Our Founder & CEO : Elizabeth Sullivan, CPSS
“It was while sitting, locked inside my upstairs bathroom after a flashback, that the idea of EmpowerSurvivors was born.
I just couldn’t believe that the pain of childhood sexual abuse that I had pushed so far back in my mind could come back with such vengeance. The flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, hyper vigilance, nightmares and suicidal thoughts seemed to take over my life and I thought I was losing my mind. I didn’t know who I could tell, who I could trust and was fearful of anyone finding out about this "secret" I had kept for decades. I feared things I did not understand, and wore the cloak of shame and blame so tight around me that the thought of telling anyone of my childhood molestation and rape made me physically , emotionally, mentally and spiritually sick. I was stuck in a world of negative voices, isolation, mistrust, and felt as though my life was over.
I wondered how abuse of this kind could be happening to children at epidemic levels and no one was talking about this. I wondered how I could go a lifetime not realizing how unprocessed trauma had affected my life. I wondered how I could go through life thinking I was damaged goods, dirty, not good enough and why when I finally did break my silence no one was there to support me or others abused as children.
I just couldn’t accept the silence, the lack of education and support, the blame put on survivors of this crime, and so began not only my healing journey but the beginnings of EmpowerSurvivors.” - Elizabeth Sullivan
EmpowerSurvivors was created and founded by Elizabeth Sullivan in 2014. It was during her own healing journey that she realized survivors needed an organization that would create safe spaces of healing and support for survivors while providing resources and education so survivors could better understand their own healing journey and how the child abuse done to them so many years ago could manifest itself into every fiber of their being.
Today , EmpowerSurvivors, is a peer led 501c3 charitable non-profit organization based in Stillwater,MN and run and operated by adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and trauma.
EmpowerSurvivors supports survivors locally, nationally and worldwide. We believe in uniting our voices, supporting survivors on their healing journey’s , educating communities and reducing the the adverse childhood experiences that effects not only the survivor but their families, society, and institutions.
Meet Our Board
Our EmpowerSurvivors board meets monthly to build a stronger organization, improve programming for survivors, and make sure that our non-profit is the best organization that it can be!
Evey Krammer-Carlson, CPSS
Evey Krammer-Carlson is certified peer support specialist, a speaker, writer, and author who shares her experiences of healing from childhood abuse and trauma. Thanks to tremendous support from family, friends,professionals, and the community of survivors, Evey has come to accept her past and now writes extensively about her journey of recovery. She hopes that by sharing her story she will be a support to others who struggle with PTSD. Evey brings hope, resilience, and insights into how she manages symptoms of PTSD, along with the message that it’s okay to talk about your story. With increased awareness of peer-led support and education for the community, Evey feels the fear, shame, and stigma many survivors experience will decrease. She firmly believes that any step in a person’s healing journey is something to acknowledge and celebrate.
You can reach Evey at firstname.lastname@example.org or read her blog at https://atribeuntangled.com/blog/
Elizabeth Sullivan, CPSS
Elizabeth is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape and the founder and director of EmpowerSurvivors, a peer-led 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports those that have experienced the crimes of childhood sexual abuse and rape. As a certified peer support specialist, Elizabeth facilitates groups at EmpowerSurvivors, founded “ Giving Voice” (our nations first survivor conference), has spoken at local community colleges, Lino Lakes men’s prison system, Take Back The Night events, local organizations and has worked with Jeff Anderson & Associates and the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA) to support survivors and educate communities. Elizabeth believes by breaking our silence of abuse and coming together as a survivor community we can find support, healing, and aid in prevention. Elizabeth invites survivors of childhood sexual abuse to come to the EmpowerSurvivors organization and begin their healing journey.
Kyla is a mom, a certified life coach, a hula hooper and fire dancer. She is also a survivor that has worked with her past to facilitate healing, better understand herself and has a passion to share what she has learned on her journey with others. She hopes to continue to learn and grow in a community of her peers.
Julie Grossman, MBA, TIYT is a certified Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher, writer, activist, and survivor. She earned a bachelor's degree in theater, writing a thesis on the role of art in creating social and political change. A vocal advocate for survivors, she was included in an anthology published by the League of Minnesota Poets. As an activist, she's worked on bipartisan bills that have expanded protections for assault victims. She is a small business owner, wife, and mom.
You can learn more about her, her story and her work at www.juliegrossman.org or facebook.com/juliegrossmanyoga
Alexander Carlson, Ed.S, has had many opportunities to assist and advocate for many people's unique needs. Both as an educator and the son of a trauma survivor, Alexander has learned first hand the importance of programs like EmpowerSurvivors and knows the work that goes into ensuring the success of the program. He looks forward to serving this board and the people that EmpowerSurvivors helps.