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Sexual Violence and PTSD in the Military

Sexual harm occurs in many spaces but disproportionately impacts those in the military. Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is defined as sexual harassment, assault, or violence experienced throughout one’s military service. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, only one-fifth of incidents of MST are reported despite their high incidence in these settings. While everyone processes MST differently, this type of trauma can often lead to the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a mental…

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Zoe Larkey

Zoe Larkey — February 23, 2024

Sexual Violence and PTSD in the Military

Sexual harm occurs in many spaces but disproportionately impacts those in the military. Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is defined as sexual harassment, assault, or violence experienced throughout one’s military service. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, only one-fifth of incidents of MST are reported despite their high incidence in these settings. While everyone processes MST differently, this type of trauma can often lead to the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a mental…

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Brooke Tweedie

Brooke Tweedie — February 14, 2024

Beyond the Bare Minimum: A Valentine’s Day Reflection

Experiencing abuse can be destabilizing to your conception of love. During a process of healing, it can be difficult to trust yourself and others. You may lose faith in finding love in your life, whatever form it may take. On a holiday like Valentine’s Day, these difficulties may be especially prevalent.  Here at Our Wave, we affirm that love after abuse is possible. We want to use this holiday as an opportunity to reflect on…

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Zoe Larkey

Zoe Larkey — January 31, 2024

Creating a Culture of Consent: Practices for Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education

Sexual violence on college campuses remains a disturbingly prevalent issue, with campus sexual assaults accounting for 43% of on-campus crime happening at universities throughout the United States. Despite their high frequency, the majority of sexual assaults go unreported to law enforcement, with a mere 20% of female students choosing to report their experiences. Campus sexual violence can have ripple effects across the campus community, impacting not only the survivor, but also the people in their…

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Kathryn Bottitta

Kathryn Bottitta — January 26, 2024

The Curve in the Wave

Hello, Our Wave community! Thanks for tuning in to this month’s Curve in the Wave. For January’s topic of focus, we will be discussing online abuse and digital awareness. As the number of social media platforms and users increase, discussions around digital awareness become more and more necessary. While the internet can have several positive uses, as our community at Our Wave clearly shows, it can also be the home of negativity and harmful comments.…

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Charlotte Rogers

Charlotte Rogers — January 16, 2024

Stalking Awareness Month: Facts and Figures

This January is the 20th annual National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM) in the United States, a month in which people all over the country unite to raise awareness about stalking, act against stalking behavior, and support survivors of stalking. What is stalking? Stalking is generally defined by the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center as “a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety…

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Kathryn Bottitta

Kathryn Bottitta — December 22, 2023

The Curve in the Wave

Navigating Holiday Triggers Hello Our Wave community! Thanks for tuning in to this month’s A Curve in the Wave. It’s late December, and the holiday season is upon us. While for some the holidays are a time of joy and laughter, for others the holidays are not the “most wonderful time of the year.” It can be difficult to navigate triggers that may be presented when surrounded by family, friends, or memories surrounding the holiday…

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Brooke Tweedie

Brooke Tweedie — December 21, 2023

The Holidays, Grief, and Hope in the Wake of Tragedy

As we delve into December, reflections on family, culture, and the holiday season occupy many of our minds. For some, these times may bring about trauma and grief, both personal and global. In the face of the pain in the world, the thought of celebrating a holiday may feel impossible. Recent events in October and November, particularly the Israel-Hamas conflict and genocide, have stirred calls for justice and left a profound impact on many. Whether…

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Devi Jags

Devi Jags — November 14, 2023

Defining Abuse and Cultural Differences

As we enter the holiday season, more specifically, Diwali — I think about the dichotomy of my spiritual upbringing — Catholic, Hindu, and confusion. It is not so unique nowadays, being American trying to hold onto Indian roots that were hard to grasp in the first place. But to me, Diwali was one of those holidays I knew as one of the most widely celebrated holidays across Indian religions. It was the festival of lights,…

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Keira Albert

Keira Albert — October 31, 2023

Domestic Violence and People with Disabilities

Within recent research, a connection has been drawn between victims of domestic violence and people with disabilities. These disabilities have been characterized as physical or emotional. According to this research, people with disabilities generally experience a significant amount of domestic trauma of varying degrees, for a multitude of reasons. In order to protect the safety of these individuals, it is incredibly important to understand the nuances surrounding this topic, in order to prevent this violence…

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Kathryn Bottitta

Kathryn Bottitta — October 24, 2023

Halloween Weekend Has Some of the Highest Rates of Sexual Violence Reported on College Campus. Here’s How To Prevent It.

As the infamous “Halloweekend” season approaches on college campuses everywhere, and costume parties are soon to be in full swing, now is a good time to think back to the Red Zone. The Red Zone is the most dangerous time of year for college students in terms of sexual violence on campus, and lasts between August and November. During these months, about 50% of sexual violence indidents on college campuses occur.  Halloweekend, or a series…

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Keira Albert

Keira Albert — November 30, 2023

Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women

Recognizing Native people is an important step in honoring and celebrating Indigenous nations and communities. More importantly, this recognition cannot happen without awareness of the violence Indigenous women have experienced throughout history. According to recent research, roughly 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced some capacity of violence. Further, about 1 in 2 of women from this same group have experienced some form of sexual violence. Alaska Native women, specifically, tend…

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Kathryn Bottitta

Kathryn Bottitta — November 21, 2023

The Curve in the Wave

Revisiting Culture & Accepting Oneself Hello Our Wave readers! Thank you for your continued support of our Curve in the Wave series. For November, our focus turns to the role that culture can play in conversations around abuse. In a previous blog from this month, Devi Jags shared her personal relationship with her culture as a means of familiarity when experiencing feelings of pain.  Understanding and recognizing unhealthy relationships in unfamiliar cultural contexts can be…

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Devi Jags

Devi Jags — October 13, 2023

The Curve in the Wave

Writing For Healing for Domestic Violence Awareness Month By: Artie Muzkya Hello, readers of Our Wave, Thanks for reading an important edition of The Curve in the Wave for the month of October. Like all months, this month is important to the discussion we support on Our Wave; but October is particularly relevant for the awareness of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence.  According to the National Coalition Against Violence, every minute, an estimated 20…

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Keira Albert

Keira Albert — October 13, 2023

How TikTok Users Are Standing Up For Domestic Violence Survivors

In recent years, users on TikTok have started to stand up in order to make change where they think is necessary. One recent example being a change in a term that has been used for years. Dating back to the early 1950s, sleeveless tops, or tank tops, have been referred to as “wife beaters.” However, this term is incredibly insensitive to survivors of domestic violence and users of the social media platform have decided that…

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Kathryn Bottitta

Kathryn Bottitta — September 30, 2023

From The Our Wave Toolkit: Using Creativity For Healing

When considering what lies in our survivor ‘toolkits,’ we often leave out the power of our innate creativity. When it may be hard to describe how you feel or think, turning to creativity and the arts can be a great way to express yourself. Art therapy is a new method of healing in the advocacy space, which has grown in popularity for both children and adults.  Art Therapy As A Tool For Survivors According to…

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Keira Albert

Keira Albert — September 23, 2023

Practicing Self-Care When You’re Back-To-School

Back-to-school season is a notoriously very exciting, yet also very stressful, time of year for students everywhere. With the increasing pile of homework, papers, assignments, quizzes, and exams approaching, it is easy to begin feeling overwhelmed and stressed about what is to come with the new school year. During the months of August to November, 50% of all sexual violence on college campuses occur, making this time period known as “The Red Zone.” Self care…

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Devi Jags

Devi Jags — September 16, 2023

Power Dynamics in the Sports World

Power and control are behaviors and symptoms when discussing harassment, domestic violence, and rape culture. And unfortunately, this power is seen in various industries. Recently, the world of sports has been in the headlines, pushing serious questions about how we can protect our players and supporters. While many professional athletes have been speaking out and inspiring empowerment for all in the sport, there is still a long way to go for reform. For example, take…

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Devi Jags

Devi Jags — September 8, 2023

The Curve in the Wave

Reclaiming Our Voices & Crafting Impact Hello, readers of Our Wave, Thanks for reading an important edition of The Curve in the Wave for the month of September. In a previous blog this month, we wrote about “The Red Zone,” the most dangerous time of year for college campus sexual violence. In the months between August and November, around 50% of sexual violence incidents occur during this time frame. On a personal note, I was…

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Devi Jags

Devi Jags — September 1, 2023

Beyond The NFL: What Does The Red Zone Mean on College Campus?

Many times when we hear “The Red Zone,” we think of NFL football season. But in the advocacy world, the Red Zone is a more daunting use of terminology. It is the most dangerous time of the year for college campus sexual violence. In the months between August and November, around 50% of sexual violence incidents occur during this time frame.          With new classes, friends, and for some, a new home oftentimes means perpetrators…

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Devi Jags

Devi Jags — August 25, 2023

Wave News: August’s Intersectional Insights

Delve into the latest updates on intersectional violence, justice, and cultural shifts throughout the month of August Entertainment  Tory Lanez sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan Thee Stallion In 2020, Megan Thee Stallion was the survivor of a roadside shooting by rapper Tory Lanez after leaving a party in Hollywood Hills at Kylie Jenner’s house. Following the trial, Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Los Angeles judge on…

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Laura Sinko

Laura Sinko — August 18, 2023

Recognizing Power Dynamics in the Entertainment Industry and Beyond

In the world of Hollywood, where glitz and glamor often distract us from harsh truths, it is imperative that we cast a discerning eye on the power dynamics that enable sexual harm to persist within these spaces. The recent allegations of sexual misconduct against Lizzo, has forced us to confront a grim reality – that even stars that promote positive messaging and inclusivity can wield their influence to perpetuate sexual harm. The case of sexual…

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Laura Sinko

Laura Sinko — August 11, 2023

Celebrating Small Ways You Are Healing From Trauma

The healing process can be an opportunity to regain the control and autonomy that is often taken away during a traumatic experience. You are in the driver seat of your recovery and you decide how you want to navigate your healing and what’s best for you.Setting goals or benchmarks is one way to measure your growth and celebrate small wins as you recover after trauma. If you choose to set goals, remember that everyone heals…

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Devi Jags

Devi Jags — August 4, 2023

The Curve in the Wave

Reclaiming Our Voices & Crafting Impact Dear readers of Our Wave, this is our second edition of The Curve in the Wave: Reclaiming Our Voices & Crafting Impact. This August, we are focusing on identity and community as a way to craft and share our stories. When telling stories of violence and trauma, it is important to note that no one’s story is the same. However, there is also great healing in coming together and…

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Devi Jags

Devi Jags — July 28, 2023

Sexual Violence As Hazing On A College Campus

Recently, former student-athletes have announced lawsuits against Northwestern University’s football program. This news comes after the program’s football coach is put on suspension. This hazing scandal has the potential to be the biggest in college sports history due to the sheer number of athletes impacted.  ​​Attorney Ben Crump said in a press release, “This is the opportunity to eradicate hazing and abuse in college athletic programs from coast to coast. This will undoubtedly be the…

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Lydia Sun

Lydia Sun — July 21, 2023

Why Survivors Stay Silent after Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

In China, 84% of women have been subjected to different forms of sexual harassment, with working women being the most victimized group. Many new graduates that are women are assigned to accompany clients to dinner, karaoke, and drink meetings in the workplace. These environments include being plied with alcohol where individuals’ inhibitions are lowered. This leaves many vulnerable to physical contact and experiences of sexual assault perpetrated by clients and their superiors. This is a…

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Laura Sinko

Laura Sinko — July 14, 2023

Enjoying Sexual Intimacy After Sexual Violence

Trauma and violence can affect the way you experience sexual intimacy in a multitude of ways. While it may feel impossible & overwhelming to be with someone sexually in the beginning, it is possible to enjoy sexual intimacy again one day. After sexual violence, many survivors find that sexual situations make them feel afraid or anxious even when they’re with someone they trust. Some survivors experience distressing flashbacks or memories during sex, which can make…

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Devi Jags

Devi Jags — July 7, 2023

The Curve in the Wave

July’s Collection: Reclaiming Our Voices & Crafting Impact In the vast expanse of the ocean, no waves are ever the same. The water flows with a unique speed, pattern, and rhythm, constantly shifting in time. Waves ascend and form an arc. When it breaks upon the shore, it’s distinctive.  Crafting a story is similar to water drawing back before its rise. Each wave leaves its mark as it meets the shore, just as the words…

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Nos Lei

Nos Lei — June 29, 2023

From The Our Wave Toolkit: Reclaiming Safety In Your Physical Body

There are many reasons someone can grow to feel unsafe in their physical bodies. For example,  they may have been body shamed from a young age. Maybe they were in a traumatic accident, such as an automobile crash. Some may even feel unsafe due to emotional states or social triggers like rejection or feeling emotionally and physically out of control. The same can also be the case when your body is physically violated in a…

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Bonnie Tonkinson

Bonnie Tonkinson — June 23, 2023

The Hidden Side of Healing From Emotional Abuse In An Intimate Relationship

By: Bonnie Tokinson  Emotional abuse includes non-physical behaviors that are intended to control and intimidate an individual. When emotional abuse takes place within an intimate relationship, it is often the initial ending to the relationship that seems the most daunting; the when and how are endlessly questioned in the survivor’s head, and every possible aftermath is considered before making the decision to leave. Finding the strength to leave emotionally abusive relationships is extremely hard and…

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Charlotte Rogers

Charlotte Rogers — June 16, 2023

Consent Education: Why It Matters And How to Promote It In Your Community

By: Charlotte Rogers Consent is something that only some of us have been formally taught about in our lives. At 23 years old, I have moved across states and attended many different schools. It was only when I sought consent education resources that I learned more about how these things can be communicated and understood. This newfound knowledge made me reflect on how it could have positively influenced my past relationships and emphasized the importance…

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Theresa Mcgrath

Theresa Mcgrath — June 2, 2023

Intimate Partner Sexual Assault. Is it a thing? Yes.

Have you ever been to the doctor’s office and were asked if you feel safe at home? Many of us presume this is to report if the person you are living with is physically harming you or threatening to harm you. However, that’s not the only reason. Sexual abuse within a partnership or marriage is a real thing that’s hardly ever talked about. Because it is so rarely talked about, it can often be difficult…

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Blake Kitterman

Blake Kitterman — April 24, 2023

Navigating Masculinity and Sexual Harm Survivorship

TW: Sexual assault, death, suicide, substance abuse Masculine, as an adjective, is defined as being “marked by or having qualities, features, etc. traditionally associated with men.” At 5’7 with teal Toms, a cuffed t-shirt, and 5-inch seam shorts (also cuffed), I am likely not the first picture that comes to mind with this definition. Despite this, most of my life has been marked by my proximity to masculinity. Everywhere I turned, there was a gleaming…

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Laura Sinko

Laura Sinko — February 28, 2023

Drawing the Line with Love: A Guide to Communicating Your Boundaries with Loved Ones

Healthy boundaries are an important part of any relationship—whether it’s romantic, platonic, or familial. As trauma survivors, boundaries are important to ensure we feel safe, secure, and able to put our well- being first in relationships. This builds a strong foundation for healthy, mutually satisfying love going forward. But how do we do that? Let’s discuss. Communicating your boundaries with someone is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy relationship. Before you have the conversation…

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Laura Sinko

Laura Sinko — January 16, 2023

Reaching Out For Help: Finding a Therapist to Help You Recover From Trauma

Finding a therapist to help you recover from trauma can be a daunting task, but an important one in order to move forward in your healing journey. Trauma can take many forms, from physical abuse to emotional neglect, and it can have a profound impact on mental and emotional well-being. Seeking out a therapist who is specifically trained in treating trauma can make a significant difference, especially when you feel stuck in your recovery. Therapy…

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Kara Emsley

Kara Emsley — December 18, 2022

Let’s Get Greek: Sexual Assault Trends Within College Greek Life

The Greek Life and Sexual Assault Overlap There’s a difficult topic that isn’t discussed when someone signs up to go through sorority or fraternity recruitment: Sexual Assault. Research has found that fraternity men are three times more likely to sexually assault a woman than non-affiliated classmates. Additionally, for women in sororities, it was reported that they are 74% are more likely to be raped than other college women. Most research attributes these high numbers to…

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Theresa Mcgrath

Theresa Mcgrath — July 20, 2022

5 Steps to Getting Out

Are you or a loved one experiencing relationship violence and abuse? Through this blog, we hope to share five steps that you can follow to escape the trauma and hardships, and find healing in your life.  Step 1: Acknowledge the Abuse It can be difficult to identify if you are being abused. Approximately 20,000 calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines daily, and 90% of abusers do not have a criminal record (nacdv.org). Oftentimes, an…

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Leah Robayo

Leah Robayo — July 6, 2022

No is a Full Sentence

Talking about consent used to be taboo. It wasn’t “cool” to talk about asking if sex was okay because it “killed the mood.” After years of repeated sexual violence in the news, movements like Me Too and organizations like RAINN have stressed the importance and intricacy of consent. These organizations and movements have taught us that “no” is a full sentence. Your boundaries do not need reason or conditions. You always have the final say…

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Theresa Mcgrath

Theresa Mcgrath — June 24, 2022

Abuse is Abuse is Abuse

When most people hear the term abuse, their mind typically goes to physical abuse. They think if their significant other is not physically harming them in some way, then they are being too sensitive, too dramatic, and making a big deal out of nothing. Most people don’t even realize they are suffering from abuse until the damage has already been done. I know because I was one of those people. Truth be told, there is…

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Hannah Braun

Hannah Braun — May 5, 2022

1 Out of Every 6: It’s Time to Talk About Male Survivors

When you search “sexual assault survivor” in google images, hundreds of faces stare back at you. Almost every single one is a woman. But what about the people we don’t usually see? What about male survivors? When we are taught about sexual violence and its prevention, it is the norm to discuss it in the context of female victims and male perpetrators. However, this traditional framework largely leaves out male survivors. The reality is that…

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Kat Neilson

Kat Neilson — March 24, 2022

Clothing Does Not Equal Consent

“What were you wearing?” This is a simple question survivors of sexual assault, abuse, and violence are often asked after experiencing a traumatic incident. By asking this question, well-intending friends and family members can differ blame directly to survivors and away from the root of the issue, a perpertrators negative action. In this blog, we aim to clearly articulate that clothing does not equal consent. When victims choose to report an assault, they should be met…

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Hannah Braun

Hannah Braun — March 17, 2022

Bodies as Battlegrounds: Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War

Bullets, missiles, tanks, propaganda: all weapons of war that have been in global news headlines since the early hours of February 24 when Russian president Vladimir Putin began the war on Ukraine (Kirby, 2022). Global leaders and activists have called the world to rally around Ukraine, and there has been a mass mobilization in the supply of military and humanitarian aid. But one weapon of war has gone largely undiscussed: sexual violence. Oksana Pokalchuk, director of…

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Alexa DeFalco

Alexa DeFalco — January 19, 2022

Survivor Platform Updates

Dear Survivor, Thank you for sharing your story on Our Wave or one of our partner sites (Survivor Spaces, The Body a Home for Love, Unapologetically Surviving, or another). You are a valued part of our community. From the start, it has been our aim to amplify voices like yours safely and anonymously to help you feel less alone, connect you with resources as you navigate your healing journey, and allow others to learn from…

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Hannah Braun

Hannah Braun — January 5, 2022

Putting Predators on a Pedestal

When you think of the American “college experience,” chances are sports come to mind. Games provide the opportunity to party, and the rush of seeing your university’s team beat a rival school is a substantial draw to college. Because of this, collegiate athletes have unmatched status within their campus community: they are put on a pedestal by peers, authority figures, and the media alike. Being in a position of power can easily lead to becoming…

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Hannah Braun

Hannah Braun — November 22, 2021

Protection Over Performance: Prioritizing the Sexual Safety of Student-Athletes

When you’re an athlete, you are expected to put everything into your sport. Coaches evoke a deep sense of loyalty in the athletes they mentor, and the expectation to perform can be all-consuming. There is an inconceivable amount of pressure to win: for yourself, for your fans, for your team, for your coach. But what happens when the performance of an athlete is valued above all else? Athletes shine in the spotlight, but too often…

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Leah Robayo

Leah Robayo — October 26, 2021

A Community of Book Worms

One of the best recovery tools a survivor can utilize is community. Finding groups of people who have the same lived experiences reminds survivors that they are not alone. Instead, survivors can find solace in knowing that their community will support and comfort them through their journey. In a society that victim blames survivors and reinforces rape culture, it is necessary to know that you are in a safe and supportive community. This community isn’t…

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Leah Robayo

Leah Robayo — September 8, 2021

The Red Zone: 20 Yards in Football. 10 Weeks in the Fall.

What Is The Red Zone? There is no feeling like being a college freshman. You are pursuing a higher education, moving to a new place, and are on your own for the first time. Fall semester is filled with parties, tailgating, rush week, and many more social events. The excitement and newness are exhilarating. You are finally coming into your own. While you should celebrate this new phase of life and enjoy every moment, it…

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Ashley Oman

Ashley Oman — August 22, 2021

It’s Okay to Disconnect: Setting Boundaries with Social Media

We live in an age where anyone from middle schoolers to grandparents are active on social media.  Today, most people have smartphones, a tv, or access to the internet.  Media is all around us.  With such a broad spectrum, there is media content around nearly every topic, issue, or situation one could think of. While this can be a great thing, it can also be dangerous, particularly for survivors of sexual violence. So what are…

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Leah Robayo

Leah Robayo — July 22, 2021

Living mindfully is not just a mantra.

For many, “living mindfully” can seem like nothing more than memorizing mantras and striving towards an unattainable goal. Yet for those living with trauma, mindfulness can play an important role in healing. Individuals recovering from trauma often have feelings of helplessness and anxiety. It can leave us feeling paralyzed and overwhelmed. Survivors may get looped into a vicious cycle of emotional triggers and negative thinking causing them to feel stuck. Living mindfully can help us…

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Ashley Oman

Ashley Oman — June 16, 2021

Love is Love: There is hope at the end of the rainbow

Happy Pride month!  Every June, people across America come together to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and the impact these folx have had on our society.  But when did Pride Month begin?  The very first pride march was held on June 28, 1970 in New York City on the first year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the event which is often considered the start of the pride movement.  In 1999, President Bill Clinton officially declared June…

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Kennedy Fipps

Kennedy Fipps — March 17, 2021

Sexual Harassment: How to Identify and Combat it in the Workplace

In light of current events, the need to address sexual harassment in the workplace has become evident. The most recent allegations against Governor Cuomo of New York have sparked much controversy. Three former aides, a former health policy advisor, a member of the Executive Chamber staff, and a member of the 2020 Biden campaign have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. Though he has denied these allegations, there is now an external investigation taking place. In…

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Kennedy Fipps

Kennedy Fipps — February 5, 2021

Intimacy After Trauma: It’s Not All Chocolates and Roses

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the expectation of intimacy may arise between you and your partner. For some, this can be a difficult thing to process, and the holiday can be triggering in and of itself. For others, expectations can lead to feelings of obligation- something that can also be triggering, particularly if you are a survivor of trauma or violence. If you are feeling uneasy or uncomfortable about sexual expectations or intimacy,…

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Madison Phillips

Madison Phillips — November 21, 2020

How Do You Identify: Victim, Survivor, or Both?

Words have power. By that, I am talking in particular about words used to describe those who have experienced sexual assault and the certain connotations that they carry. The two most common words to describe individuals who have faced sexual violence include “victim” and “survivor.”  Words have power. Classically, a person who has experienced assault would be referred to as a “sexual assault victim,” but that language has begun to change over the years. Now,…

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Bailey Latronica

Bailey Latronica — August 26, 2020

Why “Everything Happens For a Reason” is Harmful to Survivors of Sexual Assault

Our world is often chaotic and uncertain. To find comfort in the chaos we create ideas about how the world must work. We rely on our worldview for a sense of safety. “[A worldview] is a collection of deeply held beliefs about how we interpret and experience the world.”https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/innovation-you/201707/your-worldview-is-your-greatest-strength “Everything happens for a reason,” for example, offers comfort because it allows one to believe that despite the chaos and uncertainty, our world is overall orderly…

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Grace Saunders

Grace Saunders — August 1, 2020

Fighting for Those who Fight for us: Sexual Violence within the Military

Those who fight for us, also need people to fight for them.  The military physically protects us and sacrifices for us, yet some service members are unsafe within the confines of the military system. According to the Department of Defense, almost a quarter of all women in the military experience sexual harassment, and more than 20,000 soldiers were sexually assaulted in the 2018 fiscal year. Women makeup about 20 percent of the military, but are…

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Grace Saunders

Grace Saunders — June 19, 2020

Staying “Safe” at Home: COVID and its Effects on Sexual Violence

I can easily say that throughout the development of the current global pandemic, I have felt a lot of emotions. I have had moments of fear, anxiety, isolation, peace, relief, acceptance, and fear again. A common theme in my conversations over the last three months has been the way COVID-19 has changed personal communities and caused people to withdraw from their normal support groups. From quarantining for months to having a lot of normalcy put on…

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Laura Sinko

Laura Sinko — December 18, 2019

From Survivors To Survivors: Tips and Tricks for Finding Healing in the Chaos

By forgiving ourselves and realizing that despite what our inner critic is telling us, we are not the cause of our trauma and are not to blame, we can begin to allow ourselves to accept our experiences and integrate them into our identities. After experiencing an assault, there are hundreds of things people tell you that you “should do.” But after the immediate crisis management is complete and you are alone with your thoughts…what then?…

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Laura Sinko

Laura Sinko — October 23, 2019

What Happens After Assault: What to do After an Attack

Healing means that you are not alone, recognizing that even though our experiences may be different, we are all connected. What just happened to me? Did I dream that? Why didn’t I say something?  I just felt so frozen. Its not my fault…but is it? I could have…I should have…but how?  Nausea. I must hold him accountable. I must make sure he doesn’t do it again. But what can I do? Do I even have…

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Marissa Kern

Marissa Kern — September 30, 2019

LGBTQ+ and Sexual Assault

Research reflects that there is a higher incidence rate among the LGBTQ+ community. Even so, we are often forgotten. On September 28th Raleigh hosted its first ever pride event. Myself and several members of the wave team had the opportunity to attend. Throughout the night and following couple of days it made me think about what we are doing at Our Wave and how the LGBTQ+ community is affected by it. This prompted me to…

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Marissa Kern

Marissa Kern — September 12, 2019

Our Wave: Creating a Phenomenon

We wanted to disturb the status quo when it comes to addressing sexual violence and to create an occurrence and increase of a phenomenon: story-telling. As I began this post I struggled to figure out where to start. I knew I wanted to talk about why a wave? We could have chosen any name, but Our Wave was chosen. Why? What was the significance. For every one on our team it bears a different meaning,…

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Marissa Kern

Marissa Kern — August 19, 2019

Our Wave: Why We Exist

Telling your story can have significant impact within the healing process. Something that often gets in the way is not being ready to attach their name to their story. *TRIGGER WARNING* I have experienced sexual violence three separate times in my life. In all three scenarios I was scared to speak up. I feared being blamed, not being believed, and of ruining my life. I longed for a place to just get the words out…

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