Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paradise Protected...vacation safety tips

Are your bags packed? Are you headed home, abroad, to visit friends, start an internship or a job? Before you go, please take ten minutes and add one more thing to your to do list. Before you head out to blaze new trails get educated in advance about emergency and support services in case you or someone you know needs them. Seems simple but too often we don’t think about these things until we are in crisis mode.

So before you go, program all local or campus emergency numbers in your phone (if you need help locating these e-mail us at Have candid discussions with your new roommate, classmate, colleague, etc. about supporting one another, respecting your individual choices and keeping each other safe. Always use a DSP (designated sober person) and remember that we are all connected so if you see something that your intuition tells you is not kosher, safely intervene.

While sexual assault and violent crimes are never the victim's fault they are often times preventable. As bystander's (community members) it is our responsibility to help reduce these horrible acts by being aware, getting involved and helping to create a culture with zero tolerance for violence.

Our friend and fellow empowered sister, Laurie Dishman, Senior Vice President for International Cruise Victims was kind enough to take time to give us the scoop on cruise ship safety, so if you plan to cruise this summer please read this first.

An Interview with Laurie Dishman…

What numbers and contact information should I have on hand before traveling abroad or on a cruise? 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline and 1-202-324-3000 FBI.

What safety measure can I take in advance to plan for a safe trip?  
First, read all materials in regards to your trip especially the ticket book you get when taking a cruise… check out information about percentage of crimes in that location, but if going on a cruise you will not find that information under any cruise line website so visit: and

What can I do if I feel that I’m not getting the services I need/ deserve?
If at any time you are feeling that you are not getting the services that you need or deserve that is a good time to use the numbers that I shared earlier. When traveling abroad and especially on a cruise ship you are under different countries laws and therefore you have to look out for yourself.

Who should I report a crime to and how?
When on a cruise ship you should immediately report the crime to the FBI even if it is by email. You can also reach out to RAINN hotline by phone 1-800-656-HOPE or online click on online hotline. After reaching out to them then you can report the crime to the ship’s captain. If you are abroad and a crime occurs you can also contact the U.S. Embassy in the country you are in.

For more cruise safety tips click here.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Hello Summer!

The past several months have been exhilarating, exhausting, incredible, rewarding and challenging all rolled into one. Our spring tour took us to both familiar and new places and brought many wonderful people into our lives. With more than two dozen stops in all we experienced lots of unique moments to add to this fantastic journey that we both feel really lucky to call our life and we racked up some serious frequent flyer miles along the way. A lot of people ask us if we ever get tired of all the travel and while it can be tiring, we love it.

This semester our travel schedule pushed us to board one too many redeye flights and rise before the 4am hour more times than our bodies would have liked. We spent many o’ hours driving in rental cars down two lane highways in the middle of nowhere fully trusting in Carmen, our GPS to get us to the right place. We spent a lot of time in Delta Sky Club lounges across the country, mostly Atlanta airport, our home away from home. The complimentary Biscoff cookies and coffee do help make our mornings brighter.

There are perhaps just as many drawbacks as there are perks but at the end of the day, we are best friends who get to zigzag across the country together to do work that we happen to love and we have the opportunity to see new places, meet amazing people and even if just for a couple of hours, we get the chance to experience what life is like on a college campus in Missouri or on a military base in Colorado. It is an honor; a privilege and a dream come true to be able to live our passion and share our message and so the travel part for us although sometimes unique, it’s a part of our journey.

Thank you to everyone who made our spring spectacular and a special thanks to our tour sponsors and Just In Case Inc.

The temperature’s rising and summer is in full swing and these 2 soul sisters on a mission are feeling energized, focused and more optimistic than ever about the future. We have several projects underway this summer that are steadily feeding our passion for change while taking our work to the next level (visit to see two of our new initiatives). We are eager to offer something new to the sexual assault education field and honored to be working with an incredible team of people to help make it all happen. Summer also means free Fridays for us! No work and all play one day a week to take a break and indulge in something we love with zero guilt about the e-mails piling up in our in-box or the undone to-do’s on our list. This Friday is going to be movie day for us and we’re thinking a back-to-back double dose of romantic comedy bliss is the perfect start to our new free Friday tradition.

Whatever projects or vacations you have in store in the coming months we hope you have an amazing summer filled with adventure, passion and endless opportunities.