Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2016.
This was a very busy month. We had two challenges this month.
- To provide some form of content on the Voice’s of Hope facebook page, every single day, and we accomplished it.
- To wear red lipstick everyday for the month of April.
Challenge was accepted and achieved. On top of that challenge, Voices of Hope had 4 speaking engagements. So it was a VERY busy month besides working a full time job and being a wife, and a mother. Surprisingly, I still went to bed each night almost shortly after my son, at 9PM.
All my red lips!
The first week of April, I had the opportunity to travel to WVU. It was very inspiring to see what the Peer Advocates there organized. The day I went to speak was pretty intense. My mom was driving down to meet me and go with me. I was going to being speaking front of a play the students had organized called “Hush.” I ended up sharing resources with the students prior to the play. I hope what I shared was beneficial and made an impact. I can’t begin to put into words how inspiring these students are and the effort they put forth to bring sexual assault awareness to their campus.
The second week, I was heading back to the University of Pitt for the 3rd time. THE 3RD TIME!! I really have enjoyed every time I have spoken at Pitt. They had a beautiful event the evening of of the 14th. I was so excited that one of my best friends, Julie Miller, was able to come and hear me speak. This was the first time she was able to. So it made the event even more special. They started with an introduction and then had three individuals read poems they wrote about sexual assault. Afterwards, they had a dance team performance a piece called “1 in 5.” I have to say that it was very triggering for me, the dance piece. It was a first time, in a long time that I had some anxiety. It felt like a huge stone was one top of my chest so that I couldn’t expand my lungs to breath. Next the Vice President, James, of the new group called “Students engaging in Conversations about Consent and Sexuality,” introduced me. I spoke about what happen to me, the struggles I dealt with during recovery, and how I turned a negative into a positive. I thanked them for inviting me back, and then was able to meet with an individual that works in the Title IX office.
The third week of April, I did not have any speaking engagements but that did not stop me from spreading the word. I received a teal ribbon from Pitt and began wearing it. When I went to an appointment at the doctor’s, a girl asked me what the teal ribbon meant. I told her that it was sexual assault awareness month, and the ribbon did exactly what it was suppose to do, spark a conversation.
The last week of the month was a fun one. I was interviewed by the one and only Melanie Taylor from 100.7 Star Pittsburgh! It was so great to have a conversation with around sexual assault awareness month, and what some of the universities have been doing. I was also able to share my site, facebook and twitter page!!! Listen to the first part Listen to the 2nd part The Tuesday, on the 26th, I help my first webinar called: The Silent Crime: what your workplace needs to know about sexual and domestic violence. I thought it went really well! I hope the participants enjoyed what they learned and I hope to get to present and other organizations!
Throughout the entire month, I was able to wear red lipstick everyday. It was a challenge, because it gets everywhere! And it made it hard to kiss my son or my husband lol! But it truly made an impact because I was able to start some conversations online in regards to SAAM, Sexual violence awareness month.
The newest thing I was able to participate in was some twitter chats for survivors. There was a Solidarity chat every Monday, and Survivors steps chat every Wednesday. This opened me up to a whole new world that I never new existed and enabled me to talk to other survivors. Something I used to be uncomfortable with. So not only did I help in my healing process, but I was able to spread awareness through out the entire month!!!
Lastly, I had some great supporters this month who came out and was able to spread awareness too……a huge thanks goes out not only to them but also my husband and my son for putting up with my red lips alllllll month long!!! (If you liked the color I used, it was from the Dollar Store, go figure!!)