PART 2 of the conversation between Jen and Jessica Michaels on the reality of sexual assault and its solutions. The publicity around Jeffrey Epstein's crimes and the recent trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was a trigger for Jess and countless other SA survivors. It also provided visibility that delivers lasting change. We discuss many of the common misconceptions around SA; an assault is an assault -sexual or otherwise - so how can we talk about this kind of violence in a productive way? How can we be allies for one another instead of unwittingly contributing to the problem?
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.
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