Letters Needed

image of handwritten letters with title: Letters needed from survivors to survivors

there is strength in your words

About the Project 

Newhouse is creating a special way to share the powerful, handwritten words of domestic violence survivors coming from all walks of life. We are compiling all of the handwritten letters from survivors to survivors into a book. At the end of this, you will be able to turn each page and see a different handwritten letter on each page. Every survivor has a story that deserves to be heard and we plan for the book to be used as:

  • An empowerment tool for survivors who enter our program at Newhouse. We see this book as a resource for our therapists + case managers to use in their sessions. Many of our clients feel isolated because of their experiences and I imagine this book being such a powerful aid for individuals and families.
  • An opportunity to earn revenue that goes directly back to the services at Newhouse. 100% of the funds that come in from the book sales go back to providing innovative programs for survivors so our work can continue to grow and develop. 
  • An educational tool for individuals that do not know much about domestic violence OR may have someone in their family or friend group who is a survivor and this book can be used as a better tool to understand the many facets of domestic violence and what their family member or friend may be experiencing. 

This book will also provide statistics and research on domestic violence which can be used as an additional educational component. We want this to be a powerful read and I know that this is such a critical book for survivors.

Write your Letter

This is your story and we just ask that you write this letter to someone who is leaving an abusive relationship or has just entered a shelter (we plan for this book to be used at MANY shelters so there is no need to address a survivor specifically at Newhouse). Each letter will look completely different than the other. Some letters will be very serious, some may incorporate joy, others make talk about courage and strength. 

We will need each participant to sign a waiver allowing us to use this work in the book (see attached). We ask that if you are not comfortable, do not include any personal, identifying information as this will be a published book. If you could, please write your name on the back of the letter or provide a sticky note attached to it. All handwritten letters + waivers can be mailed to the following address:

Newhouse Shelter

Attn: Chris Stibbs

P.O. Box 240019

Kansas City, MO 64124

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Chris Stibbs, chris@newhousekc.org, or 816-462-0508. Also, if you know of any other survivors that you think would like to take part in this project, please have them reach out to me. We are hoping to collect over 100 letters for the book. They do not need to be a KC resident to take part. All are welcome!

Thank you again SO MUCH for your commitment to this and your willingness to help create such a beautiful book. This will have a true impact on survivors who are in Newhouse’s program and many more throughout the country. 

You are brave, courageous, and strong. Thank you for sharing your story to inspire other survivors.