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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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