This week’s conversation is with Brenda Tracy, the founder of the national campaign SetTheExpectation which aims to raise awareness around issues of sexual assault and domestic violence — through the power of sports while also engaging, empowering and educating men as agents for change.
Brenda was gang raped by four men in 1998.
In this conversation, she shares that even though law enforcement collected extensive evidence – including confessions from her attackers – the District Attorney advised against prosecuting her case.
She was never advised of her victims’ rights, nor informed when officials destroyed her evidence three years prior to the statute of limitations.
Sixteen years later, Brenda came forward publicly, and now seeks to make the world a better place for survivors.
Her stance on “men as the solution” has garnered national attention and made her one of the country’s most influential voices on sexual assault.
I wanted to speak with Brenda to better understand courage.
Where did she find the power to come forward, be vulnerable, and not only stand up for what’s right but also strive for change.
“My hope is to inspire people, to show them that it’s okay to have pain, confront it, deal with it, and healing is possible.“
In This Episode:
- Dedicating her life efforts to ending sexual assault and physical violence
- How her gang rape transpired
- Understanding the difference between fear that prevents you and fear that protects you
- The reason she chose to share her story
- Using disassociation as a coping mechanism to deal with her trauma
- The moment she finally associated with her trauma and how it changed her response
- The impact her unstable family had on her upbringing
- What she stands for: empathy
- How to help others: show them they matter
- What saved her from committing suicide
- Overcoming shame
- Her aha moment: deciding to come out and tell her story
- Why Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan is so important to her
- What she’s currently doing today to combat sexual assault
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“What if you intentionally smiled at someone or gave them a compliment or held the door open? Who knows? It could be that one thing that that person needed or why they’re still here. All of us could have saved someone’s life and not even known it.”“You don’t know what you could do to impact another person’s life. It could be something really insignificant to you, but it could mean everything to that person.”
“We’re all survivors of something, whether it’s poverty, racism, domestic violence, sexual assault, a divorce, we’re all survivors of something. And if you’re still alive and you’re breathing and you’re pushing forward with life you’re a winner.”
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