Scars reveal where we have been. They don't have to dictate where we are going.
Feel No Shame! is dedicated to the strength and determination of women who have suffered the physical and emotional pain of sexual assault and domestic abuse. Here they are safe to talk - - to yell or whisper - - whatever feels right. Here they can share their thoughts and find support. Here there is no judgment. Here there is no shame!
We'll be your shoulder to lean on. We'll be the ears that listen. We'll hear you!
Nearly 50 years ago, Donna Carbone was a survivor of domestic violence. Her struggle and, eventual, success, in moving beyond the scars of that relationship provided both the strength and the insights needed to help her daughter Jessica overcome the devastation of anatomy specific assault. Since her daughter's kidnapping and rape in 2007, she has been an outspoken voice for women's rights. Her books and most of her editorials deal with the need to take personal responsibility for one's safety and security. She writes so that others do not have to face a life marred by trauma and recurring nightmares.
Jessica Carbone-McKinney was the victim of sexual assault in 2007. She was kidnapped from her apartment in the middle of the night, brutally beaten and repeatedly raped. Her attacker used a machete to guarantee her cooperation. By all that is logical, she should be dead but fate had other plans for her. Jessica has become a vocal advocate for victims of violent crime, her intention being to make all women aware that safety is an illusion. She firmly believes that until rape victims come forward and identify themselves, crime against women will continue to escalate.
Always be aware – Use the same precautions whether you are taking your trash out to the curb or heading out for an evening’s entertainment.
Never assume that other people will care as much about your safety as you do. Question decisions made by apartment complex management, places of business, public venues, etc regarding security. If you don’t feel safe, act! Put an extra lock on the door and use it. Ask why security guards are not more visible. Call to report broken lights, overgrown shrubbery or other safety hazards.
Never assume that someone from a well known company or someone employed by your business/housing development is safe. Too often employers fail to do background checks or check with previous employers. As a result, you could be entering an elevator with a rapist or allowing a predator repairman into your home.
Try always to have someone with you when repairmen come to work in your home. At the very least, stay on the telephone with someone you can trust so that they can hear and report trouble should it arise.
Lock you doors and windows! It may be tempting to drive and/or sleep with the windows open. Don’t! Rapists spend time monitoring the behavior of potential victims. Make it as hard as possible for them to single you out.
Most important – take responsibility for your own security. Safety is an illusion. You may have the right to go/do/dress/act anyway you please. No “right” granted by our Constitution is of any importance to a rapist. Rhetoric over reason is a sure road to pain.