Speaking With The Founder of The Fawn Project

I spoke with Ayala, the founder of the organization, The Fawn Project. I reached out to Lottie after learning she created this organization, because I wanted to hear more about her organization, as well as share her story and how age doesn't matter with issues like this. She truly shared great perspectives, and I'm glad I finally got to speak with her, as I have been following Lottie for a few years now. Check out our conversation!

Question #1: Tell me about yourself.
Answer: "Hi everyone. My name is Ayala. I'm an 18-year-old activist from North Carolina. I am fighting for consistent life ethic."
Question #2: Why did you start your organization?
Answer: "Mostly because I was looking for a similar organization for women who have experienced child loss and for survivors. There's so much intersection between those two kinds of grief and trauma that people don't tend to understand. I wanted to reach out to people who have been through or involved in both situations, because I'm just so passionate about helping people who had similar experiences to me."
Question #3: What is the Fawn Project?
Answer: "The Fawn Project basically serves as a community for people who have experienced the loss of a child, sexual assault, or both. It's not really that you have to have experienced both. It can be either or. I modeled my organization after Restore Love, which is an organization founded by my friend, which helps women that experienced sexual assault and/or are addicted to pornography. Basically what I was trying to do in the coming months was start having Zoom meetings, where women could talk about their experiences, share their feelings, uplift and support each other as a community. I was also going to have the Instagram page up, so I can share information about trauma, grief, how to talk to survivors, feelings you might be experiencing as a survivor, that sort of thing. I think it's really important for women to have a community because there's not a lot of spaces where they can talk about these things."
Question #4: Can you share your story as to why these issues matter to you?
Answer: "When I was 11 years old, I started being sexually abused and that went on for a couple of years. When I was 15, I got pregnant from my assault, and I sadly lost my baby (that I really wanted). For a few years, I've been an activist in the prolife movement and the anti-porn movement. I've been really vocal about keeping women's dignity and keeping up the sanctity of life. Respecting women and their ability to create life, in that sort of general area. I never found a lot of support from communities for women who have had experiences similar to mine, especially for teenage girls because there's not a lot spaces for teenagers who have experienced trauma from child loss or miscarriage, and there's a lot of women who have reached out to me asking about spaces like that. I felt like I needed to create my own. 
Question #5: You've mentioned you are anti-porn. What led you to become outspoken on pornography?
Answer: "I'm really vocal in the anti-porn movement, maybe not as much as my prolife activism, but I do talk about it a lot. I realized, after you've read the statistics about pornography, the raw data behind it, men who are addicted to pornography are statistically more sexually violent towards women. They have distorted views about sex and sexual relationships. Especially young men in my generation have become so affected by this. Plus I have my testimony, as well as the testimonies of women that I have personally spoken to, who have expressed to me how men in their lives who were addicted to porn were abusive and violent towards women. These same women, and myself included, have stated how our abusers who had porn addiction was a big part of why we were abused. The data clearly backs that up. If we are going to talk about violence towards women, stop violence against women, or respect women as unique beings able to create life, we need to start having conversations about the impact porn has on young men and their view of women."
Question #6: What was the process behind starting your organization? What inspired you to finally take that step to create this?
Answer: "I began working with PAU (Progressive Anti-abortion Uprising) group. They're a very grassroots based organization. I was speaking with their founder Teresa, who is an incredible inspiration to me. She's an incredible woman. She does so much for consistent life ethics and respecting the sanctity of life. Speaking to her about how her organization started and how she runs it, this really inspired me. I was at the point where I was tired of making excuses for why I couldn't start an organization or movement. I had so many people in my political career tell me I should do this, but I've always made these excuses. Seeing how confident Teresa in explaining how she created her group really inspired me to take up the reins, and stop believing the lies that young women aren't capable of succeeding on their own. I just decided to do it!"
Question #7: Do you think age matters when it comes to creating an organization based on a passion you have?
Answer: "In terms of it mattering, I mean of course I don't have as much experience as other older organizers do. I'm always willing to learn and listen to what wisdom they have. In terms of saying I maybe shouldn't do this because I'm too young, I think anyone who have strong beliefs, know why they have these beliefs, has a cause they want to fight for, I think anyone can start one of these organizations. Grassroots activism has had a major impact on politics in the past few years, and it's so vital to have more grassroots organizations especially with social media. It's so much easier for people my age to find these organizations. As grassroots activism continues to roots itself in America, I think we will see more people my age will start these sort of organizations. I really look forward to seeing them because it's truly inspiring."
Question #8: What advice do you have for anyone who may be thinking of doing something similar to what you have done?
Answer: "I would definitely say research your beliefs. Have a strong foundation for why you believe in what you believe, whether it's political or social issues, you really need to have a strong belief system backing it. Talk to mentors or people who have done this. How Teresa inspired me, these people will guide and mentor you. They can really help you with the legal aspects for starting a non-profit. It's a lot easier to go through that process with people who know this. My final piece of advice would be to not let anyone discourage you from pursuing this. Don't let them deter you, your beliefs, and your movement. Everything you do needs to be done through the lens of 'I'm capable and I'm not doing to listen to people who are trying to tear me down.' That's probably the best advice I can give because a lot of people want to create these organizations, but believe the doubters. Just be that person that will just go for it. If you have that belief, create that organization, podcast, or whatever it may be."
Question #9: How can others get involved or support the Fawn Project?
Answer: "Right now, I'm finishing my senior year of high school. I was focused on getting the Instagram account up and running. You can follow us @thefawnprojectofficial on Instagram. Support all the new posts I make. It's mainly advice for women on how to cope with grief. I'm really grateful for all the support and love people have brought to me. It's been very nice. In the coming months, we will be having meetings. If you're interested, please DM me. If you need someone to talk about your grief with, please don't hesitate to reach out. Or if you'd like to share it with a group of other women, I can get you connected. This will be all confidential. I promise not to share anything on social media. I'm just here to have a safe and secure place for women to share and express their feelings when there aren't many places for that. Society just wants us to push through the grief, to move on with your life. It's mainly because most people are uncomfortable dealing with other's emotions. I think that's really sad because women just shove their trauma and grief down, so I just want women to have that outlet to share their emotions. I'm working with people to get these meetings set up, but in the meantime, follow the Instagram to stay updated."

Thank you again to Ayala for this interview! I really enjoyed hearing someone so young have such a passion. I can't wait to see what she accomplishes! Be sure to follow her organization!

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