I follow The National Center on Elder Abuse on Twitter

I follow 49 charities and organizations on Twitter to get a close-up view affecting the people and issues closest to me. The National Center on Elder Abuse is a great resource to learn the laws elders have and don’t have. Pressing issues like medical and housing concerns.  The NCEA provides the latest information regarding research, training, best practices, news and resources […]

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RAINN: Marissa’s Story

“When I speak authentically and truthfully about my experience, I have power. I am not going away.” Marissa Hoechstetter was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the OB-GYN she saw during her pregnancy, the delivery of her twin daughters, and follow-up appointments. The perpetrator was well-regarded in the field and was recommended to Marissa by a friend. At the time of the incidents, Marissa trusted her doctor’s treatment and was focused on making sure her pregnancy went well. “With medical professionals, there’s often a legitimate reason for why their hands are on your body. There’s a gray area and the minute you step into their office, they have power over you,” says Marissa. “Looking back, there were a lot of things that felt odd, but I was pregnant and focused on my babies and after all, this person was the uncle of a close friend of mine.” During one visit after her twins were born, Marissa recognized that the behavior crossed medical boundaries and knew immediately that something was wrong. “I felt it happen and froze. I never went back.” Despite continuing to feel for years that what had happened was wrong, Marissa chose not to report because she was immersed in being a new mother and found herself minimizing her own experience in comparison to other stories of sexual assault. “It just kept coming back to me how wrong it was, but I had one-year-old twins and was working full-time. I didn’t have the ability to […]

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RAINN.org Christa’s Story

Christa is a Survivor of Sexual Assault, her story is hard to read and yet she comes out on top. She was able to more forward and rebuild her life. She has the strength like many of you. She turned to RAINN.org for support. https://lookingforthelight.blog/2018/12/19/christas-story/   I support RAINN and want to share a postcard with the good news of […]

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Highway to Hell *Part 2*

Childhoods antics which landed my brother or me in trouble.  I have to start with my favorite story, you’ll get a better idea of who I am. At recess in third grade I told the teacher I HAD to go to bathroom. NO, go back and play. Back to teacher few minutes later I HAVE TO GO! You’re just saying […]

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Darkness Overcomes Me

I stand watching the darkness settle in. The black dog comes to torture me. Emotions, negative feelings left behind are brought out like dolls in a toy box.  I fight, fight hard not to fall in the abyss. Mask are taken out of their resting place, the mask are for me, which one will I need today. Lies and hurtful […]

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Sexual Assault of Men and Boys

Why doesn’t Sexual Assault of men and boys receive equal, mainstream media coverage as Women? We have to help change to allow healing. Sexual Assault does not discriminate! Joyful Heart Foundation partnered with 1 in 6 to create awareness and initiatives creating a safe environment to discuss trauma with peers. Please check out both organizations for support or how you can help volunteer today.  M […]

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About Me

I am a Survivor After years of therapy and my grandparents love, I was pulled from the abyss. I have a clear heart, no anger or self loathing. Not forgiving….forgetting, allowing me to move forward. Over the years, people brought sunshine into my life. I can’t thank them enough. You were like Angels dropping in when I needed a push or […]

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Why do men have so many eating disorders?

MEN”S HEALTH Chris Marvin had a secret morning ritual that he practiced in college. Sunlight creeping through drawn shades, he’d roll out of bed around 7 a.m. with a pounding head. After making sure his door was locked, he’d rummage through drawers and the depths of his mini fridge. Then, on a white marble desk that would have been pristine […]

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Definition of a “REAL MAN” is changing for the better

Last week, Joyful Heart released our latest research report, “Defining Manhood for the Next Generation: Exploring Young Men’s Perceptions of Gender Roles and Violence.” Funded by the Verizon Foundation and conducted by GfK Custom Research, the research examines young men and boys’ perceptions of norms around masculinity, gender equality, and sexual violence and the male role models who influence those views. The report is now available on our website; I hope you will read it and share it. The good news is young men surveyed in the study unanimously agree that “real men” treat women with respect. However, many young men agree with outdated and dangerous societal norms—and far too many of them refuse to push back against these norms. Changing these views about gender, gender roles, sex, and sexual assault present our biggest challenge to catalyzing a cultural shift. Men and boys play a critical role in the movement to end sexual and domestic violence. While deep cultural change cannot happen overnight, it cannot happen at all until young men stand against outdated, sexist beliefs about gender and violence. Over the next few months, Joyful Heart will use these findings to create educational materials promoting aspirational, authentic, and intersectional views of healthy masculinity. Best regards, Sarah Haacke Byrd Managing Director Joyful Heart Foundation

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Why kids and teens may face more anxiety far more these days

  By Amy Ellis Nutt Washington Post May 10 When it comes to treating anxiety in children and teens, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are the bane of therapists’ work. “With (social media), it’s all about the self-image — who’s ‘liking’ them, who’s watching them, who clicked on their picture,” said Marco Grados, associate professor of psychiatry and clinical director of child and […]

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June is LGBTQ Pride Month

June is LGBTQ Pride Month, when lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning people and their allies celebrate diversity, progress, and pride. This month, Joyful Heart reaffirms our support for survivors of all sexual orientations and gender identities or expressions. Sexual and domestic violence can happen in all different relationships and to anyone. Respecting survivors’ diverse identities and experiences is essential. Many survivors face obstacles when it comes to disclosing their experiences or seeking help. However, these hurdles can be amplified for LGBTQ survivors who fear being “outed” to their friends and families, or who fear being discriminated against in the legal, medical, or criminal justice systems. Throughout the month, we will share resources, including our blog post: 5 Facts About Sexual and Domestic Violence in LGBTQ Communities. It takes courage for a survivor of sexual or domestic violence to share their story with anyone. Never underestimate your power to affect the course of a survivor’s healing journey. With hope, Sarah Haacke Byrd Managing Director Joyful Heart Foundation

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