Speaker shares the way forward

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Kit Evans-Ford speaks to a group of concerned citizens Friday during the annual Nonviolent Tiffin event.

]A trauma survivor spoke Friday evening about her own experiences and what to do to move forward.

Kit Evans-Ford served as the keynote speaker for the annual Nonviolent Tiffin event at the Elizabeth Schaefer Auditorium on the campus of St. Francis, 194 St. Francis Ave.

Evans-Ford presented “The Way Forward: Healing from Trauma.”

Evans-Ford has worked, studied and served throughout Europe, the Caribbean and Africa.

In 2017, when Evans-Ford was serving in the Peace Corps in the Caribbean, she experienced her own trauma. While there, she taught HIV/AIDS education and cultivated relationships in the beautiful area. One day, after a student of hers had left, a man broke in and assaulted her. Her neighbors heard her screams and she as able to get away from his grip to let them to help her escape.

“That night I felt the most powerless I have ever felt,” Evans-Ford said. “I am so thankful my neighbors were there to help me and pull me out of my real-life nightmare.”

The man was caught and sentenced to 46 years in prison. But, Evans-Ford was left with her trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

After the events, Evans-Ford worked to find what worked for her in moving forward. She began work with a support group and semantic therapy.

“Everyone’s healing journey is different,” she said. “It is important to find and establish a safety place. A place where you can conduct remembrance and mourning.”

It is also important to find and reconnect with ordinary life, she said.

“We have to use the hurt we have as energy to do something good,” Evans-Ford said.

Evans-Ford said people have different scripts when dealing with nonviolence, such as avoidance, accommodation, counter violence and two hands of nonviolence.

In how to move on, Evans-Ford gave a tool to use called CLARA training. The acronym stands for center yourself, learn about conflict, articulate your truth, receive the truth of others and accomplish a different outcome.

While attending seminary, Evans-Ford completed a summer fellowship with Pace e Bene and has been working with the organization for nine-years. She has a doctor of ministry in spiritual direction and is the founder of Spirit Life LLC: Spiritual Direction for Everyday People.