Video testimonial under About on the Homepage

A letter from the first victim assisted by the It Happened to Alexa Foundation helped:

Dear Mr. Branchini:

Because of some really bad things that happened to me by my mom’s boyfriend, I have to be placed in a Children’s Psychiatric hospital. The only family I have is my Grandmother who lives in Florida with my two half sisters. I have advocates and the District Attorney who have helped me so far. I had to testify at a Grand Jury proceeding last year.

My Mother’s boyfriend was in court and they thought that case might have to go to a trial. The District Attorney was able to bring my Grandmother and sisters from Florida to see me while we waited. My Grandmother was going to have to testify.  In the afternoon, the District Attorney came back from court and told me that my mother’s boyfriend had plead guilty.

I was really glad that I didn’t have to tell my story again. the man who sexually abused me will sped about 10 years in jail. I know it really doesn’t sound like a lot, but its more than anyone thought he would accept.

I am very glad that your organization paid for my Grandmother and sisters to come to New York to see me. I am so lonely even though I do have an advocate and the DA has been very nice to me. It was really cool to see Grandma. She brought me some new clothes and an Easter Basket.

It will be a very long time before I get better. I feel ok now, but everyone tells me that I am doing well. Thank you again Mr. Branchini for helping my family. It is good to know that there are people like you who care about kids. —-AGE 13


A Testimonial with permission from Sara O.:

“The thought of going to trial halfway around the globe in a foreign country all alone, with no friends or family, was daunting. My funds were paid for by the governmental organization I was volunteering with at the time of the attack, however they would not extend that financial support to anyone other than myself and an appointed advocate.
It Happened To Alexa Foundation, along with the financial support of a family member, made it possible for my fiancé to accompany me on this arduous journey. Because of them my best friend was able to provide the shoulder I needed to lean on during this difficult time.
Not only did their assistance help me to gather the strength to testify with my fiancé’s presence, but they also alleviated a lot of pressure and stress weighing on his shoulders. Without their help we would have been on opposite sides of the Atlantic, 8 hours apart in time, and feeling completely helpless.
Thank you, IHTAF, for the lengths you go to in order to support those of us in need. My fiancé and I are incredibly appreciative.
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness month, I have written a A Letter To Survivors . I encourage anyone who finds themselves in this situation to reach out and ask for help. You don’t have to do this alone.”

Alexa Foundation and what our in-school programs teach.

“I don’t deserve to be abused.”

“Dating abuse can really happen to just about anyone.” –

“That people that follow me on social networking may not be who they say they are.”

“I have rights to whatever my choices are. No one should ever violate them.”

“That I am unique and will always be .. and that is okay.”

“I learned how to control my anger”

“1 out of 3 students between 12 – 18 will be abused.”

“Sexual and emotional abuse happens at any age, with any gender, with any race.”

Safe Dates Testimonials – Students

I learned…

That if I’m ever in an abusive relationship, I’ll leave it right away.

Not to be abusive, not to let my partner boss me around, and if something is happening, to tell someone.

I will never be mean to someone and hurt them.

I don’t deserve to be abused.

You don’t have to go fast because they (dating partner) said to.

That I have to look for someone who treats me right and cares for me.

How to control my anger

Dating abuse can happen to anybody

You can talk it (problems) out instead of using your hands.

That people go back an average of 8 times to people that hurt them

Not only men are abusive

That I was close to being abused before I got myself out of the abuse.

To treat women with respect, to be polite, to be nice.

The signs of an abusive relationship

To tell the person/friend that he or she didn’t deserve to be abused.

Dating abuse can really happen to just about anyone.

To make a Safety Plan.

How to help a friend.

I shouldn’t get into an abusive relationship, and if I do, to get out of it.

I won’t be mean to a girlfriend

To leave (abuser) right away, they won’t stop

That I am very immature about the subject, but it is serious.

1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys are abused by adulthood.

I have rights to whatever my choices are and that no one should ever violate them.

Sexual and emotional abuse happens at any age, with any gender, with any race.

That most rape victims know the rapist because I thought it was mostly strangers.

That there are consequences of dating abuse. I saw both sides of peoples feelings.

That I am unique and won’t change because a dating partner wants me to

The hotline one, because if myself or anyone I know gets into a problem, I can help.

Be nice to your partner and don’t pressure your partner.

If you say “no” and they continue, it is rape.

Always tell someone you trust.

I am a loving and kind person.

If somebody is in trouble, get help.

Hotlines Numbers, because if something happens, the “It Happened to Alexa Foundation” is just a phone call away.

That I already knew some of this but there was a lot I didn’t know either.

What typical, harmful dating behaviors are because it showed all of the examples of what might happen.

1 out of 3 students between 12 – 18 will be abused.

Both boys and girls can be sexually assaulted

Rapists can be anybody.

How fortunate I am that I don’t come from an abusive family.

Ways I could be safe in completing this program

Don’t talk to random strangers on the internet

About date rape drugs. They are dangerous and can knock you out with realizing what happened.

I am not old enough for sexual activity

Dating can begin as early as 6th grade!

That people that follow me on social networking may not be who they say they are.

When at parties, be careful about drinking certain things.

It is sad to know about how many people get abused!

That I will never be abused or be an abuser because I won’t let that happen to me.

To talk things over before it gets to the point of violence.

What do you think of the program?

“Michelle, I am well acquainted with your valuable service as you supported victims of sexual assualt in Cancun, Mexico several years back. I was tasked by the DOJ and State Department to accompany them back to Cancun for the investigative/prosecution process that did result in a conviction and lengthy sentence for this serial rapist.  I am very pleased to have this reminder of the wonderful work you do!”  Steven Siegel, Director, Special Programs Unit

It was perfect

I thought it was very educational

I wouldn’t change a thing

I think it is a very great program and that it covers everything about sexual and emotional abuse that is important.

I liked the program!

I liked the Safe Dates program. I would not change anything because the program was very informational.

Nothing was missing, excellent program.

I enjoyed it as it was very fun but informational.

I liked the plays

I think it was extremely helpful and I wouldn’t change a thing about this program.

I think the program gave good information on the subject

I think that this is a great program to inform young teens about domestic and dating violence.

I like this program. It helps so many people get help.