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Empowered, Awakened and Free: Event for Survivors of Sexual Violence, Assault

By |2018-10-24T10:37:54-04:00October 24th, 2018|Ferndale, Neighborhoods|

Current political events have triggered a national outcry from people of all races, genders and age groups who have been victims of sexual assault. Their stories have filled social media, the press and television. Many victims have found themselves at a crossroads dealing with repressed feelings, reactions and many unanswered questions. To combat this, the owners of Candle Wick Shoppe and notable leaders from Ferndale and the surrounding areas have created an Interfaith Community Ritual for Healing, Empowered, Awakened and Free. It will take place on Oct. 25 at Planavon and West 9 Mile Road in Downtown Ferndale.

“The goal of this ceremony is to transform the trauma around abuse into personal triumph,” write event organizers. “This ritual aims to help all victims find their voices again after suffering long periods of silence over their situation. They will do this with symbolic ceremony, prayer, songs and drumming. Counselors, identified by wearing purple armbands will be on hand for those who need to decompress with a professional.”

Events like these can help survivors grapple with the aftereffects of sexual assault. In fact, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report states, “Sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence are major public health problems in the U.S. Many survivors of these forms of violence can experience physical injury, mental health consequences such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and suicide attempts, and other health consequences such as gastrointestinal disorders, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and gynecological or pregnancy complications. These consequences can lead to hospitalization, disability, or death.”

Jacki Smith, co-owner of Candle Wick Shoppe, spearheaded this concept.

“Many of our sisters and brothers are struggling with the activation of past traumas because of current events,” Smith said. “Together we can create a space for healing and transformation with our love and compassion.”

Smith turned to Jim and Megan Pool, the pastors of the Renaissance Vineyard Church, Teri Griffin Williams of Soul Practices and many more fellow community leaders to co-create this ritual with her. 

This event is supported by sponsors: The Candle Wick Shoppe, Ivy Abrams of Mystical Soul Work, Heather Rae of Little Lotus and Teri Griffin Williams of Soul Practices,  Erin C. Wynn of Envisioning Wellness PLLC, Renaissance Vineyard Church and Ferndale Pride.

Attendees are asked to begin gathering at 8 p.m. the ceremony will begin at 8:30 p.m. There is no fee for this ceremony. Everyone, regardless of faith, gender or race, who is in need or wants to come and show compassion is welcome. This is an outdoor event in Downtown Ferndale on Planavon near W 9 Mile. Dress for cold weather, bring drums, rattles and your voice. For more details go online to or call Jacki Smith at 313-505-2283.

About the Author:

Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.
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