Today, we are so excited to
Find their podcast episode here.
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Why did you start your organization?
Voices of Change 2018 was founded as a 501(c)3 organization in 2018 by Nicole Moehring and Maci Lynch, mother and daughter. Both of Nicole’s children were sexually abused and assaulted. As the mother of a child living with disabilities, Nicole quickly discovered how difficult it is to navigate the criminal justice system for victims of sexual violence with disabilities and their families. Wanting to serve others, who experienced the same barriers as they did, Nicole and Maci founded Voices of Change 2018 so that others would not have to be alone in their journey to recovery. Through the sharing of personal experiences, we build access to safety, healing, and justice for Ohio crime victims with disabilities, through advocacy, education, and collaboration.
What would be the best way one could find out more information about your organization?
Our website is: www.voicesofchange2018.com
We are on Facebook and Instagram @voicesofchange2018
Out of everything that you do with your organization, what would be the first area you would recommend a survivor to turn to.
Psychological and support services.
What impact do you hope to make?
We hope we are able to empower other families with children with disabilities to become educated and aware of the signs of abuse, to report abuse if they feel their child has been a victim, to find necessary support and community resources for help and assistance. Lastly, to fight for justice for their child, never giving up.
What advice do you have for survivors?
Please know that you are not alone. There are so many people like you, walking the same path. There is support, there are people who care. Also, never give up your fight. It may seem dark today, but keep fighting for yourself, you deserve it.
What help if any do you offer for survivor’s family and friends?
Please be there for those close to you who have been through abuse. It’s difficult enough to go through any form of abuse but, to feel you are alone without any support from those close to you, makes it so much worse.
How important do you think it is to establish a support system?
It’s absolutely essential to be able to move forward and heal.
What do you do when you’re not running your organization?
My family is the center of my world. So, everything I do revolves around them. I also love spending quality time with my husband. Date nights are necessary when you are juggling so many things. I do like to golf, although I’m not the greatest at it, it gives my husband and I quality time together.
What inspires you to keep going?
Thinking of how many children have some form of a disability. This is such a vulnerable population. Thinking of those children, how many of them are being abused at this very moment. How many children don’t have someone advocating for them. How many children deserve justice and haven’t received it yet because there is no equality in our justice system.
What advice do you have for someone that wants to help others heal?
Please, do it. The world needs more advocates. There is power in numbers and we need to make sure every perpetrator pays for what he/she has done. Victims of abuse spend a lifetime paying for the heinous actions their perpetrator(s) have done. The perpetrator should, too. It’s time we stop protecting perpetrators and change laws to protect victims.
What struggles did you face when starting your organization?
Feeling overwhelmed and like we didn’t have a lot of support or people who believed in us.
With the #MeToo movement and more attention given to sexual abuse, harassment, and assault, what messages do you hope will rise to the surface? What are the most important takeaways?
I hope more laws will change. I hope more perpetrators will be held accountable, no more slaps on the hands. I feel that the justice system needs to practice equality.
Do you think is mental health is being addressed, in relation to rape survivors and in general, effectively in the US? Where do you think there's still room for improvement?
No, I do not feel mental health is being addressed enough. I feel there needs to be more effort put into mental health, counseling, psychology and psychiatry. Because when people receive the necessary psychological help from the beginning, I feel they will be able to deal with their trauma better and it will hopefully reduce the rates of drug and alcohol addiction; the history of abuse repeating itself; suicidal ideations or other forms of self-harm. I have seen the huge impact trauma therapy has had for both my children.
Personally, they haven’t had a direct impact on me because my situation is much different. That being said, I believe in both movements and stand behind them. Because, at the end of the day, we are all fighting for the same thing. We are all fighting to end all the abuse, sex trafficking, rape, etc.
One of Voices of Hope's campaign is called #BeAVoice. How can you be a voice for those that feel they are silenced?
I have fought tirelessly for justice for my son. In doing so, I realized how broken, antiquated and there is no equality in our justice system. I also realized how many people are so afraid to speak up because they have seen nothing be done time and again. We can’t keep going like this. Things need to change. NOW!
What is exciting and upcoming for your organization?
We are having our Inaugural Golf Outing, August 29, 2020. We are also in the process of implementing our programs and will be rolling them out by the end of this year, beginning of next year.
What is the best way to get in touch with you?
We can be reached by email:
Nicole Moehring – Nmoehring@voicesofchange2018.com
Maci Lynch – Mlynch@voicesofchange2018.com
Business phone: 440-864-7074
What are your social media handles?
We are on Facebook and Instagram @voicesofchange2018
Voices of Change 2018 was founded as a 501(c)3 organization in 2018 by Nicole Moehring and Maci Lynch, mother and daughter. Both of Nicole’s children were sexually abused and assaulted.
As the mother of a child with disabilities, Nicole quickly discovered how difficult it is to navigate the criminal justice system for victims of sexual violence with disabilities and their families. In addition, she realized there were very few resources available for children with disabilities who had been sexually abused.
Wanting to serve others, who experienced the same barriers as they did, Nicole and Maci founded Voices of Change 2018 so that others would not have to be alone in their journey to recovery.
Voices of Change addresses the much-needed advocacy and assistance for survivors with disabilities and their families. Voices of Change focuses on helping families seek justice within the criminal justice system, by providing experienced staff and volunteers to assist them.
In addition, provide access to recovery through trauma-informed and trauma-responsive mental health clinicians skilled in working with persons with disabilities.