OUR MISSION AND MOTIVATION

“You told me to speak up when something is wrong and look at what they are doing to me. They are attacking me, calling me a liar, isolating me.” These were my daughter’s words that have driven me to relentlessly advocate for her and eventually spearhead Let’s Speak Up, realizing that school officials have plagued our nation with mental health and underground practices to cover up misconduct and shield the schools from liability.

Our mission is not only being a voice for others, but equip everyone with tools, techniques, and resources to discover their own voice and use it to realize their dreams.

My name is Lea Wolf, and I’m the co-founder of Let’s Speak Up. I’m a social entrepreneur who’s taken on a wide range of projects all aimed at personal responsibility and empowerment.

My inspiration for Let’s Speak Up was sparked due to a disturbing personal experience in an elite private school, and during the infamous trial of Larry Nassar, in 2017. I couldn’t stop reading articles and watching the progress of the trial as the story unfolded. I couldn’t comprehend how victims were silenced even though they reported the offensive behavior to their parents, universities, police, and the FBI among other agencies. The pattern was clear. Victims who spoke out were attacked, discredited, ignored, and dismissed. I was perplexed.

Exploring the injustices on a local level brought my attention to these issues in all industries on a national scale. Allegations against Harvey Weinstein broke news headlines, with Jeffery Epstein and many more to follow.

It is happening everywhere, every day!  I was outraged.

Then, I wondered:

  • How could the entire system fail to protect children?
  • Why are offenders being protected while victims are silenced?

The Urge to Empower Victims 

In 2018, Let’s Speak Up was born. Our team was focused on educating, empowering, and advocating for victims’ rights and their well-being. We developed a web application where victims could anonymously report any misconduct or wrongdoing they had experienced. We became a strong voice for victims, receiving hundreds of complaints from across the country.

Understanding Offenders Impact

I realized that victims are not the only ones hurt by cover-up practices: offenders are equally harmed. While victims suffer from trauma, anxiety, and depression, offenders are denied a path to a behavioral corrective action plan.  Cover-ups legitimize the offender’s behavior to repeat their misconduct; this jeopardizes their emotional, mental, and physical freedom. Offenders live in shame, anxiety, and silence because the institution holds secrets surrounding their crime. Their situation is exacerbated when the irrefutable pattern is presented in court: the outcomes are devastating as offenders are subjected to a life rotting behind bars.

Then, I wondered:

  • What if offenders were held accountable from the onset?
  • What if Michigan State University had held Larry Nassar accountable from the onset?
  • What would have come of Jerry Sandusky’s life if he was offered proper treatment?

An In-depth Research

We began exploring recidivism rates in our juvenile and criminal justice systems. We discovered that rehabilitation significantly reduces rates of recidivism, notably in Scandinavian countries and the United States. We concluded that offenders are likely to stop perpetrating if they are held responsible from the onset. Engaging offenders in compassionate therapy and relevant projects would enable them to understand the impact of their behavior: this constructive method would abate their abusive conduct.

And then I wondered again:

  • What is the impact of cover ups on institutions?
  • What if organizations stopped misconduct before it become abusive?

Further research revealed that cover-ups are actually detrimental to the institutions themselves. Hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements result in financial demise, sometimes to the extent of bankruptcy. With this in mind, we realized that inspiring a culture that holds everyone accountable from the onset would benefit and protect all stakeholders. If everyone fulfilled their responsibility when the misconduct occurred, we could remedy misconduct cases in the short term and prevent abuse in the long term.  Breaking this cycle of abuse and coverups would restore trust and confidence in each affected party–with leaders and organizations included. Administrations are guaranteed protection only when they act in accordance with their fiduciary responsibility to their stakeholders. Adhering to policies and guidelines, they can avoid years of secrecy, legal chaos, and financial crisis.

And then we concluded: If everyone fulfilled their responsibility, then everyone will be protected! 

Our team resolved that the solution needs to be holistic. Technology without a change in culture is not enough. We extended our focus toward equipping victims, offenders, organizations, and communities with tools and techniques for corrective and constructive measures to take ownership and accountability for their actions to emerge stronger.

Our new vision became to educate all stakeholders of their responsibility to address misconduct constructively, compassionately and collaboratively. We created an AI algorithm that immediately links incidents with their severity to address complaints before they worsen and mitigate liability. We can only learn, work, and live when our world is safe and protected.

Join us to positively change organizational culture to prevent abuse and misconduct. Write to us at connect@letsspeakup.com.

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All the Let’s Speak Up projects were inspired by seeing the world from my daughter perpsective

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