The GOH Turns 30 2018/02/27
GOH held a ceremony titled

The Garden of Hope Foundation (GOH) held a ceremony titled "The GOH Turns 30 and the GOH Dolls' Journey". Two advocates for victims of sexual assault, Jiehao Chen and Hua Xiao, were invited to spearhead the ceremony. The goal of the ceremony was to help mend the broken hearts of sexual assault victims, to wipe away their tears and soothe their pain, and to empower victims by showing them that their recovery is backed by the full support of their communities and GOH. The ceremony was also held as a response to the #MeToo movement, which is currently taking the world by storm. The CEO of the GOH, Hui-Jung Chi, stated that the GOH will continue its tireless efforts in ending sexual and non-sexual violence, just as it has been since its founding 30 years ago.

After the ceremony, GOH Doll Mascots across the nation hopped on their bikes and embarked on a round trip that will take them through 16 counties before the end of March. The mascots' journeys begin and end at their local GOH sub-offices, where, upon their return, each mascot will be greeted with plenty of hugs and presents. This is symbolic of the warmth and support that society has to offer to victims of sexual violence and is intended to encourage victims in their own journeys to recovery.

Hui-Jung Chi expressed that the idea for the GOH Dolls originated from the "Protect Children from Sexual Violence" campaign promoted by the Foundation in March of 1997. During this campaign, it became painfully obvious that children did not have a voice and that their trauma was not visible to the naked eye. After gaining a more thorough understanding of how trauma manifests itself in children, GOH invited the general public to put forth their best efforts in soothing the children's emotional wounds. It was the hope of GOH that the dolls would help raise awareness for the social work that was being done to protect the children. That year, there were 8,400 reported victims of sexual violence, and so exactly 8,400 dolls were manufactured. Everyone was then invited to adopt a doll, thereby showing support to child victims of sexual abuse and helped to fund the Dandelion Counseling Center.

Hui-Jung Chi believes that when victims of sexual violence feel they are supported by society, they are more likely to share their experiences and begin their journeys to recovery sooner. She also emphasizes that the process of opening up about one's trauma, facing it and dealing with it gives victims the opportunity to get a new lease on life, find their smile again and become a happier person once more.

Ever since it first began its work by helping victims of child prostitution 30 years ago, GOH has been walking alongside all survivors on the road to ending sexual and non-sexual violence. It has been 20 years since the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act was enacted in 1997. According to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, there were 131,134 reported cases of sexual assault in the 20 years between 1986 and 2005. In 90% of these cases, the victims were female, meaning there were 10.52 times more female victims than male victims. Though male victims only comprised 10% of the total cases, the number of male victims has increased from 19 people in 1986 to 1,159 people in 2005, which was a 60-fold increase in 20 years. This suggests that more and more male victims are reporting the crimes perpetrated against them.

The humble beginnings of the Foundation can be traced back to 1986 and the opening of the very first Garden of Hope halfway house for the young women who were less fortunate. When it was officially established, the GOH office was at a corner in an office borrowed from the Rainbow Center. The office had a single desk, one phone and one part-time worker. Now, 30 years later, GOH continues to uphold the spirit of service and advocacy by helping female victims of sexual and non-sexual violence with difficulties relating to emotional trauma, mental health, relationship issues, financial problems, employment, childcare and housing. Though it has been an arduous journey filled with countless challenges, GOH still strives to fulfill the promise it made 30 years ago: to end all violence, sexual and non-sexual alike.

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