Find Your Voice – teen workshop series

1 in 3 teens are physically, emotionally, or sexually abused during a dating relationships.  Let’s Break The Cycle by raising their awareness on healthy vs unhealthy relationships.

Join us for a FREE 3-part workshop series.  At the minimum, considering us for “Dating Abuse 101.”  Snacks and beverages served.  Email us at for a registration form now!

Find Your Voice workshop

Posted in abuse, dating abuse 101, Emotional Creature, Gender Equality, Guided To Safety, healthy relatiionships, Intimate Partner Violence, Petaluma, pregnancy, rape, relationship abuse, sexual assault, teens, unhealthy relationships, V-Day Petaluma, violence | Leave a comment

We are RISING in 12 days!

What Does Justice Mean To You?
One in Three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.  That equates to ONE BILLION WOMEN. One Billion Rising is global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safety in community spaces where they are entitled to justice; where they deserve to feel safe but too often do not. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories through art, dance, marches, ritual,. song spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.
This year’s theme is JUSTICE.  One Billion Rising For Justice is about envisioning justice for all survivors of gender violence. Justice takes many forms.  It can be an apology or reparations. It can be taking legal action. It can be implementing laws and policies that ensure women’s rights. It can be taking back control, allowing ourselves to heal. It can be making the truth visible. It can be calling for an end to all forms of inequality, misogyny, discrimination and patriarchy. It can be naming and shaming perpetrators. Demanding accountability. It can be rising for justice on a personal, social, economical, cultural or political level. It can be a revolutionary call to restore dignity and respect to women.
With Us on February 14!

Join us in Petaluma for a 4:00pm flash mob at City Hall, followed by a “March For Justice” through town which will end at Petaluma Women’s Club for a RISE & DANCE For JUSTICE event from 5:00pm-8:00pm.

Activities will include monologue readings, Clothesline Project, “express yourself” activities, dancing, DJ Val, Sisters Rising, local resources, massage and so much more!  Stay current on the day’s events at:
Posted in Activism in Art, Activists, Break The Chain, Dance!, domestic violence, Emotional Creature, Eve Ensler, Flash Mobs, Freedom from violence, Gender Equality, girls, Guided To Safety, I Am An Emotional Creature, Intimate Partner Violence, March for Justice, North Bay Rises!, One Billion Rising, Petaluma, Petaluma Rises!, rape, relationship abuse, sexual assault, The Clothesline Project, V-Day, V-Day Petaluma | Leave a comment

Design your March For Justice sign

silent no more.5Is your sign ready for the February 14 “One Billion Rising ~ March For Justice?”  If not, then plan to join us as we gather to create our unique signs!

Join us at the Petaluma Senior Center, 211 Novak Drive, on the following dates/times:

Thu, February 6 – 7:00pm
Mon, February 10 – 7:00pm
Thu, February 11 – 4:00pm

Bring March.1your poster board (we will have a small supply available), markers and other materials (please, no glitter).  Need ideas?

We Are The One Billion
Rape-Free City
Walk! Dance! Rise!
Violence-Free City
One Billion Rising
Rise ~ Release ~ Dance!
Victory Over Violence
Vagina Safe Zone

AND Ronda will be there to inspire you!

Posted in Activism in Art, Activists, Art, Dance!, Freedom from violence, Gender Equality, girls, Intimate Partner Violence, North Bay Rises!, One Billion Rising, Petaluma, Petaluma Rises!, rape, relationship abuse, sexual assault, V-Day Petaluma, vagina, women | Leave a comment

Flash Mobbing Our Way to 1 Billion Rising!

Last Friday, January 24, Petaluma community members began flash mobbing to the 1 Billion Rising anthem, “Break The Chain” in assorted areas of downtown Petaluma and returned for another series the following evening.  Thanks to a stealth Argus Courier photographer, we were caught and plastered on Petaluma 360! (photos by Rachel Simpson)

Come join us!  Lessons/practice this week at The Mail Depot ~ Wed, January 29, 5:30pm.  Flash Mobs this Fri, January 31 ~ meet up at the movie theater 6:30pm.  Stay posted on our website for additional Flash Mobs, building up to the big day … 1 BILLION RISING!


1 Billion Rising Petaluma
is hosted by

Click to redirect to GTS site

Posted in Activism in Art, Break The Chain, Dance!, domestic violence, Flash Mobs, Freedom from violence, Gender Equality, Guided To Safety, Intimate Partner Violence, North Bay Rises!, One Billion Rising, Petaluma, Petaluma Rises!, sexual assault, V-Day Petaluma | Leave a comment

We Value Your Safety

Guided To Safety,

Sponsor of
One Billion Rising North Bay/Petaluma
is also the proud Sponsor of …


Learn to …

AvoidEscapeDeceive To Escape
Neutralize When All Else Fails

This event is designed to educate women of all ages to be:

Aware – Prepared – Ready

for any situation that may occur in everyday life.

* Tickets are $49, available NOW at: TheSpitfireClub

We hope to see you there because
We Care About Your Safety!


* NOTE: Guided To Safety has a limited number of tickets available at $25.
For inquiries or to purchase, please contact us directly:

Posted in Education, Freedom from violence, Guided To Safety, Intimate Partner Violence, Petaluma, rape, relationship abuse, sexual assault, StreetPink, V-Day Petaluma, women | Leave a comment

2013: Good, Bad & Ugly for Women

There was a lot to celebrate in 2013 for women in the media. But some things aren’t changing fast enough.  This video recaps the media highs and lows for women.

Posted in Activism in Art, Break The Chain, Censor, domestic violence, Freedom from violence, Gender Equality, Guided To Safety, Intimate Partner Violence, Media, One Billion Rising, Petaluma, Petaluma Rises!, rape, relationship abuse, Title IX, Until The Violence Stops, V-Day, V-Day Petaluma, vagina | Leave a comment

Rape ‘victor:’ ‘I survived you’

Sebetto confronts rapist, killer in court, tells him she, Jackson family will be heard.

Jessica Cuffman

Elizabeth Sebetto, 19, of Clyde, was held captive in the 42-year-old’s Campbell Street apartment for hours one night in early September 2012. Clinton had brutally assaulted her.

Testifying in court two weeks ago during Clinton’s trial, Sebetto confidently and consistently described the attack. The Register typically does not identify victims of sexual assault, but Sebetto agreed to have her story told using her identity.

Thursday, as Clinton was sentenced to death, Sebetto reclaimed her strength.

“He’s finally where he belonged 16 years ago: death row,” she told the court, referencing the 1997 killing of 18-year-old Misty Keckler, who Clinton strangled to death in a Fostoria home.

She thanked everyone involved in the case for their support and their part in securing Clinton’s arrest, conviction and sentence. She also thanked jurors for deciding to put the “monster” to death.

“This whole thing has been a lesson for life,” she said. “I never imagined I would be here today, but one thing I can tell you, and you know who you are, you have made me stronger. I assure you of that.

“That night, you probably thought you won,” she said, addressing Clinton directly. “You probably thought you broke me. Did you think I would just let you live a free life? That’s how weak-minded you are.”

When Clinton attacked her, he strangled her until she lost consciousness.

While she did what she had to to survive the night, she said she never lost her faith in God.

“You may have taken from me that night, but you didn’t take my pride or faith,” she said. “God never left me. He was there when you choked the life out of me. Who else put my breath back into my lifeless body?”

More than a year later, now 19, she’s a changed person.

“I decided early on I would not let this define who I am,” she said, again speaking to Clinton. “I am not your victim. I am a victor. I survived you. I prayed to God to keep me alive.”

Just as Clinton has said he’s not done fighting, neither is Sebetto. She made a promise to be there when he appeals his conviction and sentence, every step of the way.

“I want you to know, I’ll be there. You will never be let go as long as I breath. I’m bigger than you, stronger than you. I survived you,” she said. “I will always be heard, along with Misty, Heather, Celina and Wayne Jr. They will also be heard. You are where you belong and you will never walk on soil again. This is just the beginning of my life.”

Posted in Education, Gender Equality, rape, sexual assault, Until The Violence Stops, vagina warrior, VAWA | Leave a comment

Alabama Man Won’t Serve Prison Time for Raping 14-Year-Old

Austin Smith Clem raped a teenager three times. His punishment: supervision and probation.

by Molly Redden
Mother Jones

Brian Jones, the Limestone County district attorney, tells Mother Jones that he is “reviewing available options to set aside this sentence and to achieve a sentence that gives justice to our victim.”

An Alabama man convicted of raping a teenage girl will serve no prison time. On Wednesday, a judge in Athens, Alabama, ruled that the rapist will be punished by serving two years in a program aimed at nonviolent criminals and three years of probation.

In September, a jury in Limestone County, in north central Alabama, found Austin Smith Clem, 25, guilty of raping Courtney Andrews, a teenage acquaintance and his then-neighbor, three times—twice when she was 14, and again when was she was 18.

Clem’s defense attorney did not call any witnesses at trial, according to After less than two hours of deliberation, the jury returned guilty verdicts against Clem on one count of first-degree rape and two counts of second-degree rape.

According to Clem’s sentencing order, which Brian Jones, the Limestone County district attorney, provided to Mother Jones, Clem will serve the first half of his sentence under the supervision of the Limestone County community corrections program. The program is aimed at “redirecting the lives” of nonviolent, low-level offenders who are “likely to maintain a productive and law-abiding life as a result of accountability, guidance and direction to services they need,” according to the program’s website.

Andrews recalled Clem’s crimes to on Thursday. When he abused her at age 14, she said, “He kept saying, ‘This is okay,’ and ‘Don’t say anything or you’re going to get me in trouble,'” she said. Clem threatened her parents lives’ if she told anyone, Andrews said. After he raped her in 2011, she had a family friend inform her parents. She couldn’t bear to, she said, because “I knew it would break their hearts.” That night, her parents reported Clem to the police.

Dan Totten, Clem’s defense attorney, confirms that Clem is free to live at home during this time period. Jones adds that the program requires Clem to report to his corrections officer on a weekly basis.

“It would seem to be relatively mild,” Totten tells Mother Jones. “But [Clem’s] lifestyle for the next six years is going to be very controlled…If he goes to a party and they’re serving beer, he can’t say, ‘Can I have one?’ If he wanted to go across the Tennessee line, which as the crow flies is eight or nine miles from his house, and buy a lottery ticket, he can’t do that…It’s not a slap on the wrist.”

Andrews, who is now 20 years old and a student in Mobile, told on Thursday that she was “livid,” and afraid for her family as long as Clem remains out of prison. (Andrews gave permission to release her name.) “We thought justice was finally being served and although the system was very slow, it was not totally broken,” her father, Richard Andrews, told “That feeling persisted until yesterday. We were floored to hear the judge hand down such a light sentence.”

Clem attacked Andrews in 2007 and in 2011, resulting in a yearlong investigation by the Athens police. The first incident led to two second-degree charges of rape and two counts of sexual abuse. The first-degree rape charge stemmed from the second assault.

Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof sentenced Clem to 10 years in prison for each of the second-degree rape charges and 20 years for first-degree rape. But Woodroof structured the sentence in such a way that Clem will only be hit with community corrections and probation. Clem will have to register as a sex offender and pay fines and restitution—a total of $2,381, according to the sentencing document provided to Mother Jones—but he will not serve jail time unless he violates the terms of his sentencing.

“The judge still chooses to send him home to his three little girls. I don’t understand that. I can’t fathom that.”

Totten notes that had Woorfood sent Clem to prison with that sentence, Alabama statutes would have required Clem to serve more than 20 years before he would be eligible for probation. In light of that, Totten says, a stint in community corrections was more appropriate. However, noted that Alabama statutes would have allowed Woodroof to hand down a shorter prison term.

“You didn’t hear the evidence,” Totten says. “The original allegation was that both of these crimes were forcible. But then you have to believe that although she was forcibly raped twice, she continued to come back and have a social relationship with Austin Clem and his family—until he told her that he was going back to his wife and child and would not have a relationship with her. And a week later he was charged. There’s always two sides to the story.”

Although the sentencing order states that Clem will serve two years in the community corrections program, Totten says the sentencing judge has since increased that to three years. Jones, the district attorney, says he is not aware of such a change.

Kelly Kazek, an reporter who reported on the case, says the lenient sentence took her by surprise. “I have known Jimmy Woodroof professionally for years and years and years,” Kazek says of the judge. “He has always been extremely fair and unbiased. So I am very interested to hear his reasoning.”

Totten notes that he and Woodroof are childhood friends who grew up down the street from one another, although Totten says he didn’t feel that affected the sentence.

This summer, a Montana judge sentenced Stacey Rambold, a teacher, to 30 days in jail for repeatedly raping one of his students, who was 14 years old at the time. Rambold’s victim, Cherice Moralez, committed suicide while the rape trial was ongoing. The judge, G. Todd Baugh, said that Moralez had been “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold—who was 35 years her senior—and that Moralez was “older than her chronological age.” The age of consent is 16 in Montana. The case became a national controversy, with the judge apologizing for his remarks, but not the sentence.

Woodroof did not reply to requests for comment.

Posted in Break The Chain, Freedom from violence, girls, One Billion Rising, rape, sexual assault, Until The Violence Stops, V-Day Petaluma | Leave a comment

Join Us November 20!

Join Us for Petaluma’s 2014 ({V}) Season
Informational Meeting
Wednesday, November 20

VDayPetaluma logoHello V-Sisters & V-Brothers,

What a wild ride our 2013 ({V}) season was with the addition of One Billion Rising!  Thank You to all who participated!

Emotional CreatureAnd now V-Day Petaluma announces the planning phase of our 2014 season of events to raise awareness and funds to The Good Bodyend violence against women and girls   We are very excited to bring two (2) NEW productions to Petaluma and the North Bay area this year – Emotional Creature: the secret life of girls around the world and The Good Body!!

An informational meeting is scheduled for:

7:00 pm

Petaluma Senior Center
211 Novak Drive

For our seventh consecutive ({V}) season, V-Day Petaluma is seeking volunteers and readers for the 2014 events, including the two new productions.  All are welcome  – come hear our plans and consider where you may wish to participate in the 2013 season!  And bring a friend!

Besides the new staged productions and the return of flash mob dancing, our ({V}) Art Show and One Billion V-Girls.logoRising, the 2014 season will incorporate a “V-Girls” club for young women (ages 13-25) which will be associated with Emotional Creature.

Youth volunteers (ages of 14-25 years old) are strongly encouraged to participate in the producing of Emotional Creature.  Youth are sought as readers, CoProducer, CoDirector, and other support roles, and will be provided with an abundance of support from adult volunteers and organizers.  If you are a Petaluma youth with an interest in stage presence, production, directing, and/or community activism, please contact V-Day Petaluma.

All V-Day Petaluma events will benefit the host, Guided to Safety – a Petaluma nonprofit Click to redirect to GTS sitepromoting healthy relationships through community education and resources for the awareness and prevention of domestic violence, teen dating violence and sexual assault.

Please feel free to contact us at or simply join us at the Wednesday, November 20th meeting.

~Renee McKenna
V-Day Petaluma, Co-Producer
Guided To Safety, Vice President

Posted in Break The Chain, Casa Grande High School, Dance!, domestic violence, Education, Emotional Creature, Eve Ensler, Flash Mobs, Freedom from violence, Gender Equality, girls, Guided To Safety, I Am An Emotional Creature, Intimate Partner Violence, North Bay Rises!, One Billion Rising, Petaluma, Petaluma Rises!, rape, relationship abuse, SAFER, sexual assault, The Good Body, V-Day Petaluma | 1 Comment

Chinese Women Defend Their Vaginas

by Rachel Lu
Foreign Policy

When 17 female students at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), one of China’s most prestigious colleges, posted photographs of themselves holding up messages like “My Vagina Says: I Want Freedom,” they probably didn’t expect to cause such a stir on Chinese social media. The women posted the photos on Nov. 7 on Renren, an online community website popular with university students, to promote an upcoming campus performance of The Vagina Monologues, U.S. playwright Eve Ensler’s controversial 1996 play. Each woman was photographed holding up a whiteboard with messages such as, “My Vagina Says: Don’t Treat Me as a Sensitive Word,” “My Vagina Says: ‘I Can Be Sexy, But You Can’t Harass Me,'” and “My Vagina Says: Someone Can Enter If I Say So.” The photos quickly found their way to many other social media websites, including Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, and generated thousands of comments — most evincing an ugly strain of misogyny.

Many male Internet users made comments passing judgment on the women’s looks and supposedly loose sexual mores. A significant number of commentators compared the students to prostitutes. One Weibo user commented, “If no one told me they are from BFSU, I would think they are whores.” Another commented, “What are we teaching in our schools? Are they the future of our country? They are a bunch of sluts. I feel so much pain for how far the Chinese civilization has fallen.”

Over the past three decades, China’s reforms have transformed the country’s economic and social landscape, with women’s sexuality increasingly advertised, commoditized, and monetized in the process. Prostitution is rampant and pictures of scantily-clad girls saturate China’s Internet. While a minority spoke up in support of the girls, the photos still offended a surprisingly large number of Chinese Internet users, who viewed the students’ open discussion of sex as another sign China’s traditional values were going by the wayside.

The commoditization of sex seems to have cultivated the widely held view that relationships between men and women, including marriage, are an implicit exchange of sex for money. One online commenter on the photos complained, “The reality is that some women can’t control their lower halves and open up their legs. But when it comes time to find a husband, they ask the guy to have a car and an apartment and also provide for the family.”

Given strident online reaction, one could be forgiven for thinking China had never encountered The Vagina Monologues before. In fact, despite a brief ban on public performances of The Vagina Monologues in Beijing and Shanghai in 2004, the play was publicly staged from 2009 to 2011 in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen to sold-out audiences, although producers sometimes had to omit the word “vagina” from the title in publicity campaigns.

The disconnect between the elite, educated women at BFSU who take a feminist view of their sexuality and the Chinese public that insists on objectifying it is real and troubling. Then again, performances of The Vagina Monologues around the world have often provoked uncomfortable conversations — and this incident may be an opportunity for the Chinese society to tackle issues of feminism, sex, and violence against women in an increasingly patriarchal society.


Posted in Activism in Art, Activists, Break The Chain, Campus Accountability Project, CampusRising!, Education, Emotional Creature, Eve Ensler, Freedom from violence, Gender Equality, One Billion Rising, Petaluma Rises!, SAFER, sexual assault, The Vagina Monologues, V-Day, V-Day Petaluma, vagina, Victims | Leave a comment