CTAP Graduate Regains Life, Gives BackAfter being raped in her home in April of 2003, Jodi spent almost 2 years in silence, harboring the trauma, while her life slowly began spinning out of control. She quit her job, stopped taking care of herself and just wanted to give up.
It wasn’t until May of 2005, when Jodi was referred to Mount Carmel’s Crime & Trauma Assistance Program by her doctor, that she was able to start regaining control of her life. Mount Carmel’s Crime and Trauma Assistance Program (CTAP) offers counseling, outreach and advocacy services to victims of crime. It is the only program in Ohio that offers professional counseling services to crime victims at no cost to the victim.Whether victims of assault, sexual assault, robbery, hate/bias crimes, domestic violence, gang violence, abuse or homicidal survivors, the goal of CTAP is to promote emotional healing and assist victims in returning to their pre-victimization level of functioning.Jodi began one-on-one counseling with Tammy Moore, a Clinical Social Worker & Counselor with the program. Jodi’s initial meeting with Moore was the first time she was able to fully share her story with a professional and they began counseling sessions 2-3 times a week.
Through the therapy sessions Jodi was able to realize that the rape was not her fault and there was nothing she could have done to have prevented it. “You’re told your whole life what your supposed to do in that type of situation and I didn’t do it. I thought it was my fault because I opened the door, I didn’t fight him off, I wasn’t able to beat him up,” Jodi says. “It was important for me to realize that there was no other response I could have had when he broke into my house, and it wasn’t my fault.”Moore helped Jodi learn how to forgive herself and taught her how to start journaling. Jodi also learned how to use tactile therapy and realized that she was completely disconnected from her body. Tactile therapy helps optimize the information from the brain stem, relax defensive reflexes and open the entire system to an experience of safety from which trust can grow and healthy development can proceed. She also tried music therapy and listened to a lot of angry music to help release the anger she was harboring. A year into therapy she began doing EMDR Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
EMDR Therapy is a trauma specific type of therapy technique to help treat troubling symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in which a trained therapist moves their finger back in forth in front of a client’s eyes and asks them questions. It is often confused with hypnosis and is used to help de-sensitize the client to the troubling parts of their traumatic experience. “The EMDR therapy allowed me to get the traumatic experience out of my mind. It allowed me to reconnect with my body again,” Jodi says.
“Knowing just how important private support is for the CTAP program to sustain, Jodi is now donating monthly to the program through the Mount Carmel Foundation.”The EMDR therapy proved to be a saving grace for Jodi, who was unable to remember parts of the rape from being knocked unconscious. “Once I realized the extent of what happened to me, I was able to move through the pain and I was finally able to articulate.”
Jodi and Moore continued meeting weekly, then bi-weekly, then once very three weeks, and were down to meeting once a month until December 18, 2006 when Moore officially closed Jodi’s case. A closed case means that the client is fully able to function in his or her day to day world at an equal or higher level than before the trauma happened. “In Jodi’s case she was able to utilize strategies we practiced to manage the stress that would occur if something reminded her of the trauma,” Moore says. “And I do believe that Jodi is functioning at a higher level than she was before the trauma occurred.”Jodi proudly refers to December 18, 2006 as her “graduation” day from the program.
“I know it was me who did all the hard work but I wouldn’t have been able to go through the processes without the program and instruction from Tammy,” Jodi says. “Without the CTAP program I wouldn’t have known what to do or how to re-establish my life.”Currently Jodi holds two jobs and has a very active life. She kayaks, is a proud aunt and very involved in her two nephews’ lives and calls herself a social butterfly, a feat that brings her great joy.
In April she completed an impact safety, self-defense course at the encouragement of Moore. The 3-day weekend class taught Jodi self-defense techniques and allowed her to re-birth the rape through the use of a dummy she was able to fight off, helping her to physically get the rape out of her body.Jodi has also begun to speak out about her experience. On February 23 at a Crime and Trauma Program Open House, Jodi stood up at a podium and shared her story with the guests. She has also been interviewed by Ivanhoe Productions, who is producing a story about break-ins and trauma at home.
“At this point in my recovery, I’m no longer a victim. I’m a survivor,” Jodi says. “And I want to use the voice that I’ve found to help others who have been assaulted or raped. I want to use my story to help others.”Stories like Jodi’s are a much-needed reminder of just how big of an impact programs like CTAP have on the lives they touch. The CTAP program is the only free, community based program of its kind in Franklin County and survives through funding from grants, Mount Carmel Foundation and federal funding. In recent years the federal funding for this program has been cut back significantly, forcing it to rely more and more on private funding.
Knowing just how important private support is for the CTAP program to sustain, Jodi is now donating monthly to the program through the Mount Carmel Foundation.“All the services were provided free of charge, so it’s important for me to give back,” she says. “The CTAP program is amazing in the way it helps people recover. Back in 2005, I was ready to commit suicide, but now, I am no longer letting the trauma rule my life because it’s out of my life and in the past. I can’t imagine what people would do if this program didn’t exist.”
“I’m so grateful for the CTAP program,” Jackson says. “It gave me my life back.”