As most of you realize, I wrote my book for many reasons.
One objective was that I needed to “tell my truth” after a lifetime of silence. Which leads to a second reason: that others, scarred due to similar traumatic experiences, may see their lives in a new and uplifting way after reading Rag Dolls and Rage. However, a third reason, as important as the first two, is that to this day, many girls and boys, women and men, are still victims of violence, sexual abuse and trafficking.
Which is where SAVIS of Halton comes in (SAVIS: Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services). This is one of several important organizations in Toronto’s suburbs that offer help to traumatized individuals. I have chosen to donate yearly, the profits from sales of my book to SAVIS. Their services include an around-the-clock crisis line, advocacy, counselling and support/ accompaniment to hospital or court. As well, there are classroom visits to educate young people about their rights and about outreach.
I am currently taking an 8-week evening course provided by a SAVIS counselor. Maria Estrada worked for 6 years in the mental health and addictions field, and has been with SAVIS for almost a year. She has put together this course, which she and others will run periodically, and named it Road to Healing. We attendees have learned through Maria that there are 4 counselors in the SAVIS office, with different specialties such as addiction, trafficking and so on, and that there are 15 full-time staff in total. As well, there are many trained volunteers who dedicate time.
Many people have been helped by SAVIS in the last 30 years. I cannot think of a more worthwhile cause to assist with sales of my book. I will occasionally blog about the organization’s activities and keep you all informed. In the meantime, below is a picture of Maria with a couple of her slides.