We are unlike other charities working in this area, in that we have never seek funding , preferring instead to be self supporting, in case the issues of money, prestige and power should detract from our purpose, change our priorities, and dilute our resolve.
Our own involvement is a labour of LOVE.
However we are not naive about the necessity of contributions! There are several collaborative projects which are designed to make a real contribution to the greater cause, and will require sponsorship:
* A Neuro-Science research project: Looking at the long term physiological brain damage caused by childhood clergy abuse, and its long term effects.
There are some wonderful books about clerical abuse, specifically in Italian, like the ones from journalist Frederico Tulli. We want them translated into all of our languages so we can all benefit from their wisdom.
*Photographic memorial :
Silvia Amodio’s video on our website “Out of the Shadows” is a snapshot of her work, which we hope will be a pictorial monument to survivors .A book and an exhibition to follow our events are other possibilities we are exploring.
Our gatherings are important to survivors, they are a “shot in the arm” and fuel to take back into their everyday lives, but travel can be expensive. For example The group from Verona found it difficult to pay for the six hour each way coach journey to bring them all to Rome. Rome is expensive, and so we decided last year to move our annual gathering to Verona, to make it more possible for them. We travel cheaply, We pay for our own travel,we share each others homes, and we help others with costs wherever we can, but we don’t have bottomless resources.
We would like to have a dedicated fund for travel to these important gatherings and be able to allow more people to tap in to that powerful renewal.
*Ultimately we would like to extend our annual gathering to create an annual retreat, where survivors can take respite, get some therapy, meet others and share comradeship and hope.
More than anything we want people to KNOW about this huge issue, to hear it from those who have lived through it, and not second hand from a church with an axe to grind or a face to save.
We are not weak! Survivors are incredibly strong!
We have survived the worst betrayal of body and trust and that battle has been grist to our mill.
We do not want to be seen as victims, if we allow people to victimise us (as the church would) and we accept that role, then we would be accepting a lesser place in society, which we do not deserve. Self empowerment is our mantra. But of course we do need other people! We have found amazing support from Oxford “Thinkweek” and from the Secularists and Humanists organisations., and we truly value their friendship.
We want more people of integrity and compassion to get behind our cause, talk about it, come with us to our gatherings, join in our celebrations, and help us regain the power that was so cruelly taken from us. More than anything we wantthe support of your friendship .
We have been honoured when people chose our organisation as their “chosen charity” and sometimes they INSIST on giving us what they have collected, it is very humbling, and we would never refuse anyone wanting to contribute to our organisation, but that money will ONLY be for the projects we have named.
We will never take any of that charitable money for our own travel, or expenses, maintenance of the website, attendance at expensive conferences, or administration.
Our own involvement will forever be a labour of LOVE.
Sue Cox & Ton Leerschool
Survivors Voice Europe
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