"It's easy sometimes to get caught up in this work and lose perspective. We do regularly hear about the absolute worst of humanity and the devastating impacts of this. Of course one of the things that keeps us all so positive is seeing women recover from their trauma and move on with their lives again. We witness this every week; the remarkable resilience of women. And I'm sure that those involved in the organisation wouldn't want to do the work if we didn't see these positive changes.
But still, being surrounded by the epidemic of sexual violence, in person and in the media constantly, runs the risk of seeing the world through a certain lens. That's why it is so good for us to have experiences that run counter to the overriding narrative. July was one of those months when we had a series of wonderful pieces of evidence of the very best of the world.
We received 4 donations out of the blue in July! First off, the older lesbians group, SWALLOWS sent us a very welcome cheque for £85 with a lovely message of support for the work we do. A local group of women just thinking about other women and how they can help - superb! Then, following a visit by our Chair, Linda, Teignmouth Baptist Church sent us a cheque for £250. We've no idea how they raised the money but we are absolutely clear of their intention to support women in Teignmouth and beyond. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the month came with an email from Gavin, a teacher at Teignmouth Community College. His year 8 tutor group had decided to raise money for DRCSAS and had achieved an amazing £301. This was impressive because a group of 14 year olds had come up with the idea themselves, discussed and agreed to make us their beneficiaries. It strikes me that this year 8 tutor group had a particular level of maturity and compassion which is often missing from adult mainstream conversations where victims are judged and held (at least partially) responsible for their attack. I'm really looking forward to meeting them in person at the start of the new term - real role models for their peers and ambassadors for their school.
Finally, International Dance Supplies ran an event with a raffle and raised £612 for us. The founder of IDS, Anne Walker MBE, has been a patron with us from the very beginning and is supportive in so many ways. We're really grateful for our ongoing relationship with her.
And we're really grateful for all the people out there who take the issue of sexual violence seriously, who don't pretend it's not happening, who do want to do something to help and who think about our organisation when they have something to give."