Interaction- Helping Domestic Violence Survivors

Credits to Rahab Ministries

Maddie Walker, Reporter

TW: Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse

On November 14th, 2020, Roosevelt’s Interact Club hosted all the Rotary clubs, as well as other Interact chapters from all over Ohio, in a huge event called Interaction.

The service-based groups gathered to decide on a charity to donate to. This year, all of the chapters came together and decided on Women’s Safe.

Women’s Safe is a shelter for women who have survived domestic violence and have nowhere else to live. This emergency shelter also provides information and educates the community about domestic violence. Lizzie Lohman organized a charity for her birthday and donated two hundred dollars to United Against Human Trafficking.

Lohman says, “My inspiration to do this came from a quote from the Polaris Project, ‘I knew that if I didn’t leave now, I would not be able to keep my son safe. My life meant nothing to me but his life meant everything to me.”

After seeing this, Lizzie decided to raise this money and has become very passionate about domestic violence awareness and helping those get out of domestic violence situations. Ms. Lohman organized the main speakers for Interaction.

To tie into their main project, Interact had two speakers that touched on domestic violence.

Ken McEntee gathered two people to speak about this issue in Ohio and all around the world.

Bradley Marshall, the first speaker, touched on what the U.S. Marshalls do and explained how they were able to execute Operation Autumn Hope.

Operation Autumn Hope had recovered 45 missing children, 109 human traffic victims, and arrested 179 people.

The second speaker, Alicia Ley, spoke about a sex trafficking survivor safe house. Alicia works at this program, called Rahab Ministries. Rahab’s mission statement is “to offer concrete solutions to human trafficking by putting truth and love into action.” Currently, Rahab is accepting volunteers, who would have various kinds of jobs. For some, they talk to the survivors, others restock items such as toilet paper, and some help serve the food.

This ministry also provides education about sex trafficking, especially breaking the stigma that it can only happen to certain people.

In the year 2019, Rahab housed 40 women and children as well as mentored 49 children. 660 women volunteered at the Akron Drop-In Center. Rahab only takes in women and children, but there are a few other facilities that help house men.

After deciding the district-wide project and hearing the speakers, the youth of our own Roosevelt Interact helped create a presentation about Leadership. This program was called Lasso Your Leadership and discusses the skills leaders use.  The skills discussed were communication, integrity, values, vision, positive attitude, trustworthiness, honesty, mentoring, and passion.

Sophomore and Vice President, Cole Ray says, “As a group, we voted on Lasso for Leadership, because it is a creative and fun theme. When it comes to getting kids our age involved with leadership, we have to encourage it with fun and creativity, lasso your leadership was just the way to do it!”

At the end of the presentation, those who participated in some of the rotary programs spoke.

First, Julia Martinez, from West G, spoke about RYLA, which stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. RYLA is similar to Roosevelt’s Leadership Retreat, except it takes kids from other schools and brings them together. The mission of this retreat is to help boost someone’s leadership and cause self-growth.

Next was the Four-Way Speech Contest.

This contest has students compete with speeches that incorporate the Rotary Way. The Rotary Way contains: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?  The winner of this contest receives money, along with other prizes. The final speakers were those who went under an exchange with rotary. One spoke of South Korea and others spoke of other countries, like Germany. It is a year-long exchange and you have a few host families.

Overall, Interaction was a success.  If you are interested in helping out this service group, contact Lacy Miller!

Riders, let’s bond together and make positive changes in the community!