Kamaria Jewelry Supports Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault
Proceeds benefit Restore Dignity, Kamaria’s charity organization providing financial assistance to survivors of trauma
September 24, 2017, Washington, D.C.: Kamaria, LLC, a jewelry startup based in the nation’s capital, has created a line of bridge and fine jewelry whose proceeds give direct support to survivors of power-inequality trauma, including sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, stalking or hazing during their pursuit of a high education. To transform this support into tangible relief, the founders created Restore Dignity, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help survivors continue their college education through financial assistance funds generated from Kamaria Jewelry proceeds. These can be in the form of tuition assistance to manage coursework, counseling services, or aid in relocating to safe housing.
A portion of proceeds sold on Kamaria.com will help to support a cause that hits home for the founders of Kamaria. As survivors themselves, Co-Founders Ellie Clougherty and Kristen Malinowski spent several years in the activist community connecting with other survivors and providing personal testimony to Congress and the Department of Education. Inspired by symbolic imagery from ancient cultures, they created Kamaria Jewelry to brand solidarity for survivors. “It is our goal that every time a survivor wears a piece of our jewelry, they feel validated, connected, and hopeful,” said Kristen Malinowski, co-founder of Kamaria. “More than raising awareness to the issue, we want to promote a sense of community as a form of healing.”
• According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2014), women ages 18-24 are at the most risk than any other age group to experience sexual harassment and violence. Restore Dignity targets aid to this at-risk population to protect a survivor’s path to achieving an education at a time that is crucial in launching their future careers.
• Power-inequality trauma disrupts a survivor’s natural progression towards a college degree. Victims face sudden and unexpected challenges including PTSD, depression, social isolation, physical relocation, and increased financial and medical burdens. Although Title IX affords accommodations to victims with extended test time or counseling sessions, Restore Dignity aims to reduce the unanticipated financial barriers that prevent survivors from continuing their education.
• Restore Dignity is focused specifically and solely on the survivor. Regardless of whether a survivor chooses to go public, keep her/his story private, report to a Title IX office, or enter the criminal justice system, Restore Dignity will offer financial assistance. Co-founder, Ellie Clougherty believes, “survivors shouldn’t have to sacrifice their education to have a voice. People are naturally drawn to the beauty of jewelry. We want to use this attraction to uncover a population of hidden voices.”
To generate sustainable profits to fund Restore Dignity, the Kamaria team travels to India, Thailand, Italy, and Hong Kong to work directly with gem-cutters, silver factories, and chain manufacturers. The jewelry is designed to embrace the allure of nature’s imperfections by using semi-precious stones, geodes, and artifacts from around the world. “Although we had no previous contacts to the jewelry industry, many of our suppliers support us because sexual assault exists in every culture,” said Malinowski. Kamaria means “moonlight” in Swahili and the golden enso is the company logo. The enso is an incomplete circle created with a unique and continuous brushstroke, resembling moonlight reflecting on the ocean. It is created with a Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic, highlighting the beauty of imperfections. The founders chose this imagery to communicate that “even in the dark of night, the moon provides a beacon of light and hope. Like the moon, even when you are alone and surrounded by darkness, you reflect light.” The enso encapsulates the healing journey for survivors as they embrace the beauty of an imperfect path.
About Kamaria, LLC: Kamaria, LLC is a bridge and fine jewelry brand that benefits Restore Dignity, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. that gives financial assistance to survivors of power-inequality trauma. Restore Dignity is currently accepting donations and is looking to partner with schools to launch pilot programs. It’s hard to be a survivor; it’s easy to support one. Be the light that changes the tides.
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