There are 4 parts to the DV Program.
1) Speaking at both DV Orgs/Shelters and High Schools;
2) Matching Book Donations, clothing and toy drives; and
4) Legal work
1. I speak (gratis) to any DV organization or shelter in the tri-state (NY/NJ/CT) area as well as most of New England. I also travel to Pennsylvania and as far south, north, east and west as I can without incurring too many hotel bills. I wish I could do more and travel more places just to tell my story of getting out and building a wonderful life and all the resources available, but the costs tend to be prohibitive.
A few years ago I did a weekend retreat out west that was sponsored by a church. All of the space, food, etc was donated by local sponsors in exchange for signage and they collected enough money to have me come out and I stayed in the retreat house so I didn’t have any expenses but the flight and most of it was paid for. So if your community is not in the Northeast, there are ways to work around the expenses. I don’t require anything fancy and most retreat houses will help. Also substance abuse treatment centers that have strong women’s programs can be very inventive when it comes to this.
When neither I nor they have the money but I can Skype and I’ve done HuffPo Live many times through Google Hangout so we could do something like that as well. Unfortunately so many shelters cannot even afford the technology to do something like Skype or Google Hangout. But if you are a for-profit organization looking for projects to invest in, DV is an area where resources are sorely needed.
I also speak at high schools and my abuse started in high school at the hands of 13 and 14 year old boys so I truly feel it’s important to go to high schools and tell both boys and girls about domestic violence and its effects on you and you don’t grow out of it and boys don’t just become nicer. If you know of a high school that is running DV awareness programs for high school kids and need some help, please DO NOT hesitate to give them my contact numbers (below). Or if you are a high school counselor who would like to do a DV Awareness Day.
2. The Matching Book Program/Clothing/Toy Drives
The first chapter of the Getting Past Your Breakup book is My Story which tells how I escaped a life of violence to be healthy, happy and whole. The rest of the book is how I did it and how I have helped others do it for 25 years. It’s about getting past a breakup and building your life again.
If you are finished with a book or have a second copy (now that it’s on audio, many have switched to that and give their book away) please donate to an organization that can use the book and let me know and I will match it, either to that or one in NY or NJ. Please make sure the shelter or organization is still in existence. I have sent out so many books that have come back because it has closed (so sad) so I try to send books to well-funded organizations and hope they make it into the hands of those who need them. I am also saddened that DV education has taken a hit due to budget cuts in many other organizations (schools/hospitals) where it is greatly needed.
In addition to the Book Program, I sometimes run clothing drives to give to shelters and toy drives for children in shelters, so please let me know if you know of a shelter who needs that. Many women who are in shelters need business attire to look for jobs so I like to run as many of those as I can. If you have one and need my involvement, please let me know. I know a lot of professional women who would love to donate gently used clothing.
I also collect other things for the shelters themselves such as dishes, utensils, cookware, etc. Every LITTLE bit helps.
I give 10 percent of profits from YouTube videos to local domestic violence shelters and 10 percent of royalties on books. Our aromatherapy products will be reappearing in 2017 and a portion will go as well as product donations to various shelters around the country.
I also give DV scholarships so any time I have a seminar, bootcamp or retreat and students don’t have the money (usually because abusers keep a close eye on the finances). I don’t normally ask people for money (just send books if you can) but many people over the years have contributed to the DV fund including those who have paid for seminars or retreats and cannot make it.
If you are involved with DV organizations or shelters and need speaker, let me know directly. Sometimes people go through my publicist who worked for my publisher and they are in no way connected to this (except it sells books for them, I suppose).
I also have a lot of information for DV victims still in the situation and want to get out SAFELY. And I do counseling for DV victims, many times over the phone or Skype and I DEFINE abuse for many who are unclear “Is this abuse?” Usually if have have to ask, it is.
If you HAVE information to send me, please do and I will include it in my pamphlets.
I have been helping DV victims apply for protective orders long before I became an attorney and have done it throughout law school and my legal career. If you are in an abusive situation and need help with a protective order or legal information (without a representation I cannot give advice but I can give information), please let me know.
If your organization needs help, please let me know.
Write me at sj_elliott AT verizon DOT net
Tweet me @susanjae
Call me at 914-332-1123
You can go to this page to order GPYB
THANK YOU ALL!!!