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Roseville therapist finalist in Pepsi Refresh Project

Woman wants to create nonprofit for mothers of abuse victims
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Through Roseville therapist Kim Johnson’s two decades of counseling survivors of sexual assault, incest and molestation, she discovered a missing link in the healing process. “I have so many adult survivors who come in and say that how their mother did or did not respond to their personal trauma was significant to their ability to recover,” Johnson said. “I began to research what resources were out there for the mothers of survivors and found there was literally nothing, yet these mothers play a key role in the whole process of healing.” In contrast, resources and literature are widely available to survivors. Johnson has what she believes is an award-winning idea aimed at helping mothers of those who have survived sexual abuse. She wants to start a nonprofit organization called Mothers of Molest Survivors (M.O.M.S.). But she needs help getting this organization off the ground, and she’s hoping to garner enough online votes to win a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project up for grabs in November. Those interested can vote for Johnson’s idea each day through Tuesday, Nov. 30. Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker who counsels people dealing with the trauma that follows physical, sexual, emotional and mental abuse. She said M.O.M.S. would provide survivors’ mothers with training, education and resources on the proper responses after learning their child has been victimized. The organization would also connect mothers to a network of other moms dealing with the same issues. “These mothers have nowhere to go,” Johnson said. “They isolate, and when the story does come out, either people believe the survivors or they don’t, and people begin to take sides. The mother is left alone to bear the burden of proving that something happened … providing resources to these mothers will go a long way toward taking away the stigma attached to these types of experiences.” If she wins, Johnson plans to use the $50,000 grant to get the nonprofit up and running, create a website, establish a toll-free help line and produce an informational handbook. The Pepsi Refresh Project has given away millions of dollars since January 2010 to fund ideas that “make the world a better place.” The company has up to $1.3 million in Pepsi Refresh grants to award every month ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 each. Each month, 1,000 ideas are accepted and participants can vote online daily for up to 10 of their favorite ideas. The process starts over again each month. ~ Sena Christian ---------- For more information about Mothers of Molest Survivors and to vote for the idea, visit www.refresheverything.com/helpmothersofmolestsurvivors.