My Prince Will Come…

My Prince Will Come…

As a child, I lived in my head a lot. My parents divorced when I was 4 years old and my sister was 2. When my father married my stepmother, she came along with a son from a previous marriage. At first, my sister and I only visited once per month on the weekends. Later we moved in full time and I went from being the oldest to the middle child. My younger sister was a tomboy, so she and my step brother rode motorcycles and climbed trees together, but I was too scared. My sister excelled at gymnastics and soccer while I was more into reading books and playing the piano. This is when my feeling left out and disconnected began. I Was Disconnected Two family members (not my dad) sexually abused me, and I developed eating disorders, which I now know is very common. So I disconnected more and more from my body. It felt like I was living inside my head, and my body seemed to belong to someone else. Since then I’ve learned that many sexual abuse survivors disconnect and leave their bodies as a way to protect themselves and survive. Fast forward through many years of drug abuse, drinking and unhealthy relationships (all driven by shame), I eventually did some healing work that led me to sobriety and onto the path of recovery. Thank you, Landmark Education and AA. Sometime during my 20s I’d learned to work out at the gym and the gift of being physical. I’d figured out that I needed 2 bras when I jogged. Jogging bras have come a long...
An Unprecedented Settlement: Pass It on

An Unprecedented Settlement: Pass It on

Landmark Case Ruling Regarding Sexual Assault and Death As an expert on sexual assault and alcohol awareness and prevention, I was really affected when I read about Audrie’s case. It is an unprecedented settlement for sexual assault survivors. Hearing about Audrie Pott’s suicide, which was linked to being assaulted and humiliated, was heartbreaking for me. The news fueled me to go out and preach prevention and sexual assault awareness more. I believe that losing a child as a parent has got to be one of the hardest things anyone ever has to go through. I cannot imagine the pain, especially when the loss could have been prevented. What saddens me most is that the suicide received lots of attention from the media, but there’s been little attention about the unprecedented settlement that just happened. Audrie’s Story Audrie was 15 years old when she was assaulted by three 16-year-old boys in an unsupervised house in Silicon Valley. After they assaulted her, they drew on her naked body with a felt tip pen and then documented their “trophy” on Facebook and sent the pictures out to other classmates. Disgusting. I am still trying to understand why anyone would think that this kind of behavior was ok. What was their thought process? What kind of brain thinks that that is ok? Did these three boys have any mental illnesses? I am not making fun of mental health issues, but I am trying to wrap my head around how this could have happened. As if the photos and bragging weren’t enough, the boys continued to harass her with texts and more shaming online...
Progress Not Perfection….

Progress Not Perfection….

I am so happy that colleges are doing more to educate and help prevent sexual assault. I truly am. It seems like more people and organizations are talking about sexual assault prevention and response attempting to educate more students everywhere. And in the recovery and therapy world, we always say that awareness is the first step. Acknowledging the problem, issue, or behavior we want/need to change is the start of it all. And then there is discussing the problem. This is an important step too. And it’s usually way more powerful to discuss issues in groups and get different opinions and theories. And it’s helpful to have each “side’ represented and have professionals too to guide the conversations. Many times there is a huge gap between knowledge and the study of something vs. real actual “street smarts” or experience. I know that many colleges have hosted “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” and that often times guys wear high heels in a parade or route around campus in order to raise awareness about date rape and sexual assaults. I admire their willingness to look goofy and be vulnerable. Great idea. And I have always thought highly of the Native American concept of Don’t judge anyone until you have walked a mile or a month in their shoes. But I have to wonder how much of these “Walks” make a difference. Do you think that seeing a bunch of guys walking around in heels helps with prevention? Again, I am not negating the walks. I am sure they create more awareness. But I also know how hard headed I was...
This DA Needs to Get a New Job…

This DA Needs to Get a New Job…

The story of a student named Anna, who was a sexual assault victim at Hobart and William Smith College, came out in the New York Times on July 13; and I am happy to say that this article sparked some changes for good. Not all of the people mentioned in the article and who were involved in the case seemed to have evolved or learned from their mistakes. In fact, the Ontario County district attorney, R. Michael Tantillo, who had closed the case without testing whether that seminal fluid matched the DNA of any of the accused, even after the victim had to pay for her own DNA rape kit to be processed by a private clinic, has refused to comment or admit any wrongdoing. When a reporter attempted to question Mr. Tantillo in a previous interview, regarding sexual assaults on college campuses, and in particular, the statistics and reports for Hobart and Williams Smith, he told the reporter: “I guess that’s your job to find out why.” Wow. What great work ethic. Boy am I glad that our tax dollars go to pay his salary. Where did we find this guy? And where can we send him? Another sad truth was the college’s investigation and lack of procedures and training. Not only did the panel investigate and dismiss the accused football players in a mere 12 days; (The football players went on to finish their season undefeated), but one of the panelists admitted that they did not know what a rape exam or rape kit was. Yet others claim that the panelists were trained for sexual assault reports...