Protect Children from Sex Trafficking & Abuse

Today, we hosted a LIVE ONLINE INTERVIEW with Lori Regnier and Pastor Mike from the Starbright Foundation Inc of Arizona. They did a fantastic job sharing how to protect children from Sex Trafficking and Abusive Relationships.

BUMMER: Unfortunately, the recording had an error and so we do not have the recording available.  We greatly apologize.

Who: Starbright Foundation Inc Founders, Lori & Pastor Mike (http://www.starbrightfoundation.org).

Details: The Starbright Foundation shares how to protect children and young adults from Sex Trafficking and Abusive Relationships. Topics included in the teleseminar were: Internet safety in social media for children and adults (dating, chat rooms, etc.); Signs of abuse from sexual abuse, clergy abuse, cultic abuse, etc. and steps to intervene in house or in community; Local fundraising or involvement as volunteers.  Your host was Mike Domitrz from the The Date Safe Project.

Cost was FREE.

Download or Listen to Interview with Amanda Graybill

Get the recording of the LIVE INTERVIEW with Amanda Graybill from the Little Black Dress Society. The entire program is free for everyone who registers below.

***You must sign-up below to have access to the recording. Then you can listen to the entire interview at any time you choose.

Who: Amanda Graybill, Founder of The Little Black Dress Society (www.lbdsociety.com) and author of the book: "The Little Black Dress."

Details: Listen in as Amanda Graybill is interviewed by Mike Domitrz from the The Date Safe Project.  Amanda's book "The Little Black Dress" is an inspirational fiction about a young woman who runs away from home looking for love in all the wrong places. Amanda will share how more people can get involved in reducing abuse and how to help those in abusive relationships. She is committed to getting more women involved in her mission and will share why doing so is important (and how to do so).

Cost: FREE (Register Below)

http://www.datesafeproject.org/5796/

Featured Survivor: Dayna Freund

PORTRAIT_FreundDWhat Schools, Communities and/or Organizations are you involved with (past or present)?
• University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Masters of Science in Educational Psychology – Community Counseling
Bachelors of Science in Women’s Studies and Communication, certificate in LGBT studies
• Counselor, The Healing Center
Counsel survivors of sexual assault
• Project Assistant, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) Women’s Resource Center
Develop programming, advocacy and resources for students, particularly around sexual/relationship violence
• Volunteer Advocate, Sexual Assault Treatment Center of Greater Milwaukee
Provide support for survivors during the police and medical examination
• Group Facilitator, Pathfinders (formally known as The Counseling Center of Milwaukee)
Co-facilitated support groups with women around depression and LGBT identity
• Volunteer educator, The Girl Scouts of Milwaukee Area
Provided education for scouts about sexual assault and self-esteem
• Volunteer, 9to5
Lobbied at the capital for the Paid Sick Days campaign and covering sexual assault/domestic violence under ordinance
• Operations Assistant, UWM Housing
Developed program for employees around appropriate work behavior working and eliminating current sexual harassment
• President, UWM Counseling Student Organization
• American Psychological Association
Presented a poster presentation at conference around EMDR with survivors of sexual assault

How did you get started with the work you do?
Personal experience influenced me to get involved in the movement, and change the way systems work with survivors of sexual assault. I truly believe what happens to you personally influences you to do something politically!

What do you love about your work?
Giving survivors and their support systems validation for what they’re going through, and helping them along their healing journey. Nothings more rewarding than a smile or tear of joy when someone realizes they’re not alone, and their reactions/feelings are common.

What are your goals?
One of my goals is to research individuals who’ve experienced complex, prolonged sexual assault and see common trends within their behaviors. Since there’s no diagnostic criterion for complex trauma (PTSD) in the DSM-IV, these individuals often get misdiagnosed or labeled with personality disorders.

What is the biggest change you would love to see?
Bring more awareness about sexual/relationship violence on campuses and within the community. There’s a need for more education and justice for individuals that experience this violence. In an ideal world, this would be possible if universities, judicial, community and campus resources link and work together more to provide the best support for these individuals.

What is your favorite book and why?
One of my favorite books is “Lucky” by Alice Sebold. Her story shows the struggle and pain survivors endure with their assault and legal, family and community systems. The story also illustrates the strength survivors have to work/cope with their assault and others’ reactions. I feel the book validates common feelings, thoughts and experiences for survivors

Please provide a fun fact about you others might not know:
Once I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) I want to work with survivors in India or Africa.

Featured Survivor: Lynn Tolson

LT2008Involvements/Organizations
Co-Founder: Finding Our Voices: Healing Art Activities for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Domestic Violence Emergency Response Team
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Victim Advocate
Court Appointed Special Advocate, Pike’s Peak Region
Depression, Bi-Polar Support Alliance (group facilitator)
Women’s Resource Center (group facilitator)
Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (Speaker’s Bureau)
Sexual Assault and Suicide Attempts (interview)
Sexual Assault as an Antecedent to Suicide (presentation)
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Pass the Power Adult Literacy Tutor, Saint Joseph, MO
Colorado Springs “Breaking the Silence” DVD, Colorado Springs, CO
Bachelor’s of Social Work, Missouri Western State University, Saint Joseph, MO

Beyond-the-TearsAuthor: Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story
Listed at National Sexual Violence Resource Center Library
Required reading: Towson University, Criminal Justice


What helped you most through the process of being a strong survivor?
Counseling helped me through the process. I never would have found healing without the compassionate communication with two special therapists at two different times; coincidentally, both are named “Karen.” I’ve also been inspired by the support to survivors via the internet. Even as recently as five years ago, there was no discussion of sexual assault other than in the confines of counseling. Now, support services are readily available. I’ve also used art to gain strength. I learned that I did not have to be an artist with a fully formed product. Art therapy served as healing process. For me, the foundation for strength as a survivor is in therapy.

What are your goals?
My goals have a back-story: When I was in my twenties, my therapist told me I had a story of hope to tell, and that I should write it. She knew only half of it! At the time, there were few, if any, books about surviving drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide attempts. I was a real estate agent and every day I felt unfulfilled, as if I was not living my truth. In my forties, the truth came to me in a drawing. I was sketching sunflowers when my hand wrote, “My brother molested me.” When I acknowledged the phrase within the shape, I rewrote it: “I was molested by my brother.” At the time, the words that reflect the acts, such as incest, rape, sexual assault, child abuse, sexual abuse, were way too scary. At age forty-three, I was telling my self for the first time. I entered therapy again, and disclosed the experiences of sexual assault by my father and brother. I learned how the drug and alcohol abuse, as well as suicide attempts, were related to sexual abuse. I was becoming an agent of change for my self. My second counselor, two decades from the first therapist, told me I had a story of healing to share. However, I was not going to use those terrible words or put my experiences in writing.

I went back to college to earn a degree in social work. I wanted knowledge about the dynamics that perpetuate sexual violence in our society. Then, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age forty-eight. The doctors said that if I did nothing about the cancer, I would have six months to seek treatment that might be effective. While enduring chemo “therapy” and multiple surgeries, I wrote my story and decided to publish it, even if it’s “the last thing I do.” The irony is that two decades earlier I was taking my life, then I was fighting for my life! When one person tells me that my story has helped him or her, I finally feel fulfilled.

Now my goals are to use my story to be an agent of change in society. I have started the Project for TEARS: Telling Everyone About Rape & Suicide.

The mission is to:

  • Comfort victims by sharing my story
  • Confront violence by breaking the silence
  • Challenge society via information & action

My goal is to establish this project as a non-profit that reaches a wide audience.

On February 15, 2010, I gave personal testimony to Colorado State Senators related to an amendment to a bill about child abuse. I was able to represent the survivors who cannot speak of crimes until later in life. I used those awful words, and put a face to them. My goal is to continue to speak out with more courage and confidence.

What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite books are those that literally changed my life: The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis and The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.

What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is a music video: We Are the World 25. It’s great how the producers incorporated updated music and a documentary on Haiti. I’m old enough to have seen the initial airing of We Are the World, which was produced as an AIDS benefit in 1985.

What is a fun fact?
Fashionista! Out of the flannel and into the silk! Out of the sweats and on with the shimmer! Clothe me in bohemian-chic! Adorn me with rock-star sequins and beads! Wrap me in scarves, top me with hats, circle me in bracelets and rings!

“Can I Kiss You?” and Mike Domitrz raise funds for 871 survivors!

The Date Safe Project, Inc and Mike Domitrz help raise funds to help support 871 survivors of sexual assaultThe Date Safe Project, Inc and Mike Domitrz were just honored to receive notice from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) that our auction of the "Can I Kiss You?" program (and Mike Domitrz providing 2 extVoices of Couragera presentations) was so successful that 871 more sexual assault survivors will now be able to receive support from RAINN!!

A big THANKS goes out to all the bidders for helping a great cause.  You receive a copy of Voices of Courage: Inspiration from Survivors of Sexual Assault for making a bid to this auction.  Everyone at RAINN and here at The Date Safe Project, Inc is grateful for your generosity!

Sign the Pledge for Action Today!

logo-main-date-safe-projectThe Pledge for Action is a powerful agreement students, families, military members, educators, and individuals sign to pledge that they will do their best to help their family, friends and peers in potentially dangerous moments concerning alcohol, drugs, and sexual assault.

How it works? First, read the pledge below. After reading the pledge, you will find instructions for signing the Pledge online right now AND for how to use the Pledge in your community and/or school.

PLEDGE FOR ACTIONRM

I, ____________________________________________, pledge to do my best to help my family, friends, and peers in potentially dangerous situations in which drugs, alcohol, a violent person, or other threats to their safety and well-being are present. I will do this by having the focus and self-control necessary to remain aware of my surroundings, the wisdom to identify dangerous situations, and the courage to take action in confronting my friends when their judgment is impaired.

I recognize that these dangerous situations may arise at times when people feel safe and comfortable, such as at bars, parties (especially when alcohol is influencing the situation and a person is trying to “hook up” with another individual), or in the context of a romantic relationship. I realize that it may not always be easy to help people from harm in these situations, but by remaining watchful and showing care and concern, I may help to prevent a sexual assault from occurring.

I understand that the ONLY person responsible for a sexual assault is the person who engages in sexual contact without the consent of the other person. Through my own positive words, actions, and beliefs, I am taking the responsibility of helping to end sexual assault. I will share with people the importance of consent and the need to obtain consent with your partner by Asking First. I will treat all survivors of sexual assault with my respect and admiration. I will inform all of my family, friends, and peers that “If anyone ever has or ever does sexually touch you without your consent, I will fully support you. I will always be here for you. Always (from simply listening to helping you seek the proper support from professionals)!” During the next 24 hours, I will start putting this pledge into action by saying these words to at least 3 people.

Sexual assault is a horrific and traumatic crime. My active commitment to this project will help reduce the violence in my community and create a safer atmosphere for everyone.

How do you use the Pledge for Action?    Start by signing the pledge online right now (scroll down to see the online pledge). Below where it reads "SIGN THE PLEDGE ONLINE," fill out the blank boxes and click on "Sign the Petition."  You will be forwarded to a page confirming you signed the pledge.  Plus, you will instantly receive an email which has a link YOU MUST click on - this link confirms YOU are the person signing the Pledge (avoids SPAM and misuse).   Your name is not able to be added to the Pledge until you click on the link in the email. Once you complete this process, you will be able to return to this page and see your name added to the list!

For use in your community and/or school, each individual signs two copies of the agreement which you can download with the link provided below.  The first page of the download is the complete pledge which is given to each individual to take home and the second  page is a condensed version with The Date Safe Project, Inc. heart.  Have everyone SIGN across the heart and leave that smaller version with you.  Then at a later date, post all the signed hearts in specific locations around school and/or in your community.  By placing all the signed hearts around school and in town, students and the entire community will realize how many people DO care about this issue and are committed to helping others!

DOWNLOAD the 2 page PLEDGE FOR ACTIONRM to utilize in your community!

SIGN THE PLEDGE ONLINE by leaving a comment below.

Featured Survivor: Anne Katherine Dunham

Hi!

Anne Katherine Dunham

School: St. Lawrence University

Involvements:

  • Member of Omnicron Delta Kappa
  • Member of Psi Chi
  • Dance Ensemble Secretary & Treasurer
  • Swing Dance Club Co-President
  • Advocate against Sexual Violence
  • Advocates Program AWARE Training Co-Coordinator
  • Member of International House
  • Volunteer at Renewal House (local domestic violence shelter)
  • Go Beyond Director (Spring 2009)
  • Horseback Riding Lessons (local and on campus)
  • Contributor to The Purple Ribbon: The Advocate's Program Newsletter
  • SLU Buddies (Fall 2007-Fall 2008)

What you LOVE about your work as a student leader: The thing I love most about working to end violence against women is that I know I am making a difference, even if it is only in my little corner of the world. I can see it in how people change their behavior and I have experienced it when I reached out to an Advocate for help when I was sexually assaulted. So each time I speak to a survivor directly or I train new Advocates or we put on a show to spread awareness, I know that I have helped someone to heal or opened someone's eyes. My hope is that they will share what they have learned or been given and violence prevention and awareness will spread beyond my reach.

The reason Anne was nominated: When our director took leave last Spring, I stepped up to take over some of her duties on top of the position I already held: AWARE Training Co-Coordinator. I did this for the same reason that I love working to end sexual violence - I know I can make a difference. The Advocates Program is very important to me because we are a key part of the healing and the education process surrounding sexual violence. I was sexually assaulted as a freshman and was grateful to be able to turn the the Advocates Program; The support I received helped me to do a great deal of healing and taught me how to help others. If this program did not exist or was left unattended, many individuals would not be able to get the help they need. I want survivors to always know that the door is open, keeping the Advocate's Program alive without a director was the best way I knew how to do this.

What are your goals? My general goals with the Advocates Program are first and foremost to continue to provide safe, supportive advocacy for survivors of sexual violence. Also, I want to continue to educate students and faculty alike at SLU so that they may pass on the knowledge we have given them and work towards ending sexual violence. Thirdly, I think it is important to correct the language that we use and practice non-offensive speech; too often sexually violent terms are used loosely or in jokes which can be very damaging to survivors, I would like to transform our culture into one which does not find sexual violence amusing. My personal goal is to work with high school or college students as the director of a program so I can work to spread my passion and my ideas.

Favorite Movie: 'Pay it Forward'

Food I Dread: Clams (they always leave sand in my teeth)

Favorite Place I've Visited: Vienna, Austria

What Would Be Your Superher Name? Serendipity

Northwest Missouri State Makes a Statement

Northwest Missouri State University just made a powerful statement. Over 750 incoming students wanted to do a serious video to spread online. Please help them move this video through FaceBook, YouTube, and Twitter - any means you can think of. Here is the video:

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