sexual assault prevention

Restoration from Sexual Assault is Attainable…Look at my Life

 

 

It’s been 9,862 days since my sexual assault occured 27 years ago today.  Over the decades, I have been tormented by fear, anxiety, and loss of trust in the world.  I have wept, grieved, and experienced one of the most horrific things a woman can endure.

But today, I stand here a stronger woman.  The man who sodomized me did not destroy me. The man who robbed me did not steal my pursuit of happiness.  The man who fled from that hotel room didn’t have within him what I had.  I had resilence. Determination. God’s grace. The love of family.

I came out the victor.

But how about all the other women who get harrassed, assaulted, raped?  Will they recover?  Will they have the belief to not give up hope of restoration?

Restoration came to me from many different places.  In honor of 27 years, I’ll give you 27 of the most important things that helped me.

  1. God
  2. Counseling from a Psychologist
  3. Counseling from a Psychiatrist
  4. Yoga
  5. Meditation
  6. Beth Moore Bible Study
  7. Community Bible Study
  8. Writing my memoir
  9. Public speaking
  10. Being a mentor to other survivors
  11. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
  12. The Anxiety Disease by David Sheehan, MD
  13. My family
  14. Writing a blog
  15. Writing in a journal
  16. Speaking at sexual assault conferences
  17. Reading about post traumatic stress disorder
  18. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  19. Learning to say no
  20. Recognizing when exhaustion can turn into depression
  21. Self care
  22. Rest
  23. Anti depressants
  24. Learning about anxiety and depression and how they are cousins and often travel together
  25. Learning how to combat the evil cousins
  26. Finding my voice
  27. Using my voice to share there is hope

 

“It’s On Us” is a Good Start to Combatting Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Its-On-Us_Anthem-

Two months ago, The White House rolled out “It’s on Us,” a sexual assault prevention and awareness program aimed at changing campus culture regarding rape and sexual assault.  “It’s On Us” aims to fundamentally shift the way we think about sexual assault, by inspiring everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something, big or small, to prevent it. The campaign reflects the belief that sexual assault isn’t just an issue involving a crime committed by a perpetrator against a victim, but one in which all collegiates also have a role to play.

The commitment rests on creating an environment – be it a fraternity house, dorm room, a party, a bar or club, or the greater college campus – where sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. This effort will augment student-led efforts already underway across the United States, and will focus particularly on motivating college men to get involved.

zgen

This month, I had the opportunity to speak about “It’s On Us”  to several hundred students at Troy University.  I based my speech on the notion that I believe Generation Z, unlike any generation before them, can help combat sexual assault on campuses.  I believe Generation Z can be agents of change because they have a sense of social justice, philanthropy and maturity –caused from growing up during one of the most severe economic recessions in history.  A great example of this is when students at Columbia University carried a mattress around on behalf of a girl in protest that her alleged rapist was not expelled.

mattress

With Generation Z’s unique qualities, coupled with a program that promotes being an active bystander, our chances are great to make the needed changes on campuses to keep young women safe.

 If you know of a college or university that needs to hear my message, I will be happy to speak!