January 11
survivor: a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.


Survivant's Links
AUGUST 10, 2012 11:56PM

Life Event

I am approaching what one calls a “life event.” My only child is leaving for college. I don’t know how other parents feel about this sort of thing, but I am struggling.


I never “left for college.” I was kind of a jerk as a teen (to put it mildly)… Read full post »

JUNE 14, 2012 6:21PM

Raising Boys Without Men, Part II

It feels like forever since I've posted here ... life, as they say, gets in the way.
This post might sound a little disjointed, but bear with me.

When my son was quite young, I think about four years old, my sister and I were taking a walk with… Read full post »
APRIL 26, 2012 11:36AM

50 Shades of Awful

I am an avid reader with varied tastes in literature, so it is not uncommon for friends and acquaintances to recommend books. One week, several people mentioned the new trilogy, 50 Shades of Grey, so I acquired a copy of the first book.


I was not aware at the time that theRead full post »

APRIL 19, 2012 7:56PM

Raising Boys Without Men, Part I

Oftentimes in my life, I have to distance myself from an event or set of circumstances to acknowledge the effect it has on my life. Being a single parent is one of those things. Being the single mother of a male child is another. Being the single white mother of a… Read full post »
APRIL 16, 2012 11:36AM

My Dog Reese

After Reese died, my friend Krista came to my door.  She threw her arms around me and cried, "I am so sorry." I don't mean she cried the words.  I mean, she cried with me. Reese was only six years old when she died of autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

It was the… Read full post »
APRIL 13, 2012 1:17AM

My Running Man

My son was in the apartment when I was raped. In fact, he was in my bed. He was six years old, and it's the last time I can remember him asking to sleep with me. When my dog barked, I got up to check the lock on the front door.… Read full post »
APRIL 12, 2012 11:16AM

The False Memory Syndrome Foundation

I recently read Marilyn Van Derbur's memoir, Miss America by Day: Lessons Learned from Ultimate Betrayals and Unconditional Love. In it, Marilyn chronicles her life as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and the repercussions of incest. 

In the book, Marilyn mentions an orga… Read full post »
MARCH 30, 2012 1:07PM

What Not to Say

When I was working with the support group I formed in college, we planned and executed speak outs and other awareness raising campaigns on campus. One of the things we put together was a series of skits about the things one should not say to a survivor, particularly when the survivor… Read full post »
MARCH 22, 2012 10:37AM

Living with a Survivor

After I was raped, I took a "kick ass" approach to recovery. I visited a support group once, decided it wasn't for me, and proceeded to devote my time to making sure the bastard got caught and promptly moving on with my life. I projected a tough exterior that struck my… Read full post »

I’m sorry I can’t remember any of your names any more.  It’s like being part of a club nobody wants membership to: The Women Daniel Raped Club.  I’m sorry for those of you who found yourselves awakened in the middle of the night by a stranger in your home, rifling thRead full post »

MARCH 19, 2012 12:30PM

The Unreliability of Memory

I recently read Mira Bartok's memoir The Memory Palace. Bartok is also a survivor, though a different sort than I am - she grew up with a schizophrenic mother who frequently threatened Bartok's safety and the safety of her sister, Rachel. The book is honest and beautifully written - I highly rec… Read full post »

I log in to Open Salon daily. I like the headlines, I like reading opinion-based news and blogs and, for the most part, I find the OS crowd to be fair, balanced and supportive. However, every day since our dear Mr. Limbaugh made his infamous "slut" comments about Georgetown Law studentRead full post »

MARCH 12, 2012 1:10PM


It was 3 a.m. I was praying to a god I didn't think existed as I knocked insistently on the door of the neighbor's apartment, naked and trying to cover myself as best I could. It was my 21st birthday. When the man opened the door with a knife in his… Read full post »
MARCH 5, 2012 9:03AM

Staying SANE

For those who are fortunate enough not to know, in the world of sexual assault SANE means Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. This nurse is responsible for evidence collection and post-assault examination and is often the first person a rape victim speaks to after the police.

I reluctantly called my siste… Read full post »
MARCH 1, 2012 9:49AM

Portrait of a Rapist

The man who raped me was 20 years old at the time of the assault. He was African American, about 5'7" and 175 pounds. Over the course of his confession (all 175 pages of it), prosecution, and sentencing, I learned that he was 13 when he began breaking in to women'sRead full post »

FEBRUARY 28, 2012 9:32AM


The thing that angers me most about the case against the serial rapist who was my attacker is not what happened to me; at least, not directly. The thing that really sets me off is what happened to the women before me.


I was victim number 14. Victim 13, whoRead full post »

FEBRUARY 26, 2012 10:08PM

How to Catch a Rapist, Part II

Alternate titles for this post included "The Detective, My Hero" and "How I got Lucky the Night I was Raped," but for continuity's sake and concern that my particular brand of black humor might not be everyone's cup of tea, I'm sticking with this one. 

The detective who was called to… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 24, 2012 10:11AM

Survivors and Anonymity

I was raped long before I ever took a Women's Studies course, but I was certainly aware of the stigma attached to being a survivor. Terms like "victim blaming" and "damaged goods" were at the forefront of my mind while I dealt with the aftermath of the rape. Scenarios where IRead full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2012 4:19PM

How to Catch a Rapist, Part I

My phone started ringing at 7:00 a.m. The first call was from my friend Jo, who excitedly asked if I was celebrating. I had no idea what she was talking about until I turned on my television. Then I checked the missed calls on my cell phone ... the Detective had… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2012 3:54PM

From One Survivor to the Others

According to, 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police and 15 out of 16 rapists never spend a day in jail.  My story defies these statistics, and I hope that telling others of my experiences will help begin to change statistics like these.

As an advocate for othe… Read full post »