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What I Learned from Gardening with My Abuser

‘Survival gardening’ could be the stepping stone to victory
for victims of quarantined domestic violence.
May 29, 2020 | Sienna Mae Health | Courtesy of Medium.com
Speak to a flower sweetly and it will grow. Speak to a flower callously and it will still grow, just in different ways.

I know this. I’ve been that flower.

It’s amazing how plants perform, accommodate, and change. I had quickly grown accustomed to my husband’s stomping around the house, his critical raging lectures, the pouring of love paired with vicious neglect.

This was a cycle I’d come to know in the domestic violence community as “idealize, devalue, discard.” Before I honed these words, I leaned on the language of gardening to pull me through.

Now, our country is fighting a destructive non-human enemy, and as many as one in four women and one in nine men are quarantined with their abusers. Not everyone is safe at home. Some are fighting a secret war within.

For all of us, this is World War Virus. Serving as “soldiers of the soil” at home, our elders won World Wars I and II by planting victory gardens. We can do the same.

A garden gifts the hungry food, and it gifts the trapped a taste of freedom. You are still free to grow from within, from a yard, balcony, or windowsill. For victims of abuse, gardening could be the stepping stone to victory.

thank you kodiak!
This summer KWRCC, the Kodiak Harvest Food Cooperative, Kodiak 4-H, and several volunteers and donors built a garden at our shelter. People not only gave generously to our Facebook fundraiser ($1380!) but gave plants and seeds, hauled kelp and compost and soil, donated and discounted the materials needed to build raised beds, and got their hands dirty bringing this garden to life. Thanks to everyone who gave their time and resources, this garden is bursting with flowers and greens and vegetables to feed our clients’ hearts and stomachs. We are so grateful for your support and generosity. 
Community Donors
Strawberry Fields Garden Center
Robin Walker 
Chris & Kim Dolph
Emily Iacobucci
Kim Sibrel
Elke Millicent
Melody Anderson
Shana Theobald Padvorac
Paula Selkirk
Hannah White Laza
Melissa Smith
Kate Schaberg
Pau Encela
Erica Lujan
Juney Mullan
Joe Lujan
Will & Liz Donegan
Chloe Ivanoff
Janelle Solinger
Samantha Mendez
Rosi Simmons
Susan McEntee
Paula Ensign
Thank You Million Recipes!
We would also like to thank Million Recipes for hosting their National Hot Dog Day Fundraiser on July 21st in support of KWRCC. Million Recipes pledged to donate 20% of their profits from the day's earnings.

KWRCC & COVID-19
Our Services
We are here to support victims, their families, and the community in every way we can and KWRCC continues to provide all of our domestic violence and sexual assault services. Our shelter, offices and Donation Room remain open for those in need of assistance.
Interested in volunteering with KWRCC?
For more information and
volunteer opportunities contact:
Ellamy Tiller
907-486-6171
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KWRCC Board of Directors
President: Heidi Barret-McNerney
Vice President: Debbie Olson
Treasurer: Karissa Stoecker
Secretary: Cassie Keplinger
Board Member: Kim Sibrel
Board Member: Megan Ivanoff
Board Member: Selida Guitron-Padilla
Board Member: Katherine Gronn
Board Member: Hailey Thompson
KWRCC Staff
Executive Director: Rebecca Shields
SART & Shelter Coordinator: Penny Lampl
Case Management: Melissa Austin
Outreach Advocate: Ellamy Tiller
Outreach Technology: Ann Kirven
Advocate: Pinky Cruz
Advocate: Florence Darling
Advocate: Kimberly Dolph
Advocate: Debbie Eggemeyer
Advocate: Skylar Gertz
Advocate: Marie Jmili
Advocate: Lisa Johnson