October Awareness: Domestic Violence

October is a busy month! We’re launching a mini series updating you weekly on all the things October celebrates or raises awareness for. Stay tuned for October Awareness posts throughout the month.

October celebrates or raises awareness for the following things:

  • Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Domestic Violence Awareness
  • LGBTQ History
  • Hispanic Heritage
  • Bullying Prevention

The list goes on… This month we will share with you each of these days, why it’s important that we celebrate/recognize them, and how you can get involved. Up first: Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

ribbonOne of our events for October is to raise awareness and support survivors of domestic violence. Our care packages will contain clothes and toiletries to donate to women and children at Haven House, a shelter for victims. We are excited to see the different this will make in the lives of women in our community, and invite you to be part of the conversation about domestic violence. We are also thrilled to sponsor Alpha Chi Omega’s event “Step Up and Walk for Women” – more details to come!

The New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as:

“as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.”

This manifests itself in different forms of abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological.

14 dv statDomestic violence is more prevalent in our society than we might realize. According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, and one in nine men will also experience this violence. These statistics are startling close, reminding us that domestic violence does not discriminate based on gender (or sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, education, ability…)

But the most surprising statistic we found from the DVRC was that 50% of girls who grow up in an abusive home will also be victims as adults. Domestic violence is ever present and cyclical in our society. We can stop it by raising awareness and ending stigma towards it, advocating and supporting victims and survivors, and educating our society about the problem and inviting them to be advocates as well.

Will you join us? We hope to see you at one of our care package assembly nights!


Why Sabrina?

The Sabrina Single Mothers Scholarship has awarded over $24,000 in scholarship to single mother students attending UNM. This year our scholarship application will be available on October 1st, with applications due at the end of January 2016. Awards will be received in the spring.

So why Sabrina?

Sabrina is the name of the daughter of a previous WRC Director, Sandrea. Sandrea was also a single mother. This scholarship was created from a very personal place: as a single mom, Sandrea understood the challenges and trails that are faced with raising a child, attending school, and making ends meet.

According to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 26% students (4.8 million) are parents. Of these, 71% are student mothers, 11% are single dads, and 43% (2 million) are single student mothers.

Almost half of the student parents currently attending higher education are single mothers. We want to support this large percentage of our student community, and provide opportunities for financial stability or assistance through our Sabrina Single Mothers Scholarship. Please apply, and refer your single mom friends to apply as well! Multiple scholarships are given out each year!

Sabrina 16 Flier

Should You Be Concerned About YOUR Heart?

Today is the first information session about our new student lead program, Lobo Women’s Heart Health. A student at the center came to us with this idea and we were on board! The program includes four workshops, each with a specific focus, and the end goal of improving your overall heart health. But you might be thinking, I am healthy and young – I don’t need to worry about my heart health just yet.


According to the US Food and Drug Administration, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women as well as men. So Lobo Women, let’s do something about it!

The Heart Health Program is designed to help you promote a healthier lifestyle for your heart in three ways: managing stress, eating well, and exercising regularly. We are also including a CPR training at the end of the program as our fourth workshop. Along with attending the workshops, participants will receive pacemakers to keep track of daily steps, cookbooks to promote healthier recipes during the program, and a fitness journal to keep track of any changes you notice!

The best part? This program is completely FREE. There is really no excuse to not join us in making our hearts a little bit healthier through simple and fun steps.

Heart Health Workshop Flier


Happy Fall!

The beginning of a new semester and academic year is always an exciting time, full of possibilities and new plans. We’ve been very busy expanding and building new programs to create an exciting selection of activities. It is also a great time to reflect on successes and lessons learned, to say goodbye to people who continue their journeys elsewhere, and welcome new people into our community.

UNM continued to take huge steps toward dealing with sexual violence this past year. We joined forces with other departments and community partners to have a collective voice aimed at compliance, advocacy, response, education. Together over the last few months we have made tremendous strides and are excited to celebrate the opening of Lobo Respect Advocacy Center. Speaking of which, our Gendered Violence Prevention Program graduate assistant, Angela Catena, has accepted the Training and Development Specialist position at the Center! Angela has been one of the strongest voices and advocates on campus in changing the culture to reflect safety, responsible education, prevention, and RESPECT.  We couldn’t be more proud of her!

Our student staff have been busy with their projects this summer! Nandi, our Mentoring and Leadership graduate assistant, has renovated the Impact mentoring program and received such a positive response. I have LOVED getting to know the group of dynamic leaders, and many of the incoming mentees. Mallory, our Marketing Program Assistant, is handling all of our social media, marketing, blog, and newsletter! She has done an incredible job of rejuvenating our online presence and finding creative ways to reach you. We also have a new Women’s Health Program Assistant! Lillian recently took on this new role and was instrumental in adding our 20th lactation station on campus. I’m not sure what we would do without Sandra, our office assistant! She has been busy updating our resources and libraries, as well as assisting and communicating with every student that comes in here. Come by and say hello to her.

Our counselor Sarah is returning to the WRC for her third semester with us! Sarah brings a lot of knowledge, experience, and thoughtfulness to her therapeutic relationships. Connect with us if you are interested in counseling and if we cannot accommodate you we will help you find an appropriate referral!

I’d also like to officially welcome our Administrative Assistant III, Shelley Simms! She started in August and the phrase ‘hitting the ground running’ has never been so apropos. She has worked hard to learn a tremendous amount in a short time and is keeping our center on track and running smoothly.

As many of you know Summer Little, the director of the WRC, has recently resigned. Summer relocated to Florida with her daughter to be near her family. Summer was a tremendous asset to not only this campus, but to our entire community as she worked tirelessly to improve this campus and create a safe space at the WRC that was for everyone. She will be greatly missed, and we wish her luck on her new adventure.

We are also planning new programming for women in STEM and expanding our
programs for men and male allies. Does it sound like we’ve been busy? Yes, we have been. Last year, we had the privilege of making more than 61,000 contacts with our community. Let’s keep it growing – come by to get involved! We always have coffee and tea, condoms, feminine hygiene products, and…a stash of chocolate. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Have a great semester!

~Caitlin Henke

We’re Going to Miss You!

Laci_Green-4368Today’s blog post is a little more personal, and written by our graduate assistant, Angela. Angela has been with the WRC for over three years, and tomorrow is her last day in her position as the Graduate Assistant/Gendered Violence Prevention Program. She is responsible for creating and developing the peer educator model for trainings on sexual assault and bystander awareness, and worked extensively on the “Grey Area”, which is a presentation given to New Student Orientations, Greek Life, UNM Athletics, Resident Advisors, and more. We will be sad to see her go, but know she will do great things in her new position at LoboRESPECT.

Hello everyone!

It is with great sadness that I am saying goodbye to the Women’s Resource Center after three amazing years! I started at the WRC as the Program Assistant for the Gendered Violence Prevention Program, which was a brand-new program. Since then I have made many amazing connections and have been given countless invaluable experiences. As a natural progression in one’s life, and particularly within one’s career, I have accepted an offer with the new LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center as the Training and Development Specialist. I will continue the work I have done at the Women’s Resource Center but now on a great scale, encompassing areas such as suicide, hazing, hate bias, alcohol and substance use, interpersonal, and intimate partner violence prevention. If it wasn’t for the support and guidance I have received at the WRC this opportunity would have never been a possibility. My WRC family will always be a part of my life and I am eternally grateful for the relationships I have made within the three years I have been there.

AngelaAlthough I will be gone, I am only one building away! Please stop by to say hi whenever you’re around the second floor of the University Advisement and Enrichment center. Lastly, please f
eel free to contact me if you ever need anything! I am always here to help and will continue to be an ally and advocate for as long as I am around.

Yours truly,

Title IX Is Just For Sports…Right?


Now that the fall semester is beginning at UNM and students are reviewing syllabuses and engaging in conversation about current events at the university, I have heard Title IX being mentioned a lot. Unfortunately, the knowledge about what Title IX is only extends to knowing that Title IX allows girls to play football if they want to.
That is true!

But it is only a small fraction of the much larger picture that is Title IX. In an article about how faculty can reduce sexual assault on campus I found the best definition for Title IX so far:

Title IX mandates that colleges receiving federal funding provide gender equity, not just in sports, but in all areas of campus life, meaning that all students should be able to study in an atmosphere free of harassment, sexual violence, and gender discrimination.

Title IX is so much more than sports. Title IX protects your right to study and attend class on a campus free from sexual harassment, violence, and gender discrimination. Are all campuses going to be completely free of these things? Not any time soon, but we’re getting there.

Universities that don’t comply with Title IX loose federal funding. For a school like UNM, that is a huge deal. Luckily, they’re moving toward being compliant. Here’s what that looks like:

  • UNM has a Title IX Coordinator. Heather Cowan was hired this summer and her position is housed in the Office of Equal Opportunity.
  • We have a published notice of nondiscrimination. You can find it here.
  • The UNM Student Pathfinder has a clear grievance procedure for students to file complaints for sexual discrimination. See Article 4.4. The new LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center is also creating a space for students to find support for sexual discrimination, assault, and other issues on campus.

These are only a fraction of the ways that UNM is compliant with Title IX, and it extends much further than providing a female sports team for every male sports team offered. You can check out more about what being compliant with Title IX looks like here!

So next time you hear someone talk about Title IX and limit it to just sports, let them know that Title IX is about protecting students from gender discrimination in general. It impacts all students, not just athletes.


Who & What: Shelley

ShelleyWe have a new face at the WRC!

Shelley started as our Administrative Assistant at the beginning of August, and we are so happy to have her knowledge and expertise about all things UNM and maintaining the organization of our center!

Shelley is new to the WRC, but has been with UNM for awhile. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1995 from UNM, and went on to receive her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia in 2000. Since then, Shelley returned to Albuquerque and has been working in various departments at UNM. She has experience from Continuing Education, the Johnson Gallery, and most recently at the Maxwell Museum. Shelley excels at helping students and staff navigate the maze that can be UNM.

In her free time Shelley loves walking her dog, camping, and creative endeavors of all sorts. Even during her work day, Shelley reminds us the importance of taking care of ourselves, and we often envy her dedication to routine swims and workouts!

The office is so warm with Shelley bringing her kindness and knowledge – we are lucky to have you!