On Friday, April 5, my dear friend and someone I truly admire both on a professional and personal level, Devon Brooks will be speaking at TEDxKids. This event will satellite stream with TEDxChange in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from Germany. The goal of the event is to provide a platform for children to empower each other and listen to inspiring leaders share their stories. I am extremely proud of Devon and commend her for her courage in sharing her personal trauma dealing with assault and violence.
You may know Devon as the past co-owner and founder of the Blo, Blow Dry Bar enterprise. Or perhaps you’ve seen her featured in FLARE Magazine as one of Canada’s Top 13 Bright Young Things. Or maybe you just know her as the bubbly, positive, go-getting Vancouver girl who is always put together and well-spoken.
But what you probably don’t know about her is that she was brutally assaulted in two separate incidences at 18 and then again at 21, and went through a painstaking judicial process that eventually led to a guilty plea by both men. Because Devon always has a smile on her face and can find the humour in any situation, you probably also don’t know that she has over-come violence, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The startling reality is that 94% of people who experience sexual assault and rape do not come forward, let alone press charges. Devon is part the 6% who has. And on April 5, she will share her story and lessons learned in a presentation titled, “Talking Trauma, Transforming Truth” at TEDxKidsBC.
It takes courage to share your story. It takes strength to be vulnerable. Let’s congratulate and support Devon on this event that will inspire many.