Stories of Hope and Healing: Celebrating Victories in the Aftermath of Covid-19

Stories of hope and transformation during the Covid-19 lockdown have helped many people stay sane. The long-term affects of the pandemic have taken a toll on all of us. Some are battling the illness. Others are reporting symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress due to financial concerns and disconnection from loved ones. All of us are dealing with sudden changes in the lives we knew before Covid hit our country.

I have spoken to many people; patients, friends and colleagues about how we are coping during times of stress and…


As The World Processes the Partial Victory in the Harvey Weinstein Sexual Assault Trial

As the world processes the partial victory as the jury finds Weinstein guilty on two of the five charges against him, survivors of sexual assault are posting on a variety of social media outlets about the surge of anxiety, anger and shame they are feeling. Weinstein was convicted of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree involving another. …


Nassar survivors clasp their hands during trial: Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal
Nassar survivors clasp their hands during trial: Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal

Holding Enablers of Childhood Sexual Abuse Accountable

Minutes after I got off the phone yesterday with a childhood sexual abuse advocate I heard the news, “Former Michigan State University gymnastics coach Kathie Klages convicted of lying to police.” A jury found former Michigan State University gymnastics coach Kathie Klages guilty of lying to police about allegations of sexual abuse done to multiple young gymnasts by Larry Nassar. The verdict makes Klages the second person convicted of covering up decades of sexual abuse by sex offender Larry Nassar. …


The night before April 1st, (Child Sexual Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month) my Facebook feed was filled with posts from survivors of child abuse and sexual assault. My gut began to wrench the second I read the first post, from PK Hill. She posted, “April is Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month. Disgraceful that we need a month. It is time to #Speakup for Survivors. This is a photograph of me as a child. By posting this photo I am honoring the courage of all survivors. Join me. On your timeline or here.” PK Hill, a…


Less than twenty four hours ago the world learned about another senseless killing in a place of worship, The Tree Of Life Synagogue. Seconds after the news broke millions of people took to social media expressing their shock, fear and grief. I found myself thinking, “How do we explain this latest tragedy to our kids? How do we explain an event filled with so much hatred? How do we create safety when our own feelings about vulnerability are activated?” I have been counseling survivors of trauma in my private practice for over 20 years. I have met men and women…


The courthouse was silent as Judge O Neil issued a minimum of 36 months in the state prison to Bill Cosby after being convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. I attended both Cosby trials as a sexual assault victim advocate and writer. I connected with dozens of Cosby accusers after publishing an op ed after Cosby was arrested on December 30, 2015. For over 20 years I have been counseling people who have a history of sexual assault, childhood abuse and domestic violence. I have only met one patient who decided to press charges in a civil suit…


Hours after President Trump tweeted, “Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago,” millions of people spoke loudly about why they didn’t report to authorities after being sexually assaulted. Outrage by politicians in both the democratic and republican parties were featured in news outlets around the world. Dr. Ford came forward about her alleged sexual assault by Robert Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee earlier this week. Dr. Ford claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.

After #MeToo and #Timesup went viral society began to have a dialogue about sexual assault and abuse. Experts and advocates…


Over the last several years we have been hit with events of terror and tragedy. With the 17th anniversary of 9/11 looming and the kids returning for a new school year, people are expressing anxiety and fear. Lately my social media accounts are filled with posts about change and new beginnings. While there has not been much attention yet to the upcoming 9/11 anniversary I anticipate in the next day or two that will change. Every year as we get closer to the anniversary I ask myself questions like, “How are these families of those killed doing now,” or,” How…


Over the last several years we have been hit with events of terror and tragedy. With the 17th anniversary of 9/11 looming and the kids returning for a new school year, people are expressing anxiety and fear. Lately my social media accounts are filled with posts about change and new beginnings. While there has not been much attention yet to the upcoming 9/11 anniversary I anticipate in the next day or two that will change. Every year as we get closer to the anniversary I ask myself questions like, “How are these families of those killed doing now,” or,” How…


Less than one month until I will be back at the Norristown Courthouse awaiting Cosby’s sentencing. I still remember the day news broke that Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault on December 30, 2015. I can still feel the shock I felt in my body as a man so many around the world adored was being charged with horrific crimes. For over twenty years I have been counseling people who have lived through different kinds of abuse and trauma.

One of the advantages of the Cosby story and other recent breaking stories of sexual assault and…

Shari Botwin, LCSW

A trauma and abuse therapist and author of, “Thriving After Trauma: Stories of Living and Healing (Rowman and Littlefield, November 2019)

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