Can Wearing Jewelry Keep a Woman Safe? Yes!

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There’s a cool “Cuff” that’s hitting the market this fall and every woman who worries about safety should own one of these bracelets or necklaces.  Here’s the lowdown…

The inventor is Deepa Sood, a former VP of product development at Restoration Hardware, who had an “aha” moment one night while out with her husband and friends.   “We had a dinner party during which, over many glasses of Pinot, my husband and some of his friends were geeking out over the Nike + Fuelband and some design friends and I were trying to stack the band in between our other jewelry to make it fit more into our looks. It was a battle of the bands! The next morning, I found myself wondering—why does all this cool functionality have to be relegated to one aesthetic vision.”

The result?  Bracelets, necklaces and key chains in the Cuff line ($35 to $150)  that serve as a personal alert system.  CuffLinc, the brand’s innovative technology, is a small device embedded into the accessories that connects to your smartphone and sends alerts to your trusted network when you sense you are in a vulnerable or threatening situation.

Here’s how it works: Download the app and designate family and friends to receive alerts in case you sense danger. A subtle touch of the wrist or neck will ping everyone in your network and identify your location via GPS, and it won’t stop until someone responds.

High tech.  Beautiful.  Stylish.  Smart.  Who can resist?  The Cuff collection is available for preorder now, with delivery schedule this fall.

 

 

 

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Fight Like a Girl

 

     Growing up, my mother gave me advice that literally saved my life.  She told me and my sister, Janna, that if we EVER were attacked by a man, then do everything in our power to survive.  She told us to kick, scream, run fast as we could…do whatever it took to get away.

     And I did on November 28, 1990 when I survived a brutal sexual assault.
     The reason I’m still here today is because I fought like a girl!  Let’s champion girls’ confidence and keep this conversation going. 

Always #LikeAGirl

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Let’s Lean In and Empower Women

 

   

 
     Growing up in the 70s, the stereotypical mom was June Cleaver.  Donned in dress heels, pearls and apron, this suburban mom’s domestic quest was the kitchen!  My being reared in the quiet and small town of Statesboro, Georgia, the Cleaver persona was paramount. 

     But not so in the Martin home.
     My mother, Faye Sanders Martin, was a pioneer woman in the field of law.  Rather than being tethered to a stove, mother was a strong and successful attorney producing an income that would be envied by most men of that day. Ten to twelve working hours designed her days.   For 22 years, she encouraged and paved the way for countless other female law students to follow in her footsteps, (including my successful sister Janna Martin)
     In November 1978, Faye Sanders Martin was recognized for her brilliance and dedication to the legal profession.  She was appointed as the first woman Superior Court Judge by a Governor in the State of Georgia. I was 16 years old.

     I remember as if it were yesterday standing by her side as she was sworn in by Georgia’s Governor Busbee.  My fearless mom, a Superior Court Judge in Georgia!  This image — this portrait of a strong, independent, go-getter, smart woman – set and sustained the illustration for Janna and me as to how to conduct ourselves in future personal and professional roles.

     But today, for most girls, this is neither that illustration nor reality.  Now, unfortunately they are caught up in the superficial cosmetic web while viewing stock photo images of scantily-clothed women holding power tools or sitting behind a receptionist’s desk.
   

Enter Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, who wants to challenge these female stereotypes with LeanIn.org. (Applause, applause). She has partnered with Getty Images to try to change the way women are portrayed by creating a 3,000 plus collection of images of women and girls who are the real deal– self-assured, confident and empowered.
     I choose to follow in my Mama’s footsteps and promote the image of “real women.”  How about you?

   

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A New Way of Living

 

     
     
     One of my favorite musical pieces is sung by Barbara Streisand.  Her lyrics are about a place where we can find peace, quiet and openness.
     But for years spiritually, I was unable to experience any of these life items as I continued to suffer from  a sexual assault invading and destroying me at the age of 28.
     I lived in a prison of constant negative chatter! It closed me down….for a long time.  It changed me into a person I did not recognize.
     Then, during my 10th year of my healing journey, I found the strength to forgive and it set me free.
     So remember there’s a place for us survivors to find peace….collectively.  It’s found in breaking the silence and bonding in sisterhood.
     Just reach your hand out and take mine and we’ll get there….together.
     Somehow, someday, somewhere, you WILL find a new way of living.  You have to hold on to this belief and keep the faith; for it’s truly all we have.

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Turning Pain Into Passion

 

     I want to achieve extraordinary goals — not just ho-hum, common, run-of-the-mill ones.   I want to have a seismic impact on how our world views violence against women and change how sexual assault victims recover…so no woman has to endure what I experienced after my sexual assault….fear, shame, trauma, hurt, despair, post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression.
     So, how do I go about it?  I’ve been reading Chris Brogan’s book, “The Freaks Shall Inherit theWorld,” and I proudly admit I am a freak by Chris’s definition because I want to turn my entrepreneurial vision into a reality…all the while making an impact and a profit.  (The profit part hasn’t come yet and I’ve been at it 3 years). 
     Let’s face it…there aren’t that many middle-aged, petite women from rural Georgia going around the country talking about rape, speaking about this taboo subject matter, convinced her message can save lives.
But I can’t help it.  That’s what makes me a freak.   
To achieve these extraordinary goals, Chris Brogan tells me I have to define what success means to me.
    This is what success looks like:
Jenny Lynn speaks to thousands upon thousands of sexual assault victims who are connected through sexual assault coalitions in the United States.  Jenny Lynn also speaks to college campus organizations.  These women, in turn, purchase my book or I partner with organizations to purchase my book at a discount so they give victims my book.  They tell others about “Room 939” and Jenny Lynn.  They go to my website and become a friend on Facebook, Twitter.  They sign up for my free blog and know they are not alone.  They find support and a friend in Jenny Lynn.  They break their silence also.  They write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.  More people find Jenny Lynn’s book.  JENNY LYNN HELPS OTHERS.
It’s as simple as that.    
Will you share this blog with a friend who needs my book?  Will you write an Amazon review about my book?  Will you support me in my dreams?  If you do, message me below and let me know what success looks like in your life.

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Are you stressed out today? Read this tip on winning the battle against anxiety.

 

Did you remember to breathe today?  For at least 20 years, my post traumatic stress affected the way I breathed.  I often “gasped” when startled.  I breathed with shallowness and even held my breath at times when I felt I was in danger.  The result:  lack of oxygen to my brain and constantly remaining in a state of tension, rigidity, and anxiety. 
It’s a hard way to live!
Several years ago, I attended my first yoga class.  During that session on the mat, I remember thinking, “There is not enough action here! Not enough movement. I can’t stand this!”  My mind and body had become so accustomed to panic mode that I knew no other kind of living and had forgotten how to relax.  But over the past eighteen months, I have retrained my breath through yoga and can now breathe DEEPLY, mindfully inhaling and exhaling.  Here are the benefits of yoga and deep breathing:

 A yogi once said, “A long breath equals a long life.”  Do you get it?  I finally do!

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 

I often wonder how many people actually know that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month?  You know how hard it is to cut through all the messages out there in the news…the Malaysian Airline mystery, the drowning of hundreds on the Korean Ferry, and Chelsea Clinton’s just announced pregnancy.
If you have not seen any of the news pertaining to this important initiative, here are some of my favorite messages I’ve seen during April.
Give me some feedback on these!  Have you seen any of these?  Do you think these awareness campaigns are working?  If not, what ideas do you have to create awareness?

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Do you know Malala? Author Jenny Lynn Anderson wants to introduce her.

 

     

Friday, July 12th was declared Malala Day by the United Nations.  It is in honor of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education.


     This courageous 16-year-old was given a standing ovation at the United Nations Friday after she spoke to the group about how the Taliban shot her on the left side of her forehead on October 9, 2012.  “They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed…..the terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this — weakness, fear and hopelessness died, strength, power and courage was born.”



     Mahala went on to say, “I speak not for myself but for those without voice … those who have fought for their rights — their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated. Our world needs more Malalas….young women and old who will stand up to the world and say, “You will NOT oppress me!”  Thank you, Malala, for showing us how.
    


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Sexual Assault Culture in Military Deeply Troubling

 

Lt. Col.  Jeffrey Krusinski

When I saw NBC’s newscast last week regarding the arrest of Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, the Air Force’s officer in charge of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, I stared at the TV and said, “WHAT!!!!  THAT IS SICK! The very man in charge of preventing rape is charged with groping a woman.
The Police press release reads:
On May 5 at 12:35 am, a drunken male subject approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks. The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He was held on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
Krusinski’s arrest comes embarrassingly at the same time the military released its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office annual report.  The report shows that for fiscal 2011, the military estimated there were 19,000 cases of sexual assault, while 3,192 cases were reported. In fiscal 2012, the estimate spiked to 26,000 cases, with just 3,374 cases reported. 
“On Guard,” long aligned as a strong signal of the military, seems sadly appropriate now to our women serving our country. President Barack Obama and all top brass continue to declare ZERO TOLERANCE for sexual assault in the U.S. Services? 
I have just one question.  When does this mighty declaration take effect?
Tune in tonight on PBS for the premiere of the award-winning investigative documentary, “The InvisibleWar,” which further examines the epidemic of rape within our military.  

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Cleveland Women’s Captivity Illustrates Importance of being an Active Bystander

 

Cleveland resident Charles Ramsey set an important example for our society to take note of when he heard a woman screaming and decided to act upon her pleas for help.  Courageously, Ramsey became a shining example of being an “Active Bystander” when he helped Amanda Berry kick out a locked screen door of the home, ultimately freeing three long-missing Cleveland women who been imprisoned for 10 years.

                                       
Twenty three years ago, while attending an Atlanta conference, I too was taken hostage.   As I was exiting my hotel room, a knife-wielding man attacked me in the interior hotel corridor.  I was forced into my hotel room where I was robbed and sexually assaulted.  Police reports later showed my screams were heard by other hotel guests, but no one called security.  No one intervened. Essentially, no one “acted” on my behalf.
As the media continues to explore how the Cleveland women’s captivity went undetected for a decade, I’ll take the opportunity to inform about the power of bystanders. 
Bystanders represent a large community of people surrounding the progression of inappropriate behaviors, harassment and violence.
Bystanders have a choice:  to be active bystanders who speak up and say something, or remain passive bystanders who stand by and say nothing.  Although the Cleveland kidnappings represent the extreme, there are a multitude of situations where bystanders can intervene:  bullying, when sexist comments or racial slurs are made, harassment, or when witnessing inappropriate advances.
Often, the reasons we don’t interrupt situations in which we perceive conflict or unacceptable behavior include:
“It’s none of my business and it’s not my problem.”
Truth:  Violence is everyone’s problem.  We are all affected by violence in our communities.
“Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing.”
Truth:  Any kind of violence is a big deal, from screaming at someone to grabbing someone’s arm.  If it seems wrong to you, it probably is.
I’m not advocating that people risk their own safety in order to be an active bystander, but ask you to consider these six steps offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the next time you feel something is amiss.  And, of course, there is always the immediate assistance by calling 911.

1.  Notice an occurrence out of the ordinary

2.  Decide “in your gut” that something is amiss or unacceptable

3.  Ask yourself, “Could I play a role here?”

4.  Assess your options for giving help

5.  Determine the potential risks of taking action.


6.  Decide whether to act, at the time or later.

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