WE WILL VOICE THEIR NAMES

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. We cannot forget their names, as well as the countless other Black lives that were lost and will be lost as a result of the systemic oppression of Black people.

As an anti-violence organization, we believe Black lives matter, all Black lives. To say that Black lives matter does not mean other lives do not, but acknowledges our country’s tragic history that includes the trafficking and the enslavement of Black people. It also acknowledges that White lives benefited from this cruelty and the systems that it created. The modernization of these systems disproportionately impacts the lives of people of color, especially Black individuals in this country, who experience higher rates of sexual violence, excessive use of force by police, increased barriers to a sound education and higher education; voter suppression, lack of affordable housing and living-wage jobs; the list goes on and on.

We condemn the brutality Black communities face on a day-to-day basis. We advocate for the building of systems and responses with the notion that Black lives matter because we believe  just that, Black lives matter. We believe that everyone has an inherent right to thrive in safe communities. An act of violence against one is an act of violence against all.

Our VOICE is committed to challenging the inequities that inherently exist in our local, state, and national systems as well as in our own organization. We commit to building equitable communities where everyone has an opportunity to thrive regardless of their race. We stand by the Black voices that are leading the charge on changing today’s realities. Our work as advocates has taught us to meet people where they are at and honor their autonomy, especially when power has been taken away from them. Thus, we are committed to continue to develop our awareness of how inequity impacts members of our community and take their lead as we seek action to create a better, safer tomorrow.

We challenge Our VOICE supporters and community partners to take ownership of this struggle and be part of the solution. Racism did not start in a vacuum and will not be eliminated by the efforts of a few. Seek knowledge about institutional racism and oppression in our country and take steps to make meaningful and lasting change. Educate yourself about what it means to be an ally to Black communities. Donate to organizations doing anti-racism work. There are many organizations in our community doing impactful work around racism and equity such as the YWCA, Asheville Black Lives Matter Community, Center for Participatory Change, Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship, BeLoved, Asheville Racial Equity Institute, and Asheville Showing Up for Racial Justice to name a few.

Our hearts and our solidarity go out to all of the grieving families, as well as all those working to eliminate systemic racism. We commit to you that we will say their names and continue the work in creating a community free of violence. 

WE WILL VOICE THEIR NAMES

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. We cannot forget their names, as well as the countless other Black lives that were lost and will be lost as a result of the systemic oppression of Black people.

As an anti-violence organization, we believe Black lives matter, all Black lives. To say that Black lives matter does not mean other lives do not, but acknowledges our country’s tragic history that includes the trafficking and the enslavement of Black people. It also acknowledges that White lives benefited from this cruelty and the systems that it created. The modernization of these systems disproportionately impacts the lives of people of color, especially Black individuals in this country, who experience higher rates of sexual violence, excessive use of force by police, increased barriers to a sound education and higher education; voter suppression, lack of affordable housing and living-wage jobs; the list goes on and on.

We condemn the brutality Black communities face on a day-to-day basis. We advocate for the building of systems and responses with the notion that Black lives matter because we believe  just that, Black lives matter. We believe that everyone has an inherent right to thrive in safe communities. An act of violence against one is an act of violence against all.

Our VOICE is committed to challenging the inequities that inherently exist in our local, state, and national systems as well as in our own organization. We commit to building equitable communities where everyone has an opportunity to thrive regardless of their race. We stand by the Black voices that are leading the charge on changing today’s realities. Our work as advocates has taught us to meet people where they are at and honor their autonomy, especially when power has been taken away from them. Thus, we are committed to continue to develop our awareness of how inequity impacts members of our community and take their lead as we seek action to create a better, safer tomorrow.

We challenge Our VOICE supporters and community partners to take ownership of this struggle and be part of the solution. Racism did not start in a vacuum and will not be eliminated by the efforts of a few. Seek knowledge about institutional racism and oppression in our country and take steps to make meaningful and lasting change. Educate yourself about what it means to be an ally to Black communities. Donate to organizations doing anti-racism work. There are many organizations in our community doing impactful work around racism and equity such as the YWCA, Asheville Black Lives Matter Community, Center for Participatory Change, Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship, BeLoved, Asheville Racial Equity Institute, and Asheville Showing Up for Racial Justice to name a few.

Our hearts and our solidarity go out to all of the grieving families, as well as all those working to eliminate systemic racism. We commit to you that we will say their names and continue the work in creating a community free of violence. 

We are still here for you during these uncertain times!

As we continue to receive updates regarding coronavirus, Our VOICE would like to inform survivors, community partners and supporters that we are making temporary changes to our services in order to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus. Until further notice, Our VOICE’s services will reflect the following:

 

  • Crisis Hotline:  Our crisis line will operate as usual, 24/7 at 828-255-7576
  • FJC Walk-in Services: Until further notice, walk-in services at the Family Justice Center at 35 Woodfin Street, Asheville, NC 28801 are still available on a limited basis.  Call our crisis line at 828-255-7576 for more information. 
  • Individual Counseling Services:  Counselors have the ability to provide services remotely, either online or via phone.  On a case-by-case basis, counselors may be able to offer counseling services in person.  Please call our office at 828-252-0562 or our crisis line at 828-255-7576 to start the counseling referral process or to connect with your counselor. 
  • Support Groups:  Support groups may be offered either online or be postponed. 
  • Legal Advocacy: Court advocacy and law enforcement advocacy services will be offered on a limited basis.Please call our office at 828-252-0562 or our crisis line at 828-255-7576 to start a request for legal advocacy services or to connect with your advocate.

 

  • Case Management: Case management services will be offered remotely, either online or via phone. Please call our office at 828-252-0562 or our crisis line at 828-255-7576 to request case management services or to connect with your current case manager.
  • Medical Advocacy:  Until further notice, medical advocacy is being offered via phone for survivors presenting at Mission Hospital.  For survivors presenting at the Family Justice Center, in-person medical advocacy is available. 
  • Prevention Programming:  In-person prevention programs will be put on hold until further notice, however, we have the ability to host prevention workshops via Zoom, for anyone interested please fill out a request form here

Donations:  If you are interested in making a monetary donation, we would encourage you to make it here or for you to contact our Director of Philanthropy, Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt, at 828-252-0562 X 102 or aiyannasb@ourvoicenc.org. Our VOICE depends on community support, and your donation today will ensure that vital services are available during this time.

Our VOICE is dedicated to the health and well-being of all people.  We will continue to serve survivors, reduce the rates of assault in our region, and offer education programs that are designed to empower our youth to live happy, safe, and productive lives. We will also continue to work to dismantle the oppressions that contribute to sexual violence and human trafficking.  In these uncertain and often fearful times, we cannot permit xenophobia and racism to go unchecked. For further reading click here, here and here. For tools to disrupt xenophobia and racism, click here, here and here

Please take care of yourselves and your families as we work together to control the spread of coronavirus over the coming months.  We cannot encourage you enough 

to take care of yourself.  Take a walk, make sure you eat well, call a friend and breathe.  

Be safe.

-Angelica R. Wind

Our VOICE

In the pursuit of a community free of sexual violence, Our VOICE serves all individuals in Buncombe County affected by sexual assault and abuse, through counseling, advocacy, and education.

Get Support

Crisis Line: 828.255.7576

Text “VOICE” or “VOZ” to 85511

Business: 828.252.0562

 

Crisis Support – Counseling – Case Management – Advocacy (Medical, Court) – Educational Programs – Training – Latinx Services – Events – Community Engagement  

 

The Bar Outreach Project

Combating Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

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Over the years in the bar business I have heard many tales of drugs being dropped into unsuspecting folk’s beverages, and have known a few victims. Our VOICE has been instrumental in bringing awareness to the problem, especially educating staff, who in turn, can make a real difference in educating customers.” –  Chad Battles, Co-owner, The Bywater

Until I went to the [Bar Staff] training, I had no idea that Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault was such a problem. That’s the first step to fixing the problem, being aware that it exists.” – Tim McGill, Manager, Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company

The Bar Outreach Program has been a great tool in our kit to keep our patrons safe and comfortable.”  – Lisa Gambrell, Owner, Desoto Lounge