It’s been a long time since the last time I wrote anything here – almost a full year. It’s definitely not an outlet that I’ve put a lot of time into. I originally started writing openly here because I wanted to break down the stigma surrounding a few topics, and I had felt good about those posts and felt okay leaving it at that.
However, I’m starting to feel like I should provide more thoughts/updates on a regular (maybe annual?) basis, so this is my attempt at doing that for 2019. I’m active on Twitter – sometimes too active – but I know that not everyone wants to go there (and I don’t blame them).
This is where things are currently standing with my work (quoting from my “about me” page, but I know it will probably change by next year so I’m just going to include in full here):
Since coming forward with my story in 2016, I have been able to get a federal bill introduced with overwhelmingly bipartisan support to better train law enforcement in sexual assault cases (it recently passed the House!), introduce an initiative in my home state to mandate consent education in schools, assisted journalists on multiple investigative pieces about criminal investigations for sexual assaults (including the Star Tribune’s Denied Justice series), and raised awareness across the world about what the reporting process can be like for victims of sexual assault. Recently, I was honored to stand with the police department that mishandled my case, and announce policy changes for how that department investigates sex crimes.
I’m obviously excited about all of the above. This felt like such a big year in terms of being able to actually see progress from the work that’s been happening around sexual violence, and I’m just honored to be even a small part of it. Speaking has been going well, too. That’s the only part of my work that I am paid for, but that’s not the only reason I think it’s so important. I honestly can’t put into words how meaningful it is to be able to help people better understand sexual assault – especially those in K-12, who have so many questions that are unfortunately rarely answered. Being able to have open conversations at that age about consent, trauma, substance abuse, etc is so important, and something that I know a lot of us deeply needed.
On a personal level, I’m about to celebrate one year of sobriety (finally). If you’re fighting that fight right now, please just know that it’s worth it. It’s still hard for me, but I don’t have any regrets about how long it took to get here. Remember that there’s no shame in having a problem with addiction, and trauma makes it so difficult to take care of ourselves and heal. Give yourself grace for doing the best you can. No matter where you are in your journey, you’re putting in effort and that’s what matters. It may feel impossible right now, but I promise that it’s possible to get there. And you have it in you.
I think that’s all I have to say for now – but always feel free to reach out via my website or social media. Oh, and if you’re smarter than I am about making a website, feel free to send suggestions to make it prettier to look at. Definitely not my strong area 🙂