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Sowing seeds of hope for survivors of sexual abuse

  • Thu Apr 22nd, 2021 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by SAFE San Juans

SAFE San Juans is working together with the San Juan County Land Bank’s Salish Seeds Project to sow seeds of hope during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Throughout April, staff from SAFE San Juans will be handing out Salish seeds throughout the county in specially designed packets with art and messages of hope for those who have suffered from sexual abuse. It is the perfect collaboration for two organizations whose goal is to help restore and provide hope.

The Salish Seeds Project is a partnership between the Land Bank and San Juan Preservation Trust dedicated to restoring native wildflowers and grasses in the San Juan Islands. Plants and seeds of species native to island grasslands, oak savannahs, and rocky meadows are produced at a nursery located at Red Mill Farm in San Juan Valley.

SAFE San Juans is a local non-profit agency dedicated to the prevention and elimination of domestic violence and sexual assault through victim services, education, community awareness and social change. With offices in Friday Harbor, Eastsound and Lopez Village, SAFE’s confidential and free services include 24/7 crisis support, safety planning, advocacy (legal, medical, financial, etc.), emergency safe shelter, support groups, and professional counseling/therapy for survivors.

SAFE and the Salish Seeds Project chose Clarkia amoena as the native wildflower through which to call attention to the reality of sexual assault and acknowledge the suffering of those who have been sexually abused. Clarkia amoena is an annual in the Onagraceae family that includes evening primrose and fuschia. It appears on the rugged hills of the Pacific Coast in early summer and is known as “Farewell to Spring.” From British Columbia to California, its poppy-like blossoms cast a pinkish to light purple hue over the western terrain. A tribute to the inner strength of sexual assault survivors, this beautiful self-sowing plant returns year after year to usher in a new season of life. There can be light and life beyond dark winter.

The art and messages SAFE share’s on the seed packages point to hope beyond suffering and hope for growth. There is “Hope for Freedom and Happiness,” a call to “Sow the Seeds of Hope,” an invitation “Let’s Grow Together in Hope,” the belief there is “Hope for a Brighter Tomorrow,” and the understanding that “Hope Grows with Help.”

Just like Salish Seeds Project staff are able to assist anyone with plant selection and planning for projects, staff at SAFE San Juans are available to help anyone who needs to talk about the abuse they have suffered (or are suffering).

If you have experienced Domestic Violence or Sexual Abuse, SAFE’s trained advocates can help you. For more information go to www.safesj.org, visit a SAFE office in Friday Harbor, Eastsound, or Lopez Village, or call 360-378-8680. If you are in a DV or SA crisis, SAFE advocates can be reached 24/7 through their crisis lines: San Juan – 360-378-2345, Orcas – 360-376-1234, Lopez – 360-468-4567.