Marissa Kern — August 19, 2019

Our Wave: Why We Exist

Marissa Kern

Telling your story can have significant impact within the healing process. Something that often gets in the way is not being ready to attach their name to their story.

*TRIGGER WARNING*

I have experienced sexual violence three separate times in my life. In all three scenarios I was scared to speak up. I feared being blamed, not being believed, and of ruining my life. I longed for a place to just get the words out that felt encouraging, where I didn’t feel alone, and most importantly that felt safe. After this kind of trauma many feel the way that I felt and are seeking a place of community to help them through the healing process.

Who We Are

The Our Wave founders noticed the problem and sought a solution. Thus, the idea of Our Wave was born. Our Wave started as three friends trying to act on an issue that was close to their hearts and has grown into a team of 8 engineers, designers, researchers, and advocates who have an intense passion for helping those who are trying to heal from their past traumas.

As a team we have 5 values that are key in our journey to bring change.

Highlight Hope: The stories we share while painful, are also often hopeful. They are shared with those who offer understanding and can help guide us towards healing.

Foster Empathy: This is a place where people can share without fear of shame or embarrassment. Every interaction is empathetic and encouraging.

Guarantee Transparency: We are committed to being open and honest about our efforts and bold advocacy.

Build Community: We create a group of people that are kind, welcoming, and authentic. We strive to learn from one another as we help navigate the healing process.

Empower Action: We spark change within ourselves, a growing community, and global advocacy through the voices of those who have experienced, survived, and now inspire.

What We Do

Our mission is simple: “Helping survivors on the path towards healing”. Our impact will be monumental. While the mission is simple it is in no way easy. This is a worldwide epidemic that will not be easily put to rest. We do not aim to work at this alone, but to partner and collaborate with those around us so that change can begin. We are on a quest to bring about global change. Our start on this is through “Building a community where survivors of sexual assault are heard, believed, and supported.”

Healing does not happen overnight. We know that it is a process that takes different amounts of time not every survivors path is the same. With that we do believe that there is a common process that many people experience.

It goes like this Chaos, Conflict, Construct, and Community.

Chaos: The violence itself. This problem is far too common and incredibly disheartening. Each survivor has a different story and different experience.

Conflict: The aftermath. Survivors often feel alone and confused. They are left trying to pick up the pieces. The opinions of others and their complex emotions leave them trying to find a new normal.

Construct: Survivors start to find their voice. This when survivors start to make sense of the chaos and the conflict and form their own opinions and move into a progression of healing.

Community: Survivors find others that understand. As we heal survivors often want to find people with similar experiences that can understand what they are going through.

Our Wave seeks to play a role in this process. And that is through story telling. Telling your story can have significant impact within the healing process. Something that often gets in the way is not being ready to attach their name to their story. Therefore, Our Wave was created. It is a safe place where survivors of sexual violence and assault can take part in this healing activity in a way that is anonymous and encouraging. With this model they will also be able to read the stories of others and start to feel less isolated and alone. Each person that decides to share their story can do so in any way they desire. Whether they want to share poetry, artwork, or their entire story, Our Wave will help facilitate. We are committed to giving survivors anonymity and safety in their sharing, this way survivors can feel at ease sharing.

Where we are Going

The mission doesn’t stop with stories. Our Wave also desires to create global impact. We want to build a community that will catalyze change. There are three ways that we will do this:

Empowering Survivors: We want survivors to know that they have a voice. Through the sharing of stories survivors can start to find that voice. We want to also leverage this information to understand more about the prevalence of sexual assault.

Educating Society: Society needs to know the scope of this issue. By sharing global reports and creating a forum for discussing and outlining potential prevention we seek to find partnership strategies and bring about awareness.

Strategizing to catch perpetrators: By educating the general population and developing smarter prevention methods based on data we hope to help catch perpetrators and start to solve the problem.

Our Wave was designed for survivors. While we want the world to know about and start to understand these issues, our mission is for the survivor.

For the woman who is scared to tell, for the man ashamed that it happened to Him, for the transgender person that just wants to be accepted for who they are, for the gay person who doesn’t need to be changed, we are for you, we love you, we are you.

Help change the conversation.

Our Wave depends on your generous contributions for our continued success. Donate today and support us as we work to support survivors of sexual assault.

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