Monthly Archives: April 2012

Put it aside

How many times have you had a well meaning friend or loved one tell you to just ‘put it aside for a while’, ‘forget about it’, ‘get over it’, ‘don’t live in the past’?   I suspect it has happened to you, as it has to me, more than once.  How do you feel when people say this to you?  Do you feel honored?  Heard?  Understood?  Does it make you think there is something even more wrong with you than what is wrong with you?  Do you get angry?  Do you cry?  Ya.  Pretty much all those things and more are my reactions.

Survivors of the trauma of childhood sexual abuse can not just ‘get over it’.  Yes.  We can heal and move forward but it takes time and hard work and money.  Yes, money.  Therapy is not cheap and it is what is needed if you are to really move from surviving to thriving. And sometimes the therapy is good and it helps and sometimes the fit is not right and you give up for a while.  The process of healing is long and painful.  The process of healing is also filled with moments of beauty and appreciation and gratitude.  And the people I know who are survivors are among the most generous and beautiful souls I have ever met.

I want people to understand that survivors NEED to do the hard and ugly work in order to get to a place where they can live the life that was taken from them by their perpetrators.  To just ‘put it aside’ is what many of us have done most of our lives. I personally HAD to put it aside and minimize it in order to raise my family, be gainfully employed and a productive member of society…to ‘fit in’.   Without dealing with it though, we live fragmented lives.  Pieces of us are scattered and we are never really ‘free’.  The ONLY way to the freedom and feelings of worth and wholeness is to face it – and deal with it.

The writing of this is reminding me, once again, how much is taken from a person when they are sexually abused as a child.  I want my LIFE.  I DESERVE to feel free and whole.  I will get there.  I AM getting there.  Please support me and honour my healing journey.


Volunteering with Voice Found – Facilitators Needed

Do you coach, teach, mentor, volunteer or care about children?   Are you saddened by the reports of childhood sexual abuse and feel compelled to DO something?  Looking for meaningful volunteer work?   Becoming a volunteer facilitator with Voice Found might be the opportunity you’ve been looking for to make a real difference in your community.

One of the most powerful programs we offer is the childhood sexual abuse prevention workshop called ‘Stewards of Children’.  This 3 hour workshop educates adults and youth-serving organizations how to recognize and prevent children from being sexually abused.    This program is delivered to individuals and organizations by volunteer facilitators and is proven to be effective in changing child protective behaviours. (program evaluation methods and results are here>  Evidence and Efficacy of Stewards of Children Prevention Training)

What is the role of the facilitator?

The role of the workshop facilitator is one that is both demanding and rewarding.   As an authorized facilitator, you are an advocate for keeping children safe from sexual abuse and are key to spreading the prevention message on behalf of Voice Found.  You become a valued member of the Voice Found team and can expect to be treated as such.

What skills are required?

Facilitators model the core principals of Stewards of Children in the community by talking openly about child sexual abuse and engaging adults in the discussion. It takes courage and commitment to increase people’s knowledge and to change attitudes about child sexual abuse. While teaching or training experience is not required, you must feel comfortable speaking and presenting. Good presentation, listening, and communication skills are all critically important in being an effective facilitator.

In addition, you should consider how talking about this issue regularly and openly in public will affect you personally. It is difficult to hear personal stories of abuse. You must be prepared to be immersed in the topic without it having a negative or traumatic effect on you. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse this is an especially important consideration.

How Do I Become a Facilitator?

To become an Authorized Facilitator, you must attend a Facilitator Workshop.  The cost of the workshop is $350 (subsidies MAY be available) and includes:

  • 7.5 hours of instruction,
  • Instruction on the philosophy and purpose of the Stewards of Children curriculum, mastery of the training curriculum, preparation for and promoting the program, and facilitator policies and procedures.
  • All training materials including a Facilitator Manual, a Stewards of Children workbook, DVD, and 7 Steps booklet.
  • It is highly recommended that prior to attending a Facilitator Workshop, you first participate in a Stewards of Children training session or complete the online version.

We are based in Ottawa, Canada and are planning a facilitator workshop for June 2nd. 2012. 

NOTE-  Volunteers must prepare and meet the following criteria

  • All applicants must be in possession of a current (sited and dated within six months) Volunteer Police Intervention Check which can be obtained through your local police department. Please ensure that the Vulnerable Sector box found on the back of your Police Intervention Check is checked off as yes prior to submitting your application form to your local police department.

There is a cost associated with obtaining a Police Intervention Check. To qualify for the reduced rate provided to volunteers applicants can obtain a letter from the volunteer coordinator via

If you live outside the city limits please contact your local RCMP to obtain a background check. The Consent for Disclosure of Criminal Record Information. Check must also state the Vulnerable Sector check has been done.

  • Write a 100-500 word essay on why you want to volunteer for Voice Found or send us a short video
  • Provide us with a copy of your resume
  • Be 18 years of age or older

Want to become a facilitator?  Send a note to info (at) and we will begin work on your application.

Consider joining us.  It is some of the most important work you will ever do.




From 1 to 10

I started Voice Found a number of years ago.  It’s been a dream and something I dabbled in as time would permit.  I really wanted to raise awareness- talk about a taboo subject and educate adults on prevention of childhood sexual abuse as well as offer hope to survivors.  Being a survivor myself – I struggled (and struggle) at times in my healing and I believe that sharing this with others helps them to know they are not alone.

So what’s with the ‘from 1 to 10’ title?

Well- Voice Found is no longer just ‘my dream’.  We are now a federally incorporated non profit with charitable status pending.  We are making a difference.  We have been training adults on how to prevent childhood sexual abuse through the Stewards of Children childhood sexual abuse prevention program.

Here’s where the 1 to 10 comes in.  I am the ONLY authorized facilitator for the prevention workshop.  We have over 150 adults who want to take the program in the next 6-8 weeks and that is the conservative number.  There are plans underway to train many, many more.  We also have a list 10 adults who want to be facilitators and we need to train them.  I hold a full time job and conduct workshops on weekends and evenings – or during vacation time.

Think of the reach that these 10 new facilitators would have.  They are from different regions of the province of Ontario.  If each of these train 10 people per month that’s 100 adults in YOUR community who know how to prevent the sexual abuse of children.  These adults are coaches, teachers, volunteers, parents, grandparents – organizations and individuals.

We need to pay for travel and expenses for a facilitator trainer to come to Ottawa from Charleston, NC to train these 10 facilitators.  The cost to train one facilitator is $350.00 which we want to subsidize as these are volunteer positions.

Please help us to grow and make a significant impact.   Our campaign ends in two days.  Every bit helps.  Click here to donate.

With gratitude,