Hemming for Healing

Making a high school community safer for survivors of domestic and sexual violence

- Juha Kim

Background Information

Juha Kim is a rising senior at Episcopal High School. She’s passionate about sustainability and ending domestic/sexual violence. When she noticed how prevalent rape culture was in her community, she decided to make a change. According to RAINN, 1 of every 5 women are raped, and about 3 of every 4 of those assaults go unreported, meaning most victims are unable to get the support they deserve, while 95% of their abusers walk free.  Additionally, according to the United Nations and the Environmental Protection Agency, 10,000 liters of water are required to produce one pair of jeans, and textiles account for 11.2 million tons of waste in landfills per year. Hemming For Healing was started to make the EHS community safer for survivors by keeping resources available for survivors through fundraising for One Love and RAINN and more conscientious of their environmental impact through raising awareness.

Implementation of Project

Because of COVID, Juha was not able to be on campus at her high school this semester, which introduced the additional challenge of getting people to participate without being able to meet with them. Nevertheless, she was able to communicate with counselors and fellow students at her school passionate about ending sexual and domestic violence to bring One Love to Episcopal. Her family and friends in Chapel Hill donated clothing that they no longer wore to be sold on Poshmark. All of the proceeds from Juha’s Poshmark were then donated to One Love and RAINN.

Results of Project

In just a month of fundraising, Juha was able to raise over $1000 for RAINN and One Love. Close to 50 sales were made, keeping each of those clothing items out of landfills.  The One Love club at Episcopal High School has almost 100 followers and many current active members, which is now working to further increase awareness at EHS through various events and social media campaigns.

What’s Next

Juha’s research indicates that 66% of rape victims were first raped during middle school through college, and 1/3 of sex offenders are under the age of 18.  Therefore, schools have a big role in preventing sexual violence. This fundraising initiative helped raise initial awareness for sexual violence in our community. Moving forward, we are looking to implement systems to end rape culture in high school, through which students will have ways to talk/learn comfortably about sexual violence and consent through guided discussions, accessible resources if they have been assaulted, and more information about sexual violence through newsletters and social media.