Tag Archives: I am an activist

I am an activist to end violence against women: Part 3 – The Rape

How has my personal story been sitting with you so far?  My hope is to help you begin your journey of healing shame, and become the activist you desire to be!  Meanwhile, I’m taking a DEEP BREATH.  What I’m about to tell you will help me “Live-A-Brighter-Life.”  This is the vulnerable place that Brené Brown talks about. This is the place where Indrani Goradia encourages me to be brave.

UntitledSo, in the Part 1 blog I slightly touched on my story of being raped as a young teenager.  As a young girl, I was walking tall, confident, and very secure in myself as I entered into the high school scene.  I was involved in all of the sports, highly regarded in my church, played many instruments in our school band, and never broke “the rules.”  My parents were known as responsible and loving people, who were living the blue collar “American Dream.”  But as we know so often, many of these kinds of families are hiding a secret.  Our secret was I had an older brother who was suffering from his own demons of a mental illness and drug abuse.  This was back in the 70’s and 80’s when families rarely talked about their private lives.  As you can imagine, I made sure I was the “good little girl,” and wanted to make sure I never disappointed my parents, my community, or my church.

In my youth, I was taught that being a “good little girl” meant that you should help people, and do the things God would want you to do here on earth.  I thought that was a reasonable request, so I set out doing my best to do JUST that.  I had found and befriended a teenage boy who was older than me, and living in a challenging home situation.  I continued a friendship with him against my father’s wishes.  You see, my parents had some kind of gut feeling about this boy that I wasn’t aware of.  So (on a rare decision to disobey my father) I decided to go to this friend’s house and invite him to church.  This is where my nightmare began, and did not end for 30 years.

Many of you reading this article right now can completely relate to this story.  Certain feelings are stirring up in you, and you can understand the rush of trauma I was experiencing during and after I was raped.  Some of you have been raped, sodomized, or sexually abused in your life.  You know the feelings of guilt, shame, humiliation, denial, anger, confusion, betrayal, uncertainty, and grief about the loss of innocence that was taken from you.  The nightmares have been haunting you for years, and your entire existence revolves around this suffering.  And then the biggest question of your lifetime…. Do you tell anyone what happened to you?

I made it home somehow that horrific day, crept into the shower, and felt frozen in my body.  I made the painfully conscious decision that I could not tell my parents, or report what had happened.  I had disobeyed my parents, and “this is what I deserved.”  I told my best friend at the time, and throughout the years I have felt obligated to tell my partners.  My parents found out just a few years ago about my rape, and even after a 30-year career in law enforcement and private investigations, I could not NAME my feelings about what had happened to me.

UntitledIt’s been almost four years since I received the opportunity to start REALLY healing from my rape.  When I began to tell my story, the grip it had on me began to release.

What story is gripping you tight?  What story is holding you hostage?  I had not been open to therapy…. Ever!  But through the encouragement and help of people I trusted, I began to see a therapist for my PTSD.

At Indrani’s Light Foundation, we encourage our community to reach out to the people they trust if they need help.  In module 4 of the “Live-A-Brighter-Life” workshop series, we teach about “Finding Resilience.”  Indrani teaches that separating and insulating yourself from others is a petri dish for shame.  Brené Brown’s book, “Daring Greatly,” is my new Bible now, and as I continue to teach Indrani’s “Live-A-Brighter-Life” curriculum, I continue to heal my shame.

Part 4 of my blog series is coming up next.  If you’ve been a victim of discrimination, or have ever been shamed or treated differently because of your race, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any other situation, I encourage you to keep following my blog series.  I lost my beloved career because I was a woman, and a lesbian.  I will talk about how I coped with this loss, when the grieving process began, and how I have come to understand this trauma.


With love & light,


I am an activist to end violence against women: Part 2

In Part I of this blog series, I left off with how Indrani Goradia, and the work of Brené Brown changed my life and launched me into the world as an activist. Who knew I could be an activist? Did I really know what it meant to be an “activist.” So first, let’s define the word, “activist.”


An activist is a person who campaigns for some kind of social change. When you participate in a march protesting the closing of a neighborhood library, you’re an activist. Someone who’s actively involved in a protest or a political or social cause can be called an activist.

I don’t know about you, but this is a strong word for me that holds a lot of power and responsibility in the world. I was scared and felt vulnerable to even admit that this word was calling me. Who am I to be an activist? What can I offer the world that can help hundreds, thousands, or even millions of women around the globe. Or, who am I, to help just ONE woman? Well, here are the answers to my questions…. I am worthy, I am loved, and I matter.

Do something for me right now. It’s a very quick exercise. Say out loud, “I am worthy, I am loved, and I matter.”

What feeling, or feelings came up for you when you said those words? I can share with you that I was barely able to get those words out of my mouth, and I definitely felt uncomfortable, and incapable of loving myself. I asked myself, “Where in the hell did this come from?” I love people, I love to serve, I love to take care of others, so why didn’t I give a damn about myself?

amy indraniThis is where Indrani Goradia entered my life in September of 2013. I was at Andrea J. Lee’s, Wealthy Thought Leader Conference in Baltimore, MD ….. and Indrani appeared on the big screen with a personal video message for all of us who were seeking to help end gender based violence. Now, due to my training and experience as a police officer, it was difficult to get me physically or emotionally excited about things. I was good at keeping my feelings hidden, and I certainly didn’t cry unless I absolutely had to. But when I saw Indrani’s face, heard the passion in her voice, and listened to the “call to action,” my heart started to beat rapidly …. I had that fluttering feeling in my chest, and my hands started to sweat. I tried to hold back the tears welling up in my eyes, but they began to stream down my cheeks. It was then I knew Indrani’s Light Foundation was in my future … I just didn’t know when, or how.

10272679_10152456770534048_8792785988925842137_oFast forwarding to 2014, I decided to listen to my inner warrior and become involved with ILF. I signed up and participated in the Live-A-Brighter-Life teleconference class that spring. I was so impacted by the curriculum that I was the first person to sign up for the 2014 Train-the-Trainer Course in Austin, TX.   I became a certified ILF Trainer, and started teaching the workshops to my own community in Portland, OR.

In the Live-A-Brighter-Life curriculum, Indrani includes the work of Dr. Brené Brown. This is where everything shifted for me around my guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment with being a rape survivor, a victim of discrimination, and my bankruptcy. THERE it was all along! “SHAME.” I realized before I could be an activist to end violence against women in the world, I had to practice the four elements of shame resilience that Indrani teaches in her Live-A-Brighter-Life workshop. Brené Brown tells us we need to:

  • Recognize our shame and understand its triggers
  • Practice critical awareness
  • Reach out and connect with people, and own your story
  • And speak about your shame, while asking people what you need from them

Are you asking yourself how YOU can start practicing these things, and begin the journey of healing? Well maybe the “Readers Digest” version of my life story can help you put a plan together and start your work as an activist for women.

Part 3 of this guest blog series is on its way. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear from you and the feelings that came up for you while you were reading this blog. There is no shame or judgment here. You can begin your journey of healing right now.


With deepest gratitude,


Amy Dier
Director of Education & Training






I am an activist to end violence against women: Part I

UntitledI’ve always had a passion for helping women who have suffered abuse of any kind.  Why did I choose this particular passion?  I am a rape survivor.  As a young teenager, I fell victim to an older teenager who preyed upon my kindness of wanting to help him with his “demons” by inviting him to church.  He disappeared after the rape, and I chose not to report the rape to police, or my parents for many heart-wrenching reasons.  I told my best friend at the time, but my nightmares only seemed to get worse.

I did, however, make sure I got into the front seat of a police car as a police cadet soon after I was raped.  I felt safe, and I believed I could help other girls and women if I was a police officer.

As a police officer, I made every effort to handle the domestic violence calls, the reports of Untitledrape, sex abuse, or teenage girls who were being abused by their parent or guardian.  I investigated every case with a fine tooth comb, dotted every “i,” crossed every “t,” and wanted justice for girls and women who cried out for help.

What I COULDN’T do in my 20 years in law enforcement, was advocate for the girls and women who DID NOT, or COULD NOT seek help.  Police officers must remain objective, and are ethically held by the rules of law.  I did what I could to encourage these women and girls to report their abusers, but that was the extent of my power.

UntitledAfter 20 years in law enforcement, I became a private investigator, and working criminal defense cases came with this territory.  After being a defense investigator during these abuse cases, I became acutely aware of both sides of the stories.  After interviewing and representing multiple “alleged” abusers, many of them told me their family history, the abuse they, themselves, suffered as children, and the demons they fought for most of their lives.  Many of these men admitted their guilt and asked for help.  Other abusive men admitted their guilt, but showed no remorse, and believed the woman “deserved what she got.”

UntitledNow that I’m retired from law enforcement and private investigations, I was left with confusing thoughts, beliefs, and judgments, with no clear answer of why men are so abusive to women in our world.  The latest statistic from the United Nations is that 1 out of every 3 women will suffer abuse on this planet.  This is a staggering pandemic.  This means that YOU, or someone you know … a sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, best friend, or daughter ….. has suffered some form of abuse.  Maybe you are the abuser? Maybe you were a victim of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse as a child? Or maybe you are being abused now. Where do you go for help?  Who do you trust?

In the next “Part 2” blog series, I will share how Indrani Goradia, Indrani’s Light Foundation, and Brené Brown came into play for me.  Meanwhile, I’m feeling vulnerable about sharing my story this way, so I’d love some feedback about how this blog is resonating with you.   Do you have a similar story?  Do you have mixed feelings about becoming an activist?  Tell me your thoughts.


With deepest gratitude,

Director of Education & Training
Indrani’s Light Foundation