Our Speaker on April 19, 2022 was Becca Welna speaking on the Sojourner Project 
Their mission is to Advocate for victim safety; supports the transition from victim to survivor; and educate for the prevention and elimination of domestic violence.                          
Sojourners provide emergency shelter, support, and legal advocacy services to those victimized by domestic violence and other forms of interpersonal violence. To that end, they provide services to victims of dating violence and sexual assault. Becca says that their ultimate goal encourages the change from crisis to stability and the transition from victim to survivor. In order to build safer communities, Sojourner conducts outreach activities and specifically designed presentations to heighten public awareness and engage groups and individuals in educational opportunities to prevent future victims and abusers.  All Sojourner services are confidential and free of charge.                                                                                    
The Guiding Principle of Sojourner is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in its programs and services and endeavors to be inclusive as possible in all areas of diversity including but not limited to race, gender, religion, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, or disability.  They respect the unique cultural identities, experiences, and circumstances of every client and recognize that cultural competency is critical to understanding families and providing services and supports that are meaningful and relevant. 
Their Goals are to: 1) Increased victim safety is Sojourner’s key service priority. 2) Sojourner advocates work with victims at any stage of their experience with domestic violence. 3) All people are entitled to live free from threats and violence in their homes. 4) Healthy relationships do not involve violent, abusive, or coercive behavior. 5) They respect the right of individuals to self-determination and encourage self- determination and informed-decision making. 6) All staff and volunteers are required to demonstrate a high level of professionalism and work in an honest and ethical manner. 7) They recognize the right of clients to privacy and confidentiality and make every effort to assure that shared information remains confidential.
Becca explained that the Sojourner Project works tirelessly to combat domestic violence, sexual assault and dating violence.  Domestic Violence is a crime. It is a pattern of abusive behavior intended to exert power and control over another person, usually a spouse or intimate partner. Abusive behaviors may include: physical, verbal, mental, or sexual abuse, hurting pets or destroying property, financial control, and other behaviors directed towards intimidating and controlling an intimate partner or family member.  Sexual assault is any forced or unwanted sexual activity where physical force, threats, or intimidation were used to exert power and control over the victim.  Rape and sexual assault are crimes.  Dating violence is when one person purposely hurts, scares or intimidates someone they are dating.  It often starts with emotional abuse that isolates you from friends and family and works to undermine your self-confidence and self-esteem. Without intervention, these abusive behaviors can lead to more serious abuse. 
After Q&A President Lou applauded the valuable work of the Sojourner Project and said he would approach the Board of Directors at its May meeting to make a donation.