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OKC sexual assault response: Developing goal directed perspective Part 4

What will help better understand the problem and response of sex assault in OKC?

The first couple of articles in this series looked at a major issue facing Oklahoma City, which is that a white, 3 year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department is identified to have had some abusive encounters with at least as many as 8 women so far, all of whom live in the Springlake Patrol District, all who are African American.

Separate from this, the issue of less than best practices response to any age sex assault handling is an issue facing an understaffed and under funded Oklahoma City Police Department is kind of depressing, when coupled with the ramping crime statistics for interpersonal violence.

Additionally, so many people worldwide throw up their hands at the problem of sexual assault, either in some public episode that brought their attentions forward, or in frustration at the knots of complexity that face actual or immediate report victim or witness and even the accused perpetrator.

Generally this above trinity can be drawn forward to focus and motivate the public and leaders to an intuitive point of consideration for which a Harvard Business Journal article from the July/August 2014 issue can be applied. This article points to a brand new book by Harvard Business School professor, Max Bazerman, which was released on August 5th, called The Power of Noticing, What the Best Leaders See Very encouraging, enlightening and supportive, this rapidly understood and easy to measure paradigm provides the reader with some impetus to embark on a process of challenge, inquiry, change or stabilization of personally held or organizational beliefs, customs, policy or law.

The graphic that accompanies this article is something used kind of like the map at the mall to let a person or group consider where they are with understanding an issue or situation which appears to require change. The article above is one perspective, this is another idea of what it takes to develop perspective using some common tools. This writer is a recidivism preventions expert in mental health and addictions family issue. That holds most things can be understood, mapped and best strategies can be developed to maximize resources, improve desired outcomes and basically promote a better life. Every day not just on special or random occasions. (i.e. it is possible to determine next right things by looking closely at what does and does not work, and then by looking at what alternatives are considered effective and even superior to solve this or like problems by experts).

The graphic that accompanies this article is called the Cycle of Change it is famously attributed to a couple of psychologists, Prochaska and DiClemente. By trade, this writer is a recidivism expert, so the goal in that job is to try to keep people stable and growth oriented, so this is an illustration of such a technique.

The graphic begins on the right, at about 2 on a clock face. And it is a little like that game Candyland. People begin a process, and may be tipped out of the process by circumstance, chance or choice. Some will finish in a direct progression, mostly that doesn't happen like that. The most common points of stopping the actions towards change are clearly marked. And many people are surprised to find that crash results most often in completely reverting back to the "before you knew". The reason for that is, because whatever made it stop or crash usually means there is some need to revise the baseline.... that the baseline is somehow the wrong discussion all together, or it is faulty in construct. That is a familiar concept to most, building on sand, clay or rock generates different results as we all know.

So, ok #1 is where the reader doesn't know there is a problem, the rest is self explanatory. Basically, if the reader doesn't believe there is an issue, that stops the process and if it starts, it goes back to #1... or if the reader doesn't progress in action to understand and employ what is discovered, that too dies on the vine, and goes back or stays at one #1.

It seems like it would be helpful for the OKC City Council to begin to use some tool to map what is happening with issues that are complex, as when things stall, noone seems to have words to note that it is ineffective, incomplete, a poor instruction or sabotaged. Wouldn't it be wonderful to run an infographic like Google analytics on some set of concepts like Mr. Bazerman's idea or even on the Cycle of Change? Which conversations progress, under whose tutelage, who asks the most questions, who has the most successful results from meeting? Same true for the OKCPD and/or OKDHS, how many sex assault cases are successfully processed to prosecution, and how many fail. Who tracks the why and what for in a process that can involve as many as 9 supporting or service groups? Who is driving the bus?

On another note, it seems that the Oklahoma City Council would benefit from having some ability to measure quality of life in a healthy state for citizens... and this information is pretty ideal for suggesting what kinds of quality of life ideas might be measured for a sex assault survivor or their family. In mid September, SAMHSA, the US Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration plans to celebrate individual responsibility in this model working towards national wellness. The interesting thing about this is that it includes a personal economy, where each person is accountable for understanding what balance is made of, and in turn to consider what is needed for a more balanced experience. Oklahoma City is an asset or liability in the citizenry pursuit of wellness? An asset would be something that promotes stability and growth in wellness factors, and a liability would be things that fail to protect, dilute, disintegrate or prevent stability and growth factors in the citizenry.

Perhaps learning to incorporate the concept of personal balance into thoughts about what is and is not working in sex assault response or in anyone presenting to the City Council .... what is their quality of life, and what do they seek under guidance from the City Council. The complaints of the assaulted, express a variety of imbalances from the systems of service like law enforcement, which would then make other things imbalanced for the women. Like dominoes going over, instead of blocks building up in growth.

This writer votes that most residents would like to believe their electeds are there to provide protections and guidance, to work to grow the city in meaningful ways. Soon OKC City Council will hold the policy and law information about the Council's role in dealing with sexual assault. Thereby, possibly increasing the dialogue by that group on this subject, either in direct accountability or in piquing interest in the general issue of reducing or eliminating the rising numbers of interpersonal violence, which of course includes sexual assault.

Systems which are like the prior article mention of the "hamster wheel" maybe move a bunch, but gain no meaningful ground...those systems breed stagnation, are wasted money, cause errors, cause systems induced traumas to victims and their and sometimes cause fatalities.

The public is typically looking for reasonable, realistic, logical leadership. The public would like to have this from people who have for themselves the ability to be discerning and thereby have insight, judgment and reality testing. This about themselves and about others. There is no need for a fancy education and degrees, if the electeds and public can invest in self -education using best practices research or seeking a consultant and doing that research also.

Insight is when you have an idea of how something works. What is it supposed to do, does it do that, if it does or doesn't do that do you understand why that is? and what would it take to get it to function or to do something better.

Judgment is understanding if that thing works in a way that is productive for individuals and community, is it a good, and safe, productive idea that has sustainable growth?

Reality testing.... is this assessment reasonable, honest, realistic and logical?

This is a huge opportunity for Oklahoma City to catch up with it's recent growth spurt to continue to provide a supportive and encouraging living environment and to have a higher rating in safety.

Please understand the meaning of the word complicit versus complacent

Right now Oklahoma City is on the issue of sexual assault sitting in a zone of function which can be defined by these two words. Remember Mr. Red Corn's point, that we have all been complicit too long which has permitted grounds for harm. It is time to be proactive in and growth oriented in our thoughts, words and deeds, towards reducing or eliminating interpersonal violence, both in acts of prevention, but also in more effective response. We cannot neither afford to be complicit nor complacent any longer. Time to get to better.

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