While looking for something else on the Internet, I discovered this fantastic organization called A Voice for the Innocent. They provide support for those who have been victims of sexual abuse. A Voice for the Innocent gives sexual abuse and rape victims a safe place to share their story. Some might say that the one of the first steps in healing and recovery is to tell your story.
This group really deserves some recognition for all of the great things that they do. Bethany from A Voice for the Innocent responded to my questionnaire, which is appreciated.
If you get a chance to go to Warped Tour, please visit the AVFTI booth. Also, please visit their website and find out how to volunteer or share your own story.
How did AVFTI come into being?
AVFTI was developed because of Jamie Sivrais. Jamie survived sexual abuse from his father. When he disclosed his story to his mother, she responded in a way that gave Jamie as much control as he could have. This made Jamie comfortable telling his story later on. When Jamie was in a band, he would tell his story and people would in turn disclose their story. Jamie often heard people say “but you’re the first person I’ve ever told.” Jamie sought out to create a space where people could anonymously share their story of sexual assault or abuse and not be judged.
What are some of the goals of AVFTI?
AVFTI’s ultimate goal is to eventually not exist. We want everyone to be met with a response of belief and support when they tell their story. Eventually, we want to create a world that does not accept or question sexual assault.
What is the most difficult thing about working for AVFTI?
Personally, it’s really hard to hear stories and not focus on the anger or sadness I feel for victims. I want people to feel like they matter, and we often find that a person’s first time disclosing their story they are questioned or not believed. That’s hard. I want to make it right, but I can only do what I can in that moment.
How do you stay positive?
Our volunteers and my fellow board members all work tirelessly and have such immense energy at the end of the day. They are some of my best friends. When we started building this community, we created a community of friends who support one another.
How can others help AVFTI?
Our site is free, and we are always in need of people to respond to stories. We also are always looking for volunteers to help with various projects in whatever specialty they have. Our application is on our website!
How did AVFTI get involved with Warped Tour?
AVFTI has connected with the music scene since their beginning. Warped Tour has been a partnership that’s in it’s 3rd year. Our first year we toured for part of the tour, and our second we toured the full tour. Over that time we have taught classes to several bands on the tour, handed out lots of hope notes, and connected with tons of people across the country.
What do you want victims of sex crimes to know?
You are not gross. You are not dirty. You are not at fault for what happened to you and you are not alone. We are here if you need us.
Visit AVFTI at