Working with WOAR (Guest Post)

Today we’re going to get a little more serious because it’s something serious to talk about. My friend Robin Strough is giving back to her Community by spending a lot of her free time volunteering for a cause that’s near and dear to her. Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR). She asked me if I’d be willing to let her borrow some space today and When she asked if she could do a guest post for me about the group she volunteers with, my answer was of course yes!

I see her strength in her words and actions, her bravery and her kindness shining like a beacon for those who need her help.

I have been volunteering/working with Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) for over two years. During my time with the organization I answer an after-hours crisis hotline for victims of sexual assault, child molestation, date rape, and domestic violence. Our calls range from people just wanting information, people who have just been victimized that just don’t know what to do next, people who are in counseling but having a bad night, people who are at the end of the rope and want to end their life over the pain from the horrible nightmare they live with every single day. I have met with victims in the emergency room after and attack and I have seen the devastation that rape can cause first hand with my own eyes.

 

Sometimes, I get to do some lighter things with the education department. I’ve taught a class at the Community College of Philadelphia on the legal repercussions of sexual assault by a life partner, I’ve attended the numerous productions of the Vagina Monologues and gave out information. I spoke at the JeffSoar event about our organization, I’ve attended many “Take Back the Night” events, and I head a team of friends and family for the “Take it all Back” march through the streets of Philadelphia.

 

This past week, I was asked to help with the 40th Anniversary Kick Off celebration. Nothing fancy, just sit in the room with the food and answer questions about the volunteer program. I got to meet and greet with Judges, the District Attorney of Philadelphia, Professors from the University of Pennsylvania, and many other important people in our fine city. During the presentation I listened to former directors, employees, and friends of WOAR share their stories about the growth of WOAR and just how far we have come. The main goal of the staff of WOAR is to end sexual violence and not have to celebrate another 40 years of service. And that hit home.

 

In 1973, women in Philadelphia were not permitted to become police detectives. Not sure how many know this, but it is a detective that interviews a rape victim. Back in 1973, a woman’s lifestyle, the way she dresses, and just how much she had to drink where key parts of the trial. A husband could not be charged with the rape of his wife, and as we all know, rape is rape, if you say no and someone takes it anyway, it’s rape regardless if you are married to the person. At that time it was believed, that rape could never happen to a man and a woman’s state of mind during the attack was not taken into account – and if she did not resist – she must have wanted it. Since 1973, WOAR has changed all of the above. The SVU unit was created, women were promoted to detectives, the District Attorney created a special department for victims of this violent crime, we now have a sexual assault response centers were victims are taken to receive medical treatment in private and not with the general public, and many other changes which are escaping my memory at this time.

 

So here we are 40 years later, and although we have made considerable progress, there is still so much more work to be done to bring an end to sexually violence and end the silence that inflicts it’s victims. It disturbs me that today we still have some people in positions of power who make comments such as “legitimate rape.” It’s proof of the struggles ahead.

 

Today, an article was wrote and posted on Philly.com – WOAR on Rape Rumbles on after 40 Years This article, to be seen by all on the internet, is a small step in the right direction. When I read it, I was beaming with pride to be a part of something so passionate and powerful. The author hit the nail on the head! And although some people will make rude and awful comments on the article (because face it, people will), I will continue to promote WOAR and all the good it does for people. I have counseled people as far as California on the phone. And I will never give up!!!

 

Someday, sexual violence will be a thing of the past. Children won’t have to worry about being hurt and touched by grownups, women, men, and children will not be afraid to walk alone in the dark, and you won’t have to cover your drink to prevent being date raped. Is this a naive statement ? Maybe? But I’ll never give up – will you ?

 

Change starts with education. Change starts with a compassionate heart. Change starts with a loud voice. Change starts with you. END THE SILENCE!

Pretty powerful stuff. I don’t imagine I need to say it to any of my readers, but sexual assault and violence is such a bad bad terrible thing. Do I have any other readers out there who volunteer with similar groups? Or who would like to share how they’re giving back to their communities?

Talk about it Tuesday – Favorite Movies

I’m working on a posting schedule to keep things happening around here. One thing I thought would me interesting to do is Talk about it Tuesday. Being that it’s the first one and all, let’s start easy: What’s your favorite movie?

My favorite movie changes here and there depending on my mood. Isn’t that the case for most of our “favorites” though? On any given day, my answer could range from Top Gun to Clue to Poltergeist to Elf, just to name a few. (Yes, they’re all a little older, I haven’t seen anything in the last few years that merits “favorite”.)

I would have to say though, that my hands down old school since I was 5 favorite movie is Wizard of Oz. I love the story, I love the characters and oh my goodness do I love the shoes! I thought Glenda was beautiful, that the Wicked Witch had fantastic tights, and wanted the Munchkins to be my friends.

I must have watched it a thousand times as a kid. This was before the days of DVDs, I wore out several copies of this movie. Now, I have a DVD of it so I can watch it when I want and I often watch at least part when it’s on TBS.

What movie do you love? Is it your favorite? Why?

30 – Blogging daily #NaBLoPoMo

This post is part of BlogHer’s writing prompts for NaBloPloMo I won’t even pretend I’ll be sure to blog every day, but I’ll try even if it’s just something short or a picture. (What is NaBloPoMo? wiseGEEK has the answer)

I didn’t.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to even though I had every intention of trying. I do have some posts as drafts that I started to write, but got distracted or something came up and they’ll get published when I have some time to really think about them.

It’s been a crazy month with some things I’ve been working on work wise and personally. I’ll revisit this “Post every day” idea when I find a month that looks less crazy…which with my life might be never.

I hope you’ve enjoyed what musings I was able to put out there and that you’ll be back again soon. I promise I won’t leave this space dormant for so long again.

In the mean time some of the things I’ve been working on are posted over at Court is Crafty.

Working, Baking, and Crafting OH MY! #NaBLoPoMo

This post is part of BlogHer’s writing prompts for NaBloPloMo I won’t even pretend I’ll be sure to blog every day, but I’ll try even if it’s just something short or a picture. (What is NaBloPoMo? wiseGEEK has the answer)

I don’t like today’s writing prompt so instead I’ll tell you a little bit about what I’ve been up to lately…

In the last few days I’ve made the following:

I’ve also been working both jobs and fighting a cold.

What have you been up to?