BUILDING A FORTRESS OF STRENGTH. RAISING THE WARRIOR WITHIN.
The Women's Justice League was founded by two survivors of domestic violence. We realize through our network and our own personal experiences that there are many gaps within the system. Our goal is to bridge those gaps through three key areas of focus: Justice, Advocacy and Prevention. We work with victims in immediate need, walk them through the process of escaping their perpetrators, support them through hospital visits, connect them with shelters and community programs and aid in finding free legal aid. We help arm them for the ongoing battles within the legal system. We have been speaking at community events and fundraisers, working with victims and survivors to help them share their stories through various art programs. Currently, we are raising funds to provide scholarships for our advocates to participate in the State of Illinois Domestic Violence 40-hour Training Program. Our league members consist of people from all walks of life, including current victims of domestic violence, community and business allies, non-profit organizations, survivors, law enforcement, and social justice advocates.
Support us by joining our league.
Many other social issues stem from domestic violence situations. Children raised within abusive households develop an array of issues and seldom does it not negatively affect their adult lives. Whether they choose to abuse others, or choose abusive partners, the vicious cycle continues. The challenge is not only helping the victims and survivors, but rehabilitating the perpetrators in such a way where they can become advocates against domestic violence. Once we can help those affected, we can focus on education and prevention.
ARACELI GUASSO is on a mission to transform survivors into warriors one story at a time. Araceli is a full-time mom, artist, and creative director at Purple Octopus Parties. In the winter months, you can find her on the sidelines coaching or cheering on her basketball team.
Stories have a powerful way of connecting with people and in response, provide empowerment on many levels. When people are courageous enough to share their stories with others, it empowers more to join in on the conversation, and use their voice to create change. Armed with a story, you are the aggregator, you are a change maker, and you can make a difference in the lives of others by choosing to share your voice.
Empowering survivors to become advocates is crucial in both the recovery of the survivor and the success of abolishing domestic violence within society. Many cultures still struggle with female equality, which in turn enables abusive relationships. It takes a lot of time and strength for a victim to leave. Instead of putting shame on the survivor, we must equip them with power and show them that the pain they endured, can be put to use. Their voice is the highest caliber ammunition to fight against domestic violence. They can rise from the ashes and be the change.
STEPHANIE PELZER is a Chicago-based activism artist with work focused on gender-based violence. Stephanie uses her art to tell the stories of domestic violence survivors through her initiative, "Break the Isolation," which she curates on Instagram. Her activism art campaigns have been featured at the Orange County Contemporary Art Gallery at the Art as Protest exhibit, presented at local gender-based violence benefits, non-profit events and conferences throughout Chicago.