Stolen panache

Blue Ribbon 250x325Last week, on one of the first truly glorious spring days, I wrapped our front yard tree in teal netting adding a sparkly teal bow for a little extra panache in support of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Today however, felt more like a fall day than anything remotely spring. The wind was harsh, knocking and thrashing everything in its path violently to the ground.

My sparkly teal bow was no exception – it too had fallen casualty to the unrelenting force of the wind where I found it on the ground twisted in all of its panache.

The bow was a reminder of how in a split second of unrelenting force sexual assault, violence and rape occur – in the U.S. every 107 seconds. The violence is staggering:

  • 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted
  • 1 in 33 men are sexually assaulted
  • 68% of sexual assaults go unreported
  • 98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail or prison

As parents and adults it is our job, as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sing, “to teach our children well.”

Teaching our boys and girls respect for all people.

Teaching our boys and girls that “no means no.”

Teaching our boys and girls by modeling what respect looks like in our own relationships.

It is incumbent upon us to do this teaching in order to end this epidemic of sexual violence and rape.

Everyone deserves to be treated with loving kindness and respect. Every beautiful being who has been victimized deserves to be believed – perhaps the purest form of loving kindness and respect each of us can extend to a sexual assault victim are the words “I believe you.” (Thank you TeamTeal365 for this sage advice.)

For additional resources, visit RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

Go. Now. Teach.

Be the loving kindness and respect that honors everyone’s indigenous panache.


Statistics provided by RAINN


10988968_10153079087442250_3659471481402886534_nStanding together – arm-in-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder, side-by-side – speaking up and speaking out about sexual assault, sexual violence and human trafficking.

Standing together we have the power to support one another across communities and across cultures as sexual assault, sexual violence and human trafficking do not discriminate.

Standing together we each have the privilege of boldly voicing a commitment to survivors shouting:

“I stand with you. I stand for you.”

Throughout April, a month dedicated to Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention, Voices of Pearls will share resources working to address the issues of sexual assault, sexual violence and human trafficking.

RESOURCE: Should you need help for yourself or for someone else, RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization, is an excellent confidential resource.

RESOURCE: National Sexual Assault Hotline – 800-656-HOPE (4673)

Today. Now. Always. “I stand with you. I stand for you.”

Slingback Saturday

From the #selfieforacause #selfieadventure2014 archives comes today’s post.  Just like last year at this time, it was also another glorious day – perfect for long walks.

As I reread last year’s post, I’m reminded to always strive to respect others. You never know what it is like to walk in another’s shoes even on the most glorious of days.  Days seemingly not fit for pain.

From the archives:

1965064_10202550465700368_830747334_nDay 65

The great ‪#‎selfieadventure2014‬ in an attempt to not consume copious amounts of pie (Happy Pi Day!) today, decided instead to get some extra steps in towards the daily 10,000 steps goal.

While observing others out enjoying the spring-like weather and walking about in all kinds of sensible and non-sensible shoes, it got me wondering what it would be like if men teetered about in high heels. Well I got my answer as I read The Huffington Post article.

More than 50 members of a Western Kentucky University fraternity slipped into five-inch red heels today and trekked a mile around campus to draw attention to violence against women.  Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence.

The walk serves as the impetus for talking the talk in order to engage in open communication about sexualized violence. While hidden away, sexualized violence is immune to cure. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get people talking. People unfamiliar with men’s sexualized violence against women don’t even want to know it exists. It’s ugly. People that have experienced sexualized violence themselves want to forget about it.

So proud for the groups across the country and the globe who are walking a mile in heels to raise awareness and create conversation about sexual violence.

What step might you take today in a pair of heels to be the positive change you want for the world?