Tag Archives: christine marie

Focus Magazine -Taking Back Our Narrative

Focus Magazine -Taking Back Our Narrative

I was featured in my university’s magazine in June! I gave the interview of course, but I didn’t even realize it was out until yesterday.

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I Spoke at a Cult Conference on Media & Survivor Stories

I Spoke at a Cult Conference on Media & Survivor Stories

I gave a presentation for media, trauma therapists and survivors at the International Cultic Studies Association conference in Dallas. The presentation was called The Role of the Media in the Recovery, Retraumatization and Empowerment of Survivors of Traumatic Psychological Manipulation. 

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Positive Psychology’s Character Strengths

Positive Psychology’s Character Strengths

WHAT IS POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY?

Traditional psychology is the study of mental illness: DARK
Positive psychology is the study of mental wellness: LIGHT

Positive psychology and happiness is an EXPLODING field, bursting out bestselling books for a reason.

Before we can be happy or successful, we need to first develop the ability to see that positive change is possible. Only once we learn to see the world through a more positive lens can we summon all our motivation, emotion, and intelligence to achieve our personal and professional goals.- Shawn Achor, Author -“Before Happiness”

A survivor journey with a Positive Psychology framework could benefit from a “guidemap” that incorporates the Positive Psychology character strengths.

STRENGTHS_INFOGRAPHIC FINAL ART_CharactersStrengths

The Six Classifications of Character Strengths

1. Wisdom and Knowledge

Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge

•Creativity
[originality, ingenuity]: Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things;
includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it
•Curiosity
[interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]: Taking an interest in
ongoing experience forits own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering
•Judgment
[critical thinking]: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly
•Love of Learning
: Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally; obviously related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows
•Perspective
[wisdom]: Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that
make sense to oneself and to other people

2. Courage

Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external or internal

•Bravery
[valor]: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what is right even
if there is opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical bravery but is not limited to it
•Perseverance
[persistence, industriousness]: Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in
spite of obstacles; “getting it out the door”; taking pleasure in completing tasks
•Honesty
[authenticity, integrity]: Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way
and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one’s feelings and actions
•Zest
[vitality, enthusiasm, vigor, energy]: Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things
halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated

3.Humanity

Interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others

•Love
: Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; being close to people
•Kindness
[generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”]: Doing favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them
•Social Intelligence
[emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]: Being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick

4. Justice

Civic strengths that underlie healthy community life

•Teamwork
[citizenship, social responsibility, loyalty]: Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group; doing one’s share
•Fairness
: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.
•Leadership
: Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the time maintain time good relations within the group; organizing group activities and seeing that they happen.

5. Temperance

Strengths that protect against excess

•Forgiveness
:Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful
•Humility
: Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is
•Prudence
: Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted
•Self-Regulation
[self-control]: Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions

6. Transcendence

Strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning

•Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
[awe, wonder, elevation]: Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of
life, from nature to art to mathematics toscience to everyday experience
•Gratitude
: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks
•Hope
[optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]: Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about
•Humor
[playfulness]: Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes
•Spirituality
[faith, purpose]: Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort
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KUTV Covered My Event: Christmas comes to Hildale for first time

KUTV Covered My Event:  Christmas comes to Hildale for first time

(KUTV) Wednesday afternoon hundreds of kids in Hildale experienced what’s being called the “First Christmas” in the Polygamist city since the 1980s.

Christine Marie from (Las Vegas), is the mastermind behind the holiday event.

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The First Christmas! Short Creek is Going to See Some Joy!

The First Christmas! Short Creek is Going to See Some Joy!

On Dec. 16, Voices for Dignity and Mrs. Gingerbread are throwing a Christmas party and open house for people who left polygamy this year – and are able to experience their very first Christmas!

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Escaping Polygamy, Speaking on Polygamy & Human Trafficking on TV

Escaping Polygamy, Speaking on Polygamy & Human Trafficking on TV

This week, I am thrilled that I was invited to speak on two different television shows on the intersection of polygamy and human trafficking. This is my odd, narrow, highly-specialized area of expertise that historically only the most passionate activisits cared about, and I am happy that things are finally changing. As far as I know, I was the first person who left a (psuedo) polygamy situation that also qualified for services as a survivor of human trafficking. 

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New Article: Tolga & I on Sex Trafficking, Polygamy

New Article: Tolga & I on Sex Trafficking, Polygamy

By Scott Dickensheets | Multifaceted pair Tolga and Christine Marie Katas have embarked on their most important work yet: providing refuge and inspiration for escapees from sex trafficking.

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Heartfelt Lessons from the Tragedy in Isla Vista

Heartfelt Lessons from the Tragedy in Isla Vista

I visited Isla Vista this week. My brother-in-law (aka “little brother”) lives in Isa Vista and is also attending UCSB, where six students were recently killed due to the rage of a frustrated young man who had mental health problems and was angry at women. We panicked all night because we couldn’t reach our little brother. The killings happened just a couple blocks from his home. We called, texted, facebooked, Skyped, emailed. All night. No word. We were terrified. As it turned out, he and a friend had stayed home to watched movies. He heard the gunshots, but he was fine.

(Click each photo to see it larger)

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Little brother in a tree where he goes to think

I am also enrolled in a university that is based in Santa Barbara.

I also know what it’s like to be at the receiving end of misogyny and slut-shaming, from personal interactions with misogynists without a conscience, to my former religion, my work, to social media, and even from reputable corporations like Discovery Networks, Investigation Discovery, History Channel and others. (A couple years ago I shared a story from my past of surviving trauma that was orchestrated by a criminal mastermind, but they turned it into one of those “stupid woman caused it herself and deserved what she got” stories. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right, but the media is accountable to no one.) The media is absolutely part of the problem, and this is why I am now pursuing my PhD in Media Psychology at a university in Santa Barbara.

Needless to say, I felt a connection with this tragedy and this town, and I wish I could find a way to use media make the world a safer place for women. For everyone.

So a few days ago, my husband and I went to visit Isla Vista. Little brother showed Tolga and I the memorials. We both had a lump in our throats.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

This is where it all started. This was the home of 22-year old Elliot Rodger, the UCSB student who expressed his rage against the women who rejected him by slaughtering people, then taking his own life.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

Messages were still there. Through heart-felt words, flowers, chalk writings and candles, people expressed their love for those who lost their lives here.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

You’re in our hearts forever.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

No one was in a hurry to take all the special remembrances away. Someone put a box of chalk there for people to express their feelings. No one stole it.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

 What they did do, however, was move items from the memorial sites into the UCSB library to create a CD of digital images of the memories, messages and notes. Someone politely left a letter explaining it all on a page covered by a sheet protector, weighted down by two candles.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

This is the street outside of the apartment building where Elliot Rodger lived.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

The street on Isla Vista where Rodger plowed through people and sprayed businesses with bullets.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

Above – the sidewalk outside the IV Deli Mart where Rodger left more casualties

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

A happy face balloon with a graduation hat. Perhaps it was a message for one of the students about to graduate?

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

Outside IV Deli Mart. Beautiful signs of life, and of lives so loved.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

Messages about gun control still reign prominent.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

So much anguish, so much to say.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

The recovery message is profound. “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that” MLK

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

The names of the deceased are held in place by a Teddy Bear

– a poignant reminder of innocence amidst the pain and sorrow.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

A love note or message of caring is tucked into the bear’s shirt. I wanted to read it,

but somehow I felt unworthy.

The community mourned Katherine Cooper, Christopher Martinez, Veronika Weiss, Weihan Wang, George Chen, and Cheng Yuan Hong, and celebrated the incredible lives they lived.  Read about them HERE.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

Emily Lindin, the founder of the UnSlut Project, wrote “In Killer’s World, Victims are Blamed.” It got picked up by CNN, and this young lady is my new hero. She wrote that Rodgers “is the product of a culture that condones and in many cases endorses the belief that if you are a ‘nice guy’ — or a ‘supreme gentleman’ as Rodger described himself — you are somehow entitled to sex with women.”

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

“After the killings, the extent of misogyny in this community was revealed in the creation of a Facebook page called ‘Elliot Rodger Is an American Hero,’ with the advice for everyone to ‘share your thoughts and pay your respects to Elliot Rodger here. Also, view this final message from our beloved hero,’  which links to his videotaped rant, with commenters expressing solidarity with his desire for revenge against women. The page has since been taken down.” Emily Lindin

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

On a piece of cardboard supported by a bike stand, someone wrote,

“Those we love don’t go away,

They walk beside us every day

Unseen, unheard, but always near,

Still loved, still missed and very dear.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,

Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

The community is rallying for the victims’ families and the survivors.  This donation box is in the IV Deli Mart, where Christopher Michaels-Martinez lost his life.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

The community, still reeling in disbelief, tries to carry on.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

There’s a message to learn that we all hope does not fade away after the flowers are gone. We have an opportunity  to honor the victims, the survivors and the families by making all this make a difference.

Will it be about gun control, mental health, respecting women, victim blaming or something else? Emily Lindin thinks the conversation needs to be about misogyny.

“But as we move forward and try to make sense of what happened, it’s our responsibility to start productive, respectful conversations about the misogyny behind Rodger’s actions,” she wrote.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

As I walked back to the car, I saw a homeless man and another man being comforted by a college co-ed. I got the impression the man was a witness the night it happened.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

They were perfect strangers, but she stopped walking her dog to comfort him in his time of need. He cried and she listened.

Whoever she is, she is a saint.

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Click the photo to see it larger. Photo by C.M. Katas

Maybe she cried and he listened too.

Maybe that is how we can make beautiful meaning come from this tragedy. Maybe that’s how we can change the world:

Listening when people cry, and then hugging instead of hating.

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Photo by Simon Astaire. Taken from Channel 4 News http://bit.ly/1mxMhYT

 Just like the fathers of Elliot Rodger, the killer, and his victim, Chris Martinez.

Hugging instead of hating. Loving instead of blaming.

#notallmen

#yesallwomen

Photo taken from http://bit.ly/1mxMhYT

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Isla_Vista_killings

http://time.com/2933821/elliot-rodger-peter-isla-vista-shooting/

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Photos-Isla-Vista-Santa-Barbara-Rampage-Shooting-Fathers-Meet-Rodger-Martinez-263291921.html

 

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