About me: I am a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, writer for The Huffington Post, health advocate, TEDx and RAINN Speaker, actress, and playwright. I’ve been through my own ordeal of sexual abuse, 27 surgeries, coma, organ failure, six years being unable to eat or drink, and the PTSD that comes from ten years of trauma, starting from my senior year of high school. Having been affected by illness, dissociation, disability and chronic conditions, I aim to provide hope, help and resources for survivors and their allies, starting a vital conversation on how we each work to build a culture of empathy and empowerment. See full bio here.
Knowing how difficult it was for me to speak of my own abuse (especially after waking up from a coma months later), I devised a trauma-informed program, listed in the directory for the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military, that combines Broadway theatre with resiliency building, sexual assault awareness and mental health advocacy, in order to empower survivors and allies with the leadership tools and inner resources needed to heal from trauma and create a compassionate community.
You can learn more about the program at this link: https://amyoes.com/traum
- View a sample presentation outline.
- Learn more in a sample PowerPoint presentation for survivor advocates and higher ed professionals.
- See a sample handout to help assault survivors move through the “freeze response”
The Biggest Problem with Sexual Assault Prevention
How do you engage students, society, and individuals that aren’t already advocates?
Create a three-component program involving engaging musical theatre, accessible education, and a friendly Q & A, engaging theatre:
Part 1) A 70-minute one-woman autobiographical musical – Gutless & Grateful – a comedic yet poignant story on how I survived 27 abdominal surgeries, organ failure, and sexual abuse. Through interwoven song and dialogue, I share a primal piece of live-storytelling – a powerful message that it’s possible or survivors to become empowered by their own identity and be secure in their choices.
Part 2) An educational session/speech where I discuss the psychological impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, innovative means of breaking barriers of silence and stigma, and how to develop a resiliency toolbox.
Part 3) A Q&A session involving creative participatory exercises to empower individuals with their personal stories and help facilitate communication.
Who is this for, and what topics have been covered?
|Child Sexual Abuse||Male Survivors||Sexting & Technology|
|Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault||Military||Sexual Assault Forensic Exam|
|Engaging Men||People with Disabilities||Sexual Harassment|
|General Information/Statistics||Prevention||Intimate Partner Sexual Violence|
|Housing/Homelessness||Prison Rape Elimination Act||Stalking|
|Immigrant & Refugee||Sex Offender Management||Understanding Trauma|
This was also a featured presentation for Mental Health America Conference in 2016 and 2017, the keynote at the 2016 Pacific Rim InternationalConference on Diversity and Disability in Hawaii, and will be the keynote performance Take Back the Night in Tucson, AZ, and at the 2018 International School of Social Work Conference in Ohio. See complete booking history here.
National Sexual Assault Response Team Training Conference provides interdisciplinary training to SART members.
- You can view a recent presentation at a SART conference here.
- Read an article I wrote for the SANE-SART Blog at http://www.sane-sart.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-what-rape-victims-need-from-you/.
- Read my other articles on PTSD and Sexual Assault Prevention here.
PTSD and Sexual Assault Topics
What factors lead to individual’s ability to assertively cope with and escape from potentially dangerous situations? In the wake of sexual assault, destructive coping strategies can lead to amplified PTSD symptoms and victimization.
Through sexual assault prevention, PTSD education and empathy-building, we assert our innate power to move through trauma. By understanding the psychological repercussions of sexual violence, individuals are empowered to come forward as allies and leaders, creating a community striving towards compassion. Learn healthy coping skills for healing after sexual assault.
Related topics include:
- Sexual Violence, Survival, and Support
- Breaking Barriers to Reporting
- Law Enforcement Response to Victims of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
- Challenging misconceptions about sexual assault and domestic violence
- Playing an active role in prevention and response.
- What is Victim Blaming, and How to Prevent Through PTSD Awareness
- Body-Based Techniques and Creative Pathways to Healing
- How to Prevent Advocate “Burn Out” and Self-Care for Allies
- Sexual Assault in the Military
- Art and Creative Therapy for Survivors
- Preventing Sexual Assault on Campus more information below)
At 17, I was sexually abused by a mentor figure for nearly a year. I froze, unable to face what had happened to me for months until days after my 18th birthday. Two weeks after finally telling someone, my stomach literally exploded, I was in a coma for months, and almost died. After 27 surgeries, organ failure, six years unable to eat or drink, and the PTSD from ten years of trauma, I was only able to heal once I discovered authentic ways to experience my memories and emotions, reclaim my voice, and share my story, ultimately transforming my traumas into a beautiful detour. (Read full bio here.)
Sexual misconduct (harassment and sexual assault) is a significant problem on college campuses. Undergraduate students find themselves with newfound freedom, as young adults, but often don’t understand the responsibilities and hazards that come with that freedom. During their undergraduate years, many will be victims or perpetrators of sexual misconduct and many may not even recognize it when it happens.
Sexual misconduct is everyone’s problem, and all students of all genders need to be aware of the signs and effects, as well as strategies to prevent it from happening and to cope and recover when it does happen.
Goals/Topics Gutless & Grateful will cover: Results Participants will come away with: See amy’s work with students here
Gutless & Grateful will cover:
Participants will come away with:
See amy’s work with students here
It’s Okay to Freeze: Healing from Sexual Assault (Huffington Post) Healing From Numbness (Sammiches & Psych Meds) From Frozen To Free (Dropping Keys) To the man who molested me when I turned 17 (Role Reboot) Five Ways Everyone Can Participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month (Huffington Post) What to Say (and Not to Say) to a Survivor of Sexual Assault (Huffington Post) Discovering “The Courage To Heal” (Original Monologue) (The Writing Life) Why I Didn’t Testify Against the Man Who Abused Me Before My Coma (Huffington Post) PTSD: The Illness I Couldn’t See (Huffington Post)
Until I was able to tell my story, at first for myself, and ultimately, to others, I was not able to fully heal. The day I reached out, I found connection, acceptance, forgiveness, and my self. And I love who I found. Watch my TEDx Talk here. Remember: You don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re tested. So when that test does come your way, trust that you are capable.
It’s Okay to Freeze: Healing from Sexual Assault (Huffington Post)
Healing From Numbness (Sammiches & Psych Meds)
From Frozen To Free (Dropping Keys)
To the man who molested me when I turned 17 (Role Reboot)
Five Ways Everyone Can Participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month (Huffington Post)
What to Say (and Not to Say) to a Survivor of Sexual Assault (Huffington Post)
Discovering “The Courage To Heal” (Original Monologue) (The Writing Life)
Why I Didn’t Testify Against the Man Who Abused Me Before My Coma (Huffington Post)
PTSD: The Illness I Couldn’t See (Huffington Post)
Until I was able to tell my story, at first for myself, and ultimately, to others, I was not able to fully heal.
The day I reached out, I found connection, acceptance, forgiveness, and my self. And I love who I found.
Watch my TEDx Talk here.
Remember: You don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re tested. So when that test does come your way, trust that you are capable.
Book Gutless & Grateful Today!
- Learn six ways staff can fight sexual abuse on campus here.
- Helpful tips for students to prevent sexual assault here.
- See references for the program.
- Learn more about Amy’s speaking.
- Learn more about Amy’s programs for PTSD warriors and their supporters at www.amyoes.com/trauma
How Can You Help?
- Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Find out ways you can get involved here.
- April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. See my resources for taking action here.
- And every day is a day to help break the silence. Find out how you can help here.
Amy was the keynote speaker for Arizona’s 2017 Take Back the Night Event. Read her Huffington Post Recap here.
View a comprehensive guide of Amy’s Sexual Assault Prevention and PTSD programs here.
Hear Amy’s original song, How Dare You:
Book Amy as a speaker today.