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Sexual Harassment in the Classroom

My high school teacher and coach sexually harassed female students over the course of 20 years, from approximately 1996 to 2017. After a formal professional investigation into his behavior, he just got his teaching license back. There’s no criminal case, so he’s basically going to get away with it.

In 2017 Jon Reese, the man who used to be my high school English teacher, volleyball and soccer coach, resigned before being fired after an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed female students, including an incident in which he walked unannounced into a room of teenage female students in various stages of disrobe, Trump-style, during an overnight field trip that he was chaperoning. …


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Empaths are Highly Sensitive Individuals

Human beings vary in their degree of sensitivity, by which I mean that there are some people who are highly sensitive and who feel emotions very intensely, whereas there are others who display little sensitivity towards others and who also do not seem to be as affected by their environment or the people around them. Empaths are people who are empathetic and sympathetic towards others, and also experience the world as a highly sensitive person.

From Sociopaths to Empaths

There appears to be about 3–5 percent of the human population that fall under the category of sociopathic, which does not mean that they are all murderers, but does mean that they operate their lives in a way by which their primary concern is always about themselves, and they do not have the ability to see things from the perspective of others. They may feel very little true guilt or shame about doing harmful things to others. Another 1 percent is considered psychopathic, with higher percentages of both sociopaths and psychopaths found among criminal populations. …


Trigger Warning: This article contains information about the problems rape survivors experience when seeking justice through criminal courts.

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Tipped Scales of Justice

One thing is glaringly apparent right now: the criminal justice system does not work for rape survivors. An appalling 0.6% of rapists will ever be incarcerated for their crimes. Less than 1%. Millions will never even see the inside of a court room. The truth is that if you are a rapist, you have precious little to worry about when it comes to your freedom. Unless you committed your crime in such a manner that you left significant injuries on your victim, or did so in front an unimpeachable witness, you likely won’t even be charged. By the way, your victim isn’t considered an unimpeachable witness. The fact that they even accused you means that their motives are suspect. …


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Female Soldier

Note: I’m going to use “she/her” occasionally in this article for ease because the majority of sexual assault survivors in the military are women, but please know that service men as well as transgender service people are also victims of sexual assault. I will also note that this information comes from my experience within the Navy, but some policies and procedures may vary across different branches of the military.

I spent 4 years contracting for the Navy as a therapist. During that time, one of my roles was to run a support group for survivors of sexual assault in the military. One of the things that I was happy to see happen during that time was a shift in the policy surrounding who could participate in that group. Initially, the group was only open to active duty survivors who had an unrestricted report, meaning their case was being investigated. Later, this policy shifted to allow survivors with restricted reports, as well as family members of active duty service people. …


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Mind Your Brain

Mindfulness has become sort of a catchall term for general self-help advice that focuses on using different practices to attune better to your mind and actions with the hopes of decreasing stress or associated symptoms. Take time to meditate in the morning. Pay attention to your food when you’re eating. Do a gratitude practice every night. Self-care your stress away. It all sounds good in theory, and certainly won’t do you any harm, but what does the term mindfulness really encompass, and is it really something that could change your life? …


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Hospice Patient and Compassionate Care

I spent 4 years working as a hospice social worker, which was an invaluable experience for me. I spent most of my time with hospice care in long-term care facilities. Hospice patients can receive care in any setting that they reside in. Many hospice patients receive hospice services in their homes, others at in-patient hospice facilities, and still others in assisted living or nursing care facilities. I was fortunate enough to work with a wonderful network of facilities that by and large took very good care of their patients. This is unfortunately not always the case, and because the goal of hospice care is to ensure the comfort of the patient, hospice services can be a wonderful addition to the care of the patient, but hospice care is not for everyone. There are some important considerations to think about if you have a family member or loved one that may benefit from hospice services. …


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I recently had the privilege of attending a private screening of the indie short film “Grab This” (2018) by writer and director Kendall Brunson. Grab This tackles issues such as date rape, workplace harassment, imperfect allies and national feminist politics in a raw and real narrative that leaves the viewer examining the world as it is, not just how we’d like it to be. One fascinating fact about this film is that filming was well underway when the national #MeToo movement took hold of the public discourse. The prescient nature of the material meant that the film’s creator and cast had to act fast to incorporate the national movement into the film’s narrative and scenes as it played out in real time. …


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As someone in a caregiving profession, I know all about “self-care”. Other people in caregiving professions and high stress jobs are frequently reminded that we need to take care of ourselves in order to ensure our long lasting ability to continue to perform our work with ongoing engagement and consistent quality. In fact, we’re lectured about it constantly, as if some extra yoga and another pedicure will absorb some of the daily stressors we experience in our work and home lives. It’s true that if you don’t take time out from your normal obligations to do enriching and meaningful activities, your quality of life will suffer. …


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Many of us struggle from time to time with low frustration tolerance. Perhaps you find yourself fuming at small inconveniences, or a minor infraction by your partner, peers, or children. When our lives become overly stressful, it can be difficult to keep little things from becoming major annoyances, and it can be hard to stop yourself from exploding verbally or mentally when one more thing goes wrong, even if it is just a minor thing, like a stubbed toe or being cut off in traffic. Over time though, when we do not keep our frustration tolerance in check, our moods can start to feel out of control. We can become angry and resentful in our daily lives, and snap at people we care about, contributing to the overall negativity in our environment. …


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Social media has changed our lives in so many ways, including how we communicate with our friends. There have been many positive things that have come out of the rise of social media, such as reconnecting with old friends we haven’t seen or spoken to in many years, maintaining ties with people when you’re no longer living in the same area anymore, the ability to quickly connect and communicate with new friends you meet, and even connecting and communicating with people you haven’t met yet. It’s been a great platform to share information, vocalize your views and opinions, or keep up with new happenings in the lives of people you care about. However, social media can doubtlessly be problematic too. …

About

Rachel Mullins

Rachel Mullins is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the author of "Work It Out: A Survival Guide to the Modern Relationship".

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