April 30, 2013, For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Rev. Selena Fox, Executive Director, Lady Liberty League
Phone: (608) 924-2216
Lady Liberty League Update: Pagan Community helps Kyrja Withers
New Port Richey Florida – Pagan children’s books author Kyrja Withers has been the target of a series of attacks at her family home in New Port Richey, Florida. Over the past few months, anti-Pagan harassment has turned violent, causing property damage and threatening the family’s health and safety. At first, she was reluctant to enlist any help. However, as the situation escalated and news of this was shared, Kyrja and her family are receiving a growing outpouring of support from the Pagan community near and far.
"Whenever hate against Pagans surfaces, we need to work together to dispel it and to stand strong, collaborate, and support those who have been targeted," said Rev. Selena Fox, Executive Director of Lady Liberty League.
Over the past month, as news of Kyrja’s story spread, various Pagan organizations and individuals stepped up to offer their expertise and much-needed community assistance. These organizations included Lady Liberty League, Circle Sanctuary, the Officers of Avalon, Florida Pagan Newswire Collective, and Everglades Moon Local Council, the Florida chapter of Covenant of the Goddess. Along with others, these organizations collaborated with the single aim of ensuring the Withers' family safety and security.
“Here is yet another sign of how our community has matured and embraced the ethic that in these harassment situations, no matter the individual path, we are one community, united in defense our religious freedom,” said Peter Dybing, Security Specialist with Lady Liberty League and a member of Covenant of the Goddess
Last week, as part of his work with Lady Liberty League, Peter Dybing visited the Withers’ home, for three days. He conducted an extensive surveillance operation at the home to determine the most effective security measures. He scanned the area, interfaced with local law enforcement, and spoke directly with the family. Many of his recommendations have now been put into effect.
However, some of the recommendations were beyond the family’s personal budget. Therefore, on Sunday, April 28, Kyrja began a crowd-funding Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds needed to implement some of these final security recommendations. In less than two days, she managed to raise the needed $1,100 to purchase the recommended security equipment. This successful campaign is yet another way that the Pagan community has “united in defense of religious freedom.” Kyrja thanks everyone for this and other support.
The Lady Liberty League is continuing to stay in touch with local law enforcement as they work on this case. So far, law enforcement’s proactive involvement has contributed greatly to a reduction in the incidents of harassment. In addition, the New Port Richey police are providing additional security assets during the entire investigation, and one of their police cars is now parked directly in front of the Withers’ home.
To date, media coverage has helped Kyrja and her family. Within the Pagan community, sharing of her story has helped to rally individuals and organizations, to bring in needed funds, and to network for expertise and assistance. The story also has found its way into the local mainstream press including Suncoast News (April 26), New Port Richey’s Patch.com (April 22) and WFTS television ABC Action News (April 29). With input from a local police detective and Lady Liberty League media advisors, these news reports have pointed out the alleged civil rights violations of this case.
"Kyrja, Randy, myself and the Lady Liberty League team are all thankful for the help of law enforcement, local media, and others in addressing the anti-Pagan harassment and attacks against the Withers. We appreciate the wonderful outpouring of support of Pagans, Pagan organizations, neighbors, and others from the area and beyond." said Rev. Selena Fox
Selena is continuing to provide phone call support and strategy planning with Kyrja and her husband Randy just as she has been doing throughout. She, Peter, and others working with Lady Liberty League are continuing to be available to the New Port Richey police department and local media as needed.
Here are some ways to help support for Kyjra and her family:
- Express support for the Withers and for religious freedom in the comments sections of blogs, news sites, and other places reporting on this situation.
- Express appreciation to media who have done a good job reporting on the case.
- Send blessings of protection, security, peace, joy, and well-being to Kryja and Randy Withers, their family, and their home through meditations, prayers, and rituals.
- Send well-wishes to Kyrja as she seeks to resume work on her Rupert Tales books, internet television show, charity projects, and other endeavors. More info: http://www.friends-of-rupert.webs.com
- Share this update with others who may be interested in helping.
For more info and additional updates, connect with Lady Liberty League:
LLL, PO Box 9, Barneveld, WI 53507 USA * (608) 924-2216