Christa’s Story

RAINN.ORG 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.   “When you speak with a survivor of sexual assault, imagine that they are a loved one who has gone through […]

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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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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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Understanding Your State Law on Rape Kit Reform

END THE BACKLOG is an initiative of the Joyful Heart Foundation to shine a light on the backlog of untested rape kits throughout the United States. Our goal is to end this injustice by conducting groundbreaking research identifying the extent of the nation’s backlog and best practices for eliminating it, expanding the national dialogue on rape kit testing through increased public awareness, engaging communities and government agencies and officials and advocating for comprehensive rape kit reform legislation and policies at the local, state and federal levels. We urge you to learn more about the backlog, where it exists and why it matters. We invite you to take action and support efforts to test rape kits. Help us send the message that we must take rape seriously.  Survivors’ Voices Drive Rape Kit Reform in Texas Today’s guest author is Wendy Davis, former Texas state senator and founder of the advocacy organization Deeds Not Words. Here, she discusses the rape kit reform laws she sponsored in the Senate and addresses the need for survivors’ voices to drive policy solutions. I first started working on the issue of sexual violence in 2009 while serving in the Texas Senate. A representative from the state’s forensic lab came to my office, sat down with my staff, and laid out their belief that we had a significant number of untested rape kits sitting in law enforcement evidence rooms across our state. At this point, Illinois had already […]

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Keep Students Safe From Sexual Assault & Enforce Title IV

Change.org Petition   Ask Betsy DeVos to keep students safe and enforce Title IX This petition will be delivered to: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Senator Lamar Alexander The current Administration is planning to weaken the enforcement of Title IX, a move that would be devastating for students especially those who are LGBT and of color. Survivors and our allies across the country are coming together to ask Education Secretary DeVos to listen to survivors, keep students safe, and enforce protections Title IX has long provided. Join Know Your IX and End Rape on Campus and ask DeVos to commit to the following : Maintain the Department of Education’s guidance documents clarifying schools’ legal responsibilities to prevent and address sexual harassment under Title IX Continue to recognize preponderance of evidence (i.e. “more likely than not”) as the appropriate standard of proof in campus sexual harassment investigations; Maintain federal transparency in Title IX enforcement by continuing to publish lists of schools under investigation for Title IX violations and those who have claimed religious exemptions allowing them to discriminate against LGBT, pregnant, and parenting students DeVos will have the power to enforce Title IX protections and ensure that every student is able to attend school without fear of violence. It’s up to us to make sure that she does. Mahroh Jahangiri Executive Director, Know Your IX https://www.change.org/p/dearbetsy-keep-students-safe-and-enforce-title-ix

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Former Vanderbilt Football Player Found Guilty of Rape

By Tim Ghianni | NASHVILLE, TENN. A Tennessee jury on Friday found a former Vanderbilt University football player guilty of raping an unconscious female student in a teammate’s dormitory room in 2013. The Nashville jury found Brandon Banks, 23, guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery after deliberating for about 15 hours over two days. The case stoked simmering concern about sexual assault on college campuses by athletes. Banks faces at least 15 years in prison, Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore told media. Sentencing will be Aug. 18. “We are very satisfied with their verdict,” Moore said. Defense attorney Mark Scruggs did not respond to a request to comment. He was quoted by The Tennessean newspaper as saying that Banks was “shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process. There’s a lot more to do from here on.” Teammates Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, two of the four former Vanderbilt football players charged in the case along with Banks, were found guilty when tried together in January 2015 but a mistrial was declared. Batey was later retried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Vandenburg was found guilty in June 2016 and sentenced to 17 years in prison. A fourth player, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, who testified against his three teammates, has yet to stand trial in the case. The players used cell phones to record their crimes, and those videos – shown to […]

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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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Howard school staff, mental health experts weigh in on suicide depiction in Netflix series

Andrew Michaels Contact Reporter Howard County Times The Netflix hit series “13 Reasons Why” has the Howard County school system, and schools in neighboring counties, warning parents about the show’s graphic depictions of teen suicide, rape and bullying. At the same time, many are saying the show opens a doorway into conversations on suicide and other “uncomfortable” topics. The streaming service’s show caught viewer attention nationwide after its debut in March. The show follows the story of high school student Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 cassette tape recordings for her peers, who she said contributed to her decision to end her life. Based on a 2007 novel with the same title, the graphic depictions in the 13-episode show – rated TV-MA for mature audiences only – raised concerns among mental health experts, educators, parents and youth. Efforts against the show include that of Oxford High School students in Michigan, who started their “13 reasons why not” project, discussing their uplifting stories about getting help during tough times every day throughout May. Three episodes feature explicit material, such as rape and suicide, and have “viewer discretion advised” warnings. In a statement earlier this month, Netflix said that they added more warnings before the first episode, following critic response. Original messages before the graphic episodes also reemphasized its content. After becoming the “most tweeted show of 2017,” according to Variety, “13 Reasons Why” was renewed for a second season, to […]

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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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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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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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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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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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Andy Warhol’s “So Sweet” *Live For Today*

Original post 5/2014 I had to buy this Warhol because it was the complete opposite of my childhood. I saw the happy little girl and thought about me in kindergarten. She’s carrying a bag of candy and a good report card, again not me. What makes it so special is my mother told me I was stupid all the time. I began to believe her. You look in the corner and see “So Smart”, words I love to hear. I wasn’t stupid, just carrying a heavy load. No kindergartener can handle the burden of that secret. Warrior

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Do you know me at all?

Original post 3/2014 It’s been an emotional month with thoughts of my father’s suicide and writing about him for the first time. I never grieved my father, the emotions caught me by surprise. It’s been very confusing because my father was one of my abusers. I am having health issues which is stressful. The Black Dog has come to see […]

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College Campus Sexual Assaults *Colegio Campus Assults Sexuales

RAINN  Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE and online.rainn.org, y en español: rainn.org/es. Survivor Spotlight: College Campus Sexual Assault (August 10, 2015) — Ti’Air was happy that someone she met a few years ago reached out to help her through the process of moving to a new university campus, where she was beginning to study for a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. “He was very friendly and helpful. We talked every day,” she says. “But suddenly, he became extremely flirtatious and aggressive.” One night, he invited her to karaoke. He took her back to her home at the end of the night, and when they arrived at her apartment, he raped her. Although Ti’Air reported her rape to her university and the police, the case did not move forward. She channeled her frustration with this experience into founding a student group on campus. “The reason I started Students Against Rape and Violence (SARA V) was due to the lack of resources I found on my campus to help me cope,” she says. Ti’Air hopes SARA V can be a vehicle of change by educating students about sexual assault and providing a safe space for peers to share their experiences. Ti’Air says there were a number of challenges she faced after her sexual assault. She had trouble focusing at school, developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and faced harassment from friends of her […]

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Help women and girls who have been kidnapped by ISIS * *الرجاء مساعدة الآن

Important Change.org Petition Petitioning President Barack Obama Help the women and girls from my home town who have been kidnapped by ISIS Feryal Pirali and Yazda, a Global Yazidi Organization. My name is Feryal. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, but I grew up in a small town in Iraq called Sinjar. Last August, ISIS kidnapped thousands of women and girls from my hometown. For a year, ISIS has tortured and raped them. Many are teenagers just like me. Please urge President Obama to help save 3,200 women and children from my community — some as young as 11 — who were captured by ISIS, and have been raped and tortured for the past year. I and my family are part of the Yazidi, an ancient religious minority who live mostly in Northern Iraq. Because the Yazidi are not Muslim, ISIS extremists want us exterminated. I and my parents were able to escape, but most of my friends and family couldn’t. I think constantly about the girls my age who I was friends with growing up, who are now being raped every day by ISIS extremists. They can be saved. In fact, 1,800 have escaped or been rescued — but there are still 3,200 Yazidi women and children being held by ISIS. The Yazidi and the local government in Iraq want to rescue them too, but they don’t have the resources they need to get them out. If the United States […]

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When Does RAPE Become RAPE? *You Might Be Surprised*

At nine years old my brother was my buddy. If someone was my brothers friend, they were mine. I was a tomboy and all my girlfriends lived to far away to play after school. Our gang of misfits would walk the creek nearby, play football, ride bikes, the normal kid activities. Walking home from school I noticed a couple of friends. One invited me in to the house, he had  something to show me. Several other guys were in foyer. I didn’t think anything about the numbers of people there, I just wanted to see what he had. He already owned a crocodile, I was thinking what can top that. Before I could blink, guys were holding me down, ripping my clothes off,  being choked. Every one violated me. I was crying and screaming for help as they choked and hit me. I cried as they touched and hurt me. Begging to let me go, when I was let go my mind was whirling, confused and body in pain. At nine years old I didn’t know about rape. I knew what they did was wrong. I had no one to tell. I aged a couple of years and realized that was gang rape. I was not a willing participant and not allowed to leave. I was held down, clothes ripping off, touching and kissing me. Each one put their fingers inside me, forced their penis down my throat. Every violation […]

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Care of the Adult Patient after Sexual Assault *NEJM Report*

New England Journal of Medicine Care of the Adult Patient after Sexual Assault Judith A. Linden, M.D. N Engl J Med 2011; 365:834-841  September 1, 2011DOI: 10.1056/NEJMcp1102869 This Journal feature begins with a case vignette highlighting a common clinical problem. Evidence supporting various strategies is then presented, followed by a review of formal guidelines, when they exist. The article ends with the author’s clinical recommendations. The author, Judith A. Linden, M.D. has written one of the most comprehensive medical reports on the care needed after Sexual Assault. The report is quite long, I’ve included the link. www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcp1102869 If interested in receiving their newsletter www.nejm.org XO  M

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Throw Back Thursday *Memories…Good Times…Regrets*

When introspective, I fall in to music. Music defines a time and space. The memories are not all good, many are from rough times in life. No one knows what each song means to me or why, the answers locked away. A  favorite U2 song is ” Running to Stand Still”. Etched in my soul, reflecting on my life.  Pull up a chair or lounge with a lover, Enjoy the beverage. I would pick a Merlot to relax and take in the moment.    XO  Warrior 

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Joyful Heart's Project End The Back Log Needs Your Help *9,000 Rape Kits still on shelf*

Dear Friend, In October, we first told you about The Accountability Project, our initiative to uncover the extent of the rape kit backlog in cities across the United States. From the first four cities that provided data to us—obtained through public records requests—we discovered more than 12,000 untested rape kits sitting in storage facilities. Today, we’ve expanded our knowledge about the rape kit crisis nationwide with the release of data on the number of untested kits from five additional cities: Charlotte, North Carolina: 1,019 kits Jacksonville, Florida: 1,943 kits Kansas City, Missouri: 1,324 kits Portland, Oregon: 1,931 kits San Diego, California: 2,873 kits In total, over 9,000 more kits. We commend these cities for sharing their data with us. Transparency and yes, accountability, are the first steps toward reform. Survivors deserve the chance for justice. They deserve everything we can give to help them heal. Now that these jurisdictions have shared the number of untested rape kits in storage, we hope they will take the necessary steps to test these kits, investigate and prosecute these cases, engage survivors with care and compassion, and ensure the backlog never reoccurs. The fact remains that there is more about the rape kit backlog that we don’t know than we do know. There is no comprehensive, national data on the nature and scope of the rape kit backlog. Few state governments and no federal agencies track this data. Across cities and counties, there are […]

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Documentary The Hunting Ground takes a deep look at RAPE on college campuses

JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION  Friend, It was always having a heart-to-heart with one or maybe two other people at a time, sitting on a bathroom sink or on a stoop. This was how I had shared my story up until 2013, when I took a deep breath and, for the first time, recounted my sexual assault—and everything that followed—publicly at a Joyful Heart event. My name is Sukey Novogratz, and I write to you today not only as a proud board member and supporter of the Joyful Heart Foundation, but as a survivor with a call to action. When I was 17, the summer after my senior year in high school, I was doing a summer theater program at a prestigious, picturesque Ivy league school. It was unfamiliar terrain for me. On the night of my rape, I had gone out with some new friends from my res hall. We were playing drinking games, and I chugged a glass of OJ and vodka. It wasn’t long before everything started melting away from me. I learned later that’s what Rohypnol, the date rape drug, does to you. Over the next eternity of hours, I flew in and out of consciousness as three young men raped me over and over that night, leaving me naked, drugged, bruised and left for dead in the boathouse by the river. It’s not just what happened that night that sticks with me. It’s everything that happened afterwards: […]

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Biden Talks About Rape Kit Initiative the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)

RAINN UPDATE  (March 19, 2015) — “Testing rape kits should be an absolute priority for the United States,” declared Vice President Joe Biden after touring a Maryland State Police crime lab responsible for analyzing evidence for crimes of sexual assault. Biden was in Baltimore to draw attention to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), which will award up to $24 million to local law enforcement agencies working to test rape kits and investigate open cases. President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal also includes $20 million for backlog-related research at the Justice Department, and $105 million for reducing the DN A backlog and related purposes. Rebecca O’Connor, RAINN vice president for public policy, and Smith have been lobbying Congress to communicate the importance of not cutting funding. “At a time when the national spotlight is trained on the rape kit backlog and efforts to move more rape kits from law enforcement evidence rooms to public crime labs for testing, it’s imperative that Congress provide at least level funding for this critical program.” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who joined Biden, urged the public to remember that “behind every kit, there’s a victim, and behind every victim there’s a predator. When you get a predator off the street, you not only do justice to the victim, but [prevent “future crimes].” Mikulski is the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Rape survivors Debbie Smith, after whom the primary federal DNA law is […]

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RAPE IS NOT OK Petitioning Mary Fallin Hear Oklahoma House Bill 1362

Change.org Petetition https://www.change.org/p/mary-fallin-hear-oklahoma-house-bill-1362 We are a group of mothers, fathers, students, and concerned citizens in Oklahoma. We urgently need your help to make sure that a crucial bill to help stop the rape and victimization of young girls in our state is heard in the Oklahoma State House. HB 1362 is a vital bill that will make sure that victims have support, that school officials are trained to handle these situations, and that our students are effectively taught about consent and proper boundaries. It is essential that this bill is passed, not just for the safety of Oklahoma’s students, but also as a signal to the rest of the country that this type of legislation is needed to protect all of our young people. House Bill 1362 successfully made it out of the Common Education Committee on Tuesday, February 24th — but now the real fight begins. The next step is a vote on the house floor, and if the bill is voted down it will be two more years before this essential legislation can be reintroduced. Last fall, we organized the group Yes All Daughters after three teenage girls in our hometown of Norman, OK were raped by the same classmate and then bullied out of school after they reported their assaults.We organized a peaceful protest and the school district responded by creating a task force to address issues related to victimization and bullying. The perpetrator was arrested following […]

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Guilt is the Shadow in the Mirror

All he said is your daddy has done away with himself. I screamed then said on the way. Calling right back to ask were they sure he’s dead? Yes. I think years of abuse left a permanent hole in my heart. I go there to do actions requiring no emotions. It’s like auto pilot, it has served me well. I started to think about work, who I needed to call. I’m driving with emergency lights on going 100 mph calling my work team. I stayed in auto pilot until I pulled up to my grandparents. Estranged since a teen, I thought it odd when he started calling. He sounded delusional and extremely paranoid. Nothing made sense, he was not talking in sentences. I pieced together he didn’t have any money and couldn’t work. Why he could not work must have come from the madness. I would do anything to avoid my granny being hurt. I paid his bills. Over the next several months the phone calls were my hell on earth. He would threaten to kill himself then go off on what didn’t sound like words. I couldn’t make out anything he was saying as he yelled in the phone. I would keep trying to redirect him back to our conversation. I did not tell anyone what daddy said. He was mentally ill. It had been years since we talked, maybe this was his norm. I didn’t know. Everyone sitting in […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Clapton Cocaine, Zeppelin Rock & Roll*

A couple music favorites from my wild child days. By 12 years old I already lived a lifetime, the drugs probably kept me alive. Read my About Me page and you may agree. I would break a kilo of marijuana down to four finger bags in a couple of hours. Using old fashion sandwich bags, just roll and lick to seal.  My 21-year-old boyfriend was a dealer and we would sell kilo in two nights. This became our Friday ritual every two weeks. There is a long story behind how a drug addicted 12-year-old missed out playing with Barbie’s. I had Angels guiding my path.   XO Warrior

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RAINN National Update *Silent No More, Make Your Voice Heard*

RAPE, ABUSE & INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK=RAINN New Congress, New State Legislatures, Consistent Theme: Combating Sexual Assault (January 28, 2015) — With the start of the 114th Congress and, across the nation, new state legislative sessions underway, federal and state policymakers are pledging to make sexual violence a major focus of their work. “RAINN’s public policy team is currently working with hundreds of members of Congress and state legislators,” says Rebecca O’Connor, RAINN’s vice president for public policy. “We expect to see a lot of action from our best allies in Congress to advance ongoing priorities and new legislation.” O’Connor says there are three questions she’s been hearing frequently from legislators. 1. “How should schools handle sexual assault cases?” What is the role and responsibility of a college or university in the fight against sexual violence? What standards should apply to investigations, and when and how should law enforcement be involved? How can we best protect students from these crimes and support those who are victimized? These are just some of the questions in a debate that a White House Initiative elevated to the national level last year. “We’re working closely with federal lawmakers to shape legislation that will be re-introduced this session and is sure to once again make front-page news,” says O’Connor. 2. “What can be done to end the backlog of rape kits?” The secret is out: Untested rape kits are a national problem. While good progress has […]

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Throw Back Thursday **Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers and American Indians** A Strong Message of Survival

The Pink Floyd video brings thoughts, dreams and surviving to mind. I fly in my dreams and have for as long as I can remember. Watching the guy get the courage to fly is like our internal struggle to survive. Survivors continue to battle the struggle, the difference is they have learned to fly. The other message not lost on me is the American Indian appearing, building his confidence to fly. I am Cherokee and would have liked to fight their battles. Everyone has a story. If you are lacking confidence to jump the last hurdle, you’re in good company. Survivors dedicate themselves to helping you fly. There’s a line in Seven Turns on the Highway, Love Is All That Remains The Same. It reminds me the journey never ends, we have to keep living. By living we are going to hit unexpected turns. When we have the right people in our life, they take the journey with us. Surviving is a life long learning experience. Personally I love watching the American Indians dance, wondering what the dance means.   XO Warrior  

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Steubenville High School: Remove Convicted Rapist From Football Team**Is Football More Important Than Gang Rape?**

TRIGGER WARNING: This petition pertains to the sexual assault of a minor. “I feel that he’s earned a second chance.” That’s what Steubenville High football coach Reno Saccoccia has to say about his decision to welcome convicted rapist Ma’lik Richmond back to his team. The facts of the Steubenville rape case in 2012 were already horrendous. A teenage girl was repeatedly and publicly sexually assaulted by boys on her school’s football team. Pictures and video were taken and the victim was shamed on social media. Coach Reno Saccoccia allegedly tried to cover up the crime and continued to let the perpetrators play on the team even after it became clear that they had committed these acts. This case was a clear-cut instance of rape culture, where a community prioritized the success and protection of its football team, and dismissed incidences of rape under the guise of ‘boys will be boys.’ Now, Ma’lik Richmond – who was found guilty of raping a minor while she was unconscious – is out of jail and and Coach Saccoccia has put him right back on the Big Red football team. While he was never charged with attempting to cover up the crime it’s clear that Saccoccia still doesn’t understand the seriousness of his players’ crimes. In his words: “[Richmond’s] one of 55 players that are in good standing with their teammates and their coaches.” This cannot be tolerated. We as a nation are tired […]

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Announced The New Policy For Players Who Commit Domestic Violence **VICTORY**

This is an update to Change.org petition to Stop Violence Against Women, from woman who started petition. Victory Today NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a shift in the NFL’s policy regarding the punishment of players who commit domestic violence. Players will be suspended for six games for the first offense and indefinitely for a second offense. I’m thrilled that the NFL listened to the fans and I’d like to thank everyone who signed my petition and all of the journalists who continued to follow this story. The NFL has finally taken real action on domestic violence and it’s because we stood together and said this simply isn’t acceptable anymore. This is a huge moment of recognition for survivors and their advocates and it came about because of people like you who were willing to take a stand. Thank you for using your voice to make change. We at WordPress must leverage the NFL’s decision to make our voice heard on all petitions regarding Violence Against Women. The NFL is setting the tone for change. Please go directly to Change.org and look under Domestic Violence to see active petitions. I will keep you informed as they roll across my desk. So proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you.  M

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Important Change.org Petitions Need Your Support **Violence Against Women**

I only post petitions from Change.org that really disturb me. I feel strongly you want to see the injustice and take part in forging change. There are so many in my e-mail I can’t do individual post for each. I’m asking you to click on the links below or go directly to http://www.change.org to check currents petitions. Sign up for direct notices if you like. There are many opportunities to make your voice heard. One signature can make a difference. I will post an update on petitions which have seen victory and positive change. We have to make our collective voice heard, violence is not acceptable and people will be accountable for their actions with proper penalties.   M Violence Against Women NFL must update policy against violencee. https://www.change.org/p/roger-goodell-nflcommish-set-consistent-punishment-guidelines-for-nfl-players-who-commit-violence-against-women High School Violence Against Women https://www.change.org/p/steubenville-high-school-remove-convicted-rapist-from-big-red-football-team End Teen Dating Violence https://www.change.org/p/south-carolina-state-senate-pass-sierra-s-law-to-end-teen-dating-violence-in-south-carolina  

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News Update with Looking for the Light

Update from Change.org  Let’s keep up the pressure until we know Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is safe and free 26 Jun 2014 — The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind of news surrounding the case of Meriam Ibrahim. On Monday, a Sudanese appeals court ruled that she should be set free, and that they charges she was facing — arrested and sentenced to die for not being willing to give up her Christian faith or renounce her marriage to her husband, Daniel — should be voided. Then on Tuesday, as she went to the airport to leave with her husband and kids, she was held by Sudanese intelligence officials, and we are still waiting to know if she has been able to leave the country. While this story plays out, we cannot let up on our demand that Meriam be set free and allowed to travel with her husband and her two kids. We are almost at one million signatures. Please, while Meriam’s future still remains uncertain, share this petition with on Facebook, Twitter, or with your friends and family, and keep up the global momentum for Meriam to be free. With your help we can build more than one million voices calling for Meriam’s freedom. She is so close. Please stand with me once more and show the rest of the world that Meriam should be free and reunited with her family. Thank you for taking action. ***************** Update from […]

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Funding Update for Rape Kit "End The Backlog" FY2015

A Step Closer to Landmark Reform  Today, we have moved one step closer to achieving landmark rape kit reform. This morning, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $41 million in its FY2015 Commerce, Justice and Science spending bill to address the rape kit backlog. The Senate’s actions follow on the heels of last week’s vote by the House of Representatives for this historic level of funding in its new spending bill. The new program will provide communities with the vital resources they need to help end the backlog at law enforcement agencies throughout the country, with a focus on investigating cases and re-engaging survivors in the process. As we begin the final push to ensure this funding is passed by the full Senate, we urge you to join the thousands who have already taken action and made their voices heard.Write to your Senators and urge them to support this funding as the bill moves through the Senate. Send your letter here. Thank the members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committee leadership who prioritized this funding. Share your tweets here. Help spread the word about the rape kit backlog and our efforts to end it with your community. Get started here. Funding for comprehensive rape kit reform sends a message to survivors that they—and their cases—matter. It sends a message to perpetrators that they will be held accountable for their crimes. It demonstrates a commitment to survivors to do everything possible to bring healing […]

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Washington Doesn't Want to Talk About Vaginas

Jaha Dukureh is a survivor, driven with incredible inner strength. This article is a great follow-up to the post I wrote on Female Genital Mutilation.  This is the worst form of abuse on children and women. I can appreciate bringing traditions when moving to America. Female Genital Mutilation is a tradition not excepted in America. The violence and violation of children and women is illegal, not a tradition America has ever followed and is inhumane. Most people are not familiar with Female Genital Mutilation, now is a good time to educate yourself and others. Jaha’s clitoris and labia removed and her vagina stitched leaving only a small hole to urinate and menstruate. Sex is very painful.This procedure is Type 3 FGM. It is a long post but please read her brave and motivating story. Please sign the petition on Change.org. She is a survivor and want’s to teach Americans what to do to stop FGM in America. The Futures Without Violence website http://exchange.futureswithoutviolence.org is a great resource to offer support and educate.  From the Futures Without Violence Website. Jaha Dukureh: ‘In Washington, they don’t want to talk about Vaginas’ An Atlanta woman who is a survivor of female genital mutilation is leading a campaign for the US to take action on a brutal practice happening in its own backyard. Jaha Dukureh does not give up easily. When, aged just 15, she was sent to New York from Gambia for an arranged marriage, it looked like […]

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Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (RAINN) Monthly Update

Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network         RAINN MONTHLY UPDATE http://RAINN.ORG Online Help – 1.800.656.HOPE (4673) RAINN: The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. One of “America’s 100 Best Charities” -Worth magazine House Votes to Renew DNA Bill A bill to renew the Debbie Smith Act, which would help eliminate the backlog of untested DNA evidence from unsolved rape cases, was passed by the House of Representatives. Learn More on Website RAINN Teams Up with Degrassi to Help Teens. TV show Degrassi included a storyline that followed the aftermath of an alcohol-facilitated sexual assault and its impact on the school. In conjunction with the episode, TeenNick aired a PSA that encouraged viewers to get help from the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Learn More on Website Survivor Spotlight: Stories of Support This month, survivors share how loved ones helped them on their paths toward hope and healing How You Can Support a Friend This Month If you or someone you love has been assaulted, it’s crucial to have a support system in place. A new series of infographics shares ways you can be supportive. Learn more on Website Anniversary of ‘Speak’ Connects with New Generation. RAINN and publishing house Macmillan bring Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Speak” to a new generation of young readers. Learn more about the #Speak4RAINN15 campaign and how a $15 donation can help a survivor today. Warrior

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