PERREAULT Magazine APR | MAY 2015 | Page 71

SK. The big question I have for you is this: Where did your passion for women and justice come from?

BS: My father was killed when I was five, and I am a survivor of sexual abuse beginning at the age of six at the hand of one of my father's friends. I have always felt compassion towards women who found themselves caught in a life they can't escape. I have always longed to believe that compassionate communities can make a difference and that love heals.

SK: How did you come up with an idea of Magdalene and Thistle Farm?

BS: The housing (Magdalene) came first. The idea was simple; Just offer two years rent free to women survivors without authority living in the house. The social enterprise (Thistle Farms) came four years later when we realized that if we were about healing and love, we had to be concerned about women's economic well-being.

SK: How do you remain connected to all women at Magdalene?

BS: Through community meetings, through work, through life events and social media!

SK. Women tell me over and over again, "I feel stuck. I don't know what to do." What is your advice?

BS: Keep your head down and take a small step. The Thistle Farms community practices the truth that we can make small changes and see big differences.

SK. I marvel your passion, speaking, teaching, writing, and giving back, giving back, and giving back. How do you do it?

BS: I am so grateful I get to do it! What leaves me weepy with gratitude are the communities I get to work with, the courage of the women residents and graduates, and the generosity of the strangers we have met along the way. It has taught me that people want to hope with you.

SK. Congratulations on releasing your recently published book "The Way of Tea and Justice." What's your vision for the book?

BS: My vision is to further the movement of women's freedom---a cup of tea at a time. We continue to host justice tea parties and already have poured a couple thousand cups! Just a million more to go.

SK. Your final words for PERREAULT readers.

BS: Love heals us all. We need one another to realize that truth. Thank you for every act you do in this world that heals.

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