RAINN Stands with LGBTQ Survivors

RAINN Newsletter JUN 03, 2019   Each June, communities and individuals around the world recognize pride month—a joyful celebration of all genders and sexualities as well as a solemn reminder of the difficulties many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people continue to face. Sexual violence is an issue that affects all people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. LGBTQ […]

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Survivor & So Much More *First Posted 4/21/2014*

I am alive, happy, productive and helping other Survivors. I’m very blessed. My childhood and teenage years were so difficult I truly believed suicide was the only answer. My first attempt was at 9 years old, I took all the pills in my dad’s medicine cabinet. I got a buzz then my stomach pumped. Suicide was always on my mind since the abuse was every day. If it wasn’t physical abuse, it was constant mental abuse by my mother. At the same time, I saw my mother physically and emotionally abused by my alcoholic stepfather. At 13 years old I left my abusive life behind. It sounds great but you are so wounded you don’t want to look anyone in the eye, they may hit you or call you names. My mind stripped down and filled with trash, my mother took every drop of confidence I had. Over time my confidence grew and I started building who I am today. I did get called names and had a couple good fights. Sounds like any teenager trying to spread their wings. I have many unresolved emotions, responses, and fears. Who doesn’t? What I can say for sure, I’m a survivor and so much more. Survivors have to dig really deep after being kicked down. It took years for me to discover what I liked and longer to get over my fear of failure. My mother told me I was stupid all the time. I know better […]

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Being Bullied Thru Junior High

I was always the odd kid out, didn’t make friends easy, would only have one friend at a time, lied to get attention and cut myself to see who cared. When you’re abused as a child you keep your world silent, I told no one, that’s the key reason I didn’t want to have friends. My step-father was a drunk […]

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How to change your relationship with food — and stop eating your feelings

Ideas.Ted.Com Mar 4, 2019 / Daryl Chen   Jenice Kim Here are three common-sense tips to help you feed your hunger and not your emotions, from dietician Eve Lahijani. This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from someone in the TED community. To see all the posts, go here. Imagine if eating were as simple as, say, refueling a car. You’d fill up only when an indicator nudged towards E, you couldn’t possibly overdo it or else your tank would overflow, and you’d never, ever dream of using it as a treat. Instead, for many of us, eating is anything but straightforward. What starts out as a biological necessity quickly gets entangled with different emotions, ideas, memories and rituals. Food takes on all kinds of meanings — as solace, punishment, appeasement, celebration, obligation – and depending on the day and our mood, we may end up overeating, undereating or eating unwisely. It’s time for us to rethink our relationship with food, says Eve Lahijani, a Los Angeles-based dietician and a nutrition health educator at UCLA. She offers three common-sense steps to help get there. 1. Reconnect with your hunger. So many things drive us to eat — it’s noon and that means lunchtime, it’s midnight and that means snack time, we’re happy, we’re anxious, we’d rather not bring home leftovers, we’re too polite to say […]

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7 Signs You Have An Intense Emotional Bond With A Toxic Person

Bustle By KRISTINE FELLIZAR When you’re in an unhealthy relationship, the best and obvious thing for you to do is leave. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. If you’re in a trauma bond, therapists say it will make leaving that situation even harder “A trauma bond is an intense emotional bond between people that usually forms as a result of a toxic or abusive dynamic,” Samantha Waldman, MHC, an NYC-based therapist who specializes in trauma and relationships, tells Bustle. A past history of abuse or exposure to it can make a person more likely to form trauma bonds. For instance, people who experienced some form of neglect or abuse from childhood may normalize this behavior as an adult because it’s what they “learned.” As Dr. Connie Omari, clinician and owner of Tech Talk Therapy, tells Bustle, trauma bonding includes the tendency for a person to connect with others based off the needs of their own traumatic experiences. “Because trauma involves some unmet emotional or psychological need, the relationship serves as a way to meet this need, even when it’s not done so appropriately,” she says. “It looks very dysfunctional and typically includes one or more forms of abuse.” These bonds aren’t limited to romantic relationships. You can form a trauma bond with friends, family members, and even co-workers. When you’re in a trauma bond, you’ll find yourself continually drawn to someone even though they cause you significant pain. It’s […]

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1 in 6 Special Message From Anthony Edwards

Dear 1in6 Family, I wanted to take a moment and send a personal note to share a powerful and moving experience from this past week. On Wednesday, I had the incredible honor of joining an audience of survivors of sexual abuse, as well as others whose lives have been impacted, for a special screening of the two-part documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which will premiere this Sunday, March 3rd and Monday the 4th on HBO. The documentary introduces two incredible men, both survivors of sexual abuse, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. As a leading national organization helping male-identifying survivors of sexual abuse and assault, 1in6 both provided feedback to HBO on the effect of airing this powerful documentary, and recommended resources for survivors. Through this relationship, 1in6 was invited to participate in the taping of a television special, “Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland,” immediately following the screening. As many television specials do, it all came together in a matter of days. Matthew Ennis, 1in6 President & Chief Executive Officer, reached out and asked if I would briefly share my story with Oprah and the audience. A short time later, Matthew and I joined over 150 fellow survivors and their guests in a theatre near New York’s Times Square for the taping. The cavernous room was filled with a positive energy I will not soon forget. Oprah, who has been a lifelong supporter of survivors and the complexities of their stories, brought us all together for an honest and probing discussion of abuse. […]

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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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Nacional Online de Asalto Sexual

La Línea de Ayuda Nacional Online de Asalto Sexual Gratis. Confidencial. Segura. Chat AhoraLa Sala De AyudaLlame al 800.656.4673 La Sala de Ayuda Converse con otros sobrevivientes del asalto sexual en un espacio seguro y confidencial entre las 7 p.m a 9 p.m. tiempo del este, todos los Miércoles y Sábado. Línea de Ayuda Online RAINN ofrece apoyo gratuito las 24 horas al día, 7 días por semana para los sobrevivientes de la violencia sexual y sus seres queridos. ¿Cómo es el consentimiento? – Cuando usted está comenzando una relación sexual, el consentimiento se trata de la comunicación. Y se la debe tener cada vez. ¿Qué es un kit para casos de violación? – La evidencia de ADN en un crimen como del asalto sexual, se puede recolectar en el lugar de los hechos, pero además se puede recolectar de su cuerpo, su ropa y otros artículos personales. Planificación de la seguridad – La planificación de la seguridad se trata de pensar en las formas que puede permanecer segura(o) lo cual también puede disminuir el riesgo de perjuicios en el futuro. Consejos para los sobrevivientes sobre los medios – Los medios de comunicación pueden ser una gran herramienta para aumentar la concientización pública sobre la violencia sexual, pero también pueden presentar retos para algunos sobrevivientes. Después de un asalto/abuso sexual – Es difícil saber qué hacer, qué sentir y cuáles son sus opciones después de un abuso sexual. Ayúdele a ese ser querido – No siempre es fácil saber qué decir […]

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Guilty Verdict in Cosby Trail is a Victory for Survivors

PUBLIC POLICY SEXUAL ASSAULT Guilty Verdict in Cosby Trial is a Victory for Survivors APR 30, 2018 Following years of allegations of sexual assault, Bill Cosby has been found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault against Andrea Constand. The trial included testimony from five of Cosby’s victims, in addition to Constand. In an amicus brief filed in the case, […]

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RAINN: Effects of Trauma on Mental Health

SEXUAL ASSAULT Effects of Trauma on Mental Health “Every survivor’s healing journey is unique and it’s crucial that we’re aware of the effects trauma can have on mental health,” said Keeli Sorensen, vice president of victim services at RAINN. “It’s time to start speaking openly about mental health concerns, and dismantle the environment of shame, fear, and silence that too often prevents […]

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Interview With Christine Clayfield Author Of “No Forth River”

I’m trilled to take part in the Blog Tour for Christine Clayfield’s first novel “No Fourth River”. Christine its great to talk with you this morning. Let’s jump in. Your novel “No Fourth River” is incredibly personal. Starting with the brutal abuse from your father to all the siblings. What convinced you now was the right time to write your story? There are four influencing factors that made me decide to write my story. 1) My husband and daughters kept telling me, over the years, that I should write a book about my life. 2) I don’t usually share my story with others. However, sometimes when I unintentionally mention things from my past, people are intrigued. They want to know more about my life. I’ve often been told that I should write a book because my struggles would resonate with others and my life story could be an inspiration. 3) I had been jotting down ideas for a while but never started to write. When I collected enough courage to speak on stage, people often burst into tears during my speech. They came up to me after my speech to thank me for sharing my story and to tell me how inspired they were. That moment was when I decided to write my life story. I didn’t realize until then that my life story was an inspiration to others.  Very shortly after that, I started writing No Fourth River. I transformed my life and I […]

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I Am a Kid and Something Happened

Presented by RAINN I Am a Kid and Something Happened Tell Someone. If somebody touches you in a way you don’t like or touches an area covered by a bathing suit, tell someone you trust. Say no. If somebody wants to hug you, kiss you, or touch your body, you can always tell them no. It’s not OK for ANYONE to touch […]

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RAINN: Stalking Awareness Month

  Stalking When you learn more about stalking behaviors, you’re more likely to notice them before they escalate, and you can take steps to protect yourself. If you discover you are being stalked—either in-person, online, or via technology—it can be unsettling and even dangerous. Consider taking steps to protect yourself or involve an authority figure who can help you. What is stalking? […]

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RAINN: Danyol’s Story

RAPE, ABUSE, INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK 800.656.HOPE (4673) LIVE CHAT “I just want people to know that they don’t have to be afraid of their truth. Your truth is important, your truth is needed.”  Danyol Jaye was sexually abused and raped repeatedly by his older cousin between the ages of 7 and 10. The cousin enabled multiple perpetrator sexual assault when […]

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9 Pieces of Practical Advice about Bullying

IDEAS.TED.COM Oct 25, 2017 / Rebekah Barnett A teacher, psychologist, crisis-line supervisor and others share their suggestions for what you can do. Bullying knows no borders — it occurs in every country in the world — and its impact can last long after the incidents end. For National Bullying Prevention Month, we asked people from the TED community who have […]

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Change.org: Restore the Rights to Rape Victims

Change.org Impeach Judge Gregory S. Ross and restore the rights to rape victims.  Christopher Mirasolo, 27, was convicted of raping a 12 year old girl and two other girls, 13 and 15 in 2008. Mirasolo was sentenced to one year in the county jail but only served six and a half months before early release to care for his sick mother. In March 2010 Mirasolo committed a sex assault on a victim between the ages of 13 and 15 years old. He served four years for this offense. The 12 year old girl he raped in 2008 got pregnant due to being raped and Mirasolo is now seeking joint custody. THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE! The judge not only is granting custody, but he disclosed the victim’s address and forced Mirasolo’s name to be on the birth certificate of her now eight year old son WITHOUT HER CONSENT.  This judge needs to be removed from the bench and this victim needs to have herself and her young son protected from this monster. HE IS A PEDOPHILE and a CONVICTED RAPIST! This all began because the victim had applied for government assistance and the prosecutor forced a paternity test. Judge Ross did NOT have to compel custody without the rape victim’s consent. Under the Child Custody Act, he could have compelled Mirasolo to pay support without giving custody. Read more here: http://www.eclectablog.com/2017/10/judge-who-awarded-michigan-rapist-joint-custody-with-the-woman-he-raped-as-a-child-had-other-options.html This young girl chose to protect her unborn child and now Judge Ross […]

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Children’s Bureau: Law and Policies

Laws & Policies Listen The Children’s Bureau provides guidance to states, tribes, child welfare agencies, and more on the complex and varied federal laws as they relate to child welfare. What’s New in Laws & Policies This page provides resources and information about new federal legislation, regulations, and Children’s Bureau policies. Child Welfare Policy Manual The Child Welfare Policy Manual […]

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Teen who says Anthony Weiner sexted her shows her face for first time

The teenager whose online relationship with Anthony Weiner threw Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign into a tailspin is revealing her face for the first time. In an interview that will air in full on Monday, the teenager told Inside Edition how quickly the messages she exchanged with the disgraced New York congressman turned lurid. Read: Sydney Leathers Weighs In on Weiner’s Latest Scandal: ‘He’s Quite the Egomaniac’ […]

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Police say Delaware man raped girl 250 times over 5 years

Dreamtime-header tree

Delaware police say a man repeatedly raped the same girl 250 times over the course of five years. 41-year-old Richard White Jr. was recently indicted on 11 counts of second-degree rape, four counts of sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child porn. Police detail that the raping started back in 2012. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/09/08/police-say-delaware-man-raped-girl-250-times-over-5-years/23201925/

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Paterno knew about Sandusky’s child sex abuse before 2001: report

What did Joe Paterno know and when did he know it? According to an explosive new CNN report published Saturday, the legendary ex-Penn State football coach may have known about Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young boys years before Sandusky’s 2011 arrest. CNN obtained a Pennslyvania police report that described Paterno’s reaction to whistleblower Mike McQueary showing up in his […]

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Sincerely, X Audio Podcast Episode 8

SINCERELY, X AUDIO PODCAST This week on Sincerely, X, a podcast from TED and Audible where speakers share ideas anonymously. Episode 8 features a woman whose bravery after a devastating assault allowed her to reclaim her own personal power. Available now on Apple Podcasts, the TED Android app, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Honor Killing? Father Murders Own Daughter For Taking Muslim

Universal Life Church <newsletter@themonastery.org> Father Murders Daughter: “Honor Killing” Sends Shockwaves Through Community It’s a deeply painful personal answer based on religion. There is no one answer. Was this a case of Domestic Violence or Honor Killing. We are a diverse World. We have to make decisions based on our religious beliefs and know there is another view. What should his punishment be? https://www.themonastery.org/blog/2017/07/honor-killing-father-murders-own-daughter-for-taking-muslim-boyfriend/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Father+Murders+Daughter%3A+%22Honor+Killing%22+Sends+Shockwaves+Through+Community&utm_campaign=Aug+2nd+2017

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Male Child Sexual Abuse and Homosexual Confusion

Blogging started as a coping mechanism to grieve my Granny. Spending years writing about how my grandparents unconditional love saved me from myself. Before long my post centered more around my traumatic background, it was seamless not a conscious decision. I have learned everyone’s trauma is different, even when they appear the same. I knew nothing of men’s sexual abuse. Five years ago I met several male friends who were sexually assaulted as children and adults. None of my traumatic experiences prepared me for how different boy’s and men process sexual assault. To all the Men Survivors of Sexual Assault, please know you are loved and supported by those without understanding the pain and trauma inside. You are loved for who you are. I found this video on YouTube by Mark Sanford. I don’t know him and not endorsing in any way. I am acknowledging his trauma, the pain and deep emotional suffering he went thru. Honestly, I don’t know if the video will help anyone. Please know I’m committed to learning all I can about Male Sexual Assault because I care. I know the pain of dragging the self-hatred around for years. If the video is crap please tell me, I learn from feedback. Share what’s helpful, thought-provoking or out of left field. I’ve been asked to write for Men’s Movement, http://www.mensmovement.com  an organization supporting men’s mental health and personal development. Please check out their site. Soon to come a […]

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Unconditional Love-The Sacrifices Never End

My grandparents loved me unconditionally with words, most importantly their actions. They saw the effects of abuse and neglect from a distance, I never said anything or make accusations. Granny spent extra time with me, giving me a long bath, washing my hair, scrubbing dirty feet, knees and elbows. She pampered me with few words spoken. She had the ritual, after drying off and hair not dripping she would wrap me in the towel, carry me to the bed, put baby powder on me then tell what a cute and funny/beautiful/any compliment I could comprehend at the age. Granny knew I was dead inside from years of abuse, she never spoke bad of my mother even though tormented by my pain  My grandparents made sacrifices until God deemed the time was right. My music teacher called me into the hall and would not accept my explanation for the bruises all over the my face. She asked me go to the Counselors office, I begged you don’t understand saying anything only makes it worse for me. I arrive in Counselor’s office, asking to call my Granny. I told her everything, she had seen the bruises, my underarms bruised and bleeding from my mothers stabbed finger nails. Some of the most traumatic years followed. God knew when the time was right, at 12 yrs old my grandparents received full custody. It came with one condition, giving the Sate of Texas custody for one year for […]

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Michigan State : Three Football Players Face Charges & Coach Fired in Sexual Assault Case.

Timeline of key events in Michigan State football Sexual Assault investigation Michigan State football players Donnie Corley, Josh King and Demetric Vance have been charged in connection to a sexual assault investigation and a staff member. In the same investigation. Auston Robertson has also been charged with criminal sexual conduct in a separate case. Here’s the latest on how this story has evolved. http://www.mlive.com/spartans/index.ssf/2017/06/michigan_states_donnie_corley_1.html#incart_most-read_news_article Xx M

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I keep Moving Forward: *Not allowing My past to Chart the Future*

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”    Maya Angelo I am a Survivor My grandparents unconditional love pulled me from the abyss. After years of Therapy, I have a clear heart, no anger or self loathing. Not forgiving….forgetting, to allow myself to move forward. Over the years, people brought sunshine into my life. You were like Angels dropping in when I needed a push or pat on back. My mother and stepfather physically and emotionally abused me until 12 years old. My stepfather beat my mother almost daily starting with hitting her head side to side down the hallway, the hallway ended at my room. Everyone in the house lived in hell, I got an extra dose. As a small girl, I dreamed my father would save me from the traumatic abuse. The dream was over, he started sexually abusing me as a child. It was innocent at first or so it seemed. At 12 years old I moved to my father’s. It’s impossible to wrap your head around sexual abuse at any age. In 1992 my father committed suicide. Estranged since my teens, we talked several times before his death. He called delusional and paranoid. Saying someone was tapping his phone. He told me about committing suicide, I told no one. The news devastated Granny her only child was dead. With a closed casket service it’s hard to reconcile death when you can’t […]

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Caregiver Tip #1, Books that Saved My Sanity

  Our population is in a large up swing as “Baby Boomers” reach Social Security age which indicates the potential increased need for Caregivers. There are many stages the elderly and dying go through until  death. The books below helped me maneuver the invisible line we have to cross based on their capabilities. ” Each of the books made a profound difference in understanding which I needed Actions I needed to potentially help with and understand the root cause of certain actions. I found with my Grannys the time frame was at breakneck speed due to her Dementia. With my Gramps we had more time together and for him to participate in his affairs which caused conflict as we transitioned over to me making decisions. The 36 hour day by Nancy L. Mace & Peter V. Rabins Elder Rage or Take My Father Please !, How to Survive Caring For Aging Parents by Jacqueline Marcell The Savvy Senior, The Ultimate Guide to Health, Family, and Finances for Senior Citizens by Jim Miller The Complete Eldercare Planner by Joy Loverde I hope one of the books or all help you if you find yourself at a crossroad. Xx M

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Throw Back Thursday * Arthur James Recovery Strikes a Cord*

Survivors get up brush of the toxic waste and move forward. I have talked to hundreds of people over the years, one element I notice is everyone has a concept of Survival yet they are still carrying around the baggage of the trauma and may not realize their toxic Survivors work thru the issue and take another step? Are you carrying around all the baggage, all the toxic waste thrown at us? Look straight ahead, are you moving forward Xx  M  

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Everyone Suffers in Abusive Household

Original post 3/2014 Everyone suffers in an abusive environment. Our house was always in chaos. An alcoholic stepfather who abused my mother and a mother who abused her daughter. There were three other children in the house who saw the abuse, heard the screams and threats. I used to think the victim was the only person with scars. At 9 years old I survived almost daily beatings by taking drugs, plenty of alcohol and trying to kill myself. It never occurred to me my brother suffered from witnessing the abuse. My brother’s scars are from seeing our stepfather beat our mother. Dragging her down the hall beating her head from side to side. Putting a knife to her throat saying he would kill her. Most of their fights ending in front of our bedrooms. We had front row seats to hell. My mother abused me, the methods escalated as I aged. I heard stories of abuse as early as six months old. I don’t think my mother was trying to kill me. She’s like the women on the news who allow their kids to die. She didn’t push my head under the water but would have crocodile tears if I drowned accidentally. One weekend driving back from Houston we passed the exit to my mother’s house. I had strong emotions about my brother not me. I didn’t understand the emotions. It hit me like a train, my brother was not […]

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CDC Provides School Violence Resources

A Division of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Injury Prevention & Control : Division of Violence Prevention Published August 2016 Resource links updated August 2016 Edwin R. Gerler, Ed.D., North Carolina State University In the United States, an estimated 50 million students are enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Another 15 million students attend colleges and universities across the country. While U.S. schools remain relatively safe, any amount of violence is unacceptable. Parents, teachers, and administrators expect schools to be safe havens of learning. Acts of violence can disrupt the learning process and have a negative effect on students, the school, and the broader community. Much of the information contained in this document can be located at http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/schoolviolence/   https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/practice-briefs/articles/school-violence   Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention

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Throw Back Thursday *Let’s Rock Steady*

My heart overflows with joy for the kind words and comments on my photos. I have a long  way to improve my skills, it’s a hobby. Some days my hands shaking which make writing impossible. I have more photos of Australia, Tokyo, Russia, Yosemite National Park and under water wreck diving. The deep dives are dark and less colorful, the scenery  is the nooks and crannies of the wreck. Deep water diving is a blast.

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Mother leaves 8 year old at County Hospital

Original post 6/2014 It’s interesting the events our mind suppresses until memories spring back like yesterday. I have no emotion talking about the physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother and step father. I have disassociated memories of sexual abuse by my father. I know it. My therapist and I have talked about it, she doesn’t push and knows if the door opens I’ll talk. What I will not do is force my mind and body to endure pain it’s not ready for. I have a good perspective on what I’ve survived and the methods our mind uses to deal with our deepest pain. I’m not sure if this particular memory was forgotten or suppressed. I had no emotion as my therapist was almost brought to tears. I saw a news story about a 8-year-old girl tortured by parents, beaten, starved and chained to a column on porch left for dead. The imagine seared into my mind and did not let go. I sat down in the Therapist lobby and the memory of the little girl crossed my mind. As we walk to her office, I ask if she had heard the story then adding my thoughts. I started to cry which I do easily for others in pain. As we talked about what type of parent would do that, a childhood memory flooded over me. The tears dried as if was talking about someone else. When I […]

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How Many Untested Rape Kits Does Your State Have?

Advocates For Sexual Assault Who Drive Change End The Backlog is a program of Joyful Heart Foundation, a national non-profit organization founded by actress and activist Mariska Hargitay with the mission to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever. Over the years, however, we have begun to see progress. Increasingly, states and local jurisdictions are beginning to recognize the value of testing rape kits. They are starting to count, track and test the untested kits in their facilities, and they’re seeing powerful result.  What do we know about the rape kit backlog & what’s being done to end it. Explore our interactive map: http://www.endthebacklog.org For example, in New York City, where there had been a backlog of 17,000 untested rape kits before eliminated in 2003, city and law enforcement officials enacted a policy and developed a system to test every rape kit. The city’s arrest rate for rape has since jumped from 40% to 70%.”Joyful Heart now provides us with expertise, guidance and a national perspective. They are helping to find ways to secure the funds needed to test the remaining kits and ensuring that all efforts to end this atrocity, is an important project under the direction of Joyful Heart foundation. – Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor The federal government estimates that hundreds of thousands of rape kits sit untested in police and crime lab storage facilities across the […]

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Happy Birthday Daddy

Today would be your 76 birthday, there are a few things to say. I don’t know if you were with God in your final hours. I can’t assume you asked for forgiveness, I can’t assume you’re in Heaven. Granny and Gramps went to their graves not knowing the pain you inflicted on me. Granny would breakdown, I would not cause her such pain. You told me several times you were going to kill yourself, I didn’t doubt. I chose to keep the information to myself. Granny was never the same after taking your life. You called delusional, hallucinationing your phone was tapped. I found the cassettes, listened to every one, it’s sad where the mind can take us. I have an idea how difficult it must have been living with a delusional mind. Years soften the memories and pain, time doesn’t mean forgiveness. I choose to move forward building a healthy life. I’ve forgotten those times, their packed away, never to share. Your son doesn’t have recollections of the worst times, he hardly knew you, you two didn’t spend much time. He knows nothing of my pain, like granny, he will go to his grave knowing none. I talked with your half-brother Michael last year, he had photos and fond memories of you, the times you shared. Thru him I learned your side of the family suffered from depression for generations back. Until next year Melinda

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Chelsea Manning may receive Nine Years added to her 35 year sentence

URGENT PLEASE READ NEW CHARGES AGAINST CHELSEA MANNING At this time, Chelsea Manning is not receiving adequate Psychological Counseling. Chelsea is a Trans being forced to serve out her sentence in an ALL-MALE Maximum Security Prison. Although Chelsea tries to stay focus on her writing and advocacy, being a woman in an all-male prison is dehumanizing and exhausting emotionally, according to ACLU. The post in long but worth reading, someday it could be you. The next post is short.    Outraged,  Melinda    Chelsea Manning faces new charges, indefinite solitary confinement, related to suicide attempt Posted 17:08 EDT on July 28, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 28, 2016 Contact: Christina DiPasquale, christina@balestramedia.com, 202.716.1953   U.S government has systematically abused imprisoned whistleblower, continues to deny access to gender related health care LEAVENWORTH, KS––Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning reported to attorneys and friends that she received a document from Army officials today informing her that she is being investigated for serious new charges related to her July 5th, 2016 attempt to take her own life. If convicted of these bizarre “administrative offenses,” she could be placed in indefinite solitary confinement for the remainder of her sentence. Chelsea has been systematically mistreated by the U.S. government since she was first taken into custody in 2010, including long stretches of solitary confinement (which the UN considers to be a form of torture), which she was subjected to for 9 months, even before she had ever been […]

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US Government abusing Whistleblower Chelsea Manning, Columnist for The Guardian

Urgent Please Read, Chelsea Manning needs your help Please read the critical information on Chelsea Manning, the Whistleblower who uncovered some of the Governments worst abuses. Chelsea is a Transgender woman being forced to serve out her sentence in an all-male prisonI have two additional post on Chelsea Manning including the Charge Sheet The Military Police Investigators. The additional charges are related to Chelsea trying to commit suicide on July 5, 2016. The organizations Fight For The Future and ACLU are urgently working to inform the public.      Outraged,  Melinda  URGENT: The U.S. government systematically abused whistleblower Chelsea Manning until she tried to take her own life. Now they’re trying to charge her for it. Sign the petition to stop this inhumane punishment. After years of extreme mistreatment, having been held in conditions that the UN considers to be torture, Chelsea Manning, the Guardian columnist and whistleblower who has been in prison for years serving a 35 year sentence for exposing some of the U.S. government’s worst abuses, attempted to take her own life July 5th, 2016. Now, Army officials have informed her that she is facing serious new charges directly related to her suicide attempt. This is an outrage. Click here to sign the petition telling the government not to charge Chelsea Manning with a crime for her own suicide attempt. Chelsea called supporters on the phone to inform us of the new charges. They include: 1) Resisting the […]

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A Mother’s Guilt

      Daughter My Birthday wish for You I hope that every candle brings a new wish. I hope the Smile that lights your face stays there all year-long. I hope everything  you’ve dreamed it will come true. I hope you know how much I love You and how proud I am of you. Happy Birthday With So Much Love. Card from my Mother You can’t give back what you took from my life. Xx  M

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Twenty Minutes of Rape

Information provided by RAINN SHARE THIS ARTICLE: Twenty Minutes of Rape June 22, 2016 “I so admire this woman, who had the guts to expose what she is going through and share it with the world.” Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) offered these thoughts on a night when a bipartisan group of 18 members of Congress stood in solidarity, each reading parts of a victim impact statement written by the survivor of a brutal sexual assault that occurred on Stanford University’s campus in 2014. The story has resonated around the world. In March of 2016, 20-year-old Brock Turner was convicted of three felony counts: sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object; sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object; and assault with an intent to commit rape. Despite the finding of guilt and the brutal details of the crime—which involved a college party, an incapacitated and unconscious victim, and bystanders intervening when they discovered the victim behind a dumpster not far from campus—Judge Aaron Perksy decided to impose a sentence of only six months. This sentence was far less than the six years recommended by prosecutors, and only one-quarter of the normal two-year minimum sentence. Persky avoided minimum sentence by finding that “unusual circumstances” existed. The short sentence shocked many, as did a statement written by the perpetrator’s father defending his son’s “20 minutes of action.” Bringing national attention to the case, CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield spent more […]

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Lyme: Falling Hazards for the Fearless.

Growing up with four bothers, I was a fearless tomboy. At 12 years old I was crowned with braces. After a few pops in the mouth my football career was over. Good childhood memories. Chronic Lyme Diseases affects everyone different, my parasites settled  into my brain. The first sign was the lack of balance. Think about the walk taken after getting pulling over for intoxication. I could take 2-3 steps at most with eyes closed. I have continued to have balance and common sense my husband would say. The clouds mingled as a storm moved in.Vibrant orange, pinks and every shade of blue. While he walked the dogs, I stood on the hot tub taking photos. Hours after the rain, I noticed a large earthworm on the storm door. My mission was to save the earthworm. If I bend below the knees, I’m going down. I diligently dug a hole in the dirt with one knee holding me up.David came running outside just in time for a glorious Circus tryout.. I fell down two bricks stairs, grabbing a landscape light on the way down it stabs me in the stomach. Then a loud crack as my head hit a stone brick. I was stunned and wanted to cry. No time for crying, he is yelling to see if conscious while trying to maneuver me from under patio table. It was time for me to sit and find my legs and damage done […]

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Brock Turner Gets Six Month Jail Sentence For Sexual Assulting Unconscious Woman..Rape is Rape

I’m sick to my stomach after reading how Brock Turner serves only six months in jail for Raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. If you think raping is okay, you need help. The Judge is accountable for the low jail sentence.  Rape is Rape.  Xx  M The Stanford Survivor Has a Name. It’s “My Hero.” JUNE 10, 2016 | BY MAILE ZAMBUTO | FILED UNDER JHF BLOG > OUR ISSUES SEXUAL ASSAULT IN OUR WORDS FROM THE CEO I first learned about Brock Allen Turner’s sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on the Stanford University campus at the time everyone else did: last weekend. As the coverage was unfolding, I was with Mariska, members of our Joyful Heart Foundation staff and volunteers filming a local series of our NO MORE PSAs for Hawai‘i Says NO MORE. From morning into the night, we gathered at the Hawaii News Now studios in Honolulu and what we saw during the filming was brave, strong, and compassionate person after person, standing up for each other, for the people they love, for their partners, wives, husbands, children, neighbors, friends, mothers, and fathers, for people they’ve never met, for themselves. They were standing up to say NO MORE to the beliefs and attitudes that misplace blame on survivors, excuse those who cause harm, and allow institutions to look the other way. And outside of that room, the same thing was happening. […]

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Child Marriages, life of beatings and Sexual Assault by husband

  When I was 14 years old, I was kidnapped for a marriage to a much older man, as depicted in the film Difret. On the day I was abducted, I was raped by my would be “husband.” I knew I had to fight back and escape the first chance I got. I was taken to a hut and locked up. When I received another visit from my abductors I saw my chance. When he was suddenly called away, he left his gun leaning against the wall and the door unlocked. My father had taught me how to fire a gun, so I took it and ran. When he and his friends chased me, I shot him. It was the most terrifying, horrible ordeal of my entire life — and I’m one of the lucky ones. I was accused of murder and after 2 years in the courts, the judge ruled that it was, in fact, self-defense. My trial led to a re-examination of this tradition and the Ethiopian government is now working to end child marriage and female genital cutting by 2025. In addition, the African Union recently launched a campaign to end child marriage across the continent. I am now dedicating my life to working on this issue and to give voice to the screams of unheard rural women and girls. I don’t want to see the same story happen to any more girls. And yet, it still is. […]

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Robert Goldstein Awarded Me Versatile Blogger Award

WOW! Mission Control we landed without to many Starbucks stops. I’m thrilled to receive The Versatile Blogger Award from Robert Goldstein at http://www.robertmgoldstein.com. Robert is a generous spirit. Thank you for choosing my blog worthy of The Versatile Award. Robert has a mental illness called DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder. He is open about the struggles he face. He is a strong advocate for Mental Illness, the treatment patients receive at medical health facilities. Please check out his site, which includes artwork, short stories and Advocacy work. He’s an all around great guy. He always has my back! The rules for receiving Versatile Blogger Award  Thank the person who nominated you Display award Tell 7 things about yourself Nominate  Bloggers who are worthy Tell us 7 things about yourself Buy old cameras I’m a MAC/Apple lover Passion for Photography Collect old leather books I’m afraid a snake will bite me when I go in to garage Cleaning Gramps pieces and parts, old mechanical item. Organized Nominate 10 Bloggers https://apatientvoice.com https://piecesofbipolar.wordpress.com http://www.Hypervigilant.org http://www.aheartafire.wordpress.com http://www.juststuffifoundontheinternet.wordpress.com http://www.charlypriest.wordpress.com http://www.coffeegrinder.wordpress.com http://www.piecesofbipolar.com http://www.autismthoughts.wordpress.com http://www.fonzandcancer.com I’m smiling, it’s new day, Xx  M

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Support The PAWS ACT: *Many Domestic violence victims are staying for fear of loosing their pet*

Change.org   Melinda There’s a new petition taking off on Change.org, and we think you might be interested in signing it. Many domestic violence victims report staying in abusive and dangerous relationships out of fear of leaving their beloved pets behind. Their abusers often threaten to harm, maim, or even kill their pets if they attempt to leave. Studies have shown this is the case for one out of every four women trying to escape domestic violence. Right now, there are very few domestic violence shelters that can accommodate pets, making the choice to leave even harder. But there is hope: the Pets and Women’s Safety Act, or PAWS Act, would supply funding to help shelters take in people and pets fleeing violence. This would alleviate abuse victims’ fears about their pets’ safety, and get them out of dangerous situations faster. These funds are urgently needed by shelters across the country, and Congress should pass this legislation quickly. It would help save lives. By signing the petition, you will let Congress know that the time to pass the Paws is now. To sign the petition or read more information on The Paws Act. https://www.change.org/p/pass-the-paws-act?recruiter=84245119&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

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Faded Memories II *From Melody to Mody*

I was born with healthy lungs and strong personality  My parents chose Melinda Melody 1963. Melody was my fathers idea. To this day, my mother calls me Melody. I thought it was emotional abuse. In truth, She hated my father and used the name he chose. Emotionally  broken down to unconditional love of my grandparents. God Blessed me with my grandparents, I can’t repay you with words. What I can do is support others. I became a Minister and started a charity. God give me the strength to mentor children. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Living in a household with child abuse and domestic violence, the days without violence can disappear. The memories, faded memories can trigger deep pain if the door is open. My trigger thru me in the abysses from listening to a song listened to hundreds of times. I felt like a bomb landed in my lap, the arrival created complete chaos.  The memories were part of the chaos in my life. Shortly after the divorce from my father, my mother married shortly and my father married later. My brother and I called him the Nazi. He was an alcoholic, possessive and we marched to his beat. The verbal abuse started and shortly escalated to domestic abuse. We walked on eggshells constantly. A couple years into marriage my mother finds out he was married before with two children. We starting going to Houston regularly without knowing why. He was fighting the mother for […]

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Joyful Heart’s Male Survivor PSA Series

NO MORE Excuses: The Male Survivors Series We recognize that male survivors are met with persistent and harmful responses: That sexual abuse can’t happen to guys. That they just need to get over it. That guys wouldn’t “let” that happen to them. In 2016, Joyful Heart partnered with Viacom and 1in6, a leading organization that provides support and information to adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, released a new series of video and print ads—adding to a suite of print ads released in 2014—specifically addressing the myths and excuses that male survivors hear. They invite men who have experienced unwanted or abusive sexual abuse in childhood, and those who care for them, to visit 1in6.org for help. In case you missed it, I wanted to share our new series in Joyful Heart’s groundbreaking, celebrity-driven NO MORE PSA campaign developed in partnership with 1in6, a leading organization providing support and information to male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, produced by Viacom and created by Rachel Howald and Young & Rubicam. The PSAs are already airing across Viacom’s networks, and tomorrow, you’ll be able to see them during the eighth #NOMOREexcuses marathon of Law & Order: SVU on USA Network, starting at 1pm/12c. WATCH THE NEW VIDEO http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/programs/education/no-more/psa-campaign/no-more-excuses-male-survivors-series#sthash.cIxU9PCn.dpuf Today, I wrote on our blog about why we’ve been partnering with USA for these marathons since 2014. We already know that television and media have the power to shape and change attitudes. And […]

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New Resources for Hispanic Women

Para obtener información sobre la Sala de Ayuda en espanol, haga clic aquí.  Xx  M Dear Friend, Today I’m proud to announce a new and very critical service for Spanish-speaking survivors: a confidential peer-support chatroom. La Sala de Ayuda (Helproom) is now open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 to 9 pm ET. This service provides the kind of help that can make such a difference in a survivor’s healing process-the knowledge that they are not alone and the opportunity for survivors to support one another. Last year, the National Sexual Assault Hotline expanded to serve Spanish-speaking individuals. Today, Spanish-speaking survivors and loved ones are able to: *Read RAINN’s top content in Spanish *Chat one-on-one with a trained support specialist *Access peer support with fellow survivors Rosie Juarez, moderator In the words of Rosie Juarez, who moderates La Sala de Ayuda, “Often in the Spanish-speaking community, there is a fear of sharing your story-a fear that you won’t be believed or find the right support. On La Sala de Ayuda there is only support. There are other survivors who let you know that you’re not alone.” Rosie Juarez and Josue Melendez will moderate the service and ensure confidentiality. Josue Melendez, moderator Learn more from La Sala de Ayuda staff about how this new service works, and why it’s so critical for Spanish-speaking survivors and their loved ones. Con gratitud, Candice Lopez, Director of the National Sexual Assault Hotline PS -Tweet about […]

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Rest in Peace Grandma * I hope your heart is cleansed of Anger *

Original post 11/2014  You receive from the world what you give to the world.  Oprah   My maternal grandma died this week. I have no emotion. I would like to tell a story of a grandma and her granddaughter bonding and building memories. I can’t write about bonding because booze was her best friend. My grandfather an alcoholic as well, I can’t recall his voice. I walked into their house, the smell of Scotch over whelmed me. I wanted to get sick. My grandfather always sat at the dining table, a tall glass and bottle of J&B no more than arms length.He stared ahead and didn’t participating in the conversation. My grandmother verbally abused me every time I visited or talked to her. I have no ill will for her, I live in the present. As a teenager, I felt cheated not having a relationship with them. Everyone carries baggage. She has to account for her choices in life before our maker. She birthed my abusive mother. My grandma had pent-up anger and aimed for me. The ones I heard most often “it was my fault my mother got pregnant” or “I ruined my mother’s life” or the most painful “you were a mistake” I lived for years hearing those words repeated, I felt so small. I’ve struggled for days deciding if I wanted to acknowledge her life and death. I believe every one deserves acknowledgment at death. I hope my grandmother […]

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Good Times Gone Bad

I started Looking for the Light on 2-22-2014, exactly 22 years after my father’s suicide. Every year on the date, my emotions/logic are so conflicted. I stopped drinking years ago but every year I get drunk, my coping mechanism. I thought my dad was cool as a child and we had lots of fun. My father had no clue how to parent, it was scream or give in. My brother and I where seeing my father every two weeks. My father (married) had a girlfriend and liked to party, 8:00 p.m. on Saturday nights he would head out. We were left with our step mother and step brother. It was boring for me. I remember the weekend well. I got dressed, put on my stepmother’s make up and said I’m going with you. He said no at first but it was the well ask me again type of no. I said I had to get out of the house. I’m 9 years old but I looked older, not that much older. I received a lot of attention from the guys and it made me feel good. It made me feel pretty, when I got older the memories screwed up my view of relationships. Being the life of the party was great. I know there were several men who would have slept with me if I’d let them. My dad had one club he liked, I became a regular. He would find a couple of […]

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D I V O R C E

Original post 5/2014 It was a normal Sunday like any other. I’m 6 and my brother was 3 1/2 years old, my mother was taking us to the lake. We never went to the lake, I began to get excited about playing in the water. I also grew concerned, what did she have on her mind. Even at 6 years old I knew she always had an agenda.We pulled up to the picnic tables on the far side of lake, nowhere near the water. She tells my brother and me that our parents are getting a divorce. Not understanding what it meant I ask her to spell it for me. I kept repeating the spelling in my head so I could ask my friend. I would find out sooner than later. Gramps truck was overflowing my father’s belongings. They were driving off as we rounded the corner. Their relationship went from bad to hell on earth. My mother took every chance to tell us how much she hated him. She married within six months his name was R known as (Nazi & Lucifer). He was her supervisor at work and could get her the white picket fence. We moved into a new house with a big back yard, things looked so normal on the outside. If people only knew the carnage on the inside. Custody was a nightmare, daddy would bring us home and she would throw things at him. One time […]

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Brother witnessed Child Abuse of only sister * Everybody Hurts*

Original post 3/2014 Everyone suffers in an abusive environment. Our house was always in chaos. An alcoholic stepfather who abused my mother and a mother who abused her daughter. There were three other children in the house who saw the abuse, heard the screams and threats. I used to think the victim was the only person with scars. At 9 years old I survived almost daily beatings by taking drugs, plenty of alcohol and trying to kill myself. It never occurred to me my brother suffered from witnessing the abuse. My brother’s scars are from seeing our stepfather beat our mother. Dragging her down the hall beating her head from side to side. Putting a knife to her throat saying he would kill her. Most of their fights ending in front of our bedrooms. We had front row seats to hell. My mother abused me, the methods escalated as I aged. I heard stories of abuse as early as six months old. I don’t think my mother was trying to kill me. She’s like the women on the news who allow their kids to die. She didn’t push my head under the water but would have crocodile tears if I drowned accidentally. One weekend driving back from Houston we passed the exit to my mother’s house. I had strong emotions about my brother not me. I didn’t understand the emotions. It hit me like a train, my brother was not physically […]

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Could you hit your child?

Original post 3/2014 Both of my parents and stepfather abused me. We’re not talking spanking, we’re talking banging your head into the wall. I am 100% for discipline, accountability and house rules. You see children who have involved parents and the childs demeanor. I see parents yelling at the child while grocery shopping, belittling them in front of strangers. What we can’t see is child abuse. Child abuse is a taboo topic for most. My mother physically and emotionally abused me. I never told anyone, not even close family. I walked on eggshells at home. My first attempt at suicide was at 9 years old.  One morning I went to make breakfast and my mother told me I could not wear those jeans to school. This was the early 1970’s I was in 7th grade and probably argued with her. All the years my mother abused me, I never hit back. This morning was different. She started calling me a slut. She came to grab me and I hit her in the face. We were fighting and my stepfather walks in. Picture a 100 lbs. 12-year-old with braces getting hit in the mouth with a fist by of grown man. The inside of my mouth was bleeding from the braces breaking the skin. I had a bruise from nose to chin and some blackness around the eyes. I was not allowed to go to school for several days. When I returned most of the bruising […]

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Running to Stand Still

Original post from 3/2014 The song “Running to Stand Still” by U2 pierced my soul. I can’t explain the feeling. It describes my life in four simple words. I have fought most of my life to stay alive, many from my own bad choices. In the early sixties my parents met at a party. I don’t know if they dated […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Wild Child Days*

Reading a post earlier brought back memories of my drug addicted wild child days. My boyfriend was a dealer so I did everything but a needle. Many scary times living with my father. I ran away, he pointing a 357 magnum at the friends he could find. Threatening to kill them if lying. Good thing he didn’t know I was crouched in the front passenger floorboard. I never forgot the music we were getting stoned to. LET’S ROCK AND ROLL   Xx  M

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Change.org Victoires Change Lives Around The World *Here are 2015 Hightlights*

Change.org Melinda – Happy New Year! As we ready ourselves for the year ahead, we’re taking stock of all that you changed in 2015. More than 22.8 million of you were a part of the more than 4,500 victories that enacted new laws, overturned unjust convictions, and made life better for people around the world. This video shows just a handful of the amazing things our community accomplished in 2015: http://blog.change.org/feed/you-changed-the-world-in-2015? Didn’t contribute to one of these victories? You have more than 350 days to make your mark on 2016. So, as you’re making your resolutions, take a moment to think about what you want to see change in the world this year. Then, start your own petition! Starting and promoting your campaign on Change.org is simple: Write your petition, address it to the relevant decision maker, and start sharing your campaign with family and friends. Send your petition to your local media to get public support. Deliver your signatures to the decision maker and urge them to take a stand on your campaign. Change.org is a powerful tool for those who want to see change in 2016. Make it your resolution to make change today. Start your petition now. The Change.org team

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Whats the Difference Between Sunni Islam and Shiite Islam? *Haters are not welcome*

*I found the article interesting and will validate with The Quran. The article is the opinion of the writer. Opinions are just that, an opinion. I’m not a hater declaring a Religion is bad. Have an open mind, it’s a diverse world and we have to adapt. My opinion is  terrorist misuse passages in the Quran, a Holy Book as a front for their cause not for Allah. * M The article Tensions in the Muslim world have risen even further in the wake of a mass execution of 47 men by the Saudi Arabian government, among whom was a prominent Shiite cleric named Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy led by a Sunni Muslim family, while nearby power Iran is a theocracy led by Shiite Muslim clerics. In news coverage from the region we often hear of tensions between Sunni and Shia Islam, but find that few people in the Western world have been truly exposed to the differences between these two interpretations of one of Earth’s most influential faiths. What is the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam Around the World For starters, most Muslims (more than 85 percent of them) practice Sunni Islam. These form the majority of the population in most “Muslim” nations (the two most notable outliers from this trend are Iraq and Iran, where Shiites form the majority). Because these two sects must account for nearly 1.5 billion individuals around the world, it is also important […]

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Culpepper High School makes Anatomy students dissect a Cat *Not me*

NEW CHANGE.ORG PETITION CALLING ALL CAT LOVERS! When my daughter Brynnan transferred to Culpeper High School in Virginia this year, she was excited that they offered an anatomy class. She wanted to learn more about the human body and how it worked, but her excitement quickly turned to shock and distress. “Mom, they want me to skin and dissect a CAT,” she told me. “The teacher told us if we have a black cat at home, pick a white cat and vice versa. Like the color of their fur changes how I feel about ripping the fur from a cat who—no matter what—will remind me of my baby Sparta!” I was horrified. We discussed how to handle it, and she begged me to let her home school instead. As a new student, she already felt alone, and the thought of taking a stand in a class full of strangers was something that caused her more anguish. Whether she silently took part in skinning and dissecting a companion animal—something that would cause her immense psychological pain—or stood against the practice and further alienated herself from the other students, she was facing trauma either way. Eventually, I decided it was best to pull her from the high school. As her parent, it is my duty to protect her, first and foremost, and I didn’t want my daughter to go through such a traumatizing event. Now, I want to make sure that other […]

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My Husband Threw Acid In My Face

NEW CHANGE.ORG PETITION READING MADE ME WANT TO WORK HARDER ON WOMENS RIGHTS AROUND THE WORLD. After having lived for seven years with an abusive husband, I decided it was time to leave. I didn’t think I would survive another year if I stayed, so in 2011, I walked out the door and broke the crippling silence and isolation the abuse had made me feel. I felt empowered and free, and finally looked forward to my future. But because I left my marriage, my husband considered me “disobedient” and, therefore, worthy of punishment. So one day, when he called me to pick up my children at his house and suddenly acid was thrown at my face and body. The next thing I knew, my face felt as if it were on fire. My skin was literally melting away. He thought he would break my spirit, but he only made me stronger. Since my attack, I have been fighting to put an end to this horrific practice in my country of Uganda, and I need your help to do it. Please support our petition by asking H.E. President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta to sign the Toxic Chemicals Bill into law. That is my story, but there are many more, each one as harrowing as the last. Acid violence occurs around the globe and isn’t specific to race or religion. My country, Uganda, has some of the highest rates of acid violence. In […]

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In 24 hours 29,520 people became victims of domestic violence or sexual assault..20 people a minute by someone they know!

JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION Dear Friend, In the 24 hours since I emailed you, 29,520 people became victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. The statistics are staggering: Every minute, 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner. Every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted. One in three women experience sexual or physical violence in their lives. One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused or assaulted before their 18th birthdays. This violence is preventable. And healing is possible. Yesterday, I wrote to you about Joyful Heart’s signature retreat programs and the work we are doing to make this healing experience available to even more survivors. Can you help us? Your gift today will guarantee that more survivors benefit from Joyful Heart’s retreats—and take the next step in their healing journey. 29,520 people in the past 24 hours. 20 people in the minute it took you to read this note. You can help change it today. Please, give what you can. With gratitude, Maile Zambuto Chief Executive Officer Joyful Heart Foundation

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TLC to air new documentary "Breaking the silence" about child sexual abuse

(August 13, 2015) – TLC has announced plans to air “Breaking the Silence,” a new documentary about child sexual abuse. The documentary will include interviews with members of RAINN’s Speakers Bureau and offer a look inside a Darkness to Light prevention training workshop. The program will air on Sunday, August 30, at 10/9c. RAINN and Darkness to Light are partnering with TLC on a multi-platform campaign to combat child sexual abuse in the U.S. Later this month, TLC will begin airing public service ads featuring the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Breaking the Silence will feature interviews with people impacted by sexual abuse, including Traci Lee and her daughter, Ter-rae Lee, who received help from RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline. “I was sexually abused by my father from the age of 11 until 13,” said Ter-rae Lee. “With the support of RAINN, I gained the courage to extract a telephone confession from my father as the district attorney’s office silently listened in. This call led to my father’s conviction, allowing me to feel safe for the first time in years.” The program will also include the story of survivor Erin Merryn, who has led the campaign to pass Erin’s Law, which requires schools to educate students about sexual abuse. To date, 26 states have passed Erin’s Laws, and the U.S. Senate last month passed a bill to encourage the remaining states to implement such programs. “We are grateful to the survivors of […]

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