Our Story


Our Story
Voices of Change 2018 was founded as a 501(c)3 organization in 2018 by Nicole Moehring and Maci Lynch, mother and daughter. Both of Nicole’s children were sexually abused and assaulted. As the mother of a child living with disabilities, Nicole quickly discovered how difficult it is to navigate the criminal justice system for victims of sexual violence with disabilities and their families. Wanting to serve others, who experienced the same barriers as they did, Nicole and Maci founded Voices of Change 2018 so that others would not have to be alone in their journey to recovery. Through the sharing of personal experiences, we build access to safety, healing, and justice for crime victims with disabilities, through advocacy, education, and collaboration.

Voices of Change addresses the much-needed advocacy and assistance for survivors with disabilities and their families. Voices of Change focuses on helping families seek justice within the criminal justice system, by providing experienced staff and volunteers to assist them. In addition, provide access to recovery through trauma-informed and trauma-responsive mental health clinicians skilled in working with persons with disabilities.

Our Mission, Vision and Statement of Philosophy


Mission
Through the sharing of personal experiences, we build access to safety, healing, and justice for crime victims with disabilities, through advocacy, education, and collaboration.

Vision
Prevention of abuse and assault through education and awareness; helping victims become survivors through collaboration with local agencies.

Statement Of Philosophy 

Promoting prevention through education and awareness, and helping victims become survivors through:

  • Education: We believe that education of the signs of sexual abuse, and creating awareness in the community will aid in prevention.
  • Advocacy and Empowerment: We believe everyone’s voice has a right to be heard.
  • Collaboration: We will partner with local agencies to provide a path to healing.
  • Justice: We believe the path to justice, in whatever form that may be, should be equally accessible to all victims
  • Respect: We believe in treating everyone with dignity, equality and respect.


National Statistics


***The 2018 statistics shown on our website are from the World Health Organization (WHO).

We know that violence against persons with disabilities is an epidemic with rape and abuse occurring at a rate ten times more than the rate of the general population (Harrell and Rand, 2010). Violence against persons with disabilities persist in part because of the following perceived vulnerabilities:
• Do not realize that what they are experiencing is abuse
• Lack communication options such as sign language or interpreters
• Rely on the perpetrator for care and/or financial assistance
• Lack the support they need to get help
• Fear they will not be believed if they report
• Survivors have previous negative experiences with law enforcement, domestic violence/sexual violence services, or other victim agencies
• Have a lack of education on what constitutes as healthy relationships
• Do not know where or who to contact for help

Voices of Change (VOC) seeks to provide navigation and advocacy services to survivors of sexual violence with disabilities and their families unlike any other victim service agency in Ohio. VOC incorporates the voices and stories of persons with disabilities and their families who have lived through similar experiences. VOC is an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those with disabilities impacted by sexual violence. VOC  believes in helping victims become survivors.


General Statistics
According to the 2018 statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over 1 billion people globally, or about 15% of individuals, who have some form of a disability
Also, according to the WHO children with disabilities are:
  • 4 times more likely to experience violence then non-disabled children
  • 3.7 times more likely than non-disabled children to be victims of violence
  • 3.6 times more likely to be victims of physical violence then non-disabled children
  • 2.9 times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse than non-disabled children
  • 4.6 times the risk of sexual violence than their non-disabled peers
Perpetrators:
  • 5% of the individuals had no known relationship with the victim
  • 10% were other relatives
  • 14.7% was an intimate partner
  • 30.3% was a stranger
  • 40% of the accused perpetrators were well known/casual acquaintances
According to Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2009-2015, reasons for crimes against going unreported to police were:
  • 0.1% said insurance would not cover
  • 3.0% of victim’s report police would not do anything
  • 20.4% was not important enough to the victim to report it
  • 20.8% claim the police would not help
  • 36.8% was unknown
  • 40% dealt with it in another way
• Things such as, lack of education, stigma and lack of social support for providers who care for them, put individuals with disabilities at a higher risk of abuse

• Unfortunately, all the statistics documented for children with disabilities, are for children ages 12 and up, living among the general population in household settings. (This, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)).

The Adult Advocacy Centers (AAC) Conducted a survey to Ohio County Boards of Developmental Disabilities in Fall of 2019, called the “Needs Assessment: Fall 2019”. Per this report:
• 34% of the Boards reported there is no treatment protocol that exists in their county for crime victims with disabilities
• 69% reported there are no existing support groups for crime victims with disabilities

The AAC asked what the biggest barrier/obstacle to providing services to crime victims with disabilities?
• 51% said it was due to lack of resources
• 29% said lack of collaboration
• 11% said disregarding people with disabilities
• 6% said not applicable or no answer
• 3% said there were no barriers

The AAC asked, how often are crimes committed against people with disabilities taken to grand jury?
• 26% said seldom
• 20% said never
• 20% said very rare
• 17% said fairly regularly
• 11% said was unknown
• 6% said only theft cases have been taken to grand jury

The AAC asked, when asked what is the best way to offer support for crime victims with disabilities. The answers were:
• 40% said collaboration and support
• 17% said no answer
• 17% said training and education
• 14% said more programs and resources
• 9% said no support needed
• 3% said establishment of a protocol

These numbers are alarming! This is a international epidemic. If we don’t start talking about it and raising awareness, sadly, the numbers will continue to increase.

We all think “It will never happen to my child.” I know. I thought that too and I did educate my children from a very young age. The fact is, sexual abuse DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE! It doesn’t matter your race, your religious beliefs, your social or financial status.... UNFORTUNATELY, IT HAPPENS. You may feel alone, but you are NOT.




Media Coverage


For information, press inquiries or for scheduling, please email: NMoehring@voicesofchange2018.com

Maci Lynch - Survivor Story

This week's guest is Maci Lynch who is coming on our podcast today to share her story. She co-founded, Voices of Change, with her mom in 2018, after being a victim of sexual assault. She wants to speak to everyone, especially teens, letting them know the importance of speaking up, if they have been victims of abuse. She also would like to educate the community on prevention and the signs of sexual abuse and assault. Maci and I talk about everything and anything from her trauma that she experienced with her father, to when she was sexually assaulted, how she healed, the books she loves to read, including her favorite TV the Vampire Diaries.

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The Arc of the United States - President Frederick Misilo, Jr.

A special thank you to Naveh Eldar for speaking about and promoting Voices of Change in his podcast with The Arc of the United States, President Frederick Misilo, Jr. We are truly grateful.

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Unveil Your Voice - Nicole Moehring's Story

I was invited to be on the Unveil Your Voice, Podcast. I appreciate the opportunity to be able to share not only my children's story but, my story as well. Thank you, Kristine

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Heal with Kevin McNeil

I was honored to have the opportunity to be a guest on the "Heal with Kevin McNeil" Podcast. The link is attached.

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News Net 5, WEWS

Failure to Protect, Justice for our Most Vulnerable. I had the opportunity to be interviewed by WEWS, News Net 5 Cleveland, Sarah Buduson, to spread awareness about our most vulnerable population of children being abused. Link to interview is attached.

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Talk Radio Guest Host

National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA). I was honored to be a guest on NAASCA on January 20, 2020, sharing my personal story as well as spreading awareness for our non-profit. Link to radio show attached.

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Fundraising Campaigns


Voices of Change is funded by the generosity of our community, corporations, individuals and foundations. There are a variety of ways to donate. We appreciate every donation we receive.

$50

Donation Amount

Planned Giving


By making a Planned Giving gift to Voices of Change through your trust, will or another giving form, you are helping us provide services for future generations.

Goldstar Gold Seal of Transparency 2020

Voices of Change 2018 earned a Goldstar Gold Seal of Transparency on Guidestar

Legacy Donors

When you make a Legacy Gift to Voices of Change 2018 we will recognize you as a member of our Legacy Giving. To be be recognized, all donors will complete a confidential statement of intent. Should you choose for your gift to remain anonymous, Voices of Change 2018 will respect your wishes. Thank you for considering Voices of Change as part of your planned giving. For more information on how to make Voices of Change 2018 part of your planned giving, please contact Nicole Moehring, Founder/Executive Director at: 440-864-7074 or NMoehring@voicesofchange2018.com

Life Insurance

By naming, Voices of Change 2018 as a primary or secondary beneficiary of a life insurance policy, your estate will be allowed an estate-tax charitable deduction. To make this gift to Voices of Change 2018, please contact your insurance agent and request a beneficiary form. For more information on how to make Voices of Change 2018 the beneficiary of your life insurance, please contact Nicole Moehring, Founder/Executive Director at: 440-864-7074 or NMoehring@voicesofchange2018.com

Retirement Plan

By naming Voices of Change 2018 as a beneficiary of retirement plans, your estate can achieve substantial tax savings. Typically, retirement assets are subject to high taxes, however, by designating Voices of Change 2018 as your beneficiary, the gift will not be subject to estate tax and we will not pay income tax on the distribution. For more information on how to make Voices of Change 2018 the beneficiary of your retirement plan, please contact Nicole Moehring, Founder/Executive Director at: 440-864-7074 or NMoehring@voicesofchange2018.com

Trust or Will

Designate a specific dollar amount or percentage to Voices of Change 2018 in your Trust or Will. For more information on how to make Voices of Change 2018 the beneficiary of your trust or will, please contact Nicole Moehring, Founder/Executive Director at: 440-864-7074 or NMoehring@voicesofchange2018.com

Founders of Voices of Change


Nicole A Moehring

Founder/Executive Director

Maci Lynch

Co-Founder/Program Administrator

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