Valley Parents: TA student educates public about gender-based violence

Valley Parents Correspondent
Published: 5/20/2021 12:33:39 PM
Modified: 5/20/2021 12:33:36 PM

THETFORD — Both on the radio and through virtual poetry events, Thetford Academy sophomore Madison Currier has been using her voice to speak up and speak out on behalf of WISE, the Lebanon-based nonprofit that offers support and prevention services related to gender-based violence.

After reading a poem in her English class, Currier, 15, was asked by her teacher, Emily Silver, if she would like to read a poem for the WISE Poetry & Prose virtual event celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8.

Currier read a selection about strength and beauty from milk and honey, a collection of poems by Rupi Kaur, who is a survivor of sexual assault herself.

The event was cathartic, healing and powerful, Currier said.

“I thought the people in WISE would like to hear someone else speak out about how they felt and about the situations they may have been through,” Currier said. “It was important for me to hear how everyone else felt about the experiences they have had.”

Currier also recorded a public-service announcement radio spot for WISE Words, an “educational awareness campaign to further prevention messages and strategies to Upper Valley youth and the adults in their lives,” according to a description on its website. WISE works with nine school districts in the Upper Valley School districts on gender-based violence prevention curriculum and the radio spots are part of that. Currier’s radio spot was tailored to the COVID-19 pandemic, when people are spending more time at home.

“It’s challenging not seeing your friends everyday and not having access to our usual support systems. It can be especially overwhelming when experiencing or witnessing violence in the home,” Currier says in the radio spot. “Violence is already incredibly isolating and not being able to leave the house might feel worse. No matter what, violence in your home is never your fault and you deserve to feel safe.”

The recording ends with Currier encouraging people in need to seek help from WISE.

“I loved the process of recording the radio spot, being able to speak out for other people and let them know that they had someone there for them,” Currier said. She recorded the spot herself and gave it to Silver who sent it along to WISE. It’s been broadcast on the John Tesh Radio Show and 99 Rock.

Currier has been part of choir and in Thetford Academy’s school musical. She is a passionate singer and thinks she can use her voice for the benefit of the community.

“I love music,” Currier said. “Singing feels like I am giving back to people because other people also love music. It’s something I’ve picked up and like to do.”

After the positive experience, Currier said she hopes she can do more radio spots and poetry events for WISE in the future.

“It’s amazing to hear these women’s stories and how they’ve survived through them,” Currier said. “And to understand that there are people out there willing to help if you need it.”

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