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Act Now – Pass VAWA!

Congress has just a few days to get to work on the Violence Against Women Act before they leave for the entire month of August – and then only a few short days in session before the congressional session ends on October 1. Please take 5 minutes to call or write to your own Representative and both Senators in your state!

Since the April passage of a Senate version and a May House-passed version of VAWA, Congress has still not signed the act into law. Congress will go home the first of October and may not come back until after the elections. We have no time to lose!

Call your legislators and write letters to the editor, especially if you are in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin. Let them hear what you have to say before they go on vacation!

Everyone loses if VAWA isn’t finished— all victims need the many improvements in this version of VAWA. What can you do to help?

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Sanctuary and A Restful Peace of Mind: A Recipe for Self-Care

The Center has enjoyed generous support from many wonderful people. Our community members give their time, talent, and treasure to support our cause and the survivors we see. And it’s not uncommon for a volunteer to be so excited about making a difference that after contributing in one capacity, they come up with their own ideas to do even more – for which we are extremely grateful. One such instance led to the creation of self-care kits for survivors.

Christene Tashjian and Amy Eller have served as support group facilitators for our Healing with Nature support group since its inception in 2007. This group uses horticultural therapy (HT) techniques to encourage reflection and healing. Participants arrange flowers, prune plants, build terrariums, make their own aromatherapy products, and more. Each HT activity corresponds to a topic covered in most support groups.

After presenting at a conference about this group, Christene developed an idea to support survivors at the start of their healing path. She thought many items they make and use in their support group – often months or years after trauma – would also be helpful to women immediately after an assault. Thus the concept for a Self-Care Kit was born. After the trauma of assault and the trauma of a rape kit[1] at the hospital, a Self-Care Kit can help set a survivor on the path toward healing.

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