WKF Stories of Victims & Survivors

Trauma survivors help us understand their resiliency and show us that healing and recovery is possible.

Traumatic experiences can be dehumanizing, shocking or terrifying, singular or multiple compounding events over time, and often include betrayal of a trusted person or institution and a loss of safety according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Center for Trauma-Informed Care.

Trauma can result from experiences of violence. Trauma includes physical, sexual and institutional abuse, neglect, intergenerational trauma, and disasters that induce powerlessness, fear, recurrent hopelessness, and a constant state of alert. Trauma impacts one's spirituality and relationships with self, others, communities and environment, often resulting in recurring feelings of shame, guilt, rage, isolation, and disconnection. Healing is possible.

The WKF joins NCTIC in seeking to change the paradigm from one that asks, "What's wrong with you?" to one that asks, "What happened to you?"

What's often lost due to a traumatic event is VOICE and CHOICE . Today, we give voice and choice to survivors all over the world by giving them a platform to tell their story.

We start with a courageous woman from Kansas, Linda Oktach, whose husband was murdered in 1968 on Thanksgiving Day. In response to Newtown, Linda tells her story of survival; raising her 22 month old son who survived the day she lost her husband. It is stories like Linda's that give us hope. Thank you for your courage Linda.

"We were experiencing some hard times and we were together on Thanksgiving Day discussing our difficulties and we agreed we were going to meet the next morning and do some shopping for the baby...and I never saw him again, alive."

- Linda Oktach
Why Should I Share My Story?

As the national conversation about violence prevention continues it is important that the voices of those who have been effected are heard.

Each month we will share at least one story in order to build awareness, educate policy makers and help shape the public policy conversation.

How Do I Share My Story?

1. Send an email to info@TheWKFoundation.org

Include: Name, Age, Location, Your Story

2. Be prepared to record a 3-minute video sharing your story.

- What happend?
- How did you feel then and now?
- How are you coping?
- What do you hope will be done to prevent this type of violence in the future?
- What do think is an important message for others to take away from your story?

Who Will Hear My Story?

We hope that the world will hear your story and begin to make change to prevent violence and protect the victims and survivors who must deal with the aftermath.


Kellie Shanygne Williams (born March 22, 1976) is an American actress, now known as Kellie Shanygne Jackson, but best known for her role as Laura Winslow on the television series Family Matters. Her middle name is pronounced Sha-neen. In 2006, Williams created the Kellie Williams Program in the Washington D.C. area. The program provides Washington, DC area students between the ages of 14-20 an opportunity to do their own programming and be exposed to the arts. Kellie also serves on the Board of Directors for The William Kellibrew Foundation.

Copyright 2009 The William Kellibrew Foundation
1225 Eye Street, NW Suite 1100 | Washington, DC 20005  | 202.218.4642  | info@thewkfoundation.org

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