`The Hero’s Journey – Healing from Sexual Abuse’ Book launch as recounted by Tina Vercillo
The anticipation of the book launch was finally over, it was Monday 30th January 2017, and the afternoon saw the Restoring Hope board members and some of the wonderful Authors, CASA and ECASA spokes people and distinguished guests such as the Mayor of the City of Whitehorse, Cr Denise Massoud and Dr. Vivian Waller whom came together for the purpose of sharing in the excitement of the release of the book `The Hero’s Journey – Healing from Sexual Abuse’.
The event was opened by Michelle Fleming, the manager for Community Health including ECASA at Eastern Health, she began by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land, the Wurrunderi people and all of the elders past and present. She went on to introduce Kim Elzaibak, the founder of Restoring Hope and the visionary behind the book.
Kim delivered a moving speech on how Restoring Hope came about and how she was driven and motivated for change in a system that is doing the best that they can with the current resources they have. Having experienced the gaps and shortfalls she explained how she was determined to find a way to bridge those gaps and to continue having the `right’ conversations with the right `people’ in order to help support children and young people at the very beginning of their journey to recovery.
Kim went on to mention how in consultation with Judy Flannigan at ECASA was where the pivotal conversation around the potential for change happened, and the seed for `Restoring Hope’ was planted. A question that Kim raised in her own mind was `How can I help support the front line trauma staff?’. And so it wasn’t too long after this conversation that Kim founded a group of strong and passionate individuals and Restoring Hope was registered and recognised as a not for profit charity organisation in October 2014.
Within its first two years of operation Restoring Hope started building some substantial momentum, having fundraising events, establishing their social media platforms to begin having the conversations so many avoid, applying for and receiving a grant of $80,000.00 which then kick started their Crisis Care Packs that would continue to be supplied to the CASA units around Victoria. These Crisis Care packs include comfort items for victims that present at a Crisis care unit or SOCIT unit at the onset. In an already vulnerable situation victims have clothing and personal items taken from them for forensic testing, so the items in the pack; new, clean clothing, a blanket, a colouring book and pencils, basic toiletries and a teddy could give them a sense of hope and that there are people out there that care for them.
Kim’s passion and drive to help support as many children and young people affected by sexual abuse was laser focused, her eagerly found courage and determination together with the newly established committee were able to start making headway in creating much needed change.
Michelle Flannigan so eloquently quoted, when describing Kim, `A dream doesn’t become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work.’ ~ Colin Powell.
All that hard work and determination lead to this project, the book, `The Hero’s Journey – Healing from Sexual Abuse’. Restoring Hope put a call out to survivors wanting to share their story of hope and recovery. `The vision of the book was to support, educate and inspire those who are in the early stages of their healing…’ said Kim. 100% of the proceeds of the book will continue funding the Crisis and Comfort Care Packs throughout Victoria.
Dr Vivian Waller, the keynote speaker and advocate for those affected by sexual violence has been practicing law in this specialised area over the last 22 years. She delivered an informative and powerful talk covering the importance of speaking out, to help support those affected by enabling them on the path to obtaining the assistance they need on their journey. Dr Waller stated that she is able to be an ally and advocate when representing victims of sexual abuse as she provides them a space of being heard and listened to and that someone has ‘stuck up for them’ in their moment of need. Her rendition of the book was beautiful and she commented that the metaphors used brought to life the essence of the stories of courage, determination and strength of all of the survivors. She went on to say that the book demonstrates the power and the act of speaking out and shifting the responsibility of what happened back onto the perpetrator. Vivian beautifully finished with a heartfelt message, `To all of the authors, thank you for your bravery, your tenacity, your strength and your willingness to share your journey. I am absolutely sure that your candour will give strength to many others on their journey, many people will recognise themselves in the pages that you have written…’
Each of the authors that attended were presented with a beautifully gift wrapped copy of the book as a thank you for their powerful and moving contribution towards `The Hero’s Journey – Healing from Sexual Abuse’.
Mim, one of the authors, a singer and song writer sang two moving and uplifting songs. The words in her music have created a platform for so many others whom are yet to find their voice. It was heart warming to hear her beautiful voice while she shared `Forgotten‘ and `Metaphor‘ that were full of inspiration on the day.
Copies of the book as well as the Crisis and Comfort Care Packs were available for purchase on the day.
If you would like to purchase your own copy of `The Hero’s Journey – Healing from Sexual Abuse’ as designed by Zach from Imprint Marketing, or to purchase a Comfort Care Pack please go to the online store on Restoring Hope’s website. Or for your kindle purchase visit amazon.com.
In closing Kim so perfectly said, `…today’s celebration is much more than the book itself, it’s about celebrating every hero that is gathered here today. And believe me there are many, some choose to share their courageous voice, and others who choose other ways, but today is also about celebrating the hero’s on our front line, our exceptionally dedicated trauma experts, our advocates, our police who work tirelessly to support victims in the best way they possibly can. Today at Restoring Hope, we celebrate all of you.’