It's been a whirlwind of GOOD things happening; we have been trying to keep up! That's a beautiful challenge to have, isn't it.... we'll do our best to catch you all up. Things like, Sara's Law dropping in 2 states, Sara writing and performing her monologue on stage as part of Eve Ensler's famous Vagina Monologues-- a monologue, a rant & prayer to end violence against women. Imagine, Sara got to tell HER STORY, HER WAY & on a stage! There wasn't a dry eye in the house. It's was magical. It was healing. It was transformative. It was simply, powerful. The show literally SOLD OUT before we could utter a word about it. We promise, more is to come! #IamSJK is just getting started.
So, back to Sara's Law: we're excited to announce Sara has a Law! It's a first-of-its-kind legislation to protect victims of child sex trafficking and sexual abuse, who commit crimes against their traffickers and abusers! In January, Hawaii State Representative John Mizuno has introduced Sara's Law HB.932. And February brought A.B. 158 to the state of Nevada thanks to Assemblymembers Hambrick, Krasner, Elliso, Kramer, Leavitt and Wheeler.
Self-defense laws don’t always apply in cases like Sara's, because the acts may involve premeditation. This has been a sticking point in the law that "Sara's Law" would address, so that judges have more options or greater flexibility when handling cases where child sex trafficking victims have hurt or killed their abusers.
Sara had this to say about the introduction of her bill:
"For me, this bill is a recognition that the harm inflicted upon me as a child was a moral wrong and that society is working to rectify that wrong. If as a 16 year old child I was treated with the empathy, compassion and human kindness envisioned by Representative Mizuno's bill, I would not have endured nearly 20 years of unjust incarceration. This bill is about igniting hope in others and making a clear statement that our justice system will no longer allow such injustices to be imposed on child victims of sex abuse and sex trafficking."
Ignite From the Inside Out:
Connection & Community
Topic of the month:
I invite you into Rays reflective moment as she shares
Today Rachael called from Central California Women's Facility...the largest women's prison in the nation. And as I heard her voice recorded on the other side of the phone...the heavy pause before Gtel connected us...My heart dropped. What I heard and innately recognized in Rachael's voice was ever too familiar. Deep inhale, bracing for the next 13 minutes laced with unexpected and random automated intrusive interruptions; interruptions clearly put into place to dehumanize the persons making a connection, with intent to remind me i was talking to an inmate in a correctional facility. And then there she was. Rachael on the brink of tears. A childlike ache in her voice unsure she was valid, human worthy to even dare ask her inquires.
Hi Ray, I said with my best cheery voice! How are you? Cordial formalities may have only added to our decades of moral injury.
Ray is present after a few minutes of surface interpersonal engagement. The trauma runs deep...unheard and unidentified trauma is ever present in her voice.
Sara, I need to understand why I push everyone away. Why do I feel and think no matter what I do I will never get out of here? My mind is in pain. Whats wrong with me? I've been here for awhile, look at the ….
Unable to finish her thoughts in a sentence, silence hugged us both through our assaultive connection devise…
Mental and emotional paralyzed silence...
Another oppressive and intentional automated assaultive reminder is being injected into our moral being.
I understand Ray... was able to escape from my lips. Silence...internal weeping for us both. A sisterhood of understanding unable to be defined was ever present. Rays inner child seeking understanding.
There isn't anything in here to help me understand the impacts of my childhood trauma! My dad sent me books, I have 4 four books on childhood trauma and you know what Sara? I am going to create my own curriculum! Because we all need it in here! I hear the girls in the groups and so many childhood wounds!
I need to understand my childhood trauma! I need to understand how I am here! What happened to us in our lives as children, because in Ms. Herions group, the Real therapy group...I am hearing so much about why I am this way!!! Whats wrong with me?
Ray is in tears again...as she speaks her truth she becomes aware of her ability to reconnect and be present. Holding meaningful space with her pain inflicted upon her by the adults in her life leaves her breathing shallow. We share space infused with a basic human need to connect.
Hushed silence, phone still in my hand against my ear...I close my eyes. So intentionally present while in the moment with Rachael, intentionally present and aware of the human connection, we no longer were aware of the assaultive interruptions.
Interesting, maybe that's what happens in the child's overall being when the body or the mind protects itself from abuse.
Then the sudden slice of an abrupt disconnection o n the phone.
Ray as an adolescent contributed to an act of violence which lead to her mother losing her life…now Ray is serving a life sentence...seeking the understanding which lead to her act of violence. Ray is close to 30 years biologically, however her inner child has arrested itself long before our criminal justice system did. Ray has embodied fears, infused her skin with an undefinable anguish, a kaleidoscope of insecurities exhaust her mental being, all the while her brain; as it's designed to evolve, cannot make sense her unacknowledged childhood toxic stress.
Alone with racy thoughts...there ran a common denominator throughout them all. The common thread is this: conditions imposed on ourselves and or others is a reflection of one's soul.
Imprisoning children who have been deeply impacted by another's violence, prior to that child inflicting violence on another, clearly is a true testament to the heart of America. That means your heart, people you know hearts…
Are not our laws dictated by the quality of people closest to them? Ask yourself What or who really is the root of our violence?
In the meantime...Ray we stand with you! We walk alongside you! As a mother, I deeply apologize to your heart and soul. We see you and wish to empower in you the fortitude needed to Ignite your truth!
There just aren't enough safe spaces in an incarceration institution to truly identify with the choices which lead us to a violent act. In fact, we are introduced to another level of oppression. Slavery really under definition and underscoring within our California Constitution. In fact, the hand off within the institutions is reckless and negligent. Violent and intentional. From first hand experience may we communicate and connect.