My Story: David M.

WARNING: This story contains some explicit content and could be triggering, please read with caution and self care.

“During my rough coming out my mom wasn’t treating me very well, so I started to become so desperate to get her to quit being such a royal snob to me I began talking to her friends over the phone when they’d call for her, just to get them to get her to quit it. I was 15 and desperate and didn’t know what else to do. One day it ended up being Fred I tried this with, as I tried this with about 3 or 4 friends, and Fred got me to open up to him about my gay troubles over the phone and he right away offered me work to do for filing and things, as he was a piano tuner. When I got there though, I was in his room, and he says to me “hey, want to get off?” he saw the look on my face and tossed it off as he was “being rude sorry”.

Earlier we had talked about massage though so he offered to give me a back rub. When I flipped over at some point he noticed I had an erection, which he put his hand on, and then put in his mouth after undoing my clothes. I was terrified. He was a 60 year old man and I was silent and was at a loss for words. I thought it was my own fault because of my erection and now I know that it wasn’t and that he used me. He continued to go down on me in the coming months, and I was so hurt and torn and confused, thinking I wanted it but knowing that it hurt me, but feeling like I wanted it anyway. I didn’t want to be home with mom and dad who were being very unreasonable at the time; even tricked me into going to an anti gay seminar, so this was my escape from them I felt I needed, which I was convinced I wanted, although it hurt me horribly to deal with it, but he fooled me into thinking he was my friend and that I wanted it. He also gave me hope that I had a place to stay when I was 18 as I believed my parents would probably kick me out; so I continued to be his friend despite my torn and horrible self loathing feelings.

It took me about 10 years to fully grasp it was not my fault. I told the police about it and it was an investigation for a while but ultimately it was too late and nothing would happen with it. He is on the streets today.”

PAVE My Stories: Janet A

My Story

My story started in 1989 and ended October 17th 2011 when my ex-husband suffered a stroke and my stepson and I went to his house to find Power of Attorney.  What we found were videos that he had made throughout our marriage where he had secretly drugged and Raped me repeatedly throughout the 4 years I lived with him.  He drugged and Raped me while I was pregnant and while I breastfed my handicapped daughter. Even though I have found no current videos I am sure he has been raping me throughout the past 16 yrs.  He was obsessed with me,  he had easy access to me using my daughters handicap to stay in control.
I can write at this time because I’m not sure what the law is deciding to do. I’m trying to get charges against him in this state with the other women and another for me. One of the other states has a statue of limitations even though I didn’t know at the time I was being drugged and raped until 2011.
I can tell you that the rapes of me on the videos occurred in 2 different states and the videos also included another women in a third state.  I now live in the third state and have been pretty much dismissed.  I will tell you the police department doesn’t care much for me and wish that I would just go away.  When I gave them the tapes and told them what I found they didn’t even bother to look at them.  I thought at the time that they would at least go to his house and see if they could find any other evidence but they didn’t.  My ex’s sister was coming in from out of state and was staying at his house.  I knew that if she found any incriminating evidence she would get rid of it.  I went back and found more videos, ropes, handcuffs, police badges, a vaginal spectrum, containers of pubic hairs, and, guns.
When I spoke to the detective he told me that these things take time they have training and court to attend to and besides I should be comforted to know that he (my ex) was in the hospital with a stroke and can’t do anything and besides it wasn’t in their jurisdiction.  He was more concerned of the fact that I was cussing at him wondering what the hell they were doing.  I asked him about the other women and he stated they hadn’t seen the other women.  That scared me to death. I thought they had gotten rid of the videos! I only had the one video that was proof positive that I was not his only victim!  I contacted the local police in each of the other states and they were concerned.  I’m not sure how sane I would be at this point without them!
The police here have allowed his son and sister full access to the house and I’m sure they have gotten rid of anything they may have found if anything.  After this discovery I found that there were people who knew what he had been doing and his son told me that his dad made him rape a young girl in this fashion when he was 8 or 9 and that he thought that was how you got girls until he met his wife when he was 29. Hum.  Apparently from what I know he had been drugging and raping women for over 40 years.  The last 10 years he worked as a maintenance man at the local college dorms and had the master key to the dorms.  I remember him always bragging how the young girls liked him because he would help them when they partied too much or had boyfriend issues.  I believe that is another reason the local police have done little if any investigation.
I sent a 2 page email to 2 congressmen, 2 senators, and the governor.  I got a letter response from one senator who forwarded my email to the mayor and told if I need anything else to please write. I got another response back from one congressman just to see if the police have done anything yet. I also sent an email to the FBI. Haven’t heard anything, which I’m not surprised. I called the local FBI and they told me they don’t get involved until they hear from the locals.
I am hanging on each day trying not to let my feeling and thoughts get the best of me.  I don’t know what else to do.  I understand it may never go to court I just want them to at least charge him for his crimes.  His son has already told him what we had found so you know there is no way he is ever going to act sane again.  He is not that stupid.  His speech is affected with the stroke and the right side of his body.  He has been showing signs of improvement and his vitals are good.
I need help but I don’t know what. I took 30 days FMLA but spent them all going crazy trying to get someone to listen to me or at least pretend to be do something. I am back at work and walking around pretending that I’m normal and have everything under control.
I’m putting my house up for sale and want to have it ready by March. I need to get the hell out of here. I’m trying to stay busy with that, work and getting my daughter hooked up to outside activities to stay somewhat productive.  I’m even attempting to become a non-smoker. I have moments when I truly understand why people lose their minds and go shooting everything in site and I also understand how a 2 year old feels when they’ve reached their point of frustration when they fall in the middle of the floor and slam their feet and arms and scream at the top of their lungs. It’s not a good feeling!
I have to sit and wonder how many other women are being drugged and Raped and not knowing.  How many are in therapy wondering what the hell is wrong with them. I’m beginning to feel as if it’s acceptable behavior to Rape as long as the victim doesn’t know they are being Raped.
If anybody has any ideas at what I can or need to do, please tell me. My friends are a godsend but just as frustrated as I am in this process.
Just about every question I had the past 22 years was answered in one day.
Thank you for listening to my story,
Janet A.

PAVE and the Women’s Sports Foundation Support the US DOE’s Dear Colleague Letter

PAVE has joined the Women’s Sports Foundation to sign on to Support the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights Title IX Dear Colleague Letter on Campus Sexual Violence.

DCL Pic

Please Click Here to Read the Letter of Support from The Women’s Sports Foundation, PAVE and several other wonderful organizations working to end sexual violence on college campuses.

Interested in a Fabulous Volunteer Opportunity? Join PAVE’s Board of Directors!

Pave logo with sloganPAVE  is looking for committed, energetic members who want to serve on our Board of Directors. It is an excellent chance for experienced, dedicated individuals to be part of shaping the future of our organization.

Service on our Board of Directors offers a tremendous opportunity to help mold our programs and strategies, the impact of which will be felt for many years.  Both experienced and first time board members are welcome. While we would certainly welcome individuals with great connections and/or professional skills, a PASSION for sexual and dating violence prevention is absolutely critical. Previous experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, violence prevention or intervention or is highly desired.

If you are interested in becoming a PAVE BOD member, please submit a letter of introduction and your resume to amanda@ShatteringTheSilence.org.

A PAVE Board Member:

  1. Demonstrates an interest in and personal commitment to PAVE’s vision, mission and values.
  2. Exercises duty of loyalty and due care in the management of PAVE’s fiscal affairs.
  3. Serves as an ambassador, building relationships with potential supporters and donors in the community.
  4. Attends all bi-monthly board meetings, board committee meetings, and required special events.
  5. Makes a personal financial contribution at a level that is meaningful to them.
  6. Actively participates in one or more fundraising activities.
  7. Acts in the best interests of the organization, and excuses themselves from discussions and votes where they have a conflict of interest.
  8. Stays informed about what’s going on in the organization. They will ask questions and request information. They will participate in and take responsibility for making decisions on issues, policies and other board matters, especially financial matters.
  9. Works in good faith and communicate openly and honestly with staff and other board members as partners towards achievement of our goals.
  10. Maintains roles and responsibilities with a high level of accountability and intentionality.
  11. Makes a commitment to serve as a PAVE Board Member for a minimum of two years.
  12. Adheres to and upholds the values of feminism and anti violence.
  13. Adheres to the responsibilities for the board of directors as required by the Illinois Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986 (805 ILCS 105 – attached).
  14. Insures that PAVE functions in compliance with all relevant state and federal laws.

 

PAVE Action Alert: South Dakota Legislation on Sexual Violence

HB 1218 & SB 68: Removing the Statute of Limitations for Reporting on Rape

“SIOUX FALLS (AP) – It has taken Jolene Loetscher more than 15 years to come to terms with a rape she says she endured as a teenager in Nebraska, but according to state law at the time, she waited too long to seek punishment for the man she accuses of stealing her childhood in the back of the store where she worked.

While 23 states currently have no statute of limitations on some form of sexual assault, prosecutors in several states – including South Dakota, where Loetscher now lives – remain bound by laws that restrict the length of time they can charge someone for a sex crime.

In South Dakota, prosecutors can only charge a suspect in a rape case up to seven years after the crime was committed or until the victim is 25, whichever is longer.

Loetscher, now 33, hopes to change that with the help of her friend, South Dakota state Sen. Mark Johnston, who has introduced a bill in the state Senate that would eliminate the state’s statute of limitations for rape cases.” Please click this link to read the entire article from the Associated Press. If you are reading from South Dakota, please contact your state representative and voice your support for this bill.

You can Read the most recent draft of SB 68 here.

 

PAVE Invites you to our 2nd Annual Criminal Justice Training, Baton Rouge Louisiana

Register Today!

Shattering the Silence of Sexual Violence: A Multidisciplinary & Collaborative Approach

Louisiana state seal

Tuesday March 6, 2012
8:30am – 4:30pm
Louisana State Police Training Academy; Baton Rouge

Free training for public sector; $100 for CLE
Seating is limited; 5.75hrs CLE Credit*
*Credit approval pending

Click Here to Register Now

Col. Mike Edmansun invites you to join him and other criminal justice leaders from across Louisiana in this multidisciplinary training to address many of the complex issues and perspectives surrounding sexual violence. Due to feedback from last year, this training will have a focus on sex offenders, prevention and offender management.

Speakers include:

- Angela Rose, PAVE Executive Director & nationally acclaimed educator on sexual violence

- Niki Bird, PAVE Policy Director & national speaker, survivor and advocate

- James “Jimmy” Le Blanc, Secretary, LA Department  of Public Safety and Corrections

- Walter Leger III, LA Speaker Pro Tempore

- Col Mike Edmanson

Click Here to Download the Event Flyer

From SheWrites: 10 Reasons Not to Discuss Child Sexual Abuse in 2012

Please view original post here: http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blogs/10-reasons-not-to-discuss-child-sexual-abuse-in-2012

10 Reasons Not to Discuss Child Sexual Abuse in 2012

I have heard them all.  I have heard all the reasons why parents don’t discuss child sexual abuse prevention with their children.  I have heard them so often that I can recite them by heart.  As the new year approaches, I decided it would be a good idea to memorialize the top 10 reasons for not discussing the subject.  I invite you to add any that may have been omitted.

  1. Children are seldom victims of sexual abuse. Actually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in the United States, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused by the time they are 18.  Consider those numbers for a moment.  They are shocking and devastating.  Those figures alone should motivate parents to seek out prevention strategies.
  2. This kind of thing doesn’t happen where we live.  Actually, child sexual abuse has no socio-economic boundaries.  It doesn’t care if you are black or white, rich or poor or what religion you practice.  It can creep in when you least expect it.
  3. We don’t let our children go near strangers. Actually, 93% of all child sexual abuse occurs at the hands of someone known to the child and trusted by the parents.  Even if a child is never around strangers, he or she could be victimized by a neighbor, a coach, a religious official or family member.  Parents who teach only stranger danger are doing a disservice to their child.
  4. My child is not old enough for this discussion. Actually, the appropriate age to discuss child sexual abuse prevention is when a child is three years old.  The conversation can start as simply as “Did you know that the parts of your body covered by a bathing suit are private and are for no one else to see or touch?”  Continue the conversation by explaining to the child that he should tell Mommy, Daddy or a teacher if someone touches him on those private parts.  Be sure to include any necessary exceptions for potty training, hygiene and doctor visits.
  5. I don’t want to scare my child. Actually, when handled properly, children find the message empowering and are not frightened at all.  Parents do not refrain from teaching traffic safety for fear that their child will be afraid to cross the street.  So too should we address the subject of body safety.
  6. I would know if something happened to my child. Actually, child sexual abuse is difficult to detect because frequently there are no physical signs of abuse.   The emotional and behavioral signs that may accompany sexual abuse can be caused by a variety of triggers.
  7. My child would tell me if something happened to him. Actually, most children do not immediately disclose when they have been sexually abused.  Contrary to a child who falls down and runs over to tell his parents, a child who has been sexually abused is likely being told not to tell anyone because no one will believe him, that people will say it is his fault, that the disclosure will cause great sadness in the family and that the behavior is their little secret.
  8. We never leave our child alone with adults. Actually, children can be sexually abused by other children.  The very same lessons that can help prevent children from being sexually abused by adults, can keep them safe from other children.  Teach children what touch is appropriate and what is inappropriate, teach them the proper terminology for their private parts and teach them who they can talk to if anyone touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
  9. I don’t want to put thoughts in her head. Actually, there is no data to indicate that a child who has been taught about child sexual abuse prevention is more likely to fabricate that they have been sexually abused.  According to Victor Vieth, director of the National Child Protection Training Center at Winona State University, “Children do lie, but seldom about being abused.  All human beings can and do lie, but it’s hard for kids to do it about sex.  They can’t lie about something they have no knowledge of,” he said, “and children don’t learn about oral sex on Sesame Street.”
  10. It’s not going to happen to my child. Actually, as the statistics reveal, child sexual abuse is so pervasive that it could happen to any child.  This reason is the catch-all. Educated, loving parents have actually said this to me.  If one were to ask any parent whose child has been sexually abused if they thought their child would ever be sexually abused, I can guarantee each one would say no.  No one wants to believe this could happen to their child.  We need to stop denying that it could happen and recognize that there are ways to prevent it from happening.  Make the decision to talk to your child about sexual abuse prevention in 2012.  It could be the greatest gift you ever give them.  Have a safe and healthy New Year.
Bio:

Jill Starishevsky is an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, where she has prosecuted hundreds of sex offenders and dedicated her career to seeking justice for victims of child abuse and sex crimes.  Outside the courtroom, Jill’s fondness for writing led her to create The Poem Lady, where she pens personalized pieces.  Her mission to protect children, along with her penchant for poetry, inspired My Body Belongs to Me, a children’s book intended to prevent child sexual abuse by teaching 3-8 year-olds their bodies are private.  A mother of three, Jill is also founder of HowsMyNanny.com, a service that enables parents to purchase a license plate for their child’s stroller so the public can report positive or negative nanny observations.

From the Prevention Institute: Reporters can do better: Media coverage of Sandusky trial amplifies shame/silence of sexual abuse

From http://www.preventioninstitute.org

Reporters can do better: Media coverage of Sandusky trial amplifies shame/silence of sexual abuse

Read the original article on the Huffington Post. 2012-01-11-images-pamelapic2.jpgThis article was co-authored with Pamela Mejia. Mejia is a Research Associate at the Berkeley Media Studies Group, where she analyzes how the media talks about public health and social issues. She was a lead author on “Breaking News on Child Sexual Abuse.”

People are still talking about Penn State. This week, a judge released the timeframe for the events leading up to the trial of former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky. His arrest last November triggered a wave of news coverage. But what is the media coverage saying, and how might it affect the public conversation as Sandusky’s trial moves forward?

A new study, Breaking news on child sexual abuse: Early coverage of Penn State by the Berkeley Media Studies Group, commissioned by the Ms. Foundation for Women analyzed the first nine days of coverage. The study found gaps in reporting that should be fixed so that news coverage reaches past a single case to investigate how to prevent child sexual abuse, including what institutions can do.

The Bad News
There is room for journalists to improve their coverage. For one thing, though more than half of the news and general coverage introduced the idea that Penn State University bore institutional responsibility for the abuse, the great majority of the coverage focused on Sandusky’s culpability. As we discussed in an earlier Huffington Post column, coverage that focuses on the ‘bad guy’ misses the point that institutions were using their power to silence the scandal and were in large part responsible for the sexual abuse continuing and the large number of victims.

Where are the survivors? The survivors themselves were almost entirely absent from the coverage. Instead, former head football coach Joe Paterno dominated- the news talked about him more than any other figure, and the coverage was overwhelmingly laudatory. In fact, the coverage was over three times as likely to discuss the consequences of the allegations for Paterno, as it was to talk about the consequences for the survivors.

Where was prevention? Finally, and perhaps most critically, solutions to child sexual abuse and discussion of prevention were virtually non-existent in the coverage. Stories like this are important for opening up the issue, but news coverage is still are not yet talking about ways to prevent children from being abused, and how institutions themselves bear responsibility for perpetuating–or reducing–incidents of child sexual abuse.

The Good News
Sports reporters get the story.
The news coverage of the Sandusky case attracted many sports writers to the issue, some of whom were likely covering the topic for the first time. Almost one half (48%) of the initial coverage appeared in the sports sections. Child sexual abuse shouldn’t just be relegated to the crime section – especially when coaches and other sports professionals are involved.

Much reporting calls a rape a rape. Though Sandusky and his lawyer notoriously tried to downplay the allegations with phrases like “horsing around,” most of the news avoided repeating this minimizing language, and instead used phrases like “rape,” “sexual abuse,” and “sexual assault.” In cases of child sex abuse, when the news media doesn’t “soft pedal the enormity of the abuse perpetrated,” readers have a clearer picture of what the survivors experienced, and may better understand why prevention is critical.

Reporters–and their sources, advocates for prevention–can do better. The media spotlight won’t shift from Sandusky and Penn State anytime soon: journalists and advocates can take advantage of this opportunity to work to improve the coverage of child sexual abuse, and expand it to push for policies that will institute prevention.

Reporters can keep the issue on the sports pages and elsewhere in the news. The Penn State scandal is just the most recent and public instance of a crime that happens every day, one that, according to the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, “flourishes in secrecy.” To help end that secrecy, keep the spotlight on the issue beyond the current news cycle. Explore other sports stories on child sexual abuse: Investigate what coaches, teams, and schools are doing to make sure it doesn’t happen in their institution. Reporters need to shine a light on our accepting environment, expose the norm that child sexual abuse is an every day occurrence, and cover institutional and policy changes that would better support victims and penalize cover ups. Their stories need to show that young people are more important than sports heroes.

Advocates can release their comments to the media quickly. Many of the statements released by advocacy groups did not appear in the media until well after the first week of coverage and therefore could not be quoted by journalists as the story broke. If prevention advocates want to contribute to breaking news, they will need to respond faster and let reporters know what sorts of information and insights they can bring to a story.

Advocates and reporters can push for solutions. Advocates can suggest policies and programs that can shift the focus to prevention. Reporters can talk to advocates, researchers, policy makers and others in authority and push them for answers to these and other important questions about how to prevent future abuse. Reporters should ask: “What can we do to prevent another Penn State?” “What are communities already doing?” Media coverage of the tragedies that occurred at Penn State has helped open unprecedented and vital conversations about child sexual abuse. As the story continues to unfold, journalists and advocates have a unique opportunity to shift the conversation to what can be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Documentary Feature “Invisible Scars” Begins Production in San Diego on Sunday January 22, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Documentary Feature “Invisible Scars” Begins Production in San Diego on Sunday January 22, 2012

“Invisible Scars” is based on the life of Johnna Janis (A PAVE Ambassador), a survivor of child sexual abuse. Award winning filmmaker Sergio Myers and his 7Ponies Productions, signed on to direct and co-produce.

SAN DIEGO, CA – January 21, 2012 – This is a woman’s story of hope, healing, and resiliency. During this inspirational journey, she reveals the invisible scars that have negatively impacted her throughout her life. Like many other women and men, she was sexually abused by people she trusted. On the outside she is a mother, daughter, wife, and friend who appears strong and confident. She is a full time student who spends most of her free time competing in triathlon competitions, and trains for hours, days, weeks and months to prove to herself she is as good as the rest of her competitors. However, on the inside she has struggled with acknowledging and accepting the ugly and shameful truths of her past that have haunted her for most of her life.

 

In August of 2010, Johnna’s strong exterior was crushed by a car accident that left her permanently damaged and unable to compete as a triathlete. In order to heal herself physically she also needed to come to terms with healing herself emotionally.  In this story we witness her journey of self-discovery through therapy, meeting other survivors, as an ambassador of PAVE, as a wife and mother, and as a self-proclaimed athlete.

 

I am beating the odds, and changing the statistics. I know who I am now, and I love that person. I felt that now was the time to come forward and tell my story.” -Johnna Janis

 

 

 

“This is a very difficult topic to discuss and Johnna is extremely brave for publicly sharing her story. I am honored to be a part of it.” Sergio Myers, director and co-producer of “Invisible Scars”, likes to explore diverse topics. He is best known for his award-winning feature documentary on the Heaven’s Gate suicide cult and his hit reality TV series MTV’s Sorority Life.

 

In recent years Sergio Myers has directed-produced a variety of projects with various subject matter: “L.A. Love Story Part 1” and “L.A. Love Story Part 2” (two short dramas loosely based on real events in his own life); “Jordon Saffron Taste This” (a whimsical mockumentary about a chef who loses his taste buds); most recently “The Zombinator” starring Patrick Kilpatrick and Joseph Aviel (an indie Zombie feature filmed in only four and a half days); and feature documentary “Blog Me Fashion: FrockOn” (based on a group of women who started the indie fashion website frockon.com).

 

Johnna Janis will be co-producing this film with award winning director and producer Sergio Myers.

 

http://www.facebook.com/Invisiblescarsdocumentary

www.7ponies.com

Oregon moves forward on Healthy Teen Relationships Act

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One third of high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship.

Spearheaded by by ally Representative Jules Bailey, The Oregon legislature is moving forward on ground-breaking initiative, The Healthy Teen Relationships Act (HTRA – OR HB 4077). Nationally, 1 in 10 adolescents report being a victim of physical dating abuse. Learning about healthy relationships is a long-term investment that can shape healthy adult relationships and families. Teaching teens about healthy relationships can help to prevent future domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, promote their future career/educational development, and more. This bill is a bipartisan effort to address the issue of teen dating violence, especially in our schools. The bill directs school districts to have a response policy to the issues of dating violence among teens. It also creates a fund, separate from the state’s General Fund, that can accept private moneys to do a longitudinal study on teen violence and the effectiveness of healthy relationship education.

As HTRA moves through the House Human Services Committee on its way to Ways and Means to get funding for its survey component, the bill has garnered enthusiastic support from the Oregon community as well as from prevention advocates across the country (including PAVE) who are hoping HTRA sets a precedent that other states and perhaps even the feds will follow. If you are reading from Oregon, please contact your representative and let them know how important HTRA is to you!

You can read the most recent draft of HTRA here.