Friday, November 30, 2007

December 07 Minizine

The December 07 Minizine is now online and ready to download.
We hope you love it and welcome your comments:


Chris & Ophelia
and Aleks (our magical design fairy)

Issue 4 - Dec 07

Our Strength as Boys & Men - Christopher de Serres
What's In A Name - Ophelia de Serres
Advocate of the Month - Forence Holway

Stifle It - Diann Diaz

Keeping the Promise, Part 2 - Karen A. Duncan

Dental Tips for Survivors - Dr. Kate F. Hays
We Can Hear You - Survivor Emails
Question & Answer - Therapy for the male survivor
I, Anonymous - Dissociative Identity Disorder
Featured Artist - Hugo
Featured Book - Separated From The Light
WSOtv - Video showcase
Classifieds & Events

D.I.D. Awareness Ribbon - Your vote counts

There's an awesome new ribbon that is being created in an effort to bring awareness to Dissociative Identity Disorder. There is currently no ribbon for D.I.D. and as per the survivor manual, this info is being distributed to gain votes and get the best ribbon for the cause.

Take a look and make your vote count.

For those who haven't seen it, check out the
D.I.D. video blog

Introductions are in order!

Dear Friends,

In an effort to to create a broader platform for community action we have expanded our list of authors, writing in collaboration with Chris and myself on the WSO blog

Our first entry is a friend and fellow advocate of mine, Angela Rakis. I met Angela years ago at her annual conference for V.O.I.C.E.S. in Ohio. She is an amazing spokesperson and survivor-advocate and someone that we feel is a wonderful addition to our WSO team.

Jaime, is also a friend and advocate in the field. With a vast array of experience, Jaime brings a wealth of knowledge in rape, sexual assault and gender violence awareness. We look forward to seeing her posts, in the coming weeks.

Our newest team member is well known amongst the male-survivor community here on myspace. His name is Hugo, a.k.a. Male survivor.
He is an established artist and writer and we are honored to have him on the team. Thank you for being here.

Our list of writers is expanding and as more posts are made, we will introduce each, respectively.

We encourage you all to subscribe to our blog, to stay updated on the latest in WSO news.

THANK YOU! for all that you do.


Ophelia & Chris

Girls Fight Back!

There have been a series of assaults on women in the Seattle area. The attacker is still at large.

These attacks are random. This could be you.

Stay safe. Stay alert! Buy GIRLS FIGHT BACK today. Invest in yourself. You're worth it.

Pass it on.

Girls Fight Back!: The College Girl's Guide to Protecting Herself

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Let me introduce myself

Hello everyone. My name is Angela Rakis and I have been invited by Ophelia and Chris to participate on the WSO blog. It is truly an honor. Thank you both!!

I am also an abuse survivor and now an advocate for survivors of all types of abuse. I personally understand the seriousness of the long term effects abuse has on a person. Those who have not been abuse, or choose to ignore their own situation, often express disbelief that an event that occurred so long ago can have daily effects on an adult. We know better. This is the number one reason why I am an advocate and speak out on the subject. There are an incredible number of adults suffering without any support and I believe that is unacceptable. We all need support and love if we are to move forward to create a healthy and happy life for ourselves.

I am committed to supporting survivors in as many ways as possible and welcome this opportunity to communicate with so many people that are dealing with the same issues I am. Although I went through several years of serious work on myself, and made great progress in my self-acceptance and healing, there will always be an internal struggle with the subject of abuse.

In my future posts I will share with you my thoughts on these issues and I welcome your feedback.

~ Angela

Reinventing Family

Today has been one filled with much mixed emotion. There are quite a few friends out there who are going through an extremely difficult time right now and with the holidays just around the corner, I was called to make this video to vent some of my thoughts. I hope it serves you well and gives some light in the darkness. Be well.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Manifest it!

We have been receiving video blog requests from quite a few readers, asking questions about how to deal with their individual experiences. We will be posting some new videos shortly and are currently compiling a list for future entries.

Again, if you are interested in having WSO focus on a particular topic, please email us your suggestion to and we will do our best to facilitate a discussion.

We will expanding our blog this month, to include several other survivor-advocates, authors and artists in the field who we feel encompass the vision of (Wo)Men Speak Out. In time, this list will grow to allow for a more diverse experience for our readers, both male and female. Our mission is to share our experiences, in order to create a broader platform for community action.

We look forward to your feedback and continued support.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

November 25th & 16 Days of Activism

WSO asks: What will your 16 days of activism consist of?

This year marks the 17th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence — an international campaign originating from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991, when participants chose the dates November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically emphasize that violence against women is a human rights violation. The 16 Days Campaign has been embraced as an organizing strategy by a broad spectrum of individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women through activities ranging from media programmes to demonstrations, conferences, exhibitions and performances.

The overarching theme of this year’s campaign — Demanding Implementation, Challenging Obstacles — indicates that while there has been much progress made, challenges persist that hinder the effectiveness of efforts by activists and organizations to prevent and respond to the violence women suffer everywhere around the globe.

The 16 Days Campaign seeks to help dismantle obstacles and overcome challenges posed by social attitudes and policies that condone and perpetuate gender-based violence.

Its starting date, November 25th, was chosen in honour of the Mirabal sisters, political activists from the Dominican Republic who were assassinated on the same day in 1961. The three sisters were murdered for their efforts to oppose dictatorship in their country, and their legacy of bravery and compassion has made them national and international heroines.

It was in 1999 that the United Nations officially joined the campaign by designating 25 November the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (resolution 54/134). This followed on from a 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, in which the UN General Assembly resolved “that violence against women constitutes a violation of the rights and freedoms of women” & identified “a need for ... commitment by the international community at large to the elimination of violence against women.” UN agencies have since partnered with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments to conduct regional campaigns to raise awareness and mobilize community action. UNIFEM, as part of its deep involvement in the global fight to eradicate violence against women, has taken the
lead in coordinating several UN inter-agency campaigns in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the CEE/CIS region, to foster and promote innovative strategies to address the issue.

Retrieved from
Copyright © 2007 United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Article submissions for the Minizine

There have been quite a few people emailing us about information for the Minizine. We have decided that it would be best to post here so that people have it down in writing to refer to and forward on.

In keeping with the aims of the Minizine, we are always looking for high quality writing and journalism –survivors, advocates and community members who wish to contribute their stories are encouraged to submit an article for consideration using the following guidelines:

We prefer simple text based submissions, in Microsoft Word or a similar.

One space after each period, colon, or semi-colon.
Periods should be inside of quotes.
Please do not indent.

MUST BE AN ORIGINAL ARTICLE THAT YOU WROTE. If you work for an author as an employee or contractor and are submitting the article, please submit the article as if it was from the original author including his or her email address and name.

Please include your name, title, organization and contact details at the bottom of your article as you would like them printed.

All submissions must represent themes that align with our organization's mission, working from an anti-oppressive framework.

(Wo)Men Speak Out is an organization dedicated to eradicating male/female violence against both genders. We seek to educate both men and women, cultivating healthy relationships and gender equity.

Word count

One page of Minizine is approximately 600 words. Articles longer than 2 pages are generally not suitable for The Minizine with the exception by regular contributors.

We recommend 1 page for a standard length article, but welcome longer articles. If you would like to contribute a longer article, please feel free to email us the details of the article to confirm placement availability.

Photos to submit with your article should be high quality. Colored head shots are preferred.


We have rigorous quality control and production procedures to follow and therefore our deadlines are important. We ask all contributors to observe them. Deadlines for 2007 Editions are the 20th day of each month. These dates may be revised in 2008.

Please email your article to:

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Rape of Mr. Smith

The Rape of Mr. Smith
— Author Unknown

The law discriminates against rape victims in a manner which would not be tolerated by victims of any other crime. In the following example, a holdup victim is asked questions similar in form to those usually asked a victim of rape.

"Mr. Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the corner of 16th and Locust?"
"Did you struggle with the robber?"
"Why not?"
"He was armed."
"Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than to resist?"
"Did you scream? Cry out?"
"No. I was afraid."
"I see. Have you ever been held up before?"
"Have you ever given money away?"
"Yes, of course —"
"And did you do so willingly?"
"What are you getting at?"
"Well, let's put it like this, Mr. Smith. You've given away money in the past — in fact, you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure that you weren't contriving to have your money taken from you by force?"
"Listen, if I wanted —"
"Never mind. What time did this holdup take place, Mr. Smith?"
"About 11 p.m."
"You were out on the streets at 11 p.m.? Doing what?"
"Just walking."
"Just walking? You know it's dangerous being out on the street that late at night. Weren't you aware that you could have been held up?"
"I hadn't thought about it."
"What were you wearing at the time, Mr. Smith?"
"Let's see. A suit. Yes, a suit."
"An expensive suit?"
"Well — yes."
"In other words, Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn't that so? I mean, if we didn't know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think you were asking for this to happen, mightn't we?"
"Look, can't we talk about the past history of the guy who did this to me?"
"I'm afraid not, Mr. Smith. I don't think you would want to violate his rights, now, would you?"

Friday, November 9, 2007

Points with Purpose

From thousands of tragic events, a beautiful drawing is born.

David Ilan, a celebrity artist has created a project named Points with Purpose. Through his specialized technique he gives dots a greater meaning by associating each dot with a real person who has been raped or sexually abused.

I love this project not only because it is a beautiful and empowering tribute to the female survivor but more personally, the woman who is sketched in the drawing looks very much like my sister Maggie, who passed away in 2001. Maggie was not only my sister but also a survivor of incest and domestic violence, and very much the reason for my advocacy today. The likeness is actually quite amazing and though coincidental, I believe that everything happens for a reason and I was meant to stumble upon this amazing project.

If you have been raped or sexually abused you can join the project on his site (It's free), giving your real name or an alias, and have the option of sharing your story. David will add one dot for every person who joins until the drawing is complete.

The final drawing will be of a woman looking confident, proud and beautiful. By joining the project, thousands of people with a shared tragic experience will work together to form a work of art meant to show others who go through similar experiences that they too can feel confident, proud and beautiful again.

Make a point of telling your story today:

Erin Weed - AM 760

Fellow Advocate and friend, Erin Weed is now hosting a radio show on AM 760 in Denver called Women on Top. If you missed her show this Sunday, check it out here

GFB was born in 2001 in response to the murder of a gorgeous, talented and much-loved college student named Shannon McNamara. Shannon's friend and Alpha Phi sorority sister, Erin Weed, founded GFB shortly after the murder when she realized safety and self-defense resources were simply hard to come by. Six years after the creation of GFB, Erin still travels the nation speaking to 100,000 women per year. She also writes books and magazine articles on women's safety and has contributed to our very own (Wo)Men Speak Out Minizine.

Erin is an amazing Advocate and we all need to support such an amazing talk-radio show!
Tune in to AM 760 Sundays at 2pm MST for another hour of Erin. If you don't live near Colorado, listen streaming live on the internet at

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Everyday Together Campaign

The Everyday Together Campaign
Deadline: December 6, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007

Let's talk D.I.D.

There has been a lot of inaccurate information circulating on the internet that has been causing a lot of confusion on the survivor/mental health side of things. In an attempt to clear up some of the confusion, I have created this short 7min youtube video. Take a look and let us know of any additional resources that you would like to share.

Additionally, mentioned here are the links to the literature in this video.
Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out
Separated From the Light (A Path Back from Psychological Trauma)

I also received an email from P.O.S of myspace who recommends the following site for partners of DID survivors. Please take a look:

Please feel free to post comments with additional resources for people to reference.