Training Sessions to Help Tackle High Rate of Rape, Sexual Assault on Guam

By Haidee V. Eugenio
Pacific Daily News
January 6, 2018

The Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence invited other organizations to join and support their march and wave in Hagatna on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. The event was held to take a stand against family violence, in commemoration of Family Violence Awareness Month.

With Guam having the second-highest number of rape per capita in the nation, advocates against sexual assault and family violence want to help change that by organizing training sessions this month on prevention and addressing cases.

Guam's only rape crisis center, Healing Hearts Crisis Center, reported serving 903 victims of sexual assault between 2008 and 2015, according to the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence.

In 2015, the rape crisis center served 137 victims. Seventy-seven percent of them were minors, the coalition said.

The national rate for reported rape is 25.2 per 100,000 people. But on Guam, there are 64.2 reported rapes per 100,000 people, the coalition previously stated.

The coalition will be hosting a training on addressing and preventing sexual assault. The training will be on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

"Everyone is invited to participate," the coalition said in a statement. "The target audiences are coalition members, community partners, faith-based community, and non-profit organizations."

Training topics will focus on raising long-term, effective awareness, and advocacy in the community on sexual assault and prevention, and engaging the community in addressing sexual assault. They also include reporting incidents, child body safety, and inappropriate behavior at school and workplace in regards to sexual harassment.

Stella Gallegos, a licensed independent social worker and director of training at the New Mexico Coalition Sexual Assault Program Inc., will be the featured speaker, the coalition said.

Gallegos has provided training on child sexual abuse and sexual harassment for many professionals, schools, community members, as well as many church employees and volunteers including priests and bishops, the coalition added.

On Monday, Jan. 22, Gallegos will also hold a training at the social hall of the Immaculate Heart of March Church in Toto from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"The training will be for community members with the topics focusing on raising long-term, effective awareness, and advocacy in the community. Training will be on sexual harassment and prevention awareness techniques," the coalition said.

Gallegos also helped train archdiocesan clergy, employees and volunteers in a number on preventing and addressing child sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Her visit to Guam comes at a time when the Archdiocese of Agana is facing 151 clergy sex abuse lawsuits that include allegations against priests and former and current archbishop.

Registration is required for both training.

The Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, established in 2006, is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization that aims to address sexual assault and family violence on Guam with one united voice.








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