AB 1312 SIGNED into law yesterday by Governor Jerry Brown!

You, the people, responded to the action call to let Governor Jerry Brown know how important it was to sign AB 1312 into law. Because of your support, he listened, and signed AB 1312 into law yesterday, extending rights to 11 million sexual assault survivors in California! THANK YOU.

I want to thank Jerry Brown for signing bills this week to help empower women, children, and families. As a survivor of 17 years of mental health issues and a director of League of Women Voters of Los Angeles and Mental Health Co-Chair, I am so grateful for EVERY piece of legislation that is signed into law to prevent, protect, and empower others. I always say this, but we must step up and help one another as a society – government plays a tremendous role in ensuring that the rest of the nation has a reduction in shame with mental health issues and an improved access to care.
For the full list of bills, visit here.

 

URGENT! Ask Governor Jerry Brown to SIGN AB 1312 into LAW!

Ashamed that Jerry Brown hasn’t yet signed #AB1312, assigning rights to victims of sexual assault. The bill is just sitting on his desk, and we only have FOUR days to get him to sign it! I am one of the 11 million sexual assault survivors in California, and in the recent news of #Weinstein, we need to come together and not only support other victims, but provide free and low cost services. PLEASE call him at (916) 445-2841, tweet @JerryBrownGov, Facebook Governor Jerry Brown’s Office. and email the governor and demand that he SIGN AB 1312, the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights into law now! Thank you so much. Please see below:

Sample tweets:

I stand with sexual assault survivors and urge @JerryBrownGov to sign AB1312 Sexual Assaults Survivor Bill of Rights into law.

I urge @JerryBrownGov to sign the CA Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights AB1312 to grant basic rights to survivors @RiseNowUS

Join me and @RiseNowUS in urging @JerryBrownGov to sign AB1312 CA Sexual Assault Bill of Rights to provide basic protections to survivors.

Sample language for calls/emails:
Hello,
I am calling (writing) to voice my support for AB1312, the Sexual Assault Survivor’s’ Bill of Rights that just passed CA. I urge Governor Brown to sign.There are 11 million sexual assault survivors in California alone and I am calling to voice that this is a serious relevant issue. Brave survivors and hard working law enforcement officers deserve commonsense legal protections and clear procedures that ensure access to justice.
Thank you,

DISCLOSE ACT (AB 249) Signed Into Law by Governor Jerry Brown!

Thank you to everyone who called, emailed, travelled to the California State Capitol, and played any part at all pushing for the passing of the DISCLOSE Act (AB 249). Because of you, and after seven long years, Governor Jerry Brown has officially signed the bill into law. I especially want to thank the President of the California Clean Money Campaign, Trent Lange, PhD., (President and Executive Director) and D’Marie Mulattieri (Field Organizer and Accounting Administrator), Logan Smith (Field Organizer), Nancy Neff (Northern California Regional Coordinator), David Schmidt (Northern California Regional Coordinator), Teresa Priem (Delegate to the Democratic State Party), and all of the lawmakers who signed on and supported the bill, including my representatives, Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi and Senator Ben Allen. I was proud to endorse this bill, and also with the League of Women Voters of California and on the local level, with the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles. Thank you to Georgia Quinn, a LWVLA student member, who interned with the CA Clean Money Campaign in Cluver City this summer.

No other law in the country:

* Requires the top three funders of political ads to be shown clearly and prominently on a solid black background on TV ads.
* Requires true funders to be disclosed on ads even if they try to hide behind layers of front groups.
*Makes it illegal to purposefully deceive voters about who pays for political ads.

This Year in Advocacy

Here’s a summary of bills I was proud to support this year, and their status:

California Legislation

AB 249, California DISCLOSE Act, authored by Kevin Mullin and Marc Levine – Awaiting signature from Governor Jerry Brown. Would amend the Political Reform Act of 1974. Lets voters know who is paying for ballot measure ads, on the ads themselves. 

*I personally endorsed this piece of legislation and also on behalf of the League of Women Voters of California.

SB 756, authored by Senator Henry Stern – Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. In short, the bill provides restitution for mental health services to young sexual abuse victims.

*Peaceful Hearts Foundation and Shaw Mind Foundation supported as well.

SB 225, authored by Senator Henry Stern – Enrolled/Awaiting signature from Governor Jerry Brown. Combat human trafficking by updating current trafficking hotline notices to include a text messaging component.

*Peaceful Hearts Foundation and Shaw Mind Foundation supported as well.

AB 1227, authored by Assembly Members Bonta and Low – Ordered to special consent calendar. 09/14/2017
Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling. 09/14/2017. Helping to identify and prevent cases of human trafficking through age-appropriate classroom education.

*Peaceful Hearts Foundation and Shaw Mind Foundation supported as well.

New York Legislation 

This year in New York, I worked on one of the toughest and most emotional cases so far. The Child Victims Act, originally S809 then amended several times and authored by Senator Brad Hoylman, was a bill I took on because of my own child sexual abuse. This legislative session we came together as a nation and got the bill all the way to Governor Cuomo’s approval, but were defeated in the Senate (even though the bill received news-worthy bipartisan Senate support). I have hope that 2018 is our year to protect children in the state of New York and pass the Child Victims Act, as child sexual abuse is a public health crisis and is one of the premier causes of mental illness and suicide.

*Peaceful Hearts Foundation, Shaw Mind Foundation, and over twenty non-profits and mental health professionals that I work with supported as well. 

If you have an issue that you would like to work on, please contact me.

 

 

LWVLAC: Mental Health Position 2016-2018

League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County

Co-Chairs: Linda Paquette & Nikki DuBose

League of Women Voters of California Mental Health Care

MENTAL HEALTH CARE (Adopted 1989) 

Support for an adequately funded mental health care system which provides comprehensive services to the acutely, chronically and seriously mentally ill of all ages, maintains optimal mental health services for all clients, places emphasis on meeting the needs of children, offers mental health services for the homeless, seeks additional funds for preventative services, implements a master plan to integrate services, raises awareness of critical unmet needs, and emphasizes case management.

Support for the following: 

  1. An adequately funded county mental health care system which:
    1. Provides comprehensive services to the acutely, chronically and seriously mentally ill of all ages;
    2. Place emphasis on meeting the needs of children;
    3. Seeks additional funds to provide preventative services;
    4. Offers mental health services for the homeless;
    5. Maintains optimal mental health services for all clients.
  2. Implementation of a master plan which:
    1. Ensures that there will be a network of integrated community based services clearly defined and consistent;
    2. Advocates an awareness of and concern about the critical unmet needs within the county;
    3. Emphasizes case management which includes assistance with housing, financial, entitlements, rehabilitative and vocational programs.
  3. Centers for the seriously and chronically mentally ill apart from the county system.
  4. Regulations which provide an adequate length of time for evaluation and treatment of involuntary holds.
  5. A model mandatory outpatient care program with adequate supervisory staff.

 

*Taken from the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County – Adopted Program 2016-2018

#SpeakingOutLouder Campaign with Rise Together Official

I partnered with Rise Together to bring awareness to the millions who are affected by suicide, bullying, addiction, and more during #NationalRecoveryMonth.

I’m #SpeakingOutLouder because I am a survivor of suicide. In fact, my entire life I’ve dealt with suicidal ideation. My mother was in and out of mental care facilities when I was a teen because she attempted against her life. Some of my friends and family members did not survive suicide, and I believe that if we, as a society, put an end to the shaming, hatred, and blaming, we can help prevent suicide. I think that we have to work together to look for better suicide prevention strategies and invest more in mental health. Every life is precious, and everybody has something valuable to contribute to the world.

-Nikki DuBose
Model, Author, Advocate, Survivor

 

How are YOU SpeakingOutLouder during #NationalRecoveryMonth? Take a pic with the #SpeakingOutLouder and post on social!


League of Women Voters of California Supports DISCLOSE ACT (AB 249)

I am so proud that the League of Women Voters of California is supporting the DISCLOSEAct (AB 249). As a Board Member for the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County, I am grateful for the State’s support on this critical issue. Without financial transparency, dark money will continue to run every sector of our political system, thus affecting the people of our nation, instead of the other way around. Financial transparency is staple to a just and fair democracy.

Read the League of Women Voters of California’s statement on the Disclose Act.

Take action and support the DISCLOSE Act. 

 

 

Psych Central – I Needed Color to Heal from Depression

Continuing from the last post about my mother’s Bipolar diagnosis and artistic abilities, I thought I’d also touch on how painting can help those who suffer from depression. My mother had serious bouts of depression, where she would sleep for days, sometimes weeks on end. In 2015 I was also diagnosed with clinical depression. In honor of my mother and to help with my depression, I began teaching art therapy techniques to help other…

Read the full post on PsychCentral.

PsychCentral – Seeing Life Differently: Using Art to Heal with Bipolar Disorder

My mother was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when I was a teenager, and for most of my life, I didn’t understand many of the things she said or did. After she passed in 2012, I began my healing journey from trauma, anorexia, and related disorders, and after a couple years, began educating myself about Bipolar, a condition that once terrified me.

My mother was a tremendous artist, gifted; and although she touched many with her creative talents, she could never come to…

Read the rest of the post on PsychCentral.

PsychCentral – Five years ago: For the love of Sandy

Five years ago: For the love of Sandy

Five years ago, my mother Sandy passed away in a car accident. Although the initial investigation from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office stated that the cause of her accident was due to “some sort of a tire issue, causing the vehicle to veer off the road,” what my family and I know many years and one book later, is that her death was due to alcoholism, and potentially being attacked while driving.

Read the full post on PsychCentral

 

Eating Disorder Hope: Portraits of An Eating Disorder

Shifting the Focus From Weight to Feelings

Australian-based photographer Jennifer Blau decided to take the focus off of appearance with eating disorder sufferers. She purposefully shot those who were at a societally acceptable “normal weight [1].”

Because eating disorders affect people at all shapes and sizes, Blau had a desire to tilt more on the message that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, as well as our feelings; society needs to be aware, educated, and sensitive to this message. Her exhibition is appropriately entitled “Just Ask Me How I Feel,” on display at Manly-Library [1].

Read the full blog at Eating Disorder Hope.

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.

 

 

Senate List – Child Victims Act

Call, Write, Email and Urge these New York Senators on Social Media to PASS the Child Victims Act!

(D) Addabbo Joseph 159-53 102nd St. Howard Beach, NY 11414 (718) 738-1111 613 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2322 (518) 426-6875 addabbo@senate.state.ny.us
(R) Akshar Frederick 44 Hawley Street Room 1607 Binghamton, NY 13901 (607) 773-8771 805 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2677 (518) 426-6720 akshar@nysenate.gov
(D) Alcantara Marisol 5030 Broadway Suite 701 & 702 New York, NY 10034 (212) 544-0173 513 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2041 (518) 426-6847 alcantara@nysenate.gov
(R) Amedore George 721 Broadway Suite 100 Kingston, NY 12401 (845) 331-3810 802 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2350 (518) 426-6751 amedore@nysenate.gov Abuse @ guilderland school; voted no on floor in ’08 as an Assemblyman
(D) Avella Tony 38-50 Bell Boulevard Suite C Bayside, NY 11361 (718) 357-3094 902 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2210 (518) 426-6736 avella@nysenate.gov Support won’t co-sponsor
(D) Bailey Jamaal 959 East 233rd St. Bronx, NY 10466-3207 (718) 547-8854 707 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2061 (518) 426-6998 bailey@nysenate.gov
(R) Bonacic John 201 Dolson Avenue Suite F Middletown, NY 10940 (845) 344-3311 509 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3181 (518) 426-6948 bonacic@nysenate.gov
(R) Boyle Phil 69 W Main Street Suite B Bay Shore, NY 11706 (631)
665-2311 814 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3411 (518) 426-6973 pboyle@nysenate.gov voted yes on floor in ’08 as Assemblyman
(D) Breslin Neil 414 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2225 (518) 426-6807 breslin@senate.state.ny.us
(D) Brooks John 5550 Merrick Road Suite 205 Massapequa, NY 11758 (516) 882-0630 302 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2765 (518) 426-6925 brooks@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Carlucci David 20 South Main Street New City, NY 10956 (845) 623-3627 848 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2991 (518) 426-6737 carlucci@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Comrie Leroy 113-43 Farmers Boulevard St. Albans, NY 11412 (718) 454-0162 617 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2701 (518) 455-2816 comrie@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(R) Croci Tom 250 Veterans Memorial Highway NYS Office Building, Rm 3B-41 Hauppauge, NY 11788 (631) 360-3356 306 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3570 (518) 426-6741 croci@nysenate.gov
(R) DeFrancisco John 800 State Office Building 333 E. Washington Street Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 428-7632 416 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3511 (518) 426-6952 jdefranc@nysenate.gov Oppose Opposes the window
(D) Diaz Ruben 900 Rogers Place Bronx, NY 10459 (718) 991-3161 606 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2511 (518) 426-6945 diaz@senate.state.ny.us Oppose He’s given mixed signals to advocates, told the Leader he opposes
(D) Dilan Martin 573 Metropolitan Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 573-1726 711B Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2177 (518) 426-6947 dilan@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Felder Simcha 1412 Avenue J Suite 2E Brooklyn, NY 11230 (718) 253-2015 944 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2754 (518) 426-6931 felder@nysenate.gov Oppose Opposed to complete elimination of civil SOL and window; position could change if Flanagan supports a bill
(R) Flanagan John 260 Middle County Road Suite 102 Smithtown, NY 11787 (631) 361-2154 330 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2051 (518) 426-6904 Flanagan@nysenate.gov Oppose
(R) Funke Rich Packetts Landing Suite 230 Fairport, NY 14450 (585) 223-1800 905 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2215 (518) 426-6745 funke@nysenate.gov
(R) Gallivan Patrick 2721 Transit Road Suite 116 Elma, NY 14059 (716) 656-8544 947 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3471 (518) 426-6949 gallivan@nysenate.gov
(D) Gianaris Michael 31-19 Newtown Avenue Suite 402 Astoria, NY 11102 (718) 728-0960 413 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3486 (518) 426-6929 gianaris@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(R) Golden Martin 7408 5th Avenue 1st Floor Brooklyn, NY 11209 (718) 238-6044 409 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2730 (518) 426-6910 Golden@nysenate.gov
(R) Griffo Joseph 207 Genesee Street Room 408 Utica, NY 13501 (315) 793-9072 612 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3334 (518) 426-6921 griffo@nysenate.gov
(D) Hamilton Jesse 1669 Bedford Avenue 2nd Floor & Mezzanine Brooklyn, NY 11225 (718) 284-4700 608 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2431 (518) 426-6856 Hamilton@nysenate.gov
(R) Hannon Kemp 595 Stewart Ave. Suite 540 Garden City, NY 11530 (516) 739-1700 420 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2200 (518) 426-6954 hannon@nysenate.gov
(R) Helming Pamela 119 Fall St. Seneca Falls, NY 13148 (315) 568-9816 509 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2366 (518) 426-6953 helming@nysenate.gov
(D) Hoylman Brad 322 Eighth Avenue Suite 1700 New York, NY 10001 (212) 633-8052 413 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2451 (518) 426-6846 hoylman@nysenate.gov Support Bill Sponsor
(R) Jacobs Christopher 65 Court Street Rm 213 Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 854-8705 946 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3240 (518) 426-6738 jacobs@nysenate.gov
(D) Kaminsky Todd 55 Front Street Room 1 Rockville Centre, NY 11570 (516) 766-8011 311 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3401 (518) 426-6914 kaminsky@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Kennedy Timothy 2239 South Park Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14220 (716) 826-2683 506 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2426 (518) 426-6851 kennedy@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Klein Jeffrey 1250 Waters Place Suite 1202 Bronx, NY 10461 (718) 822-2049 913 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3595 (518) 426-6887 jdklein@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(D) Krueger Liz 1850 Second Avenue New York, NY 10128 (212) 490-9535 808 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2297 (518) 426-6874 lkrueger@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Lanza Andrew 3845 Richmond Avenue Suite 2A Staten Island, NY 10312 (718) 984-4073 708 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3215 (518) 426-6852 lanza@senate.state.ny.us Oppose Opposed to the window only
(R) Larkin William 1093 Little Britain Road New Windsor, NY 12553 (845) 567-1270 502 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2770 (518) 426-6923 larkin@senate.state.ny.us
(D) Latimer George 222 Grace Church Street Suite 300 Port Chester, NY 10573 (914) 934-5250 615 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2031 (518) 426-6860 latimer@nysenate.gov
(R) LaValle Kenneth 28 North Country Road Suite 203 Mount Sinai, NY 11766 (631) 473-1461 806 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3121 (518) 426-6826 lavalle@nysenate.gov
(R) Little Elizabeth 5 Warren Street Suite 3 Glens Falls, NY 12801 (518) 743-0968 310 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2811 (518) 426-6873 little@nysenate.gov
(R) Marcellino Carl 250 Townsend Square Oyster Bay, NY 11771 (516) 922-1811 811 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2390 (518) 426-6975 marcelli@senate.state.ny.us
(R) Marchione Kathleen 1 Halfmoon Town Plaza Halfmoon, NY 12065 (518) 371-2751 918 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2381 (518) 426-6985 marchione@nysenate.gov
(D) Montgomery Velmanette 30 Third Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 643-6140 903 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3451 (518) 426-6854 montgome@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Murphy Terrence 40 Gleneida Avenue 3rd Floor Carmel, NY 10512 (845) 279-3773 817 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3111 (518) 426-6977 murphy@nysenate.gov
(R) O’Mara Thomas 105 East Steuben Street Bath, NY 14810 (607) 776-3201 307 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2091 (518) 426-6976 omara@nysenate.gov Oppose Opposes suing institutions; voted no in ’08 as an Assemblyman
(R) Ortt Robert 175 Walnut Street Suite 6 Lockport, NY 14094 (716) 434-0680 815 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2024 (518) 426-6987 ortt@nysenate.gov
(D) Parker Kevin 55 Hansen Place Suite 650 Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 629-6401 604 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2580 (518) 426-6843 parker@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Peralta Jose 32-37 Junction Boulevard East Elmhurst, NY 11369 (718) 205-3881 415 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2529 (518) 426-6909 jperalta@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Persaud Roxanne 1222 East 96th Street Brooklyn, NY 11236 (718) 649-7653 504 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2788 (518) 426-6806 persaud@nysenate.gov
(R) Phillips Elaine 252 Mineola Boulevard Mineola, NY 11501-2421 (516) 746-5924 915 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3265 (518) 426-6739 ephillips@nysenate.gov
(R) Ranzenhofer Michael 8203 Main Street Suite 4 Williamsville, NY 14221 (716) 631-8695 609 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3161 (518) 426-6963 ranz@senate.state.ny.us Oppose Staff said the senator doesn’t believe victims should be allowed to sue in civil court
(R) Ritchie Patty Dulles State Office Building Room 418 Watertown, NY 13601 (315) 782-3418 412 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3438 (518) 426-6740 ritchie@nysenate.gov
(D) Rivera Gustavo 2432 Grand Concouse Suite 506 Bronx, NY 10458 (718) 933-2034 408 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3395 (518) 426-6858 grivera@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(R) Robach Joseph 2300 West Ridge Road Rochester, NY 14626 (585) 225-3650 803 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2909 (518) 426-6938 robach@nysenate.gov
(D) Sanders James 142-01 Rockaway Blvd. South Ozone Park, NY 11436 (718) 523-3069 508 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3531 (518) 426-6859 sanders@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Savino Diane 36 Richmond Terrace Suite 112 Staten Island, NY 10301 (718) 727-9406 315 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2437 (518) 426-6943 savino@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Serino Susan 4254 Albany Post Road Hyde Park, NY 12538 (845) 229-0106 812 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2945 (518) 426-6770 serino@nysenate.gov
(D) Serrano Jose 1916 Park Avenue Suite 202 New York, NY 10029 (212) 828-5829 406 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2795 (518) 426-6886 serrano@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Seward James 41 South Main Street Oneonta, NY 13820 (607) 432-5524 430 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3131 (518) 455-3123 seward@nysenate.gov
(D) Squadron Daniel 250 Broadway Suite 2011 New York, NY 10013 (212) 298-5565 515 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2625 (518) 426-6956 squadron@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Stavisky Toby 142-29 37th Ave Suite 1 Flushing, NY 11354 (718) 445-0004 706 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3461 (518) 426-6857 stavisky@nysenate.gov Support co-sponsor
(D) Stewart-Cousins Andrea 28 Wells Avenue Building 3 Yonkers, NY 10701 (914) 423-4031 907 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2585 (518) 426-6811 scousins@senate.state.ny.us Support co-sponsor
(R) Tedisco James 636 Plank Rd. 1st Floor Clifton Park , NY 12065-2046 (518) 885-1829 711 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2181 (518) 426-6821 tedisco@nysenate.gov Voted no in “08 as an Assemblyman
(NA) Vacant Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247
S D Valesky David 805 State Office Building 333 East Washington Street Syracuse, New York 13202 (315) 478-8745 512 Legislative Office Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2838 (518) 426-6885 valesky@senate.state.ny.us
(R) Young Catharine 700 West State Street Westgate Plaza Olean, NY 14760 (716) 372-4901 428 State Capitol Building Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-3563 (518) 426-6905 cyoung@senate.state.ny.us Oppose Opposes the window; voted yes on floor as Assembly Woman in ’08

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.

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

 

 

Addiction Hope: Marijuana Dubbed the Next “Wonder Drug” for Heroin Patients

This year I am celebrating six years of sobriety from alcohol and drugs, addictions that took seed at thirteen years old. Actually, I had my first drink at three because my late mother thought it would be funny to see my reaction after sipping a Long Island Iced Tea.

It wasn’t funny, though, as my genetic makeup combined with an abusive environment laid the groundwork for unhealthy coping behaviors to manifest. As a teen, I grabbed onto alcohol, prescription pills, cocaine and LSD like candy and water.

Needing More and More

Eventually, I needed more and more to create the “high” feeling to take me away from reality. At some point, “high” wasn’t good enough anymore, and I needed death to quiet my loneliness.

Read the full blog post at Addiction Hope.

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.

Eating Disorder Hope: Creating Art to Recover from Eating Disorders

I was naturally a shy, introverted child. Add in an abusive environment, a mother with severe mental illness, substance abuse, and an early battle with eating disorders, and my shyness was lit on fire.

Turning inward to the extreme and developing depression, playdates in my room with stencils, colored pencils and drawing pads were my everything. This was my way to connect to life and imaginary people.

Read the full blog post at Eating Disorder Hope.

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.

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.

Eating Disorder Hope: The Process of Transformation

When recovering from eating disorders and body dysmorphia, one of the biggest challenges can be to change our inner perception, that negative self-talk, especially when we have a distorted outer vision of ourselves.

The Way We See Ourselves

However, we must consciously work on shifting the way we see ourselves on the inside, before we will ever love who we are on the outside. Everything begins in the mind. In my debut memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, I write about how I was able to wipe away that negative, monstrous outer image, starting from the inside [1].

Read the rest of the blog on Eating Disorder Hope.

PsychCentral: With Child Sexual Abuse, Awareness is Critical, but Prevention is Key

My parents trusted Robbie since he played Mr. Fix-it, but Uncle Robbie played other games—secret games that only he and I knew about. Whenever he fixed something in my house, and no one was around, he asked me to play. At first, I agreed, but soon I discovered that these were not fun games, they were painful. These were games I never won.

Read the full article on PsychCentral.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Eating Disorder Hope: Self-care Tips for Mental Health Advocates

In light of the latest presidential election, I think it’s great that the Western world has sort of woken up and decided to get more involved with advocacy work. After all, there is a positive side to every seemingly negative situation, not that I hate Trump, because I don’t. What I am saying is that, every time I go on social media, it seems that a vast majority of Americans, particularly liberal females and the men who support them, are constantly pushing forth issues they are passionate about, and how they can make significant changes for good.

I am all for being an advocate [1]. Five years ago, I began to campaign for the rights of those in the eating disorder community, while I was still in the throes of my own eating disorder and learning how to recover from a range of mental illnesses. In fact, helping others and pushing for change in my community, teaming up with national associations and bring awareness to issues is one of the biggest reasons why I believe I got to a strong place of recovery. It’s also why I am now so heavily involved in helping to pass legislation and want to run for office one day.

Read more at Eating Disorder Hope.

PsychCentral: To anyone who doesn’t think sex addiction is real

Suffering from an addiction is bad enough. But it’s entirely different when you’ve gathered the courage to share about it openly, in the hopes to help others who may be struggling, only to have your addiction and bravery mocked. That happened to me when I spoke about being abused in childhood on The Doctors and how it led to sex addiction in my modeling career. I was flooded with comments from people who thought that I was a slut for sharing. I heard that little voice for a little while: Sex addiction is a fraud. You’re a fraud.

Sex addiction is a real thing, but for some reason, it’s an ongoing debate. Some people believe that sex addiction is a imagesvalid addiction, worthy to be in the DSM-5, while others believe it boils down to a lack of moral character. Yes, that’s actually something someone said to me one time.

Read more on PsychCentral.

The Mighty: What I Want Others to Know About People Who’ve Experienced Psychosis

“That face. . .Look at it!” I didn’t question the voice. I leaned in until my eyes crossed and my nose touched the mirror. My glasses began to fog from my breath. The voice continued, and then another voice joined it: a giggly, female voice. “Four eyes! Loser. No one will ever love you. What an ugly thing you are. I can’t tell if you look like a girl or a boy. Get to work fatty! Change that face. Don’t stop moving until it’s done. You can win, you can be the winner!”“Washed Away: From Darkness to Light”

In my newly released memoir, “Washed Away: From Darkness to Light,” I discuss many of the graphic events that led to my mental breakdown in childhood. I think that sharing our stories is critical because there are many hurting people in the world who will benefit from our experiences, and also the more we share, the more we continue to heal and grow.

Read more on The Mighty.

Psych Central: Depression doesn’t mean I’m broken, it means I deserve compassion

I could feel the sadness creeping up again, like an unwelcome relative looking over my shoulder and breathing down my neck. I didn’t want it to come, but it did, and I knew that I was helpless to stop it. And then it washed over me; it poured down like a river of madness, and bathed me in uncertainty. As the tears poured down my face and I crawled into bed, I wanted nothing other than to end my own life. Again. But I couldn’t move. I was drowning and stuck staring into nothingness, and the nothingness was ripping my heart apart. As much as I wanted to end my life, I had no energy to get up and do it.

Some time went by, and the energy slowly came back into my body. I muddled around and managed to answer work emails, walk my dog, feed myself and finish some schoolwork. As I drifted around the house and tried to connect with life again, my phone rang. It was a friend, calling to check up on me. My brain told me not to answer it, and I listened. Tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I told myself. Right now, right now I need rest.

Read more on Psych Central.

Addiction Hope: The Mother-Daughter Addiction

“…She flipped the truck into a ditch and just left the scene. Nikki…we can’t find her.”
I hung up. My momma: the adult, the child, my everything.
I slid to the floor and smacked my head with my fist.

“God, help me!” I thought. I desperately wanted the pain to end, and for our lives to be normal, but life had been chaotic for so long, perhaps this was our normal.

…I let the cold water wash over my blistered knuckles and stared into the mirror. The only face I recognized was Momma’s; she was all I wanted. Her reflection blended into mine and brought me face-to-face with some disturbing truths. Why was I incapable of taking care of myself? Why couldn’t I take care of her? “God, where are you? Don’t you love us?” I thought.

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

For most of my life, I never wanted to come to terms with the fact that I was an addict to pretty much everything. Addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, fame, success, love, food, on and on. Basically, I just wanted anything to simultaneously temper the sting of loneliness and boost my low self-esteem.

Read more on Addiction Hope.

Addiction Hope: When I Say No, I Mean No

The other evening, I had just sat down to a nice dinner with a newly acquainted colleague at a posh restaurant overlooking all of Los Angeles. As I began to gaze over the menu, I suddenly heard the question slip from his lips.

“Sooo, what would you like to drink?” I raised my head, trying to fight back any signs of annoyance. Surely, this guy must have read my book. Surely, he must know that I’m sober. But no, there he was, staring and smiling, blissfully unaware and nudging the wine list in my direction.

Read more on Addiction Hope.

PsychCentral: To my mother on this day

Nearly seven years ago, I was living in New York City, modeling, and battling several mental illnesses. My mother and I were trying to work through our complicated relationship, one that stemmed from years’ worth of domestic violence, abuse, and alcoholism. In my heart, I wanted so badly to try and understand my mother and have a genuine connection with her, but it was like trying to climb a giant hill wearing cement shoes. Not only did my mental health conditions keep me from moving forward and connecting with her, but so did hers. Bipolar, dissociative identity disorder, and her battle with the bottle were demons that kept her permanently trapped until her death in 2012.

Today would be Mom’s fiftieth birthday, and here I am, in New York City on a business trip, thinking about her.

Read more on PsychCentral.

Protecting Kids from Sexual Abuse in New York

As an Executive Board Member of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, I am honored to announce my collaboration with Stop Abuse Campaign, Gary Greenberg, Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, and Governor Cuomo to protect children in New York from sexual abuse. S809, The Omnibus Child Victims Act, works to eliminate New York’s Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse in criminal court and civil court, and gives adult victims a year in which they can sue their abusers and the institutions that facilitated their abuse. S809 is a bill I am proud to support, not only as an advocate, ambassador and community leader, but as a survivor – I am well aware of the adverse effects of child sexual abuse, so much so, that I published a book about my recovery from it last year.

If we are to invest in our nation, we must invest in our children because they are our future. We cannot afford to ignore the fact that every day, children are being sexually abused and that we, as a society, are responsible. I hope you will join me in sending a letter to Gov. Cuomo and tell him why passing S809 to remove the statue of limitations for child sexual abuse is so critical.

Thank you for joining me in this fight.

 

 

Nikki DuBose Letter of Support for S809/Omnibus Child Victims Act

Project HEAL Letter of Support 

Letter of Support from The Shaw Mind Foundation 

Advocate Resources 

Sign the Petition 

 

Advocate Resources for S809/The Omnibus Child Victims Act

New York S809 

S809 Press Release 

S809 Facts & Talking Points 

S809 Summary 

Advice for Meeting with Legislators 

Special Reddit Chat Sponsored by Women’s March NYC

Media

EDHope: Why the Modeling Industry Needs Mental Health Education

Many years ago I opened up to one of my modeling agents in Miami about my chronic struggle with bulimia. At that point, I had been battling the illness for over fourteen years and I was terrified to lose another contract because of it.

After an unsuccessful stint at rehab, my former agent in New York realized that I just couldn’t make the cut with castings and jobs due to my eating disorder and other mental health issues, and sent me back to South Florida without a ticket back. Ultimately, my disorders prevented me from being able to focus at work, maintain a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Read more on Eating Disorder Hope.

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: The true cost of child sexual abuse

After failing to change the law last year, New York State is set once again to consider doing away with the statute of limitations on prosecuting sex crimes against children — this time with Gov. Cuomo hopefully leading the reform charge against a likely intransigent state Senate.

Under current statutes, a victim must seek justice in criminal or civil court by her 23rd birthday, or she loses the opportunity to do so forever.

Read more on New York Daily News.

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.

PsychCentral: Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse is Society’s Responsibility

We have a huge problem in this country when it comes to protecting children from sexual abuse, and that’s denial. As an Executive Board member of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, a child sexual abuse nonprofit, one of the most common issues I come across when a survivor discloses their abuse is denial – from family members, teachers, friends – the list goes on. Myself, a survivor of incest from my late mother from the ages of 9 to 13, and a male figure at the age of 8, I know what it’s like to finally come to terms with the abuse and entrust others with the information, only to have them deny that it ever could have happened. The psychological effects were beyond damaging; I questioned my own sanity, the trauma, and attempted suicide. After all, if no one believed that such heinous acts had occurred, what reasons did I have to go on living? Child sexual abuse left me scarred with depression, psychosis, suicidal ideation and many other mental illnesses, and without proper support, it was only a matter of time before I permanently checked out.

Read more on PsychCentral.

Times Union: Sour, sweet opening addresses for session

Model, and actress turned author Nikki DuBose urges passage of the Child Victims Act outside the Senate Parlor as the 2017 session of the NYS Legislature begins Wednesday Jan. 4, 2017 in Albany, NY. Read more at Times Union.

New York Daily News: Sex abuse survivors lodge rallying cry for Child Victims Act’s passage in Albany

Among the victims who attended the rally held outside the Senate chambers shortly before the start of the new legislative session was former model Nikki DuBose, who was sexually abused as a kid.

“New York needs this bill for one reason —to protect children from predators.The predators are the ones currently being protected by the law, not the children,” she said.

Read more at the New York Daily News.

 

 

New York Daily News: Former model Nikki DuBose to share her sex abuse story with lawmakers as she advocates for Child Victims Act

ALBANY — Former model and sexual abuse victim Nikki DuBose is coming to the state Capitol Wednesday with a message for state lawmakers — children need to be protected.

DuBose is the featured speaker at a rally being planned by advocates for legislation that would change New York’s statute of limitations and make it easier for child sex abuse victims to obtain justice in state courts.

“We are talking about kids,” DuBose, 31, told The Daily News.

“Why is it OK for an innocent child to be sexually abused and to have his rights, his soul, his identity, his emotions his life taken away from that very moment and for him to not receive justice?” DuBose continued. “Why is that OK?”

Read more on New York Daily News.