Thank you to Doreen Knefelkamp Chapin and Jeff Chapin who kindly opened up their home to hold a fundraising garage sale for EmpowerSurvivors!
Holding a sale takes a lot of time, work, sweat, and energy.
Doreen and Jeff both worked tirelessly and I am very thankful for all they did to pull this off!!!
Thank you also to all of our great donors who contributed merchandise to this sale ( including the Chapins) and to all who gave cash donations. You helped to make this garage sale a success.
I also want to thank all who stopped and purchased items. Without you, we wouldn't have raised as much as we did.
EmpowerSurvivors was hit hard by the Covid Pandemic. Charitable donations plummeted and with the economy being the way it is we suspect this will be the case for a while. We know we are not alone as we see many nonprofits struggling, hardly hanging on, and many closing their doors.
Thanks to the Chapin family, our donors, and everyone who stopped by, the Chapins were able to raise $1006.00 for the EmpowerSurvivors nonprofit. This truly is a gift and we are very fortunate to have those in our community that has such a big heart for survivors of child sex abuse & trauma survivors.
Thank you from all of us here at EmpowerSurvivors!
Learn more about the EmpowerSurvivors nonprofit and ways you can help:
Join us, via Zoom, for the EmpowerSurvivors program, Conversations With Elizabeth!
Date: Monday, June 13, 2022
Time: 6:00 pm Central Time
7:00 pm Eastern Time
5:00 pm Mountain Time
4:00 pm Pacific Time
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Cost: Donation to EmpowerSurvivors
This week we welcome a special guest: Mackenzie Grove
More about Mackenzie:
Mackenzie Grove-Hager is an experienced foster parent of sexually abused children and teenagers. After finding her calling as an advocate of sexual abuse survivors and sexually abused children within the foster care system; Mackenzie offers insight, training, and support to foster parents finding themselves in the role of parenting sexually abused foster child(ren)/teen(s).
Discussion points for this event include:
- “A victim does not a perpetrator make”
- Disclosure: Do's and Dont's
- Resources: You are not alone
- Integration into the Community/Schools
- Advocating for a Sexually Abused Child
- The importance of believing in a survivor of sexual abuse
While this educational episode will focus on foster care, Mackenzie hopes that everyone who watches will take away her most important message...
Sexual Assault/Abuse does not and should not ever define a survivor...
More about the EmpowerSurvivors nonprofit:
Join Doreen Chapin and Elizabeth Sullivan for our EmpowerSurvivors garage sale fundraiser!
100 percent of the proceeds will go to supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse, programs, classes, and operating costs!
Enjoy the day and stop in and shop knowing you are supporting a great nonprofit located right here in the St. Croix Valley!!!
Learn more about EmpowerSurvivors at: www.EmpowerSurvivors.net
Garage Sale Dates:
Thursday, June 9, 2022, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday, June 10, 2022, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday, June 11, 2022, 9:00 am-noon
Location: 604 Michaelson Street North Hudson, WI 54016
Contact Person: Doreen Chapin (715)245-9001
Do you have gently used items that you would like to donate toward the garage sale?
We will be accepting your awesome garage sale items from Sunday, June 5, 2022 - to Wednesday, June 8, 2022.
Please text Doreen at the cell phone number above to let her know you would like to donate items, what they are, and when you will be dropping them off. YOU can help us make this a great sale with your items of donations!!
We hope to see you at what is sure to be a great sale!
Can't make the sale but want to support survivors and the EmpowerSurvivors nonprofit? No problem! You can help by dropping off your new to gently used items!
Thank you to all of you who continue to support those affected by the heinous crime of childhood sexual trauma and the EmpowerSurvivors nonprofit!!!!!
More ways to donate: https://www.empowersurvivors.net/give.html
EmpowerSurvivors is currently booking guests for our upcoming EmpowerSurvivor Zooom program, Conversations With Elizabeth.
Conversations With Elizabeth is a 90-minute program held on Monday evenings, via Zoom, that supports survivors of childhood sexual trauma, promotes mental health, and covers topics of healing, wellness, recovery, etc.
If you are a professional, mental health therapist, holistic health practitioner, attorney for survivors of child abuse, etc. we would love to have you!
Topics we are especially interested in are:
* Internal Family Systems
* Nutritional Health to help with depression
* Healing from sexual trauma
* Family Law & Legal Rights for survivors
* System Regulation
* How to deal with flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, etc.
* Different modalities of healing
* Healthy Boundaries
* Toxic relationships
* Borderline Personality Disorder
* Dissociative identity disorder ( DID)
* Sexual health and relationships after rape
EmpowerSurvivors is a Minnesota nonprofit that serves those affected by childhood sexual abuse and trauma. Find out more by visiting our website at www.EmpowerSurvivors.net
Interested individuals can email Elizabeth at EmpowerSurvivors@gmail.com
Please supply your bio, the topic of interest, and why you would make a great guest!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking with a foster mom out of Kentucky who is fostering several teens with childhood sexual abuse histories. We had a great discussion on why she became a foster parent, her decision to take in children that were sexually abused, and how we need systematic change. It was wonderful to hear her heart and the passion she has for children that are now in the foster care system, specifically children that were sexually abused.
I was so glad to have a conversation on our current foster care programs here in the United States and can say in our short discussion I learned a lot.
I have known for years our foster care programs needed real education when it came to early childhood traumas but learned yesterday that many foster parents fear taking a child that has been sexually abused and raped. Many children that are sexually abused will not go to good foster homes due to foster parents worrying about the child offending another child and maybe leary of all the issues that may come up in a child's life when abuse is where they came from.
It is true fostering a child with an abuse history is challenging but I think it is worth noting that these kids need help more than ever. As I listened to this foster mom my heart was warmed knowing that there are wonderful foster moms like herself that are willing to take on the challenge and provide safe, loving homes to kids that have suffered so much. At the same time, my heart dropped knowing that a lot of these kids will be passed over simply for being sexually abused by people they may have loved and trusted.
As a child being abused many will suffer the effects of the abuse for years to come. Most children however will not go on to sexually abuse others although it is true that many perpetrators had abuse in their childhoods. Most of us that have sexual abuse in our past go on to be great individuals with loving hearts. This is one reason why some survivors stay silent. This thought that those who were abused will be predators creates more shame and will silence many which only perpetuates the epidemic of childhood sexual abuse.
I am looking forward to having this foster mom as our guest and having a discussion on the Conversations with Elizabeth program in June 2022. If you are a foster parent or thinking of becoming a foster parent this may be one program you want to tune in to so you can be more informed and join in the conversation.
Thank you to all the great foster care parents that are providing safe spaces for children and facing all the battles that go along with taking in a foster child. These kids are worth it and with your love and support, they can go on to live the lives they deserve.
There are more than 424,000 children and teens in the Foster Care System nationwide, and every single one deserves a chance at happiness, belonging, safety and love. ( IFoster Blog)
The median age of children in foster care is 6 ½ years old. ( IFoster Blog)
20,000 youth age out of the foster care system between the ages of 18 – 21 annually without having found a forever family, leaving them to fend for themselves. ( IFoster Blog)
The foster care system underinvests in foster children, contributing less than 50% of what it costs an average American family to raise a child from 0 to 17 years of age.
( IFoster Blog)
Within four years of aging out, 50% have no earnings, and those who do make an average annual income of $7,500.After a foster youth age out, homelessness and unemployment become a huge issue. Despite there being more than 34 million entry-level jobs nationwide, many foster youths aren’t prepared to be independent and don’t have the skills or resources needed to access the opportunities that could launch them into employment. ( Family Preservation Foundation)
22% of children had three or more placements during a length of 20 months in foster care. ( Family Preservation Foundation)
A Foster youth is less likely to graduate from high school. ( What To Become)
At least 40% of foster children have learning difficulties. Which makes sense as they are dealing with trauma. ( What To Become)
Foster kids get suspended and expelled from school three times more often than other children. According to foster youth education statistics, children in foster care have different needs and backgrounds than their peers. Many of these children come from abusive households, making them prone to erratic behavior that ultimately leads to suspension or more severe disciplinary measures. ( Partners For Our Children)
One out of four foster care kids shows signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD, also known as a post-traumatic stress disorder, is a huge issue when talking about foster children. Research has shown that at least 25% of the overall number of foster youth in the US suffer from this mental health condition.
( Partners For Children)
EmpowerSurvivors is a 501c3 nonprofit that supports survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Find out more at:
The Truth About Childhood Sexual Abuse…..
Elizabeth Sullivan, CPSP
The truth about childhood sexual abuse and trauma is that far too many children are affected by this terrible crime and crisis. Crises you may ask? Yes, a crisis indeed. The truth of this situation is far too many children are sexually abused at the hands of those they have trusted and loved.
In our culture, there are far too many that believe this crime is perpetrated by strangers. We believe that this crime is perpetrated outside of friendships, churches, institutions, coaches, teachers, groups, family, close and trusted individuals. Sadly, in most cases, the crime of sexual abuse is perpetrated by those in our families and by society members that have groomed not only the child but everyone that surrounds that child.
So what then do we do about childhood sexual abuse? There is no easy answer for this question but we start by acknowledging that this crime exists, listening with a loving ear to those affected, learning about the effects, prevention, the healing process, and understanding that the reality of sexual abuse affects 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys. We also have to understand that there is no real way to measure how many children this crime is perpetrated against because most children never tell. The statistics only measure those that were able to break their silences, most keep this secret deep inside of themselves only to have it rear its ugly head when the child is grown and in their 40’s, 50’s on up.
How then do we support those that come forward with their abuse and break their silences?
We start by listening with a non-judgemental, loving ear. We listen. We love each other. We give survivors safe spaces to express their grief, loss, heartache, and all the rest. Again we listen.
Sadly in a lot of cases, a survivor who breaks their silence is not shown this loving support. Those surrounding the individual may not know what to say, may not acknowledge the abuse ever happened, may blame the survivor for not “ getting over it” or “moving on”, or may even tell this person that the abuse was “their fault”. This only adds to the betrayal, shame, and deep pain that these survivors already may feel.
It is never a child’s fault for abuse, it is never a child’s fault for not disclosing, it is never a child’s fault for trusting an adult, and it is never the child’s responsibility to save themselves. We can educate our children on this crime, aid in prevention, but ultimately it is up to all of us to protect children.
Childhood sexual abuse affects the whole person, mind, body, and spirit. It can crush the individual and lead to more childhood sexual abuse, teen pregnancies, miscarriage, academic issues, drug and alcohol addiction, poor attachments, domestic abuse, working abilities, authority issues, mental and medical health struggles, and more. This is why early detection and prevention are so crucial.
If a child or individual you know comes forward please respond with a loving heart. It is vital that this person have a safe space to tell their stories, get help and support. It is important that these individuals find good, trained professionals that have a background in childhood sexual abuse and trauma. These sexual assaults and rape victims deserve the support they often craved as children. Work with them, love them, and be the person that you would want if you were in crisis. Most of all do not tell them to get over it, suck it up, judge, or push the survivor for information. If a survivor discloses their abuse, you should know that it may have taken a lifetime to get to the point of disclosing. This is crucial as what you say or do will either empower the individual or cause more anguish, harm and betrayal.
Survivors of this crime can find healing. The process of healing can be incredibly difficult, painful, and at times overwhelming but with incredibly hard work and good support, healing does happen. Survivors will never forget the horrible injustices done to them but with good, solid, and loving support they can thrive. Many survivors will have to undo years of trauma, fix the cognitive distortions that originated from the abuse, suffer through flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, anxiety, and self-hate. This is why your response will be so vital. A simple response would be “ I am so sorry this happened to you”, “thank you for trusting me with your painful story”, “ how can I help?”, or “ I am struggling with what to say but please know I love you and are here for you”.
Whether you yourself were sexually abused, your partner, your family member, your loved one, or you simply would like more information about our services please feel free to visit our website at www.EmpowerSurvivors.net
EmpowerSurvivors, established in 2014, is a peer-led nonprofit, operating out of Minnesota, that supports survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
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#sexualabuse #Recovery #healing #healingjourney #peersupport #cptsd #cptsd #Community #groups #love
There just isn’t a way to get around it. Healing can really hurt like hell. It can feel like there is no way you will ever make it through the dark times or that true healing is not for you. Sometimes healing itself feels like it will kill you. We think to ourselves, “how can we possibly let ourselves feel this pain?” We begin to question whether or not true healing is for us or if it is just for everyone else but us. We question the hole we feel in our chest, the heaviness, and whether life is worth living. We question our own sanity, memories, thoughts…..
Most of us have spent a lifetime suppressing the pain from our past, running from the demons of abuse. Some of us drink ourselves under the table so we don’t have to feel the pain, some of us do drugs to give a sense of relief or busy ourselves so much that we don’t even have time to possibly think or look at the pains of the past. How do we even begin to deal with this pain that no one wants to talk about including ourselves? How do we deal with the pain that everyone says to “ get over”, “quit making it such a big deal”, “it’s in the past”, “forget about it”?
How do we deal with the intrusive thoughts, isolation, memories, nightmares, anxiety, flashbacks, and everything else that seems to plague us?
How do we deal with the silence……….
How do we deal with family or loved ones who do not understand us…………………
So Step by Step
One minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. That is how we do it. By taking baby steps. By allowing ourselves to feel the pain, sit with it, to mourn a loss of innocence. We do it by allowing ourselves the time we need to process the past. We do it by allowing ourselves to cry the tears we may have never gotten to cry, to seek out positive support, and allow ourselves to grieve, to process.
Separating the Truth from the Lie
We do it by not beating ourselves up for having a bad day, by separating ourselves from people that are not supportive or cause more pain for us in this process. We heal by going back into those memories and separating the truth from the lies. We heal by learning to love ourselves and realize that no one else can do the work for us. We heal by bringing all the darkness of abuse out into the light so it can truly be looked at, dissected. We heal by learning to love ourselves, by giving ourselves the resources and the time we need to re-learn and begin anew. We heal ourselves by staying in the game even when we think there is no hope of healing.
Breaking The Silence & Care
We heal by breaking our silence and shedding the cloak of shame. We heal by forgiving ourselves for things we could not control. We heal by learning how to find healing and then going out and empowering others to do the same. We heal by holding our inner children and telling them that this will never happen again.
Healing IS for You
Stay in the game fellow survivors, stay in the game. Healing hurts like hell but this is one situation where if there isn’t pain there is no gain. The hurt will lessen, and so will the pain. Healing IS for you, so keep showing up and stay in the game.
Your fellow survivor,
Join us via Zoom
Monday, December 13, 2021, at 6:00pm central time for another edition of the EmpowerSurvivors program, Conversations With Elizabeth.
This week we have survivor and author Tanisha Bankston who will be sharing her story of childhood sexual abuse with us and her new book " My Pain Is My Power".
My name is Tanisha Bankston. I am a mother of 3 children. I am a survivor of rape, incest, childhood sexual abuse, trauma, and domestic violence. I lived 27 years in silence. I broke silence on July 3, 2020, when I was given the opportunity to speak on the NAASCA radio talk show. I then realized I had rediscovered my inner voice that had been trapped for 27 years. I spoke out when I was 5 years old but I wasn't believed. The trauma caused me to go into a shell and never come out until last year. I am healed, delivered, and set free. I wrote and self-published my book "My Pain is My Power" on May 21, 2021. My book is about my life story. I am praying for others to come forward and to break their silence by reading my book and that it be an inspiration.
I want others to know that there is hope and to never give up.
Cost: Donation to PayPal
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Find out more about the EmpowerSurvivors nonprofit:
This Monday for Conversation with Elizabeth, our special guest Shari Botwin, LCSW. She will be opening the conversation on Healing After Trauma. To participate, register in advance here. In case you cannot participate to the live program, subscribe to the youtube Chanel to be notify when the episode of this Monday evening will be published. You can also subscribe to the newsletter, to receive the weekly programs on the welcome page.
Here is more about Shari Botwin, her website and social medias. We hope to see you on Monday!
Shari Botwin, LCSW, has been counseling survivors in recovery from all types of trauma in her Cherry Hill, New Jersey private practice for over twenty-four years. Her second book, “ Thriving After Trauma: Stories of Living and Healing, Rowman & Littlefield,” (Rowman & Littlefield, November 8, 2019) deals with overcoming trauma including physical and sexual abuse, war-related injury, loss due to tragedy or illness, and natural disasters. Real stories and practical tools shed light on how to let go of shame, guilt, anger, and despair after a traumatic experience. An updated paperback of Thriving After Trauma will be released in early October.
She has conducted Keynote presentations for Monte Nido, International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Organization, Hofstra University, and Bay Path University. Shari has given expert commentary on breaking stories related to trauma (Covid-19) on a variety of international media outlets; including, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning NBC News Now with Dr. John Torres, NBC Stay Tuned, ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC Live, CTV News, CP-24 News, CNN, Sports Illustrated, Prevention Magazine, The New York Times, Parade Magazine, Parents Magazine, Newsbreak, Greatist, The Associated Press, Philadelphia Magazine and Radio Europe.
Shari has also published feature articles in Thrive Global, Medium, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Toronto Star. She has dedicated her life’s work to helping survivors after living through years of childhood abuse and multiple traumas in her early adulthood.
Author for Rowman and Littlefield Publishers
Title: "Thriving After Trauma: Stories of Living and Healing."
Audiobook: available on audible.
This Monday for Conversation with Elizabeth, our special guest Mary Lynn Hinde. She will be opening the conversation with her personal story: A mental journey with Dissociative Identity Disorder. To participate, register in advance here. In case you cannot participate to the live program, subscribe to the youtube Chanel to be notify when the episode of this Monday evening will be published. You can also subscribe to the newsletter, to receive the weekly programs on the welcome page.
Here is more about Mary Lynn Hinde in her own words. We hope to see you on Monday!
About Mary Lynn Hindie
My name is Mary Lynn Hinde.
I am a 68-year-old "kid" living with my husband, Ed, in Frederick, Maryland. Most of
my professional life in the past 10 years has been working to support and advocate
for homeless adults and youth.
In 2013, my husband, a few community members, and I started a grass-roots non-profit organization known as the Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County. SHIP works in cooperation with Frederick County Public Schools, human relief agencies, government, and other organizations to create positive outcomes in the lives of homeless youth here in Frederick County and beyond. I recently retired to be able to spend more time with family and pursue other passions. My time living with my family of origin was highly traumatic, due to emotional and sexual abuse, which in turn resulted in multiple mental health crises and long-term issues. As part of my healing, I helped create two theatrical productions that sought to clarify widely held misperceptions of those impacted by mental health, poverty, and homelessness. I believe in the power of my voice, the responsibility of sharing my truths boldly and without shame.