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Survivors in Bloom: Raising Awareness and Showing Solidarity

Too often, gender-based violence is something that exists in the shadows. Domestic violence is a family matter, victims and survivors are told, while people who experience sexual assault are often made to feel ashamed or as though they were responsible for what happened to them. Movements like #MeToo helped victims and survivors talk about these issues -but we still have a long way to go.


Domestic abuse, sexual violence, and other forms of violence and abuse are more common than many people would suspect. Across the United States, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men have experienced severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking.  In far too many cases, sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, stalking, elder abuse, and other forms of gender-based violence are never reported.


Given this reality, it can be hard to know how to support victims and survivors. As a community, we can take steps to demonstrate that these issues are important to us – and that we are here to help. Attending events like Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a great place to start. You can also back the work of a local student and help with a project that will be a physical representation of our support.


What Is Survivors in Bloom?

In 2022, Greensburg Salem High School student Rubee Stillwagon embarked on a mission: to collect feminine care products for women who escape an abusive relationship. With the support of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America club, Rubee launched the “Go with the Flow” campaign to benefit Blackburn Center. By spring 2023, Rubee collected more than $12,000 worth of feminine products for our clients – and more than $700 in gift cards.


In 2024, Rubee had decided on a new project: Survivors in Bloom.  The goal of this project is to raise awareness and show support for victims and survivors of gender-based violence in a tangible way. Rubee – a high school sophomore – approached the Greensburg Mayor and City Council with her idea. She wanted to line the streets of Greensburg with red tulips, starting with the path for Blackburn Center’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.


To make her idea come to life, Rubee will be selling tulip bulbs that community members can purchase. She will then be planting these tulips throughout the city. In 2024, she is also selling red pinwheels, which will stand in for the tulips until they bloom. All proceeds of these sales will go to Blackburn Center.


If you’d like to support Rubee’s work, you can buy tulip bulbs to be planted and/or a red pinwheel using the information below. You can also follow her Facebook page for more news and information.

Survivors in Bloom is selling tulips and pinwheels to raise awareness and show support for survivors of gender-bsed violence


Support Survivors at Walk a Mile in Her Shoes


You can also see this project in action – and support Blackburn Center’s mission – at our Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. The Walk will take place on April 13, 2024 at St. Clair Park in Greensburg.  Click below to learn more and to register – tickets are just $5!



As always, if you need help, we are here for you. Call us anytime at 1-888-832-2272 (TDD available). All calls are free of charge and can be anonymous



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