Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

What if Someone Confides in Me?
by Teresia Smith

Each year we set aside the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, as a time to share information with as many as possible. We give out statistics and share stories from survivors. We offer events to raise awareness that sexual assault is happening in every community. We raise money to help provide services and we hand out brochures offering resources. All these things are great, but sexual assault happens all year long and we need to continue to have conversations to make sure everyone is comfortable knowing what to say or do if they suspect abuse or someone discloses sexual assault. I want to share simple, basic information that’s easy to remember.
I am often asked how to identify a sexual assault victim. It’s not always easy and signs vary by age group. There may or may not be physical signs of abuse so we need to consider behaviors also.

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Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

Knowing My Worth
by Teresia Smith

A majority of childhood abuse victims struggle with depression and anxiety, poor relationships, sexual issues, eating disorders, sleep disorders, drug dependence, and suicide. The chronic stress of life after childhood abuse has also been shown to affect survivor’s health with a greater risk of heart disease and cancer as it takes a toll on the body.

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Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

Empty Spaces
by Teresia Smith

There is a quote attributed to Will Shortz that says “We have a natural compulsion to fill empty spaces.”

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Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

How to Respond to Unwanted Attention
by Christina Hays

We all have probably met someone who believes they just “naturally” pick the wrong person to date. Maybe this friend says they attract all the wrong attention or are a magnet for trouble, when in fact they are falling prey to someone who just will not take no for an answer. This is a major red flag and potential warning sign for someone who could be controlling, possessive, and eventually abusive. There are lots of ways to avoid feeling trapped into saying yes when your gut has told you to say no. Rejection is hard and most people try to be as polite as possible, however, if you are too polite or not straightforward enough it could encourage the person to continue trying instead of understanding that it simply is not going to happen.

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Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

Make a Wave
by Teresia Smith

Have you ever had the chance to toss a pebble into a lake? As a child, it was fun to watch the ripples from that pebble toss. What if multiple people threw pebbles at the same time? Those ripples may combine and become bigger. Then the bigger ripples may join others and become a wave. “Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side.” Victor Webster.

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