>> Based in Flagstaff, Ariz., Grand Canyon Youth is a non-profit organization that provides youth from diverse backgrounds an experiential education along the rivers and canyons of the Southwest.
>> The Family Violence Institute manages the Arizona Child and Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI), which is one of the few programs in the United States that provides support services to child victims of intimate partner homicide.
Healing Lands is a non-profit initiative dedicated to facilitating wilderness trips for child victims of family violence. This innovative program utilizes the healing power of the natural world to soothe the wounds of trauma and violence.
I Am Pure Land grew out of the book Pure Land by Annette McGivney, which chronicles the life of Japanese hiker Tomomi Hanamure who explored the American West and was murdered in Grand Canyon in May 2006.
Family violence is among the most pressing social and mental health problems in the United States. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 3.4 million children in the United States were deemed at risk in 2015 for being victims of domestic abuse and neglect. And more than 3,000 children were impacted by intimate partner homicide.
A primary reason family violence remains so insidious is that parents who abuse each other and/or their children were often victims of family violence, and never received help. The Healing Lands Project seeks to interrupt the cycle of violence by incorporating the healing power of nature and the community of a wilderness trip into the support services provided to child victims.
“The rhythms and sensory stimulation encountered in nature help children reset a nervous system over-activated by intensely horrifying traumatic events. Children who share the novelty of being in a wondrous, wild landscape will discover new strengths in themselves and new capacities for connection with others."
Melissa Rhodes, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Director for the Arizona Child and Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI)