Why Stand Up?
"I raise up my voice not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back."
- Malala Yousafzai
Anna’s story begins as she was living her dream as a well-regarded gallery owner in the small coastal town of Port Townsend, WA. In late 2011 she became aware of a man that was stalking her. Almost immediately, her life and business began to unravel, and as time wore on, the psychological drain and real-life fear for safety became too much.
In 2013, Anna had to make the gutting decision to close the gallery. She swore she would never own another business again as she stared at her debt piles. In 2015, traumatized, terrified, and humiliated from the experience, coupled with the loss of her father, she quietly escaped to the hills of Vermont.
There, she found safety, support, and healing by working with therapists and a victim services agency in Washington and Vermont. She admired her support team and longed to move into the victim services field. Wanting to be a catalyst for change, Anna offered her graphic and web design for victim service agencies.
Anna quickly discovered that while her design skills were useful, her story was necessary.
She was one of the very few people who could step forward and safely share the harrowing experience of being stalked for a decade. With the help of the criminal justice system and prosecution, Anna successfully closed her case, and her stalker was imprisoned, receiving one of the longest sentences (10 years) in our nation's history. Her story no longer needed to be tucked into the shadows; she could speak strongly, clearly, and with captivation to help others find freedom from stalking.
Anna’s presentations focus on delivering professional, victim-centered, expert-level training and education. Her story has reached thousands, creating a platform for stalking and sexual assault awareness, prosecution, and prevention.
SUR and Anna have turned into an internationally, award-winning, recognized voice – with one goal, creating a safer and more just world free of stalking.
A brief history:
Owner of Artisans on Taylor Gallery in Port Townsend, WA
Last photo of my family together before my sweet father passed.
Hiding in the shadows and making ends meet.
Vermont Governor Scott signs National Stalking Awareness Proclamation.
Speaking to a full capacity room at NOVA.
Celebrating my new "decade of freedom" after the sentencing hearing.
Anna lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont with her 3-legged chihuahua, Dolly Parton, and a collection of white sunglasses. While she misses her old “home” in Port Townsend, WA, she has come to find a home nestled in the hills, surrounded by snow six months of the year. Like a typical Vermonter, Anna wears many hats. In addition to her work with SUP, you may find her helping out at a friend's restaurant, cross-country skiing, sitting by the river, or tucked away in a corner writing at the Mad Taco.
She appreciates having the quiet balance of living in Vermont to write, work, and design and then popping on a plane to speak and educate others. It was a balance she never knew she needed or could have, and she couldn’t be happier to have discovered it and live it every day.