“There is no agony like having an untold story inside you.” - Zora Neale Hurston
How storytelling helped me heal | Healing from Sexual Abuse Vlog, Ep. 5

How storytelling helped me heal | Healing from Sexual Abuse Vlog, Ep. 5

<—– This is a photo of the trees and me being supermodel Awesome. Down below is a video (vlog post) of the trees and me being not supermodel but superhero AWESOME. Seriously. One year ago there was NO WAY you would have found me talking this openly about my story of...
Coming home to our bodies: trauma and justice

Coming home to our bodies: trauma and justice

This piece is a cross-post, originally published on January 29, 2016, on the Brethren Mennonite Council website. My senior year of high school, I was talking to a school counselor about an experience I had earlier that year with another classmate. As I finished my explanation, he told me that what...
Loving Pain into Speech

Loving Pain into Speech

These last many months, I have slowly allowed myself to acknowledge anew the depth and endlessness of the heartache I carry within – heartache for the ways we human beings tear at each other’s bodies and psyches and spirits and holy places and communities and cultures and homes; heartache for the ways we tear...
Counting Myself Out: Am I a Christian? (or, "How I Got in Bed with Jesus")

Counting Myself Out: Am I a Christian? (or, “How I Got in Bed with Jesus”)

*This is a cross-post from Rae‘s new blog “Heart of Thought,” which she began “in response to reading about theology, philosophy, and experiences of god without getting the opportunity to theologize, philosophize, and talk about my own daily experiences with god.” This particular piece appeared on October 29, 2015. You...
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Self-Care: Indulgence or Preservation? | Healing from Sexual Abuse Vlog, Ep. 4

Self-Care: Indulgence or Preservation? | Healing from Sexual Abuse Vlog, Ep. 4

Have you heard the term self-care mentioned a time or two? How does it make you feel? Do you shrug your shoulders and say, “Self-care? Who on earth has time for that?!” Many people in the Christian and activist world lack a self-care discipline. I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard people speak...
What is compassion, anyway? | Healing from Sexual Abuse Vlog, Ep. 3

What is compassion, anyway? | Healing from Sexual Abuse Vlog, Ep. 3

Have you ever thought about compassion? I mean, reallllly thought about it? Have you considered the line Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and rather than use it to justify how we treat others, look at it as a reflection of how we treat ourselves? Most of us, especially Christians that I know, live life...
Exploring Identity: Who Am I? | Healing from Sexual Abuse Vlog, Ep. 2

Exploring Identity: Who Am I? | Healing from Sexual Abuse Vlog, Ep. 2

Thank you everyone for your support, kind words, and thoughts that were shared yesterday. I felt so loved and held by this amazing community. If you didn’t see yesterday’s vlog on vulnerability, it’s not too late to check it out here. As I mention at the beginning of today’s vlog, these videos are for everyone, not...
Video Vulnerability | Healing from Sexual Abuse, Ep.1

Video Vulnerability | Healing from Sexual Abuse, Ep.1

I’ve been debating whether or not to post this for the past 24+ hours. To say that it is embarrassing is an understatement. I showed my closest friend the video below, asking their honest opinion on whether or not I should launch a vlogging (video blog) series for Our Stories Untold, and proceeded to hide...
Have we learned anything from the John Howard Yoder cover-up?

Have we learned anything from the John Howard Yoder cover-up?

*The piece originally appeared as as a blog post on TheMennonite.org on December 12, 2015. ———————————- On December 1st, Mennonite Church USA’s (MCUSA) Executive Board staff cabinetannounced the members of a new sexual abuse prevention panel. This panel is a direct response to the Churchwide Statement on Sexual Abuse passed by the delegate assembly this summer at...
Honoring the Power of Worship

Honoring the Power of Worship

*This post was originally written for Dove’s Nest. See the Dove’s nest post here. For the last several years, I have been talking with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse about how the worship and teachings of their faith communities impacted their experiences of abuse, its traumatic consequences, and their ability to eventually seek recovery. A commitment...
Make it safer for sexual violence survivors to name perpetrators

Make it safer for sexual violence survivors to name perpetrators

This cross-post by Stephanie Krehbiel originally appeared in the opinion section on The Mennonite‘s website on October 5, 2015.   In August, together with 10 other Mennonite or formerly Mennonite advocates for survivors of sexual violence, I attended the annual conference of the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests. SNAP is a 30-year-old organization formed by Catholic...
Survivors Protest CMU's John Howard Yoder Course Description

Survivors Protest CMU’s John Howard Yoder Course Description

As the North American Mennonite church has these past two years (and decades) discussed, discerned and shed tears upon tears regarding John Howard Yoder’s sexual abuse of women, it has been repeated again and again: Yoder’s treatment of women was abusive. It is not to be called “inappropriate.” It is to be named as abusive....
New allegations: church leader Vernon Leis

New allegations: church leader Vernon Leis

Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada has released a public statement that it has received an allegation of “sexual and ethical misconduct” implicating a former pastor, Vernon Leis, of Tavistock, ONT, Canada, who is deceased. In order to reveal the full truth, we urge any victims or witnesses with more information to come forward. Contact us confidentially at Mennonite@snapnetwork.org or...
Sex with a pastor: An affair or abuse?

Sex with a pastor: An affair or abuse?

Representing the Anabaptist Mennonite Chapter of SNAP, Dr. Cameron Altaras delivered the following speech at the Annual SNAP conference in Alexandria, Virginia on August 2, 2015. More than 300 survivors of sexual abuse in faith communities and their loved ones gathered to hear speakers from around the world who educated and inspired us to “protect the vulnerable and expose the truth”...
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