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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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Rape culture exists, whether you see it or not

“I don’t believe in rape culture.” That’s what someone said to me over the weekend. These words weren’t spoken out of malice, but during a conversation where we attempted to understand one another. And I started to wonder how many people “don’t believe,” either. Rape culture is like science. You don’t have to believe in…
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Catholic doesn’t mean non-toxic

When the culture keeps you from coming forward… Just because your school is Catholic doesn’t mean it’s free from fostering a toxic culture when it comes to sexual violence. Like different strains of bacteria, it is simply at risk of a different strain of toxicity, fueled by distorted theology and purity culture. Alumni and students…
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A response to the recent CNA article about FUS and Title IX

Catholic News Agency released an article on April 25, 2018 by reporter Mary Rezac, concerning recently accused Franciscan University of Steubenville and their sexual assault policies, along with not-so-subtle accusations regarding the reporter who broke the FUS story to the National Catholic Reporter, Jenn Morson. Dinah’s Voice seeks the empowerment of students on Catholic campuses…
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Let’s talk about shark attacks and the false rape myth

Do you know the odds of being attacked by a shark? They’re around 1 in 4 million — but you wouldn’t know that when the occasional shark attack does pop up. Suddenly, everywhere you look, the news is talking about shark attacks. This creates a cognitive bias that makes us think that shark attacks are…
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10 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

No relationship is perfect, be it familial, a friendship or romantic relationship, or a marriage, yet a toxic relationship can be found in any of those. Everybody needs to love and be loved, and yet everyone is human and will fail in their efforts to be loving sometimes. But there are some relationships which do…
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