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Project Speak Out December 11, 2011

Posted by Syd in Cool Stuff, Domestic Abuse, How To Help, Local Heroes.
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Last weekend, I had the pleasure of training with some of the women from Project Speak Out.  Project Speak Out is a new initiative run by four Asian-American domestic violence organizations in the New York City area, with a goal to reduce and prevent domestic violence.  The training was comprehensive and extremely well run  – I can’t say enough about the good work these people are doing.    In writing for our blog over the last several months, we’ve all had the opportunity to become aware of the unfortunate statistics about domestic violence in our respective states (or even countries) but the training with Project Speak Out also reminded me the additional hurdles the immigrant population faces, especially in the cases of domestic violence.    The four groups involved are:  Garden of Hope, the Korean American Family Service Center, the New  York Asian Women’s Center, and Sahki for South Asian Women.   These organizations offer a multitude of support services, including multilingual hotlines, economic empowerment programs, and youth programs.    I highly encourage you all to click over to each of their websites and learn more about the work they are doing, and make a donation if you can.    You can also follow the progress of Project Speak Out on their blog, as well as on facebook and twitter.

I intend to get involved locally in my own neighborhood, as we have a significant Asian population in my section of Queens, but if you are New York based, please consider getting involved with Project Speak Out, or getting involved with one of these groups.    Obviously, domestic violence is not something that affects one single culture or immigrant population, and of course, these services are open to anyone who needs them.

As always, if you know of any other organizations doing great work, let us know!   We’d love to write about them.

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Walk a Mile in Her Shoes – the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence April 22, 2011

Posted by Alicia in Cool Stuff, Domestic Abuse, Local Heroes.
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Walk a Mile in her Shoes

In cities around the world, at various times of the year, men will be marching the streets in high heels, wearing t-shirts and holding up signs that say “walk a mile in her shoes.”

They will awkwardly stumble past red silhouetted sculptures dedicated to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Their feet will ache as they pass the clotheslines filled with t-shirts, each created by a survivor of domestic violence bravely telling her story. As the men march on for a mile, they can read signs hanging above an overwhelming number of high heels along the fence, each explaining the story of a child who was the victim of domestic or sexual abuse. They will make it to the finish line because they are dedicated to raising awareness; they are telling the world that this is not just a women’s issue.

These are the men of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence.

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Why We Love Mick Foley April 12, 2011

Posted by Syd in Cool Stuff, Local Heroes, What We're Up To.
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Oh my goodness, where do we begin? In our “About” section, we mentioned that periodically we’d be writing about women who kick ass, but we will be updating that to include men because we simply must proclaim our admiration for Mick Foley.

If you are not a wrestling fan, you may not be super familiar with the name. Mick Foley is a professional wrestler, wrestling with all the major organisations – World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW),  the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), and most recently Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).

He is known for his hardcore matches. Has he been hit in the face with a 2×4 covered in barbed wire?  Sure.

Has he taken a fall from the TOP of the cage during a cage match? Yes. 

Was it ever uncommon for him to spill thumbtacks all over the ring during a match, only to end up with dozens in his own skin? Nope.

So why are we writing about this guy?

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Inspiring Letter from Kevin Powell March 26, 2011

Posted by kelllo in Domestic Abuse, Local Heroes, Personal Stories.
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I just felt a need to share this incredible testimony of a letter from Kevin Powell: An Open Letter to Chris Brown.

From his website: Kevin Powell is an activist, public speaker, and award-winning author or editor of 10 books, including Open Letters to America (essays) and No Sleep Till Brooklyn (poetry). Kevin lives in Brooklyn, New York.

(He is also the Kevin of first ever Real World fame.)

The link to the letter can be found here. The rest of his site is pretty inspiring as well.

Dear Chris:

I really did not want to write this open letter, and would have preferred to speak to you in person, in private. Indeed, ever since the domestic violence incident with Rihanna two years ago there have been attempts, by some of the women currently or formerly in your circle, women who love and care deeply about you, to bring you and I together, as they felt my own life story, my own life experiences, might be of some help in your journey. For whatever reasons, that never happened. By pure coincidence, I wound up in a Harlem recording studio with you about three months ago, as I was meeting up with R&B singer Olivia and her manager. You were hosting a listening session for your album-in-progress and the room was filled with gushing supporters, with a very large security guard outside the studio door. I was allowed in, as I assume you knew my name, and my long relationship to the music industry. I greeted you and said I would love to have a talk with you, but I am not even sure you heard a single word I said above the loud music. I gave your security person my card when I left, asked him to ask you to phone me, but you never did, for whatever reasons. And that is fine.

It’s a long read, but worth it. Please continue reading after the jump.

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Media Taking a Stand with UnfollowCharlie March 22, 2011

Posted by kelllo in Cool Stuff, Domestic Abuse, Local Heroes, What We're Up To.
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We know how difficult it is to be the voice of the “opposing” picture to the media darling of Charlie, so we want to be sure to send a sincere and heartfelt thank you to a few media outlets for helping us get the word out about what we are trying to do.

Josh Kerns with KIRO in Seattle took a moment to talk with Kelly on Monday night and we are so thankful they did!

Take a listen by clicking here.

And FOX 29 News also took a moment to discuss. Watch here.

And, of course, Jen Doll and The Village Voice have been so wonderful from the getgo.

We are so thankful for all the support we are receiving all across the world. We hope that support turns to local action!

If you have any information you would like to share with us (and all the readers of unfollowcharlie.com), please email us at unfollowcharlie at gmail dot com.

Highlighting Local Heroes – The Women’s Resource Center of Lackawanna County March 14, 2011

Posted by Syd in Local Heroes.
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We also want to highlight the smaller, more local organizations that may not get a lot of coverage otherwise.

Sent in from valued contributor (super valued, she’s provided tremendous support and we can’t thank her enough) Kate:

The Women’s Resource Center of Lackawanna County.

The Women’s Resource Center has been operating in Lackawanna County since 1975, first with volunteers only and currently enhancing the volunteer efforts with a paid staff.  They have a 24 hour phone hotline and in-person counseling during business hours.  Advocates accompany survivors to legal proceedings, medical appointments, police interviews, and other appointments as requested.  They provide safe housing in a confidential location for program participants who are in immediate danger or in a potentially lethal situation due to domestic and/or sexual violence.

They have a special exhibit of the damage of domestic violence as a tribute to victims.  It is called:

An Empty Place at the Table (more…)