About Us

Who are we?

We are a creative team of artist, healers and warriors who hold space for people to use art as a bridge to healing themselves.

The Freedom Project is a two part program. Part one we facilitate healing art workshops for the general public, women in domestic violence shelters and incarcerated women who had to kill their abusers to survive. We believe freedom is obtainable in the mind. Freedom is not attached to physical space or ability. Mental freedom, the thought alone opens space for healing  in the body and the soul.

Part two is an annual exhibit that will showcase the work created during these workshops. Artist will be able to share their work with the community, the community will bare witness to this work and we hope there will be an exchange that will inspire growth collectively. Some of the work will be auctioned off to keep the project going but a part of the funds will benefit a local shelter to stay open. Recent budget cuts in California will mean less beds for women trying to end the cycle of violence in their lives. We want to draw attention to the need, keep funding coming in so all women and children in the Bay Area and beyond will be safe.


What else can you do????? Try some or all of these:

1. Approach domestic violence as a human rights issue involving men and women of all ages and socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Support men to be empowered bystanders who can help confront abusive peers. 

2.   Support a workplace environment safe from all forms of violence and have policies in place that support victims in accessing information, services and legal remedies. 

3.   If you suspect that someone close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if  you can help.  Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for 24 hour assistance at 1-800-799-SAFE. 

4.   Talk to your faith leaders about domestic violence.  Discuss ways in which your faith community can promote healthy relationships, provide support to victims and their children, and send clear messages that domestic violence is not acceptable.  

5.   If a relative, friend, classmate, colleague, or teammate is abusing his partner -- or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general -- don’t look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help.  If you don’t know what to do, consult a domestic  violence program.  Don’t remain silent. 

6.   Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes and make a positive change where necessary.  

7.   Encourage young boys to be nurturing and young girls to be strong.  Help children develop knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that lead to healthy relationships.  Visit www.safeandrespectful.org to learn more. 

8.  Foster collaboration among community groups working on violence prevention.  Help make the connections between youth violence, bullying, child abuse and domestic violence so that knowledge, resources and strategies are shared.   

9.   Be an ally to men and women who are working to end all forms of gender violence.  Support events  and raise money for community-based domestic violence and sexual assault programs. 

10.  Respect and promote respect for all people, regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.  Do not tolerate discrimination, violence, or degrading behaviors against anyone you perceive to be different from yourself. 

11.  Model nonviolent, respectful behavior in your family.  Call a domestic violence or child abuse prevention program if you need help. 

12.  Recognize that teaching peace begins at home. Teach your children and grandchildren to reject violence, especially in the face of peer pressure or messages to the contrary in popular culture. 

13.  Support education initiatives that address teen dating violence.  Encourage schools to include information on healthy relationships as part of standard curriculum materials.  


~Letter from the founder~

 Dear Community,

My name is Reshawn Goods and I am a survivor of domestic violence. This is my new badge and I wear it proudly because not all of us make it out alive, sane,whole or healed. I'm proud to say that I'm four years free of DV and I couldn't be happier. Life has not been easy but it has been a joy to watch a home of turmoil turn to peace. Sleeping has become a joy and waking up even sweeter knowing that there is not a chance of being hit, degraded, belittled and oppressed by the very person who claimed to love me so much. Love should never hurt, children should never live in fear and home should always be a place where love is learned, built and grows.  Now more than ever I am committed to do my part to make sure home is love. I plan on hosting more workshops for survivors, creating more community dialogue around DV and standing up for people who want to end the cycle of violence in their lives. For those who know and love me I want to say thank you. The support means everything to me and my family and I promise to be that support for people who come to me. Let's come together as a community to change the way we look at DV, get involved, call the police, offer a room, a bed, a ride, some pocket change, a bart card, a phone card, to a person you know that is suffering from DV...you just might save a life. Silence = Death 

The Freedom Project was created because of what I was witnessed happening with survivors I knew. Transitional homes and safe places to rest are wonderful but what happens after that? Families rebuild and regroup but what happens emotionally? Most women stick to their patterns and find new partners that will batter them. My organization is committed to help women break the the cycle, look at patterns, blockages, and old wounds that need healing. We encourage participants to dig deep and find the courage needed to never fall in the DV trap again. I hope that you will help us, join us, and stay committed to a DV Free life,

Love and Light

Reshawn Goods

 

 Get involved in a safe way...here are the don'ts and a few Do's

Don’t tell her to leave or stay – She is confused and in need of support. She will not trust you if she feels the only way to get your support is to leave the relationship or to stay in the relationship. She does not need your advice.

Don’t blame her for what has happened to her – It’s easy to do when a counselor is feeling hopeless or inadequate.

Don’t take over for her – She needs to act on her own behalf to rebuild her self-esteem. When you take responsibility for her feelings or try to meet her needs for her, you reinforce her low self-esteem and her victimization.

Don’t belittle or condemn the batterer – When you agree with her negative sentiments towards the batterer, she will not be able to talk with you if she changes her mind or when she has strong feelings of love and attachment for him. Usually underneath her negative sentiment are some feelings of love, concern and tenderness.

Don’t pressure her into making decisions – She needs time to sort out her feelings and make reasoned decisions. She may lack skills in decision-making and expressing feelings.

Don’t minimize her feelings or experiences – She may lose confidence in your ability to understand her situation or to help her.

Don’t divert the focus to other problems – Don’t let your discomfort keep the focus off battering. Her safety is the first concern to deal with.

Don’t attack her as a parent – She may have difficulty acting for her children’s safety as her won. She needs support to change.

Don’t tell her how to change her behavior in the relationship to stop his violence. – She does not control the violence nor can she cure it.

Don’t think assertiveness skills will stop the violence – Being assertive may increase the danger for her. Trust her “gut” feelings about what she can do or say to be safe.

Do offer a ride, money, storage, a bed, a room - options are wonderful to know you have. It also signifies that other people know the violence is happening. If you offer a bed make sure the batterer has no knowledge where you live so you both stay safe.

Do report what you see and ask if your reporting can be given anonymously. 

Do offer numbers and connections with resources when the batterer is not around.

Do lend an ear - sometimes venting helps the person flush out an exit plan

Don't be focused on the outcome....do your part and let it go!



 
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