DC Trip To Meet With NVRDC and Friends of Guest House
Washington, DC... I was lucky enough to live and work in the Nation's Capital for four years. If you've never been to DC in the summer, put it on your bucket list! Such a beautiful city and so many wonderful people doing great things. Some of those wonderful people are our partners.
The Network for Victim Recovery of DC, or NVRDC, is a nonprofit organization that is truly on the frontline of the war against sexual violence. From beginning to end, NVRDC provides Survivors of sexual violence community-based education, therapeutic and legal support. Survivors receive all of the services regardless of income, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation, race or gender identity/expression.
We've been working with the amazing Stephanie Shea, MSW who is a Victim Advocate at NVRDC. She introduced us to Christa Heilman and Christa joined me on FOX 5's Good Day DC. Christa is a natural on camera, I could use some lessons! The wonderful news team at FOX 5; Steve Chenevey, Allison Seymour and Sarah Simmons were kind enough to have us on their amazing program. It's nice to see so many media people really care about such an important cause. You can watch the Good Day DC segment right here.
I also had the opportunity to visited a very unique partner of ours, Friends of Guest House, or FGH.
FGH is a center that helps female nonviolent offenders assimilate back into society after incarceration. The national recidivism rate for female nonviolent offenders is about 70%, the recidivism rate for the women who have gone through the Friends of Guest House program is only 7%. I just can't stop thinking about how wonderful this is, not only for the women who go through the program but for tax payers everywhere. Friends of Guest House Board Member, Denise Tordella, explained just how much the program is helping the community. She told me that many of the women in the program have children so parenting lessons are provided. So, not only do the women in the program become a productive members of society but their children get their moms back, reversing the cycle. Bravo to Director Kari Galloway, the women working and volunteering at Friends of Guest House, the Board and all the past/present/future women who go through this amazing program. I can't help but wonder if there are programs like this dedicated to rehabilitating domestic violence offenders? Please let me know, in the comments section, if you know of a program that uses teaching, therapy or anything to reduce the recidivism rate of domestic violence offenders. If there isn't, then I think it's something that should be explored! You can watch the wonderful story put together by Lesli Foster, Stephanie Wilson and Kevin King right here.
I also got a chance to volunteer at Friends of Guest House and I even got my friend Dave Gedney to come out and help! Dave works for National Geographic, I actually helped him on a show about human sex trafficking when I lived in DC. Thanks Dave for the four hours in 90+ degree heat, those hedges looked amazing!