Restore Dignity is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides financial assistance to Survivors of power-inequality trauma, including sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, stalking, or hazing during their pursuit of a higher education. Our mission is to engage, unite, and empower Survivors by reducing the financial burdens accrued in the aftermath of an unjust trauma.
Our primary focus is to ensure equal access to education for Survivors through the creation of a case-based assistance fund. This financial assistance can go towards college tuition, medical or counseling services, meal plans, housing stipends, college transfer fees, or other rehabilitative expenses.
An estimated one in four women will be the victim of sexual assault during her college years, and one in six men will experience unwanted sexual contact, including assault or abuse, in their lifetime. As sexual assault becomes increasingly exposed, a majority of the funding and support goes towards awareness and prevention, yet very little resources are dedicated to the direct support of Survivors beyond initial critical care.
The economic opportunity cost lost to this country because of the interruption or termination of education as the result of sexual violence challenges the growth of our nation. Power-inequality violence suddenly and unexpectedly disrupts a student’s natural progression towards a college degree. One day they are free, and the next they face PTSD, dissociation, depression, social isolation, increased financial expenses, medical damages, physical relocation, and loss of self-agency.
The current lack of financial support to remove obstacles to education post assault means that even the smallest scholarships will have immense impact on the life of the Survivor.
We are uniquely qualified.
As Survivors of acquaintance rape, drug-facilitated sexual violence, and intimate partner violence during our academic years, we have comprehensive insight into the patterns of behavior of sexual trauma and their unique traumatic profile. Our experience gives us the knowledge to provide targeted and effective support for Survivors. Collectively, we have participated in criminal and civil prosecution, mediations, Title IX investigations, testimony with congressmen, US Department of Education Rulemaking Committee hearings for the Campus Save Act, and have personally navigated the interruption of our own pursuit to higher education due to sexual violence.
Through our academic partnerships, we will advocate for meaningful accommodation including flexible attendance, extended assignment deadlines, academic counselors, tutoring support, and open teacher communication. Moreover, this accommodation is essential because obtaining a degree provides a clear avenue to independence, recovery, and access to opportunity.