Let's Talk UNLV

Mikayla Hooper is the Education & Outreach Coordinator at the UNLV Jean Nidetch Care Center and an advocate for social justice. Mikayla is a first-generation graduate from UNLV, where she received her Bachelors in Human Services. Mikayla discovered her passion in advocacy and anti-violence work in 2019, after becoming a CARE Advocate at the CARE Center. Mikayla inspires to bring awareness around anti-violence and healing to the community overall. Mikayla hopes to one day provide comprehensive sex education through an intersectional lens and create nonjudgmental and compassionate spaces to learn and communicate about sex.
Tarah Tackett is the Care Advocate Coordinator at the UNLV Jean Nidetch Care Center and a social justice advocate. Tarah is a first-generation graduate from UNLV, where she received her Bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies. Tarah discovered her devotion for anti-violence and healing-centered work in 2019, after becoming a volunteer advocate at the CARE center. She hopes to connect the community opportunities for healing and reclaiming power.

What is Let's Talk UNLV?

Rebels, tune in to 'Let's Talk UNLV' with Dr. Tanya Crabb and Dr. Sammie Scales. Your express pass to everything UNLV — campus highlights, programs, and the latest buzz. Join us weekly as we chat with student leaders, administrators, and faculty, diving into the core of what makes us Rebels.

The program brings guests from different areas of UNLV every week to discuss campus highlights, programs and services, research interests that are essential to being a Rebel. Let’s Talk UNLV places its emphasis on connecting with student leaders who represent the voice of students on our campus. Guests also include administrators, faculty and staff responsible for upholding the mission of the university, which is teaching, research and scholarship.

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Unknown Speaker 0:00
You're listening to locally produced programming created in KU NBC Studios on public radio K, u and v. 91.5.

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The content of this program does not reflect the views or opinions of 91.5 Jazz and more the University of Nevada Las Vegas or the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Unknown Speaker 0:27
All right, welcome to Let's Talk UNLV

Unknown Speaker 0:30
on Kun V. 91.5. I'm your co host Tanya here with a Leisha today we are bringing you a conversation that is a very serious conversation to be had. So, with that in mind, I'd like to start by telling our readers that today's content will will include information about domestic violence, this can be a difficult subject to talk about. And we recognize that this can be activating for some folks. So if you're on if you're listening to us, and you're listening to this particular podcast, just know that you have permission to do whatever it is that you need to take care of yourself. So please go ahead and do whatever it is you need to take care of yourself. And also note that we will be providing resources at the end of this podcast should you need support or would like to provide support for someone else? So let's kick it off with our guests today. Today, our guests are Mikayla Hooper, and terror attack it from the gene netic. Care Center. Did I pronounce the genetic right? Okay, do you Medicare center. So typically how we started the show is by asking you your origin story, which is sort of like your no right, which is kind of like your opportunity to introduce yourself, talk about what you do and how you came to this work. So which one of you lovelies would like to start the conversation? Yeah, I

Unknown Speaker 1:43
can start. Hi, there. I'm mckaela mckaela. Hooper, I am the Education Outreach Coordinator at the care center at UNLV. And I started my journey towards anti violence work. At the beginning of my college experience, I was a counseling major. And that's when I got to know the care center, I was an advocate myself. And through the training and the knowledge, I got to learn a lot more about what advocacy looks like and what anti violence work, the impact it can make on the community.

Unknown Speaker 2:27
Point today,

Unknown Speaker 2:28
our next beautiful guests in the studio with us, would you like share your origin story with us as well? Sure,

Unknown Speaker 2:33
thank you. My name is Tara Tackett. I use she her pronouns. I am the advocate coordinator at the care center. So the care center has a hotline where Monday through Friday, anyone can call and speak with an advocate. So my role is essentially to recruit, train, and supervise those advocates. I am a UNLV graduate. So I actually used to volunteer at the care center with the other guest Mikayla. And so that's where we really found our love for the care center and everything that it stands for, and anti violence work. And here we are today. So that's sort of the origin.

Unknown Speaker 3:14
Wonderful. And so just so the readers are aware through the the content notice that we were discussing earlier, that Alicia mentioned was this idea that talking about this topic can be very activating for some folks. So we wanted to put that notice in advance so that people who are indexed or experiencing domestic violence, or may know someone who's experiencing domestic violence, who's listening to this particular podcast has an opportunity to be aware of the content, and also to take care of yourself as needed. So we'll

Unknown Speaker 3:42
say we'll say, well, since we jumped starting this conversation, for those who are listening, they may not know what really classifies the actual definition of domestic violence. So Could either of you all share, we'll start with you maybe and maybe your own, and intake and you know, definition of what is domestic violence? How would you classify it?

Unknown Speaker 4:01
Yeah, so that's a really good question. And like you said, a lot of people might not know, the definition or what that looks like. And so I know that at our office, we talk about domestic violence, along with interpersonal violence. And so we're going to I'm going to kind of talk about what those look like the differences between them. And so while domestic violence might appear to be the same thing as interpersonal violence, they definitely overlap. But domestic violence and intimate partner violence are two different things and they do have different meanings. Domestic violence are abusive behaviors used as a form of exerting power and control over another person at the care center. That is the main thing that we try to communicate people to people that domestic violence and sexual violence and other forms of violence, the root of That is power and control over another person. And so with domestic violence, specifically that kind of talks about that power and control within a household, or within relationships that are familial, or not familiar and a household, and then when we talk about interpersonal violence that can occur, regardless of whether people are living together or not. So that's kind of the difference between those two definitions. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 5:32
Very informative.

Unknown Speaker 5:33
Thank you so much for that clarification, because not seeing those two types show up. And I wasn't sure where the overlap was. So you did a really great job of explaining that. So can we talk about the types of abuse or interpersonal violence that occurs? And what what how, what forms do abuse typically take? Or what are some ways in which abuse shows up in relationships?

Unknown Speaker 5:53
Yeah, absolutely. So our office primarily works with folks who are impacted by power based violence. So this means that any type of action or behavior that is intended to control intimidate or otherwise diminish a person's autonomy. So this is kind of like an umbrella term, and it can include sexual violence, relationship violence, family violence, and or interpersonal stalking. So our office often uses a tool was working with clients called the power and control wheel. And it essentially like breaks down the different tactics that abusers or perpetrators use to gain power control over a person. So it's often really helpful to identify abuse and control tactics happening in a relationship. And this is one of the ways that we can sit and identify with people because they often come to us with a lot of confusion, a lot of shame, they don't really know what's going on. And so we're like, hey, like, here's how we can change shamelessly, excuse me break this down for you. So I know we do kind of we dive into the very different types, a little bit on two, if you want,

Unknown Speaker 7:12
you know, one one form of violence, that that was surprising to me, because I hadn't really considered it as a form of abuse was economic and financial. Yes. And how that relates to power and control and also spiritual. Yes, spiritual is another one that was amazing to me, can you share a little bit about what economic violence or economic abuse or relationship from power and control related to money and spirituality might look like?

Unknown Speaker 7:36
Yeah, absolutely, I can definitely share the economic piece. So that is another control tactic that we see, to gain power and control is that someone might control a person's finances. And this can look like they are the sole income earner in the household. So therefore, they quite literally have the control. Oftentimes, you'll see them forcing joint bank accounts, you can also potentially have an abuser, destroy a person's credit and put it under their partner's name. And along with like loans and whatnot. So that's the type of financial abuse that we see very often in our work.

Unknown Speaker 8:24
Yeah, believable. And that's something Well, you mentioned that there are some sometimes people may come in and they're confused, and you use the strategy and attacked it to kind of walk them through identify, if, in fact, you're you know, facing some form of abuse. So my next question will be, because I know that a lot of listeners may think, Oh, we automatically kind of think when domestic violence we think of women, but what types of people experienced domestic violence? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 8:50
I'll pass that off to Michaela,

Unknown Speaker 8:51
here. Yeah, that's a really great point. There's, especially in society we have when we think of domestic violence, we have major things that come up. And it's usually kind of like how we've been talking about the different forms of abuse. When we think of domestic violence, we typically only think of physical abuse. And when we think of domestic violence, like you said, we think of women or battered women as people have used that term in the past. But here at the care center, we like people to know that anyone can be a victim survivor of domestic abuse, and that is regardless of age, race, and it's really important for people to know too that women men, queer folk, disabled people, elders and children, anyone when you think of a home, any one of those type of people can be affected by domestic violence. And so it's definitely doesn't just look one way or the other And that's really important to recognize so that you don't miss out on those potential signs. with domestic violence, that's good.

Unknown Speaker 10:10
Yeah, thank you for the information. Um, something I also wanted to sort of touch on, as we talked about potential warning signs. I know technology is another method by which abuse is now administered. Yeah, so I want to talk about what might be some of the warning signs, either in person, person to person or in terms of technology use, that might be attributed or might be a sign?

Unknown Speaker 10:34
Absolutely. So I have like a whole list that we're gonna go through as potential warning signs of abuse, fabulous, you know, listeners can really look out for with your friends, family, or just for your own knowledge. But I'll touch base on what you said about like technology. So that is very true. I mean, we have devices that quite literally track our every move. And so with that, we one of the things that we offer our clients is safety planning. And so we can safety plan about anything and everything, and sometimes that it does involve technology. So we always want to share with the client that we are frustrated with them that they have to go through these measures. But sometimes we recommend people to change their phone number to deactivate like, Oh, if typically partners like share their location with each other. We encourage them to deactivate that. We encourage people to use the rebel Safe App, which really helps like Get Connected police services easily. You can even like ask an escort to walk you to class or to your dorm safely. So there's definitely like some technological steps that we have to take in order to protect people. And that is an important aspect to think about. It. Definitely the advances in technology have definitely made it quite easy for stalking to happen. But that's a that's a whole nother conversation. So I'll stay focused. Oh, wonderful. Thank you, of course. So like we've been talking about like abusive relationships are based on an imbalance of power and control. So abuse comes in many forms. And it happens when one partner communicates in a way that is hurtful. So this can look like threatening, insulting or demeaning is when a partner is disrespectful. So if they disrespect feelings, thoughts, decisions, opinions, or the physical safety of another. We know that physical injuries are hurting another partner is another warning sign of abuse. So hitting, slapping, choking, pushing or shoving is never okay. A lack of accountability is one we see pretty often. So often the perpetrator will blame the other partner for their harmful actions, and will make excuses for their abusive actions. And or minimizing the abusive behavior, often flipping, flipping it on the other person, which in turn really causes shame for the person experiencing the abuse. We see tactics of control and isolation. So this can look like something as simple as telling them what they can and cannot wear, who they hang out with, where they can go and what they can do when they go out. Or they threaten their partner, to maybe out their partner to their friends and families like in queer relationships, or other people or they threaten like to, like immigration status, if that is threatened. Yeah. If there are children involved, that's a if any, any sort of threat that happens with that threat of homelessness, sort of just taking the kids away. That's definitely a huge warning sign. Another warning sign we see is like pressures or forces the other partner to do things that they don't want to do. So threatens hurts or blackmails their partner they resist or say no. So essentially, consent is not given here. And they're abusing that for queer folks telling their partner that they are not a real lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, trans person, because you don't have sex the way that they want you to. So wow, that's one that's not really talked about a lot, but it does happen. So those are some of the the really bleeding warning signs that we can look out for. Obviously, that's pretty vague, because it looks different for anyone. But those are some of the things that we've outlined at the Career Center.

Unknown Speaker 14:51
Some of those were sort of interesting and ones I hadn't thought about, you know, legal status was one that I hadn't considered. Yeah, you know, you think about safety. assaulting someone is something that I hadn't considered in the ways in which these compromises safety.

Unknown Speaker 15:07
And you even spoke earlier a little bit about spirituality. That's something that can be threatened, you know, they can threaten to come forth to the church and claim that they're not a good member of the church or that if there is a queer person who is involved in the church, we all know that that can kind of be a very intimidating thing to come out in front of your church. And so that's another threatening aspect. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 15:31
I also heard of people weaponizing religion saying that because of my faith, your faith you're required to do or be these things? Yes. And I'm using religion as an as an sort of an excuse or a cover for abuse?

Unknown Speaker 15:46
Absolutely. It has been happening from the beginning of time, it seems like which is very unfortunate. You know, I'm so fascinated with some of the things just as Tonya said, in regards to things that I just did not identify or would not be aware. With that being said, there are some myths and misinformation about victims of domestic violence. Can either you share with some of those may look like and give us more information about that?

Unknown Speaker 16:09
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for bringing that up. And it's a really good question. There's a lot of misconceptions around people and those who are affected by domestic violence in our society. One myth that we commonly hear at the care center, around power based violence is that victims lie about their abuse that they're experiencing, or have experienced in the past. And we know that that is a myth, or it can be part of the myths. Because in reality, false allegations are extremely rare. That is a topic that comes up a lot, especially when people are at the threshold of understanding what interpersonal violence is. And so a lot of times, we'll get questions like, Well, what about the people that are lying? What about the people that are wanting to do X, Y, and Z. And so we really want to make it known that that's actually extremely rare. And it's a part of the victim blaming, behaviors that our society continues to perpetuate, unfortunately. And so, yeah, this mentality is really dangerous, because it prevents people from seeking out support and services, out of the fear that they won't be believed. And it makes me kind of think of something else. When we talk about domestic violence, or inter inter intimate partner violence in general, the way that you talk about that around anybody is really important, because we don't know what people have been through. And so you may not know that someone that you really love or close to has been affected, or impacted. And the way that you talk about that, and the way that you talk about victims survivors, makes a really big impact. So it's important to not victim blame.

Unknown Speaker 18:07
I've wrote down here victim shaming, I didn't know what the correct terminology was. But I know a lot of people are afraid to come forward and even talk about it, because maybe experiencing victim shaming or blaming, is because of or maybe it didn't happen this way. You know, so thank you for shedding light on that. Yeah, thank you.

Unknown Speaker 18:27
And another myth that we can commonly come across is that like, domestic abuse always, always involves physical violence. So in truth, that's not the case. It does not always involve physical violence, any methods used to assert power and control. So some examples of that could be psychological or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, like we talked about earlier, harassment, and or stalking can all contribute to domestic abuse. So we want to make note of that. It's not just the physicality of it.

Unknown Speaker 19:03
Absolutely. And to go off of that as well. Something that we wanted to bring up was understanding kind of, like we talked about earlier that anyone can be a victim survivor of this. It's also understanding that abuse can look can be present in different relationships. So even when we're just talking about domestic violence, you think of family but that could also be roommates, if you have roommates like that. Or it could be between friends, between siblings. There's many different relationships that abuse can be president, because the common sort of idea around domestic violence is romantic relationships. And so we definitely wanted to shed light on that it can be through many different forms of relationships.

Unknown Speaker 19:57

Unknown Speaker 19:58
I really appreciate the expense And to view, the expansive view around these relationships, because I think you're right. I think there's a lot of misconceptions. You know, one of the things that I consistently think about Divi is that it doesn't have race class age, you know, I'm celebrities happens in rich homes happens in poor homes, people of color, white people, gay straight, square, it can happen just about anywhere. And the assumption oftentimes is, it could never happen to me. That's true. Is another myth that I think I've run across is it could never happen to me. Yeah. And oftentimes the people that are in those relationships, I found that, you know, it wasn't necessarily that they intended it to be that way. But the shame was that much greater. Absolutely. It could never happen to me.

Unknown Speaker 20:46
That's why that's a good one, wu-tang. And that's really good. So that was the other piece. I'm just going to talk about since we are on a university campus, since we are at UNLV. On campus, should I say? Do we know? And this is kind of off script, if you will. But our students, you know, most times we don't really hear students will be talking about, you know, such relationships. And I know, we have this on campus for a reason. So do you happen to experience a high level of our campus, Representative students coming in and needing services?

Unknown Speaker 21:21
Absolutely. That's why we exist. And it's, that's the primary population that we serve to is UNLV students, staff and faculty, especially young people coming in fresh out of high school. This is often the first time they're hearing conversations around consent. They're really exploring certain relationships. They're exploring their sexuality for the first time. And so we really do our best to not only do helping them with advocacy, after they've experienced violence, but also prevention work is really important at the care center. And so we do some preventative work around campus. And Makayla can talk about that a little bit more, too.

Unknown Speaker 22:04
Yeah, absolutely. So we definitely part of huge part of my job is we do presentations around campus. So we have presentations around consent, healthy relationships, self care, and just presentations to get to know a little bit more about the care center. And a shameless plug that I have for you all, as we have a event coming up in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So that's all perfect time to talk about it. Just so everyone knows it's going to be Tuesday, October 10, from four to 6pm, we are going to have a Take Back the Night open mic event. And the origins of Take Back the Night is empowering folks to use their voice, to speak out and to heal through using their voice through storytelling, spoken word poetry, or just stories in general. And so that's a really great example of some of the preventative and healing sort of work that we do outside of advocacy at the care center.

Unknown Speaker 23:16
Thank you so much for sharing that what a wonderful opportunity to connect and to be feel empowered around it. You know, I want as we're talking about resources, and as we're talking about things that are available for students, can you share with us do and you've done a lot of that already sharing in terms of what the care center offers? Yeah, but can you talk about the resource that is the care center, what you provide how people can get involved and in touch with you? That would be lovely.

Unknown Speaker 23:44
Absolutely. So the care center, like I mentioned before, offers support services to members of UNLV NSC and CSN communities who are impacted by power based violence

Unknown Speaker 23:57
did not know bad. I didn't know that as well. Yeah. So it's pretty

Unknown Speaker 24:01
cool. We're working on helping them build their own care center on their individual campus. But we do help those students and staff members over there. So our advocates, like I talked about earlier, help assist through the power, the process, excuse me of working through feelings, helping clients identify needs, and overall making decisions together that support clients collaboratively. So the care advocates often hold space for clients, we will see you're gonna see a lot of resources in the anti violence field. But it's quite rare to find a resource where a person can just show up authentically and just be and so our advocates are trained to hold space for clients and trained to sit with them and allow them to come as they are. And in sometimes that looks like you know, letting them cry or letting them vent and just rant. And it's a, it's really a safe space for them. We also ensure safety. So we safety plan with clients and create plans together based on like their situation. We have multitudes of safety plans like moving out of a toxic environment, or if they want a safety plan around coming out to their family, we can help support that too. We create plans together that help support students academic financial medical needs reporting, if they want to report with Title Nine, or to police, we help prepare them for that, and self care needs. We can help connect clients to resources that will not only help them meet their immediate needs in the moment, because we can't really expect them to thrive if their immediate needs aren't met. But we also have a healing centered approach to our philosophy. And so we really want to foster a sense of self and connect them back to their community and back to themselves and empower themselves. Because we often say that that power has been taken away. So you can honestly speak with an advocate anytime Monday through Friday from 7am to 7pm. We have that phone number available on our website. Or you can schedule up an appointment online, you can just look up the care center at UNLV. And all that information is provided. But I'll let Makayla talk a little bit more about how we empower our clients to connect to the community as well.

Unknown Speaker 26:36
Yeah, so that's a huge part of my job. And so actually, today, an example is we do an event called healing through connections. And that is to promote and understand that healing looks different for everyone. And so it's really great, today, we have our healing through connections, heal your inner child day. So people get to come and they can heal their inner child through we're going to be doing some writing letters to our younger selves, we're gonna have some sensory bins so we can all you know, go wild, and play with our senses, some coloring, and just the time to you know, meet other students, and staff and faculty, for them to you know, have that come community sense of healing and understand that it's okay, that it looks different for everyone. And also promote those different ways of healing. Since we know that, you know, therapy, and some of those more common forms of healing are very vital and important, but they don't work for everyone. And so it's important to reach out and kind of access those different forms of healing. And so that's what we bring to campus, once every semester. So

Unknown Speaker 27:55
I love it so informative. We're kind of wrapping up here. But we always like to give the guests the opportunity to give their final words or anything that that you want to leave with the listeners.

Unknown Speaker 28:06
Oh, final thoughts for you? How would How would people get connected with you?

Unknown Speaker 28:10
Yeah, the final thought that I want to leave is that you are not alone, and that we care. So, you know, we understand that there are factors that really prevent people from accessing some support. But we truly strive to be a non judgmental, confirming space for people. So please come to the care center. We're here to support you. And you are welcome as you are. Yes, that was

Unknown Speaker 28:39
beautiful. It was beginning. I would, I would just say I would agree. Another like shameless plug for the care center. We also offer free period care products. We're located right next to financial aid. So we're a little catty cornered and a little hidden on campus. But like Tara said, we would love to have people join us. And we're here for you. And we believe you.

Unknown Speaker 29:06
Okay, thank you for that.

Unknown Speaker 29:08
Thank you so much.

Unknown Speaker 29:09
Thank you for joining us. And thank you for all the wonderful resources. Thank you. Thank you.

Dr. Renee Watson 29:17
For more or less talk to UNLV Be sure to follow us on social media where you can get the latest updates on the show plus great behind the scenes content. We're on Facebook and let's talk about all the podcast Twitter and let's talk UNLV and Instagram and let's talk UNLV

Transcribed by https://otter.ai