Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friend,  

Spring is in the air. March is Women's History Month, and we hope you've been following our Women Making History Now series on social media, which honors and celebrates some of the amazing women currently changing the world for the better. 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and the Resilience team has been working hard to organize a variety of events and activities. To view a list of SAAM events you can participate in, please click here to view our full calendar. Between workshops, support groups, shopping events, comedy and spoken word performances, and more, there are ways for everyone to get involved.

Please mark your calendar for our 2nd Annual Celebrating Resilience Luncheon on Thursday, May 13th, with our keynote speaker Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway Foods and co-founder of Test400k, an organization working towards ending the backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits in the United States. You'll find more details about this event below.

Read on to learn what we've been up to and what we're looking forward to this month. Thank you for being a part of our Resilience community. 

Warm regards,

Erin Walton
Executive Director


Read our 2020 Annual Report

Our 2020 Annual Report is here! Thanks to you, our community, we were able to make a significant impact in FY20. For more information on what Resilience was able to achieve, please view the report by clicking below.


Meet Kate Lawler

This year, we’re continuing to celebrate the people who make #OurResilience possible and telling the stories of some of our incredible partners, clients, staff, volunteers, and supporters. It is more important now than ever to embrace and celebrate what connects us: our resilience. This month, we're proudly shining a spotlight on Kate Lawler, the Director of the Pathways Program at Swedish Hospital. The Pathways Program was developed to strengthen the hospital’s ability to identify and assist patients who are survivors of interpersonal violence. Pathways has served more than 1,800 survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking since 2015. We interviewed Kate about Pathways and the ways it works with Resilience. Resilience is proud to partner with Swedish Hospital.


Action Alert! Ensuring Success in School Law (HB 3223)

School children are offered less support through laws and policies than their parents would receive from their workplace or their older sibling would receive from their college if they experience gender-based violence or discrimination. We can’t leave K-12 students, some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens, to fend for themselves! We must ensure they can get support, finish school, and succeed despite trauma. Thankfully, our lawmakers will have a chance to solidify student survivors’ rights in Illinois law and address gender discrimination in schools this spring.

The Ensuring Success in School Law (HB 3223) would guarantee that K-12 students who are survivors of gender-based violence, parents, or expectant parents can stay in school, stay safe, and complete their education. The law would: 

  • Allow excused absences related to these circumstances
  • Ensure one staff member is trained to help advocate for students and connect them to resources
  • Create confidentiality protocols to keep students safe 

1 in 4 girls experiences sexual violence before age 18 and survivors tend to have lower rates of graduation. It’s critical to eliminate barriers that stand between survivors and their education! The Ensuring Success in School Law would do just that by clarifying how schools can foster a trauma-informed culture that values confidentiality, safety, and autonomy. It will also provide opportunities for vulnerable young people—regardless of the district. But this bill needs YOUR support to become law.

Call your State Representative and urge them to support young survivors by backing the Ensuring Success in School Law (ESSL). Dial 217-782-2000 to be connected or look up your Rep's name and number here.


Howard Brown Health Expands Access to Medical Care for Sexual Assault Survivors

Resilience is proud to announce a new partnership with Howard Brown Health to expand access to forensic exams, colloquially known as rape kits, at their North and South Side clinics. This new partnership is a result of months of legislative effort in collaboration with the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) and Howard Brown to amend the legislation that governs who can provide forensic exams to sexual assault victims. It is the first time that access to these exams will be available to adult survivors outside of hospitals, a setting that many survivors have avoided during the current pandemic. In response to COVID-19, the option to access medical care and forensic exam at Howard Brown will be available until June 30, 2021. We are honored to collaborate with Howard Brown who is one of the nation's largest LGBTQ+ organizations. Our hope is that this remedy will not only provide an option for those who fear going into a hospital but also offer safer spaces for LGBTQ+ survivors. Read Howard Brown's press release here.


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) brings together our community for a variety of special events all centered around ending sexual violence and supporting survivors. This year our theme is “Resilient Together,” in celebration of all the actions—big and small, public and private, individual and collective—that we take to end sexual violence in our communities. View our entire calendar of events and learn more here.

Our SAAM fundraising campaign, one of our most important fundraisers of the year, kicks off on Thursday, April 1. Resilience is proud and grateful to announce that Jean Cozier, an incredibly generous Resilience supporter, is offering a donation match of up to $20,000 this April to help support our SAAM fundraising campaign! You can ensure we receive every dollar of Jean’s match by clicking here to make your gift today. You can also click here to download our fundraising kit, which will help guide you on starting your own crowdfunding campaign or personal fundraiser for Resilience during SAAM. Every dollar helps!

We are so thankful to Jean and our generous community for your support.


Join us for the 2nd Annual Celebrating Resilience Luncheon

We’re thrilled to invite you to the Second Annual Celebrating Resilience Luncheon on May 13, 2021, featuring keynote speaker Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO of Lifeway Foods and co-founder of Test400k, an organization working towards ending the backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits in the United States.

Individual tickets and sponsorships are available for purchase here.

Visual Journaling Art Therapy Group

Fridays, March 12 – April 30, 2:30 – 4:00 pm (CT), held virtually

Connect with other survivors of sexual violence while using visual journaling as a reflective process to explore concepts, ideas, and thoughts in order to deepen personal meaning. Open to adult survivors, all genders welcome. Click here to learn more.

Space is limited. Please contact Annalise Castro at


Queer Survivors Support Group

Mondays, February 22 – April 26, 5:30 – 7:00 pm (CT), held virtually

This virtual support group is for queer survivors of sexual assault.  All genders are welcome.  18+. Learn more here.

Space is limited.  Please contact Rachel Mintz at or 312-443-9603 x143 to schedule a screening interview.


Making Spaces Safer Webinar from Our Music My Body

Thursday, March 25, 11 am (CT) via Zoom

Shawna Potter of War on Women and Maggie Arthur of Our Music My Body will be providing instructions on how to recognize identity-based harassment and violence in music. Participants will leave with tips on how to make change in their scene.

Celebrating Resilience Speaker Series Featuring Brenda Tracy

Thursday, April 15, Noon - 1 pm via Zoom

Join us for a special and thought-provoking conversation with survivor, activist, advocate, lobbyist, nurse, and mother Brenda Tracy during our second Celebrating Resilience Speaker Series event. Brenda travels the country speaking to university students, athletes and various organizations to raise awareness regarding sexual violence and to share her story of courage, hope, and resilience. We hope you will join us for this virtual event.


60-Hour Volunteer Training

Resilience will be holding our next 60-Hour Training for volunteer medical advocates beginning this April. Volunteer advocates are critical in Resilience’s mission to support sexual assault survivors who receive emergency treatment in our partner hospitals. Applications are due March 24th with orientation the week of March 29th. Click the button below to learn more about what a volunteer medical advocate does and how to apply.


Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Trainings

March 26, 2021 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
May 21, 2021 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

This Zoom training will provide an in-depth look at identifying and understanding sexual and intimate partner violence, stalking, and domestic violence. Participants will explore the impact of trauma and trauma responses, as well as legal and medical options for survivors.

Moving Through Sexual Trauma

Friday, April 9, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm (CT)

While sexual trauma can significantly impact one’s relationship to the body, therapeutic movement practices can offer pathways towards restoration and healing. Join Resilience trainers for an experiential exploration of trauma-informed approaches to yoga, breath-work, meditation, and dance/movement therapy.

Virtual 40 Hour Confidential Advisor Training

June 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, and 17, 2021, 9 am - 5 pm via Zoom

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act requires that each institution of higher learning have a 40-Hour trained Confidential Advisor available to students. This training will examine sexual assault's impact on students and equips Confidential Advisors with legal and medical options for students in a trauma-informed context. 


Resilience is hiring!

Resilience is looking for new talent to join our ranks in support of survivors of sexual violence. The following positions are currently open:

To learn more about careers at Resilience, please click here.  

Intern with Resilience!

Resilience is looking for 2021-2022 Academic Year Trauma Therapy, Advocacy, and Education & Training Interns! Please find our internship application and information on our open positions here. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2021. 


Get connected with Resilience's remote services

Click here to connect with an advocate remotely
Please fill out this form to be contacted by a trauma therapist to schedule or confirm a one-time remote session
Click here to view our COVID-19 resources on our website


Safety planning resources for survivors from Futures Without Violence
Resources about public charge and COVID-19 from Protecting Immigrant Families
What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms (EnglishSpanishPolish
Tips on Managing Anxiety about COVID-19 (EnglishSpanishPolishSimplified ChineseTagalogArabic)

180 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 600 Chicago, Illinois 60601
312-443-9603 |​​​​​​

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences