Five Reasons Why You Should Never Say, “Sh*t happens,” to a Survivor.

It is rude, insensitive, and totally offensive. It negates the impact of brutal systemic crime on the lives of a child, adolescent or adult. Anyone who minimizes criminal violence depicts the height of desensitization or compassion burnout. This is usually the reality for social workers, not average citizens. It is like telling someone whose spouse, child or parent was murdered, “Get over it.” It can take a multiple-trauma victim or survivor from zero stress to 100 in a few short seconds. The last reason is why I cannot say more right now.

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Bill of Sexual Rights

I have a right to my own body. I have a right to my own feelings, beliefs, opinions and perceptions. I have a right to trust my own values about sexual contact. I have the right to set my own sexual limits. I have a right to say yes. I have a right to say no. I have a right to sexual pleasure. I have a right to be sexually assertive. I have the right to be the initiator in a sexual relationship. I have a right to be in control of my sexual experience. I have a right to…

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My Heart’s Longing …

  My heart’s longing is for a peaceful world and that warring factions everywhere somehow wake up to the senselessness of continuous destruction, bloodshed, and killing. I yearn for a bliss-ninny’s contentment in love. To find the eternal satisfaction popular media romanticizes. To be soaked in happiness and appreciation for all that I have, instead of focusing on innocuous things that matter little. My heart’s longing is for the ability to one-day continue my education and complete as many degrees as I want. This is not just because I must be a ‘woman of letters’, but to satisfy myself at…

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My Elegant Solution

“I’m taking Butch out,” I said, while standing in the hallway outside my parents room. It was 7 a.m. on a Friday morning in August and I was reporting my activities to them, as I had to do all the time. I was sixteen. School was out and I got no reprieve from either of them. How I hated summer for this reason. There was no answer. Perfect. I unhooked our small black Lab from the indoor leash they kept him on. At least he wasn’t muzzled overnight like at other times. I bent down to pet him. Tears welled…

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The Last Time I Tell This Story

This is the last time I will tell this story. I need my mother’s love. I knew this all of my life and It is still true today. I need my mother’s love. She was beautiful and I would have told her so if I wasn’t so afraid she’d hit me. I need my mother’s love. I didn’t like Ice Capades but I would’ve joined her to watch a show about Barbara Ann Scott, her favourite skater. I need my mother’s love. When she scooped me up in her arms after Dad kicked over the coffee table and scalded me…

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Moving Forward, 1988 (Warning: Difficult Content)

Slashing became a part of my life at 21. Shocking behavior, some might think, but not so to me. I’d been two decades in a severely-dysfunctional family and I could only guess at what healthy was. Cutting and hurting myself gave me a strange sense of elation. I was alive. I could feel. There was hope. The first major event that led to what I now know as my non-feeling state, happened when I was in Grade three. Mom had left Dad, so my two brothers, sister and I joined her to live with my grandparents. Overall, this arrangement was…

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If You Are In Crisis, Talk to Someone Immediately

If you live in Vancouver, please call the Crisis Center at 604.872.3311 • 1.800.SUICIDE • YouthInBC.com Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) 24-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Line – 604-255-6344 Rape Relief TEL (604) 872-8212 Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) (604) 687-1867 In the USA: National Teen Dating Violence Helpline: http://LoveIsRespect.org, or 866-331-9474 In the rest of the world, please check out the retweeted numbers @PixelProject. They have a long list of numbers from all over the world in 80 different languages. Note: If anyone sees important links or numbers I missed, please leave the information here in a comment for…

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A Word About Respect

I am reprinting several articles I wrote in the late 80s and early 90s. All of these are true stories. In fact, the events that happened to me, chose my life’s mission for me–to fight against violence against women, in particular, rape, incest and the trafficking of girls, women, and boys into prostitution. I wrote the article, Moving Forward (Healthsharing, Toronto, 1988) only months after I committed suicide. Thankfully, the doctors at St. Paul’s were able to revive me. In writing this, I was extremely fragile. While in my adult-self to write it at all, the trauma detailed is written…

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