Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friend,

Before many of you gear up for back-to-school season and other impending fall commitments, I hope you have found time this summer for self-care, community, and whatever else helps you fill your cup. If you have been looking for opportunities to get more involved in supporting survivors, consider applying to become a Resilience Volunteer Medical Advocate! Our next training will be held October 16 through November 16 virtually during the evenings. The deadline to apply is September 22. Learn more about our volunteer program here. Our Volunteer Medical Advocates provide crisis intervention counseling, nonjudgmental support, and medical and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual violence and their family/friends. It is a powerful and unique volunteer opportunity and we invite you to join this incredible community of dedicated and passionate changemakers!

As you know, we have been experiencing a lot of change, and embracing it! We are recruiting for some key positions, including our newest open roles: Director of Administrative Services, Director of Advancement, Director of Finance, and Advancement Coordinator. Be sure to check out our website for more information and other open roles including internships. We are recruiting for various roles with our Advocacy Team as well as our Education and Training team. Persons of color and LGBTQ+ persons are encouraged to apply. Please share these openings with your networks as you never know who may end up being a great match! We look forward to hearing from you. Until then, take good care, and thank you for your ongoing support and community.

With gratitude,

Donna Jacobson

Executive Director



Our Resilience Spotlight: Interview with Anna Candoleza Muglia

We're proud to celebrate the people who connect our incredible community and bring us together in this work. For this month's interview, we're shining a spotlight on Anna Candoleza Muglia, BSN, RN, SANE-A, Pediatric SANE, SANE Program Coordinator, Department of Emergency Medicine, of Rush University Medical Center. Read our interview below to hear from Anna about working with survivors in hospitals, the importance of building trust with patients, and her hopes for the future.


Legislative and Funding Updates

Legislative Successes

Prevent Unfair Sentencing of Youth Act -  HB 3414 – Signed into law

The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) partnered with Rights4Girls and other statewide and national partners to bring the Prevent Unfair Sentencing of Youth Act to Illinois this year. The Prevent Unfair Sentencing of Youth Act, formerly known as Sara’s Law, encourages the criminal legal system to recognize youth who are criminalized and convicted of acts of self-defense as victims of gender-based violence. Too often, youth survivors of sexual assault, sex trafficking, and domestic abuse are convicted in adult court and sent to prison for long (even lifelong) sentences—sometimes for defending themselves against further harm, like in the experiences of Cyntoia Brown-Long, Sara Kruzan, and many more survivors.

We are proud to share that Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law last month and it will go into effect in January 2024. Congratulations to CAASE for their amazing work on this. Resilience is honored to support it. You can learn more about HB 3414 on CAASE's website.

Pretrial Fairness Act

Set to go into effect September 18, 2023, the Pretrial Fairness Act (PFA) was part of sweeping criminal justice reform in 2021 affecting policing, pretrial detention and bail, sentencing, and corrections by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

The PFA contains numerous protections for survivors of gender-based violence and specifically sexual assault. It remedies the ability for people who cause harm to buy their way out of jail, expands the court's assessment of safety and risk, and allows criminalized survivors freedom during the criminal legal process, keeping families and communities together.

Learn more about the PFA and what it means for survivors on the Information on Survivor Options and Rights page of our website.

VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) Funding Updates

Beginning July 1, 2023, the funding available to Illinois rape crisis centers through the VOCA Fund was cut by 49%. Resilience only received $510,000 in VOCA funding for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) compared to the $1,035,000 that we received last year. These cuts have left us with a $571,737 funding deficit we need your help to support. Our advocates, therapists, and educators are dedicated to supporting survivors and providing them with the best care but they cannot do that without funding.

The state of Illinois offset the cuts to VOCA by increasing funding for sexual assault services by $5 million in FY24. This was 40% of the ask made to the Illinois General Assembly and falls short of restoring funding to FY23 levels or addressing decades of under-resourced services. The city of Chicago has also invested $25 million into Gender-Based Violence services. This was the first time the city directly supported funding to rape crisis centers, but more funding is needed. Our current funding equates to only $365 per survivor served by Illinois rape crisis centers annually. It also impacts our ability to appropriately compensate advocates and therapists available to survivors 24 hours a day through our hotlines, partner hospitals, and offices.

We need your help today to ensure that we can keep our services in operation and free for survivors and their loved ones. On July 21, 2021, President Biden signed the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021 (VOCA Fix Act) into law (Public law 117-27). The law, which will secure billions in victim services, will take time to replenish the fund to 2018 levels. Because the federal VOCA fix will take time, we are asking our committed supporters like you for your assistance. You can make a difference, and no contribution is too small or insignificant. 

Learn more about how you can help by clicking here and view our updated VOCA Talking Points and FAQs here.

Please contact Sarah Layden at for more information and ways you can support Resilience.


Support survivors by volunteering this fall!

Resilience is always looking for our next class of Volunteer Medical Advocates! You can apply to our fall volunteer training now. The training will take place Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays on October 16, 17, 19, 23, 24, 26, 30, November 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, and 16 between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Zoom. The deadline to apply for this training is September 22.

Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer Medical Advocate later in the year? Keep an eye out for more info on our winter training session. Please reach out to us at with questions! Learn more about our volunteer program here.


Thank you to our August Partner of the Month

Resilience proudly celebrates a new corporate partner each month. These partners' generous support allows Resilience to provide our programs and services completely free to the survivor. We send our gratitude to our August Partner of the Month, Athletico. Athletico generously sponsored the Resilience Empowerment 5K earlier this summer and even led our participants in some amazing post-race stretching. We are grateful for these partnerships that allow Resilience to expand our reach and impact in our community! If you are interested in becoming a corporate partner of Resilience, please contact us.

Trauma Therapy Support Groups & Workshops

Crochet & Mindfulness Workshop (Virtual) – Thursday, August 24, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. This two-hour virtual workshop will teach entry-level crochet skills and mindfulness techniques for survivors of sexual violence. Please contact the group leader, Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to participate and inquire about free materials for those in need. This workshop will also be held again on Thursday, November 16, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Survivors of Drug-Facilitated Sexual Violence Group (Virtual) – The second Monday of each month, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Next meeting on  September 11). This group is open to survivors who experienced drug or alcohol-facilitated sexual assault. The group will include open discussion to explore consent, memory loss, guilt, self-blame, and more. To register, contact Katie Kirshenbaum, LSW, at

Communication with Partners Around Intimacy Workshop (Virtual) – Thursday, September 21, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Participants will learn techniques for communicating with partners related to sexual intimacy, including boundaries, asking for what you need, starting the conversation, and more. Contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to join or with any questions.

Partners of Sexual Assault Survivors Workshop (Virtual) – Thursday, October 19, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. A free, two-hour workshop for partners of people who have experienced sexual violence. Individuals, couples, or partner groups (survivors and non-survivors) are welcome and encouraged to attend. This workshop will give guidance on ways to support your partner, how to better respond to your partner’s needs, work through sexual intimacy concerns, and process feelings. Contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to join or with any questions.


Art Therapy Workshops

Resilience's Art Therapy Workshops are drop-in therapeutic spaces for anyone interested in trying art therapy. They are open to survivors 18+ and all genders are welcome. Please contact Art Therapist Annalise Castro, MAATC to receive a virtual meeting link for any of the following workshops or for general inquiries.

Emotion Landscape (Virtual) – August 17, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Participants will use nature symbols and themes to create imagery that represents their current emotional state. The workshop will utilize artwork to practice a non-judgmental view towards emotions in order to welcome impermanence and see new possibilities for change in the future. 

Open Art Studio (In person) – Wednesdays, August 23 – September 27, 4:00 p.m. –  6:00 p.m. at Resilience's Central Office, 180 N Michigan Ave, Suite 600. Join for creative inspiration, start a new art project, or take a pause while connecting with others. Participants are welcome to drop in to open studio for the full two hours or partial time as their schedule allows. All materials will be provided and no previous experience is needed.

Knitting and Mindfulness (Virtual) – Thursday, August 31, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Participants will learn how to use crafting as a mindfulness practice through guided prompts and open knitting time. Knitting involves repetitive micro-movements which elicit a sense of stillness in the mind. Participants must have beginner knitting skills to participate.

Garden of Life (Virtual) – Thursday, September 14, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Participants will receive a prompt to explore their personal history across the life span and reflect on pleasure goals by creating an art nature-scape. The guided artwork is intended to encourage judgment-free reflection on how bodies, family, culture, and environment impact the self.

Emotion Character (Virtual) – Thursday, September 28, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Participants will be encouraged to use their creative thinking skills to personify an emotion of their choice in order to get to know that emotion better. The workshop will include guided art making time followed by reflective writing prompts to deepen understanding.

You can always view the current listings of Trauma Therapy workshops and support groups on our website.


DOGtober hosted by the Resilience Associate Board

Sunday, October 8, 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

River Shannon, 425 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL

You're invited to DOGtober with the Resilience Associate Board at River Shannon, a dog-friendly Irish Pub in Lincoln Park. Bring your best furry friend and join us for food, drinks, costume contests, a fabulous photo booth, socializing, and more. Tickets are $30 and proceeds support Resilience. Register today!


Division on Gender-based Violence Survey for survivors

The Division on Gender-based Violence (DGBV), formerly the Division on Domestic Violence, has expanded its focus to support survivors of other forms of violence. DGBV is an active partner in Chicago’s effort to address gender-based violence and support survivors and families. The Division supports agencies that serve more than 12,000 survivors annually through approximately 38 community programs that address domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

The DGBV is currently conducting a needs assessment to gather information on current services and identify any existing gaps. This survey will help guide the Division's priorities in supporting survivors and addressing GBV. Click below to take the short, nine multiple-choice question surveys.  


Join the Resilience team, apply for an open role or internship today!

Resilience is looking for new staff members and interns to join our team in our mission of empowering survivors and ending sexual violence. The following positions are currently open: 



Apply today! To learn more about careers and internships at Resilience, click here. Please share with your networks!


Get Connected with Resilience's Remote Services

Click here to connect with an Advocate
Please fill out this form to be contacted by a trauma therapist to schedule or confirm a one-time virtual session
Contact us to join our waitlist for free individual sessions of trauma therapy


Click here to visit our Information on Survivor Options and Rights Page
Click here to visit our COVID-19 Resource Page

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

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