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My Why

"What will you do with your one wild and precious life?"

Mary Oliver

My goal with this blog is to create a weekly platform that addresses and gives voice to the nightmare that the victims of sexual and physical assault go through every 73 seconds* in this country.

This website is also a place to celebrate and empower these same individuals and our allies.

It is time that the stigma and the shame of sexual and physical assault is ended – every one of us must step up and join the conversation. Every one of us must demonstrate with our words and our actions to the pussy grabbers of the world that they will not be permitted to go on victimizing those less powerful than themselves.

When we stand up to the bullies that commit sexual and physical violence against women - we are standing up for all people – a feminist by definition is a humanist. What I want for myself and my sisters - I want for all.

The disenfranchised and the marginalized are bucking the odds – we are going up against the bullies with their billions and we are saying in no uncertain terms – enough – you will be held accountable.

It is an exciting time – the marginalized populations in this country can stand together and affect change.

When I speak to the horrors of sexual and physical assault – it is not with the intention of painting the individuals that survive these attacks as one dimensional - as only being defined by a violent act perpetrated against us.

I too am a person who has experienced sexual and physical assault.

I am taking back my life …

I will no longer take responsibility for the actions of my rapists and batterers.

It was not my fault when was I was 2 – it was not my fault at 12 or at 15 or at 52.

I refuse to take on the shame and blame any longer.

I refuse to let the pussy grabbers use my shame as way to implicate and blame me for their crimes.

The way I am going to take action– is by doing what I love to do with a passion – make a film.

"Are You Hearing Me?" is a feature length documentary exploring the stories of female artists who have survived sexual and physical trauma and how we incorporate and process our trauma within the body of our work - thereby empowering ourselves and our communities. It is anchored on my own story of surviving a rape and physical assault in 2010.

January 2010 my rapist and batterer swore to me that “I’m going to make sure that you never make another film again.” It was his intention that those would be the last words that I ever heard –just as it was his intention to blind me before beating me to death.

Ironically his words kept me going through 6 ½ years – 6 ½ years that I could barely leave my apartment – 6 ½ years that I was no longer functioning as the person I knew myself to be –6 ½ years in which I had no idea if I would ever have the intellectual capacity to make another film or for that matter do anything that I had done in my life prior to that January morning on the corner of Milpas and Gutierrez.

I am more grateful than I could possibly articulate that this man was pulled off of me by Santa Barbara police officers just as he destroyed my glasses. He didn’t have the opportunity to get at my eyes or to do more damage to my skull.

There were officers that were incredibly kind and respectful and did everything within their power to protect me in the months that followed my attacks and it is not these individuals that I am speaking of at this moment.

No human being should ever be beaten or raped and then face the horror of dealing with a system that re-traumatizes the victims and protects their perpetrators.

I believe I survived for a reason.

I came out of my stupor July 17th 2016 – on the eve of the 2016 Republican Convention – just in time to watch in terror the reports of police officers with automatic weapons - reporters being repeatedly bullied and arrested for simply doing their jobs – just in time to watch a bully and self-identified sexual predator be elected to the highest office in this land.

I do not understand anyone - anywhere believing that sexual assault is acceptable by anyone at any time. I do not understand anyone - anywhere believing that it is acceptable for people to be murdered because of the color of their skin - the size of their bank account or their level of intellectual function.

I have experienced with all of you as this country has become increasingly more polarized – to the point where we are at war with one another. We no longer speak to those who do not believe as we do –we spend our days on social media platforms that make billions polarizing us even further. Why…fake news is simply more profitable than the truth.

So, it is time that we fix this – fix us.

I am committing to stand up for myself and others who have experienced sexual and physical trauma.

I ask that you stand with me.

I am starting by making "Are You Hearing Me?"

It is a challenge to tell a personal story of this nature.

It has now been 4 years since I was medically cleared for the Traumatic Brain Injury that was as a result of my assault and my recovery is still a full-time job.

My attacker almost got his wish – less than 7% of individuals come back from a head injury such as mine. I am already a walking miracle – I could just as easily still be hiding behind closed doors - never engaging with any of you – hidden behind the shadows of my memories and fears.

I am being given a second chance to live the life that I love.

I am often asked if working on a film based on my own experiences is too traumatizing.

No – it is not – remaining silent - not coming forward with stories that I believe can and will inform, educate and empower would truly be a miserable existence.

It is challenging and all consuming.

Yet the work that I am doing on this film is facilitating my healing as well as the healing of the women who have agreed to be subjects of my film.

I do believe that this film will be that much stronger because my story is at the center – I do have a unique and powerful perspective to bring.

I am only at the beginning of this process – again - I ask that you stand with me.

There are numerous ways that you will be able to support "Are You Hearing Me?" – our official Crowdfunder starts next Friday! In the meantime - you can donate through PayPal on this site!

All donations will be eligible for all rewards offered during our Crowdfunder!

Thank you.

*Every 73 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in this country.

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