Regina

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THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2017: PC Cast, 57, USA

The Pixel Project is proud to present our fourth annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2017. The annual campaign runs throughout the month of May 2017 and features an interview per day with a survivor of any form of violence against women (VAW) including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, stalking,  online violence against women, female genital mutilation, forced/child marriage, sex trafficking, breast ironing etc. This campaign was created to provide:

  • VAW survivors a platform to share their stories and solutions/ideas on how they rebuilt their lives and healed/are healing.
  • Girls and women currently experiencing or who have survived VAW ideas, hope, and inspiration to escape the violence and know that there is light at the tunnel and there is help out there.

Our 3rd  Survivor Stories interview is with PC Cast from the USA.

TRIGGER WARNING: The first two Q&As in this interview may be distressing for some Rape and Sexual Assault survivors.

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The Survivor Bio:

#1 NY Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author PC Cast is a survivor of rape. With more than 20 million books in print in over 40 countries, she writes multiple bestselling YA series. PC is a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers’ Best, and the Laurel Wreath. PC is an experienced teacher and talented speaker. Ms. Cast lives in Oregon near her fabulous daughter, her adorable pack of dogs, her crazy Maine Coon, and a bunch of horses.  When she isn’t writing she can be found at her favorite yoga studio, or hanging out with her daughter and a close group of friends.  She loves travel, craft beer, good wine and awesome vegan food – not necessarily in that order. Ms. Cast’s picture is (c) Stark Photography.

 

stark_photography_cast_portraits_005_cropped1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence (this may include domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation etc)?

When I was thirteen I was raped by an eighteen-year-old young man.  He and I had been “dating.”  I put that in quotes because at thirteen I was too young to be allowed to date.  The night he raped me I was staying with an adult friend of the family while my father, who was a coach, was out of town with his team.  The friend worked nights, which was when Alan stopped by her apartment to say hi and hang out with me.

First he kissed me, which I remember thinking was fun.  As he kept doing more – reaching under my shirt, undoing my jeans – I asked him to stop.  He paid no attention to anything I said. When he forced off my pants I tried to stop him.  He said something I’ll never forget: “Oh, please.  Like you’re a virgin?”  I was dumbfounded.  I didn’t know what to do.  I’d already said no.  He was twice my size.  I was terrified and I remember freezing and being unable to speak or move while he was raping me.  I also remember he got pissed when he had to force his way inside my body saying sarcastically, “So, you’re not even going to help me out here a little?”

 

2. How did you escape the violent situation/relationship/ritual?

When he was done I told him I had to go to the bathroom.  He let me up and I went into the bathroom, locked the door, and took the hottest bath I could stand.  He was in the living room.  By that time, because there was blood all over him, he called through the door to ask if I was okay.  I don’t think he thought he’d done anything wrong.  He certainly didn’t act like it.

Eventually he left because he knew the woman I was staying with would be home from work soon.  I saw him once after that.  He tried to rape me again, but we were in public and my father was waiting down the street for me, so it was easy for me to get away from him.  Alan wasn’t from my town, and back in 1973 the world was much bigger.  I never saw him again.

 

3. How did you heal and rebuild your life after the violent situation/relationship/ritual? What actions did you take?

It was 1973.  There was no such thing as “date rape.”  I blamed myself.  I believed I was broken.  I didn’t tell anyone what happened – not the adult friend when she came home; not my father (he raised me); not any of my friends.

I spent the next several years being promiscuous.  My thought process was, “I’m broken, so why not?”  Now I understand I was trying to take my power back by being the aggressor in sexual situations.  I loathed myself.

I didn’t begin to heal until I was in my late twenties.  I had to grow up enough to understand that what had happened wasn’t my fault – I hadn’t asked for it – I hadn’t deserved it just because I allowed my “friend” to come over unsupervised.  When I realised that I began to get help.  I went to a therapist and I finally started talking about what happened, and that is when I truly healed.

 

4. What would you suggest to or share with another woman or girl facing the same situation as you did?

What I’d like to share is simple:  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

It sounds like we should know that.  It seems we should all be aware, but when it happens to you, everything you know changes.  So, we need to sound our empowered yawps from the rooftops of the world as we shout: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT HE ABUSED YOU.  YOU ARE NOT BROKEN – HE IS.  WE SUPPORT YOU.  WE LOVE YOU.  WE WILL LISTEN TO YOU.  WE WILL BELIEVE YOU.

Say it over and over again, and don’t let any women – young or old – shoulder the fault of a patriarchal society’s apathy.

 

5. How do you think we can end violence against women?

The only way we can end violence against women is to end the patriarchy.  As long as men rule – in politics, in corporate America, in positions of power – women will continue to be abused because MEN ARE NOT MADE TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS.

Over and over again the media shows us examples of men who are convicted of rape, only to receive mere slaps on the wrist because their lives could be ruined.  THEY SHOULD BE.  The Good Ol’ Boys’ club is alive and thriving, especially with Trump as President. Men don’t hold each other accountable for their bad behaviour, so women must.  Until more women are in power this ideology will continue.

As Martin Luther King, Jr said so eloquently in his Letter From Birmingham Jail: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

We must demand our freedom from the patriarchy.

 

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

Because I support the empowerment of women.

Editor’s note: Watch PC and her daughter Kristin talk about feminism, surviving rape, and eradicating violence against women in our Read For Pixels Google Hangout recording below.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2017: Madeleine Black, 51, United Kingdom

The Pixel Project is proud to present our fourth annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2017. The annual campaign runs throughout the month of May 2017 and features an interview per day with a survivor of any form of violence against women (VAW) including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, stalking,  online violence against women, female genital mutilation, forced/child marriage, sex trafficking, breast ironing etc. This campaign was created to provide:

  • VAW survivors a platform to share their stories and solutions/ideas on how they rebuilt their lives and healed/are healing.
  • Girls and women currently experiencing or who have survived VAW ideas, hope, and inspiration to escape the violence and know that there is light at the tunnel and there is help out there.

Our 2nd  Survivor Stories interview is with Madeleine Black from the United Kingdom.

TRIGGER WARNING: The video accompanying this interview may be distressing for some Rape and Sexual Assault survivors.

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The Survivor Bio:

Madeleine Black is a Glasgow-based Psychotherapist, Author and Public Speaker.  She worked for 14 years at a local Women’s Aid group as a support worker and volunteered at Glasgow Rape Crisis for 6 years on the helplines. She decided to improve her skills by studying counselling which led to psychotherapy and now works with both individuals and couples and doesn’t have a specialism but somehow attracts clients (both male & female)  that have experienced sexual violence in their lives.  She is also a power lifter, does karate and windsurfs.  She loves nothing more than walking her dog, being with her friends and family, and feeding lots of people.  She is passionate about sharing her story to help end the shame, stigma and silence that surrounds sexual violence, and she hopes the culture one day too. Her memoir is called “Unbroken” and you can get more information about her book and future speaking events on her website madeleineblack.co.uk

 

madeleine-black1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence (this may include domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation etc)?

I was gang raped by two American teenagers when I was 13 years old. The rape lasted for 4-5 hours and they raped and tortured me in every way they could think of.

I was raped 3 more times before I was 18, but the level of violence used was not as severe as during the gang rape.

 

2. How did you escape the violent situation/relationship/ritual?

Fortunately for me, I met my husband just before i turned 18 who is great and by simply loving me, he showed me that I was lovable, which helped my low self image

 

3. How did you heal and rebuild your life after the violent situation/relationship/ritual? What actions did you take?

It took me many years to heal and I don’t think it was one thing by itself.  It’s been hard work over but I just became determined not to be defined by what had happened to me.

I told my husband when I first met him that I would never have children, but one day after he asked me about starting a family, I decided that if I didn’t have children then they would have won.  So I came up with a plan that I called my “Best Revenge” and that would be to have as  good a life as possible.

I have had talking therapies and body work too.  My journey has always been to get back into my body because I left it that night when I was 13 and it took me many years to feel my way back in.

 

4. What would you suggest to or share with another woman or girl facing the same situation as you did? 

Don’t wait as long as I did to tell someone (it took me 3 years).  It is NEVER your fault and I would go and get support if you are able to.

 

5. How do you think we can end violence against women?

I speak out now to help end the shame, stigma and silence of sexual violence and I hope the culture one day too.  It was the courage of one woman speaking out that helped me to find my voice and I think that the more of us that speak out the better.

 

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project? 

It’s such an important nonprofit to support, as sadly sexual violence, victim blaming, abuse, every day sexism is a huge part of out culture and we have to do all we can to eradicate it.

 

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2017: Vanessa King, 57, USA

The Pixel Project is proud to present our fourth annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2017. The annual campaign runs throughout the month of May 2017 and features an interview per day with a survivor of any form of violence against women (VAW) including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, stalking,  online violence against women, female genital mutilation, forced/child marriage, sex trafficking, breast ironing etc. This campaign was created to provide:

  • VAW survivors a platform to share their stories and solutions/ideas on how they rebuilt their lives and healed/are healing.
  • Girls and women currently experiencing or who have survived VAW ideas, hope, and inspiration to escape the violence and know that there is light at the tunnel and there is help out there.

Our 1st  Survivor Stories interview is with Vanessa King from the USA.

TRIGGER WARNING: The first Q&A in this interview may be distressing for some Domestic Violence survivors. ____________________________________________________________________________________

The Survivor Bio:

Vanessa King, a survivor of domestic violence and Founder of Queen Nefertiti Productions LLC, produces beauty pageants.  She’s one of the first recipients of the Jewel Award and has appeared in “Who’s Who in Black Columbus” for exemplary work in her community.  She’s also received recognition for community service from government officials. Vanessa resides in Columbus, Ohio, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organisational Management and enjoys organising fashion shows and other events to raise funds for local charities.

 

vanessaking_headshot1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence (this may include domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation etc)?

I am survivor of domestic violence.  My abuser, who was my husband at the time, had assaulted me on multiple occasions.  I’ve been kicked, spit on and dragged, had handfuls of hair pulled out and scratches around my neck where he tried to choke me.  Fortunately my injuries were never serious because I always fought back.

I’ve also almost been a victim of sexual assault, but again fought back so my attacker gave up.

 

2. How did you escape the violent situation/relationship/ritual?

In the domestic violence situation, we were living in the home of one of my relatives.  I made him leave and finally pressed charges against him.  He didn’t know I had filed charges and that there was a warrant for his arrest.  He called to get his things and I told him it was okay to come get them. I called the police but they wouldn’t come because he was not on the premises.

I was able to reach my brother who came over to be with me.  He was able to get my husband to go with him to the store to get beer and while they were gone, I was able to call the police again and let them know they were at the store and would be back shortly.  Just as my husband and brother returned from the store, the police arrived and arrested him.

We had only been married 6 months.  I filed for divorce and about 6 months later we were divorced.

 

3. How did you heal and rebuild your life after the violent situation/relationship/ritual? What actions did you take?

I was able to heal and rebuild my life by spending a lot of time with friends.

In Ohio, if a person files domestic violence charges against their spouse, the state automatically takes the case and files the lawsuit on your behalf.  This eased the burden of having to hire an attorney on my own. I knew that I wanted a divorce but I didn’t have enough income to hire an attorney and made too much money to receive free legal assistance.  I had mentioned my issue to a few of my co-workers.  The father of one of my co-workers was a paralegal clerk and he prepared my paperwork for court.  He suggested filing a petition for a dissolution rather than a divorce and told me what I needed to file the petition with the court.  One of my brothers attended the hearing with me for moral support.  I was so thankful that I was not alone in this as it made the situation easier to handle.

Helping others helped me to heal: I also became a domestic violence advocate and spokesperson for an organisation called Fresh Start of Indianapolis;  I began competing in pageants and my platform was and still is Domestic Violence awareness;  In addition, I became involved as a volunteer in my community with other organisations that dealt with women and children.

 

4. What would you suggest to or share with another woman or girl facing the same situation as you did?

I want to tell others women and girls facing the same situation that they are not alone, they are beautiful and there are people who love them. It may be hard to get out of the situation, but there are resources, organisations and people who will help them not only get out of the situation, but also help them to start a new life without the violence. Speak out and let family and close friends know what is going on – don’t be silent.  There are many people who will help. Make a plan to get away from your abuser.

If necessary, go to a women’s shelter for help. They will not only provide you with a safe place to stay, but also assist you until you get back on your feet.

Once you are out of the violent situation, don’t refer to yourself as a “victim”; you are a “survivor”, which means you had the strength and courage to get yourself out the situation of being a “victim”.

Prosecute. If you don’t, your abuser will get away with what they’ve done and will abuse someone else and the cycle will continue.

 

5. How do you think we can end violence against women?

We can end domestic violence against women by creating more awareness through advocacy and education.  We need to make people aware of signs of domestic violence, teach them how to take precautions and we need to make sure that women are equipped with self-defense products so that they can defend themselves and be empowered to be safe.  

 

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

I support The Pixel Project because as a woman and a survivor of domestic violence and already working to raise awareness and funding to stop domestic violence against women, this gives me another opportunity to be involved with an organisation that does the same.

READ FOR PIXELS INTERVIEW: Juliana Spink Mills

As part of The Pixel Project’s Read For Pixels campaign, we interview authors from genres as diverse as Science Fiction and Fantasy to Romance to Thrillers about why they support the movement to end violence against women and girls. 

In this interview, we talk to Young Adult Fantasy author Juliana Spink Mills. Juliana was born in London, England, but moved to São Paulo, Brazil at the age of eight. Now living in Connecticut, she writes mainly young adult and middle grade fantasy and science fiction. Recent work includes short stories in the anthologies ALIENS: THE TRUTH IS COMING (Tickety Boo Press, 2016) and JOURNEYS (Woodbridge Press, 2017). Her first novel, a young adult urban fantasy, was published in February 2017 by Woodbridge Press. HEART BLADE is book 1 of the Blade Hunt Chronicles series.

Juliana took part in our 3rd annual International Women’s Day Edition of Read For Pixels, donating signed and personalised copies of HEART BLADE and some nifty swag to help raise funds for The Pixel Project. If you wish to donate to the campaign to help us reach $10,000, visit the campaign page which will be open until April 29th 2017.

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ju51. Thanks for joining us today, Juliana! Why is ending violence against women important to you and why did you decide to support The Pixel Project by donating copies of your book HEART BLADE to the IWD 2017 Young Adult book bundle for the Read For Pixels campaign fundraiser?

It’s far too easy to see violence against women as something that ‘happens to other people’; something that – when it does happen – is loud, and highly visible. And sometimes it is, but other times, violence against women is quiet, almost invisible, and easily brushed aside by those who are not affected. The Pixel Project does a great job in shining a light both on the ‘loud’ and the ‘quiet’, showing women everywhere that they do have a voice, and guiding people all over the world in ways to raise awareness and teach their families and friends to fight VAW.

 

2. Parents are usually the most influential role models in a person’s life. As a mom, what do you think parents can do to help prevent violence against women and girls in future generations and to get boys involved in helping to do so?

As a mother of both a son and a daughter, I think one of the most important things parents can do is make their homes an open and safe space for discussions on any and every topic. This teaches kids that communication is a better way to solve problems, and that resorting to violence is never the answer. Opening family time to debates and discussions also teaches respect, a key life skill for all children to learn if we want to put an end to VAW.

 

3. In your opinion, how can authors like yourself best support efforts to kick off social change to end violence against women?

I think authors – especially of middle grade and young adult novels – can contribute by not perpetuating certain story tropes that condone violence against women. Writing a variety of female characters that show strength in different ways helps, as does writing male characters that go against some of the prevalent stereotypes.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Read For Pixels “Flash Donation Matching Weekend” with New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Rose

read4pixels-rallyup-karen-rose_1

MARCH 8TH  2017 (WORLDWIDE): The Pixel Project, a 501(c)3  anti-Violence Against Women non-profit, is thrilled to announce the first ever Read For Pixels Flash Donation Weekend courtesy of New York Times bestselling mystery/thriller author Karen Rose which will take place from 12am PST March 11th 2017 to 11.59pm PST March 13th 2017. Ms. Rose has pledged a dollar-to-dollar match for up to a maximum of $4000 in donations made to the Read For Pixels 2017 (International Women’s Day Edition) campaign during this period.

Ms. Rose’s generous pledge covers any donations coming in via the Read For Pixels (IWD Edition) fundraiser during these three days whether they are made by book fans in order to get exclusive perks and goodies from their favourite authors or are standalone donations.

To encourage her global fan community to support the cause, Ms. Rose will also make several unique goodies available on the Read For Pixels fundraising page to reward her fans worldwide for donating. These include 1-to-1 Skype calls for individuals and book clubs as well as goodie bundles comprising her books or series paired with hand-knit items that she has personally made in support of the Read For Pixels campaign.

In addition to Ms. Rose’s contributions, all perks and goodies donated by authors and publishers for the campaign will be released just in time for the 11th March kick-off of the Flash Donation Matching Weekend. There will exclusive goodies from the 11 other Read For Pixels authors including Aliette de Bodard, Jacqueline Carey, Karen Chance, Kendare Blake, Kristin Cast, Laini Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, Michelle Hodkin, Michelle Sagara, Shannon Mayer, and Tessa Gratton. Additional goodies come courtesy of Penguin Random House’s Berkeley and Ace/Roc/Daw imprints, acclaimed Fantasy authors Anne Bishop, Darynda Jones, Diana Gabaldon, Kate Elliot, Keri Arthur, Kimberly Derting, and many more.

All funds raised are in support of The Pixel Project’s Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign which aims to get men and boys on board the cause to end violence against women while raising US$1 million to keep The Pixel Project’s anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, programmes, and initiatives alive.

Regina Yau, Founder and President of The Pixel Project, said: “Karen Rose has been a staunch long-time supporter of the movement to end violence against women and it is our hope that her generosity will inspire book lovers worldwide to not only attend the upcoming Read For Pixels author Google Hangouts, but to also donate generously and begin taking action to stop the violence in their communities wherever they are in the world.”

To donate to the campaign during the Flash Donation Matching Weekend, visit https://thepixelproject.rallyup.com/read4pixels2017-iwd

To learn more about Read For Pixel, visit: http://is.gd/Read4Pixels

To learn more about The Pixel Project, visit www.thepixelproject.net

 

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For more information, contact Regina Yau at info@thepixelproject.net 

About The Pixel Project (www.thepixelproject.net)

The Pixel Project is a complete virtual, volunteer-led global 501(c)3 nonprofit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women using  a combination of social media, new technologies, and popular culture/the Arts. Their flagship initiative is the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign which aims to turbo-charge global awareness about VAW using social media while raising US$1 million by getting a global audience to collectively unveil a million-pixel mystery collage of Celebrity Male Role Models at US$1 per pixel.

About Karen Rose (www.karenrosebooks.com)

Award winning, internationally bestselling romantic suspense author Karen Rose earned her degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland.  She lived in Cincinnati and worked in the engineering field for years before she began writing novels in 2003.  Rose currently lives in Florida.  Connect with her online at karenrosebooks.com, and facebook.com/KarenRoseBooks.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Read For Pixels 2017 (IWD Edition) – Live Google Hangouts with Award-Winning Bestselling Women Writers saying NO to Violence Against Women

reveal-read-for-pixels-2017-slideJANUARY 23rd, 2017 (WORLDWIDE): The Pixel Project, a 501(c)3 anti-Violence Against Women non-profit, is proud to announce their third International Women’s Day (IWD) Edition of their “Read For Pixels” campaign featuring live Google Hangouts with award-winning bestselling female authors in honour of International Women’s Day 2017 and in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, which aims to raise US$1 million in aid of The Pixel Project. Participating authors include Aliette de Bodard, Jacqueline Carey, Karen Chance, Karen Rose, Kendare Blake, Kristin Cast, Laini Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, Michelle Hodkin, Michelle Sagara, Shannon Mayer, and Tessa Gratton.

“Read For Pixels” IWD 2017 Google Hangout sessions will run on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings throughout March 2016. Each session will feature an author reading from one of their books and discussing their writing, why they support ending violence against women, and women in the media, geek culture, and popular culture. Each session will also include a live moderated Q&A session for fans and book lovers to ask their favourite authors questions in real time.

Participating authors have also generously donated a range of exclusive goodies to help The Pixel Project encourage fans and book lovers to donate to the Pixel Reveal campaign including: unique author-curated goodie bundles, signed first editions or special editions of popular books by participating authors, sonnets and stories written especially for donors, a chance to be or name a minor character in their upcoming books, and more. Additional goodies are donated by Berkley Books and Ace/Roc/Daw Books at Penguin Random House, acclaimed Science Fiction and Fantasy author Kate Elliot, and New York Times bestselling Fantasy authors Anne Bishop, Darynda Jones, Diana Gabaldon, Keri Arthur, Kimberly Derting, and more. Donations begin at as little as US$10 and the goodies are available to donors as “thank you” gifts and perks depending on the donation amount. Fundraising will take place in tandem with the Google Hangout series over the month of March.

“Violence against women is one of the most widespread and entrenched human rights violations in the world and The Pixel Project is delighted that so many acclaimed female authors have stepped up to join us in raising much-needed funds and widespread support for this cause,” said Regina Yau, Founder and President of The Pixel Project.  “Since its debut in 2014, over 60 authors have participated in the Read For Pixels campaign, collaborating with us to raise approximately US$34,000 for the cause and ignite online discussions about violence against women by fans and supporters. This is the third year we’re holding the International Women’s Day Edition of the campaign in recognition of the importance of the voices of female authors, a number of whom have faced gender-based violence in their lives. It is our hope that their support of the cause will inspire fans of their wonderful books and book lovers worldwide to not only donate generously, but also begin taking action to stop the violence in their communities wherever they are in the world.”

More information about Read For Pixels can be found at: http://is.gd/Read4Pixels.

 

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About The Pixel Project (www.thepixelproject.net)

The Pixel Project is a complete virtual, volunteer-led global 501(c)3 nonprofit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women through campaigns and initiatives at the intersection of social media, new technologies, and popular culture/the Arts. Their flagship initiative is the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign which aims to turbo-charge global awareness about VAW using social media while raising US$1 million by getting a global audience to collectively unveil a million-pixel mystery collage of Celebrity Male Role Models at US$1 per pixel.

CALL TO ACTION: Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project 2017

Blog and PenIn honour of Mother’s Day 2017,  The Pixel Project cordially invites women and girls who have survived gender-based violence to join our fourth annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project.

The project will feature an interview with a survivor per day on The Pixel Project’s blog throughout the month of May 2017. A total of 31 survivor stories will be featured and the focus of the interviews would be on how survivors have rebuilt their lives and/or healed from the violence.

The Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project is created to:

  • Give interviewees a platform to share their stories and solutions/ideas on how they rebuilt their lives and healed/are healing.
  • Give girls and women currently experiencing or have survived the violence ideas and inspiration and hope to escape the violence and know that there is light at the tunnel and there is help out there.

This project is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2017 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign which aims to:

  • Raise US$1 million for The Pixel Project to fund our respective programmes, project and campaigns to end violence against women and girls.
  • Raise awareness about the role of men and boys in helping stop violence against women in their communities through highlighting the importance of positive non-violent prominent male role models.

Survivors of any form of violence against women including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, stalking, cyber-violence against women, female genital mutilation, acid attacks, sex trafficking, breast ironing, and forced marriage/child marriage, are welcome to participate. Survivors may also come from any part of the world.

The interview will take the form of filling in a short Word-format interview sheet in English; then returning the completed interview sheet (in Word format) together with the accompanying materials requested in the interview sheet to info@thepixelproject.net or pixelprojectteam@gmail.com by the deadline of 25 April 2017.

For examples of previous interviews showing how to fill in your interview sheet:

http://www.thepixelproject.net/category/survivor-stories/

To download the interview sheet, click this link:

The Pixel Project – Survivor Stories Project – Interview Sheet 2017

For further information and assistance:

Email The Pixel Project team – info@thepixelproject.net

For more information about The Pixel Project: 

Visit http://www.thepixelproject.net

For more information about The Pixel Project’s Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign:

Visit http://reveal.thepixelproject.net

ANNOUNCEMENT: Read For Pixels Campaign 2016 – 3rd Annual Fall Edition

reveal-read-for-pixels-2016-fall-slide_finalAugust 3rd, 2016 (WORLDWIDE): The Pixel Project, an anti-Violence Against Women non-profit, will be holding the third annual Fall Edition of their “Read For Pixels” Google Hangout campaign. “Read For Pixels” 2016 (Fall Edition) features live Google Hangouts with award-winning bestselling authors in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, which aims to raise US$1 million in aid of The Pixel Project and the USA’s National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Participating authors include Christopher Golden, Dan Wells, Gregg Hurwitz, Josephine Angelini, Martha Wells, Max Gladstone, Steven Erikson, Susan Dennard, Tami Hoag, Victoria (V.E.) Schwab, and Veronica Rossi.

“Read For Pixels” 2016 (Fall Edition) Google Hangout sessions will run on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings throughout September 2016. Each session will feature an author reading from one of their books and discussing their writing, why they support ending violence against women, and women in the media, geek culture, and popular culture. Each session will also include a live moderated Q&A session for fans and book lovers to ask their favourite authors questions in real time.

Participating authors have also generously donated a range of exclusive goodies to help The Pixel Project encourage fans and book lovers to donate to the Pixel Reveal campaign including: Exclusive swag bags just for Read For Pixels, signed first editions or special editions of participating authors’ books, a chance to be a minor character in their upcoming game, and more. In addition, Berkeley at Penguin Random House and Kensington Books are donating mystery book boxes. There are also exclusive goodies courtesy of Lee Child. Donations begin at as little as US$5 and the goodies are available to donors as “thank you” gifts and perks depending on the donation amount. Fundraising will take place on Indiegogo in tandem with the Google Hangout series over the month of September.

“Violence against women is one of the most widespread and entrenched human rights violations in the world and The Pixel Project is delighted that so many acclaimed authors have stepped up to join us in raising much-needed funds and widespread support for this cause,” said Regina Yau, Founder and President of The Pixel Project.  “To date, the Read For Pixels campaign have collectively raised over US$27,000 for the cause and ignited online discussions about violence against women by fans and supporters. We will continue to hold the Fall Edition “Read For Pixels” annually in September as part of our ongoing programme of Read For Pixels events and activities. It is our hope that the authors’ support of the cause will inspire fans of their wonderful books and book lovers worldwide to not only donate generously, but also begin taking action to stop the violence in their communities wherever they are in the world.”

More information about Read For Pixels can be found at: http://is.gd/Read4Pixels.

 

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About The Pixel Project (www.thepixelproject.net)

The Pixel Project is a complete virtual, volunteer-led global 501(c)3 nonprofit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women using  a combination of social media, new technologies, and popular culture/the Arts. Their flagship initiative is the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign which aims to turbo-charge global awareness about VAW using social media while raising US$1 million by getting a global audience to collectively unveil a million-pixel mystery collage of Celebrity Male Role Models at US$1 per pixel.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2016: Rachel Street , 40, USA

The Pixel Project is proud to present our third annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2016. The annual campaign runs throughout the month of May 2016 and features an interview per day with a survivor of any form of violence against women (VAW) including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, forced/child marriage, sex trafficking, breast ironing etc. A total of 31 VAW survivor stories will be featured. This campaign was created to provide:

  • VAW survivors a platform to share their stories and solutions/ideas on how they rebuilt their lives and healed/are healing.
  • Girls and women currently experiencing or who have survived VAW ideas, hope, and inspiration to escape the violence and know that there is light at the tunnel and there is help out there.

Our thirty-first and final 2016 Survivor Stories interview is with Rachel Street from the USA.

TRIGGER WARNING: The first two Q&As in this interview may be distressing for some Domestic Violence survivors.

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The Survivor Bio:

I have been a Certified Victim Advocate for three years and have recently created a page called Empowered before and after Domestic Violence . I will be graduating in June 2016 with my high school diploma and will be attending my local community college to continue my education in the Criminal Justice field in hopes of becoming a parole officer. I am so proud of myself and my accomplishments and I have many more goals for my life. One of my big goals is to write a book within the next couple of years to help the public understand why we stay, and to educate communities of this epidemic – yes its possible! I am also working with the homeless at a shelter at this time.

Rachel Street1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?

I had been abused physically, mentally, and emotionally, and was also raped in a relationship. My life came to a horrifying halt in the summer of 2006 when the man who told me he loved me began to put fear in every inch of my body.

He first started with mentally abusing me. His name calling, persuading me I wasn’t worth much – that my family didn’t care about me – had me convinced that there was no way out. Shortly thereafter I became pregnant with twin girls. I thought maybe having brought these beautiful tiny beings into this world would make him a better man and motivate him to be a good example for his daughters. That wasn’t the case. He actually became more aggressive and possessive – more of a danger to not just myself, but to my newborn children. Shortly after they were born, he raped me and I became pregnant with another set of twins. I was helpless, broken, and scared – scared for myself and my children.

Through the next four years I stayed afraid. He kept me in line by telling me the Department of Children and Families were going to take my children from me if I told them about the abuse.

 

2. How did you escape the violent situation/relationship/ritual?

After a horrifying night of him strangling me, and my children witnessing this, I planned to leave when he would least expect it. He was arrested a couple days later on a warrant, and I stayed at a motel with my four toddlers for a few days.

The Department of Children and Families, escorted by an officer, came to the motel and took my children. For two years I fought the system to get my children back, only to lose them due to the lack of knowledge surrounding the effects domestic violence on families.

 

3. How did you heal and rebuild your life after the violent situation/relationship/ritual? What actions did you take?

I have attended therapy to heal the best way I can – by taking the things I’ve learned about myself and utilised information for the better. Though the pain I feel daily and the loss of my children never goes away, I have to continue to better myself and to fight not just for myself but for them. For the sake of my future as well as theirs, they need to know and to see I never gave up – to know their mom continued fighting, and to speak out about domestic violence for others who are and have been silenced.

As I have never graduated from high school so I went back to school for my high school diploma, and I will graduate this June. I’m very proud of myself, but I do get scared because it’s real and it’s positive change. I will also be attending a local college to get my Associates degree in Criminal Justice and I’m extremely excited.

I want to empower other women and support them because I know what it’s like to not have support from the system. I want to be the voice for those who are and have been silenced. Be strong be brave!

 

4. What would you suggest to or share with another woman or girl facing the same situation as you did?

I would encourage her to find available resources. I would empower her and let her know that she is important, and is very capable of pursuing a better life and completing long- and short-term goals. That she is deserving of good things, worthy of a happy and healthy relationship.

 

5. How do you think we can end violence against women?

By speaking out about it, by educating others with patience and perseverance, and by empowering victims.

 

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

Violence against women is an epidemic and The Pixel Project is a wonderful cause that helps women suffering domestic violence and other forms of violence against women become aware of the different resources available to them, for example: shelter, counselling, and safety planning to help them become who they once were again.

Through their Survivor Stories campaign, The Pixel Project encourage victims and survivors to know that they’ve always had a voice, and that they can find their voice again. We can change lives by sharing our stories, journeys, and accomplishments. We can empower others and let them know that YES it is possible to recover, and gain our lives and self-esteem back.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2016: Kristine Offerdahl, 47, USA

The Pixel Project is proud to present our third annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2016. The annual campaign runs throughout the month of May 2016 and features an interview per day with a survivor of any form of violence against women (VAW) including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, forced/child marriage, sex trafficking, breast ironing etc. A total of 31 VAW survivor stories will be featured. This campaign was created to provide:

  • VAW survivors a platform to share their stories and solutions/ideas on how they rebuilt their lives and healed/are healing.
  • Girls and women currently experiencing or who have survived VAW ideas, hope, and inspiration to escape the violence and know that there is light at the tunnel and there is help out there.

Our thirtieth 2016 Survivor Stories interview is with Kristine Offerdahl from the USA.

TRIGGER WARNING: The first two Q&As in this interview may be distressing for some Domestic Violence survivors.

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The Survivor Bio:

Kristine is an advertising/marketing professional currently working on a Digital Marketing Specialisation certificate. After escaping a physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally abusive marriage of over 20 years, she relocated to Washington, D.C. with her son and partner. Kristine became very active in the yoga community and is currently a work/study at a local studio. Kristine enjoys reading, gourmet cooking/baking, and walking/running around the nation’s capital, seeing all of the amazing history, museums, and monuments. She is passionate about sharing her story, and is hoping to someday publish a cookbook featuring recipes shared by other violence against women (VAW) survivors, as well as their art and stories.

Kristine Offerdahl_cropped1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?

I endured over 20 years of horrific beatings, choking, punching, kicking, shoving, knives to my throat, having my head used to smash furniture, cabinets and walls, as well as verbal, emotional and financial abuse. My son witnessed most of these incidents over the years.

One day after being beaten and having my life threatened, I decided to let my family know what a monster my husband was. They lived out of state, so I was constantly reminded that I could not leave Maryland with our minor son to flee to Pennsylvania. I felt so trapped and helpless.

 

2. How did you escape the violent situation/relationship/ritual?

I told my family after enduring violence for over 20 years, but they all lived out of state.  We put together a plan which involved getting a lawyer and a therapist for me, and I found an apartment during my lunch break one day. My son and I went to church on the 7th of July, 2013 and I never returned home or to my husband.

We didn’t take anything. My family drove down with just about everything that we needed, and friends helped too. My friend thought that I was going crazy because I was so preoccupied for the 12 weeks it took to plan the escape. I was also crying a lot, but I couldn’t tell anybody.

It has been almost three years now and the divorce is over. In the meantime, I have met an amazing man who is the exact opposite of everything that I had known for the past two decades.

 

3. How did you heal and rebuild your life after the violent situation/relationship/ritual? What actions did you take?

Having a therapist really helped. My family paid my rent and took care of the lawyer fees. Financial abuse/lack of finances was mostly what kept me trapped for so many years. I knew that I could not do it on my own and I was afraid to ask for help. I was also very afraid to leave him – I was afraid of getting killed.

My son and I have moved to a different state and we have a fresh start. I had surgery on my nose to fix the damage from all of the blows over the years. I am so excited about this new chance at life and my son has a great example as to what a healthy, happy and loving relationship looks like.

 

4. What would you suggest to or share with another woman or girl facing the same situation as you did?

Having a plan is great if it is possible, but my main advice is to leave and worry about the details later. It will work out. Get support and help from friends and family, local agencies, or your church. I had to leave everything, even my dog. Soon it will be three years since I left, and things couldn’t be better. My son is so happy now, and I am too.

 

5. How do you think we can end violence against women?

Education. Parents talking to their children about violence, telling them that it is not acceptable under ANY circumstance. Telling their children that they are loved, and if there is any type of violence at all, to call them immediately. By breaking the cycle, my son now has a shot at a healthy life and healthy relationships. We need to show children that actions have consequences.

 

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

I support The Pixel Project because of their passion for helping victims of VAW not just in small towns, but on a global basis. The Pixel Project is raising awareness and funds through social media, digital platforms and new technologies. The power of social and digital media is evident, and that means a new generation is going to be reached with this message. If kids, teens, and young adults can be informed and educated about VAW issues, there is hope for the future - a violence-free future, not only for women, but for everyone.