Marnie Goodfriend: Hero To Survivors Around The World‏‏

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Living each day as a sexual assault survivor can be an intense, healing journey and for some individuals it can lead to daily emotional struggles to overcome. The constant thoughts of feeling alone, shame, and guilt can often feel overwhelming to any person, however for a survivor, those feelings never seem to go away. Having survivor advocates like Marnie Goodfriend (who is currently on the RAINN Speakers Bureau and also known for being a Rape Consult on the TV show Private Practice) has helped survivors who are struggling to find their own voice by being a sexual assault survivor that found her voice and who has used it in a creative way. Goodfriend has become such an inspiration to many survivors around the world that her voice has traveled and has been heard in places as far as England.

“Marnie’s story has given me hope, shown me that I am not alone. That I am no longer a victim, but a survivor, Marnie’s voice has encouraged survivors that, even in their hardest times, there is hope.”Amy Graver

For sexual assault survivors like Amy Graver, feeling alone is a big part of her life, but having been inspired by Goodfriend and her story, Amy has now started to become a confident young women who is not afraid to share her own voice as well. Amy has finally learned that there is hope at the end of her tunnel and has Goodfriend to thank for that important step.

“If I could say anything to Marnie right now, it would be ‘Thank you for all you are doing through your art work and music, to empower survivors.’” – Amy Graver

Survivors all heal in different ways and one method is not better than another, whether it is through social media, artwork, or writing. Finding the right therapeutic way to portray your feelings as a survivor can certainly help the healing process, as it can also be a great tool to endure a safe and beneficial journey of healing. This is the reason why Goodfriend is not just a dedicated sexual assault advocate but also a ‘survivor hero’ as well because of all she has done to help survivors regain back hope into their lives. Goodfriend’s blog site ‘Repaving Waverly’ is what has given hope to those who are unable to speak and a reminder to those who can that they are not alone.

“Her photograph and artwork gives people hope and a voice.. If I could say anything to her I would say thank you for all the great work she is doing to help survivors get through their healing journey”Tara Laracuente

Goodfriend has blossomed through her own survivor story and has successfully expressed it through her photography as a method to personally help her own healing journey. Even advocates like Goodfriend have days where they are emotionally drained from triggered thoughts and need to use a hotline for advice. Having hotlines like RAINN is important as they are always there to help no matter who you are, even advocates like Goodfriend.

“I’ve always expressed myself through various art mediums and writing so it seemed natural to me. If you read “Sheila’s Photographs” on my blog site, I talk about images that were taken a few days before the rape becoming an integral part of me figuring out who I was now, reconciling what was lost, and finding strength in the fact that I had survived a violent crime.” – Marnie Goodfriend

Goodfriend‘s artwork is the result of how one sexual assault survivor used their creative talent to express their progress of healing in a way to help other survivors know that they are not alone. Goodfriend’s ability to use her artwork to help herself and others demonstrates that a survivor can show tremendous strength in a special way even after surviving a horrific ordeal. Goodfriend’s artwork has offered light at the end of the tunnel for all those survivors without a voice and to keep that light shining bright so that those lost in the darkness can find their way out as well.

“In college I focused on self-portraits so there was a strong connection between owning the version of me that I wanted people to see, or that I was exploring with women’s roles, abuse, and other unspoken tears at the heart that we cannot see in or on another person. The goal is for the viewer to walk inside that story and live it, if only for a moment.” – Marnie Goodfriend

No matter how long it has been or how long you have been healing, the memories of what happened will most likely never leave you. It doesn’t mean you can’t live life or be happy again, but it is what you do to move forward that will help you get back the smile you once had. Goodfriend’s underlying strength has not just given back a smile to those survivors in silence, but also to survivors who feel like they are struggling to fit in with society.

“Hearing Marnie Goodfriend’s story, her journey, showed me that it was ok to be ready to heal in my own time & that I didn’t have to go through it alone. She has helped others be able to reach out for support and use their own voices. I want to say thank you to Marnie Goodfriend because hearing her speak has made me realize that it is okay for me to speak up too.”Vicky Ann Smith

For sexual assault survivors, coming forward and sharing their voice takes a lot of courage to do, but thanks to the strength of survivor hero, Marnie Goodfriend and her survivor story being shared, she has given survivors like Amy Graver, Tara Laracuente, and Vicky Ann Smith the hope, courage, and strength to share their voice too. Marnie having helped these amazing strong women to overcome their fear of speaking up about being sexual assault survivors has allowed these women to now be heard and be a powerful voice for those who are not ready to come forward.

From all the survivors you have helped Marnie, we are truly grateful for you and will always be our Survivor Hero and Inspiration!


For those reading: If you have been sexually assaulted or/and raped and would like to talk to someone about it, then please ring RAINN on 800 656 HOPE or go on their 24/7 online hotline at anytime:

It is never too late to get help and you are never alone!


To View Marnie Goodfriend‘s Survivor Story: Repaving Waverly Blogsite

To View Repaving Waverly Page: Repaving Waverly Facebook Page


Written By Natasha Hagan email:

Edited By Shannon Marie

Music as Mantra’s-Finding healing through songs.

Listening to Tori Amos’s music probably saved my identity.  I don’t want to say “saved my life” because I am not sure if my life was ever in jeopardy.  But, my identity was and I think that, on some level, losing one’s identity (or never finding it in the first place) is a horrifying thought.

When I found Tori’s music I was a junior in high school and had just gotten out of a terrible, abusive relationship that lasted much longer than it should have.  I was seventeen and really had no idea who I was.  This was compounded with the fact that I lived in a small town where gossip spread like wildfire and where everyone seemed to have an opinion about what had happened to me.  So, not only was I trying to heal from something very destructive, I was also trying to be a teenager in a very suffocating place.  I had no idea who I was or what I wanted to become.

Then a friend of mine gave me a copy of Tori Amos’s CD Little Earthquakes.  Just like many Tori Amos fans have said, that CD changed everything.  It required me to listen and interpret the song lyrics, to adjust them to my emotions and to find mantra’s in songs like “Girl” (Everybody else’s girl, maybe one day she’ll be her own”).  I began listening to all her songs on a loop (at the time she had three albums out) and found myself transfixed by this person who seemed to understand what I was going through, even though we had never met.

As I grew older and began the long journey that was my college and graduate education I found myself turning to Tori’s music for more than healing (although healing was still certainly a major component).  I began to see it as a guide through things like politics (the album American Doll Posse took on George W. Bush and his policies), the experience of Native people (with the album Scarlet’s Walk), international relations (the song Juarez which addressed the rape and murder of women in Juarez long before the media started covering it) as well as my own feminism.

When it came time for me to pick a dissertation topic for my PhD I workshopped an idea about the ways women have used music as a means to heal themselves as part of a holistic health class I was taking.  I was surprised at how positive my classmate’s responses were, especially since none of them had heard of Tori or her music.  With this in mind, in the summer of 2009, I began interviewing women who are fans of Tori Amos to find out what it was that drew them to her music.  The results of this study demonstrated to me that music goes beyond being a powerful healing force, music reflects the experience of the listener and becomes a way for a person to engage in self care.

But, specifically for women, music that tells the story of another women’s experience is particularly powerful, especially if the song is written and performed by another woman.  Many of the women I interviewed were survivors of sexual or physical abuse.  For them, Tori’s music took them on a journey to self-healing because the songs spoke to Tori’s own experience overcoming sexual assault.  Another common theme was experiences women had had with miscarriage.  One women, in particular, told me the story of a pregnancy that was the result of her rape and the miscarriage that followed.  Knowing that Tori has been through miscarriages, and had written entire albums about the experience, gave many women a guide, a way to help them heal.  The result of this study is my forthcoming book, “Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman: Female Fans and the Music of Tori Amos.

In holistic health it is taught that people cannot heal unless their mind, body and spirit are all being worked on.  This is what I think music does for people.  I spoke with many rape survivors who told me they write down song lyrics in their journal’s and use them as bullet points to express what they are feeling, because doing this in a journal is a safe place.  I met a woman, who was healing from breast cancer, who told me that her best healing takes place in the car on her way home from work because she can scream along with the music she is playing and release her tension.  Many people talk about blasting a CD (or IPod playlist) while creating art, that the music gives them a rhythm to help them create.  One woman in particular, who is dealing with a disease that left her disabled, told me about her “painting songs”, a playlist created to get her motivated to create her art.  For myself, music becomes mantra’s in my head that will often punctuate what I am feeling.  Sometimes I am aware of what they mean and sometimes I let them pass through and assume that the meaning will come to me later.

I hope to explore the ways that music can be a tool in your “healing kit” in future posts.  I hope you can offer me suggestions or share your own way(s) of using music to heal in the comments.  Until next time, one of my favorite quotes from Leo Tolstoy, “Music is the shorthand of emotion.”

Adrienne Trier-Bieniek, PhD is the author of the forthcoming book, “Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman: Female Fans and the Music of Tori Amos” which will be release by Scarecrow Press.  She has written for The Orlando Sentinel and the journals “Qualitative Research” and “Humanity and Society.”  She is currently a faculty member in sociology at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida and she studies the ways pop culture influences ideas about gender.  She also runs the Facebook page “Pop Culture Feminism.”

TeamStrick Online Awareness Day – On April 20, 2013

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“Breaking the Silence Together!”

April 20’s TeamStrick Online Awareness Day is the day where all of us sexual assault advocates from different groups, foundations, advocacy organizations and as individuals, come together to spread hope to other survivors through online campaigns of our own.

“Our movement group ‘TeamStrick’ was started as a way for us supporters of actress, now advocate, ‘KaDee Strickland’ to help spread awareness of her efforts with the phenomenal ‘RAINN’ (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) organization. Because of her efforts, we have been able to share hope to all survivors through our RAINN campaigns and spread awareness in new and creative ways online. Now being known as official ‘RAINNmakers’.”

By having online sexual assault awareness events and fundraisers that people can physically attend, it is a way for us advocates to show support to those survivors without a voice to know they are not alone and that it is never too late to get help.

How we can help to do this is by raising our voice in creative ways that can encourage other survivors to think in a positive dynamic. When survivors share ‘words of encouragement’ through visual images and quotations online not only does it show support, but it also reaches out to more survivors and to those that are struggling on a international level. Using encouraging words through visual images can also help those survivors that have lost all hope and need something to help remind them at just how strong they are.

TeamStrick‘s campaign for April 20 is ‘Gear It Up For RAINN‘. The purpose of the campaign is to have our supporters buy RAINN merchandise from the RAINNstore  and wear it on April 20. On April 20, we want everyone to wear their new RAINN merchandise in hopes that it will help spread awareness. Do you have an organization that you are passionate about or are you a company that would like to help us spread awareness? If so, this is the time to get involved.


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Join TeamStrick Online Awareness Day Facebook Event Page:

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Contact TeamStrick‘s Co Creator: