Hello, everyone! I wanted to wish you all a very happy New Year!! We are always happy about the work moving forward, and yet, this year, I'm sensing a real change afloat with regard to child sexual abuse awareness and our programming. We expect to be able to share some very exciting news with you all soon.
I also want to send you all an update now about the activities of Stop the Silence so that you're kept "in the loop."
1. Primary Programming News. There is lots happening, as usual. Of course, there is the on-going work on some up-and-coming activities:
- Bringing To Kill a Kelpie back to the U.S. we expect to bring the play back in April to NYC (Off-Broadway) -- just waiting on that grant! -- and then, in September 2012, to San Diego (our national kick-off for the use of the play by others across the U.S. - at the Institute for Violence Abuse and Trauma Conference),
- We are reaching out to various universities and community-based groups in the U.S. and abroad to develop relationships and work with others so that they can adapt the play for their local communities and support CSA awareness, prevention, and healing efforts,
- Getting together the details for the Eighth Annual (can you believe it!?) Race to Stop the Silence on April 29, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
2. Teacher Training Petition. In response to the Penn State and Syracuse, and other, recent (and not-so-recent scandals, Stop the Silence took up a petition to urge the U.S. Congress to mandate training for teachers and other school related personnel so that they can understand and recognize child sexual abuse. We had set the goal originally at 10,000 signatures, but that was so quickly obtained that we raised the goal to 15,000. A this writing, there are 15,399 signatures and the names -- from people all over the world! -- are going to Congress this coming week. We invite you to add your names to the list.
3. Stop the Silence and its involvement in Major National Coalitions. We have been a part and also recently joined and are working with a few coalitions of organizations that are addressing the issue of child sexual abuse (CSA) together in the aftermath of the abuse scandals at Penn State, Syracuse University, and elsewhere, with a focus on comprehensive programming on CSA and other types of interpersonal violence. These coalitions include:
4.Matthew McVarish's Walk from Spain to France. Matthew McVarish, the playwright who wrote "Kelpie" (who also plays one of the brothers in the U.S. performances) walked for a week in October 2011 from Spain to France -- about 120 miles -- to raise awareness about CSA and raise funds for Stop the Silence and the Moira Anderson Foundation. In the process, Matt helped raise about $3,000! You can read all about his harrowing and hysterically-told tale in his blog. He is planning a really long walk for 2012 all around the UK for the same purpose.
5. Report out on Awareness and Education Activities. Certainly, we continue to work to bring awareness and education through the media (e.g., ClearChannel Radio, Channel 9, through newspapers like the LA Times and various articles in The Washington Times (three articles - click on the words "The," (for the first article), "Washington" for Part 1, and "Times" for Part 2, for two other articles, which highlight general info and info about Kelpie and the Race), and through schools, houses of worship, and health fairs, like the upcoming NBC4 Health Fair in DC.
6. Board Report. I should add that our Board continues to grow with important expertise as a result... In addition to individuals with important skills that we need, and representation from survivors, we have been diligently recruiting representation of those with major foundation and corporate experience and reach to help put Stop the Silence on even firmer footing. All of the Board information is up on the Web site, www.stopcsa.org. A shout out to Mark Williams, Chair, for his tireless work on the organization's behalf!!
And, while you're on the site, check out the beautiful and updated Survivors section! There has definitively been a change over the past year or two; survivors -- men and women -- are speaking out in unprecedented numbers. We applaud and celebrate their bravery and healing!
We Continue to Need Your Help!!
Unless societies throughout the world can face and address CSA, it will not be stopped. This year, we've continued to provide information to prevent CSA through classrooms, and community venues and events, and offer survivors and supporters a means to share information and healing directly through safe, creative and accessible venues. We bring CSA out of the shadows and into the light worldwide by providing a safe way for survivors to share their thoughts and experiences and reach others with such important information. Please help us continue to do this important work by making a tax-deductible donation now through our safe Global Giving page.
We really need you. If we all do a little, we can do a lot!!
Thank you all!!
Pamela Pine, PhD, MPH, Founder, Stop the Silence