This year, we’re continuing to celebrate the people who make #OurResilience possible and telling the stories of some of our incredible clients, staff, volunteers, and supporters. It is more important now than ever to embrace and celebrate what connects us: our resilience. This month, we’re proudly shining a spotlight on Jen Glawe, long-time Resilience supporter.
Continue to read our interview with Jen.
How and when did you get involved with Resilience?
I got involved with Resilience in 2014. I remember it pretty vividly because I had just had my daughter. My husband works for Global Standard and Poor. S&P is an awesome organization. They have a double match for their donations so if an employee makes a donation, they will double match it, so we always give on Giving Tuesday to Resilience. He had come across Resilience when it was still Rape Victims Advocates and he thought that I would feel especially akin to Resilience and their cause, and he was absolutely correct. We started off as donors in 2014 and we’ve been donating ever since. It’s been a really exciting journey to get more involved too.
You’re a member of Resilience’s Evening of Impact Host Event Committee. What inspired or motivated you to get involved with Resilience in that role?
My first Evening of Impact that I went to personally was in 2018 when Tarana Burke was there along with Kelly Kitley. I was so moved to meet such strong women who supported the causes that Resilience stands for on a daily basis. I felt like I was finally in an environment where there was no shame about trauma or survivorship or any of that. From that experience, I wanted to become more involved with Resilience in general, and so when I was asked to be on the host committee, I honestly was honored and it was something that I had no question about. I absolutely wanted to do it because I just have this passion for Resilience and getting further and further involved in the group and so it was a no-brainer for me.
Is there one thing you wish everyone knew about the impact of sexual violence?
It’s hard to think about just one thing. For me, I really feel most passionately about the fact that trauma, rape, assault, incest, they are not an event. It is a journey that people experience throughout their entire life and it’s one that requires a lot of strength, fortitude, and support from family, friends, and mental health care providers. Oftentimes people that have experienced trauma are dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD, triggers, all of those types of things. None of those things should involve shame, but I think that so much of this type of experience is clouded by shame. I really just want people to know that going through this experience is a journey and one that absolutely requires support throughout the entire person’s life.
As a supporter of Resilience, why is it important to get involved or give back to an organization like Resilience?
For me, I understand how trauma has affected my life. During my own journey, I’ve had the fortune of having a home and having access to education and financial and emotional support, and even with all of those things, I’ve still struggled immensely. I feel very called to be able to provide resources for other people to have support and I’m lucky to have the financial means to be a donor. I have skills and expertise that I can lend to Resilience and I just want to be able to help fund these services and help end sexual violence and empower survivors.
And how has getting involved with Resilience impacted you?
I was reading a book the other day and there was a line that I came across that really spoke to me. The line says, “Trauma has a way of dividing your view of the world into two camps; those who get it and those who don’t.” [From Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad] I felt like this book was put in my hands to read that exact line if nothing else. With my involvement in Resilience, I’ve never felt different. I’ve never felt unaccepted. I’ve always felt like I have a group of strong people who can help support each other and other trauma survivors. It’s given me a community where I feel that not only can I be a part of it, but I belong. I keep finding myself called to do more and more work with Resilience and so I am thinking a lot about what more I can do to give back to Resilience. Is it joining the board? Is it becoming a medical advocate? It’s something that I definitely just have a really strong connection to and I didn’t have it before, and it’s extremely powerful.
I think you just described the Resilience community really beautifully and in a way that I’ve heard other people speak about it. If you could describe the Resilience community just using a few words, what are the first words that come to mind?
I think of ‘empowered’ and I think of ‘courageous’.
What’s one fun fact about you?
I am literally obsessed with memoirs and autobiographies. I have a few favorites that I’ll call out. One is Know My Name by Chanel Miller. There’s also Brain on Fire, which is written by a young woman who has some strange illnesses that she’s trying to figure out, and then the other favorite is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Pretty much all of these books I’ve read at least two if not three times. I find reading memoirs just completely fascinating. I think everyone has a story to tell and I just am really drawn to those types of books.
What do you want people to know that you haven’t been asked about?
I have two daughters. They’re ages three and seven and I feel really passionately about prevention education in school and at home. I think that not only do we need to teach our children about the power of consent, which in the last couple of decades we’ve gotten a lot better about, but we need to really focus on making sure that we’re teaching them the appropriate names for their body parts. That they have breasts, and a vagina, and an anus and we make sure that there’s not a taboo topic around those words in our household. I also think it’s really important to make sure that children know who in the community other than their parents that they can go to if they experience any kind of trauma. That can be a trusted school teacher, your principal, it could be a police officer, but they need to know who are those safe people in the community that they can go to in addition to their family. Just in case their family are the ones that are perpetrating any violence against them. I feel super strongly that we shouldn’t treat our children like we’re in a bubble because we don’t live in a bubble. It’s really important for me that my children and children, in general, are prepared and know what to do if something happens to them. My oldest daughter is turning 7 later this month and she’s right at the age where it’s really time to have these conversations about the fact that there are bad people in the world, and this is who you should go to if anything happens. We have to flip the script on making this a taboo topic with kids because I think that if I would have had that experience when I was a child that I would have been a lot more prepared to feel comfortable going to other people in my community when I knew that something was off.