Let’s jump-start bullying prevention

One of my closest friends once told me, “When you really think about it, bullying is just low-level sexual abuse.” That thought stuck with me. What also stuck with me is how prevention of bullying is similar to the prevention of child sexual abuse. It requires good communication, strong self-esteem, and engaged parents who understand the […]

The OC WarmLine

    I was at the doctor’s office the other day when I saw a card for the OC WarmLine. Sponsored by the National Alliance of Mental Illness-Orange County, the WarmLine is staffed by “warm, friendly voices” who can provide help with substance abuse or mental health concerns (including depression), provide referrals for mental health […]

TEDx PasadenaWomen

It’s been two weeks since I was on the TEDx stage. I am still reeling at the amazing day, the supernatural speakers, and the wonderful friends I made. I spoke about the power of responsibility and how—when we take responsibility for our emotions, reactions, and decisions—we can create the future that we WANT. Other speakers […]

Ambassador of Peace

Last week, I learned that I have been selected as a 2015 Ambassador of Peace award winner by the Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County. That’s some pretty cool news! I was nominated by my cousin and friend Darcy Fehringer-Mask*, who won the award herself in 2008 for her work in diversity and anti-bias education, […]

A wake-up call for the Boy Scouts

  Yesterday, a 17-year-old victim of child sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts filed a sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against the local Sacramento council and the national Boy Scout organization. The victim, who waited until after he earned the honor of Eagle Scout to file the lawsuit, was molested by a former Assistant Scout […]

Helping the supporters

I had the opportunity to work with a very strong and brave group of clergy sex abuse survivors over the weekend. Two things struck me: Their total bravery and willingness to grow beyond trauma, and Their compassion for friends and family members who want to be loving and helpful, but don’t know what to say or do. […]

TEDx PasadenaWomen

  Katie, bar the door: I have been invited to speak at TEDx PasadenaWomen. To say I am excited would be an understatement. Achieving this kind of goal—speaking in front of engaged and visionary women at a TEDx event—has been mind-blowing.     What will I be talking about? Well, that’s a secret. What is TEDx PasadenaWomen? […]

What we can learn from the LeTourneau interview

  Barbara Walters’ interview with convicted child molester Mary Kay LeTourneau and her once-victim-now-husband Vili Fualaau was gut wrenching. The romanticization of the abuse was awful enough. But giving a woman like LeTourneau a platform to justify what she did is reprehensible. Being outraged or upset about the interview doesn’t help anyone. But talking about her predatory […]

An epidemic of child sex abuse in our public schools

There’s a banner that hangs outside of Costa Mesa’s (California) Whittier Elementary School. Its slogan— Children are our first priority—is a painfully ironic reminder of one of the biggest problems plaguing our public schools. That problem is child sexual abuse by public school employees—an epidemic that is raging out of control. Don’t believe it’s a problem? […]

A question about adult victims

I am currently reading SPLIT: A CHILD, A PRIEST AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH by my friend Mary Dispenza. Abuse memoirs are usually a tough read, but Mary discusses her life with grace and respect—very similar to the way she lives her life. While I am not done with the book, something struck me at the […]