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“Turning Tragedies into Triumphs:  Stories & Conversations with Torah Bontrager” is a weekly podcast that features amazing and courageous individuals who have come forward to share their stories with the world.  The conversations between two fellow survivors take place over a virtual dining room table in a safe, judgment-free zone where we not only learn about accounts often never publicly disclosed before, but we also learn a little bit more about Torah along the way.

A companion show to her memoir An Amish Girl in Manhattan, Torah created the podcast to emphasize that trauma (of all colors, shapes, and sizes-- not only sexual) knows no boundaries and that her story of repeat sexual assault, abandonment, parental rejection, identity crises, disastrously failed romantic relationships and trust issues are heartbreakingly universal in our national and global cultures. 

Watch the episodes to be inspired and to know that you're not alone and that you don’t have to be extraordinary to be Extraordinary.  New episodes air each Wednesday. 

Please ask us questions and leave comments.  We will read all of them.  We want this to be an interactive show and build a strong community of support both online and offline.  Every four or five episodes, we will do a special "Question and Answer" segment where we pick from what's been submitted.  The more you comment/ask, the higher your chances of getting answered via the special. 

INVITATION CALL:  If you would like to share your story with the world, please contact us at www.TorahBontrager.com/contact.  No story is insignificant.  The seemingly smallest things that happened to us as children can have a lifetime negative impact if left unaddressed.  This podcast and community is designed for you to feel safe, speak out in your own words and experience non-judgment and unconditional love from a human-hood of strong women, men and other/no-genders.

Apr 27, 2017

Sarah Alexis is an interior and set designer and a sexual abuse survivor.  She reads a short poem for us that she wrote as a way to express what happened to her and to help release the trauma stored in her body.  This 1-minute episode is audio-only with subtitles and set to beautiful cherry blossoms and flowers.  We hear only her voice and music in the background.  
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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).  In solidarity with #SAAM, we have placed their teal ribbon on this month’s episodes.  Teal is the official color of SAAM.  The teal ribbon is the symbol of sexual violence prevention.  Please read the episode synopsis for more information about #SAAM and how you can help and/or be helped as a survivor.
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IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How to make art out of darkness (when or if we are able to)


LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR THIS EPISODE:
1. Sexual Assault Awareness Month (for info about SAAM, sexual assault on college campuses, and their work. The NSVRC/SAAM team is available for interviews and is a resource for reporting on sexual violence):  www.nsvrc.org/saam/about; 877-739-3895; resources@nsvrc.org.  Call/email for help.
2. Grief Recovery Method (for physical and emotional losses, to find grief support groups and for a free ebook for info on the various kinds of grief):  www.griefrecoverymethod.com
3. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):  www.rainn.org; 800-656-HOPE; live chat.  Get help 24/7.  Free and confidential.   Call/chat if you’ve been violated.
4. Hold Me Right (a beautiful documentary about the aftermath of sexual assault; check out the trailer):  www.holdmerightfilm.com
5. See S1Ep17: Brian Young on How Education Provided Him an Escape from Suicide and the Shocking High Rates of Suicide and Depression Among Native Americans for a message of hope
6. See S1Ep16: Erika W. on the Immediate Aftermath of Sexual Assault & Torah’s Story On Film for the First Time + Is Rape Co-Creative? for insights on what goes through a survivor’s mind