All posts by Bev Moore-Davis

Free legal advice to survivors of sexual assault through N.L. pilot program

A new sexual assault response pilot program was announced in St. John’s Tuesday. Among those on hand were, from left, Newfoundland and Labrador Justice Minister Andrew Parsons, Bev Moore-Davis of the Miles for Smiles Foundation, and federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Victims of sexual violence will soon be able to avail of free and independent legal advice in Newfoundland and Labrador following the announcement Tuesday in St. John’s of a sexual assault response pilot program.

The federal government is funding the three-year program with an annual grant of $250,000.

Details are still being finalized, but Justice and Public Safety Minister Andrew Parsons said he hopes the service will be available by the end of this year. “By offering free legal advice, the sexual assault response pilot program will help ensure survivors of sexual crime have access to justice,” Parsons said during a joint announcement alongside federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

“I’m convinced that the better we understand and meet the needs of victims of crime, the more just and more fair our criminal justice system will become,” Raybould-Wilson added.

The program will be in addition to supports currently provided by the province’s victim services program, and will likely be modelled on a similar pilot project underway in Ontario.

There, complainants can receive up to four hours of legal advice, either over the phone or in person. The service does not extend into the courtroom but is intended to give a better understanding of how the criminal justice system works and to answer specific questions about a case.
“We’ve got situations where victims come out feeling alone. feeling isolated,” said Parsons. “This is an opportunity for them to get truly independent legal advice, to give them an idea of what to expect and how to go about this.”

Parsons said a pilot project co-ordinator will be hired, and training will be provided to Crown attorneys, victim services staff, private lawyers and police to ensure they fully understand how to deal with gender-based violence and trauma.

In Ontario, the pilot is available in a limited number of locations, but Parsons is hoping the Newfoundland and Labrador program will cover the entire province.

“Four hours doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a lot of time for a person who’s never had this opportunity before,” he said. “They’ve done nothing wrong. And now they’re going to get the opportunity to speak to a lawyer, have advice provided to them, so I think this is a huge step.”
Those who advocate in support of victims welcomed the announcement.

“I think it’s going to bring people forward … it’s hard when you don’t have the financial ability to be able to pay for these services so I think it’s going to help a lot of people,” said Bev Moore-Davis, a sexual violence survivor and founder of the Miles for Smiles Foundation.

“This is a huge investment into the work of supporting survivors,” added Nicole Kieley of the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre.

“A fair justice system is reflected in the supports that we provide to victims of crime,” Wilson-Raybound stated.
By Terry Roberts, CBC News

Justice Canada Excellence in Victim Services Award Nomination

Bev Moore Davis of St John’s, NL, has been nominated for the Justice Canada Excellence in Victim Service Award. This award is a way for the Government of Canada to recognize an exceptional individual who has empowered victims and survivors of crime, inspired service providers, and achieved change that improves the experiences of Canadians who have been touched by crime.
A selection committee will assess the nominees against the eligibility criteria and will choose a recipient by consensus. The chosen recipient will be invited to attend the Victims and Survivors of Crime Week Federal Symposium on May 29th in Calgary, Alberta, to receive the award.

April 2016 Proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month in Newfoundland & Labrador

Local Child Abuse Prevention Advocates and members of the Miles For Smiles Foundation met with Government Representatives for the signing of the first Provincial Proclamation recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Paul Lane – MHA
Connie Pike – Miles For Smiles Foundation
Michele Lear – Miles For Smiles Foundation
Kerry Lynn Callahan – Miles For Smiles Foundation
Andrew Parsons – Minister of Justice and Public Safety
Bev Moore Davis – Founder, Miles For Smiles Foundation
Dale Kirby -Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

Local Businesswoman Changes Focus To Support Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse

A St. John’s businesswoman is closing her business to pursue her passion for an organization she founded in support of adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

Bev Moore-Davis is closing August & Lotta Stockholm at the end of the season to devote her time to Miles for Smiles.

She says while it’s a difficult decision, it’s right for her.

She says while she enjoys running the boutique, after years of burning the candle at both ends, she decided to focus her energies on making a difference.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training

The Miles For Smiles Foundation offers training in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention. Our Facilitators are trained through the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children Program.

Stewards of Children is an evidence-informed program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. It is designed for both youth serving organization and for individuals concerned about the safety of children.

When presented in a group setting, Stewards of Children is led by a Darkness to Light Authorized Facilitator. Engaging and thought provoking, group led sessions include:
A two-part DVD presentation with commentary from sexual abuse survivors, experts in the field and concerned adults.
Facilitator-led discussions that emphasize the important issues in prevention within the community and organizations that serve children.
An interactive workbook facilitates discussion, reinforces key concepts, and serves as a resource and personal action plan for resolving child sexual abuse.

The cost of facilitated session varies based on location and Facilitator. Pricing discounts may apply, depending on organization size and number of people to be trained. Please contact us for more information.

4th Annual Miles For Smiles Walk

The 2016 Miles For Smiles Walk took place in Bowring Park, St. John’s, on Sunday, April 24/16 and was a huge success. The beautiful weather brought lots of supporters to the park for the 4th annual event. Musical entertainment included the very talented Kimberley Lilly, Juanita Lidster, Valerie and Bill Hawco. As promised, there were lots of activities for the kids included face painting provided by 1st St. John’s Rangers; laser tag, bouncy castles and refreshments provided by Frontline Action. A great event for a great cause.

Let’s talk about child sexual abuse – Steve Bartlett (The Telegram)

Survivor encourages others to speak out, seek help

Bev Moore-Davis has lived what some might call a model adulthood. She’s raised a family, runs a high-end fashion shop on Water Street and has modelled, even winning a catwalk award during a competition in Florida a few years back. Her childhood, on the other hand, was a model for no one.

Moore-Davis describes it as “horrific.”

As a young girl, she was a victim of sexual, emotional and physical abuse. Her abusers have never been brought to justice. Three years ago, she had a chance encounter with someone from her childhood who was also victimized as a youth. Seeing how the childhood abuse was affecting him as an adult pressed Moore-Davis into action.

“I just decided right there and then that this is so wrong.”

She became an advocate.

“I feel like I’m one of the luckier ones; I survived and I’m living a decent life,” says the owner of the fashion boutique August and Lotta Stockholm.

“For all those people that are not, I’m driven to kind of help them.”

Moore-Davis established the province’s first chapter of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) and formed the Miles For Smiles Foundation. The latter is focused on making a difference — supporting adults who were abused as children, raising public awareness and, ultimately, preventing child abuse. There have been some successes. An Adult Survivors of Child Abuse peer-support group meets regularly in St. John’s.

Most major towns across the province now recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. There have been two successful Miles For Smiles walks in St. John’s, and it appears the event will spread to other cities. And, last Friday, Moore-Davis and some peers were part of a group discussion with others with a  shared interest about a prevention plan.

“I’m really pleased with how it went,” she says.

She’s not naïve enough to think child abuse will disappear, but she firmly believes that’s something worth striving for.

“We need to have something, ideally, implemented in our schools. … Something that gives children more education, more on knowing this is wrong. A lot of times, things happen and little children will keep secrets of abuse forever, for their whole lives or until they learn the difference.”

Moore-Davis knows all about keeping secrets. She became a victim at age five and didn’t tell anyone until she was a grown-up.

“I often think about the Kids’ Help Line (ad) that’s on the milk carton, and even if that was on my kitchen table, I wouldn’t have done anything. So I often think, what would it have taken to make me tell somebody?”

Moore-Davis shared what happened with a handful of people as the decades passed. She didn’t realize that keeping her secret helped no one, including herself, until she ran into that person from her childhood. Now she’s determined to make a difference, to help those who have suffered, or are suffering, child abuse. What she’s trying to do is a model to which everyone should aspire. We need more people like her.

View the original article here


Andy Bhatti – Men of Hope

Sometimes the line we take through life isn’t always the straightest, and the ghosts of our past can haunt us for a long time. Andy Bhatti has been through that struggle and came out the other side. See more about him in this video.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”][/youtube]