Tag Archives: relationships

when is the “right” time to report sexual assault? the short answer: any time

Like nearly everyone else in America, I want to talk about what’s happening with the #MeToo movement.

Let’s get something straight to start: life for women is abundantly different than it is for men. We have developed habits that are truly engrained in us, so much so that we don’t even think about it when we do these things in hopes of protecting ourselves. These behaviors are practically nonexistent among men.

Every day holds potential threats for women. Every. Single. Day. And by denying that, you empower the men who think they’re above the law or above ethical and moral behavior.

While a movement has started – or for the sake of argument, resurged – in the last year or two, it does not diminish the fact that we still have a long way to go.

We must believe women when they speak up and we must respect them when they tell their stories “late.” Why? Because the threat of being shrugged off as a misunderstanding, a joke, or an inconvenient time for the perpetrator is no longer an excuse.

We cannot allow these excuses to be more important than listening to these stories. The reality is that there is no “right” time to report sexual assault.

I don’t consider myself to be a victim, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some uncomfortable stories.

I will be honest and say that, as a woman who has never been a victim of what I would consider sexual assault, there have been times in my life where I was uncomfortable.

When I was no older than 4 or 5, an older boy who was a friend of the family was reading a book to me on our sofa. When I said I wanted to go take a nap with my mom, he said I could just stay and lay on the couch with him and we could take a nap together. My father was in the next room, likely watching football and napping in his recliner.

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I tried committing… but I wasn’t ready…

Lately, my thoughts are all over the place. It’s been such a long time since I’ve written anything for myself. Part of this is unintentional; much of it is/was a product of my life circumstances.

I ended up dating someone (like, an actual, real relationship) for about 8 weeks and that really effed things up. I spent zero time writing for myself. I worked on a couple of things early on and then, my life revolved around a relationship I wasn’t sure I wanted.

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being married to me… a story about learning to love myself…

If you’re not new to A Little Bit Brave, you know that I’m all about me. I don’t say that to sound selfish, but instead to make a point – I am all about doing what is best for me, not making my decisions to please someone else.

Thanks to my time in Korea, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be and feel confident. I’ve learned to appreciate and embrace my independence. Two years ago, I decided I wanted to make a statement, so I got a tattoo to represent that I was married to me:

This was something that made me feel powerful – like I could do anything and be the woman I had always dreamed of. It doesn’t mean that I absolutely never want to get married; it just means that I know I have to love myself first.

Self Love is Real

Last fall, after showing off my tat to a new friend and talking about living a single life abroad, she emailed me a video a few days later that encapsulated a lot of what I have been trying to say all along.

So much of what Ms. McMillan states is what I’ve felt for a while now. I couldn’t relate to everything, but there was one thing that stuck out more than any other: I have to love myself first.

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the class we loved to hate: the horror that is Sex Ed…

I’m not sure how it happened, but I recently stumbled across the amazingness that is Last Week Tonight. John Oliver, a British comedian, hosts his own show on HBO covering news stories from the past seven days.

In just two days, Oliver has taught me more about how the United States is effed up than I ever learned in all my years of school combined. And to add to it, he’s my kind of funny.

Now, I’m an American. I live “abroad,” if you will. I consider myself to be somewhat “with the times” and I try to keep up with the happenings in the Americas (and the world), including (but not limited to) presidential race candidates (kind of) and school shooting atrocities. While this is true, I was also totally unaware of many other things happening in my home country.

I had no idea that Washington D.C. has no real representation in our capital; that Syrian and other refugees are streaming into European countries, some of which are greeting them with what can be described as nothing less than disgusting refusals to accept them; about how broken the bail and public defenders systems are in America; or about the truly sickening behavior of many televangelists (I knew a little, but not this much. And I’m NOT saying all televangelists are like this, but sadly, many are.).

Needless to say, John’s given me a bit of an education. And I’m obsessed. So imagine my glee when I came across a video discussing the state of Sex Education in the great U.S. of A.

That’s right. I was stoked. I love to talk about sex and if you’ve been reading for a while, you’re probably familiar with my rant on how I believe parents should talk more openly with their kids about sex. I realize that no one wants to talk with their kids about the birds and the bees; but trust me, as a former child, no kid wants to talk with their parents about sex. But that’s kind of not the point.

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a little bit brave… life and love in the land down under…

Reader, I’m so excited to share the next installment of my series, “A Little Bit Brave.”

Each month, I’ll be posting an article by another blogger who took a leap and moved themselves away from everything that was familiar to find the next “right” step in their life. You can read other women’s stories here.

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Koalas. Kangaroos. Australia has this amazing mystique about it. It always has for me. I remember when I was 14 or 15, my mum told me she just had this feeling I would live far away when I grew up. I’ve always had an adventurous heart, but I can honestly say that I never expected anything to end up like this.

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When it came time to go to university, I left my parents’ house in Shawnee, Kansas to go two hours away to Kansas State. It was basically like high school, round two. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but wasn’t without its challenges. The day after we moved in, I played football with my roommate and two new friends. One of these friends would impact my life in a big way, and give me the illusion of a safety net that would help me to jump into the best decision of my life. 

I decided in December 2008 that I was definitely going to study abroad in Australia for my sophomore year. The whole year. Not the measly six months everyone else did. I wanted the full cultural experience. I was now also dating this previously-mentioned friend. I was in love. So I packed my two suitcases. Whoever invented the 50lbs/23kg limit never knew a 19-year-old girl packing for a full year. You have to be able to have nice things to go out.. Aussie summers are hot… Nobody has central heating… It’s a delicate balance!

I fell in love with Australia. Head over heels in love with Australia. But how could I stay? About as soon as I landed back on American soil, I was homesick. I can’t explain the tie this country has to my heart, but I knew I had to find a way back. I was prepared to make plans to leave my family, everything I really knew, to spend exorbitant amounts of money on finishing my degree, and to create a life halfway around the world.

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