The IRC in Wichita partnered with two local organizations, ICT SOS and The Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC) to train local refugee women about staying safe in America. ICT SOS is a local organization that helps combat human trafficking through education. WASAC works with individuals and their communities through comprehensive services and education to create a culture of intolerance for sexual violence and an atmosphere of healing for those impacted by it. The training was focused on education and was held with the idea that there would be open communication between clients and staff from these two organizations. Counselors from WASAC were on hand in the event that any sensitive subjects came up or if any of the women wanted to discuss any history with assault.
The ICT curriculum was called “Tell Your Friends” and throughout the day they defined different terms such as “sex trafficking”, “labor trafficking”, “coercion” and “threat”. They also discussed different stereotypes about women that are expressed through media and language.
According to Intensive Case Management RefugeeCorps member, Ashleigh Bundy, the women were open to discussion and asked lots of questions. “Though we tried to follow a curriculum for the workshop it often turned into discussion. The participants asked about childcare, gay marriage laws and consent laws. The surprising thing about the training, was how open the women were to discussing their personal stories, and how many questions the women had regarding US customs and culture.”
For one section of the trainings, ICT SOS facilitators, read scenarios and the participants would label who was the “victim” and who was the “perpetrator”. “It was interesting”, Ashleigh said. “The women really enjoyed it, and asked if they could come to a follow up training. We are hoping to add some of the ICT SOS curriculum to our cultural orientation and we would like to form ongoing women’s health workshops.”