Turning Point’s Survivor Speaker’s Bureau is an opportunity for survivors or loved ones to share their experiences of abuse and healing with the community. Participants will attend a 6 hour speaker’s training to learn how to use their story to create social change. Trainings are offered throughout the year depending on the need. Click below for more information or to apply.

  • Questions and Concerns for Survivors

    I want to speak but I’m not sure I’m ready
    There are a variety of ways that you can determine your readiness. Talk to your friends and family as well as the coordinator of the speaker training that you are interested in taking (they should already have the guidelines). Also consider how much time has elapsed since your last incidence of violence. A minimum of one year is necessary (and often times much longer) before considering public speaking. Allow yourself plenty of time to heal before putting yourself in front of an audience.

    I would speak but my perpetrator is out of jail and I am afraid of him. Should I speak or not?
    Always err on the side of caution. If you think speaking publicly could jeopardize your safety or the safety of your friends or family – don’t do it. There are many ways to be an activist that don’t include putting your story out to the public.

    I need to speak because people deserve to know what my perpetrator did to me and my family.
    This is not an appropriate reason to speak. In order to be truly effective your main goal must be to educate others. If you go into public speaking to seek revenge or retribution or because you have a lot of anger to work out, your audience will have a hard time connecting with you and the issues you want to address.

    I think speaking would help me heal.
    As a speaker you need to be at a place of healing prior to speaking publicly. There are healing aspects to speaking, but there can be painful parts as well, particularly if you are not fully prepared.

    I want to speak but there are parts of my story that I don’t want to share.
    You have control over what you say during a speaking engagement. You can simply leave out parts of your story (there is no way you could tell your entire story anyway). If you are asked a question you don’t want to answer, simply say that you would prefer not to talk about that piece of your story. There is also information that is not appropriate to share in a speaking engagement. Training and practice will help you make these decisions.

  • Survivor Speaker Guidelines
    • We ask that you be at least 18 years old
    • We ask that you be able to receive messages from Turning Point on your answering machine/voice mail regarding the details of a speaking engagement.
    • Speaking should not be considered counseling or a substitute for counseling. We ask that you be at a place of healing prior to undertaking public speaking.
    • The goal of the Speakers Bureau is to educate the community, not to get even with a perpetrator or to seek revenge or retribution. We ask that you consider your motives before considering public speaking.
    • The goal of the Speakers Bureau is to educate the community, not to get even with a perpetrator or to seek revenge or retribution. We ask that you consider your motives before considering public speaking.
    • The goal of the Speakers Bureau is to educate the community, not to get even with a perpetrator or to seek revenge or retribution. We ask that you consider your motives before considering public speaking.
    • If you are currently struggling with a mental illness or substance abuse problem we ask that you wait to participate until these things become manageable.
    • We ask that you not speak if you have been sexually assaulted or sexually abused within the last year.
    • We ask that you not speak if you are currently in an abusive relationship or have been in an abusive relationship within the last year.
    • Speakers are ultimately responsible for their own health and well being before, during, and after speaking engagements. We ask that you be honest with yourself about your limitations and safety.
    • We ask that you not portray yourself as a Turning Point staff or volunteer (unless you have been through the volunteer training or are currently on staff). If any questions about the agency come up please defer them to a staff person or volunteer.
    • We ask that you not use the last name of your perpetrator when telling your personal story.


    For Non-Offending Loved Ones

    • If your loved one is still alive, we ask that you inform them of your intention to take this training and your reason for doing so.
    • We ask that if the survivor is opposed to you speaking publicly about the violence that you respect their wishes and not take the training. We ask that you consider another form of volunteerism.
    • We ask that you establish guidelines with the survivor about what they would like you to share and what should be kept confidential.
    • We ask that you not use the last name of the perpetrator or survivor even if they give you permission.
    • We ask that you review the Speaker Guidelines and your completed Speaker Form (which you will receive after completing the training) with the survivor so that they understand the program and can give their input on your choice of speaking engagements.
  • Survivor Speaker Application

    Speaker Training

    The purpose of the Turning Point Survivor Speaker Training is to train survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and their non-offending family members to use public speaking as a tool for creating social change. Please thoroughly review the enclosed Speaker Guidelines. Completing the training does not necessarily mean you will be a speaker for Turning Point.
    • Please list any previous volunteer experience you have and include the name of the organization, your role, and the approximate time frame.
    • How did you hear about Turning Point’s Survivor Speakers Bureau? If someone referred you please let us know?
    • Briefly explain the experience you are interested in speaking about.
    • What public speaking experience do you have? Previous public speaking experience is not necessary.
    • Please tell us anything else you would like us to know.
    • Please list two people who we may contact to assess your readiness for this training. You may only include one family member. Also, if you have a previous relationship with Turning Point, let us know that as well.
      REFERENCE 1
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    • REFERENCE 2
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      Opportunities for volunteers are provided without regard to religion, creed, race, national origin, age, sexual orientation or sex. The organization is not obligated to provide a placement, nor are you obligated to accept the position offered. The above information is accurate and correct to the best of my knowledge and Turning Point has my permission to contact the references I provided.
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    • Thank you for taking the time to fill-out this application completely and honestly. Upon receipt we will notify you and schedule an interview near our next training date. Select the SUBMIT button below to send electronically.

      TO MAIL IN APPLICATION: print page, fill out and return to:
      Turning Point, Inc.
      Attn: Volunteer Coordinator
      P. O. Box 1123
      Mt. Clemens, MI 48046
      Office (586) 463-4430
      Fax: (586) 463-1771