Photo: Dad and me, April 1974 A girl’s father is the yardstick by which she’ll measure all the other men in her life. Without my father’s love and patience, I would never have made the more healthy decisions that led me to my husband, who is an amazing father to our daughter. I certainly kissed a lot of frogs first, but my father, supported by the instincts and advice of my stepmother, helped me weather that parade of frogs before I met the man who would measure up. My fath
In light of the recent Duggar family story, I thought this was an appropriate story to share from fellow author, Krista Wagner. When an older minor takes advantage of a much younger child, it is serious and must be addressed. This type of behavior is still predatory and is not simply “kids being kids and experimenting”. More than a third of sexual abuse against children is committed by minors. There is clearly something wrong. When Krista was only 7, her best friend was a
May is Mental Health Month When someone has a physical illness, we offer sympathy and gestures of goodwill. But when someone suffers from mental illness, most people back off and form opinions. Despite the copious material available on the subject, our cultural awareness and sensitivities toward mental health still need some serious tweaking. There seems to be a prevailing attitude that people should suck it up and “just deal.” Imagine saying that to someone with diabetes.
The word “victim” is a heavy label that follows a person—shaping an internal narrative about psychologically damaging events. “Survivor” is much better. There's a reason Gloria Gaynor's song (“I Will Surive”) persists as a cultural staple: the anthemic message is uplifting and champions the downtrodden and encourages them to pick themselves up and persevere. From personal experience, I can tell you that storytelling is cheap therapy. Even more importantly, it’s empowering.
“Anyone who has been the target of sexual or physical predation will know that, too often, the victim's voice is the first casualty of the abuser's relentless campaign of emotional manipulation, threats, and gas-lighting.” This was the review left by a generous Amazon customer named “Katrina” after she read my memoir about emotional and sexual abuse. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and her commentary is timely. If you haven’t had the chance yet, please check out the
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year the relevance is especially poignant. High profile celebrities stand among the accused. In the wake of this national discussion, many people who’ve never suffered so much as an unwelcome sexual advance, ask the question, “Why don’t victims speak out right away?” For survivors of sexual assault, harassment or abuse, the reasons for remaining silent are complex. Some victims suffer an anonymous and violent attack. Others