A ferocious human predator ripped through our family, drooling over the innocent―leaving none untouched. Generations of child predators have devoured their vulnerable offspring and siblings, molesting our family’s youth unconcerned about the magnitude of their actions. Silence has become the gateway to mental health issues throughout our lineage.  I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir exposes generational secrets, lies, cover-ups and denial and their consequences. Told from my perspective, this is my family story, a glimpse into four women irreversibly scarred by traumatic abuse.”

From I Am The Product of Rape: A Memoir by Catherine Wyatt-Morley and Jalyon Welsh-Cole

Catherine Wyatt-Morley is the founder, chief executive officer and heartbeat of Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social service organization for the at-risk and HIV-positive community. In 1994, Wyatt-Morley founded Women On Reasons To Heal (W.O.R.T.H.), the first and what has become the oldest HIV-positive women’s support group in Middle Tennessee.

Wyatt-Morley has appeared in countless media outlets nationwide, including SELF Magazine, the Today Show, A&U Magazine, POZ Magazine, CNN, Voices of America, MSNBC, Talk America Radio, FX Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the Palm Beach Post, the Indianapolis Indiana Recorder, the Los Angeles Times, the Canadian Sun, Nashville Scene, and the Tennessean.

Jalyon Welsh-Cole has been director of Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit social service organization, since 2010. Welsh-Cole began writing when she was very young, starting with short stories and poems. As a teen, she was inspired to draw, finding comfort and creativity in her art. She joined forces with Wyatt-Morley to share her story in I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR. Together, they also have created #HealingSecretHurts workshops, which bring the spectrum of traumatizing sexual assault into the light.

I Am the Product of Rape

Book Description:

The phrase “secrets and lies” takes on terrible new meaning in Catherine Wyatt-Morley’s devastating book, I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR.

Wyatt-Morley’s shocking story traces the repeated patterns of rape and incest that plagued four generations of her family, including Wyatt-Morley’s birth in a filthy basement to her 12-year-old mother, who was sexually abused by her step-father.

“…In the process of writing this book, an extremely difficult journey that has taken years, I was taken to unfamiliar destinations and exposed to unfathomable pain,” Wyatt-Morley relates. “Part of that pain was learning that I was created through the atrocities of incest by a brutally manipulative monster and, while only moments old, (I was) denied by a heartless grandmother who never bothered to look at me.”

Wyatt-Morley wrote I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR, she says, “as my way of dealing with my personal healing. But through conversations with many diverse women, I quickly began seeing I was not alone. So many had never told anyone of the abuse that has happened to them; yet they have a need to heal, to not feel isolated.”

Wyatt-Morley’s daughter, Jalyon Welsh-Cole, also suffered the terrible legacy of her family when she was abused by her eldest brother. She wrote the epilogue to I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR, an essay she called BURNING HOUSE, in response to the continued pattern of abuse that formed her familial legacy.

“Most of my family members who have learned of this are dealing with it as well as one can,” Welsh-Cole says. “However, others are still in disbelief and struggle to understand. For over two decades I kept this heinous secret to myself. I have had time to bury it, cry over it, and finally seek therapy and come to grips with it.

Welsh-Cole’s mother’s story “made me feel as if our bloodline was full of secrets and lies that I wanted to expose,” she continues. “I knew after learning of my grandmother’s story that I wasn’t alone. Today, I cannot allow this to continue to happen in our family.”

As dark and unrelenting as it is, the story told in I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR leads to a conclusion of overcoming tremendous odds, leaving readers riveted, inspired, and empowered.

Interview:

Thanks for visiting Blogger News Net! I Am the Product of Rape: A Memoir is quite a heart-wrencher. Can you tell us the reason why you wanted to share your story with the world?

Speaking with many ethnicities worldwide regarding the sensitive subjects of incest, rape and sexual abuse, I noticed in private, they freely disclosed their deepest painful experiences trusting me enough to reveal the real decay that lay behind the smiles. Overtime I saw so many people dealing with similar issues literally suffering alone, in silence. I saw a gap in leadership, a void needing correcting, and a position which needed to be up-righted.  I saw no one taking up the mantel on this issue which is real and happening daily, impacting thousands. I decided to lead! I am determined to be the voice that speaks proudly, gives encouragement and leads our generation of wounded people towards their healing place. My mother instilled in me at a very young age the gratification of helping others and being a leader. She ingrained in my head how though being a follower is easy, being a leader builds character. I choose character. I want to change lives and I want to be remembered for my selfless diligent fight. You ask why I want to share my story with the world? Because I want to give people like me the opportunity to hold their heads up high and say they are survivors not victims.

Can you tell us at what point did you decide that you couldn’t harbor this secret anymore?

I had kept the secret for so long it had begun to affect me mentally, resulting in a bipolar diagnosis. In a manic state of mind I felt while I had the courage to say it, I just needed to get it out. I felt I needed to tell my mother. If I had not been in a manic state I don’t know if I would have disclosed such horrific news to her or where I would be in my healing process, as disclosing to her was my first step towards healing. Also the next step was when my mother recognized that I needed help and she proactively got that help for me that day. Because of my mental health issues with bipolar disorder I was suffering from the inside out constantly. As I stated in the Epilogue Burning House as part of I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir, there was nothing anyone could do to my abuser to make it all better. The mental and physical scares his actions caused remain embedded in me.

Some people judge rape victims saying that they must have provoked their victims to come on to them. What do you tell those people?

To those who think this way I would say, there is no way an 8 year old little girl who had no interest in anything sexual nor had a fully shaped body could suggest to a predator that she would WANTED to be Raped/Molested. I am using myself as an example. However, there are adult women who are also victims. No one wants to be assaulted or violated. I would say they are wrong to assume a person willingly wants to have their life dramatically changed forever in that manner. That is a misunderstood misdirected assumption. I would hope sexual assault never happens to them or someone they love, unfortunately then there may be a change of heart.

Who was the first person you told and why?

The first person I told about being molested by my eldest brother was my boyfriend at the time. He was the first real/serious relationship I had ever been in. Prior to engaging in sexual activities with him we were both tested for HIV and I disclosed to him that I had been repeatedly rape/molested by my eldest brother. After telling him, he was very upset and supportive of me.

How are you helping other women deal with rape and can you tell us about Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social service organization for the at-risk and HIV-positive community?

At the soul of the authors of I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir is assisting others in need of healing from trauma. The authors of I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir, have developed an interactive Workbook they have titled #HealingSecretHurts or (#HSH). In conjunction with I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir, #HSH and utilizing other tools we conduct small to mid-size acquisition sessions which, with attendees, explores the raw subject matters exposed in I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir.  Sessions are implemented in safe, confidential, comfortable environments. Making trauma a priority, the author’s ability to listen, believe, and care then encourage, empower and initiate behavior change is their principal. Their mother daughter synergy educates, enlightens and empowers as they share their experience while bringing the spectrum of traumatizing sexual assault into the light.

In addition to #HealingSecretHurts, Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit social service organization for the at-risk and HIV-positive community offers care and recovery through a thorough intake and assessment, the development of safety plans, safety kits, navigation, legal advocacy, court connection, prevention, counseling, support group, justice system advocacy, community coordination and collaboration, crisis intervention, employment counseling, culturally and linguistically specific resources and services targeting safety, locates emergency shelter and the establishment of new housing, transportation, and community outreach. The authors of I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir alien with community based organizations, professionals and others to establish programs and services for domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault rape and stalking victims.

Thank you again for this interview. What advice can you give women to help them avoid rape/incest?

I would say don’t be naive, thinking that because it’s a family member or a boy/girlfriend they won’t hurt you or that it can’t or won’t happen to you. Get educated, read I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir, attend one of our #HealingSecretHurts acquisition sessions, take a self-defense class, be prepared at all times, carry some type of protection, watch for signs of grooming, do your best to never put yourself in situations that can lead to something you don’t want to be involved in and lastly do the same for your friends.

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