Sowing more seeds of hope for survivors of sexual abuse

By SAFE San Juans Staff

Once again, staff from SAFE San Juans will be handing out seeds this April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) in specially designed packets with art and messages of hope for those who have been sexually abused. SAFE San Juans (SAFE) is a local non-profit agency dedicated to supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault/abuse while working to reduce abuse. With offices in Friday Harbor, Eastsound and Lopez Village, SAFE’s confidential and free services include 24/7 crisis support, safety planning, advocacy (legal, medical, financial, etc.), emergency safe shelter, support groups, and professional counseling/therapy for survivors.

This year, SAFE chose Cynoglossum amabile (Chinese Forget-Me-Not) as the wildflower through which to acknowledge the suffering of those who have been sexually abused, and to honor the strength survivors show in coming back from their trauma. Cynoglossum amabile is a bushy annual or biennial with beautiful sprays of funnel-shaped sky-blue flowers. It is a resilient annual that will typically reseed itself, but it is not invasive and its spread in the garden can be easily regulated. These tiny, true-blue flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and they are great for cut-flowers. It is a cool-season hardy annual that prefers full sun.

We chose this flower because it is not unusual for a sexual assault survivor’s own trauma to be minimized or forgotten as time passes or when concerns for everyone else impacted by the event come to the forefront. Even in the push for justice, it’s not unusual for people to be more concerned about the impact on the abuser’s future than they are about the long-term trauma effects on the abused.

The art and messages SAFE shares on the seed packages point to hope beyond suffering and hope for growth. There is “Hope for Freedom and Happiness”, a call to “Sow the Seeds of Hope”, an invitation “Let’s Grow Together in Hope”, the belief there is “Hope for a Brighter Tomorrow”, and the understanding that “Hope Grows with Help”.

The staff at SAFE San Juans are available to help anyone who needs to talk about abuse they have suffered (or are suffering). We will not forget you, and we will support you as you try to heal from what you suffered.

Check out SAFE’s website ( to learn where seeds will be handed out, or visit one of our offices to pick up your seeds.

If you have experienced Domestic Violence (DV) or Sexual Abuse (SA), SAFE’s advocates and therapists can help you. For information go to, visit a SAFE office in Friday Harbor, Eastsound, or Lopez Village, or call 360-378-8680. If you are in a DV or SA crisis, SAFE advocates can be reached 24/7 through their crisis lines: San Juan – 360-378-2345, Orcas – 360-376-1234, Lopez – 360-468-4567.