The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence


sexual abuse

The V Word with Sarmistha Talukdar, Part 9

Sarmistha continues her story of survival. Today she talks about the concept of gaslighting.

The V Word with Sarmistha Talukdar, Part 5.

The V Word continues with Sarmistha telling her journey of surviving and healing, her work with art as a healing tool.

Tune in Sunday at 5:55 am for Part 6 as Sarmistha continues her story.

The V Word with Sarmistha Talukdar, Part 4

Sarmistha continues her journey of telling her story and of her healing process through therapy and art.

The V Word with Sarmistha Talukdar: Part 3, Sarmistha’s Story continues

Sarmistha continues her story of healing from abuse.

You can listen here:

Next week, starting the 17th, The V Word moves to Wednesday and Fridays at 11:39 am and Sunday’s at 5:55 am.

The V Word with Sarmistha Talukdar – Part 2

Today on the V Word, Sarmistha continues her story of survival of abuse and her healing path through books, art and music.

Tune in Friday, July 14th for Part 3.

The V Word with Sarmistha Talukdar – Part 1

Today on the V Word, artist Sarmistha Talukdar joins Carol to talk about her journey from abuse to survivor.

Tune in next Monday, July 10th for part 2.

Coping with Holiday Stress

Holiday’s can be a particularly tough time for survivors of interpersonal violence and abuse.  Many things about holidays and more time with families can be stressful.  Reunions can be reminders of life before the assault.  It can also be a time that survivors have to be around family members that abuse.   It can be difficult for a survivor  to express feelings and talk about their lives if family members aren’t aware of the assault.

According to Dr. Glenn Schiraldi the following six steps can return a survivors’ relationships to being their safety net.

  1. Number one is to accept one’s fears.  This could mean a survivor no longer denying fears about their family members finding out about the assault; not necessarily telling them, but acknowledging the fear of their knowing.
  2. The next step is to replace those ideas that block close relationships.  This could be the thoughts such as “they don’t know the real ‘me’ anymore.”  Survivors should actively reassure themselves that their families love them regardless and know who they really are, even if family doesn’t know everything the survivor has been through.
  3. The third step is to retrain oneself on communication skills if they have been damaged; this could mean standing up for one’s self or expressing affection.
  4. The fourth step is to gradually practice trusting others again.  An example for this would be to allow a person into your world for a bit; maybe share something personal and a point of pride with a close or favorite relative.
  5. Next; step back and notice how family and friends handle conflicts and stress.
  6. Lastly, consider picking up where things were left before the trauma.  Take this moment to ponder how the relationships truly were before and where they could be.  Survivors can envision how their close, intimate relationships should look like and begin working towards that goal.

Holidays bring enough stress, but compounding it with the stress that trauma can bring may seem overwhelming.  However, they can also be a wonderful opportunity to show us again who matters in life and a strong sense of new opportunities in the new year.


Presenting at conference focusing on the impact of sexual violence

I am honored and excited to be presenting next month with the Office of the Attorney General in collaboration with the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault.  The conference is the first time the OAG’s office is focusing on sexual violence and it’s impact on individuals.   I am honored to be a Plenary Speaker at the event presenting on the Impact of Sexual Violence on Victims.   I will be bringing another therapist, Melanie Gardner, with me to present a case study while I focus on trauma and it’s impact on the brain and the complexities of recovery.  The conference information is below if anyone plans on attending.  There is a bunch of great presentations happening from a variety of professionals and allied agencies over the two days.

November 7-8, 2012 – A Victim Centered Approach to Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Violence
Presented by The Office of the Attorney General And the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault
No Registration Fee! For more information contact Melissa McMenemy at or 804-692-0592. Topics Include:♦How Trauma Impacts Victims ♦Trafficking in Sex♦Sexual Violence and Substances ♦Working with the Elderly ♦SARTs ♦Sex Workers as Victims ♦Sexual Violence in Detention Centers ♦SANE Exams.

Agenda for the conference

A Victim Centered Approach to Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Violence Cases – Agenda

7:30am-8:00am – Registration
8:00am-8:15am – Welcome: Gallery Room – Welcome/Intros/House Keeping
8:30am-10:15am – Plenary: Gallery Room – Understanding Sexual Violence and Abuse; the Impact on Survivors by Carol Olson, LPC, ATR-BC,  CSAC and Melanie Gardner, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, BAT, LMHP
10:15am-10:30am – Break
10:30am-12:00pm – Plenary: Gallery Room – Intimidation of victims and prosecution by John Wilinson, AEquitas
12:00pm-1:15pm – Lunch (on your own)
1:15pm-2:30pm – Break Out: A1 Gallery Room – Sexual Violence and Substances by John Wilkinson, AEquitas
1:15pm-2:30pm – Break Out: A2 Mtn. Shadows Rm. – Our work with the Latino and Other Immigrant Communities by Giovanna Carney, RCASA
2:30pm-2:45pm – Break
2:45pm-4:00pm – Break Out: B1 Gallery Room – Team Centered Approach; Supporting Special Victims by Denise Lunsford, CA, Det. Sgt. Terry Walls, Susan Painter V/W Adv. Albemarle County
2:45pm-4:00pm – Break Out: B2 Mtn. Shadows Rm. – Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTS) by Kristina Vadas, DCJS and Kristen Pine, YWCA of South Hampton Roads

Thursday, November 8, 2012

7:45am-8:15am – Registration
8:15am-8:30am – Welcome: Gallery Room – Project Horizon Overview with Judy Casteele, Director
8:30am-10:30am – Plenary: Gallery Room – Human Trafficking: The Virginia Experience – Erin Kulpa, OAG
10:30am-10:45am – Break
10:45am-12:00pm – Break Out: C1 Mtn. Shadows Rm. – Elder Sexual Assault by Lisa Furr, VCU
10:45am-12:00pm – Break Out: C2 Gallery Room – It’s Not All About You; Conducting a Victim Centered Sexual Assault Exam by Betty Fisher, SANE Nurse
12:00pm-1:15pm – Lunch
1:15pm-2:30pm – Break Out: D1 Gallery Room – E-Quaintance Sexual Assault: Sexual Violence and Developmental Differences in the Technotronic Era by Laura Glasscock, ACTS SAVAS
1:00pm-2:30pm – Break Out: D2 Mtn. Shadows Rm. – Addressing Sexual Violence in Detention Settings by Cynthia Totten, Just Detention International
2:30pm-2:40pm – Break
2:40pm-3:40pm – Break Out: E1 Mtn. Shadows Rm. – Protective Orders 2011 Legislative Changes Equal Access; Equal Protection by Hunter Fisher, OAG
2:40pm-3:40pm – Break Out: E2 Gallery Room – Dispelling Myths in Sexual Violence by Jasmine Brock, Charlottesville SARA

Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

For those in the metro Richmond and Hopewell area, The James House has received some referrals from the Richmond area for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I wanted to welcome you to refer anyone that may benefit from our five week support group for male adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse on Mondays from 6:00pm to 7:30pm, from November 5th to December 3rd.

If you have any questions, or are in need of further information please feel free to contact me.

I have attached the group flyer with date and time information for your convenience.

Liesl Lipford
The James House
Client Services Coordinator
1016 Maplewood Avenue
Hopewell, VA 23860
(804) 458-2704

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