Posts tagged Violence Against Women

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

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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 10 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.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2016: Tracie Tucker, 34, 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 twenty-ninth 2016 Survivor Stories interview is with Tracie Tucker from the USA.

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The Survivor Bio:

I am the founder/director of a local support group for domestic violence victims and survivors that meets weekly and we are celebrating our one-year anniversary this month. I have a full-time job as a legal assistant and plan to go back to college for psychology to help domestic violence survivors. I live in South Texas with my son and boyfriend of over 2 years and am in a happy and healthy relationship. I love working outdoors, in the yard and garden, but most of all, my favorite thing to do is saltwater fishing.

Tracie Tucker 2016_final1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?

I was married to an abuser for four years who physically, sexually, emotionally and financially abused me.

 

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

I pressed charges, had him arrested, got a protective order, divorced him, then assisted law enforcement in prosecuting him on felony domestic violence charges.

 

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

My abuser was incarcerated for a long time after I left him. It wasn’t until he was released on parole that I realised that I needed to cope with everything and that I needed help.

Conventional counselling just didn’t fit me, so I began a support group for domestic violence victims and survivors. Healing alongside others who understand, and public speaking on behalf of survivors have proven to be therapeutic for me.

In addition to that, I have begun faith-based counselling with my pastor. Faith-based counselling is very important to me, especially when trying to control anxiety, anger and depression.

 

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

Your life is more valuable than your abuser has led you to believe. There is a better, healthier, happier option than staying in a destructive and abusive relationship. If you do not know what resources are available in your community for victims of domestic violence, contact your local law enforcement’s crime victim liaison, they know and they will share their knowledge with you whether or not you choose to press charges against your abuser.

Leave the first opportunity you get! While he is working, sleeping, in the shower, whatever the case may be – just leave. Clothes, furniture, vehicles are all material, your life is what matters most. If you cannot get those items safely now, you can get new ones later.

Join a support group with other survivors so that you may lean on each other and you will understand that you are not alone and there is hope. PUT YOUR LIFE FIRST, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN! If you do have children, just having them in the same household as one with domestic violence is considered child abuse/neglect and the state can and will remove your children if notified and you choose to continue to stay in an abusive home with your children.

 

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

It is imperative to have absolutely ZERO TOLERANCE for violence against women! At the first sign, press charges and leave.

 

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

I support The Pixel Project because I am a survivor, and I know and understand how important it is to have as many resources as possible for awareness of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2016: Marica Phipps, 36, 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 twenty-eighth 2016 Survivor Stories interview is with Marica Phipps from the USA.

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

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The Survivor Bio:

Marica Phipps is founder of Battered Not Broken, Inc, a non-profit organisation, where she uses her personal testimony of overcoming domestic violence as a platform to provide crisis intervention services, support and empowerment to domestic violence victims, survivors and their families.  In addition to her advocacy, Marica is a writer, public speaker, mentor, and owner of ‘Gracious Survivor’, a store that offers apparel and goods for survivors and advocates against domestic abuse. She is also a full time senior administrative assistant at a financial insurance company and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, all while maintaining balance in her family that includes three children. 

Marica Phipps1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?

On December 2013, I was forced to flee from my home in the snow. I was unclothed and vulnerable and had no choice but to leave my 7-year-old daughter, after being beaten unmercifully by a monster – her father.

That night, I was repeatedly beaten, strangled, and kicked like an animal from head to toe by a man twice my size. I endured blunt force trauma that split my head open from my forehead to the middle of my skull and was strangled to the point I felt my body going numb and my soul leaving my body. The entire time he beat me, he told he was going to kill me, and let me tell you – he tried!

Unfortunately, that was not the first time I felt the blow of my ex’s closed fist and the force of his strength. Five years prior, I had almost lost my life when I endured subdural haemorrhage from him beating and kicking my head multiple times and leaving me unconscious (while my two little girls watched).

The physical abuse was only a small part I endured compared to the 7 ½ years of mental and emotional abuse from his narcissistic behaviour.

 

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

A couple of months prior to the assault in 2013, I had made the decision to leave the relationship. I began to see my worth and took off the blinders of rationalising his behaviour.   Little did I know, women are in the most danger at the end of a relationship, so I had no idea my life was in danger as I was making plans to exit the relationship.  After the last assault, I never again went back to the relationship.

 

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

My faith and patience was tested many times as I navigated though the many layers of the judicial system. I overcame the rollercoaster of my own emotions and also supported my children’s journeys to healing.

Early in my recovery process, I made the decision that I was not going to let the experience break me. Two things kept me going: my relationship with God and my children. My relationship with God played a significant part, as it’s what kept me going on the days when I felt I had nothing left. My children, especially my daughters, were my motivation. I knew they were watching me and I couldn’t and wouldn’t allow them to see my break.

I made the decision to use the experience as a time to “pull over” and re-evaluate my journey thus far and my destination going forward.I had to dig deep and confront my insecurities and all of my weaknesses that made me bound and made me a “perfect match” for a person like my ex.

 

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

It’s not easy. Your experience with domestic violence, sexual assault or rape, etc, may be one of the most difficult things you will experience in your life.

Yet, we must remember that the most painful experiences teach us the greatest lessons. There are many experiences in our lives that leave us battered resulting in emotions that leave us feeling psychologically traumatised, abandoned, rejected and confused.

However, it is important to remember that our struggles and challenges are not given to destroy and break us; they are given to us as students, to learn and strengthen our areas of weakness.  Life is our best teacher; we must be willing to learn.

 

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

The only remedy we ever have to heal is in our own self-consciousness. We must make a commitment to help save the lives of others along our own journey; we must be willing to open our eyes and see when someone is in need. For those whom we do not “see” we must lift our voice so they can hear us speak up and tell our story so they may be able to understand their own.

This ripple effect is profound, as it enables others to see and make the necessary changes that need to occur to begin leading lives that include safe and healthy relationships.

 

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

I support The Pixel Project because of their mission of action. As a survivor and an advocate I support their mission fully because we must all take action if we wish to see change! They are intentionally working to bring awareness and refusing to make excuses and rationalisations that our society makes when it comes to domestic violence or any other type of violence against women.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2016: Jessica Johnson, 41, 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 twenty-seventh 2016 Survivor Stories interview is with Jessica Johnson 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 am a survivor of domestic violence and the Executive Director of SAGE (Safety- Advocacy- Growth and Empowerment)- a crime victims agency that helps survivors of all violent crimes.  I also have a chronic disease called Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I love to read. I read as much as I can and have a very eclectic taste in books. I also enjoy writing.  I have just started a blog I call “The world As I See it”.  I love hanging out with my friends and traveling. I also love to create things, wreaths, cheesecakes, scrapbooking, sewing, baskets, and gifts for people.  Anything that I can do to use my creative side is so important to me. Of course, I love hanging out with my family and enjoying them as much as I can.

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

I was in an emotionally, physically and sexually abusive relationship for about 5 years.

It was a classic case: the abuse started slowly, with isolation away from my family and friends.  After I left, the stalking started. He didn’t want us (me and our daughter), but he didn’t want anyone else to have us either.  He called and left awful messages. In one particular message he threatened to slice my throat and have our daughter watch – the threats were real and terrifying.

 

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

I was like most victims of domestic violence: I left many times but always returned because my abuser promised that it would end.

The day I left for good was after I had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and he told me I was faking my symptoms to get attention.  I decided it would be easier to raise my two year old daughter by myself. After the death threats started, I sought a restraining order and cut off all contact. I still choose not to communicate with him, and only communicate through his parents when I absolutely have to have a conversation about our daughter.

I don’t hate my abuser anymore; I don’t have any feelings for him at all. My abuse happened to me, but it also made me the person I am today. People can survive domestic violence and go on to make a difference.

 

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

After my neurologist told me that he would like to put me in the hospital, I realised that I needed to take care of myself, so I could be there for my daughter. I made myself a priority.

I started seeing a therapist and started rebuilding my self-esteem.  I realised that I was a worthwhile person and I deserved a relationship that was safe, respectful and free of violence, but first I needed to rediscover myself and learn to love myself again. Once I had done this, I was able to go on and find someone who loves me for who I am and supports me in all of my actions. I am now very happily married to my soulmate.

 

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

Don’t give up!  You deserve a relationship that is full of respect, that is safe and is free of violence. You can move forward and have a good life.  You can heal and help others heal.  You are SO WORTH IT!

 

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

By engaging as many people as we can. This is not just one person’s problem, it is everyone’s problem.  It will take everyone- one person at a time can do their part to take responsibility and then we will stand a chance to change the world and end violence. 

 

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

I support The Pixel Project because it works to end violence against women. So do I. It is a cause I am very passionate about.

THE SURVIVOR STORIES PROJECT 2016: HannahSarah Cameron, 22, 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 twenty-sixth 2016 Survivor Stories interview is with Hanna Sarah Cameron from the USA.

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The Survivor Bio:

HannahSarah Cameron is 22 years old. She started working with her platform for pageants of helping women who had been affected by domestic violence.  She has always had a warm heart after visiting them and hearing their stories. She works with schools to educate them on the signs of domestic violence and how they can get help. She is active on social media to help spread awareness about this issue. She has now been happily married for a year and 7 months. She loves showing that victims can overcome and recover from an abusive relationship and she is in the process of getting awareness classes into the Idaho curriculum.

Hannah Sarah Cameron1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence?

I was affected by domestic violence. I was sixteen years old when I met my “dream guy”. We worked together and ended up going on dates. Things got tricky when I moved to go to a different school but we made things work. He was charming. I fell in love fast and he knew I would never say no to him. That was when it all started.

He would manipulate me, lie to me, he would not do things for me unless I did something for him. So many red flags popped up. My mom and friends and even teachers warned me to get out, but I always made excuses for him. “He will change”. “He is never like this”. I was sucked in.

I was in this relationship on and off. I would always come back to him and he knew that. I walked away from it all before my freshman year of college but he came back into my life months later when he told me “I am different now”.

When we finally went to the same college, I would go over and smell the alcohol on him. I would be scared at times because I thought he would hurt me, but I never got out. I felt afraid to say anything because I did not want him to leave me.

 

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

I was twenty years old when I found myself. I realised that I did not deserved to be treated that way. I was done being the victim. I finally told him NO MORE. He tried to fight to get me back; he even threatened me. I stood my ground and got out.

I ended up moving way and lost complete contact with him. I found an amazing guy who is now my husband. He showed me that real men don’t treat women the way I was treated.

 

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

It took me a long time to get over what was done to me. I had to trust people all over again. What truly helped me heal were pageants. My platform is Break The Cycle: Giving Women Confidence They Can Carry. I educate our youth about domestic violence and also help the women in shelters by providing them with a purse filled with essential items that they may not have been able to take with them when getting out of a bad situation.

 

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

I would not judge them for staying with their abuser. I would help them get the help they needed. Be there for them and encourage them.

It can be scary to let someone know they are being abused because you don’t know what will happen if you tell; but being by their side and holding their hand through it all is what will help them.

 

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

Educate our youth about the signs of domestic violence and how they can get help. They are the future so teaching them now will help prevent it for further generations.

 

6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?

I support them because I was a victim and I want to be able to be the voice for everyone who has experienced this. I love how they work with men to educate them about the issue of violence against women and join forces with them to end violence against women in their communities.

I know how important it is to work with your community on getting them involved. Being active in my community as well as online, I can highly utilise The Pixel Project to bring that extra awareness to the issue.