A Call to Action : Student Addressing Sexual Violence on Campus

By Angelina Cantelli, STAR Intern and LSU Student It’s no secret that sexual assault is an issue at college campuses across the United States. However, I walk a college campus every day, and I rarely hear these issues being addressed. While we have taken great strides in addressing and preventing campus sexual assault in recent… Read More

Owning our bodies one hair at a time: body sovereignty relating to hair removal

By Meg Wilson and Alexis Canfield At STAR, we are in constant conversation with each other, clients, and community members about bodies and the concept of body sovereignty and ownership. Sovereignty refers to being in control. In a political sense it might refer to the governing structure, such as a monarch or ruler. Body sovereignty… Read More

STAR Releases a New Resource: Safety Planning Guide for Survivors

By Morgan Lamandre, Legal Director Sexual assault can compromise a survivor’s physical and emotional safety. In order to help survivors address their physical and emotional safety after a sexual assault, advocates typically conduct “safety plans” with survivors to reduce risk of further harm. A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that is meant to… Read More

STAR Releases 2019 Legislative Scorecard

Today, Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR) released its 2nd annual Legislative Scorecard highlighting the leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to improving laws and policies to better support and protect survivors of sexual trauma and end sexual violence in Louisiana. According to Morgan Lamandre, STAR’s Legal Director, “The purpose of the scorecard is to… Read More

Domestic Violence as a Queer and Trans Public Health Issue

By Alexis Canfield Each year we recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In this month, we try to bring awareness to those who have been impacted by domestic and interpersonal violence, give them a place to tell their stories, and hopefully inspire change. The National Coalition against Domestic Violence (n.d.) defines domestic violence as… Read More

The Unique Struggles of Latinx Survivors

By Samantha Sheppard, STAR Bilingual Advocate Beginning September 15th, we recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. At STAR, we are working to expand our reach to increase access to survivors of sexual violence in the Latinx community. I was hired as a bilingual advocate for STAR’s Baton Rouge office earlier this year. My colleague, Bianca Dixon, and… Read More

Speaking the Truth Out Loud

By Rebecca Marchiafava, MPP STAR Vice President “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” – Brene Brown In the work that we do at STAR, we witness survivors’ stories. We hear about their pain, trauma, triumph, hope, and healing. Because of the privacy and… Read More

What #StartByBelieving Means To Me

By: Vonnie Hawkins, LCSW, STAR Board of Directors The feeling of being alone in my pain was so paralyzing and dark. I literally felt frozen and stiff, hard-hearted and judging as I walked through my life because that’s what it took to hold it all together. I judged others harshly because I was judging myself… Read More

Black Women, Suffering in Silence

The Mind Set of Sexual Violence Among African American Women By: Javonda Nix “Who knows what the black woman thinks of rape? Who has asked her? Who cares?” – Alice Walker (2004) Broken. Vulnerable. Scared. Depressed. Women who have been sexually assaulted experience all of these emotions.  However, due to societal pressures, black women often… Read More