Vera funded After Silence in 2003. She lives in New York and is a social worker who specializes in assisting victims of sexual and domestic violence.
A survivor herself, Vera created a personal website to release her own feelings, however, she didn't expect the strong response the website received and the connections she was able to make with so many people, who had been silent about their trauma.
"People from all over the world were writing me, sharing their stories, asking me questions. I soon started receiving hundreds of emails. It was eye opening and quite shocking; I had no idea just how many people experienced rape and sexual violence. I've lost count of the many, and often underage, girls who have contacted me desperately seeking for a word of advice."
Unable to answer all the emails she received from other survivors, Vera created a message board to facilitate communication among women and men who had been victimized. Inspired by the memoir, "After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back," Vera decided to name her online community After Silence.
During the winter of 2003, Vera met and formed a close friendship with Lindy, a survivor of childhood molestation and acquaintance rape. Lindy had also created her own website and a message board to provide help and support after rape and sexual abuse. Vera asked Lindy to join her as an administrator of After Silence and unify their efforts by merging the two message boards together.
Since its founding, After Silence has blossomed into the largest, most active and supportive online support group for survivors of sexual violence on the internet. Vera and Lindy remain the administrators of AfterSilence.org and they continue to work together to support survivors of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse, with the help of a dedicated group of survivors and activists who have since joined the After Silence team. You may learn more about our staff members here.