There are many people in our community working to create positive change to end sexual violence. We want to meet as many of them as possible. If you would like to submit a recommendation, please email email@example.com.
The news reported about sexual violence is only a fraction of what actually happens in our relatively small community– and particularly in our own country, where we are supposed to have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sexual violence takes away those rights.–Amy Dellinger
1. What is your relationship with STAR?
AD: I have been involved with STAR in a variety of ways including participating in fundraisers, performances, and outreach events, but primarily by providing curriculum development and assessment assistance to STAR’s Social Change division.
2. What led you to get involved with STAR and/or join the movement to end sexual violence?
AD: I am a survivor of sexual assaults from the age of 5 to the age of 19 from an uncle, neighbors, boyfriends, and acquaintances. In addition, most days of the week (almost every day of the week), I find some article(s) in The Advocate that has to do with sexual violence against children and women. The Advocate is one paper in one city in one state in one country in one world. The news reported about sexual violence is only a fraction of what actually happens in our relatively small community and particularly in our own country, where we are supposed to have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sexual violence takes away those rights. This is most egregious for young children because their lives are severely impacted so early and for so long. Most work in sexual violence has focused on the important support that victims need; however, I got involved with STAR to focus on prevention of sexual violence, especially for children.
3. What do you find most rewarding about your participation in this movement?
AD: I find feeling like I am doing something to make a difference in preventing sexual violence in this world to be most rewarding. What makes it extra special is getting to work with the incredible people at STAR.
4. What motivates you to keep going when things get difficult or discouraging?
AD: Knowing that every day, so many children and adults in our community are sexually violated is daunting, but it is also motivating. To overcome feeling overwhelmed by the immense size of this issue, I work with STAR, I learn about how I can be useful, I write poetry and paint, I use social media for advocating about this issue, and I meditate.
5. What are some simple, day-to-day ways you promote positive change in our community?
AD: I try to stay aware and speak up when talking to others or reading text communications (e.g., newspapers, twitter, online news) when myths about sexual violence or statements about rape culture are perpetuated.
6. What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant about becoming an active member of this movement?
AD: We are SO fortunate to have an organization as strong and effective as STAR is in our community. The individuals that work for STAR are largely responsible for this impact; however, the volunteers, advocates, and interested parties who help STAR provide so much that is needed to the organization. There are so many ways to be involved, whether by donating funds or time to participating in the activities sponsored by STAR. Probably the easiest and best way to start your involvement with STAR is to attend the Creating Change workshops offered by STAR. This workshop provides a great way to learn about the movement and connect with other people in the community interested in ending sexual violence.