Educator Action Plan – Child Victims Act

Educator Action Plan

Smithtown, NY

Senator Flanagan represents the town of Smithtown, NY. Few educators, parents, and coaches are aware of Senator

Flanagan’s chronic attempts to block the Child Victims Act, which protects children from sexual abuse and pro
vides a one-year look back window for survivors to receive justice. Why would Senator Flanagan be portraying the image in his town as a loving family man, when in reality, he is doing the bidding of rich pedophiles such as the cover ups in the Catholic Church who own a majority of real estate in New York?

 

We must contact these schools and educators in Smithtown and let them know that their Senator has been blocking protection to sexually abused children and justice to survivors. Ask them to call, write, and tweet at Senator Flanagan’s office and let him know that this is unacceptable. Only a YES vote immediately for the Child Victims Act is ok for the citizens of Smithtown. Do they really want to vote for a Senator who doesn’t protect kids? The average time it takes for kids to report sexual abuse is 21 years – current law only allows till age 23.

 

SCHOOLS

 

  1. Dogwood Elementary School

‪Twitter: .@SCSD_DEL ‪‏

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dogwood-Elementary-School/1541820506035560

Address: 50 Dogwood Dr, Smithtown, NY 11787

Phone: (631) 382-4250

District: Smithtown Central School District

 

  1. Accompsett Middle School

‪‪Twitter: .@SCSD_AMS

Facebook Pages: https://www.facebook.com/AccompsettMSPTA/

https://www.facebook.com/Accompsett-Middle-School-Memes-139471362873652/

https://www.facebook.com/swvk1/

Address: 1 Lincoln St, Smithtown, NY 11787

Phone: (631) 382-4155

District: Smithtown Central School District

Main Office: (631) 382-2300

Assistant Principal – Mr. Hellmuth: (631) 382-2305

Health Office: (631) 382-2320

Counseling Center: (631) 382-2310

 

  1. Smithtown High School East

Twitter:  .‪@SCSD_HSE

Facebook (for High School West): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smithtown-High-School-West/1504380646509917

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Smithtown-High-School-East-PTSA-290580784299099/

https://www.facebook.com/SEbullsVF2016/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/118434945312897/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/728019330639112/

Address: 10 School Street, Saint James, NY 11780

Main Office: (631) 382-2705

Health Office: (631) 382-2710

Attendance Office: (631) 382-2716

Counseling Center: (631) 382-2750

Principal – Dr. Simmons (631) 382-2705

Assistant Principal – Mr. Aleci: (631) 382-2740

Assistant Principal – Mr. Pettis: (631) 382-2760

 

  1. Branch Brook Elementary School

Address: 15 Ridgeley Rd, Smithtown, NY 11787

Phone: (631) 382-4200

District: Smithtown Central School District

Health Office: (631) 382-4210

Principal – Ms. Westrack: (631) 382-4205

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Branch-Brook-Elementary-School/750451171765775

 

Board of Education

  1. Smithtown Central School District

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smithtown-School-District-Central-Office/500860543297331

Main Email: boe@smithtown.k12.ny.us

District Clerk: (631) 382-2012

  1. Christopher Alcure, President on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopheralcure/

 

  1. Joanne McEnroy, Vice President

on Twitter .‪@jmcenroy55

On Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanne-mcenroy-20152012/

 Gladys M. Waldron, Trustee Phone: 631.265.1575

 

  1. Grace Plourde, Trustee Phone: (631) 979-0367

 

  1. Jeremy Thode, Trustee On Twitter .‪@vobstorm13 ‪‏

Email: jthode13@gmail.com Phone: 631.220.5543

 

  1. Daniel B. Lynch, Trustee

Phone: (631) 724-2684

58 Theodore St. Smithtown, NY 11787

 

  1. Michael Saidens, Trustee

Phone: (631) 262-8914

3 Kim Ave. Smithtown, NY 11787

 

EDUCATORS

 

  1. Paul McNeil, Principal at Accompsett Middle School

‪Twitter: .@paulemcneil ‪‏

Work Phone: (631) 382-2305

 

  1. Robe Rose, Asst. Principal at Smithtown High School East

‪Twitter: .@rrose11 ‪‏

Work: (631) 382-2720

 

  1. Ms. Jennifer Bradshaw, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

Smithtown Central School District

‪‪Twitter: .@jentrifugal

Email: jbradshaw@smithtown.k12.ny.us

 

  1. James Grossane, Ed.d

jgrossane@smithtown.k12.ny.us

Superintendent of schools

Smithtown Central School District

 

  1. Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services

Ms. Mona Tobin

mtobin@smithtown.k12.ny.us

Smithtown Central School District

 

  1. Assistant Superintendent for Personnel

Mr. Neil Katz

nkatz@smithtown.k12.ny.us

Twitter: .@PersonnelSCSD ‪‏ ‪‏

Smithtown Central School District

 

  1. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations

Mr. Andrew Tobin

atobin@smithtown.k12.ny.us

Smithtown Central School District

 

Virtual Advocacy – Child Victims Act

Thank you for your dedication in protecting children from sexual abuse. In
the state of New York, 150 children are sexually abused every day, and outdated laws are doing nothing to help them. YOU can change that, but time is running out. The Assembly nearly unanimously voted in favor of the Child Victims Act, AND Governor Cuomo approved, but now we are urging the Senate to bring the Child Victim’s Act to the Floor for a YES Vote. 

You can get the Child Victims Act passed now!

  1. If you live in New York, click here to take action.
  2. If you live outside of New York, click here and make your voice heard! 

Again, thank you for joining us in the fight for justice.

Sincerely,

Nikki DuBose and Gary Greenberg

protectnykids.org 

Messaging for Advocates (Outside of New York)

Senator’s contact info!  

Messaging for Advocates Outside of New York

On Twitter

 

  1. .@LeaderFlanagan The Assembly Republicans passed the #childvictimsact. Kids now looking to Senate GOP for same.
  2. .@LeaderFlanagan Protecting children from sexual abuse is the right thing to do. Please vote YES for #ChildVictimsAct

 

Calling Script

Senator’s contact info!

 

“Hi, my name is______________. I’m calling to urge Senator _________ to pass the Child

Victims Act because __________________________. I don’t live in New York, but passing

this bill is that important because children everywhere deserve to be protected. Not only is the Child Victims Act critical

to protecting kids, but it saves the state an enormous amount of money in costs related to abuse. (Optional:

You can reach me at_________________). Thank you for your time and I look forward to

seeing the Child Victims Act being signed into law this year.”

  

+++Note: You can modify the script to make it more personal to you. We want to be careful not 

to attack any lawmakers, but try to persuade them with the message of protecting kids+++

 

 

By Email

Senator’s Contact Info! 

 

Dear Senator (Insert Last Name Here),

 

A few sentences explaining why protecting children is so important to you. This can also be a few sentences relating to your personal story.

The Child Victims Act is here to protect children. Children, who right now, are being sexually abused. Every year, the CDC reports that 43,000 children in the state of New York are sexually abused. These children grow up to become what we call survivors, which cost the state hundreds of thousands in costs due to mental health, emotional, educational and physical damage. Shouldn’t we take steps to not only protect children, but save New York a tremendous amount of money in preventative care?

 

Thank you for your time. I urge you to vote YES on the Child Victims Act. Kids are depending on your support!

 

Sincerely,

Your Name

Organization (if applicable)

 

 

 

By Mail

Senator’s Contact Info! 

Please refer to my advocacy page for letters of support.

++++Note: You need to change S809/Omnibus Child Victims Act to Child Victims Act. 

++++++Again, Senate mailing addresses can be found here. 

 

 

 

Messaging for New York Advocates

Find your Senator here.

Messaging for New York Advocates

On Twitter

 

  1. .@LeaderFlanagan Protecting Children from sexual abuse is the right thing to do. Let’s compromise on a bill and pass #ChildVictimsAct.

 

Calling Script

 

“Hi, my name is______________ and I’m Senator ___________________ constituent.

I’m calling to urge Senator _________ to pass the Child Victims Act because __________________________.  The Assembly approves of this measure, and we need to come to a compromise on this issue now because 150 children are sexually abused every day in New York. Passing the Child Victims Act is so important because children everywhere deserve to be protected.   (Optional: You can reach me at_________________). Thank you for your time and I look forward to seeing the Child Victims Act being signed into law this year.”

 

+++Note: You can modify the script to make it more personal to you. We want to be careful not to attack any lawmakers, but try to persuade them with the message of protecting kids+++

 

By Email 

 

Dear Senator (Insert Last Name Here),

 

A few sentences explaining why protecting children is so important to you. This can also be a few sentences relating to your personal story.

 

The Assembly approves of this measure, and now children need your support! Let’s come to a compromise on this issue.  The Child Victims Act is here to protect children. Children, who right now, are being sexually abused. Every year, the CDC reports that 43,000 children in the state of New York are sexually abused. These children grow up to become what we call survivors, which cost the state hundreds of thousands in costs due to mental health, emotional, educational and physical damage. Shouldn’t we take steps to not only protect children, but save New York a tremendous amount of money in preventative care?

 

Thank you for your time. I urge you to vote YES on the Child Victims Act and be a hero for kids everywhere.

 

Sincerely,

Your Name

Organization (if applicable)

 

 

 

By Mail

Please refer to my advocacy page for letters of support.

Note: Please change S809 to Child Victims Act.

 

 

Creating New Memories

Some weekend inspiration for you ⭐️
#Repost @enjoythej0urney (@get_repost)
・・・
Do you attach meaning to certain objects and places? My whole life, I’ve
shoved away and hidden the things that bring up bad memories for me. I never throw them away (just in case, as my OCD says) but I try to keep things out of plain view that bring me pain. ⤵️
How do you do this with something as large as an apartment? How do you cover up every wall that reminds you of the people who hurt to remember? How do you stay recovered in a space where it feels like the ghost of your sick self is lingering?⤵️
I moved my room around. 3 times. I’ve changed the furniture in my living room. I’ve painted over my bedroom walls. I reorganized my kitchen. And in the midst of that, I started to understand that we can’t cover up every physical thing that reminds us of pain. When it’s just a stuffed animal in the closet, or a bed switched to a different side of the room, it’s one thing. When it’s desperately trying to find a way to remove every single thing that brings back the hurt, it’s unrealistic and unattainable. Once you can accept that, you can search for another solution.⤵️
My solution? Create new memories. It’ll feel wrong for awhile. You won’t want to laugh in the room that reminds you of betrayal & judgment, but if you try, you will. You’ll feel like staying in a room that does not make you feel anything at all, but you’ll push yourself to be uncomfortable instead. Slowly, you’ll accept the pain. You’ll notice your feelings and you’ll let them go. And then you’ll realize that it’s okay to release what once hurt so badly, because it does not negate the fact that it happened. You came, you saw, you felt. Now, you move on.

 

Nature is God’s Artwork

Nature is God’s artwork. Sometimes when I’m having a stressful day, I take a walk outside, breathe in the fresh air, and take photos of the beautiful nature that I’m so blessed to be surrounded by.

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, I was exposed to all kinds of plants and wildlife, from alligators to pelicans, Crepe myrtles to the hanging Spanish moss trees.

On the west coast, the nature is quite different, but absolutely lovely. Did you know that you can find art anywhere? Those exposed branches on the side of the road, the dying flower, and dried leaves are all beautiful, it just takes a bit
of mindfulness to appreciate their beauty.
It’s just like us, sometimes when we don’t feel at our best, we can’t see what’s beautiful about ourselves. But God sees us perfectly and complete. We are never washed up or too dull for Him. We are all part of a larger masterpiece, a divine art that spans for all eternity.


My body belongs to me

#Repost @fatisnotanadjective (@get_repost)
・・・
On May 28, 2013, my life turned upside down in a way I could never imagine. What started as a simple, online friendship turned into an in-person meet up that didn’t go as planned. It turned into a day that I would never forget. It was the day that I was sexually assaulted. Being 14 years old, I knew something wasn’t right but I was too scared to say something.
On May 28, 2014, I attempted to take my own life because to me, it seemed like there was no other way out. My mind was flooded with the “it was your fault” thoughts and the nightmares would not go away. I was unable to escape the constant flashbacks and the feelings of disgust. I wanted out.
On May 28, 2015, I would wake up everyday, still hoping that I could eventually shower away my disgust. I thought that washing away the external dirt would erase the dirtiness I felt, but it wouldn’t. So time and time again, I would keep trying.
On May 28, 2016, I came to the realization that I couldn’t do this alone. I told someone.. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it was also the bravest thing. I wanted my life back and some day, I wanted my body to feel like my own.
Today, on May 28, 2017, I am refusing to give him the power any longer. This monster of a human is not worth my endless tears, horrible night terrors, continuous dissociation, and vivid flashbacks. I am worth more than what happened to me. My body belongs to me and it’s time for me to start treating it that way.
#fatisnotanadjective

Pops of Color

#Repost @leenahlovesherself (@get_repost)
・・・
I love how this photo is mostly black & white with a splash of color. When you’re struggling with mental
illness (or even just life in general) everything can seem like a blur and like every thing is very one-note – like there isn’t any color or light.
However, even in the worst times, there are some pops of color. It can be SO challenging to see them, but they are there.
One way that we can find these moments is by choosing to practice mindfulness. When we anchor ourselves to the present moment instead of being in the past or future, we are able to see the little pops of color that life has to offer, even when times are tough ✨
(Photo by @cmrfx, wearing an @aerie bralette and a @capezio tutu)
#MyFlawsAreFierce
#BopoBallerina
#MentalHealthMonth

Ex-state senator hired by Boy Scouts to lobby against Child Victims Act shows Albany swamp needs draining

When you’re a crook, there are no limits to the depths you will go to cover up your filth. Just ask most of the New York politicians, including former Senator Craig Johnson, who is a key ally and fundraising partner for the Independent Democratic Conference, led by Senator Jeff Klein.

Read the full article on NY Daily News.

Podcast: Surviving My Past with Nikki DuBose

Listen to the inspiring podcast!

Trauma survivors come from all walks of life, all over the world, and while each of us are unique individuals in our own right, our survivor stories is often very similar. It’s that similarity that helps us all connect, relate, and unite in a common goal of healing and awareness.

Those similarities were evident once again, when I recently had the opportunity to speak with Abuse Survivor, Author, Advocate, and Ambassador, Nikki DuBose. It was such a privilege to spend some time talking with Nikki about not only her past; the abuse and trauma that she endured, but also about her advocacy work now and her amazing story of survival.

As a former model, Nikki has spent time in the public spotlight, living and working all over the world, but at the same time, also hiding a secret of a traumatic past that she could not escape.

More on Nikki’s story here.

 

Charlene McElhinney’s Book Review of Washed Away: From Darkness to Light by Nikki Dubose

After reading Nikki’s memoir I was lost for words. What a remarkable woman, I thought, and oh so courageous! To openly speak out about darker times in your past is draining, difficult and so daunting (I know because I’ve also opened up about my mental health issues through the form of poetry in book form). Putting it out there, for the world to see, is absolutely terrifying. And Nikki shares so much with us. You can’t fault a word in Nikki’s memoir: It is her whole life in your hands. You can feel it. You can feel her pain, her thought process, and more importantly – her desire to be loved. Nikki desperately wanted to be loved throughout her whole life and it breaks your heart reading about her life knowing that there is nothing you can do. I wanted to reach out to this young girl and tell her she is deeply loved – if only someone had.

Read the full review at Charlene McElhinney.

God’s Word Has the Power to Defeat #MentalIllness

Nobody Denies Nikki DuBose the Right to a Bikini

Walk in my shoes, hear my story.

 

Dear Friends,

On June 7th, 2017, Gary Greenberg of Fighting for Children PAC (Protect NY Kids), Peaceful Hearts Foundation and Nikki DuBose along with Lauren’s Kids will host a “Walk in My Shoes” display at the Albany Capitol with accompanying stories from survivor’s/victims impact statements displayed to raise awareness during Children’s Awareness Month. Although this month typically brings awareness to the violence against kids, we are standing up and calling forth to the sexual violence and sexual abuse that affects more than 43,000 children annually in the state of New York and more than 43,000,000 around the nation. You can help in two ways. 

  1. Donating shoes. We are collecting men’s shoes, women’s shoes, children’s shoes of all types – high end, tattered, athletic, and so forth, to show that sexual violence can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, etc. We need shoes and stories to show lawmakers the enormous impact that sexual violence has on our society. After the event, all of the shoes will be donated to a local homeless shelter or rape crisis center.
  2. Participating virtually. Take a picture of your shoes and upload to social media with the #walkinmyshoes #s809 along with a sentence on why ending child sexual abuse is so important to you. We will repost every entry.

 

You can contact nikki@nikkidubose.com and ggreenberg21@aol.com for more info.

Please send shoes to:

Kathie Alvaro
2568 Western Ave.
Apt 5-7
Altamont, N.Y. 12009

THANK YOU for joining us in the pledge to end child sexual abuse!!

 

Sincerely,

Peaceful Hearts Foundation, Nikki DuBose, Gary Greenberg and Lauren’s Kids

 

 

Nikki DuBose: Washed Away

Remember back when I read Lady Injury, when I told you that I liked a book…but then warned you not to read it? That’s exactly how I feel about Washed Away. In fact, the books are as similar as they are different, just as the two women are. Both books are about eating disorders and extremely severe mental illness. Both books are horrifically triggering and devastating. But, just as no two people are the same, no two mental illnesses are the same–and thus, no two memoirs could be the same either.

Read the full review at I Lay Reading.

#Don’tMiss Loving Yourself in Recovery

It’s so easy to miss the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. I know, because I had one for over seventeen years, and I was a master at not only hiding it from my family and friends, but deceiving myself into thinking that I didn’t have one.

Thankfully, with the help of God and my support team, I was able to get into a healthy place in my life and learn that it is possible to recover. And just as easy as it is to miss an eating disorder, it’s easy to miss loving yourself in recovery. I am a hard worker, and I love helping others, in fact, it’s one of the things that has helped me to recover. So in this VLOG for the Eating Recovery Roundup, I’ve decided to focus on #DontMiss loving yourself in recovery. Enjoy, and if you have any self love or self care tips you’d like to share, email me at nikkidubosecoaching@gmail.com.

With love and gratitude,

Nikki DuBose

NY Daily News: Child sex abuse survivors fear Cuomo walking back promise to push Child Victims Act

Nikki DuBose, an abuse victim and former model, said she is “quite annoyed” that Cuomo doesn’t seem to be pushing harder for passage of a bill.

“The governor is failing his constituents — those who are abused, abandoned and who cannot advocate for themselves,” DuBose said in an email.

Read the full article on The New York Daily News.

Facebook Live Chat with Suzy Favor Hamilton and Nikki DuBose: Women and Mental Health in 2017

Eating Disorder Hope: How Children’s Body Confidence Can Start at Home

I remember the first time I felt self-conscious about my appearance. I was four, and my cousin Thomas proceeded to make fun of the birthmark on my butt cheek, which is shaped like a man’s face. It was then that I felt shame, realizing that my body was something others could use to make fun of.

A few years later, I binged to deal with sexual and physical abuse by my mother and a male figure. Looking back, I realize how much I was bullied within my own family; harmful words were used to describe my maturing body and face.

In turn, I developed body dysmorphic disorder, bulimia, and suicidal tendencies.

Negative Body Talk in the Home

Children are vulnerable, sensitive to their environments. If parents and caretakers are not careful, poor choices in words can have damaging effects on their children’s mental health.

Read the full blog post at Eating Disorder Hope.

PsychCentral: Sexual Predators Employed at Summer Camps in Florida, New York Still Failing Children

Child sexual predators often place themselves in areas where they have easy access to children. This is one reason why teachers, babysitters, nannies, mothers, fathers, priests, and summer camp workers make excellent abusers. And while Florida has made great strides to protect children from predators in child-care centers, they are falling behind in one major area: summer camp. (1)

Recently, the Palm Beach Post probed and discovered that camps in Florida have no restrictions, therefore there are no boundaries placed on how the camps operate. (1) Abuse can happen and does happen, and nobody is there to prevent or stop it.

Read the full blog at PsychCentral.

Defying Mental Illness: Exclusive Interview with former model turned Author and Mental Health Advocate, Nikki DuBose

Defying Mental Illness (DMI) recently had the unique and exclusive opportunity to meet Nikki and interview her. Nikki’s story is truly remarkable and will inspire you…

DMI: Wow, Nikki, what an honour to interview you today. You have an interesting story that you would like to share with DMI. You were a former model that was climbing high in your career at remarkable speed. However, there was a dark side you were struggling with.

You were challenged with several mental disorders. While you were probably the envy of your friends, secretly, they were your envy! Tell us, a little bit about who Nikki first and foremost. Give us an insight into your childhood.

Read the full interview on Defying Mental Illness.

Free and Above – Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

We recently got to ask Nikki DuBose – A former model turned author, speaker, and mental health advocate a few questions.

Here’s what we got to talk about.

1) Do you have any advice for young teens and young adults battling with an eating disorder who want to get better and start their road to recovery but don’t know where to begin or don’t think they’re strong enough to make that commitment of an everyday fight to recover and start the healing process?

Read the full interview on Free and Above.

Fiona Likes to Blog: 3 mental health books you MUST read today

I’ve spent many an afternoon wandering around the library. To me the library has always been a place of opportunity, and it has helped me find books that ignite new interests and explain unknown worlds to me. I’ve loved collecting books over the years, and looking back at my favourites reminds me if where I was at that point in my life, how I was feeling and what I was doing.

Having depression and anxiety means I often look for answers in the books I read. Recently I reflected on some of the books that helped me make sense of my own mental illness and it’s something that I think you might find helpful, so I’ve listed my top 3 books below.

Read the full article at Fiona Likes to Blog.

Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) Urges Commonwealth Club to Cancel Whole Foods CEO Appearance

A consortium of anti-sexual violence groups led by Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) has asked the Commonwealth Club of California to cancel the appearance of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, scheduled for May 1. Mackey is set to appear at the Cubberley Theatre in Palo Alto, in conversation with Dr. Dean Ornish.​

Read more on The Digital Journal.

Addiction Hope: Q & A with Author Nikki DuBose on Addiction

Author Nikki DuBose of Washed Away: From Darkness to Light was recently interviewed on addiction and recovery. Here she offers a recap on everything from when her addiction began to how to help a loved one who may be suffering.

1. Can you pinpoint when your problems with addiction began?

I was wired for addiction – my mother had bipolar and dissociative identity disorder and her mother (she was adopted) died from cirrhosis of the liver as a result of alcoholism.

Read the full article on Addiction Hope. 

Eating Disorder Hope: Learning to Trust God in Recovery Process

“. . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me . . .”

I let the words sink in, and then I looked out my bedroom window that overlooked the water; for once, I took in the scenery not in fear, but in admiration of the sun as it descended below the horizon. The setting of the sun was a reminder of the magnificence of creation.

“If God made the sun, surely he made me. He must love me, too. I’m going to believe that no matter what, God is with me. When I’m afraid, God is right by my side. I might not see Him physically, but I can see him with my soul; simply because I believe that God is with me, He is,” I thought.

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

Today as I hiked with my blind and deaf Australian Shepherd and friends up and down rocky trails and around the azure waves of the Pacific, I was amazed at the beauty of God’s creation and the magnitude of his power.

Read the full article at Eating Disorder Hope.

Fiona Likes To Blog | Opening up about mental illness in the modelling industry – Washed Away by Nikki Dubose

I had no idea what to expect going into this book. I never thought I’d finish the thing in just a few days and feel so utterly connected to someone I’d never met. Knowing Nikki’s story has reminded me why I started to write about mental illness online, even though it often leaves me feeling vulnerable to expose myself to the world.

Read the full review at Fiona Likes to Blog.

Addiction Hope: From Victim to Victorious

I had to get rid of the victim mentality to move forward in my healing journey. I couldn’t become a victor until I stopped believing that I was a victim.

Victim and victor sound similar, but the only thing that separates them are the last two letters; a small difference, with an enormous impact. Sometimes in life two letters is all it takes – or that extra dedication to recovery – to make a substantial change.

Read the full article at Addiction Hope.

Entity – Sexually Abused by Her Mother: Nikki DuBose’s Survival Story

Stories of girls being sexually abused by male relatives are sadly all too common. But on some occasions the predator in the family can even turn out to be that most trusted confidant of all – the mother.

That was the case for Nikki DuBose who carries mental scars from the trauma of her own late mother sexually abusing her for several years. Now an activist and author, the 31-year-old ex-model is bravely sharing her story with ENTITY.

Read the full article at Entitymag.

Empowered Eating – Must Read! Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light reflects a story of recovery and determination. Dubose allows us not only into her world, but similarly, into her thoughts, feelings, and emotions. She opens up about important conversations surrounding mental illness and the modeling industry that teaches a standard of “beauty” that is not always healthy and realistic. The memoir provides honest reflection as we see the stages of childhood, adolescence, adulthood and what Dubose takes away from each stage of her own life.

Read the full review at Empowered Eating.

Plaid for Women – From Darkness to Light: A Journey from Mental Illness & Abuse to Finding My Voice

You had a very rough start in life. Tell us about your childhood.

I grew up in a violent, dysfunctional family, however, hardly anyone knew that because I went to a private Christian school and we lived in a nice house. My parents divorced when I was two and my mom remarried to a much older man who kind of swept her off her feet.

Starting at four, I was subjected to physical abuse and then at 8, sexual abuse by a male figure. I developed binge eating disorder as a way to cope with the trauma, and later Body Dysmorphic Disoder and bulimia, which lasted for over fifteen years. My mom sexually abused me from the ages of 9 to 13 until the police removed me from my house. I suppressed those memories until my late twenties.

Read the full interview at Plaid for Women.

Nikki DuBose Challenges Whole Foods

Former model turned author and activist Nikki DuBose, was in San Francisco to challenge Whole Foods Co-CEO John Mackey to stand up for child sexual abuse survivors and speak about her role in the Omnibus Child Victims Act in the state of New York.

Pick up Nikki’s book Washed Away: From Darkness to Light on Amazon.

PsychCentral: Whole Foods Fails to Help Consumers, Not Truly Conscious

“What will matter 100 years from now: Your organic fruit, or the fact that you chose not to stand up for children who have been sexually abused?” That was the question I posed to Whole Foods Market executives on Tuesday, February 28th, at the Omni Hotel in downtown San Francisco. Myself along with other key business leaders, anti-animal abuse organizations and child sexual abuse advocates, came together that day to encourage Co-CEO John Mackey to disavow his relationship from alleged child sexual abuser Marc Gaffni.

Read the full post on PsychCentral.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – 1565

Listen to the podcast with Nikki and Bill Murray here.

Tonight’s special guest is Nikki DuBose from Los Angeles, a returning NAASCA family member who was abused as a child and later as a young professional model. Nikki works closely with Matt Sandusky at the ‘Peaceful Hearts Foundation,’ and will tell us about her new book, ‘Washed Away: From Darkness to Light.’ In her memoir, 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, substance abuse and sexual addictions. She experienced a great deal of success, yet that prosperity came with a high price that often mirrored the sexual abuse from her youth. Among other things, Nikki advocates on her web site for better regulation of the modeling industry. Coming to a place of full healing has not been easy for Nikki, but she says, “I wholeheartedly believe that full recovery is possible. It starts with speaking out and reducing the shame and stigma that is so often attached to mental health issues.” She goes on, “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.” We’re delighted to have Nikki as a card-carrying member of the NAASCA family!

Slay Girl Society Review of Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

If you are looking for a story about a remarkable human being, with perseverance and resilience, who describes her horrifying and haunting life story with candor and courage, than I highly recommend Washed Away: From Darkness To Light, a memoir by Nikki DuBose with James Johanson. It is definitely not a light read – so be forewarned now. Washed Away is emotionally wrenching, compelling and brutally honest, truly providing insight into the mind of someone with mental illness and allowing the reader to understand her deepest and darkest thoughts.

Read the full review at Slay Girl Society.

Binge on This Review of Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

The same goes for this book. It shows the hard truth about mental illness, and sometimes that truth is hard to hear. So even though I never experienced abuse, drugs, or alcoholism, I recognized the truth in Nikki’s words. Washed Away: From Darkness to Light is an absolutely amazing book for many reasons, but one of the things I loved was that it didn’t shy away from the tough topics, showed the thought process that I have very rarely read in other books focused around mental health stories, and I thought the ending was absolutely perfect. You turn the page, asking where’s the rest, and it brought a smile to my face when I realized the book ended.

Read the full review at Binge on This.

Eating Disorder Hope: Eating Disorders and High School Life

During my first day at James Island High, I wandered aimlessly through the halls. Hundreds of students buzzed by, but I couldn’t hear anything for the dark voices. “Nobody will ever be your friend. You’re a loser!” I kept my head down toward the gum-spattered floors. I wanted to spare everyone from my hideous appearance. When the teachers called out my name During roll call, I didn’t answer; instead, I sulked in the back of the class, afraid to utter a single word.

As the days passed on through March, I wanted to disappear. I was certain that if I stayed at James Island High much longer, everyone was going to find out about my past. Deep down, I longed for others to understand, but I knew that no one could, so I avoided conversations at all costs.

During lunch, I anxiously raced through the lines and grabbed a couple of brown paper bags and desserts. I thought it best to dodge the noisy chatter at the tables and skipped straight ahead to the bathroom stalls. There I at least had silence. The crinkle noises my sandwiches made as I unwrapped them was all the friendship I needed. I had my food, and I had my thoughts. Although, I questioned my thoughts most of the time. I could only sit with my thoughts for a few minutes before purging; it seemed like the rational method to rid myself of the pain.

Read the full blog post at Eating Disorder Hope. 

Another Great Review of Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

I squeezed in between Vanessa and Sarah on the bow of the sea doo boat and leaned my head back into my shoulders to let the sun bake away at the freakishly boy short tan lines on the tops of my thighs. As the boat bobbled further away from the campground on the small lake waves, Sarah pulled out a bag of chips. Vanessa tapped her stomach and shook her head no and then she patted mine.

“I envy your tummy you know. Always have.”

“I do too. It’s so flat. You must do something at home,” Lana said from behind.

I felt the blood rush to my cheeks and I quickly draped a Minnie Mouse beach towel over myself.

“No, I don’t do anything.”

“Well I’ve been doing these crunches that I saw in my mom’s magazine. I do like 100 of them. I brought it with me. We should all do them when we get back.”

Read the full review at All Work And No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something

NEDA: From Suffering to Triumph: How I Overcame PTSD

It is a widely-known, yet little-talked-about fact that trauma in childhood can lead to the development of unhealthy and potentially-fatal coping behaviors such as eating disorders. Until a few years ago, I never spoke a word about the abuse that I had endured in my household, as well as the disordered behaviors I lived with for most of my life as a result.

That all changed when I left my high-profile modeling career, got a mentor, went through recovery, and began writing. Once I started writing, it was as if I had blown the cap off a lid of a tightly-sealed bottle of explosives; all of my memories shattered onto the keyboard, and I couldn’t stop writing about them.

Read the full post at National Eating Disorders Association.

BodyMatters Australia – Meet Nikki DuBose: Former Model, Author, Speaker and Mental Health Advocate

Trigger warning: Descriptions of eating disordered behaviour and abuse.

In December last year we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with the lovely Nikki DuBose about her recent memoir Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, her experiences in the modelling industry, her current advocacy work and her inspiring path to recovery from an eating disorder.

Read the full interview at BodyMatters Australia.

She’s Fit to Lead: Book Review – Washed Away by Nikki DuBose

What is the life of a high fashion model. Is it all glam and fame and perfection? Are those celebrity models we idolize like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid really leading the amazing life that we perceive? Or is it a life of “fakes and… lies,” as top Australian Model Ajak Deng announced last year when she left the industry that she said she could no longer take? Or even one that is literally making its participants sick as writer turned model Madison Schill asserted in a Glamour Magazine article, detailing, among other things, how her agent literally asked her if she “drank butter for water.”

In her new, both disturbing and inspiring memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, former model, Nikki Dubose, who has appeared on the covers of and in editorials for all the biggies – Maxim, Glamour, Vogue, Vanity Fair and more lends her voice to this debate.

Read the full book review at She’s Fit to Lead.

Addiction Hope: I’m an Addict – Who Cares About my Attitude?

It may be easy to think that our attitude doesn’t matter when we are recovering, but I beg to differ. I have found that having the right attitude has been just as important as forgiveness and perseverance. In my new memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, I share why attitude is critical for those recovering from addictions.

When I made the decision to leave the modeling industry, I was forced to confront all of my destructive behaviors and truths head on. Life was not fun anymore; it was painful because I had to face my real self. On top of it all, I had to recover, and there were many times where my family and I thought that I was going to die; living became a moment-by-moment process, not day-by-day.

But pushing through, and working with my mentor helped me to understand that having the right attitude was essential to my recovery because life is life and it is not going to change according to my feelings. If it did, then I’d float around on a pink, fluffy cloud all day and avoid pain and growth! That’s not realistic, though; to rise higher, we have to feel pain. Keeping the right attitude makes the growth process tolerable, and it helps to develop our character, which is necessary for every stage of life.

Read the full blog post at Addiction Hope.

Q&A with Authors and Advocates Suzy Favor Hamilton & Nikki DuBose

The Mighty sat down with NYT best-selling author Suzy Favor Hamilton (Fast Girl) and Nikki DuBose (Washed Away: From Darkness to Light) for a Q&A about sex and mental illness.

 

Eating Disorder Hope: How Eating Disorders Affect Work and School

Being broke, frustrated, and uncertain about the future wasn’t such a bad thing. The ball was in my corner; I could start over clean on the West Coast. I left Charleston on a Saturday morning around nine and hightailed it through the states.

The next day, Sunday evening, I rolled up to my new place in Mission Valley. It was a little after eleven; I lugged all of my trash bags into the shared apartment and fell asleep on the couch.

On Monday, I took my remaining money, and on a whim, enrolled in another school. Southern California Esthetics Institute was a four-month-long, intensive esthetician program, and it started the next day.

On the way back to the apartment, I called Dad from the car and told him about my new plan. He was impressed by my persistence to obtain a degree and wired me money to help with the expenses. I felt ridden with guilt; I knew he couldn’t afford to pay my way through school, so I looked for a job right away.

Read the full post on Eating Disorder Hope.

PsychCentral: Paranoia my old friend

The other day, while sitting and rehashing all of my thoughts over to my psychiatrist through the computer screen, I began to feel annoyed. There he was, blissfully writing away on his notepad, while I regurgitated the same, unhappy words. “What does he really think? And why does he find my pain so funny?” I thought. But then I stopped and started to listen to my words. And I realized something. As much as I had tried to fool myself into thinking that I was no longer a paranoid person, or unaffected by the thoughts and behaviors of others, I was completely and utterly wrong.

So I snapped out of my tunnel, looked him square in the eyes (which can be hard for me to do with him), and said, “Stop writing on your little notepad.” He stopped. I noticed that he was maintaining that smirk on his face. I continued. “No matter how much I talk to you, my paranoia still exists, and in fact, it seems to get worse. And…all you can do is smile. I feel crazy!”

Read more on PsychCentral.

PsychCentral: Whole Foods CEO, Gafni & Senator among those trying to silence victims of child sexual abuse

On February 28th, from 11am to 1pm, myself, along with many other prominent leaders, will be speaking at the Omni Hotel in San Fransisco. Our message to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will be very clear: reject your relationship with former rabbi, spiritual leader Marc Gafni.

The reasoning for our demand is credible: The New York Times cited Mackey’s and Gafni’s relationship, as well as Gafni’s alleged sexual abuse of a 14-year-old. Ever since I found out last year, I have been protesting for Mackey to step up as a business leader, and speak for the millions of consumers who have been sexually abused. Refusing to do so and remaining silent on the issue, Mackey is enabling the culture of sexual abuse, something that I am all too familiar with. His silence and failure to advocate for consumers demonstrates his inability to be socially and ethically responsible. For more than a year I have stopped shopping at Whole Foods as a direct result of this issue. The Washington Post covered a national protest that I helped organize and participated in along with Peaceful Hearts Foundation, NAASCA, and author Nancy Levine (The Tao of Pug).

The way I see it, Mackey has had significant time to respond to this situation and address the growing culture of child sex abuse and violence. Instead, Mackey has remained friends with Gafni, and Whole Food’s organization, Conscious Capitalism, which was founded by Mackey, has blocked my Twitter account.

Read the full article on PsychCentral.