Women's Awareness Blog











{June 3, 2016}   Katie Koestner

Bringing her story of date rape to the world, Katie Koestner (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36434191), kept her story alive. We know it can happen to any girl or woman. It can happen if your female. Thank you Katie Koestler for awareness you have provided by telling your story until people listened. Thank you. I know there are many of you out there that have a story too. Let us hear your voice. Join the conversation.

Please, help keep my daughter, Skylar’s story alive. Its a story about how a young 22 year old girl can innocently or unknowingly open doors and hearts to predators in their midst. I have written a novel, called Sophie’s Shadow. (previously written as SHADOWDANCE by Cat Lynn Boyle as of 2016 03 20by Cat Lynn Boyle as of 2016 03 20) It tells my daughter’s story. It’s about what happened to her one dawn when her boyfriend invited her after hours to his studio. Seven hours laters, she died in his arms after ingesting a drink laced with the date rape drug, GHB. Skylar’s case is a cold case, and, what her case needs is the attention Katie Koestler is able to incite around her experience with date rape. Katie Koestner is the hero, I’m not. If any of you reading this blog have ideas about how to build momentum around Skylar’s story, please reply with your ideas. And, Katie, if you read my blog, I’d really enjoy hearing more of your story. Thank you for following.

 



{February 14, 2015}   What kind gun for a woman?

Sadly, the myth that women are somehow less able or too weak to shoot a powerful handgun exists; it exists in gun stores, on the web or anywhere a woman might go to purchase a firearm or perhaps even within her family or social circles…http://thewellarmedwoman.com/what-kind-of-a-gun-for-a-woman

So, here is a truth if you want to stop a rapist carry a gun. Its a simple truth. It’s the responsible thing to do. The experts say It will end rape. According to self-defense expert Paxton Quigley handguns play an important role in society: they stop rape. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/25/do-u-s-women-need-guns-self-defense-expert-paxton-quigley-says-yes.html

A Well Armed Woman: survival stories

These stories are gripping and, only the tip of the iceberg ( http://thewellarmedwoman.com/women-and-guns/survival-stories) You need some kind of self defense training whether it’s a gun or martial arts or another type self-defense is a wise choice.

…the gun and its mythology is the ultimate form of violent masculinity…Women can also be a part of this social acceptance of firearms, as they can be seen as being tools for protection. ” http://www.wilpfinternational.org/guns-and-gender-based-violence/



TECHNOLOGY EMPOWERS PREDATORS IN NEW WAYS BUT IT ALSO EMPOWERS VICTIMS. THERE’S THE GUY WHO WON’T LEAVE YOU ALONE AND CALLS UNEXPECTEDLY. HE’S SO BOLD HE SENDS A DICK PIC. WHAT CAN YOU DO? HOW ABOUT CONTACT HIS MOM VIA FACEBOOK. Read,Tracy Clark-Flory’s article, The Crotch Shot Revenge: http://www.salon.com/2013/06/11/the_crotch_shot_revenge/

What do you do with guy like that? Weigh in.



{November 24, 2014}   The Friendly Predator

A young woman was staying with her family at a motel when she met a nice young man hobbling down the hall on crutches who asked her for help getting into his room. It was mid-day, he was well spoken and groomed, barely able to stand up, and her family was close by. Once again serial killer Ted Bundy snared a helpful victim. http://www.crime-safety-security.com/outdoor-safety-friendly-predators.html

WARNING: Stay away from anyone with sad stories, asking for directions or for the time, etc. A predator’s “conversation” is a form of testing. Tough targets tend not to be selected. Refuse all requests. You’re not obligated to chitchat. For outdoor safety, it’s far better to overreact and be rude than to end up a victim. http://www.crime-safety-security.com/outdoor-safety-friendly-predators.html

True Stories of online Predators using online dating sites including Christian sites to recruit victims: http://www.instantcheckmate.com/crimewire/10-horrifying-true-stories-of-online-predators-who-attacked-in-real-life/

ADVICE: …ten things that every woman should know about personal safety, and are covered in the Laurs’ newly published book, Total Awareness: A Woman’s Safety Book:

1. Awareness: Your first line of defence.awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies.
2. Use your sixth sense. “Sixth sense.” “Gut instinct.” Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe–you’re probably right.
3. Self-defense training.
4. Escape: Always your best option. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away…
5. Your right to fight…statistics clearly show that your odds of survival are far greater if you do fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second.
6. Pepper spray: Never depend on any self-defence tool or weapon to stop an attacker. Trust your body and your wits…
7. Home invasions: never, ever open your door unless you either are certain you know who’s on the other side…for more tips see http://powertochange.com/life/personalsafetytips/



{November 19, 2014}   Stealing the Lives of Women

Stolen Dreams ~ A young woman killed days before she’s to enter Ms. World pageant http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/19/world/americas/honduras-beauty-queen-dead/index.html?hpt=hp_t1. I couldn’t believe it when I read this as I recalled another similar story about the 1998 Miss World Linor Abargi who two months before the pageant.was abducted and raped but went on to take the crown and advocates to brings awareness of sexual violence against women: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/2/19/brave_miss_world_raped_before_winning  Women are at risk and now, like never before, its important to take steps to protect yourself from predators by learning self defense. At least you’ve got a fighting chance at getting away.

Sexual Predator Warning Signs: http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/266



Ironic that quote is by a man but the point is, WOMEN ARE NOT THE PROBLEM THEY’RE THE SOLUTION _ HALF THE SKY

Follow link to video:  http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/half-the-sky-review-notes/

The global statistics on the abuse of girls are numbing. It appears that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the battles of the twentieth century. More girls are killed in this routine “gendercide” in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century. | In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the twentieth century, it was the battle against totalitarianism. We believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality around the world. http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/half-the-sky-review-notes/

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi



{November 2, 2014}   A Culture of Misogyny

College Fraternity accused of creating Culture of Misogyny: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/31/justice/lawsuit-phi-kappa-tau-fraternity/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

HERE IS A MAN BLOGGING ABOUT THE CULTURE MISOGYNY AFTER THE MAY 2014 CA REVENGE ON WOMEN SHOOTING (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/24/elliot-rodgers-california-shooting-mental-health-misogyny)  …I have known nerdy male stalkers, and, yes, nerdy male rapists. I’ve known situations where I knew something was going on but didn’t say anything—because I didn’t want to stick my neck out, because some vile part of me thought that this kind of thing was “normal,” because, in other words, I was a coward and I had the privilege of ignoring the problem…other people’s bodies and other people’s love are not something that can be taken nor even something that can be earned—they can be given freely, by choice, or not.  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html

The NUS defines lad culture as a group or “pack” mentality expressed in activities such as sport and heavy alcohol consumption, and in “banter” which is “often sexist, misogynist, and homophobic”.   http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/07/lad-culture-women-rape-sexual-harassment-abuse-laddish



Comment by Chelsea Handler after her Istagram of herself topless was removed by Instagram…but it was okay for Gladamir Putin to post a topless pic??? http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/31/showbiz/chelsea-handler-topless-photo/index.html?hpt=en_c1

What do you think about different beliefs, attitudes and acceptances based on gender? Its okay for men to catcall women or to buy magazines with naked women or to go to strip joints to stare at naked women but not okay for a woman to post an instagram of her own naked breast? That kind of thinking couldn’t be right. Why do men always get involved when it comes to women’s bodies and their choices about what they do with their bodies?



It saddens me to report the remains discovered a few miles from where the University of VA student, Hannah Graham, disappeared have been identified as belonging to Hannah Graham.  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/10/24/hannah-graham-remains-found-in-virginia-police-confirm/

Take Self-defense classes. Women who fight their abductor have a stronger chance of survival.



Weigh in,..

Do you think girls dress in a way that invites trouble? http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/opinion/costello-provocative-clothes-dont-cause-rape/?cid=ob_articlesidebarall&iref=obinsite

Imagine this scenario: A young man is talking with his father about sexual assault. How might that conversation go in a world where you believed girls could provoke boys into attacking them simply by being scantily dressed?
Son: “Dad, you were right. I couldn’t control myself. She looked so…sexy. I knew she wanted it.”

Father: “It’s okay, son. It’s evolution. Men have been tempted since caveman days. She should have covered up. How short was her skirt?”

I’m praying most fathers would never dream of raising a son this way.
I accept the fact that men are visual. Mike Matthews puts it like this in an article on catholiceducation.org “….The fact is, it doesn’t take much visual stimulus at all for guys to become sexually aroused. The sight of the female body, even just a little bit and even if it’s a complete stranger, can trigger sexual thoughts instantly. This might be difficult for women to understand, but it’s absolutely true…”   http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/opinion/costello-provocative-clothes-dont-cause-rape/?cid=ob_articlesidebarall&iref=obinsite

Linda Fairstein, who prosecuted sex crimes for 30 years in New York City says, “Sexual assault is the only crime in the book, literally, where the offender repeatedly blames the victim. I’ve … had men who attacked 5-year-old girls who’ve said, ‘she climbed on my lap and she was very sexy and I thought she was inviting me to touch her.'”  http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/opinion/costello-provocative-clothes-dont-cause-rape/?cid=ob_articlesidebarall&iref=obinsite

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 1 in 4 rapes take place in the victim’s home. Two in 10 rapes take place at the home of a friend, neighbor or relative. And almost two-thirds of all rapes are committed by someone the victim already knows. Don’t think a short skirt provoked these men to rape.  http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/opinion/costello-provocative-clothes-dont-cause-rape/?cid=ob_articlesidebarall&iref=obinsite

My daughter was 22 when she died at her boyfriend’s music studio after someone spiked her drink with GHB. She had gone to the studio alone and after hours by late night invitation of the boyfriend/rapper. She told her roommate she was going to get the boyfriend and return. She lit a candle and left. No one saw her alive again.

Her boyfriend drove my daughter to a hospital dead on arrival. She had been dead several hours before he took her to the hospital. He never called 911 when she fell to the floor after unknowingly ingesting GHB instead he decided to let her sleep it off. He claimed he didn’t know how she came in contact with GHB and he and the band suggested in their statements someone spiked her drink at the dance club before she arrived.

Only problem with their collaborative story is she walked 13 blocks from the club to the boyfriend’s studio, which is physically impossible given the amount of GHB still in her body post-mortum. The boyfriend/band also claim in their statements to police that my daughter had been at the studio approximately 40 to 50 minutes before she collapsed in seizures. We now know depending on stomach contents one can react to GHB in 10 to 15 minutes following ingestion, depending on the stomach content and, presence of alcohol. Her’s stomach was near empty; she’d had two glasses of wine over several hours. It’s clear from these two facts alone there existed reasonable cause for the D.A. to take the case, because the expert’s report challenged the boyfriend/band’s version of the facts. The investigating police officer didn’t believe the boyfriend’s/band’s story because the band manager was known the police said for drug dealing and possibly laundering money. The case went from the police directly to the homicide division.

But, today, my daughter”s case remains a cold case. The homicide detective did little to investigate the case and, in my opinion, was a fan of the rapper/ band. He ignored the GHB expert report who reviewed the records and concluded the GHB had to have been ingested at the studio. This one report written in April 2000 provided cause to prosecute because the boyfriend/band had all testified they were not the source of the drug but the expert, Dr. Debroah Zvosec’s report indicated otherwise. The homicide detective accepted the boyfriend and band’s statements which claimed my daughter came to their studio uninvited and drunk, and, often, showed up at parties uninvited and on drugs. THE DETECTIVE BLAMED THE VICTIM. He immediately made it clear he believed my daughter voluntarily took GHB and he tried to discredit my daughter. Yet, the medical personnel, police, friends of my daughter all testified, otherwise. They boyfriend/band lied according to the people who walked home from the club with my daughter and saw her minutes before she walked the final block alone to the studio. These witnesses were never questioned by the homicide detective. Less than 24 hrs. after the boyfriend/rapper took my daughter’s dead body to a hospital, he left town. When I tracked him down, he confessed, he and the band had been messed up for days on various drugs which he said caused him to make a bad judgment call in not calling 911 when my daughter collapsed and went into a coma. The boyfriend and his band have been free men and were never prosecuted for their crime of causing the death of a WOMAN/GIRL!  I hope to soon complete and post her for my readers, Shadow Dance, a fictionalized version of my daughter’s story. 

Our bodies are the garden of our soul. We should not have to defend ourselves against the onslaught of predators who act like friends who care and value our lives but in reality only seek two things: vulnerability and opportunity…then, they strike. Raise your awareness to include your sisters, who may be out alone and vulnerable, please befriend them and invite them to join your table, group or network of friends.  Remember, You are more likely to survive sexual assault if you fight back then if you submit. Please take up a Self-defense class in your neighborhood!



et cetera