In the wake of the birth of my second child, I feel compelled to write about my experience in real-time, which is something I don’t typically do. Birth is raw and messy, and my feelings about it are still raw and messy, made more so by the hormones and sleep deprivation that accompany new […]
When I gave birth to my son, I had no idea that birth could be traumatic. And as a survivor of sexual violence – even one who had spent 15 years healing – I went into pregnancy and birth without the knowledge and awareness I needed to make empowered decisions to guard against that […]
Walking the walk? A critical guide to analyzing your campus’ commitment to sexual assault prevention
In the wake of negative media coverage for colleges and universities being sued under Title IX, a number of institutions of higher education are announcing new hires in sexual assault prevention. These hires are receiving media attention, and there is no doubt that it’s a positive step forward for campuses.
However, one hire, one press […]
Trauma has been in the news lately. We just passed the 6-month anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Aurora, and ongoing coverage of returning veterans facing PTSD, so there has been extensive coverage about victims, survivors, and bystanders throughout the news. One story, on WBUR, featured […]
It’s hard to imagine, but less than 50 years ago, having breast cancer was a shameful thing. In my grandmother’s generation, women suffered – and died – alone, keeping their cancer a secret from family members and friends. The treatment available was crude and painful, and diagnosis almost always came too late. Prevention was […]
If you have entered into conversation and dialogue about the issue of sexual violence, you may have heard the term “rape apologist.” While this term hasn’t yet made it into Webster’s Dictionary, an apologist is someone who “makes a defense in speech or writing of a belief or idea.” A rape apologist is term […]
This week, I tried to help a blind man on the subway. I say tried because whatever I did was totally not helpful at all, despite my best intentions.
I was waiting to get on a busy rush hour train as I saw a man with a white cane exiting from the subway car. He […]
Anger, enemies, and injustice: What we can learn from Trayvon Martin and Edmonton’s “Don’t be the Girl/Guy” campaign
When an injustice occurs, it’s human to be angry. Being angry is easy, and it feels good and cathartic. But in order to actually address systemic injustices, we need to be mindful of the ways in which we allow that anger to shape our response. Today, on a summer Monday morning, there are two […]
As someone who was sexually abused by both men and women and who has very close relationships with male survivors of sexual violence, I am both fascinated and troubled by the themes about gender and sexual violence in traditional media, blogs, and general conversation. All too often, sexual violence is viewed as something that takes place between men […]
As a survivor of sexual violence, I always found it challenging to “come out” to a potential love interest about my history. It never seemed to come up naturally in conversation on a date.
There is no right or wrong approach to telling a date that you are a survivor of sexual violence. It’s a […]