Fight, Flight, and Freeze: What we still misunderstand about survival

Thirty-three years ago, a man attacked and raped me. I froze. I froze during the attack. I even froze as I saw the attack coming in slow motion. I invested a lot in self-blame after that attack. I completely devoted myself to becoming a fighter. I trained martial arts for twenty-five years. I was flipped,… Continue reading Fight, Flight, and Freeze: What we still misunderstand about survival

The Accuser Becomes the Accused

I teach self-defense. I tell students our voice has power, and I believe it. I encourage survivors to tell their story because doing so is part of the way out from under the shame of sexual assault. There is strength in numbers, power in recognizing we are not alone, healing in telling others who respond… Continue reading The Accuser Becomes the Accused

The Risky Business of Reporting Sexual Assault

On July 5, 2020, Arica Waters, a 27-year-old Black female cop in Put-In-Bay Village, attended a pool party hosted by Jeremy Berman, a White detective with the Put-In Bay police department. Waters claims she was sexually assaulted by Berman that night after the party, and again the next morning. She would soon find out that… Continue reading The Risky Business of Reporting Sexual Assault

CDC Says Teen Girls and LGBTQ+ Youth Are at Risk

Is gender-based socialization part of the problem? A recently published CDC report found that teen girls and teens that identify as LGBTQ+  are experiencing increasingly high levels of sadness, hopelessness, and violence, including sexual assault. One in ten girls and one in four LGBTQ+ teens attempted suicide in 2021. Over the past few weeks most… Continue reading CDC Says Teen Girls and LGBTQ+ Youth Are at Risk

Resources for LGBTQ+

LGBTQ+ youth are at risk. Help is available. A recently released CDC report shows that LGBTQ+ youth are at extremely high risk for violence, depression and suicide. There is help, support, and self-defense training available. Here are a few options. Traction Project is located in the Bay Area. They provide free LGBTQIA self-defense and martial… Continue reading Resources for LGBTQ+

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Victim Blaming: How We Do It, Why We Do It, and the Price We All Pay

Recently I read an article about a survivor of a grizzly crime. I found myself feeling I would have responded to the attack differently, better of course. This snap judgment gave me a quick reassurance that I could manage the unmanageable. But I wasn’t there, I wasn’t traumatized, I wasn’t the one whose life was… Continue reading Victim Blaming: How We Do It, Why We Do It, and the Price We All Pay

Sexual Citizens: Sex, Power, and Assault on College Campuses

Groundbreaking Research Sexual Citizens, by Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan, offers a new paradigm for understanding and addressing the persistent problem of sexual assault on college campuses. It is the culmination of five years of research presented with clarity, empathy, and powerful stories of young people who are both survivors and perpetrators of assault. It… Continue reading Sexual Citizens: Sex, Power, and Assault on College Campuses

Richard Gillmore Released from Prison

This is a brief a follow-up to the blog I wrote several months ago about serial rapist Richard Gillmore. On Friday, December 16th, he was released from prison classified as a low-risk sex offender. He will spend the holidays in transitional housing in NW Portland’s Old Town neighborhood. His release comes in spite of concerns… Continue reading Richard Gillmore Released from Prison

The War at Home: The Shooting at Club Q

After the shooting at Club Q several weeks ago I felt a familiar crushing sadness. I have spent the past 20 years thinking and reading and teaching about violence; its causes and strategies for prevention. But I have been silent on this type of violence. Its seemingly random, senseless horror has left me at a… Continue reading The War at Home: The Shooting at Club Q