My world almost ended, but it didn’t. I thought I died inside, but I didn’t. I thought I was worthless, but I wasn’t. I felt powerless, but I am not.
I was raped (and sexually assaulted and harassed in past experiences) and I’m coming out on top – taking back my body, taking back my power, and empowering others to do the same.
The bad guy is in prison and I am free. Freedom has brought me to be able to use my voice (with exception of some things for legal purposes, of course). So after sentencing…
I had an interview with:
These interviews and articles also made it to the Duluth Tribune, Grand Forks Herald, Yahoo Sports/News, Newsbreak.com, West Central Tribune, Bemidji Pioneer, WXOW in LaCrosse, WI, Fun104.3, Ampgoo.com, Rochester Today Podcast, KFIL Radio, The Rock of Rochester 107.7, KVGO104.3, Brainerd Dispatch, 1039thedoc.com, solokol.blogspot.com
I was a guest speaker for:
A small department within my workplace Mavericks Podcast with Chris C. Nelson
I will be a guest speaker for:
Addictions, Abuses and Recovery podcast with Sherry Irvin on April 17th – (This podcast is about “showing the miracle as well as the tragedy of addiction and abuses but also showing the beauty of recovery and that with hops and hard work we all can overcome our circumstances and be wonderful examples to those who are still hurting. We are more than our addictions and abuses.”)
The Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University April 22nd.
We are HER podcast based out of Bozeman, Montana recording in May – (“We are HER provides an online community for survivors of domestic abuse or sexual assault to become Healed, Empowered, and Restored.” www.weareHER.net ) (Thank you, Caroline!)
My book is written! I’ll be sending it to an editor (Brooke Warner) soon! I feel as though I will always have things I want to add or change or take out, but I think that is just part of being a writer. Is it ever perfect? Is it ever good enough? Or maybe that is just my OCD. I’m also working with a local graphic designer to help me with a cover (I have zero design skills). While I may be able to self-publish my book on Amazon – Kindle Direct Publishing in the next couple of months, I may have to wait until mid-July. To be determined…
I had a meeting with Med City Beat (thank you, Caroline!) and pitched some ideas for articles – I’m not sure if this will be pursued but I am excited to dabble in the journalism world!
I continue to work full time at my job with an amazing boss (and other amazing leadership) who has been so supportive. Jenny is a hero; I know she hides a burgundy cape under those professional clothes…
I continue to be part of the Survivor Advisory Group to the Governor.
Despite the endless work outside of work that I do, my number one priority is my little man. He doesn’t want me to help with his LEGOs right now so I’m taking a minute to write… We’re sharing a workspace but naturally LEGOs are far more important, so I’m stuck on a small corner section of the table.
A special thanks to…
So many people who have helped me get to where I’m going.
Katie and Anna – you both have been amazing support throughout everything, and I’m blessed that you’re reading my book now to give me your brilliant feedback before I publish! Thank you, Auntie Lisa for doing the same.
Thank you to Jake for always reading my blogs and giving me instant feedback 100% of the time. Thank you for being my best friend, my ride or die.
Thank you to the amazing donors who have helped me afford an editor and cover the other costs of writing! (Blog website, domain, graphic designer for the book cover, etc.).
Lee, B.L., Cabbi and Becky, Joel, Trace, Jenny, Jake, Lindsey, Jesse, James, Elyse, and Sharon
Thank you to Jenny for all of your support and all that you do. Thank you to Caroline - sometimes I run out of words for your awesomeness. =) And thank you for my friends and family and coworkers and everyone for believing in me when I didn't believe in myself.
I’m looking to get sponsorships through www.patreon.com/daniellelouiseleukam for continued funding for my second book that I am working on and a third that I have in mind (thank you, Lee). In return, I would advertise businesses on my website, social media, and a shoutout during public speaking (as appropriate).
I wanted to also say thank you to the strong, brave, courageous survivors that have reached out to me! Hearing your stories and support motivates me to keep pushing forward with advocacy. This is for you! You deserve better; we deserve better. Standing up against sexual violence is a greater passion than I have ever known (with exception of my son).
One of the best things I’ve been able to do is public speaking. I look for more opportunities to share my message (not just my story, that is what my book will be for). Not only do I want to empower women (and all survivors) to take back their power, but I also focus on the other end: the abusers. There needs to be more focus on the cause of the problem. We hear: women get raped (and those statistics), women get sexually assaulted and harassed (and those statistics), we need to protect women. Well, yes – it is all true. But what about statistics on men (or abusers in general)? What are the statistics for the number of men that are abusers? What are the statistics on how often those men abuse? Why can’t we point men out like we do women and hold them accountable? I have some ideas on this… some are shared in my book and some are shared with public speaking.
So… if anyone reading this has opportunity for me to speak, I’d be honored!
I remember about 12 years ago when I was just a young pup I was so frustrated with how “busy” I was. I had to work nearly full time to afford housing, my own food, etc. I was also in college but still wanted a social life. I look back and laugh at myself – I had no idea what was in store for me and how busy I would get. I clearly did not know what “busy” meant at that age. While I knew deep in my heart (where I suppressed this passion) my love for writing, I never knew I’d be able to do it and make a difference with it. 2021 is a new year and it is a beautiful one. I’m a single-mom, nurse, survivor, advocate, and writer. I’m busier than I ever have been but am absolutely loving this journey.
It’s time to make a difference.