Hello Kindness Gems Fam! Julia here, KG’s founder! I wanted to make this blog as an opportunity to tell you in more detail about my experience as a crisis counselor for survivors of sexual violence and why this cause is so important to me, especially during this time.
In my first week of college two of my closest friends were sexually assaulted. The pain I felt for my friends shaped me and prompted me to reach out to my schools resource center for survivors of sexual violence to get involved in the cause. I became their marketing intern and delivered presentations to classes describing the prevalence of sexual violence on our college campus as well as all others around the country. During this time, I learned about a program in my county to become a crisis counselor. In this training, I was confronted with painful scenarios that involved children taken away from their parents, clients experiencing homelessness, and patients dying at the hands of their abusers.
These hypothetical scenarios hardly prepared me for the real deal. My first patient pleaded for protection from our center after fainting with emotion on the floor. She opened up about her fears that her husband would murder her if she went home that night. This marked the beginning of a difficult three year journey listening, organizing care, and sharing compassion. The experiences with my clients at hospitals, in the courthouse, and working the crisis hotline opened my eyes to the injustices and ignited a fire towards seeking social justice.
The most painful piece of the work was the reality of our limited resources. Every single day I had to turn people away that were seeking our safe shelters, as most shelters were full eleven months out of the year. Our full time therapists had a 6-8 week waiting list. Our lawyers were too overwhelmed with case loads to take on new clients. Resources in every direction were depleted and I was disturbed by how few people we could help compared to how many were in need.
My company Kindness Gems was born from two ideas. The first is that spreading kindness is the most powerful tool in connecting humanity and two, that by selling jewelry I could raise funds to help survivors have the resources they need.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, domestic violence cases have sky-rocketed because people are trapped in a living situation with their abuser. The availability of resources to help victims is more important than ever. I ask you to join me to help people at this time escape abusive relationships by supporting my company and spreading kindness.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about my experience in this cause and I hope you are inspired to join the Kindness Gems family and support this cause as a united front.
Please check out https://www.rainn.org to learn more about the organization were partnering up with and donating 20% of proceeds to!