Fort Safety is a dream that became a reality. A dream that a father could honor the short life and legacy of his daughter by creating a charitable organization that planted seeds of hope where there is only fear, courage where there is only despair, and light where there is only darkness.
The idea for Fort Safety was the result of conflicting emotions being felt by John Winstanley during a turbulent time in his life:
Grief at the loss of his daughter Laura Gwen, but inspired to make her life matter. John was motivated to continue her legacy of changing lives for the better.
The frustration of watching his son, other children, adults, and marriages fall victim to online threats such as early and frequent exposure to pornography, cyberbullying, online infidelity, and other technology-born issues.
Anger at the fact that nobody was doing anything to protect kids and strengthen families while they are online. As John explains "It is like there is a blanket of silence covering up what we do, see, and feel online. Most families and their children are trying to struggle through the technology maze themselves, due to either lack of awareness or thinking that they are the only ones that are having difficulty with a particular issue. What Fort Safety does is peel back that layer of silence and helps communities create an Internet safety environment where a healthy tech balance exists."
With the support of his family, John quit his career as a civil engineer in 2013 to begin speaking and advising schools and faith communities about internet safety issues. Along the way, he met other parents, teachers, pastors, therapists, and technology professionals which shared Fort Safety’s vision and they joined the effort. With the help of these like-minded individuals and their resources, Fort Safety, Inc. became a registered 501c3 organization in 2017.
Since its inception, Fort Safety has impacted over 12,000 parents and families around the United States by providing internet safety workshops, conference talks, fundraisers, and being featured in multiple podcasts, radio, and TV shows.
This year the board announced a new goal of increasing the impact of Fort Safety to 28,800 individuals. Every month in Atlanta, Georgia, where Fort Safety is headquartered, 7,200 men buy children for sex, fueled by online pornography...28,800 is four times that amount.