DISCLAIMER: The photos and video used were take by volunteers at actual events. Although the quality may not be the best, the authenticity of the work is.
The mission of Silent No Longer TN (SNLT) is to empower survivors of sexual violence through the establishment of safe environments for support, advocacy and creative expression.
WHO WE ARE:
Silent No Longer is a grassroots organization that helps survivors of sexual violence find their voice, healing and empowerment.
Provide services and programs which are desperately needed for the following reasons:
1. Of the 7.7 million citizens living in Tennessee, 1.47 million live in the seventy-two rural counties within Tennessee. (U.S. Census)
2. While rural counties make up less than 18% of Tennessee’s population, they account for 51.3% of reported sexual assaults (FBI).
3. There are twenty-one counties in West Tennessee and only two programs which provide services to sexual assault survivors. The Rape Crisis Center is the only dedicated sexual assault program. It only serves four of the twenty-one counties in the region. The second program serves both domestic and sexual assault survivors. The services provided to sexual assault survivors include:
- Overseeing sexual assault cases within Madison county.
- Managing the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program in eighteen counties.
4. There is one sexual assault center in East Tennessee which provides services in only ten of thirty-three counties. Two domestic violece programs provide support groups for domestic and sexual violence survivors in sixteen counties. There is no sexual assault specific services in those counties however. There are seven counties which have no services whatsoever.
WHAT WE WILL DO:
SNLT will address these issues by increasing our ability to provide services to survivors through incorporating as a 501( c )(3), hiring part-time staff and establishing programs which will:
1. Increase awareness of the facts regarding sexual violence in rural areas through outreach and educational initiatives.
2. Establish programs in rural areas which provide survivors with the opportunity to develop new skills and find empowerment through creative expression.
- Healing Squares Project: We are partnering with sexual assault and victim-witness programs across Tennessee to provide survivors an opportunity to create large quilt square depicting their assault and their journey to healing. The squares will be made into large quilts similar to the AIDS quilts. The quilts will be displayed in various locations around Tennessee during Sexual Assault Awareness month beginning in April 2021.
- Poetry and Prose: We will establish creative writing and poetry workshops in rural counties within Tennessee. The workshops will meet twice a month. Survivors will submit one short stories or poems which will be placed into an anthology. The first edition of the Poetry and Prose: Stories of Sexual Assault and Healing will be sent for print in late February and released for sale in April 2021.
3. Provide community organizing training in rural areas to train survivors, allies and advocates how to establish and facilitate Silent No Longer TN programs, as well as awareness campaigns such as Bystander Intervention.
HOW THE FUNDS WILL BE USED:
The funds raised will be used to pay for:
1. Creative expression programs for sexual assault survivors
2. Outreach and awareness programs
3. Training workshops
The fund will allow us to purchase materials, secure meeting space and instructors for two creative expression programs in eighteen rural counties. It will also allow us to hire a part-time administrative assistant, provide community organizing and strategic planning workshops, bystander intervention training, and conduct awareness programs and community outreach initiatives.
Any funds raised above our goal will be used to fund the Artful Assurance program, which will establish painting and drawing classes for sexual assault survivors.
A detailed budget can be found at here.
OUR FOUNDER'S STORY
I was a police officer who had the training and instinct to react when I was attacked. But, it couldn't prevent me from being raped. I was able to prevent my attacker from following through on his promise to kill me and “put me out of my misery,” but there are times I wish I hadn’t.
I was badly battered physically. My right eye was severely bruised and nearly swollen shut, my wrists were swollen, bruised and bleeding, and I had cuts and scrapes all over my body. I was also badly battered emotionally. During my career I had proven I could take care of myself. This time was different through, and I could not protect myself from this predator. I was ashamed I couldn't sense the attack was coming. I blamed myself and felt I had somehow let the rape happen.
I was absolutely terrified no one would believe me. Even with all my injuries I felt others would blame me or think I was making it up. It had never occurred to me that a police officer, even a former officer, could be raped. If I didn’t think it could happen to me, why would anyone else?
The physical wounds healed, but the emotional wounds continued to fester. I felt somehow responsible and I lost all sense of self-worth and hope. I prayed every night God would take my life and end my suffering. I cried every morning wondering how I was going to get through another day. I lost hope that God would make the pain go away so I began writing goodbye letters. After struggling with the last letter, I decided to take a break. I logged onto Facebook and kept seeing this strange little hashtag that said #MeToo.
It was then that God answered my prayer and I began to see a glimmer of hope. Seeing so many friends and strangers have the courage to say #MeToo made me realize I was not alone in my pain. It also made me realize if they could survive the pain and find hope again, maybe I could, too.
It gave me hope, healing and the strength to share my story and try to help others. This is why I am so passionate about helping sexual violence survivors.
PLEASE AND THANK YOU!
Your support will allow Silent No Longer TN achieve our goal of turning our nightmares into a catalyst for good through social change. More importantly, it will provide much needed support to survivors of sexual violence.
A woman is sexually assaulted every 96 seconds in the United States, which is 900 every single day. It does not include child victims of sexual assault or men.
Statistics do not reflect that number because sexual assault is one of the most unreported crimes.
Please help us help survivors of sexual assault and make Tennessee a safer place for our families and neighbors. As a thank you, we are offering some great rewards to contributors. They range from fun gifts such as magnets, t-shirts and limited edition signed posters, to public recognition for you or your business in our newsletter, website, social media pages, event advertising and event banners.
Thank you for your support! Your donation will let survivors know they are not alone, are believed and supported, and can find the promise of healing and empowerment.