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Early Warning Signs for Domestic Violence

Especially if your relationship is new, it’s hard to tell what your future as a couple is going to look like. Best case scenario, you’ve already had your last first date. Worst case scenario, though? Well, there are a lot of worst case scenarios, but one of the scariest is finding yourself a victim of…
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Saints for a #MeToo Era

Many rape survivors have heard Maria Goretti’s story and come away feeling like the Church thinks they’re better off dead. Why doesn’t the Church talk about the bravery of those men and women who suffered rape and abuse and were canonized for the feats they accomplished despite it all? It’s easy to think that in…
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What a rape kit is (and isn’t)

Graphic discussion of sexual assault evidence-collection process ahead. The steps and images used in this article are taken from the New York State sexual offense evidence collection kit.  Nicknames and acronyms are plentiful for this little box.  Most commonly, they are known as rape kits, or forensic rape exams (FRE).  Using one of these kits,…
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Building up and sustaining your inner self

I’ve traditionally had a hard time with boundaries — and if I’m completely honest with myself, I still do. Sometimes it manifests as feeling responsible for managing other people’s emotions. Other times, it means not speaking up when I notice red flags (if I notice them at all!) because of an overwhelming need to show…
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Maria Goretti and the Easy Way Out

Being raped instead of murdered is not the “easy way.” Being a dead virgin is not more worthy than being a living rape survivor.

Franciscan University & the Husch Blackwell Report test

On Friday, April 12, Franciscan University of Steubenville released a review of the Husch Blackwell report of their sexual violence policies and procedures. To say this review is disheartening only scrapes the surface of the response this review has produced. First and foremost, it is discouraging that the administration is not accepting responsibility for their…
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Self Care & Sacrifice in Lent

This Lent I’ve felt a strong call to get back to basics with my prayer life. My focus has been on actions and now it is time for me to go into the desert and focus on my interior life. My therapist has been trying to get me to meditate for the past year. She’s…
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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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Healing from scandal and abuse

Sometimes we hear it in murmurs, posed to us as a question: “How can the Catholic Church heal and move forward in the face of this scandal?” Sometimes it comes in the form of a command, “We must heal and move forward from this scandal!” Healing is good. But healing by definition necessitates acknowledging the…
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The Day I Started Being Brave About Everything

Every Friday, my friend and I take turns watching each other’s children so the other can go to adoration. It was one year ago today that I was at her house. I had just finished my hour of adoration and it was her turn to go. I noticed I had a message from an old…
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