Picture this familiar scene - a woman bravely steps forward to reveal that a sexual assault was perpetrated against her. Then comes the barrage of ignorant questions such as: “Were you drunk?” “What’s your motive in this?” “How can you make these bold accusations and be so fuzzy on the details?”
Jen admits to doubting women in the past and wonders if these "questions" are actually a form of veiled judgment (if we are willing to be honest). With a huge desire to be on the productive side of our response to sexual assault, Jen asks Jessica Michaels to speak about her own experience at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein and the movement she is creating to protect and empower others.
Our guest: JESS MICHAELS is an accomplished dancer with 30 years of experience as a dance industry professional, educator, and entrepreneur. She is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and a 1991 rape by Jeffrey Epstein. Her healing journey began unexpectedly, over twenty years later, after her hometown of Newtown, CT was devastated by the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In 2015, Jess joined Dylan’s Wings of Change, a foundation dedicated to Dylan Hockley, one of the first-grade victims in the shooting. It was there, in her hometown, teaching dance classes and working alongside the brave parents who had lost their children, that Jess began to connect the value of shame-free, community-based, early trauma intervention to the needs of sexual assault survivors. Her message normalizes a proactive, empowered emergency response to SA equipping us to effectively prepare for—rather than react to—one of society's most common, catastrophic crimes while advancing healing, justice and prevention.
Connect with Jessica:
Jen holds space for women who want to elevate and amplify their voice. If you desire support in speaking your truth and want to explore the ways you can work with Jen, let's connect:
Join us next week for the second half of this conversation and until then…keep communicating, connecting, and listening for REAL. It matters.
If you believe conversations like these belong in the world, please subscribe, rate & review this podcast - and even better, share it with someone else as a REAL conversation starter. Subscribe to all things Jen Oliver at beingREAL.