Thanks for Writing!

I began writing The Scent Series for many different reasons.

For one, I wanted to discuss some pretty serious topics…such as the double standards that have become so pervasive, where men are deemed heroes for their sexual conquests, but women are ostracized. So I explored it,using fiction, and created the main female lead, Morgan Freeman, who chooses not to live by those standards. In fact, she exploits her own sexuality for financial gain, dressing provocatively in her billboards. This action helps her to succeed; it also causes her to (***spoiler alert***) gain the attention of a religious zealot who stalks and nearly kills her.

In The Scent Series, you will see the recurring theme of some of the woes of society: a drug addicted mother, whose situation leads to some very dangerous situations for her daughter; discussion on the Steubenville rape case (read about it in this link) http://abcnews.go.com/2020/steubenville-rape-case-story-heard/story?id=18705357 ; stalking; and racism, to name a few.

However, no completely serious topic is stomached as easily as when it is surrounded by a nail-biting-plot-twisted (I totally just made that up!) story line where cliff hangers abound; oh yeah, and really awesome sex!

And why did I choose to write such risque (I’m quoting one of the doctors with who I work that described The Scent of a Woman using this word) scenes? Because SEX IS IMPORTANT, and it should be enjoyable and it should be healthy. And after having completed >450 sexual assault nurse exams (SANE), and seeing sex used as a weapon and carried out in such a harmful and unhealthy way, I needed a platform to “rewrite” it as good. And what a platform it has been! And ultimately it’s a love story, though that is not the way I had originally planned it (the characters eventually wrote themselves onto the page using my brain and my fingers to do so).

Now enjoy. And remember that sex should be good. And it should happen between two consenting adults. Here is a great video explaining that; not that you need it explained, but it’s just so fun to watch!

When Is It Okay To Have Sex? This Brilliant Video About Consent Is Spreading Like Wildfire.

And here is a link to purchase The Scent Series, in case I’ve piqued your curiosity:
http://www.thescentseries.com/buy-your-copy-of-the-scent-series-here.html

263 Years

You may have heard the name Daniel Holtzclaw, or you may not. For those who are unaware of this former Oklahoma City police officer, let me clue you in. He preyed upon African American females who predominantly had a criminal history. His trial concluded late last year, and the jury recommended he get 263 years for the crimes of which they found him guilty. Yesterday, a judge honored that, and the man will never see the light of day as a free person again.

Justice served!!!

Being passive aggressive

I am passive aggressive. I used to dislike this about myself. When…I was the unpopular girl in school. And when separation from my 15 year relationship meant abandonment by his family…a family that used to mean the world to me. They were my whole world- after my kids and my career, that is.

The hurt from that abandonment…so acute that even its consideration had me considering other things. Like remaining in an unfulfilling, quasi-unhealthy relationship long past its expiration.

And now, working through the betrayal and hurt, I use my passive aggression as a tool to cope. It fuels me to further my career…to write…to obtain my graduate degree…to become more successful.

“Whatever works for you,” some say. That’s a bogus, loaded sentiment. (What if rape and murder of the innocent is what works for me?) THIS is what works for me; obtaining my masters degree is what works for me; writing about social injustices in order to change them; doing better in spite of and to spite the unsupportive many, is what works for me. Any juvenile and/or post-separation behavior and relations says a lot more about the one acting out the behavior than the recipient. Now, if I can just remember that.

 

Anatomy of a forensic sexual assault exam

Because of the nature of the sexual violence perpetrated against Daniel Holtzclaw’s victims, it is likely that many of them did not receive forensic exams following the abuse they suffered. Unfortunately (and fortunately) many people do not know of services available to them once a sexual assault has occurred.

This is about that service…

ANATOMY of a SANE EXAM…from a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE)

1st off: If you’re curious about this because a perpetrator chose to violate you, I AM SORRY THIS HAPPENED TO YOU.

Also importantly: this crime perpetrated against you was NOT YOUR FAULT. In all actuality, HAD HE/SHE NOT CHOSEN TO RAPE YOU, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN RAPED. It was their choice, not yours. I don’t care if you walked down the street naked, or walked into a bar naked; no one has the right to have sex with you against your
will. NO ONE.

And NO MEANS NO. Any sexual contact beyond that point is sexual assault. PERIOD.

Now begins the blue print for a forensic exam- shortened- the SANE exam.

Many people ask upon seeking these types of services- be it of the officer, the ER nurse, or the sexual assault advocate- “WILL IT HURT?” To that, I say almost never, does it hurt. The SANE will check you over for injury. They may place a speculum into your vagina (only if applicable), and that may cause discomfort, but rarely does it cause pain. (Except for the prophylactic STD injection- that can sting pretty good, but I’ll get to that later.)

Before the SANE looks you over, she will ask QUESTIONS TO GET TO KNOW YOU. This will include your medical history, and other basic information, such as where you live, any surgeries you’ve had, and any medications you’re allergic to.

There will most likely be some UNCOMFORTABLE/INTIMATE QUESTIONS about you; brace yourself for this. It’s not in order for the nurse to judge you, or to make you feel bad, but so that it can be established: if other DNA may be present (other than the perpetrator of the sexual assault), what type of contact occurred, and whether your activities after the assault could have caused some of the DNA to be less prevalent. The SANE will most likely ask if you had consensual sexual contact within a specific timeframe (dependent upon that SANE program). Please don’t be offended: if you had consensual sex with your husband, his DNA will likely also be present, and the lab will need to know that. The SANE will ask you what happened during the sexual assault. This will tell the nurse where to go to collect swabs, as well as how to medically treat you. The SANE will ask if you showered/bathed/pooped/peed/wiped/washedas well as whether you ate or drank anything since the assault.

And then there’s the physical exam. Most of this tickles, and includes swabs (like q-tips) being lightly rolled across your skin.

YOU MAY BE PHOTOGRAPHED. These pictures will NOT be posted on the Internet, or displayed in any other public forum by the SANE, but are used for prosecution of the assailant.

Lastly, you will be TREATED PROPHYLACTICALLY for STDs and in some cases pregnancy. The CDC RECOMMENDS treatment for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas. These are currently the most common STDs. For this, you may be given high dose of antibiotics all at once. One of them is an injection of Rocephin. This is the one that stings pretty good, but is top of the line treatment to keep you from getting this nasty bug (gonorrhea). The emergency contraception pills are not abortion pills. If you already have an established pregnancy, it will not effect that.

The SANE and/or advocate will likely give you resources as well. These may include places for follow up medical care, sexual assault counseling, and other helpful information to assist you on your healing journey. Because YOU are NOT ALONE in this.

There is help.

The national rape hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

Here is their website:
https://rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-hotline

The Oklahoma state rape hotline is 1-800-522-9054 or 1-405-943-RAPE (7273)

Here is the state rape and sexual assault website:
http://www.aardvarc.org/rape/states/okrp.shtml
Here is the YWCA OKC website:
ywcaokc.org

There IS help available. I recommend seeking help from those who are qualified. Possibly that is not your best friend’s sister’s cousin, who may tell you that had you not been there, it wouldn’t have happened, or that if you hadn’t been wearing that maybe the guy would’ve raped someone else. That is, unless that person is supportive of you (none of which the above statements in this paragraph are)