To purchase our often asked about shirts, click here. New styles, colors, and sizes are available.
2017. It’s hard to believe that in less than 30 days, it will be here in all of its glorious potential and possibilities.
We, at Tennessee Voices for Victims, just like everyone else, have big plans for this coming year, but before we delve into that, let us tell you little bit about what we did in 2016.
- We presented over 130 presentations, reaching almost 10,000 audience members. These presentations included audiences that were school-aged, professionals in victim services fields, general community members, and the incarcerated.
We worked with 48 survivors statewide who were experiencing difficulties with the system.
- We co-hosted with the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department to bring a one day symposium from NOVA (National Organization for Victim Assistance) on Cyber-crime, stalking, human trafficking, and identity theft to Nashville. This event reached over 100 advocates in the Middle Tennessee area.
- We continued to serve on the Tennessee Children’s Justice Task Force, Nashville’s Domestic Violence Coalition, and the State and Davidson County Season to Remember Committees.
- We continued to chair the Davidson County’s Crime Victims’ Rights Week Ceremony.
We secured several grants, allowing us to continue our work in our community.
But now it is time to look forward, and there are a couple of projects that we have on tap for this new year. All of them focus on one of our favorite things: empowerment. At Tennessee Voices for Victims, we believe that regardless of what we are doing, if our efforts are spent on empowering someone else, our world is going to be better.
- For the survivor, empowerment is what allows them to climb up past the victimization – scarred but stronger.
- For the school student, empowerment is what allows them to make the choices that reflect their respect for themselves and others.
- For the community, empowerment is what allows them to act on behalf of a hurt child or a broken family even when it would be easier just to walk away.
- For the incarcerated, empowerment is what allows them to change, and in that change, they no longer are victimizers.
So we are dedicating 2017 as the year that we will focus on helping others “Find Your Voice.” This campaign will take shape in many ways, some we are confident we haven’t even thought of yet; however, we do have a couple of ideas that we are working on:
- A Round Table discussion for Sexual Assault Survivors is planned for April in collaboration with the Knoxville Police Department. Sexual assault survivors will have the opportunity to share their stories with “system” personnel throughout the state to provide feedback and insight about their experiences and help make the journey better for those coming behind. These survivors will have the opportunity to find their voice in a unique and powerful way.
- In-Service Trainings are a critical part of helping others to find their voices. We will begin to share the feedback we receive from others in our newsletter and through social media. Just this week one founder was told how important her presentation was at an elementary school because of a child’s report of abuse. The teacher said that she felt confident in knowing what to do because she attended TVFV’s training.
- Plans to help connect some of the most disconnected survivors – those who have offenders on death row. There are several factors that influence this disconnect, with a great influence being the sheer amount of time these cases remain in flux. Over the decades that it takes for these cases to play out, survivors lose the constant support they receive at the beginning and the attention, from their perspective, focuses more and more on the offender. It is our vision to help connect this group and provide them opportunities to support each other, receive training opportunities, and know they are not alone.
- Work with faith communities to help make their congregations safer for those who have yet to become victims and for those who already are.
- Continuation of our school presentations and Victim Impact programming. Though these presentations serve different audiences, the desired outcome for both are the same: to change behavior. Both programs focus on the importance of understanding why certain choices are being made and providing tools for making healthy choices.
To help jump start our campaign, we are bringing back our asked-about “Find Your Voice” t-shirts. For those of you who already purchased one of these shirts, we are grateful. For those of you who have asked about the shirts, here is your opportunity! Visit our store to purchase your shirt (new colors and kid sizes are available) or for those of you interested in making a year-end donation to us but don’t want a shirt, this site has an option just for that as well. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We are grateful for each of you and the opportunities you have given to TVFV. May you each have a wonderful end to 2016 and a blessed beginning to 2017!
Written by: Valerie Craig, Co-Founder and Director of Education