Suloshini Jahanath

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Posts by Suloshini Jahanath

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2015: Carrie Peterson, 44, USA

The Pixel Project is proud to present our second annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2015. The project runs throughout the month of May 2015 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 project 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.

This project is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our twenty-second 2015 Survivor Stories interview is with Carrie Peterson from 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 come from a long line of independent, strong-willed women who were educated and well-respected both within our family and in their communities. There was no question that I would go to college and have a career, and I gladly took on new challenges and adventures. I was so independent and career-oriented that, when I became a mother, my friends were surprised that I chose to stay home with my kids. 

Carrie Peterson1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?

I was a Russian Studies major in college. I did a study abroad programme in Moscow in 1994. It was during that time when I met a young officer in the National Honor Guard of the Russian Army. Our meeting was like something out of a romance novel; I was completely swept off my feet by this handsome young man. I had an opportunity to stay and work in my field, so I dropped out of school and moved to Russia permanently.

He found us a modest apartment, and this is where the wonderful young man turned into a monster. At first, he would lock me in our apartment and would not allow me to leave, would beat my arms until they turned black and purple, and broke my rib. He would pour water on me, and then lock me on our balcony when the temperature was 30 degrees below zero; he often threatened to burn me with an iron. I lived in constant fear of his jealousy.  One night, he sat on my chest, held my arms down with his knees, strangled me with one hand and held a pillow over my face with the other.  And then he just … stopped. It was then I knew I had to leave him.  We had been together over three years.

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

My driving force was the thought of having children with him and them watching him beat me. But I also aged so much during that time and my face looked haggard and old; I hated looking in the mirror. It was difficult to find someone who would help me; not just give words of encouragement but actually help. I was blessed to be working with another American who pushed me to leave and helped me so much.

Over a month, I squirreled away some money and took time off from work to look at apartments. One day, my American friend and his wife helped me pack all of my stuff into big black garbage bags, load them in a taxi, and just leave. My boss was very understanding of the situation and gave me several days off work.  My boyfriend broke into the office and caused a huge scene, but no one told him where I was.

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

It was initially difficult to rebuild my life because he did not want to leave me alone. He paid co-workers to give him my address and phone number. He would stalk me and repeatedly call my house. Finally, he showed up with his friend outside my work; his friend worked with the government and was allowed to carry a gun. I think he intended to kill me, but many of my friends from my office came down and protected me. That is when I knew I was not alone, and that my friends were there for me.

From then on, he occasionally called, but mostly left me alone and never again came by my house. My friends saved me that day and helped me so much to heal over the next few months. It was difficult for me to confide in and accept help from other people, but learning to do that made all the difference.

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

Just because you come from a good family, are well-educated and attractive does not mean you are immune to these relationships. One of my biggest obstacles was realising I was in one of “those” relationships; a relationship I arrogantly assumed I could avoid because I was “too smart” for that.  But know that no woman is immune to abusive partners (who may also be smart, handsome, and educated) and do not be ashamed to admit that you are in a relationship that is hurting you.

When you leave: It will not be easy. It will be one of the hardest and loneliest things you will ever do. You will face countless struggles and have to overcome countless obstacles. And it may take a while to heal, but know that you would never have changed them, and you would never have had a better or even different life with them.

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

Almost every argument my boyfriend ever started was because of his uncontrollable jealousy and his idea that I belonged to him.

The most important step would be reprogramming society to stop thinking of people as property.  Unfortunately, I see this becoming an issue with women thinking they “own” their men, too. No one is an object to possess, we are all people on separate paths and no one has the right to control anyone else.

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

It is so important to let victims of abuse know that they are not alone. It is important to share these stories so that the women reading them can say, “That story is so similar to what is happening to me!”  I know there were many times I felt like a complete idiot for staying with him; if organisations like The Pixel Project had been around back then, I may have seen the dangers earlier and would have left the relationship before it reached the point where my abuser nearly killed me.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2015: Theresa Smith, 32, USA

The Pixel Project is proud to present our second annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2015. The project runs throughout the month of May 2015 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 project 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.

This project is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our twenty-first 2015 Survivor Stories interview is with Theresa Smith  from 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 became a published author at the age of 31 with my debut book, “Karma, A Book of Short Poems”. After surviving an abusive relationship a few years prior to this, I felt it was imperative for me to be great. Although my poem book has a variety of poems, there is one titled “Devil” in which I speak about the physical abuse I endured. I overcame the fear of another human being, so now I know I can survive anything. I am not an anti-domestic violence advocate yet, however I do speak to women about my experience, and advise them of signs that their significant other may become abusive at some point. I have an 11-year old son so my spare time pretty much goes to him. I try to find different activities that we can do together and both enjoy. I also like to go out with my friends and older sister, because every woman needs a girls’ night every once in a while.


Theresa Smith1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?

My name is Theresa and I have been domestic violence-free for five years. In 2007, I started dating a guy who was four years younger than me. We got along great and he seemed to be nice. We moved in together about eight months after dating, and that’s when he showed his true self. I found out that not only was he physically abusive, but that he was also a chronic liar and an alcoholic. It started off with verbal abuse, which I blew off because I did not think it was that serious. I learned to never blow that off though. It’s a major red flag.

I was in an abusive relationship for two years. I have been hit, choked, pushed, have had busted lips, a bloody nose, and my collar bone has also been broken from the abusive relationship I was in. And that was just the physical part. He also tore down my self-esteem and made me feel fat, ugly, unwanted, and unworthy.

It took me years to finally build myself back up. This experience made me stronger, so in my eyes, his plan backfired.

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

I was able to leave him once I got fed up. Everyone has a breaking point, and once he broke my collar bone my survival instinct kicked in. I stopped fearing him, and starting fearing for my life. I didn’t want to die so I took all that fear and turned it into courage. I finally got the strength to reach out to someone.

From that point I got a restraining order which automatically evicted him from the house we lived in together. I cut off all communication with him and carried that restraining order with me at all times. Most importantly I prayed, A LOT.

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

I overcame my situation by praying for healing, forgiveness, and strength. I was able to find something good out of such a horrible situation. It didn’t kill me, it made me stronger, wiser, smarter, and more aware. Once I left him I felt like could accomplish anything. Overcoming my fear for him allowed me to overcome other fears. I ended up publishing my first book in 2013. I wrote poetry so it is a poem book called “Karma: A Book of Short Poems.” One of my favourite poems in the book is the one I wrote about freeing myself from the abusive relationship.

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

For any female who is in an abusive relationship, I would say, SPEAK UP. Unfortunately a lot of people wait on the battered woman to speak up before they act on anything. Also it is very important to push your fear to the side. PRAY. STAY STRONG. SPEAK UP. FIGHT BACK. Call a Domestic Violence hotline. Tell someone you trust because they will reach out for help FOR you if you are too scared.

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

We can end it, or at least make other people aware – not just women, but everyone. A person in an abusive relationship needs to know that someone has her back. If none of her family or friends speak up, but they KNOW she is being abused, then she will feel alone. If a person feels alone and scared then of course they are going to stay in the relationship because they think there is no way out.

I also think a law needs to be made that if cops are called to the same address numerous times about this issue, even if the woman says the man did not do anything, he should be arrested.

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

I support The Pixel Project because I was that woman. The one being abused. The one too scared to speak up. The one too afraid to leave. I felt so alone although I really was not alone. Domestic violence is never ok, so anyway that I can help, I surely will. Every woman should know that it is NOT okay for a man to put his hands on you. Every woman should know that there is help, and they can get out. There is life after an abusive relationship, and it can be as beautiful as you decide to make it.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2015: Rhonda Myers, 31, USA

The Pixel Project is proud to present our second annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2015. The project runs throughout the month of May 2015 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 project 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.

This project is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our nineteenth 2015 Survivor Stories interview is with Rhonda Myers from 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:

My name is Rhonda. I am 31 years old and a survivor of domestic violence. I was a victim at the hands of my biological father, both mentally and physically. Since then I have rebuilt myself, acknowledged the issues it caused me, and worked to fix them. I have grown. I am now working full-time in a hospital and I also go to school full-time, working on my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Child Learning and Development. I plan on attending Grad School in the near future to get my Master’s in Clinical Psychology and obtaining my license to be a counsellor.

Rhonda Myers1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?

My biological dad was a very violent man. He was both physically and mentally abusive to my mother and I. I cannot recall how many times I sat in the back of police cars and in hospital rooms with her because of his violence. I witnessed and was made to do things that I cannot even describe, both violent and sexual, because they are much too graphic.

I developed a fear of speaking due to witnessing time and time again his physical abuse on my mother for simply saying anything at all. I was terrified he would do the same to me and he described, in detail, what he would to me and how he would kill my mother and make me watch, if I did not behave in ways that he seemed fit, which was silence.

Growing up and going to school, I was terrified to speak, even after we got away from him. My mom used to have to write letters to my teachers explaining why I would not speak and I was scared of anyone I did not know.

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

With the help of family, and finally a court order, my mother and I were free from him. We lived with family for a while, during the time that my mom was building a new life for us. I recall the countless times he tried to take me away and I remember hiding from him when he would show up unexpectedly. As my mom grew stronger, she was less scared to take action against him and he finally realised she was not afraid of him anymore and would continue to fight against him, for her life and mine.

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

Healing and rebuilding took time and patience. As I watched my mother become stronger, I knew I could too. Speaking anywhere besides at home took time for me. It was very hard and sometimes it still is when I meet someone new, especially a male.

For a long time I thought all males were violent and it took time to understand they were not. Some days were easier than others at the beginning, but we pushed on. The stronger my mother got, the stronger I became. Family love and support helped us when we became discouraged. We have a bond now that is unlike any other and that bond is unbreakable. The trials helped us become closer and we know that we will always be there for each other.

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

Understand it takes time and patience to get out of and/or fix the situation. It CAN be done. These things are not your fault, even though you may truly believe they are. There is so much support out there for you, you just have to let someone know. Talking about it is the first step and I know it is completely terrifying but you deserve to live a happy and safe life. We all do. I never thought I would be in a position to be able (or even live) to share my story and hope it encourages others to seek help, but I am here. And you can be here too.

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

Raising awareness is what we need to continue to do. Speaking out, sharing our stories, and spreading the word can have a great impact. Education is highly important as well, and it needs to start young. Educate both boys and girls about violence, and equal and human rights. Social media can be great to spread the word. Speak up against violence of women, sexism, and stop demeaning the feminine. Volunteer and/or donate to legitimate charities and organisations that advocate for women.

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

I discoveredThe Pixel Project through the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). As I read through their previous campaigns and projects, I felt incredibly moved by their efforts to end violence against women. They raise awareness in unique ways and encourage education and this is something I strongly agree with. As a survivor, I feel it is important to discuss, share, and encourage so that others in the same situations see the light we are shining at the end of the tunnel, and I feel that The Pixel Project is doing just that.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2015: Lauren Reid, 30, Canada

The Pixel Project is proud to present our second annual Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2015. The project runs throughout the month of May 2015 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 project 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.

This project is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our fourth 2015 Survivor Stories interview, in partnership with When You Are Ready,  is with Lauren Reid from Canada. 

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The Survivor Bio:

Lauren Reid is the founder of the When You’re Ready Project, an online community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories and connect with one another. Since launching the Project in December 2014, she has discovered a new passion for activism and a source for healing in her connections with other survivors. Lauren travels frequently for her “day job” as a data privacy software director, but when she’s home in Toronto she is usually either curled up with her dog and a good book, or in the yoga studio. Originally from Oregon, she has lived in Montana, San Francisco, Amsterdam, London, and Toronto, and continues to enjoy traveling all over the world. Her most recent adventure was to India, and her favourite cities (so far) are Florence, Istanbul, and Oviedo, Spain.


Lauren Reid 
1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?

I was raped three times, and all three times by men I knew and trusted. The first time was in high school, I had been drinking and an older boy – the brother of a friend – attacked me at a party. Afterwards, everyone called me a slut. I went to college at the University of Montana, where a few years later it happened again – this time, at a fraternity. I was devastated to learn that my boyfriend at the time had given his friend permission to rape me. Just two years later, someone else from the same fraternity drugged me and raped me in my own bed.

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

I didn’t really “escape” the situation until almost 15 years later. Each time I was raped, it happened very quickly and even though I tried to get away I couldn’t. Afterwards, I was too ashamed to do anything but lie there and cry – I wanted to hide and never come out. For over a decade I suffered in silence, keeping it a secret and trying to ignore the effect it was having on my life. It wasn’t until recently, when I broke my silence, that I truly felt free from the events.

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

Writing has always been an outlet for me and continues to be. Also – I tend to keep moving. I moved from Montana to San Francisco where I dedicated myself to volunteering. I spent my time trying to help others to ease my guilt and curb the self-loathing.

Next, I found my passion for travel – I moved to Amsterdam and spent a few years traveling around Europe and finally opening up to other people I met during my time there.

Finally, I moved to Toronto where I discovered Yoga which helped me love and respect my body again. But what truly helped me heal was founding the When You’re Ready Project and becoming an activist, connecting with other survivors and finally beginning to explore the emotions I’d hidden away for so many years.

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

Talk about it, write about it – find a way to get it out. Our brains process trauma in mysterious ways – so many that science doesn’t even yet understand – but many survivors report feeling alone, scared, blaming themselves, or distorting or suppressing the memories. I did all of those things; and still suffer from many symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Even if you’re not ready to report to law enforcement, find someone to talk to. You will be astonished by how many women who have experienced the same thing.

When I finally shared my story, I learned that some of my best friends had been suffering too – we were right next to one another and hurting but couldn’t bring ourselves to talk about it. My real healing began when I wrote my story and read it back the first time. Since then it has been a roller coaster but all leading toward me finding peace with what happened to me.

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

Some people still deny that violence against women is an issue – they rationalise their ignorance by questioning the limited statistics available on its prevalence, by attacking the studies that point to a problem.

The real problem is that we still have to conduct studies and surveys in order to get information because women aren’t safe coming forward. We have to make it safe for women by believing them and supporting them, by ending the stigma, and putting a stop to victim blaming. We do that by talking, talking, talking – bringing the issue out of the shadows and into the light. Only once we have collectively acknowledged the problem can we try to solve it.

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

I support The Pixel Project because this group is taking on a massive issue. I get overwhelmed just thinking about my own experience and those of the women I know; but The Pixel Project tackles all forms of violence against women all over the globe. It breaks my heart to think about how women around the world are being mistreated but it lifts my spirits to think about the dedicated work that The Pixel Project and others like it are doing.

The “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” Interview – Troy Horne

As part of  The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twenty-sixth featured artiste is Troy Horne. Musician Troy Horne has starred in the Broadway show RENT, NBC’s The Sing Off, the ION Networks Firebrand TV, and he has written music for the film Thug Angel – A Tupac Shakur Documentary.  Troy has appeared on Starsearch, on multiple records as a lead and background singer, and has toured the world.  These global musical experiences and relationships grew a desire in Troy to create positive music that makes everybody’s lives better.

Troy contributed his song “Miracles”, to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate here.

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Troy Horne

Tell us about yourself and why you decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project.

Why did I want to be a part of The Pixel Project? Well, there are a couple of reasons, but the main reason is that I believe in the betterment of the human community and a higher human consciousness.

What does that mean? It means I hope that together we can learn how to love and care for each other in a way that makes this, our global community, one of compassion and non-violence.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

Ending violence against all people is important to me. I am for ending violence, period. I feel like any effort or energy devoted to peace is an effort and energy that I want to be a part of.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

In my opinion, music, media, and all forms of  human expression can help us move towards peace if directed in that way. The important thing is to provide the world with more messages of peace and happiness through music and art. I am honoured to be a small part of that shifting in human consciousness.

What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?

I think that artists, by creating art with a message of peace and compassion, can add to the collective thought process on how the world can and should be. It is our duty as thought custodians to mould and shape the collective human consciousness towards one of peace and compassion, and I am grateful to be a part of a group devoted to doing that.

 

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The “Music For Pixels 2014″ charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including  Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne

The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.

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The “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” Interview – Tori-Lynn

As part of  The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twenty-fifth featured artiste is ToRi-LyNN (born Tori Lynn Jones) has performed for many live audiences as a young aspiring pop artist. Her most recent performances have been at Sun Life Stadium in front of 17,000 people for Dan Marino’s Walk For Autism, the grand opening game for the newly built Marlins Park Stadium with invitation from Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and Camp Jam where she has performed for as many as 6,000 kids. She has also gained exposure being seen performing at various venues and events for the South Florida & Dade County Fairs, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and many American Cancer Society Relay For Life charity events. Her involvement with Relay For Life has also earned her an award entitled, “Certificate of Appreciation”, in recognition for her commitment, dedication and support for the 2011 Relay For Life, which was presented to her at Florida Memorial University. 

Tori-Lynn has debuted two of her own original singles, “Labyrinth of Love” & “Nobody But Me“. Some of her major influences and support have been her family, close friends, and most importantly, her fans. However, Tori-Lynn’s biggest influence and inspiration has been her younger brother, Glenn, who battles a very rare genetic disease called Cystinosis, for whom she had dedicated her first single, “Labyrinth of Love” to. She hopes to be well known enough to the whole world one day to help spread the word about this rare life threatening, incurable disease, and to help people be aware and support this cause. Tori-Lynn believes that determination and hard work is the key to success, and she’s ready to share her talent with the world. Follow Tori-Lynn on Facebook and Twitter, or check out her videos on YouTube

Tori-Lynn contributed her cover of Sara Bareilles’s “Brave”, to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate here.

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Tori Lynn

Tell us about yourself and why you decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project.

My name is ToRi-LyNN. I am a 17 year old up-and-coming artist who lives in the South Florida area. I’ve performed for many live audiences as a young aspiring pop artist. My most recent performances have been with Tunes For Tots in raising funds for the Make A Wish Foundation, Sun Life Stadium in front of 17,000 people for Dan Marino’s Walk For Autism, the grand opening game for the newly built Marlins Park Stadium with invitation from Gloria and  Emilio Estefan, and Camp Jam where I’ve performed for as many as 6,000 kids. I have also gained exposure being seen performing at various venues and events for the South Florida and Dade County Fairs, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and many American Cancer Society Relay For Life charity events.

As you can see, I have done many different charity events and have shown my support, as an artist, for many different organisations. This is who I am, and this is what I love to do. I have decided to take part in the Pixel Project because I feel strongly for the cause, and truly believe in what they are trying to accomplish.

Violence against women needs to end! I hear far too many women and teen age girls going through this, and I want to help take a stand against it. It’s an outrage to me, and it just needs to stop!

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

This is important to me because I hear way too much of this going on with women and teenage girls. I have also had a couple of my friends go through some sort of violent act, whether it be mental or physical abuse. I see the way teenage boys are treating girls today, and it’s as though they are not as respectful as they should be. I feel if it starts with them being disrespectful, it will just escalate from there.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Music ALWAYS sends a message, and I feel it’s the best way to get our point across. People listen to music every day, and in my eyes, it is the best way to voice out your emotions for everything and anything in life.

What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?

Many actions can be taken and accomplished with music to help end violence against women. Music is the soundtrack of our lives. Music says it all in such a way that people want to listen over and over again. Music expresses our feelings and gets our point across worldwide. Music always makes a difference and voices out our emotions in what we are trying to say and do. So with that being said, I feel music is the most productive way to promote a cause and get results.

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The “Music For Pixels 2014″ charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including  Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne

The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.

bt-m4p2014-dl-amazon                   bt-m4p2014-dl-itunes

The “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” Interview – Teri Rambo

As part of  The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twenty-fourth featured artiste is Teri Rambo. Part confessor, part philosopher and all heart, Teri Rambo writes and sings with bittersweet transparency, disarming sincerity and a wink of good humor. Teri’s distinct vocal sound was featured in the Barrymore award-winning production of In the Next Room or the vibrator play (2011 – Wilma Theater, Philadelphia PA). Her song Say Something won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 New England Songwriting Competition. Teri’s debut album, Say Something, released 12/13/13, represents the best of two decades’ original writing. Follow Teri on Facebook or check out her videos on YouTube

Teri contributed her song, “Gone Too Soon” to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate here.

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Teri Rambo

Tell us about yourself and why you decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project.

I am a singer/songwriter and mom to an eight year old girl.  Naturally, I oppose any kind of violence toward women and girls and was honoured to be included in the 30/30/30 project!  If my song softens even one heart or inspires one person into action to protect the rights of women, what a gift to the world!

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

Needless to say, women and girls deserve the respect and human rights afforded to men and boys.  Every oppressor has a mother to whom he owes his life. Violence against or control of women is the ultimate insult and injustice.  The world is in need of so much healing and defending the rights of women and girls is a fine place to start.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Music has a way of touching hearts and inspiring action…it is a language that is often able to penetrate where words alone cannot.  Music helps people to feel, connect and relate, and this is a powerful tool for spreading the message of anti-violence while honouring women and girls.

What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?

As artists, we can donate our music, time and talent to organisations that benefit women and girls.  We can dig deeply and create work that brings people together and helps us relate to each other.  As a female artist, just by sharing my music with the world, I can inspire other women and girls to let their lights shine and share their hearts and truths with the world.

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The “Music For Pixels 2014″ charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including  Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne

The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.

bt-m4p2014-dl-amazon                   bt-m4p2014-dl-itunes

The “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” Interview – Shane Cooley & Paulo Franco

As part of  The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twenty-third featured artistes are Shane Cooley and Paulo Franco

Shane grew up in rural Virginia, where he soon found solace in music.  By the time he was 13, he was already performing live. After graduating with a BA in English at The College of William and Mary, he took to the road, booking his own tours solo and in collaboration with other artists across the United States.  Shane also did a tour in Europe, covering Germany, The Netherlands and England.  In September he re-located from Virginia to the Austin, Texas, where he’s always making music. Follow Shane on Facebook or check out his videos on YouTube

Paulo is a Richmond, Virginia based singer/songwriter, whose music has been featured on radio stations in Richmond, WNRN in Charlottesville, and Hampton Roads, VA.  His music draws heavily from influences like Steve Earle, the Gram Parsons inspired music of the Rolling Stones, and The Grateful Dead. The music tells tales of love and loss, introspection and redemption, and the journey that is life itself. Head on over to Paulo’s website for more information.

Shane and Paulo contributed his song, “Married In A Black Dress” to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate here.

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Shane Cooley and Paulo Franco

Tell us about yourself and why you decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project.

Shane: I’ve been writing songs and making music most of my life, and have pretty much been on the road since I graduated college in 2010.  I grew up in rural Virginia, and recently I re-positioned myself in Austin, TX, where I am putting finishing touches on my upcoming solo album.  I met my friend Paulo Franco when I was spending time in Richmond, and we recently released an EP of co-writes, including “Married in a Black Dress,” which we chose to use as our contribution to the 30/30/30 Campaign.

Paulo and I both believe in the power of song, and I’ve seen music perform miracles on many occasions throughout my travels.  We hope our small contribution to this cause inspires and uplifts.  Violence against anyone is senseless, and we are in an era that has no excuse for not being self-aware of right and wrong.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

Shane: I personally support this campaign to end violence against women because I feel like it is my duty as an artist to report the human condition.  I don’t underestimate the power of art and song, and I hope this project not only reaches its goals, but that it reaches women everywhere with inspiration and empowerment.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Shane: I’m more convinced than ever that those who create can have a world of influence on others. Art doesn’t have to be blatant to affect someone, but the message has to be there. I write about a variety of things, but what my songs mean to me doesn’t matter nearly as much as the interpretations others draw from them. We artists tend to be intimidated by things like the music industry and the games within, but when it comes down to it, touching the life of someone in need is more important than any record deal.  Keep making art for the humanity of it… that’s why it exists in the first place.

What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?

Shane: There is too much beauty in the world to sit back and allow the ugly to reign.  I commend every artist who is involved in this for their empathy and strength to take action.

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The “Music For Pixels 2014″ charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including  Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne

The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.

bt-m4p2014-dl-amazon                   bt-m4p2014-dl-itunes

The “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” Interview – Pete Ahonen

As part of  The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twenty-second featured artiste is Pete Ahonen. Pete is an East Bay native / singer-songwriter — pairing his blend of ‘alt-country / folk-rock’ with an incredible knack for storytelling. Pete says: “When I was a kid , maybe just 5 years old, I was obsessed with this little push-button guitar. It only played ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ but every time I hit that button I felt like Jimi Hendrix! My mom gave me the guitar that she used to mess around with in high school and the obsession is still going! I’ve played everything from intense studio sessions, to festivals, to Jam bands… My favorite moments in life are being part of the music while its happening. Its almost like your not playing music, but you are the music!” To find out more about Pete, follow him on Facebook

Pete contributed his song, “Picture In My Pocket” to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate here.

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Pete Ahonen

Tell us about yourself and why you decided to take part in The Pixel Projects 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days project.

I am a songwriter from the Bay Area, California. I originally wanted to be a part of the pixel project because I’d written a song pertaining to slavery and hoped it could be used in some way to help.

Your heart and your music together have a way of becoming stagnant if you’re just thinking about yourself all the time. You see all these musicians who make a lot of money, who have big record contracts, and who are just too self-focused. I believe that we weren’t created this way – we were made to give pieces of ourselves back to others and I hope this song can do that in some way.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

Violence against women is far too accepted in our male dominated culture – people are affected everywhere, they’re scared and full of fear. I see it all the time, in my neighbourhood. People do things because it was done to them. If you see it in your house when you’re growing up, it’s so easy to continue that trend in your life. You’re not even conscious of it. If you’re living your life in fear, you’re not being all that you could be; you’re not doing what you could be doing, because you’re afraid. It steals your potential, it steals your right to love and be loved in the way you’re meant to. It’s not a predestined thing though, and the cycle can be undone. We can be whoever we want to be in life. It’s in the way we live, the way we are and the way we treat other people.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Everywhere around the world women in particular are victims of violence of some form. We need to give people the right information, skills and opportunities to take action when women’s rights are violated or compromised.  With music, there’s a way to reach people that you may not normally reach, I mean, everyone listens to music. Music can help end violence because the words and melodies can influence and challenge the soul.

What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?

Artists and performers should carry their strong anti -violent messages to the ears of the people who follow them… and word spreads like wildfire. You want all people to have access to this information. It affects all walks of life to different degrees. Musicians can help because they have an outlet that others don’t have, and when people hear music that they relate to, it confirms how they feel and gives them hope or brings some fight back in them. If you can create a song that brings a shot of vigour into the life of somebody who needs it, in my opinion, you’ve done your job.

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The “Music For Pixels 2014″ charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including  Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne

The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.

bt-m4p2014-dl-amazon                   bt-m4p2014-dl-itunes

The “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” Interview – Scott Johnson

As part of  The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twenty-first featured artiste is Scott Johnson. Scott is the Executive Director of the Positive Music Association which he co-founded in 2003, an international organization promoting positive music artists and positive music as a distinct genre of music. Positive music is defined as music of all styles with universal, life-affirming messages.  In 2012, Scott founded World Singing Day in an effort to bring the world together through song. In 2013, he received the Kathy Gee Award for Outstanding Support of Positive Music. He has released 6 CDs of his own music, from children’s music and a special CD for hospice to positive pop/rock music.  Scott is also a life coach, graphic designer, and author. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and their two college-age daughters. To find out more about Scott and Positive Music Association, click here

Scott contributed his song, “Right This Moment” to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate here.

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Scott JohnsonTell us about yourself and why you decided to take part in The Pixel Projects 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days project.

As a songwriter of life-affirming music, and the founder of the Positive Music Association and World Singing Day, I know the power that music has to empower and uplift people. The Pixel Project also knows the power of music and is wisely using it to stop violence against women around the globe. It was a natural fit for me to be involved in this wonderful campaign.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

I’m married to a healthy, confident woman and together, we have raised two bright, independent daughters. Violence against women is not only wrong, it makes it difficult for women to live out their full potential and contribute fully to society. We need healthy, strong girls and women for humanity to thrive.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Music is the international language. It speaks to people of all cultures and nationalities. By promoting music that empowers and uplifts people, especially girls and women, we are paving the way for more healthy thoughts and attitudes toward women to take hold in our societies.

What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?

Sing about it. Write songs about the issue. Through their lyrics, artists can help girls and women have new beliefs about themselves that are empowering. Popular artists especially need to lead the way in sending positive messages to girls and women.

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The “Music For Pixels 2014″ charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including  Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne

The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.

bt-m4p2014-dl-amazon                   bt-m4p2014-dl-itunes