#Back2School Burdens or Blessings: Which Will Define Your Daughter’s Year?


back to school after summer vacations, two teen real girls in classroom with blackboard painted together close up

Wow! It’s hard to believe that next week, July 31st to be exact, is the first day of school in the two counties where I spend most of my days speaking.

My how times have changed! Never in a million years could I have ever imagined starting school in July.

The teachers like to spend several weeks with the students before I come in to speak, which means I still have a few more weeks to get my voice ready for the four to six hours of speaking each day.

As the new school year begins, I’m looking forward to seeing the light bulb go off on teens faces when they hear a truth for the first time, causing them to connect the dots between their current choices and their future realities.

Most importantly, I’m looking forward to seeing how God will continue to answer all our prayers over the next school year. You know the prayers that I’ve been requesting from you over the years?

[Read more…]

Back to the Basics: Why Sexual Assault Prevention Begins with Consent

130419-F-CK779-001

"It took me listening to you for me to realize that I’ve been raped twice."

WOW! It boggles my mind that any young lady wouldn’t recognize when she’s being raped. Why is that?

Is it because girls are so desperate for attention from a guy that they are willing to do whatever he wants just to get it, including having sex unwillingly?

Or is it that they have been conditioned to believe that what they want doesn't matter?

Do they think so little of themselves and their bodies that they don’t believe they have the right to decide what happens to their bodies?

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month, I thought it important to shed light on an issue that is more pervasive than most parents realize.

The Problem Defining the Culture

Sadly, I have enough letters from teen girls sharing their sexual assault stories, that I could post one every day for months.

And I’ve read way too many letters from girls who tell me that they wouldn’t say they were raped; they just didn’t want to have sex.

Or they say, they succumbed to pressure and just “let it happen,” like the young lady below: 

[Read more…]

Sexual Assault Awareness: Shining a Light on a Daily Issue

Stop rape.

April was Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I chose to bring awareness to this issue by posting a new letter every day during April, from a student who had been raped or molested. I wish I didn’t have enough letters to be able to post one each day for an entire month. But, not only did I have enough, I could continue posting letters every day for months sadly.

Rape and molestation are happening at such epidemic proportions that I believe only bringing attention to them one month out of the year is doing a disservice to the issue. So, I’m purposely choosing to write a post about it after the designated month is over. I guess it’s my way of rebelling against a culture that doesn’t always acknowledge the severity of the problem.

Quiet as it's Kept

When I wrote a post to highlight Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month last year, I shared a story of a young lady who had been date-raped two years earlier and had never reported it until she told me. Since then, I’ve continued to see a pattern of girls keeping their sexual assault/rape a secret. Even if they do tell someone, many times they don’t want to press charges or get counseling.

Unfortunately, many girls blame themselves when they are violated. They tell me they don’t want to press charges and risk going to trial and being interrogated as if they were at fault. They also don’t want to get counseling because they don’t want to replay the incident and the trauma and shame that comes with it.

Earlier this year, a high school junior who was raped by four guys in an abandoned house when she skipped school during her freshman year, wrote the following:

[Read more…]

Date Rape: Lifting the Burden of Secrecy!

130419-F-CK779-001

Last year, my post to commemorate “Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month” focused on children who were molested or raped as a child by a family member. This year I want to focus on date rape, which is unfortunately a lot more common than it should be.

While teaching recently, I noticed a young lady trying her best not to lose it when I told a story about another student who had shared with me that she had been “date raped.” Tears streamed down the young lady’s face, as she tried her best to keep the rest of the class from seeing her cry.

She broke down crying in my arms after class and told me her boyfriend had raped her two years ago when she was in the 9th grade. She said she broke up with him the next day, but had never told anyone about the rape.

[Read more…]

My Week in Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

Driving at sunset - rear view mirrorLast week was quite a week! I drove almost 700 miles and spoke to more than 2,500 students in seven schools in five towns.

The GOOD!

As much as I despise driving, it was actually refreshing to travel through small towns where life seems so much simpler than life in a big city. I was constantly tempted to pull over to take pictures of perfectly lined trees in pecan orchards, people sitting on benches in quaint little town squares or the elderly gentleman sitting on his tractor at the edge of his yard waving at every passing car.

There’s also something fulfilling about speaking to students in small towns who attend schools that may not have the resources of schools in larger cities. You can almost see the hunger on the students’ faces. In most of the schools I visited last week, the students were so attentive that you would have thought I had honey dripping from my lips. It was as if they were hearing things they had never heard before, and they were eating it up.

[Read more…]

Three Reasons Teen Girls Stay Instead of Walking Away!

conflict and emotional stress in young coupleHave you ever wondered why teenage girls stay in unhealthy relationships?

A recent conversation with a young lady after class provides some insight.

She waited until everyone else left and came back to speak with me. It took her a while to speak because she was trying unsuccessfully to fight back tears. I held her as she cried and I repeated, “Whatever it is, you’re going to be okay!”

She finally pulled herself together enough to speak and said,

Thank you for speaking to my class! Hearing you speak made me realize that I need to end a 2 ½ year relationship with my boyfriend. He pressured me into having sex about 9 months after we started dating. Even though he wasn’t a good guy, I felt like I had to have sex with him to keep him around. I gave him so many chances even when he lied to me and cheated on me. He even gave me an incurable STD and I stayed with him.

Last summer I was diagnosed with HPV, the strain that causes cervical cancer. I’ve already had my cervix scraped twice because the pre-cancer cells had returned. My doctor says I will have to be monitored for cervical cancer the rest of my life.

Listening to you talk about how a guy treats a girl that he really loves made me realize that he never really loved me. I just wish I had heard you before I made the decision to have sex with him. It’s not going to be easy, but I know what I have to do now.

[Read more…]

A Mother’s Warning about Social Media…

Instagram

 

Last week I received a very disturbing and heartbreaking email message from a mother who follows my blog. She asked me to share her email message with my readers so they will never experience what her family has experienced.

 

Her letter:

[Read more…]

Protecting Your Child from Sexual Assault

saam_logo-generalenglish_2On May 1st, I will begin my blog series “Teens Tell All: Top 20 Reasons why Teens DO and DON’T Have Sex,” in support of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.

However, I decided to address one of those reasons this week since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

Since beginning this work, I have been blown away by the large number of girls who reveal in their anonymous letters that they have been raped or molested.

[Read more…]