The Landscape

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Month w/ Nicole Moehring

April 18, 2021 Naveh Eldar / Nicole Moerhing Season 2 Episode 8
The Landscape
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Month w/ Nicole Moehring
Show Notes Transcript

April is Child Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. Nichole Moehring and her family have weathered the storm of child sexual abuse three times. Her son who is diagnosed with autism and Fragile X Syndrome had a very different level of support and resources than when her neurotypical daughter as they sought justice against the perpetrator. In this episode, Nicole shares their story, and tells us about the agency they created, Voices of Change 2018, which has the mission to build access to safety, healing and justice for sexually abused children with disabilities through advocacy, education and collaboration.

 It's an interview that will make you want to take action.

Voices of Change 2018: Here
Child Abuse Prevention Resource Guide: Here
Voices of Change 2018 IG Page: Here

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Naveh Eldar  0:16  
Welcome to the landscape, a podcast to shed light on the people programs and businesses that are changing the landscape for individuals with any type of disability. I'm your host Naveh Eldar. April is National Child Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Month. Today's guest is Nicole moring the founder and executive director of voices of change 2018. An agency with the mission to build access to safety, healing, and justice for sexually abused children with disabilities through advocacy, education, and collaboration. In today's episode, Nicole shares her family's first hand experience with abuse, as well as what she is building to support others educate and prevent child abuse specifically for children with disabilities. When you look at the history of disability rights and laws, it is always family advocates that have brought about the most change. Nicole is one of those parents and advocates. If you are new to the landscape, make sure to subscribe and share with friends. Today's episode starts with Nicole speaking about why she started voices of change 2018.

Nicole Moehring  1:32  
My daughter Macy and I started the voices of change 2018 after about a year and a half of realizing the tremendous struggle with the justice system with trying to find help support resources after my son who has autism and fragile X syndrome. And for those who aren't familiar with Fragile X syndrome, it's a neurological development disorder. It's genetic. And it mimics autism and a lot of ways, genetically it cognitively, and he was a victim of sexual abuse. And after going through all that, and realizing that these resources just aren't readily available for families like us for victims, like my son at that point, I now consider him a survivor. He's flourishing and just surviving wonderfully now, forehand five years later, but those resources weren't available. So I was you know, banging my head against the wall, and, you know, just trying to get through this myself. And you know, as a family, my husband and I, and my daughter and my son trying to get him help, trying to get my daughter help, you know, she was blaming herself at one point, like, you know, I should have been, you know, cuz she was there, you know, I should have recognized what was happening. And it wasn't her fault. It wasn't her fault at all, you know, it was circumstances. And, you know, just trying to get us help as a family as a united front, you know, trying to really heal us together on that road to recovery. And then the justice system is just not equipped to handle cases like my son. So it's really unfortunate because you would think they would be so far advanced at this point, and they're not. And I really feel that they failed my son because of the disability. So that's really where the idea came into fruition after really realizing and researching that there's really nothing that exists currently, that's all encompassing, there's organizations that exist, to help people with disabilities that have been abused, but nothing that would look for, you know, the education for prevention piece, that's something we're focusing on and the support and the resource system if you're a victim, you know, the where to go piece. And then just to help with navigating through the the justice system, to try and get that justice, because justice isn't being served for individuals with disabilities. And it's such a shame, because they deserve the equality they deserve to get justice just as you know, their their typical peers do. So that's how we came into fruition.

Naveh Eldar  4:10  
And so one of your, you know, main attractions for lack of a better phrase is the fact that you've gone through this, like you're a family that has has kind of weather this storm more than once. Right, which we're gonna get into later. But can you kind of talk us through? How did you find out how old was he? What were the circumstances around it? Like Was it a family member? Or was it you know, a caregiver was at work, you know exactly what happened all around of that.

Nicole Moehring  4:40  
So my son when he just closed it was 2016. So he was 11 years old. And up until that point, I will be honest, but my my daughter's neuro typical. She's 18 now and my son's 15. Now, and I've always talked about, you know, nobody can touch you wear a bathing suit goes I always gave that speech and the stranger danger speech. Because in my mind, because as you know, I think a society, we're led to believe it's always going to be a stranger, right. And I was very naive to the fact that it's not 90 to 93% of the time, it is somebody you know, it's either a caregiver or a family member, someone you know, very close to the child close to your family, because, you know, they begin to Gaslight and they begin to really start utilizing those children and getting to know them and buying them things and really taking advantage of that child and their vulnerabilities. And I didn't know this, and I was extremely naive, and I will be honest with you. As soon as I discovered he had a special need, I was like, Oh, my gosh, we're exempt from this, right? Well, no, you're not. But nobody tells you these things. And so I just kept going on. And you know, at that point, you're so inundated with therapies and doctor's appointments, and, okay, now, you know, I'm being told he's not going to walk, he's not going to talk, you know, and all that, and you're so consumed as a parent and trying to do your best and get every source available in those ways to help your child maximize their potential. You're not thinking about these things. And nobody's telling you anything, there's no education and prevention for, you know, risk to reduce the risk of abuse, so you don't know. So, but again, all long every now and then I give them their speech. And I thought I was doing due diligence as a parent, you know, and I thought, okay, I'm good, I'm good, you know? Well, I wasn't, I wasn't, and I was never prepared for the night, I just happened to be giving my son the speech, he's taken a bath. And I just happened to give him the speech. And all of a sudden, he says, I don't disclose who the person was, but it is someone we know. And he says, Well wonder wonder for someone we know. And he told me who it was. And my heart sank. And I knew I knew in that moment, he wasn't lying. Kids don't lie about this stuff. That's one thing, I can't stress enough kids do not lie about this stuff. So please, if whoever's listening believe your child, and I believed I believed it immediately. And the other thing is, don't react. Because you don't want to give them information, you want them to be telling you, you don't want to be feeding them the information. It's their information to be giving you. So I was trying to do anything I could, and let him tell me his story, and not react, which isn't easy when you're just told this, and your whole world has now come crumbling down around you. So he tells me this, I'm trying to remain maintain my composure. And All I said was Evan, I believe you. I'm proud of you. And I will keep you safe. I didn't know past that what to do. Because even though you're told Stranger Danger, nobody should touch your child wear a bathing suit goes past that. Nobody tells you what to do. I didn't know what the heck to do. So, um, I talked to my husband afterwards. And I said, you know, what do we do and neither one of us knew, you know, this is both our second marriage, his boys are older. We were in an unmarked territory, we did not know. So the next day, my daughter has been seen a psychologist from my previous marriage and her dad, and there was a lot of psychological and emotional abuse. And I call up her psychologist and I said, Evan just disclosed this. I don't know what to do. We're in Ohio, and unbeknownst to me, I don't know how it differs in other states. But in Ohio.

psychologists are mandated to report abuse. Right? Okay. So she calls she reports it and that's fine, you know, so the ball starts rolling. So the social worker calls me we start, you know, the necessary meetings and whatnot. And he was referred to a child Advocacy Center, which is where a child would go for the examinations for the forensic interviewing, and to compile all the data necessary to see if you know, this, indeed is true. And if they can go forth with a case, we do all that all the necessary steps. And in the interview, in the forensic interview, the children are always asked, you know, the difference between the truth and a lie? To which my son said no, because in an individual's an intellectual disability, they can't they know the difference. But if they're asked that question, they don't know how to differentiate. Right. So if it was asked in a different manner, he would have been able to say yes, but it wasn't. So with that answer, they unsubstantiated it.

Naveh Eldar  9:56  
Right there in the spot. Right there.

Nicole Moehring  9:58  
Right there. And although they didn't say that right then to me, but it was pretty much alluded and a couple days later, I get my letter in the mail saying it was unsubstantiated, they would turn it over to the police. Not sure what they could do. So after the police case, and because it was unsubstantiated, my son could still see the perpetrator. There was nothing in writing, you know, he could see him with supervised visits. So, um, I could not do anything. As a parent, I had no rights, I had nothing. So you feel I felt very. I didn't feel like anybody was on my side here. I'm trying to protect my child, I believe my child. And yet nobody's nobody's in sync with me. Nobody wants to help me protect him, which is extremely concerning. Because this is happening. More than any of us want to admit, these kids need protection, they need our help. They're so vulnerable. Um, so but I knew in my heart of hearts, it's turned over to the police and very uncooperative. They didn't care. It was it was basically they found out he had a disability. And, yeah, we're washing our hands. You know, we'll keep him on high alert. What does that even mean? Right? So they close the case out and a 2016. I'll fast forward, beginning beginning of summer of 17, he starts having these these raging episodes of these tantrums, like I've never seen any any child act out like this. And it wasn't your typical, I'm being a brats, if you will, you know, I didn't get my own way. I didn't get a cookie. I mean, it was something is going on. And I couldn't identify it. I am recording it. I'm taking video. And at this point, he seen psychiatry, he seen an applied behavior specialist Applied Behavioral Analysis specials, 20 hours a week. We have in psychiatry, psychology, anything you could think of to try and help him with the abuse with the PTSD because he's diagnosed with that, at this point, anything we can to help him through this trauma. Nothing's helping. And I'm logging it, you know, is there an antecedent is there is it clothing? Is it a food is it a person isn't an environment can't figure this out for the life of me. So this starts june of 17. We go through a whole school year makes it through the school day and this kid shining, he's a shining star in school. He's Mr. Popularity, he's you know, included with the, you know, his neurotypical friends being invited. I mean, it was a parent's best dream from that standpoint, being included with his friends being you know, going to football games, he's on the cheerleading squad with football, you know, because they have a cheerleading, especially these cheerleading, and, you know, going to parties, it was great. But yet he couldn't manage to hold these meltdowns together. And all I kept thinking is Oh, gosh, if he has one of these episodes with his friends, you know how kids are nowadays I'm like, then we're gonna be you know, dealing with that, you know? So he makes it all through the school year till about the end of April. He has wanted school. Oh, gosh. I mean, my heart just sank. Because all I'm thinking is who saw it? You know, all these things are flooding through my mind at this point, you know,

Naveh Eldar  13:34  
what grade is this for him?

Nicole Moehring  13:36  
So this great, he's sixth grade for him. So it's Middle School, you're starting a new school, you know, all new friends because you're filtering from three different elementary schools, you know, so you have all those changes as well, you know, so he has it at school. We have five different episodes were called up there. And I was transparent with administration, with the special ed director. I mean, I went and I sat down with him. I'm like, I don't know what's going on with him. I wasn't hiding this from anybody. I'm like, help me help him. Nobody wanted to listen to me. Right? So we get through the end of the school year, managed to get through that. We go to a graduation party. The four of us my husband, my daughter, my son and I, and unbeknownst to me, my daughter's texting me at this graduation party. I want to go I want to leave, please, can we leave Mom please can really well, I don't see these texts, because they're in my my phones in my purse because they're with me, so I don't have a reason, you know. And well get home that evening. Only for her to tell me that there was a boy at the party who was 19. She's 15 at this time who sexually assaulted her. Oh,

Unknown Speaker  14:51  
my goodness.

Nicole Moehring  14:52  
And I just sat there and I was like, oh my gosh. So now I have two kids that are statistics. You And she's apologized. So don't you dare? Don't you dare apologize. So I call Child Services. I said, You know what? He's not getting away. I'm done. I'm done. Right. So I call Child Services, I report it, start the case. And I will tell you what the difference in the way she was treated night and day. Right? They substantiated the claim. They turned it over to the police, the prosecutor, the judge, the district attorney, the probation officer, they all cared about what she wanted. What she wanted to see out of it. What she wanted his sentencing to be. They cared about her well being her mental state, everything. I mean, it was clear and day. She got justice. She got justice. He's on the registry for 15 years, he served jail time, community time, mental health assessment. I mean, she stood strong in her convictions. I was so proud of her for being so young. She really she's like, I can't let him get away with this. What's next rape? She's like, No, man, no boy should violate any and like, you're right. You're absolutely right. And then she saw what her brother went through to. So she saw how the justice system failed him. So around that time is when we started, you know, really coming together saying, what can we do to make a difference, you know, in other people's lives. So, at that time, we're going through all this, and I will say, Evans, a monkey see, monkey do kind of a kiddo. And he discloses for the second time, that the same perpetrator he acted out again, because he still had access to him. But this time, it wasn't just being sexually molested. He took it a step further, there was pictures, pictures on the internet. We took it further. Yeah. I reported it to I called I reported it. And so we start that, we start the whole process all over again. This time, it's substantiated. However, in Ohio, under Ohio, revised code, Child and Family Services, they have 30 days after a case closes, they have to send the alleged perpetrator a letter saying that they were named a perpetrator. So the letter goes out. And now at this point, all the police have the entire case. Now I'm trying to get a search warrant to execute a search warrant to get all his computers anything, so that we can have him arrested while the letter goes out. And so the perpetrator has the right to call and ask what the allegations were. Well, the perpetrator called asked what the allegations were, they have to tell him by law in Ohio. And he was told, so now he acts, he goes and hires a criminal attorney. And he gets rid of all of his equipment. So by the time I fought seven months later, got the search warrant executed. He has all brand new equipment.

Unknown Speaker  18:14  

Nicole Moehring  18:16  
So there's never been an arrest. They had enough to convict, but not to prove the unreasonable doubt. So five years later, we sit here my son's never received justice, the man walks free.

Naveh Eldar  18:31  
And I thought on a sex registry, nothing, nothing.

Nicole Moehring  18:35  
Nothing. And I'm sure my son wasn't the only one. I'm sure of it. I don't have facts, but I'm sure people like that don't just abuse once. Right. So yeah.

Naveh Eldar  18:48  
And so I know that your daughter is also a part of your company, your organization. So was that difficult for her? was it was it something she needed to do this advocacy? Because she's still young, at this point.

Nicole Moehring  19:05  
She is, um, you know, there's times it's difficult for her. But when she speaks, she speaks with such conviction. She did a podcast the other night, and I listened to her and I'm just so proud of her. You know, she's reaching a group of another vulnerable population that, you know, it's, it's almost like the shame game, you know, if it happens to a teenager, that group doesn't want to speak out, because they don't want to be bullied or, you know, looked down upon and I wish people didn't see it that way. And I know, society, unfortunately, looks at it like that, unfortunately, and she's trying to reach that population to say, don't take power back, like let's overpower these perpetrators. Let's become so many voices, so that there's more of us and less of them. I'm very proud of her. I mean, there are times mentally and emotionally she You can just tell it drains her and I said, you know what you only do what you can do.

Naveh Eldar  20:05  
You know, I think that sometimes circumstances can stack on top of each other as well. And this is just a curiosity I'm having as you're telling the story of your son and your daughter, because also males in general, aren't always given the most sympathy, sympathy when it comes to like sexual assault, you know, it's like boys shouldn't be or cannot be sexual assault, sexually assaulted. So I wonder if that was like two strikes against your son, the fact that he has a disability, and then also the fact that he's a male, you know, and they were like, Yeah, come on.

Nicole Moehring  20:39  
It, you know, I wonder that too, I've been asked that a lot. And it's something I never thought about, truthfully, because I was so focused on the fact that he had a disability, and felt so discriminated in that standpoint. And I never looked at it, because I guess I never did enough research on the fact that men and boys, just it's the same thing. You know, they they're looked at in a different way, which is so unfortunate, because it's happening to men and boys, a lot. So and I wish it wasn't seen that way. Because it is it's an epidemic. And people need to make sure they're recognizing this. And in treating and helping across all populations, it just doesn't happen to women.

Naveh Eldar  21:23  
So let's get into what you what voices have changed. 2018. So I know you said you tried to be like holistic, you want it you want to attack it from many different points of view. So what are those? What are the areas that you're advocating? For? Sure. So

Nicole Moehring  21:38  
the first thing that's really important to us is that prevention piece, so we're creating an education program for prevention. So to provide prevention, to reduce the risk, the program is going to be designed to tailor to talk to parents of newly diagnosed individuals with disabilities, because that's so important. And I wish I would have had that when, you know, Evan was newly diagnosed with the fragile X and the autism, and it's something I didn't have. So from that standpoint, we'll be talking with boards of developmental disabilities to partner with them, as well as pediatricians because I don't think there's enough awareness created, you know, I think you get the question at the pediatrician, you know, do you feel safe at home? Well, a child with a disability isn't going to know how to answer that a lot. Most times the parents answering that question. So and if it's a parent doing it, well, obviously, you know, that's going to look a lot different. So educating on three different groups for from the parents standpoint, professionals, so medical professionals, as well as law enforcement, because the more law enforcement I'm talking to, they don't know how to handle these cases. So it's imperative that they know how to handle these cases and the right way to talk to these kids and adults as well. You know, I'm not just singling out kids, I understand that this happens with adults with disabilities as well. And then tailoring a program for children, we're going to develop it in a way that it's targeted for mild, moderate, and then intense needs. So that they're actually understanding what the content is. So that if they can, you know, they can be aware of what sexual abuse really is, what abuse is just not sexual abuse, but what is abuse? What are boundaries, what are personal boundaries, what's okay? It's okay to say no, you know, if it's okay, if somebody is touching you, it's okay to say, this doesn't feel right, stop, you know, but then you also have the other aspect of there's kids that are nonverbal. So you have to look at it from that standpoint, too. So there's a lot of different components that are going into us developing this program. And we're working with quite a few professionals, psychologists right now, law enforcement that we're putting this together, so we got a ways to go. But it's going to be pretty unique once once it's all done, we'll have a copyright written and pretty excited about it. Just going to take some time to put it together how we want to have it so that it so it works, because if it's not designed correctly, especially for the kids, it's not going to work. And then it's just a waste of our time. It's a waste of their time, and it's just going to be like anything else that's currently out there. So that's the first area is the education. The second piece is partnering with mental health professionals that focus on kids with disabilities, adults with disabilities that have been traumatized, because that trauma informed care and that recovery component is crucial. I see where my son was four and a half years ago and where he is today. And because of working with those professionals. It's imperative. It's easy for somebody saying oh here, here's the medication. Anybody can do that. You don't want to do that you're just putting a bandaid on the problem, you know, you want to actually identify the problems, let's get to the root of the problem, let's help fix them. So that, you know, in 20 years, they're not having the, you know, all these different episodes or these flashbacks, you know, let's help them because they're going to process it differently than you or I are going to process it. And then the final piece is that resource and support piece, that's all encompassing, you know, with support groups, having the support groups available, and then having a resource where, you know, you can go and you can find care providers, professionals, anything all in one place. So you're not going on this wild goose chase, like, like how I was.

Naveh Eldar  25:45  
So your son was expressing his anger and fear and all of these things through through lashing out? How long did that take the subside after you figured out what was causing it,

Nicole Moehring  25:59  
he would still have them. But we were able to identify it. And then we were able to start working with a psychologist and start working through it. And he started to be able to articulate and say, Okay, I need Evan time now. So it went from I mean, I am not kidding, when I say he went from for four and a half hours of these episodes. I mean, we were stuck at home. I mean, these were horrible, to we have gone gone down to like 15 minutes. Now he doesn't have them at all anymore. I mean, but that obviously took a while. But it looked different. It looked different. I mean, that did just happen like that when he just closed.

Naveh Eldar  26:43  
on your website, you talk about helping victims become survivors. But what do you mean by that? What is what is the difference between a victim and a survivor.

Nicole Moehring  26:52  
So that you know a victim is most definitely when you first disclose, and you're in that moment of, you don't know what to do, you haven't received help, you haven't received support, you're still trying to figure everything out and becoming a survivor is you've worked through those steps you're working with, you know, a medical professional, you're gaining that counseling, mentally, psychologically, you're finding your way to that road on recovery, working through the the justice system, and you know, you might not get justice, because unfortunately, like I said, in the beginning, a lot of these individuals don't. And I'm really trying to work to change that, because it's not fair. But I think Unfortunately, that's going to take, it's going to take more than just me. I mean, it's gonna take, you know, takes a village, you know, but I think the more people that speak up and start sharing their stories and their experiences, as hard as it is, I mean, it's not easy. But that's the only way that you can create change. So it's, it's really just empowering people to stand up and recognize that it's not your nobody did anything wrong to deserve being abused. And when you take your power back, you become a survivor. And I've really instilled that in my kids, because there is such a difference when you can play the victim role, the poor me, I guess, if you will, and, and that's easy to fall into that. And we've all done it. You know, there's all been times in each of our lives for whatever circumstances. But it's so empowering to say, you know what, I survive this, and I want to help others, because I survived it. And you know, I'm healing from this. So that's what we mean by helping. And you know, by no means I'm not a medical professional, I'm just a mom who went through this, unfortunately, three different times and, you know, just really want to help other people and, you know, through my own lived experiences and

Unknown Speaker  29:02  
make changes.

Naveh Eldar  29:04  
So what is your day to day like, with for the, you know, for voices of change? 2018? What does it look like?

Nicole Moehring  29:12  
So, you know, right now we're creating the education program, we're building the resources to put that all together to have that all encompassing in one for people just to be able to access that. Making connections. You know, we've made some phenomenal connections across the United States, actually, in other countries and just talking with someone in Singapore last week. I mean, it's really incredible the connections you create, just to form collaboration and see, you know, how, you know, with the life experiences and you know, with what we're doing and what other people are doing, you know, how you can form unity and really create change for people and work together to see how you can expand and make things better. So, I mean, right now, our big initiative is working on this education program. Because that's, that's huge. That has to be, you know, rolled out, developed and rolled out. And then working with mental health professionals just really talking to them and to partner with them. And obviously right now we're just in Ohio. But our goal is to have people in every state so that there's, you know, there's people being abused everywhere, unfortunately. So that there's resources everywhere.

Naveh Eldar  30:24  
I saw you mentioned that that you were looking to expand, how fast are you looking to do that? How serious? are you digging into that?

Nicole Moehring  30:33  
Well, I mean, obviously, we'd love to have that done tomorrow. But we would rather have it develop over time and have it done. Right. Right, and then to have it developed too quick and then fail. So ultimately, our five year goal would be to have it in more states, you know, I I'd like to see at least in five to 10 states and, you know, haven't be able to be duplicated, unless you know what our goal is. And I think that's very feasible. I've had a lot of people reach out and just really developing this initial piece and getting this in place, which we're well on our way.

Naveh Eldar  31:10  
Can you give us some statistics, we know that the numbers are not great when you compare individuals without a disability to individuals with a disability being abused in different ways. But do you have any statistics that you can share.

Nicole Moehring  31:24  
So individuals with a disability are four times more likely to experience violence, then their non disabled peers, which is, I mean, huge. They're 3.7 times more likely to be victims of violence. 3.6 times more likely to be victims of physical violence. 2.9 times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse, and 4.6 times at risk of sexual violence. And that's according to the World Health Organization. I mean, that's disturbing.

Naveh Eldar  32:07  
It's disturbing. And what makes it to me even more frightening, is I would bet quite a bit that this population, individuals with a disability are less likely to report it than people without a disability. So I am sure those numbers even worse than what is being reported. So that's what's the report? That's what we know about, right? But think about you know, the people that are being abused that don't say anything, that maybe they they don't communicate verbally, and something's wrong, and people don't figure it out, like you were able to figure it out. So yeah, those are those are not easy statistics to listen to, you come across to me and correct me if I'm wrong, but you come across to me that, you know, some people do something because they're, they're called to it, right? They're like, this is important. This, you know, this, this is something I strongly believe in, but I get the sense from you that like, it helps you sleep at night doing this work. You know what I'm saying? Like, not that it's, it's something that you are called to do, but like you need to do, is that accurate? Am I off on that?

Nicole Moehring  33:13  
No, you know, it's it's funny, it's kind of twofold, because for years, I had searched for my purpose, and I couldn't figure out what is my purpose in life, you know, I always always happy I worked for, you know, a top 10 company in the United States and had a great job. I was in marketing and in development, and you know, I liked it, you know, but it was a job. I mean, you know, get paid, well paid the bills, you know, but I didn't love it, you know, I wasn't like, get to go to work every day, you know? And, and I always searched for something. And then I actually just wrote my first book, I have to show you, this is my first copy. Yes, I got my proof copy today, I have to, but I talk about in my book, I talk about finding my purpose. And that doesn't come out until my second book, which I just started writing, but I talked about how I never knew what that purpose was. And then, you know, Evan was disclosed in 2016. And I knew I had to figure this out forever. And at first, and then may see my daughter Macy was, you know, sexually assaulted in 2017. And I'm sorry, 2018. And I was like, twice now. And then Evan discloses for the third time that I thought, you know what? God didn't throw this on my lap three times for no reason. And, you know, at this point, I had already done so much research and when I was reading this statistics and looking at all this research, and not just from from a disability standpoint, but just across the board, I never realized how prevalent abuse is at all because let's Be honest, as a society, nobody talks about it, like, like mental health, nobody talks about abuse is another, you know, suicide, nobody talks about these things, hence why they become epidemics. And the more research I did, I became more bothered by it. And whenever disclosed for the third time, or the second time, I apologize, I don't want it to happen again. I was like, you know, what I have to, I have to do something. And I had actually just gone on medical leave for, from my job at that point. And it was a perfect time. And for other reasons, I decided to resign from that position. And this just fit in and I was like, you know, what, this is my purpose. So twofold. You know, for that reason, and then for what you said, I mean, it gives me pleasure, you know, when I get phone calls, saying thank you for helping me or thank you for showing me the way or giving me this advice. That's satisfying to me to know that, with my unfortunate lived experience, I am able to help other people.

Naveh Eldar  36:08  
Last question, and then I have my personal questions at the end. You know, you talked about going from victim to survivor and how you helped Macy and Evan to do that. So I want to know, where are they right now in life? as survivors? Are they working? Are they in school? What's going on?

Nicole Moehring  36:24  
So Evan, it I'll start with Evan, he is in ninth grade, he'll be in 10th grade next year. He is he is surviving, he is just doing so well, I've asked his permission to of course, you know, be able to talk about all this. And, you know, he says, Okay, okay, he's such a little ham, he's like, I'll take all the credit, and he doesn't understand, you know, he does not understand the depth and, you know, the breadth of all this. But he is he's been receiving, you know, psych, psychological health and his psychologist is nothing short of amazing. He has helped him he has been instrumental in his life, we would not be where we are today, if it was not for him. He is thriving in, in such a better place today. So we're, we're definitely on a great road for him. Macy, she is a senior, she graduates in a month and a half, she's starting to fill out the college applications, doesn't know where she wants to go. So she's going to just do somewhere local, which is fine. You know, I said, that's fine. You know, why waste the money on a, you know, somewhere and not really know what you want to do. But, you know, she's doing, you know, part time, you know, helping out with voices of change. She had a job at one of the local apple farm here, you know, but close to us and love that. And, you know, she's doing great, too, you know, seeing a psychologist weekly and very proud of it. She said she's not ashamed of anything, you know, she's trying to help both the disabled community as well, as you know, teens, as I mentioned before, and just couldn't be more proud of both of them. I mean, just yeah. very resilient.

Naveh Eldar  38:06  
So personal question. So we have to talk about your book. So tell us about your book. When is it gone? I saw just recently you posted a picture of it. When is it going to be released? What's it about? Where can we get all that stuff?

Nicole Moehring  38:19  
So my book is my first book is about I am the survivor of domestic emotional, mental and verbal abuse. So it's about surviving through 12 years of an awful marriage. And five years before that, and just you know, the gaslighting, the control the narcissism, he was an alcoholic. So just living through that surviving through that suffering through depression and anxiety and self esteem, low self esteem, low self worth, self confidence. And, you know, my, my reason for writing the book is recognizing how many, not just women, I mean men to deal with these, you know, struggles of the abuse, I did not realize the magnitude of how this happens. So I really just wanted to empower people to know that you don't have to stay. And I never encouraged divorce. That's not what I'm trying to encourage. But if something's wrong, and if you're that badly abuse, I mean, it took me 12 years to get out. And, you know, I mean, I go go more in depth in the book. But you know, and it's about loss to you know, a loss of a child, you know, the heartbreak of that just feeling alone for 12 years and not having that support system for my spouse, and then finding true love than finding my husband and realizing that you can have the life you want to have and I don't go into my kids being abused in this book that's in Book Two, that's finding my voice book to finding my voice. So that that I'm hoping to release Next year, but so this will be available on Amazon. It will either be the last week of April, the first week of May, and I will be putting that on social media. I got my proof today. So we will be my publicist, I have a call with him later. So we'll be putting that out the release date by the end of this week, which I guess is tomorrow. So good luck with that. Thank you. Very exciting. Yeah.

Naveh Eldar  40:25  
It was exciting to get it and hold it.

Unknown Speaker  40:26  
I was I was like, This is mine.

Unknown Speaker  40:30  
Very cool.

Naveh Eldar  40:31  
Yeah. And then the last question, which is, you know, I like to be selfish at least once during my episodes. When we when we first connected, which was a while ago now, right? Like, yeah, we just connected just just really just communicating and talking about different things. And you had no idea I was from Ohio, right from ACC from Akron, Ohio, which is near you, right. So I was wondering, are you guys sports fans? Are you you know, a little bit of hometown flavor in the interview?

Nicole Moehring  41:03  
Um, so I am not a sports fan. I'm a fair weather fan is my husband likes to say he is all in he's all in, you know, browns, calves, Indians. I got that. Right. Right.

Naveh Eldar  41:19  
He needs to come on for this portion. No, I'm joking,

Unknown Speaker  41:22  

Naveh Eldar  41:24  
As long as those teams are in your world

Nicole Moehring  41:27  
My husband actually went to Oh, you so he's a huge bobcats fan. So my house most of it looks like it threw up Oh, you to be my son's room. The basement? Yeah, but I do like golf. I golf. So I am not good at it. But I do golf. So that's kind of my that's probably the only sport I can talk about. And understand. So

Naveh Eldar  41:51  
right. That is hilarious. Look, Nicole, thank you so so much for coming on and being just so honest, you know, especially when in the beginning, when when we were just you were just talking I was just impressed and just enraptured by just how connected you were to your story. You know, it's hard to talk about things that are so sensitive and taboo, to be honest. find links to different content on the call and voices of change 2018 as well as a resource guide in the episode description. Make sure to always report any suspicion of abuse to authorities. Next week, I will be releasing a special episode from my next steps at Vanderbilt intern Andre Carter. Andre interviewed big 12 women's soccer coach of the year, Eric bell. Andre not only conducted the interview, but will complete all sound mastering and editing for the episode to show off the skills he's gained through his semester. Make sure to tune in and support Andre next week. We'll see you that

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