We received this wonderful message from about our training materials. It was such an uplifting message that we asked her if we could share the message and photos!
Dear Neighbours, Friends and Family Organizers,
My name is Deb Wood I spoke with you last year around Feb/March about an event we were organizing for early April In Kingston. I ordered some of your materials and I used some of your online stuff to help tailor a Power Point to fit our community. We had 2 X .5 day events in early April (5th and 7th) last year. The first half day was introducing your information especially the how to recognize information and the See it, Name it and Check it conversations. The second half day we had some community organizations come and explain the kind of support they provide – Interval House, the local Police some and some non profit councilling services.
The reason we organized to do this was because the need very clearly presented itself. I was an adult literacy teacher in a Salvation Army in a generational poverty neighbourhood. We had a lot of single moms wanting to improve themselves and their lives. Some went on to college, some went on to jobs and some just improved their reading and social and behavioural skills. We seemed to cultivate a very special safe atmosphere and many women shared with us issues of past and current abusive situations. We noticed that a clear trend that students started becoming absent related to abuse incidents and one of our students was heinously injured to the point that we did not believe she would return (and she was on the cusp of starting college with likely great success).
We knew we had to do something to address these issues and the female of the pastor partnership at the Salvation Army agreed with us. We found your materials and thought them to be not only extremely credible but also perfect for our application. My volunteer partners were prepared to help with this as well and we were prepared to organize this to occur on one of our non literacy agency teaching days. (This actually turned out to be a bit of an issue. My direct manager at the literacy agency was not in support of this. I knew that another arm of the agency, who works with newcomers to Canada, had used your materials in presentation and I spoke with the executive director of the agency and generally sensed I had a go ahead. In any case, it was all done on my own time and at no cost to the agency. Just so you know.)
Soooo- last year, 2016 was a tremendous success! We just repeated our education day again on April 3rd this year – again also bringing in local agencies with great success.
The most exciting outcome, was that last year after the presentation women in the neighbourhood thanked us BUT also told us in feedback that the brochures were great but they could not take them home and leave them anywhere in their apartments as it left them open to more potential abuse. They asked us for something smaller like your little conversation card reminders. So we came up with a “safety card”.
The exact woman from my previous class, who was heinously beaten, sat down with me and helped to design the card. We also talked with the major support services in our area to work in partnership with us in having their services placed on the cards, along with our local police services. So on March 28 just past, we launched our Purple Posse Safety Card for our Kingston area. All the services listed have cards for hand out and we are now on a mission to blanket the city with these cards. Our Rideau Hts Salvation Army Corps foot the bill for printing costs.
This to me is the most exciting grass roots outcome possible. The power of this little card is amazing and we are all so excited. One of the other actions we do after our community education meetings is that we give all the participants a handful of purple cloth strips and we go out in the neighborhood and tie ribbons of purple around the trees and poles in the immediate neighbourhood. It gives the women a feeling of power and action!
I am going to include below an image of our safety card and some pictures and media stuff for you to see as follow up for your files. I want to thank you so very, very much for the initial help with this.
We all feel so good about what we have achieved and yet we know there is still so much more to do.
If anybody wants to contact me/us for ideas on how we got this going in order to duplicate in their area we are happy to share (email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with Deb). This is all about meeting an important need, sadly what seems to be a never ending need.
Whig Standard Article and a number of pics.
Another article …
Deb J. Wood