Promoting Wellness: Incorporating Health Care into Advocacy

Title: Promoting Wellness: Incorporating Health Care into Advocacy

Date Recorded: May 7, 2013

Description: Taking care of your health can be a challenge for any woman. Going to the doctor, dentist, staying on top of all the recommended screenings, making birth control and reproductive health decisions—all of these can be overwhelming.

A woman who has experienced violence may find caring for her health even more complicated. Many survivors of violence find it almost impossible to go to the doctor, dentist, or other specialists. They may experience difficulties with the power imbalance, with being physically vulnerable, with the clinical setting, or with the acts of treatment themselves.

In this presentation Olga Trujillo will illustrate through her own experience of violence and coping, how she discovered the importance of becoming proactive in her health care. She will detail the steps that she took with the health care professionals in her life to have them partner with her in caring for her health. She will also share a new free brochure she developed with Futures Without Violence that’s a tool for survivors who access health services. The brochure gives pointers on how to have conversations about abuse with health professionals and strategies to promote healing.

Through this presentation we will explore how advocates and other professionals who work with survivors of violence can assist survivors with this challenge, including through the use of a new brochure. We will also explore how it is that violence and our coping mechanisms make it harder to actively care for our health. We will also examine why it is so important to make sure we do.

Olga Trujillo, JD is an attorney, speaker, author & survivor. Her experience over the past 25 years has been as a private attorney; an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice; a consultant to many local, state and national organizations; a nationally sought speaker and author. Olga is featured in the video “A Survivor’s Story”, a documentary & training video based on her personal experience of violence. In 2006, Olga received the Bud Cramer Leadership Award given by National Children’s Alliance for her work to help professionals around the country better understand the impact of violence on children. Olga has authored a number of articles & publications. Her memoir for New Harbinger Publications entitled “The Sum of My Parts” was released in Oct 2011. She also co-authored a Handbook for Attorneys “Representing Domestic Violence Survivors Who Are Also Experiencing Trauma and Mental Health Challenges” which was released in Jan 2012. Olga currently writes a blog for Psychology Today.