January 26th will forever be etched in my mind. Why? Because it is my brother’s birthday and the day I was physically assaulted at knifepoint by someone I knew. A golf ball size lump forms in my throat as I type these words and my eyes begin to tear. As a college student, there were no rape crisis centers, nor did I want to tell my parents for fear they would look at me differently, be disappointed and send me on the first thing smoking as far away from Howard University as they could ship me.
Why share this and why now? Because it is my desire to help any young woman who has been sexually assaulted to speak up, tell someone and let those who love you help you. You are not alone.
Unfortunately, that was not the case for a young Audrie Pott, who took her own life unable to live with the pressure and humiliation of her actions. On the other side of the country was Daisy Coleman, who literally was experiencing similar events and survived to tell the tale hoping to save just one teenager form having the same fate as her or Audrie.
The Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy pulls the curtain back on the ripple affect these types of incidents can ultimately effect family, friends, schools and communities when these two underage women find that their sexual assault crimes have been caught on camera and blasted out via the Internet for all to witness, judge and mock.
Director Bonni Cohen, who also produced another popular/controversial doc to air on HBO this fall “3.5 Minutes”, said that “having been making documentaries for over 20 years…never has a film subject struck us quite as personally as with Audrie & Daisy.” It is because of this film that a much-needed discussion is taking place for parents, teenagers , educators, healthcare professional and coaches on establishing policies that will enhance the well-being of your youthful communities. As well as, educated and encourage students to take a stand against cyber bullying and sexual assault.
There is clearly a lack of education when it comes to online bullying and social media. So, enter Delaney Henderson. Delaney and Daisy started a program called Safebae.com,, in which these young women go into schools and educate male and female youth about “Title 9” rights, bystander intervention and victim empowerment.
Rape and Sexual Assault have been words thrown around a lot in 2016 ranging from allegations against Bill Cosby to filmmaker/director Nate Parker and everything in between.
It is my hope that in sharing, our culture moves forward from the Neanderthal thinking surrounding women to become a little more educated and enlightened.
If you are a college student or a young woman who travels quite a bit alone you may want to invest in the Finders Keep HerSafer Kit. As luck would have it, I ran into Sandy Stein after a screening of this film, who developed this kit just for us! It includes a high quality clear purse that meets stadium Clear Bag policies (with a removable pouch for personal items, make-up etc…), a panic alarm/flashlight key ring, Drink Test Kit and Pepper Spray.
For more information, you can go to www.finderskeypurse.com or across all social media platforms under Isn’t This Clever.
Audrie & Daisy is now streaming on NETFLIX
To watch the trailer…click HERE