April 2018 Newsletter

Diane Peppler Resource Center

From the Director

         You will probably read this more than once in this newsletter.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  We consider this one of our highlight months.  This is our time to shine a light on our services.  This is the time to talk until we can’t talk anymore.  This is the time to meet with as many people as possible.  We are creating those opportunities and would love to have you engage with us. 

      We are having a first ever Open Mic Night to kick off this year’s theme of “Embrace Your Voice.”  We are super excited about this event.  We have had great feedback from people excited to not only participate in an open mic night but to be able to support our cause as well.  We have singers and poets lined up to entertain us.  We have two slots available and would love to have a couple of comedians!  I hope you are out there reading this and want to sign up.  Did I mention this is free?

      Our Dolly and Me High Tea is one of my favorite events of the year.  Not only do I get to hang out with some awesome kids and play dolls, I get to wear a fancy dress!  As an only girl growing up with all brothers, this was not something I got to do very often.  It is important for us to be able to build relationships with our future leaders and show them kindness, courtesy, and how to have fun.  We are helping build protective factors with these children which will only serve to help them in the future.   This is one of my favorite fundraisers and at $20 per person, it will be a real crowd pleaser!

Our Take Back/Give Back the Night event, “Embrace Your Voice” featuring Keith Edwards is the highlight of our month.  There will be so many things to see and experience that it will literally change your life.  I would encourage parents of teens, concerned community members, anyone in the position to exact change to come out and witness one of the most amazing nights that we have ever offered.  And did I mention it is free?

      Thank you to everyone who has worked tirelessly (who am I kidding? We are exhausted!) to make all of these events happen.  I hope to see you at least once during the month.  And remember, Embrace Your Voice.  If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem quite right, please say something, do something, or tell someone.


#Whatwereyouwearing Campaign

      We are looking for volunteers to help us bring some local attention to the #whatwereyouwearing campaign.  During our event on April 19th (Speaker Keith Edwards) there will be clothing displayed with a summary of what happened to each person.  The summary and clothing resembling what you were wearing during the incident will be displayed with others.  Your name will not be on the exhibit. There will be absolute confidentiality.  We need a few more people to help with our display.  If you are interested in this, or would like more details, please contact me at 906-635-0566 or akreb@dprcenter.org

Bridget L. Akre

Victim Advocate/Volunteer Coordinator


Sexual Assault Awareness Month

     Thank you to the City of Sault Ste. Marie for your continued support throughout the years, and proclaiming April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month! Through respect, education, and being an upstander, we can end sexual violence.
      We encourage everyone to show your support by wearing teal on Tuesdays! Click on the picture to follow the link to our Sexual Violence Prevention Team - EUP page! Please tag us in #tealtuesdays pictures showing us your teal!  During April, every event you attend, and every #tealtuesday that you participate in earns you an entry into a drawing at the month! You can win an Amazon Fire TV Stick and a TV! 


Embrace Your Voice

                 April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, with the acronym SAAM. Sexual Assault is a crime that many victims suffer from in secrecy; but with the #ME TOO movement in the wake of Harvey Weinstein and Larry Nassar, the movement has brought survivors’ voices out from the darkness to reclaim their strength. The definition in Michigan is: Sexual assault (often known as rape) is forcing or coercing an individual to engage in any non-consensual sexual contact or sexual penetration. In Michigan, the law regarding sexual assault is called the Criminal Sexual Conduct Act. It is gender neutral and includes marital, stranger, date, acquaintance, and child sexual assault, Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, n.d. Sexual Assault effects not just the victim, but it also  has a lasting effect on the family, friends, and future relationships that the survivor may have. These crimes also affect the community as a whole by alienating the survivor by the social norms of the community and the taboo stigma that is within the community. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18 years old.  In most cases, 8 out of 10 times the victim knew the perpetrator of the crime. We have the power with our voice to speak up, speak out, stand up and end sexual violence.

The theme for this year’s SAAM is “Embrace Your Voice!” which brings many facets to it. An aspect is to give encouragement to survivors to come forward and reclaim their strength by telling their stories. By going to law enforcement, survivors can start putting the responsibility of the crime on the perpetrator. Their stories may encourage others to come forward as well; this helps survivors know that they are not alone. Another meaning of using your voice in starting the conversation about sexual assault, which will help eliminate the stigma of this being a taboo subject. Without the knowledge of the subjects like consent, respect, gender norms, victim blaming, and desensitization to violence, most don’t realize how these can perpetuate violent culture, or how to deal with the situation. The theme is also supposed to encourage the society as a whole to challenge the social and cultural norms that everyone is bombarded with on a daily basis. For example, advertising’s use of the tactic “sex sells.” This promotes the sexually violent culture by using women to sell the product; which makes women seem as they are nothing more than a prop or a tool to use (an object). The music that we have within our culture normalizes the sexual violence culture and desensitizes the society due to the constant messages we grow up with. Looking at the lyrics to some songs from; Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold”, Jamie Foxx “Blame It On the Alcohol”, Frank Loesser “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, Brain McFadden “Just the Way You Are (Drunk at the Bar)”, Aqua “Barbie Girl” and Brad Paisley “I’m Still a Guy”, these promote gender norms and sexual violence. Only we have the power to change how we want our community and society to look like. Our voice has power but we must learn how to use those voices to create change.

To learn how to “Embrace Your Voice” there will be some awareness events where there will be booths with information to learn how you can use your voice and beginning the conversation. The first event is on April 7th with our “Open Mic Night” where people are encouraged to come down to the 1668 Winery and Lockside Brewery to enjoy the talents of others that want to use their voice. The event starts at 7:00 pm with some great specials. The main event for SAAM is our “Take Back/Give Back the Night” event on April 19th. This event doors will open at 5:00 pm starting with hors d’oeuvres and art exhibits located around the Art Center lobby. Directly following at 6:00 pm is an encore performance of “Good Kids”. At 7:30 pm the nationally known speaker Keith Edwards,  will be presenting to the audience “Creating a Culture of Consent with a Proactive Approach to Sexual Violence Prevention.” We encourage the whole community to come to the events and participate throughout the month of April by posting pictures of you wearing teal on Tuesdays to the Sexual Violence Prevention Team - EUP page on Facebook to get an entry into the drawing for a flat screen television with an Amazon Fire Stick. You will get additional chances at the drawing for every event attended and every Teal Tuesday photo post!

When survivors, the community, and society “Embrace Your Voice” that is how we can change the cultural norms and identify the sexually violent culture that we currently live in. Like the saying about child rearing, “It takes a village to raise a child”, it is the same for creating a societal change.  When we work together, that will increase awareness and decrease violence for  not only one person but it betters the community as a whole.  For information on how you can help please stop by our events, contact us on Facebook, call us, or reach out through our website.  

- Jessica Miles, Violence Prevention Educator


Inner-Happenings at DPRC!

Welcome to Abigail Mermuys

      Abby is our newest staff member.  She is a 2018 graduate of Lake Superior State University Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  Abby is originally from Fenton, MI.  She was a previous employee at Great Lakes Recovery Centers where she developed skills for working with our client population.  Abby is excited to be working in our outreach program as the sexual assault advocate for the Rural and VOCA grants.

      Abby enjoys traveling with her family which includes her parents, one brother, and two adorable puppies!  She states her furthest and favorite destination has been France, which is excellent because she speaks and reads French.  Abby will be an excellent addition to our agency as a bi-lingual advocate! 

Welcome, Abby!


April Appreciation!

Thank You, Donors!

              We are sending out a huge thank you to our February and March donors! As well as all of our donors, and volunteers! Without your assistance, we could not help those we do! We appreciate you more than you can imagine!


February Donors

  • The Palace
  • Penzoil Carwash
  • Erickson Appliance
  • Holiday Station
  • Island Books & Crafts
  • Judy and Company
  • Hungry Howies
  • Soo Coop Credit Union
  • Cup of the Day
  • Side Street Saloon
  • Quick N Clean
  • Happy Hound Dog Walking
  • Adrianna Gunderson
  • Jessica Mangold
  • Sharon Mustoner
  • CC Hall
  • Everything Electric
  • Kelly Wangbichler
  • Ruth Hittsman-Johnson
  • Erin Yates
  • Soo Fire Place and Stone
  • Lisa Grover
  • Hospice House
  • Maureen Sweeney
  • Amy Beech

March Donors

  • Maria Brown
  • Delta Airlines
  • Erin Wigman-Nillson
  • Crystal Hepner
  • Salvation Army
  • Haske Post Co.
  • Ruth Hittsman-Johnson
  • MCM Marine
  • Roy Electric
  • Bay Mills Resort and Casino
  • Dean Garlinghouse Agency
  • Norma Jean Vaughn
  • Amy Beach
  • Deloris Weber
  • Sault Printing
  • Soo Coop
  • Jenny Hiteshew
  • Stringing Things
  • Bridget Akre
  • Brett Carr
  • Adrianna Gunderson
  • Emily Jacques
  • Cheryl Tellas
  • Bayliss Library
  • Girl Scout Troop #5074
  • Ball Hospice House
  • Kathy Maines

Luce County Corner

       We would like to thank the Law Enforcement Officers that took time out of their day to attend our Domestic Violence Training on March 21st! A huge thank you to Dr. Aaron Westrick for presenting with us!

      We would also like to thank Tahquamenon Area Schools for hosting us on March 22nd. We were able to talk to students about respect, healthy relationships, and boundaries. We greatly appreciate the opportunity for educating our future.  Thank you!


Help Us Help Others

The Diane Peppler Resource Center uses monetary donations to purchase specific items for residents when the items are not donated or can't be donated.  This can include but is not limited to: undergarments, medications, and specific dietary restriction food items. All donations are tax deductible. Donation receipts available upon request.

    We are in need of phone coverage from 11p.m.-8a.m. on several nights. Volunteer from the luxury of your home! This volunteer position does require some training (that will be provided), and a background check.  If you are interested in
helping us help others, please call 906-635-0566 or email Bridget at akreb@dprcenter.org.



     Our Mackinac County Office is in need of:  a wide baby gate, old phones that can be turned into prepaid cell phones, and crib sheets.  Our Chippewa County Office is in need of any old phones that can be used as prepaid phones!  Any donations are greatly appreciated!


Donate While Shopping!

You can shop online at smile.amazon.com to make those same exact purchases and they will make a donation to the
Diane Peppler Resource Center every time that you purchase from their website!


Donate With PayPal!

You can donate to our shelter by clicking the PayPal picture link!

Donation Wish List

We always appreciate donations and are thankful for everyone who helps us out! Currently the things we are most in need of are:

  •  Mattresses and box springs
  • Bed frames
  • Dining room tables and chairs
  • Cleaning products
  • Pillows
  • Hangers
  •  Hair Conditioner
  • Toilet Paper
  •  Paper Towel
  • Bath towels, wash cloths
  •  Blankets
  • Kitchen utensils/dishes/cups
  • Baby Wipes/Diapers
  • Women’s Hygiene Products




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Diane Peppler Resource Center

P.O. Box 698

Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

(906) 635-0566



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