
1:53:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  asked to  confirm that  even though  reporting is                                                               
up,  the reduction  in  the number  of  incidents being  reported                                                               
represents an even greater change.                                                                                              
MS.  ANDREEN   replied  that   Senator  Begich's   assumption  is                                                               
appropriate.  She  said  CDVSA thinks  that  because  people  are                                                               
becoming  more aware  of domestic  violence  and sexual  assault,                                                               
more  victims are  coming  forward with  a  report; however,  the                                                               
crime is probably one with the lowest conviction rate.                                                                          
CHAIR WILSON added  that a lot of what Ms.  Andreen mentioned has                                                               
to  do  with some  of  the  newer  programs like  Sexual  Assault                                                               
Response Team (SART) being developed  statewide. He conceded that                                                               
the SART program  takes a lot of funding to  operating, but noted                                                               
that a  lot of communities  have become more creative  in funding                                                               
their  own services.  He  set forth  that  activity awareness  of                                                               
programs like SART  is up and noted that the  SART program in the                                                               
Mat-Su has doubled in the past year.                                                                                            
1:55:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON [held SCR 2 in committee.]                                                                                         
1:55:32 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Wilson adjourned  the Senate  Health  and Social  Services                                                               
Committee at 1:55 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SCR 2 Sponsor Statement A.pdf HHSS 4/6/2017 3:00:00 PM
SHSS 2/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SCR 2 Version A.pdf HHSS 4/6/2017 3:00:00 PM
SHSS 2/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SCR 2 Support Materials Alaska Dispatch News 11.20.2016.pdf HHSS 4/6/2017 3:00:00 PM
SHSS 2/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
Supplemental Crime in Alaska Report.pdf HHSS 4/6/2017 3:00:00 PM
SHSS 2/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SCR 2 Support Materials Key Results from the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey.pdf HHSS 4/6/2017 3:00:00 PM
SHSS 2/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SCR 2 Support Materials CDVSA Annual Report 2015.pdf HHSS 4/6/2017 3:00:00 PM
SHSS 2/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SCR 2 Support Materials ANDVSA 2016 Annual Report.pdf HHSS 4/6/2017 3:00:00 PM
SHSS 2/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SCR2-LEG-SESS-02-27-17 FN.pdf HHSS 4/6/2017 3:00:00 PM
SHSS 2/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SCR 2 Support Materials CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.pdf HHSS 4/6/2017 3:00:00 PM
SHSS 2/27/2017 1:30:00 PM