In these challenging times, it is import to know that A Safe Place remains available 24 hours a day for anyone impacted by domestic abuse or sexual assault via our 24-hour hotline #508-228-2111. We continue to provide supportive counseling, advocacy and therapy remotely and are able to meet individuals at the Nantucket Police Department in the aftermath of domestic abuse and sexual assault. We are here to help!
April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month. During these unprecedented times, A Safe Place adapted our scheduled Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities so that they could be shared virtually:
A Safe Place Advocates, Crystal McGarvey and Frejae Burrows, conducted a Facebook Live question and answer session on April 8th. They answered questions about the services that A Safe Place provides as well as querys on consent, healthy relationships and sexual assault.
A Safe Place Advocate, Suzanne Fronzuto, implemented the Postcard Project, part of the Silent No More campaign, asking for survivors to share their anonymous stories of sexual assault on a postcard to allow the collective voice of survivors to be heard together to raise awareness of the attitudes and norms that our society has ingrained in our culture. *A Safe Place will continue to collect postcards if you or someone you know would like to share one*
Clothesline Projects all over the world remind people of the real meaning of violence statistics that are often ignored. Each year in April A Safe Place physically displays their local Clothesline Project. This year we made the decision to share some of the t-shirts virtually. The project gives survivors a way to send a strong message and make our community aware that it happens here. It also gives all of us the opportunity to see and celebrate the strength of survivors.
Denim Day is an annual event held in April through which people are asked to wear jeans (denim) to raise awareness of rape and sexual assault. The event began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. This year A Safe Place and others across the country and world participated in Denim Day on April 29th.
Thanks to The Emergency Relief Food Initiative sponsored by The Nantucket Fund for Emergency Relief, A Safe Place has partnered with The Beet to feed families during the COVID-19 crisis. In its first week of inception, we were able to deliver meals to 132 individuals that we provide services for. Thank you to The Community Foundation for Nantucket for this creative and inspirational opportunity to feed families in need!
April Book Review
By: A Safe Place Advocate Kathy ButterworthWhere There’s Hope by Elizabeth Smart
Readers will know Elizabeth Smart from extensive news coverage of her 2002 abduction at the age of 14 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and from her book, My Story (2013), that narrates the ordeal of her captivity and her survival. Now, Smart, with further distance from her nightmare experience as a young teen, married and a mother, reflects on how people make a meaningful life after trauma and hardship, weaving her own story into the stories of others she interviews.
More inspirational than self-help, the stories Smart collects resonate with certain themes. You are stronger than you think. Forgiveness is giving up hope of a better past. Forgive because it helps you to move on with your life. Depend on the faith that tells you, I will get through this.
The book reads as a journey of Smart’s visits to one after another person whom she seeks out because they have faced challenges and gone on to live good lives. The reader goes on the car ride to the person’s home, sees what they’re wearing, knows if Smart’s young child has come along. The author shares the nervousness she experiences as she interviews, hoping she is asking the right questions and that she is not pushing too far.
Many of the people profiled have inspiring stories to tell, for example Bre Lasley. Bre was assaulted and stabbed by a knife-carrying man whom she fought with all her strength. The attacker had the knife to her throat when a policeman shot him dead. Lasley reports that in the aftermath she was controlled by the assault, but over time she understood her life could not be about what had happened to her, and had to be about the choices she made going forward. She started Fight Like Girls (https://www.fightlikegirls.org/) as a resource for mental and physical self-defense. Like Lasley, many of the survivors in these stories healed through speaking out and helping others.
As Smart converses with more than a dozen survivors of adversity and looks back on her own trauma, she asks, “Do you believe in happily ever after.” The answer, not the fairytale kind, yes.
Thank you to all of our boards members and volunteers for making cloth masks for all our advocates who are still working diligently for our clients on the front lines.