Every girl deserves to feel good about herself and to be defined by her own unique sets of values and accomplishments. No girl deserves to be defined by the impossible standards set by the media, nor made to feel degraded and threatened by someone she cares about.
Jennifer Pollock-Mason, an active volunteer and advocate for HAVEN, resolves to make a difference in the lives of those girls who have been sexually assaulted and who may have a self-identity that is negatively affected by harmful standards for women that are perpetrated by the media. She has a passion for helping young women see their true self-worth. Jennifer is passionate about her work for many reasons but her passion primarily stems from the fact that she can see pieces of herself in the impressionable eyes of those she helps.
Jennifer fell head over heels in love at fourteen. Like a lot of young girls, Jennifer felt like she needed to do anything that she could to keep her first boyfriend happy. Although adamant about waiting to have sex until she was married, Jennifer was coerced into sexual situations and forced to engage in sexual activity. While Jennifer knew this was wrong, she never defined this unwanted sexual activity as sexual assault. Her definition of sexual assault had been formed by what she saw on television and consisted solely of stranger rape. Jennifer stated, “At the time, I truly believed that rape was defined by a woman screaming for her life and physically fighting off her attacker. I did not consider the women such as myself who were too scared to scream out loud, but instead screamed inside.” As a result of her trauma, Jennifer made poor relationship choices, had little self-worth, and struggled with promiscuity. She continually found herself looking for love in the wrong places.
While in college, Jennifer sought counseling for the low self-esteem she continued to feel. At that time she also decided to volunteer for HAVEN. During her volunteer training, Jennifer learned to identify herself as a sexual assault survivor. For the first time, she felt validated. She realized she wasn’t alone and that she could use her training for personal healing. Jennifer has been sharing her story and helping girls and women feel empowered and safe ever since.
Jennifer is married with two young children who are her true pride and joy. She works as a Global Program Manager at General Motors and is an Ironman triathlete. Jennifer will be competing in the 2007 Ironman USA Triathlon in Lake Placid, New York on July 22. This event is particularly special to Jennifer, as HAVEN will serve as her beneficiary for the event. She is dedicating her 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2 mile run to all of the women she loves and tries to help.
Facts About Sexual Assault
HAVEN is a nationally recognized non-profit leader in Oakland County and surrounding communities providing comprehensive solutions and innovative programs that promote violence-free homes and communities.
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