We argue that respect does not just have to be earned, but that it should be freely given because of the innate quality of dignity that every human possesses. This month, some of the staff of Amirah have reflected more on what this value means for them in the work that they do. We hope that this gives you all something to think about and begin to practice in your own life as you make respect not just something earned, but something given freely at all times.
“For me, and the work I do with Amirah - respect is walking with a woman through her process of healing whilst creating and maintaining a safe space. The safe space is where the healing happens in spiritual trauma recovery - it is a place where there is freedom to speak from a place of real experience, freedom to say and do hard things, and freedom to disagree and wrestle. The space remains safe, because respect goes ahead of it. Respect is the prerequisite. We cannot share the dark spaces within ourselves with others, without the foundation of respect.“
-- Sarah Rutherford, Community Life Coordinator
Sarah helps survivors in our home navigate their social, spiritual, and emotional healing journeys.
"I'm encouraged when I see the women in our program show respect to one another. This is not normal behavior for them when they first arrive at Amirah. I realize they are mimicking the respect that was modeled by their caregivers here. This reciprocal modeling and exhibiting of spiritual principles is a true example of a healthy community. It makes me so proud to be associated with Amirah."
-- Cheri Crider, Office Manager & Outreach Survivor Leader
Cheri manages all administrative functions for Amirah and has recently stepped into a new role as a survivor leader, mentoring victims and survivors
in support groups under Amirah’s new outreach initiative.
“One of the most important acts of leadership I can exercise is treating all with respect. Amirah women are accustomed to the opposite treatment, especially from those in authority. If I am going to be an agent of healing in their lives, I must be a different kind of authority than they have known in the past - a leader whose acts of respect highlight the inherent worth they each possess as beautiful women.”
--Heather Thornburg, Program Director
Heather oversees all aspects of Amirah’s safe home program, leading the program staf,f and supporting each survivor on the road of recovery.