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END OF YEAR GIVING OPPORTUNITY!

December 2014

Dear Friend of OAASIS,

As a valued supporter of OAASIS, you share our vision of a world where child sex abuse no longer exists.

As you are well aware, we are a great distance from that world.  Almost daily a story breaks revealing yet another tragic incidence of child sex abuse.  A few minutes ago, I read one of these stories on my Facebook feed, and now, I notice a sinking feeling in my chest that only intesifies as I recognize that this one heartbreaking story represents countless untold others.  If I’m not careful, I can mindlessly assume that the reality that I’m reading about is inevitable, that child sex abuse is here to stay.

But, this is not the case.  We at OAASIS, along with many local and national partners in the movement to end child sexual abuse, dare to believe that radical change is possible for children and for survivors of child sexual abuse.  Writer and social activist Jim Wallis explains, “Hope is believing in spite of the evidence, then watching the evidence change.”

And hope we do; we courageously hope and work for a world that is safe, just, and kind on behalf of children and survivors.  And, I want to tell you that we see evidence of change.

 This change includes:

  • People are talking about child sex abuse in the news, at the dinner table, and on my Facebook feed.  Although silence and shame enable abuse to continue, I believe that right now our culture in general and OAASIS in particular is tearing holes in the sheet of silence around child sex abuse.  This year, hundreds of people attended performances of OAASIS’ play, “Telling: Adult Survivors of Child Sex Abuse Step into the Light” in Portland and at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.  Refusing to turn a blind eye, Oregonians opened their eyes–and their hearts–to listen to and learn from the real-life experiences of survivors of child sex abuse.
  • Our communities are taking more seriously the responsibility to safeguard children.  Be they motivated by insurance requirements or internal commitments, the fact remains that organizations are investing in policies and procedures to protect children.  This year OAASIS, in partnership with Samaritan Counseling Center, SAIV, and several local churches, launched a local pilot of Safe Church, a program for churches that enables them to create safe and theologically congruent policies and procedures to protect the children and empower the survivors in their communities.
  • Survivors are standing together–for healing, for empowerment, and for collective change.  At OAASIS’ meetings and conferences, survivors often report, “I am with my tribe!”  “I can show up with all of myself without shame.”  We see hundreds of survivors each year who are addressing their pain and coming together.  In doing so, they access a deep well of internal and collective power which they are eager to employ to shift Oregon’s culture and laws around child sexual abuse.  These survivors–in partnership with allies and similarly committed organizations–are OAASIS’ base of 4,072–and growing each day.

We need your continued support to build on our successes, engage more people in this work, and to mobilize a social movement to end child sex abuse and make it a top priority in our state.

In the coming year we plan to:

  • Build and equip our Survivors Speakers Bureau and focus its efforts on outreach to our communities to educate and grow the movement to end child sexual abuse.
  • Expand our educational work through more showings of our play, “Telling: Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Step into the Light”.
  • Provide opportunities to build the survivor community of support and healing through our Survivor Quarterly Chats and Conferences.

In order to seize these opportunities and act most effectively, we need your support and partnership.  Today I ask that you join us with as generous a contribution as you can afford.  Please consider a gift of $50, $100, $250 or more.

You can donate online through this link, http://oaasisoregon.org/how-you-can-help/contribute-to-our-cause/, or send a check made payable to OAASIS by mail to:  OAASIS, PO Box 2161, Portland OR  97208.

With your help, we can create a world where all of us are valued–and where the violation of trust and safety that child sexual abuse represents is so unacceptable as to virtually disappear.

Please join us as we boldly hope, strategically act, and powerfully witness the evidence of child sexual abuse radically change.

Together,

Klarissa Oh, Executive Director, OAASIS

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Welcome to OAASIS. Whether you have experienced child sexual abuse, have concern about someone who has been victimized, want to know more about protecting your children, or simply stumbled upon us by accident, we are delighted that you are here.

We are a group, comprised primarily of survivors and allies of survivors, with a mission to build a movement to end child sex abuse through advocacy, prevention, and survivor support. This has been an exciting year for our young organization as we have doubled our team of volunteers, received our biggest grant – to date – from the Ms.Foundation for Women, been awarded a “Gloria Award” from Gloria Steinem, and have launched the Family Justice League of Oregon with two fabulous organizations, Voices Set Free and Partnership for Safety and Justice. In addition, we received a grant from the NoVo Foundation and were selected to participate in their groundbreaking “Move to End Violence” program!

As we enter a new year, our focus is to continue to break the silence and shame around child sexual abuse by offering presentations by our OAASIS Survivors Speakers Bureau to the community. Our speakers share their stories of abuse and healing, and equip audiences with practical tools and insight to protect children and to pursue healing. If you, your organization, social or civic group, classroom,or faith community is interested in booking a speaker, please contact us. (#503.274.1179)

We hope that our website will support you as you pursue the resources,information, and insight that you may need. Furthermore, our Facebook profile, OAASIS OREGON, offers further information and updates around our work and child sexual abuse. Please consider taking a look at it.

Thank you, again.

Warmly,

Klarissa Oh
Executive Director of OAASIS Oregon


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