Tonight's special guest is Donna Jenson from Leverett, Massachusetts, founder of "Time To Tell" with a mission to spark stories about trauma from childhood incest and sexual abuse. Her new book is "Healing My Life from Incest to Joy," a call to arms for other survivors, and their loved ones, and a reminder that violence within families is a public health and social justice issue that must be addressed. Donna wrote and performs her one-woman play, "What She Knows: One Woman's Way Through Incest to Joy," based on her own experience of surviving incest and what she did to make her life worth living. Donna's own story started in infancy. Her father, steeped in alcoholism until his mid-thirties, was physically abusive to both Donna and her mother. The incest began at age seven and continued until she was twelve. He was emotionally and psychologically abusive until the day he died when Donna was age 46. She's been an activist her whole adult life. She explains, “Activism has brought me a great deal of meaning and sense of purpose; from the grass-roots organizing I did in the women's movement all the way up to the present. Once I had healed enough to be open about my experience of surviving incest I knew it would add to my healing to use my voice to help shatter the silence surrounding childhood sexual abuse.” Donna believes that the more people who are able to “come out” and tell their stories the sooner the wider culture will come to understand the depths and breadth of this epidemic. These days Donna asks: How do we work for change? How do we empower the voices of survivors? How do we all keep our spirits intact?
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