I sent this email to just "my contacts" and the response was overwhelming. The email seems to have been forwarded all over the country. I was humbled by the number of people that reached out to me with their stories, encouragement and offers of assistance as well as their desire to participate. Thank you to all, as this is truly a powerful movement.
January 2, 2016
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I am writing to share about my latest project and let you know about an opportunity to be involved.
I am very excited to announce the launch of Hidden Water, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to helping individuals and families heal from the devastating impact of intra-familial child sexual abuse.
In my career as a social worker and shaman I have worked with hundreds of clients who have suffered from being involved in a family system impacted by child sexual abuse. Whether they were the one harmed, the one who had done the harm, or among the family members who did not know how to help -- anyone who is touched by these circumstances see their life profoundly affected.
Hidden Water has a unique mission to restore balance to individuals and/or a family system where such abuse has occurred. Many of these families do not seek intervention from the criminal court when the abuse surfaces, and after many years, even decades, find that having had no response to the abuse keeps the individuals and the family system from being able to heal and truly move on.
Hidden Water uses Peace Keeping Circles, an indigenous methodology closely aligned with Restorative Justice, as the format for the healing conversations. Of all the healing work that I have done for myself, or use to help others, I have found nothing more profound than the use of these circles. The group work seems to exponentially increase the power of change, growth, healing and insight.
I am currently looking for individuals who would like to participate in healing circles with me, starting in February. There will be four groups for: 1) people who were harmed by child sexual abuse, 2) people who harmed a sibling sexually within their family system, 3) people who were responsible for the safety of the child, but through inaction or not knowing were unable to keep that child from harm, and 4) members of a family system in which sexual abuse occurred.
I will be facilitating all the groups myself, and will have room for only four participants in each group. These groups will meet at the convenience of the four participants who sign up, and will be free of charge. The groups will run for 12 consecutive weeks. Though it is not necessary that you are able to make every meeting, I ask that you do not take a spot from someone else if you don't think you can commit to the majority of the meetings.
I look forward to finding my partners in this important and ground breaking work. My hope is that those that participate in these healing circles may be interested in training to be facilitators themselves, and in this way, the work can grow and reach the myriad others who are in need of such services, support and help.
If you are interested in participating, please reach out to me personally at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in learning more about Hidden Water or would like to make a donation to support this important work, please go to our new website:
Thank you all for your support over the many years I have known all of you.
Happy New Year.