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Tag: sexual violence

Scarred and Still Beautiful

My paternal grandfather was from Warsaw and came to the US in 1952 with my grandmother and uncle. I remember that he always had a framed icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa on the wall above his desk. He has since passed away and I now have his icon. Notice the two slash marks…
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Lessons from the Broken

Brokenness comes up again and again with survivors of trauma. We all think we’re broken at some point, and then we move on, suppress it, accept it, or fix it. It’s only recently that I’ve actively started trying to repair my brokenness myself. And, just like the broken pots which are transformed by the art…
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Abuse, Victim Blaming, and Catherine of Alexandria

When I was a cantor, I loved when we sang the Quaker hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing?” No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that rock I’m clinging. I would sing those words and hope to someday experience unshakable inner calm. On November 25, we celebrate the feast day of Saint…
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Disastrous changes headed for Title IX protections of sexual violence survivors

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will soon publish a new draft of the Title IX rules which govern campus sexual assault cases. The rule changes have been made to provide further protection for students accused of assault, will narrow the definition of what constitutes sexual assault, as well as determine that schools can only review cases…
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We Can Be A Voice

I love Catholicism. I’ve studied it since I was five. It has grown with me. The longer I write, the more people I meet and the smaller this Catholic world feels. I still have no real explanation for what kept me searching for answers and finding them in the church. I still have no explanation…
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Our Search for the Perfect Victim

Here in the United States, we live with the illusion of equality: legal equality. Women have the same legal rights as men: they can own a business, vote, go to work, raise their children, divorce, have affairs. They can have their own bank accounts, file taxes, own property, sell property, and a woman is a…
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For Friends and Family of Domestic Violence Survivors

In order to truly comprehend the prevalence of domestic violence (DV) and sexual violence (SV) in our nation, you have to spend some time as an advocate. Once you are in the trenches, so to speak, not only do you have people you know disclose to you about themselves and their loved ones, but every…
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Sharing the burden of pain as a community

The secret burden of pain When we have good news to share, we want to shout it on the rooftops — but most of us settle for posting it on Facebook or Instagram with a cute snapshot and a hashtag. When tragedy strikes, we turn inwards, either on our own pain or away from the suffering…
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Consent matters and so does teaching it

Why do we have to teach consent? Because for a decent portion of the population, consent is a ridiculously foreign concept; while others may dismiss the notion of consent education as being “plain common sense”, it is a waste of resources to teach it explicitly. There can also be a concern for parents about the…
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Reclaiming Maria Goretti from Purity Culture

Maria Goretti is a controversial saint.   When I learned this recently, it honestly shocked me.  Since childhood, Maria has been close to my heart. I took her as my own and, upon confirmation, made it official.  When I was thirteen, a lovely, holy woman, who was a longtime family friend, gifted me with a…
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