Friday, March 1, 2013

Voices Set Free Outreach Project

Virginia Jones, the co-founder of Compassionate Gathering, and Louise Bauschard, the founder of Voices Set Free, are announcing a joint venture, the Voices Set Free Outreach Project.  We will be filming stories of survivors and posting them to You Tube.  Our first goal is to provide each person a small measure of justice of by enabling him or her to share their stories to a wider audience in a supportive venue.  Our second goal is to educate the general public about the long lasting and traumatic nature of the wounds of the various forms of abuse.  Our third goal is to nurture among individuals and within the wider community, a sense of connection between survivors.  When officers are called to a domestic disturbance, they are required to investigate for child abuse because the two abuses often accompany each other.  When called to investigate child abuse, however, the police are not required to investigate for domestic violence.  Once we are abused, our boundaries are punctured; we lose the ability to protect ourselves.  We accept the abuse in our relationships and often repeat the pattern in various forms.  To reduce abuse in our society, we must increase our awareness of the sources and symptoms of abuse, of the interconnectedness between various forms of abuse, and find ways to heal ourselves and support one another along the healing journey so that we stop the cycle.

We begin our journey with the story of Lydia Wakefield Hubbard, who survived incest by her father from the age of 4 to the age of 17.  Lydia's father told her to keep his abuses secret, which she did for many years.  When she began speaking about these abuses in her forties,
Lydia spoke of them only in private.  More recently she began speaking in public.  She is now 80 years old and remains passionate about telling her truth out about abuse.  Here is her story in three parts.

Part One:

Par Two:

Part Three:

If you want to share your story on video, contact Virginia Jones at compassion500@gmail com or Louise Baushcard at

Virginia is a survivor of child sex abuse and date rape who was baptized by a Catholic priest who was removed from ministry nine months later after a boy he had abused more than twenty years before came forward.  Virginia witnessed firsthand the how both the leadership and the people of the Church struggled to open up to the issue of clergy abuse and support survivors.  At first parishioners clung to the Church seeking answers, but when those answers never came, one-third of parishioners either moved to another parish or left the Catholic Church.  Virginia saw how the whole community was wounded by abuse and how the whole community needs to be brought into the healing process.  She later began working to support clergy abuse survivors with Elizabeth Goeke who is a survivor, a former nun, and a clinical counselor.  The two women co-founded Compassionate Gathering to raise awareness about abuse and to provide individual and community healing opportunities.

Louise is a non-survivor, and has an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, 1976. After graduation she opened, with several other students, the Women Self Help Center where she soon found  herself fielding calls from domestic and sexual assault survivors. It was during this time that Louise also began encountering battered women charged with crimes stemming from abusive relationships. She traveled to Missouri Prisons for twelve years to visit a number of life sentenced women providing support groups and advocacy wherever possible. Louise also attended a number of trials where she witnessed women receiving convictions of 50 years. This tragedy of justice propelled Louise to co-author, with Mary Kimbrough, Voices Set Free, l986. Twenty stories of imprisoned battered women give the reader a sense of the scope of injustice facing women caught in defending their lives against an abusive partner. Louise is, to this day, a passionate advocate for survivors of all forms of abuse.

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