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Tag: sexual violence

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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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.

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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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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The Anniversary Effect and Rape Trauma

Two years ago today (four a.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016) I was raped by one of my best friends. To recap: Between October 2016 and May 2017, I got (in rough chronological order) surprise-served divorce papers after four years of volatile marriage, embroiled in a bitter custody battle, was stalked to NY by my schizophrenic…
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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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Strength in Brokenness

The world breaks everyone and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” — Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms Broken doesn’t mean beyond repair. I say this as someone broken by the world — and someone who is also stronger today than I once imagined I could be. My original intent for this post…
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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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