On MLK Day, I stand for the abused and all marginalized groups

It’s been one of my life’s missions to fight for the rights of children who have been sexually abused, because, after all, I was abused, too. But I remember recently telling a friend and fellow survivor of child sexual abuse, while getting ready to speak at a rally at the New York State Capitol on The Omnibus Child Victims Act, that sometimes, advocating for our rights in modern times feels like fighting for freedom from slavery. And not that I would ever understand what being an African-American slave feels like, but I do understand what it’s like to be physically tormented, beaten, and sexually abused. Not to mention the fact that fellow advocates, Senators and Assemblymembers have been fighting to eliminate the statue of limitations for child sexual abuse in New York for eleven years now. Repeating the same legislative process, year after year, is exhausting to those of us who grew up knowing nothing but humiliation and shame. Many times we feel as though we have to beg, cry, scream, and plead for our basic human rights – rights that were stolen from us as children. Thankfully, with the help of Governor Cuomo this year, I believe that things will be different. I want so badly to believe, and I will continue to fight for change.

Read more on PsychCentral.

New York Daily News: Boston lawyer who helped uncover Catholic church’s child sex scandal applauds Cuomo’s reform plans for New York victims

“We have to keep the pressure on,” said former model Nikki DuBose, who was sexually abused as a child. “I think we really have to strategize so we can keep creating a lot of momentum to see that the bill gets passed. Fortunately we have the governor’s support. I think what he is doing is very brave and courageous.”

Read more on: New York Daily News.

A Message from a Friend: Proof That Love Trumps Hate.

I received the sweetest message from a girl I know in NYC. Amongst the hateful messages, she reachedkindness out in love, like so many of you. Thank you, everyone, for all of your support, I have so much to be grateful for this holiday season. Read on:
“Hey Nikki! I’m reaching out because I’m nearly finished with your memoir — I was going to wait to write to you until I finished it (I have less than 100 pages left), but then I saw your FB post this morning and felt the need to reach out now.
I almost don’t know what to say (without sounding trite) about my experience of reading your book. All I can say is that I’m blown away….I’ll probably finish it today, which means that I will have read it in about four days—and seeing as it usually takes me weeks or months to get through a book, that’s saying a lot! All of us here in the ED community know, on some level, that each one of us has gone through difficult things. We wouldn’t have eating disorders if that weren’t true (and an ED is itself difficult enough to go through). But I had no idea just how much pain you’ve walked through in your life. It breaks my heart to think of the depth of suffering you experienced as a child, as a teenager, as a young adult….it’s excruciatingly painful to experience sexual trauma OR mental illness OR an abusive modeling industry OR a parent’s addiction and death OR domestic violence and abuse OR divorce — to say nothing of experiencing *all* of those things. And what you said in your FB post is completely true—trauma changes your psyche and the way you behave. It’s cumulative, and also pervasive—it affects your entire worldview, how you think, what you do. (And btw, about your FB post, whoever said those things—f*ck them. Those sound like the comments of someone who has literally zero clue about any of these issues. I’m glad you have the strength and knowledge now to recognize the lies in what they say, but I still wish you didn’t have to be the recipient of such ignorance and callousness. Please know, at least, that the people who support and love you don’t think or believe those things for a second.)
I keep thinking back to our beautiful breakfast with Don last summer. I remember then being impressed and inspired by your quiet strength, your calm, your assurance that recovery is 100% possible. If only I knew then who I was sitting next to. You are the real deal, Nikki. You’ve traveled through the darkest circles of hell and come back to share your story of light. You are hope personified. I am grateful to be one of many beneficiaries of your wisdom.
Thank you for sharing your story with all of us, and with the world. I can only imagine how many people out there have a lighter burden now just by knowing that they aren’t alone in their personal hell. I hope it was healing for you to write it.
Most of all, thank you for being a light in the dark.”
Your friend,
Joanna

 

Medium – An Open Letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez: Changing the Culture of Sexual Violence

“Dear Secretary Perez,
More than 27 million women shared their experiences of sexual assault, tweeting in the wake of Donald Trump’s ‘locker room talk.’ The #NotOkay movement, initiated by social media maven Kelly Oxford, has crystallized around women’s stories of sexual violence.”

Read more on Medium.

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light Book Trailer

Buy Washed Away: From Darkness to Light now on Outskirts Press!

Outskirts Press Announces Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

“Outskirts Press announces Washed Awunnameday: From Darkness To Light, the latest highly-anticipated biography & autobiography / personal memoirs book from Santa Monica, CA author Nikki DuBose With James Johanson.
September 30, 2016. Denver, CO and Santa Monica, CA – Outskirts Press, Inc. has published Washed Away: From Darkness To Light by Nikki DuBose with James Johanson, which is the author’s most recent book to date. The 6 x 9 black & white paperback in the biography & autobiography / personal memoirs category is available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble for a suggested retail price of $27.95. The webpage at www.outskirtspress.com/washedawayfromdarknesstolight was launched simultaneously with the book’s publication.”

Read more on Outskirts Press.

An Open Letter to NY Times Public Editor Liz Spayd, from Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and Advocates

Proud to have my name on this open letter to The New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd. On behalf of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, I am listed as one of 35 Child Sexual Abuse Survivors and Advocates, urging Liz to cover the Child Victims Act of New York. Thanks, Nancy Levine for your hard work and dedication to this important issue, and thank you to everyone who is using their voice to create change.

“Dear Ms. Spayd,
We are a global community of survivors of child sexual abuse and advocates. We were heartened when, under your editorial direction, the Columbia Journalism Review published a piece by Steve Buttry, Director of Student Media at LSU: ‘The voiceless have a voice. A journalist’s job is to amplify it.’ We would like to ask you and The New York Times to consider amplifying our collective voice; we reiterate our request, emailed to you on July 11, 2016.
Our previous correspondence raised questions about The Times’ absence of recent coverage of the Child Victims Act of New York, and an appearance of a conflict of interest. Presumably there is no causal relationship between The Times’ absence of recent reporting on the Child Victims Act and Publisher and Chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr.’s family financial interests in Whole Foods Market. But to quell concerns about an appearance of a conflict, we think this matter warrants further response.”

Read more on Medium.

Support the PAC Fighting for Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused

Donate to the PAC

Please donate to the PAC (Political Action Committee), so that corrupt lawmakers who helped kill the Child Victims Act in New York can be removed from office. All of the money from the PAC, started by Gary Greenberg, will be used to support candidates who support survivors of CSA and the Child Victims Act in New York.

VLOG 10: Eating Disorders & Identity Part III

NAASCA Podcast – Stop Child Abuse Now with Bill Murray

I was a guest on Bill Murray’s podcast, talking about my recovery from child sexual abuse, and how that led to a plethora of mental health issues for most of my life. Listen here.

“Tonight’s special guest is Nikki DuBose from Los Angeles, a child abuse survivor who was later abused as a young professional model. Among other things, Nikki advocates on her web site for better regulation of the modeling industry (she tells me about 40% of models have an eating disorder and that there’s a lot of sexual abuse/harassment). Nikki also works closely with Matt Sandusky at the “Peaceful Hearts Foundation,” where she serves on the Executive Board and is their Volunteer Director. Nikki says, “I wholeheartedly believe that full recovery is possible, but it starts with speaking out and reducing the shame and stigma that is so often attached to mental health issues.” In her upcoming memoir, “Washed Away: From Darkness to Light,” due out later this year, Nikki details how being sexually abused as a child led to a seventeen-year battle with serious mental health issues such as eating disorders, depression, self-harm, body dysmorphic disorder, substance abuse and sexual addictions. During her career as a professional model, she encountered a great deal of success, yet that prosperity came with a high price – one that often mirrored the sexual abuse from her childhood. Coming to a place of full healing has not been easy for Nikki, but she says, “Being an advocate is what allows me to wake up every day and feel truly alive. All of that pain that I lived with for so many years is now channeled into making a difference in society. Whatever issues you’re passionate about, use your voice and the resources you have; love yourself first and from there you can help to change the world.”

 

Find out the untold story of Nikki DuBose

Speak2Heal Episode 6: Facts, Myths & Healing — Child Sexual Victimization

Welcome to Episode 6: Facts, Myths & Healing — Child Sexual Victimization. On this episode I talk about what child sexual abuse is and demystify “stranger danger,” a topic surrounding Matthew Sandusky’s new book, Undaunted, out now on Amazon.com. In my upcoming book, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, I share my own story with child sexual victimization and abuse and how that led to a plethora of mental health issues. I am fortunate to work with Matthew at Peaceful Hearts Foundation; Matthew, his wife Kim, and countless others are passionate about helping survivors of child sexual abuse and making sure they receive the help they need.

There’s alot of miseducation about not only child sexual victimization, but about the Sandusky story as well, and in Episode 6 I dive into both and bring to light some of the truth about topics that have been hidden for far too long.

Have a question or comment? Something you’d like me to talk about on a future show? Drop me a line nikki@nikkidubose.com

Here’s the workshop I did at UCLA recently involving art therapy, child sexual abuse and eating disorders.  

Here’s some awesome art therapy exercises in case you’re interested. You’re never too old for art. 😉

Workshop with Nikki DuBose — “A Day of Education & Healing Through Art For Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse & Eating Disorders”

Workshop: A Day of Education and Healing through Art for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and Eating Disorders

Join Nikki, Peaceful Hearts Foundation, The Bella Vita and Project HEAL SoCal Chapter at UCLA for a healing art therapy workshop focusing on child sexual abuse and eating disorders.

Worksho_January_2016_Nikki_DuBose

Hope and Healing from Sexual Abuse and Eating Disorders

The physical, sexual and verbal abuse in my childhood had a direct effect on my self-esteem and self-image. As a result of the abuse and other factors, I developed an eating disorder at the age of eight which lasted for over seventeen years. Later, my mental health issues expanded into substance and alcohol abuse, sex addictions, body dysmorphic disorder, suicide attempts, compulsive spending and depression. I thought that my so-called “glamorous” career as a fashion model would fix my sadness and bury my pain, but nothing could. If anything, it only made it worse because I was not dealing with the mess, merely painting over it and positioned in an industry that oftentimes mirrored the psychologically damaging situations of my past.”

Read more on Recovery Warriors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking at the Dream Big Event with Jenni Schaefer 1.21.16

Come hear Nikki speak on 1.21.16 at the Montecatini Outpatient Office in Carlsbad, California alongside Jenni Schaefer, Jessica Raymond, Shannon Kopp and Jennifer Palmer. It will be an evening that will inspire you to DREAM BIG!

Montecatini-DreamBig-Flyer EVENT FINAL-121115-1_Nikki_DuBose

South Magazine

“Charleston native Nikki Dubose, 30, grew up immersed in chaos. She had an alcoholic mother with dissociative identity disorder and bipolar disorder. She was physically abused at age 4 and sexually abused at age 8, which is the same year she started binge eating. Overeating turned into purging by age 10, which eventually morphed into anorexia nervosa.”

Read more on South Magazine.

Exciting News!

As a survivor of child abuse, sexual abuse, and various mental health issues, including a long battle with eating disorders, for most of my life I never thought I would be in a leadership position. That’s exactly what mental illness and abuse leaves you with — scars and the feeling that you are nothing. Absolute filth and scum of the Earth. When I entered recovery three years ago, I gave my entire life to my Higher Power, God, and my entire world changed. So many people opened their hearts and I allowed myself to be molded and changed, and I worked …harder than I ever thought I would. I had to do the internal work to let myself get to the point to where I could become who God wanted me to be in order to get to where He wanted me to go.

That process has involved a tremendous amount of pain. Feeling it and letting it go. That part is a constant work in progess. One of the tools that has helped me deal with the pain is writing and sharing my story. My book will be released next year and that is yet another thing I never thought I would do. I went from killing myself to releasing all of that misery inside. Truly, anything is possible.

I never felt like a leader growing up. In fact, I felt like a downright loser. I remember most days, all I saw when I looked in the mirror was a distorted, grotesque monster. A reflection of the child who had been abused. Thanks to God, recovery, and all of the people who have helped me along the way, I am grateful to be able to serve and continue to grow in the community. Recovery continues to take me to new heights, and I hope to instill that hope in others along the way.

Recently I was asked to serve on the Executive Board for Project Heal SoCal Chapter. I was also asked to be the Volunteer Director for all of Southern California. It is a position I am proud to fulfill, and one that I hope to do for a long time. At Project Heal, we are committed to educating, raising awareness and funds for those suffering from eating disorders. In 2016 we will be holding workshops, speaking events, various fundraisers and our annual gala — all to inform the community about a devastating issue that affects more than 30,000,000 individuals.

I am also thrilled to announce that I am joining the Board of Directors of the Peaceful Hearts Foundation. They are doing tireless work in the realm of child sexual abuse, and as someone who was personally affected, I hope to further the mission of supporting, empowering and educating not only fellow sufferers, but the nation at large. More than 42,000,000 people have been damaged by child sexual abuse in America, but I want them to know that recovery is possible.

I couldn’t think of a better way to end 2015. I certainly couldn’t imagine a more fitting way to celebrate the holidays. Giving is what it’s all about.

God Bless,
Nikki DuBose

My Survivor Story of Childhood Sexual Abuse — Peaceful Hearts Foundation

“I grew up in charming Charleston, South Carolina in the eighties and nineties. Its beautiful cobblestone streets were lined with gorgeous gardens and mansions that dated back well before the Civil War. At first glance, one would have not suspected that anything bad could have happened behind the wrought-iron gates and pastel-colored walls of the grand estates. But like all homes, each one holds a story, and ours was no different.

After the divorce, Momma and I moved into a modest, one-story home on a quiet street shaded by Spanish Moss trees. It was no mansion, but it was our dream, an escape into another world. I was only two, and Momma was nineteen, and more than she desired love, she wanted security. She soon found it in the arms of an older man who promised to love and protect us. Our home quickly expanded, and the idea of a ‘family’ was no longer a fantasy, it was real.”

Read more on Peaceful Hearts Foundation.

My Story of Childhood Sexual Abuse with Peaceful Hearts Foundation

If you or someone you know is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, please visit Peaceful Hearts Foundation.