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Enough is Enough with Sexual Violence

I am sitting on the back porch. It is an unusual mid-May afternoon in Florida. It is windy and cooler. My friends think the pandemic has helped cool the Earth a few degrees, enough to make a dent in climate change. I am not sure I am convinced. I am more preoccupied…

You see, I just edited episode 15 of the Feisty Mermaids podcast. I recorded it on a whim a few weeks ago after reading about Sarah Everard, a 33 year old woman who was walking home in London and was kidnapped and assaulted by a police officer. My heart is heavy. It’s one of my fears when I go running on my own, it is a fear as I send my daughter into the world…

I started thinking about story after story from friends and women I meet, we are all cautious, we all keep our guard up. I can tell you stories of being grabbed, groped and coerced. Stories of not feeling safe and looking for an exit plan.

I realize my mother had the same experience. She was accosted numerous times by predator doctors while working in a government medical facility as an executive assistant in Mexico. She felt powerless to report them, at least there are better sexual harassment laws in place 50 years later… We should be grateful (as I waive the middle finger).

In the podcast I talked about my daughter’s first brush with sexual violence at age 5 at the hands of classmates…

So let me get this straight, in my own family there are three generations of women who have experienced some type of sexual harassment or assault - and you wonder why I am sensitive to this topic. Shouldn’t we all be?

What can we do to end sexual violence against women?

We need to work as a society and community to end the assault on women and children. We need to raise our boys with respect and boundaries. We need champions to stand up and speak out against sexual violence. And most importantly, we need to step in and be willing to help when we see something is not right. Teaching women how to protect themselves isn’t going to solve the problem.

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