For good. For ever.®

Center for Earth-Based Healing of AIWP

Mission: The mission of the Center for Earth-Based Healing (CEBH) of the Association for the Integration of the Whole Person (AIWP) is to provide trauma-informed ecotherapy programs that promote holistic healing — psychological, physical, emotional, and spiritual — for trauma survivors.

Community Need: According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women living in Virginia will experience some form of sexual and/or domestic violence in her lifetime. What has been historically considered “private business” is finally receiving on-going national media coverage.  These stories are finally exposing how deeply this epidemic exists in families, communities, and institutions.

According to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study, the cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services, and victims missed 8 million days of paid work (equivalent to 32,000 full-time jobs) due to the violence perpetrated against them.  Because sexual/domestic violence are not “comfortable” topics to address, they are oftentimes avoided, but statistics show that there is a high likelihood that every single woman either is, will become, or knows a survivor, and no community is immune, as 78% of sexual assault victims knew the perpetrator.

Constituents Served: The programs offered at the CEBH serve adult female survivors of sexual and/or domestic violence who live in Virginia and the surrounding region.   They have a specific focus on serving survivors who live in geographically-isolated (or rural) regions where access to healing services is more limited, and they reserve 25% of their program spaces for these individuals. Of the 24 women served in 2017, 23 were between the ages of 25-59, and 1 was 60 and over.

Primary Activities: The CEBH currently offers two trauma-informed ecotherapy programs and a professional development training:  Camp Ostara, for 12 adult survivors of domestic violence and, Camp Mabon for 12 adult survivors of sexual violence.  The CEBH also offers a 3-hour training on trauma-informed ecotherapy for professionals who serve survivors of sexual and domestic violence titled “How Mother Nature Heals.” They traveled 2,300 miles in 2017 to Virginia’s most geographically-isolated regions and offered this training to 16 sexual and domestic violence agencies. In 2018, they anticipate traveling another 1,500 miles throughout the remaining regions of Virginia, to include the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, and Augusta, Highland and Nelson County, to offer training to 36 sexual and domestic violence agencies.

In May and July of 2019, the CEBH plans to create two new programs respectively: Camp Sirona will be an experiential professional development training on trauma-informed ecotherapy that also creates a space for self-care and to honor the sacred work of empowering trauma survivors in their healing journeys. It is designed to empower other professionals to take these skills back to their own communities.  Camp Artemis will be offered to 12 teen girls who identify as survivors of interpersonal violence (sexual and domestic violence as well as other forms of violence such as bullying).

Amount Requested: $10,000

Operating Budget: $123,451

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