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Embracing Your Inner Strength and Building Resilience:  Moving from Shame to Liberation

Do you feel as if you get caught in hard situations and want to live with greater choice, freedom, and integrity? Do you want to live more fully?

Join uiStock_000065727915_Doubles—survivors of child sexual abuse, loved ones, advocates, and learners—as we learn to tap more deeply into our own strength and resiliency.

Saturday, April 23rd
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Revolution Hall (1300 SE Stark St, Portland)

Keynote: Sarah Peyton, Trauma Expert & NVC Facilitator
Workshops: Resonant Language, Healing Trauma -Sarah Peyton
Trauma-Informed Yoga -Molly Boeder-Harris, Director of Breathe Network, Healing in Spite of Shame, For the Male Survivor -Das Chapin, Survivor Understanding Trauma & Building Resiliency -Mary Zinkin, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Trauma Support Services

Register here or call for more information 503-765-1128

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Adult Survivors of Child Sex Abuse Rally at Oregon State Capitol in Support of HB 3284 on Monday April 8

April 5, 2013

Bill will eliminate state’s archaic statutes of limitations for felony child sex crimes, which now protect abusers and those who hide them

For the first time in Oregon history, large numbers of adult survivors of child sex abuse will step out of the shadows in support of bill which will protect children

Portland, OR – The years-long campaign to reform the archaic statutes of limitations for childhood sex abuse crimes in Oregon is intensifying in 2013.

The Oregon House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on the subject in the State Capitol on Monday, April 8, at 1:00 P.M., to discuss HB 3284, a bill presented by the House Judiciary Committee itself.

Prior to the hearing, a large number of adult survivors of child sex abuse will rally on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol from 11:15 A.M. to 12:15 P.M., in support of HB 3284, which will eliminate the criminal statutes of limitations for the following crimes against minors by adults: first-degree sex abuse, first-degree sodomy, first-degree unlawful penetration, incest, and first-degree rape.

Oregon, usually thought of as a progressive state, is coming late to this party.  Thirty-three other states already have eliminated criminal statute of limitations for these crimes and others against children.  Attempts to pass a similar bill in Oregon in 2011 were unsuccessful.

Speakers will include Rep. Jeff Barker, chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Brent Barton; writer, activist and adult survivor Randy Ellison; journalist and adult survivor Margie Boule, and others.

Nationwide headlines over the past 18 months are a graphic illustration of why current law in Oregon is inadequate to protect children from predators.  Incidents of past child sex abuse, most of which could not have been prosecuted in Oregon, include cases involving the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, Penn State and Syracuse Universities, the BBC, Horace Mann School and Yeshiva University High School.

Rally participants who are willing to share their identities and personal stories with the media will carry picket signs rimmed in green.  Those who are not ready to share their stories or their names will carry red-rimmed signs.  Nearly all marchers will carry green signs.

In the U.S., one out of four girls and one out of six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18.  Victims typically have great difficulty coming to grips with crimes done to them, and keep the secret of their abuse for decades.  They often are psychologically unable to speak out until after Oregon’s statute of limitations has expired, making it impossible to prosecute their abusers.  Pedophiles can continue to abuse children for decades; serial child sex abusers offend as many as 400 times in their lifetime. Eliminating the statutes of limitations for these crimes will take more pedophiles off the streets, warn more families that abusers are nearby, and protect more Oregon children.

For information about the rally, for more statistics, for names and contact information of Oregon experts on the effects of child sex abuse, contact:

Kristi Kernal

OAASIS (Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service)

503-522-9463 cell

503-274-1179 OAASIS

Kristi@oaasisoregon.org

Web site:  oaasisoregon.org

For information about HB 3284, contact:

Randy Ellison

Board chair, OAASIS

541-292-9570 cell

 OAASIS    PO Box 2161  Portland OR  97208    503.274.1179

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November 23, 2012

Portland, OR—Today, Klarissa Oh was named by the NoVo Foundation as one of 20 new leaders selected to join its groundbreaking Move to End Violence program, a 10-year, $80 million program to strengthen leaders and organizations, and build a breakthrough movement to end violence against girls and women in the United States.

“These leaders have shown incredible vision and courage in their day-to-day work, confronting violence, abuse, rape and trafficking of women and girls in their communities,” said Jennifer Buffett, President and Co-Chair of the NoVo Foundation. “The Move to End Violence program is an effort to honor their bold leadership and harness their potential to create the change needed so that girls and women can live free of violence.”

Leaders selected for the program participate in an intensive, two-year experience that includes time for essential, big-picture conversations; the opportunity to sharpen their vision and develop a strategy to get there; skills-building sessions to advance social change and advocacy skills; and a strong emphasis on self-care and empowerment. Leaders’ organizations also receive general support grants and technical assistance to advance organizational development.

“We are working to make Oregon a safer and more life-affirming state where children are protected and survivors of child sexual abuse are supported.  Being a part of the Move to End Violence cohort will enable us to do this critical work with deeper thoughtfulness, greater efficacy, more cutting edge strategy, and with national powerhouse partners.  Oregon is fortunate to be one of the states that directly benefits from NoVo’s brilliant vision and significant investment, and OAASIS could not be more honored,” reports Klarissa.

OAASIS, Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service, is an activist group of child sexual abuse survivors and allies in Oregon with a commitment to protect children from sexual abuse and to empower survivors of child sexual abuse through public awareness, education, and advocacy work. They promote the role of survivors in shaping cultural understanding and public policy around child sexual abuse in order to address the startling reality that one out of four girls and one out of six boys is sexually abused by his/her eighteenth birthday.

Over ten years, the Move to End Violence program will connect and strengthen hundreds of advocates and organizations, investing in a national network of committed leaders with the vision, skills and renewed energy necessary to reinvigorate efforts to end violence against girls and women. The NoVo Foundation will also consider funding a select number of collaborative campaigns that will be designed by program participants, chosen for promising potential to create meaningful change.

“We are delighted to name Klarissa and OAASIS as partners in this effort,” said Jackie Payne, Move to End Violence director. “We look forward to supporting her and the other ‘Movement Makers’ as they develop bold new strategies to confront violence and create lasting change for women and girls.”

More information on the Move to End Violence program is available at www.movetoendviolence.org.

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For Immediate Release
May 10, 2011

For More Information
Klarissa Oh: (503) 274.1179

PORTLAND—OAASIS, Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service, announced today that it has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Ms. Foundation for Women as part of a groundbreaking effort to end child sexual abuse across the United States.

OAASIS is one of 15 grantees selected by the Ms. Foundation from among 250 submissions. Together, this new cohort of grantees was awarded a total of $600,000 in grants—a significant contribution to the field of child sexual abuse prevention.  The awardees—local, state and national groups based in 14 states across the country—include faith-based, arts, domestic violence and survivor-led groups as well as sexual assault coalitions and child abuse prevention organizations.

OAASIS is a grassroots organization made up of survivors and family members of survivors who are committed to protecting children from sexual abuse and empowering survivors of child sexual abuse through public awareness, education, and advocacy.  With the grant and support of the Ms. Foundation, OAASIS will expand their Survivors’ Speakers Bureau; organize a statewide conference to bring together child sexual abuse experts and survivors; conduct a survey on survivors and service providers to inform our policy goals, and continue to educate and engage the community in advocating for public policy that protects children.

Monique Hoeflinger, senior program officer at the Ms. Foundation for Women explains, “In awarding these funds, we are proud to support an emerging movement to end child sexual abuse that is taking root nationwide…these organizations are pursuing innovative strategies to engage families, communities and policymakers to end child sexual abuse once and for all.”

To learn more, please visit OAASIS’ website at www.oaasisoregon.org or call 503.274.1179.

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For Immediate Release
May 10, 2011

For More Information
Klarissa Oh: (503) 274.1179

PORTLAND—OAASIS, Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service, announced today that it has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Ms. Foundation for Women as part of a groundbreaking effort to end child sexual abuse across the United States.

OAASIS is one of 15 grantees selected by the Ms. Foundation from among 250 submissions. Together, this new cohort of grantees was awarded a total of $600,000 in grants—a significant contribution to the field of child sexual abuse prevention.  The awardees—local, state and national groups based in 14 states across the country—include faith-based, arts, domestic violence and survivor-led groups as well as sexual assault coalitions and child abuse prevention organizations.

OAASIS is a grassroots organization made up of survivors and family members of survivors who are committed to protecting children from sexual abuse and empowering survivors of child sexual abuse through public awareness, education, and advocacy.  With the grant and support of the Ms. Foundation, OAASIS will expand their Survivors’ Speakers Bureau; organize a statewide conference to bring together child sexual abuse experts and survivors; conduct a survey on survivors and service providers to inform our policy goals, and continue to educate and engage the community in advocating for public policy that protects children.

Monique Hoeflinger, senior program officer at the Ms. Foundation for Women explains, “In awarding these funds, we are proud to support an emerging movement to end child sexual abuse that is taking root nationwide…these organizations are pursuing innovative strategies to engage families, communities and policymakers to end child sexual abuse once and for all.”

To learn more, please visit OAASIS’ website at www.oaasisoregon.org or call 503.274.1179.

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April 23, 2010

Portland, OreA jury today found the Boy Scouts of America liable for punitive damages for the sexual abuse of a then 12 year old boy in the 1980’s, returning a verdict of  $18.5million in punitive damages—having last week returned a verdict of $ 1.4 in general compensatory damages. The trial lasted nearly 6 weeks.   Under Oregon law, 60% of a punitive damages award goes to the State of Oregon crime victims’ fund—since the public policy purpose of punitive damages is to improve community safety.

“This is a tremendous win and a vindication of the truth about what happened to this boy,” said trial attorneys Kelly Clark and Paul Mones, co-counsel for the plaintiff, in a prepared statement.  “The lessons of this case are that it is wrong for a youth organization to put the interests of the organization before the safety of the children,” they added.  “Child abuse is always a devastating poison in the soul of any child, and this jury clearly recognized the profound impact that this abuse had on this young boy, and wanted to send a signal that a jury in Portland, Oregon will not tolerate any youth organization—even the venerated Boy Scouts of America—that keeps secrets about dangers to children.  We are very proud of him for standing up for himself and for all abuse victims. If one child is saved from abuse because of this trial, it will be a win with lasting significance.”

The plaintiff, Kerry Lewis, now 38, had been known before the trial only as “Jack Doe 4”—there are a total of 6 men who are suing for abuse by the same perpetrator—but during the trial, he allowed his name to be used publicly.  He was abused on 6 separate occasions when he was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, at age 10-12. “I’m grateful for the chance to tell my story,” he said, “and it was bottled up inside me for too long.  Now I get to go on and finish my healing. This trial was a great way to start the process of putting all this behind me, so I can focus on being a good man, a good friend, and a good father.”

Highlights of the trial included the presentation, for the first time before any jury, of over 1000 confidential files—totaling nearly 20,000 pages of documents—concerning adult Scout leaders from 1965-85 who had been accused of abusing Scouts.  The trial court had ordered the documents produced in December, but the Scouts appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court, which on Feb 19 refused to hear the appeal or to block the order. The BSA finally produced the documents on March 2, and the trial commenced on March 15.

“When it came to child sexual abuse, the BSA motto was not ‘be prepared’ but rather was ‘be quiet,’” Clark and Mones commented.  The plaintiff argued that the confidentiality of these sexual abuse files, and the refusal of the Scouts to warn parents of the known dangers of abuse in Scouting, amounted to a cover-up, driven by the BSA’s desire to keep up its membership.  In that regard, the plaintiff produced a surprise witness during the last week of the main trial, Larry O’Connor, a lifelong Scouter from Alaska and a former professional Scout executive,  who testified that, throughout the 1970’s the BSA deliberately inflated membership numbers all over the country through a mechanism called “ghost units”—Scout Troops that only existed on paper. The inflated numbers, Clark and Mones argued, was evidence of the motive for covering up the abuse problem—the desire not to lose members and financial support.   In closing argument, Clark compared this to the cover-up in the Catholic Church of sex abuse by pedophile priests.

The plaintiff’s case also included evidence about what other youth organizations were doing in the 1980’s to protect children, especially the Big Brothers and Sisters, which had aggressive child abuse training and education programs in place by the 1980’s, while the Boy Scouts of America had not begun similar programs.  The plaintiff had been abused in 83 and 84 by an Assistant Scoutmaster named Timur Dykes, despite that Dykes had admitted to Troop leaders in January 1983 that he had molested 17 Scouts.  The plaintiff’s parents were never warned about his dangerousness, and that failure, according to plaintiff’s attorneys, led to further abuse, including of plaintiff.

The punitive damages phase of the trial highlighted the BSA’s surprisingly rich financial statements—with nearly $1 billion in assets, including $660 million in unrestricted funds, annual revenues of $400 million, and a $45 million art collection.  The plaintiff’s lawyers during the punitive damages phase of the trial highlighted lavish spending within the top brass of BSA, including the salary of the Chief Scout Executive, who earns a total compensation of $1.2 million annually.

The next of the five remaining trials against the BSA and its Cascade Pacific Council in Portland is not yet scheduled, but Clark said that he expects it will happen in the Fall of this year.

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To arrange for interviews with attorneys Kelly Clark and/or Paul Mones, please contact
Rebecca Tweed, Media Relations Director at:
(503) 860-6033 or Rebecca@tweedandassociates.com

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