Message from the Interim Director

Dear Friend,

Since Sexual Assault Awareness Month came to a close, we have been filled with gratitude for everyone who participated in our special events and fundraising during April. This year was off the charts; thank you for supporting survivors and Resilience! We couldn’t do it without you. You can find more information on the generosity of our community below.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We want to uplift the work of our incredible team of Trauma Therapists here at Resilience who support hundreds of survivors of sexual violence each year. The space they create in the lives of survivors helps to identify steps toward healing and individual empowerment. Together we can work towards breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health and creating communities that are supportive, kind, and affirming by sharing Resilience therapy workshops and support groups in your own networks.

Spring is always a busy time of year for Resilience and were looking forward to gathering with you at the lakefront on June 10 as our Associate Board hosts the second Empowerment 5K at Burnham Park. Find a friend to walk, run, or roll with and get your tickets today! We are also still searching for sponsors for this event. You can view sponsor benefits here. 

Please also join me in sending my best wishes to Amy O'Keeffe as she departs from Resilience to pursue a new opportunity. I know she will continue to be an ally in this movement and I thank her for all of her work as Director of Development over the years as well as her more recent role as Chief External Relations Officer and Interim Co-Director with myself. I’m delighted to announce that Miranda Ehmke will be stepping in as the Interim Director of Development and look forward to working with them in this role.

We hope to see you this summer.

With gratitude,

Sarah Layden, Chief Operating Officer & Interim Director



Action Alert: The final push, contact your legislators this week and tell them to invest in statewide rape crisis services before session ends this Friday!

Help Resilience and rape crisis centers across the state avoid significant layoffs, office closures, and service interruptions as a result of considerable cuts to VOCA funding. Click here to auto-generate a letter to your legislator by zip code this week and help us show the Illinois General Assembly how many Illinoisans support survivors!

Learn more about all the ways you can help with the VOCA Funding Cuts on our website. You'll find resources such as a downloadable VOCA flyerour VOCA Funding Cut FAQs, a sample letter to ask your legislator to increase General Revenue funding to support services for sexual assault survivors across the state, and more. Thank you for helping Resilience spread the word about this critical time as we await updates about the severity of the cuts.

Please contact Sarah Layden at for more information about how you can get involved in supporting Resilience through this. 

Resilience Funding Cuts in the news

We are honored to be included in the recent CBS News article Rape crisis advocates say they are facing major funding crisis, need state's help by Dana Kozlov. Thank you to Alice Hayes, a former Resilience client, and current volunteer, for sharing her story and speaking to the importance of services provided by rape crisis centers. Thank you to Reneé Miranda-Beristain, LCPC, NCC, Resilience Clinical and Internship Supervisor for speaking to this critical issue as well. 

Thank you to Nicole Robinson of the Chicago Sun Times for covering the impact of the VOCA cuts in an Op-Ed titled, Illinois must come through with more money for rape crisis centers. Resilience was proud to co-author this piece. Please help us spread awareness about this issue by sharing these articles.


Our Resilience Spotlight: Interview with Jillian Furey

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 Jillian Furey, a Resilience Associate Board member, and survivor. Read our interview to hear from Jillian about healing and getting involved with Resilience. Click the button below to read our interview with Jillian.


Legislative Updates

Support SB 333

SB 333 amends the Criminal Identification Act. It creates procedures for a medical facility, physician, or nurse to report a sexual assault when the sexual assault survivor requests treatment at the medical facility. ICASA’s priority bill to give the option to delay automatic notification of law enforcement passed in the Senate on a vote of 31-22, and has moved to the House. SB 333 is scheduled to be heard in House Judiciary - Criminal Committee on Thursday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m. This is the day before session is supposed to adjourn on May 19, so we only have this week left to pass the bill. Please join Resilience in submitting witness slips as proponents as soon as possible. We are facing some strong opposition from law enforcement, and we need to show the Committee that this bill has a lot of support.

To file a witness slip for SB 333, click here.

  • Section I – Identify yourself: name, address, agency, email, and phone number. Please put "self" in the firm/business/agency line if you are not authorized to represent your organization.
  • Section II – If you represent the position of your agency/organization, please list it. If you do not represent your agency/organization, please put "self." (Please do not list ICASA here – list your center, if applicable).
  • Section III – Select your position on SB 333. ICASA recommends your position be PROPONENT.
  • Section IV – Select the type of testimony. Check “Record Of Appearance Only.”
  • At the bottom agree to the terms and click “create slip.” You should see a message that your slip was created and receive a confirmation email.

Tell ICE to Release Ana Navarro! Sign and share.

Ana Navarro is a survivor of childhood abuse and domestic violence, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and an advocate/coach for system-impacted women through the W.I.N.D program. Recently, she was selected as a 2023 Policy Fellow with the Women’s Justice Institute. Despite these accomplishments, ICE is still threatening to deport Ana. Please help demand that ICE release her so that she can come home and continue her important work supporting women who’ve experienced gender-based violence and criminalization at the hands of the State. 

Resilience has signed a letter to ICE requesting that they exercise their discretion in her case. You can sign the public petition to Tell ICE to Release Ana Navarro by clicking here. Thank you to Organized Communities Against Deportations for raising awareness about Ana's story and situation and organizing this petition. 

Human Services Professional Loan Repayment Program Act Amendment HB2379/SB1720

The Human Services Professional Loan Repayment Program provides loan repayment assistance to qualified human service professionals to improve recruitment and retention in community-based human services organizations. Adequate appropriations are essential so that human service providers are able to offer student debt repayment options to their workforce. We are asking for $15M in appropriations to fund repayments for 1,000 community-based human service professionals. Click here to email your legislators to ask them to co-sponsor appropriations for the Human Service Professional Loan Repayment Program and to view the fact sheet.

City of Chicago's Gender-based Violence task force

We are thrilled that Sarah Layden, Chief Operating Officer & Interim Director has been appointed to serve on the now codified City of Chicago's Gender-based Violence task force. This task force advises the mayor on how to create alternative responses to gender-based violence and human trafficking outside of law enforcement response, reform policies that perpetuate or create opportunities for gender-based violence or human trafficking, and more. Congratulations to Sarah Layden for continuing this work with our new Mayor and for representing Resilience as she advocates for survivors all over the city. You can view the City of Chicago’s Progress Report (July 2022 - March 2023) for the Citywide Strategic Plan to Address Gender-based Violence and Human Trafficking here.

Call on Your Senators to Pass HB 676 HA1

The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence has been leading the development of firearms remedies bill in conjunction with Rep. Hirschauer, Legal Action Chicago, and Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The bill was incorporated into HB676 HA1, a common sense firearms package, and will improve language in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) to ensure accessibility and enforceability of firearm remedies available to survivors in orders of protection. On Friday, May 12, 2023 that bill passed the House. We need your help to urge the Senate to pass the bill in the last week of session. Join us by contacting your Senator and asking them to support HB 676 HA1! Click here to email your Senator and Senate leadership, just fill in your information and hit 'Send Email'. Download the Network's handout to learn more here.

For more information on legislation impacting survivors contact Sarah Layden at


SAAM goal reached! Thank you for helping raise over $20,000!

Against our $20,000 SAAM fundraising goal, we are very grateful to report we raised $20,514.61 during SAAM this year! We send you all our gratitude for showing up for survivors during SAAM 2023. Thank you to each and every person who made a donation and attended our special events this month. We are truly moved by the community that you all choose to be a part of and what we can accomplish together.

Our staff and community partners were thrilled to host ten events during April. Between community workshops, poetry performances, awareness events, Standing Silent Witness, and more, we can't thank you enough for your dedication and commitment. Across all our events, we were joined by over 230 of you. Two of our events, Speaking of Survival, and Know Your Rights, hosted by Legal Aid Chicago and Resilience, were held virtually and recorded. Click the titles to watch these events on YouTube.

Thank you to our SAAM committee, staff, volunteers, supporters, and community partners for making SAAM 2023 a huge success. We can't do this work without you!

Additionally, our new merch made in collaboration with RAYGUN will continue to be available for purchase year-round. If you haven't stocked up on new Resilience merch, click here to browse and shop!  A portion of the proceeds are donated back to Resilience.


Thank you to our May 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 May Partner of the Month, Madi Delk. Madi generously donated her time and talents to direct and produce videos for Resilience to bring awareness to our services in the face of VOCA funding cuts. Watch our SAAM video with McKenna Rogan, Advocacy Volunteer Supervisor, and our Trauma Therapy video with Dr. LaShanda Nalls-Edwards, Director of Trauma Therapy. 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 Miranda Ehmke, Interim Director of Development, at


Join our next volunteer training this summer

Resilience is always looking for our next class of Volunteer Medical Advocates! Applications for our summer training are open now. The deadline to apply is Monday, July 10. Dates for the orientation sessions (by invitation only) will be announced soon. The training dates are August 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22, 24, 28, 29, and September 5, 6, and 7 between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer Medical Advocate later in the year? Join us for our training in the fall or winter. Please reach out to us at with questions! Learn more about our volunteer program here

Women of Color Support Group – Virtual

Wednesdays, May 17 through June 18, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

This group encourages healing through shared experience as well as exploration of both individual and systemic trauma at the intersection of race and gender. Topics will be chosen by group members and may include racial identity, survivorship, and building community support. This group is for Illinois residents only.

Please contact Reneé Miranda-Beristain at for more information and to complete an assessment.


Crochet and Mindfulness Workshop – Virtual

Monday, May 22, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Join us for a free two-hour virtual workshop teaching entry-level crochet skills and mindfulness techniques for survivors of sexual violence. No disclosures about experiences are required, however, group participants are welcome to discuss this if they wish to. Free materials are available for those in need (must contact us at least 5 days in advance of the event).

Please contact the group leader Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to participate and inquire about materials.


Monthly Journaling and Meditation Group – Virtual

Fourth Wednesday of each month, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Next meeting on May 24)

A virtual space for survivors ages 18+ of sexual violence to process their trauma through journaling and guided meditation.

To request to join, contact Alexa Diego, LPC at


Crochet and Craft Group – Virtual

Monthly, every first Thursday, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. via Google Meet (Next meeting on June 1)

Join us for a monthly craft group focused on teaching crochet stitches and helping troubleshoot crochet issues. This group is also open to any crafter (knitting, sewing, painting, coloring, etc.) who would like to craft in a safe community space. This virtual group is open to all survivors of sexual violence ages 18+ who reside in Illinois.

To register, please contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at


40-Hour Confidential Advisor Training – Virtual

June 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This training will provide an in-depth examination of how sexual violence impacts individuals, communities, and broader society within the higher education context. Participants will be equipped to support survivors, and all survivors should be able to count on trustworthy, specialized institutional responses. CEUs are available.

Contact Jenna Barrus at with questions. 


The Associate Board Empowerment 5K

Saturday, June 10, 8:30 a.m.

Burnham Park (1199 E Oakwood Blvd, Chicago, IL 60653) 

Resilience's Associate Board is hosting the second annual Empowerment 5K on Saturday, June 10! Save the date and join us as we walk, run, and roll to support survivors during this active and social fundraiser. This is a family- and dog-friendly event for participants of all levels. Participants will receive a t-shirt and other swag at the finish line! Registration is open, get your tickets today. There are also family and group discount packages available.


Communication with Partners Around Intimacy Workshop – Virtual

Monday, June 12, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Participants will learn techniques for communicating with partners related to intimacy, including boundaries, asking for what they need, starting the conversation, and more. This free workshop is open to survivors of sexual violence ages 18+ who reside in Illinois.

Contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to join or with any questions.


Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education – Virtual

Friday, June 30, 9:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

This training is intended for higher education professionals involved in providing student survivor support or responding to student disclosures of sexual or domestic violence. Suggested participants are Confidential Advisors, Student Conduct and Student Counseling Services. This training does not provide comprehensive review or guidance on updated Title IX procedures; however, Title IX Coordinators are also encouraged to attend.

Contact Jenna Barrus at with questions.


40-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention Training – Virtual

July 24, 25, 27, 31, August 1, 3, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. (Makeup date: August 9)

Trainees will gain basic crisis intervention skills, explore the neurobiology of trauma, and learn how to respond to disclosures. They will learn about the legal and medical remedies available to survivors and explore how sexual violence impacts groups of survivors experiencing multiple forms of oppression. Trainees will also learn in-depth state and federal laws that outline procedures and responsibilities of higher education institutions and their employees. This training will conclude with an emphasis on vicarious trauma and self-care and empower trainees with resources they may share with their communities. 10.5 CEUs available. Registration ends at midnight on Wednesday, May 31.

Contact Jenna Barrus at with questions.


All Gender Intimacy After Assault Support Group  – Virtual

Wednesdays, July 12 – September 13, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

This psychoeducation support group is for survivors of sexual violence residing in Illinois, ages 18+, all genders. This group will be a blend of teaching skills to become more comfortable with sexual intimacy after assault, explore how to communicate intimacy needs and boundaries, and be a safe space to share experiences and get peer support.

To attend, please contact the group facilitator, Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to schedule a screening.


Save the date - Evening of Impact 2023!

Thursday, September 28, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Galleria Marchetti (825 W. Erie St, Chicago, IL 60642)

Join us for Resilience’s most celebrated event of the year! Evening of Impact is Resilience’s largest annual fundraising event. Supporters, donors, community partners, allies, staff, volunteers, and more come together to celebrate, socialize, and raise funds for Resilience. We’ll be joined by a variety of dynamic guest speakers to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dinner, a program, a silent auction, a raffle, the Dr. Natalie A. Stephens Visionary Award, and more. All proceeds from this event support Resilience’s services so that they remain completely free to survivors and their loved ones who come to Resilience to heal. This energetic evening will be full of hope, comradery, and optimism for what we can achieve together in this movement. Join us at Evening of Impact to deepen your support for survivors and connect with a passionate community of people advocating and taking action to empower survivors and end sexual violence. Registration will open soon!

For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact Miranda Ehmke at

Thank you to our Committee Co-Chairs: Lucero Castellanos and Maddie Gryll and our host committee members: Mark Cohen, Board Member, Kate Meyer, Board Member, Swathi Mothkur, Board Member, Kat Stabler, and Kelley Kitley.


Check out Our Music My Body this festival season

Our Music My Body (OMMB) is a campaign led by Resilience that was created to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the music scene. We do this work because we believe everyone deserves to feel comfortable and safe at concerts and festivals. Our Music My Body works with festival and venue staff, musicians, and music fans alike to create fun and consensual music experiences for all. Learn more on OMMB's website.

OMMB is thrilled to return to Rudio Fest on August 19 and 20. Learn more and get tickets at


Shop with Humble Bundle to give back to Resilience

Calling all game and ebook lovers! Humble Bundle sells games, ebooks, software, and other digital content while supporting charities and nonprofits. Resilience is now one of the organizations that you can choose to give back to when you shop. 10% of the net revenue from every purchase on the Humble Store can be routed to your Humble Wallet or to benefit Resilience! Click here to shop on Humble Bumble and click here for instructions on how to set up Resilience as your charity of choice.


Join the Resilience team, we're hiring

Resilience is looking for new staff 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 at Resilience, click here. Do you know someone who might be a good fit for one of these positions? Send them this email!


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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