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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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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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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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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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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New Survey: Sexual Violence Big Problem on College Campus

RAINN  Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network   National Sexual Assult Hotline 1.800.656.HOPE(4673) (September 29, 2015) – A new survey of 150,000 students at 27 universities finds that 11.7% of students reported experiencing “nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching by force or incapacitation” since enrolling. The survey, by the Association of American Universities with support from Westat, is the largest of its kind. While the AAU survey results are similar to those found in other, smaller studies, there was significant variability among universities polled. The University of Michigan and University of Southern California, for example, reported rates of sexual violence nearly double those at Cal. Tech and Texas A&M. According to the report, “Undergraduates identifying as TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, non-conforming, questioning, or not listed on the survey) had the highest rates (12.4%), followed by undergraduate females (10.8%), and graduate (professional) TGQN students (8.3%),” compared to about 4% of males surveyed. Two of the biggest factors influencing incidence of sexual assault were the involvement of alcohol and drugs and class year. “Among freshmen, 16.9 percent of females reported sexual contact by physical force or incapacitation. This percentage steadily declines by year in school to a low of 11.1% for seniors,” the report says. Source: “Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct” (Westat, 2015). The survey also measures cases involving sexual touching, the use of coercion, and the lack of affirmative consent (categories that may include many non-criminal acts). Using […]

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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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No More Excuses Provides Weekly Update * Truth From The Media? *

NO MORE EXCUSES No More publishes weekly updates allowing us to hear “The Rest of the Story”. Information we may not know, the good, bad and ugly. The Joyful Heart Foundation started No More Excuses which focuses on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.    No More educates, advocates and lobby’s for Survivors Human Rights. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault are two hot issues. I walk away asking did the media share the news? Was the news common knowledge among a certain crowd? The Joyful Heart Foundation and No More reminds me how little information the media includes in “The Story”.    XO  Warrior WHAT’S MAKING HEADLINES THIS WEEK? Ray McDonald’s 2nd Domestic Violence Arrest: Former Chicago Bears defensive end Ray McDonald has been arrested for domestic violence and child endangerment following an assault on a woman who was holding a baby early Monday morning at an apartment in California. This is McDonald’s second arrest for domestic violence charges. #ChicagoSaysNOMORE to McDonald: Following his arrest on Monday, the Chicago Bears terminated their contract with him, after making the controversial decision to sign him in late March. Bears guard Kyle Long tweets “Good riddance” to his former teammate. Josh Duggar, star of the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, admitted to sexually abusing at least five girls when he was 15 years old. While his parents are calling the abuse “bad mistakes” that Josh made as a “young teenager,” we’re saying #NOMOREexcuses: the sexual abuse of young girls […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Dedicated to team at Survivors Blog Here*

Army of Angles, Hyperion Strum and myself  started Survivors Blog Here in September 2014. We didn’t know each other well and less about the theme tools. We had determination and Randstein for tech issues. In growing the blog we added writers who shared the same values. Nine writers collaborate on Survivors Blog Here now. It’s up from here. I am proud to collaborate with you, appreciate you and consider you family. We’ve built strong relationships, a family. Our friend/followers are great.Thank you for reading and please leave comments. Our goal is to support the community. XO  Warrior

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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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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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Stalking Awareness: Spotlight On Marianne Bezaire * Marianne is a true Survivor*

If you’ve been stalked, you understand why the hair on my neck went up reading Marianne Bezaire’s nightmare. Starting in my late 20’s I was stalked for six years. The trauma on my family gut wrenching, we lived paralyzed by fear. At the time women being stalked received similar attitudes from some law enforcement agencies as rape survivors.  XO Warrior 1 in 6 women – and 1 in 19 men – have experienced stalking at some point during their lifetime 66% of female stalking victims are stalked by someone they know 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop 1 in 8 employed victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization* For survivor Marianne Bezaire, these aren’t just statistics – she experienced it all personally when an acquaintance became her rapist, and then her stalker. Marianne was drugged and sexually assaulted at a friend’s party. When she woke up the next morning and drove herself home, her attacker followed her and discovered where she lived. This was the beginning of an awful ordeal that involved the stalker breaking into her home, blackmailing her with information he found while reading her personal journals, hacking into her computer and email, and more. Marianne says she lived in fear of what he would do next, […]

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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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New NO MORE PSA Running During Super Bowl This Sunday

NO MORE Friend, It’s only been a couple days since we shared the exciting news that a new NO MORE PSA is running during the Super Bowl this Su‌nday, and there’s already been a huge positive response. “How can I help?” This is probably the question YOU’RE going to get while you’re watching the game on Sunday, so we thought we’d send along a few quick tips to help you speak up about these issues and provide you with ways you can help loved ones affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. Tip #1. Start a conversation by telling your friends that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced domestic violence, and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men have experienced sexual assault at some point in their lifetime. This is a great way to get the point across that these issues are serious and that many people we love have been affected by domestic and sexual violence. (If your friends want to read more about these statistics, you can point them here: Avon’s 2013 NO MORE Study.) Tip #2. Speak up when you hear offensive comments that degrade women, men, or victims of abuse. Hey, it’s a Super Bowl party — there’s a good chance that someone is going to make some inappropriate remarks. The best thing you can do is speak up and tell them that you’re not comfortable with that kind […]

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Open Your Top Drawer And Heart To Support Domestic Violence Shelters

Soma Intimates and the National Network to End Domestic Violence are partnering during the Soma Bra Donation event. From January 8th thru February 4th Soma stores are collecting bras with the goal of collecting one million bras. Bras are the most needed yet least donated item of clothing for women. All bras collected will benefit your local domestic violence shelter. To get more information visit soma.com/givebras XO Warrior

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What can we learn from Alaska's law on Domestic Violence……

I flipped to the National Geographic channel to find Alaska State Troopers one day. Watching was a blessing. The show opened my eyes to ending  domestic violence. Ending domestic violence is happening now, not somewhere in the future. We have to raise our voices louder and demand the same protection for all abused in other states. Below are notes taken while watching several episodes. Fairbanks, Alaska has the highest number of domestic violence cases in the America. Domestic violence calls dispatch to Troopers as top priority status. Everyone on scene interviewed, once established as domestic violence case, it’s an automatic assault charge and trip to jail. Other charges will follow based on situation. This is a very condensed version of what I watched: A fight escalates, the female screaming loudly to get out of house. Punched multiple times, raped and once outside pulled by the hair back into house. When police arrive she’s in front yard in bra and panties, visible marks of being hit in face, crying and trying to convince police nothing happened. Troopers receive education on domestic violence behavior. One officer goes in to house with gun drawn. The second keeps lightly pushing, why is she in the front yard in her bra and panties with visible marks to her face. The male taken to side of house, interviewed, handcuffed and lead to car. Officer’s provide jacket to cover herself  and support, she tells what happened leaving out being raped. Her disheveled appearance tips one […]

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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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No More Excuses SVU Marathon 6/22/14 "Stop the Violence"

In honor of Father’s Day, and all the men who have joined the movement to say NO MORE to Domestic Violence and sexual assault, join us for the NO MORE Excuses Marathon, next Sunday, June 22nd on USA Network. Tune in for special messages from the Law & Order: SVU cast, including special new videos Watch for the star-studded NO MORE PSAs There’s an extensive list of resources available. Mariska Hargitay who plays a cop on SVU, gives a special address. Mariska started the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 with the mission to help heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. NO MORE and End the Backlog are featured programs of the Joyful Heart Foundation. KNOW THE FACTS WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE? Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Some signs of an abusive relationship include: Exerting strict control (financial, social and/or appearance). Needing constant contact including excessive texts and calls. Insulting a partner in front of other people. Extreme jealousy. Showing fear around a partner. Isolation from family and friends. Frequent canceling of plans at the last-minute. Unexplained injuries or explanations that don’t quite add up.   Warrior

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Senate Appropriations Approves Funding to Address Nation's Rape Kit Backlog

Senate Appropriations Committee Affirms Longstanding Commitment to Addressing Rape Kit Backlogs On Thursday, June 5, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill that addresses the nation’s rape kit backlog. Central to this effort is the renewal of current funding levels of $117 million to support the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program, which supports the testing of backlogged sexual assault forensic exams (rape kits). The bill also establishes and funds a new program to support community-based sexual assault response reform. In April, the House of Representatives also approved level funding for the proven Debbie Smith Act and provided an additional $35 million in support of efforts to address backlogs of sexual assault kits at law enforcement agencies. RAINN, together with allied organizations and individuals including the National Center for Victims of Crime, Debbie Smith of H-E-A-R-T, Inc, the National Alliance Against Sexual Violence, Parents of Murdered Children, Ed Smart of the Surviving Parents Coalition, DNA Saves, and the International Association of Forensic Nurses, has expressed support for continued funding of the Debbie Smith Act and complementary efforts that will help to remove serial criminals from our streets and enhance public safety. The full Senate is expected to consider the spending measure, which also supports a number of other programs and initiatives designed to support victims of sexual violence and hold perpetrators accountable, in the coming weeks. The differences between the House and Senate-approved spending plans must then be reconciled. Join […]

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