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Making An Unexpected Impact (or Sgt Landrith is Still Serving) PDF Print E-mail
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Rape, Sexual Assault and Abuse
Written by James Landrith   
Tuesday, 03 February 2015
Sometimes, especially when you write on difficult issues like sexual violence, you wonder about the positive to negative impact ratio. There is soooooo much hate attached to telling your story publicly, while there are many survivors who benefit by feeling validated and less alone. Sometimes you make a much bigger impact than you could have ever anticipated. This is one of those times.

In addition to being a rape crisis worker and Vice President of Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma, I am also a vocal survivor/RAINN Speakers Bureau member and occasionally interviewed for media stories. In 2013, CNN did a story about my own experience as a survivor and Marine in 1990. I was on active duty when it happened, but I did not report it as in 1990, male survivors had almost zero support and I likely would have been forced out or even disciplined myself. I found out recently that the Marine Corps is actually using my experience from the CNN article as part of their Marine Corps Leadership Development program for their Bystander Intervention training under the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training program. 

It was a bit overwhelming when I found this out recently. My inability to seek help in 1990 may actually educate a new generation of Marines in 2015. Speaking out is hard and shaming is very prevalent for those of us who go public. I know that all too well. To see that it makes a difference, helps to put into perspective the backlash and ugliness we experience as speakers and advocates.
Changing minds is real work and takes time. I am humbled to have been able to make a contribution to improve the service that was not there for me in my time of need. 

Guided Dicussion - Bystander Intervention

The article adapted for the training:
CNN: Against His Will Female on Male Rape

Marine Corps Leadership Development website

If you are a speaker as well, you have my utmost respect. I know what you know about the price we pay.
Landrith survives, urges others to heal PDF Print E-mail
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Press and Government Mentions
Written by Austin Koeller   
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 


By Austin Koeller
News/Feature Editor, The Antelope 

Guest speaker, James Landrith, shares his testimony of his unforunate experience of over coming and accepting being a part of the rape survivor community.

Guest speaker, James Landrith, shares his testimony of his unforunate experience of over coming and accepting being a part of the rape survivor community.

It was 18 years before he finally saw a therapist and took charge of his own healing. Like other rape victims who survive the terror of rape, the victim at first didn’t know how he could talk about it.

After a night of drinking, 19-year old James Landrith lies down, terrified of what is to come. The pregnant female friend of a friend is on top of him. As Landrith tries to get up from under her, she accuses him of trying to hurt her baby.

“Don’t be forceful,” she says.

“I was disoriented,” Landrith said. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. At that point, I lay back, and I started to dissociate.”

When he wakes up, he realizes he had been raped — by his friend’s female friend.

On Thursday, Dec. 4, Landrith told his story to students and members of the Kearney community in Copeland Hall. The “Against His Will” presentation was sponsored by the UNK Women’s Center and the UNK Interfraternity Council as part of National Male Sexual Assault Week.

“I’m a father, son, brother, Marine Corps and Gulf War veteran, an Internet publisher, commentary writer and human resources professional,” Landrith said as he introduced himself to the crowd. “I’m also a rape survivor.”

In 1990, 19-year-old Landrith was stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in the Marine Corps.

One Friday night, he decided to meet up with a friend and a female friend of his friend to “listen to music and relax.” After being ditched by his friend, Landrith agrees to take his friend’s friend home at the end of the night. The plan, he said, was to drop her off at the end of the night and then go back to the base. However, the night did not go according to plan.

“As the night went on, she bought me a couple drinks,” Landrith said. “The last couple drinks left me a little disoriented. I didn’t really know what was going on.”

Since he was too drowsy to drive home and the club was in on a lot next to a motel, Landrith and his friend’s female friend got a room with double beds for the night.

He said, “She gave me a glass of water, said to go ahead and drink it and that I would feel better,” Landrith said.

He then fell asleep quickly. When dawn approached, he looked up and realized that he was lying in bed with the woman on top of him. As the events unfolded, he later realized that he had been raped by his friend’s female friend.

“I didn’t know how to talk about what happened to me,” Landrith said. “I didn’t know how to classify it. I knew that men weren’t supposed to talk about it; men weren’t supposed to think about it.”

Landrith said that he had to bury the rape, put it in the back of his head, and pretend that it didn’t happen. He kept this buried for 18 years.

In 2008, he decided to be let out the truth of what happened him.

“I was having trouble sleeping; every time I saw a pregnant woman it bothered me,” Landrith said.

After having a conversation with a co-worker, he finally came to realize and admit that he had been raped.

Following that conversation, Landrith went to see a therapist.

“I didn’t know how I was going to be treated when I walked in,” he said. “The first thing I did was I got assigned. I sat down in her chair, and it felt like the world was ending. I didn’t know what was going on. She said I was having a panic attack.”

For 13 weeks, Landrith was in therapy, learning how to breathe and to cope with what had happened to him.

“It felt like a Band-Aid had been ripped off,” Landrith said of talking about the incident for the first time while in therapy. “Everything was fresh again. I never focused on it. I never thought about it, I never dug into it to deal with it.”

Upon going through therapy and as a result of his experiences, Landrith decided to focus on sexual violence issues and help other survivors.

He is currently an active member of the speaker’s bureau for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), is a speaker and trainer for the Survivor’s Caucus of the Virginia Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Action Alliance and serves as section moderator at Pandora’s Aquarium, one of the largest online mixed gender communities for rape survivors.

To survivors of rape and sexual assault Landrith said: “Your journey is your own. You call it what you want to call it. You decide to get help when you want to get help. You have to be in charge of your own healing or it’s not going to work.”

If you are a student who has survived rape or sexual assault and are seeking help, the UNK Women’s Center is a free, confidential resource. The UNK Women’s Center is located in the Memorial Student Affairs building. They can be reached by calling (308) 865-8279.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 31 January 2015 )
UNK presents ĎAgainst His Willí on Thursday PDF Print E-mail
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Press and Government Mentions
Written by Josh Moody   
Tuesday, 02 December 2014

Abuse not just women’s issueUNK presents ‘Against His Will’ on Thursday
 Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 12:03 pm | Updated: 12:06 pm, Tue Dec 2, 2014.

KEARNEY — The tragedy of domestic violence and sexual assault is not just a women’s issue — it happens to men, too.

Titled “Against His Will,” the event is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. in Copeland Hall Room 142.

As part of Male Abuse Awareness Week, which runs through Monday, The Women’s Center and Interfraternity Council at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will bring speaker and sexual assault survivor James Landrith to campus Thursday as part of an event that aims to break down stereotypes and empower survivors.

“We wanted to bring him in to highlight that these kinds of things happen to men, too,” said Emily Fierstein, a graduate assistant at The Women’s Center. “People don’t realize that it can happen to anybody.”

Landrith said he believes his experience as a survivor of sexual assault has provided him with a voice to help others.

“It helps to hear from somebody who has endured it personally,” Landrith said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C.

At UNK, Landrith will discuss stereotypes of male sexual assault and victim shaming and blaming.

He also hopes to empower sexual assault survivors who may be in the audience.

“I’m trying to talk to the people who need encouragement and need more information,” Landrith said. “Sometimes, they just need to hear that they’re not alone.”

Landrith said male survivors of sexual assault often are shamed by others for not being able to prevent the assault or blamed for putting themselves in a position that led to the assault.

“The same people who are invalidating female survivors are also invalidating male survivors, they’re just using a different excuse to do it,” Landrith said. “These biases or ideas generally go unchallenged unless they can actually meet with somebody or hear from somebody firsthand.”

Landrith said that he speaks at three or four colleges each year on the topic of male sexual assault.

While he encouraged sexual assault survivors to attend Thursday, he cautioned those in attendance to think about their own self-care after the event because of feelings that may be triggered by the topic.

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Interview with Author and Poet Joey Renee PDF Print E-mail
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Books, Poetry and Short Stories
Written by James Landrith   
Thursday, 23 October 2014






Interview with Author and Poet Joey Renee


by James Landrith




James: I'd like to open up by asking you a few questions for the readers. Can you tell us about yourself and your background?


Joey: I was born and raised in Washington DC. I grew up in South East and Northeast where I attended public schools. I grew up with four sisters in a house where my parents were together, they still are. We weren’t rich or anything in fact now that I’m much older I realize that we were more than likely poor but my parents did a fantastic job of keeping that out of our sights. They taught me love and survival. I’m most appreciative of that. I am second to the youngest and have always been very protective of the people I love. I began writing at 11. That was the age I began writing poetry but my relationship with the written word began much earlier in life. I always loved reading and being read to. I always was the kid with their hand up ready to read aloud to the class. Whenever the teacher or my mom would read to us I’d be the kid interacting and smiling from ear to ear with excitement.




James:  From speaking with you on a few occasions, I know you are passionate about writing. Can you tell me what inspired you to become a writer?


Joey:  A lot of things aided in the idea to become a writer but what made me decide to make it a career was an incident that happened one night I was upset. I always would write poetry to express myself so I was ritual. So I sat at my old fashioned box screen computer and I received an upsetting phone call. In reaction to the call I threw my binder across the room, the same fan that cooled my small room that at the time had no air. The binder opened and the fan blew pages from that binder across the room. At that very moment I realized I had so many poems; enough to write a book. It was the beginning of everything that has come to pass and everything soon to come.



James:  Let's talk about poetry for a moment.  Poetry has always been one of my favorite types of writing to experience. I write myself and read it often.  I've recently read your first book, Love's Untold Story: Book 1 and really enjoyed it.  You've previously told me that you've been writing poetry for years.  Poet to poet, can you tell me what is it that attracts you to poetry?




Joey:  Poetry is my first love. I like the freedom of it. It has a few platforms but it doesn’t have to be categorized and placed in a refined box.  I love the expressiveness of it. To me poetry is real its emotions at its most raw and unscripted place. Poetry makes you feel alive in many ways its romantic, it’s raw, it’s cunning, it’s whatever you want it or need it to be. Poetry is the one form of writing that not only gives to the world it gives to the writer. It gives the writer a chance to put it all on the table and all on the line. It’s writer’s therapy



James:  Tell us about your favorite authors and books.  What about those books and authors make the special to you?


Joey:  Oh I love a lot of authors and books. One of my favorite books is called Genesis Code. It is a great book. The plot starts out as simple as a homicide and builds to an explosive plot regarding a conspiracy to kill children that were conceived by fertility clinics that used Jesus relics. It is one of my favorites because it was a great book even at the beginning which gave the plots twists and turns worth every page turned. Another good read of mine is a science fiction book called the masque. It is an older book but to me it still holds up to technology standards of today which is quite epic considering it was written perhaps twenty years ago. I love all genres of fiction. From urban novels to fantasy, graphic novels I’m a huge comic book fan. I love thrillers, erotica. You name it’s a good chance that I have or will read it. Currently I’m reading a series called The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A Barron. I’m currently reading book three. I’ll have to say that is my favorite author at this time. I’m sure I’ll have another name to add when I move on to my next series of books. I’m a fan of Maximum Ride as well. It’s a good action packed fantasy series; each book adding to the prior book’s awesomeness. The two books in my life that are special to me are childhood classics. “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and “The Hungry Caterpillar”. I made my mom read them over and over. I will always love those books



James:  Let's talk about Blurr.  I've been enjoying the book and the metropolitan DC setting for a good portion of the story.  As I've lived in the area since 1992, I can truly feel the city within the pages.  What motivated you to tell this story?


Joey:  Well my idea started as me wanting to write a book about super heroes. Then I was like no I don’t want to go to war with Marvel. So I decided that they could have that. Plus I wish I could draw like the artists they have. Then I went with a fantasy novel concept. I drew up an entirely different first draft. It was okay, but it was mostly random concepts and ideas. It wasn’t until I went into research mode that I found a website full of mythical creatures that an idea started to form. My main goal was to steer away from clichéd monsters and creatures. I wanted something unique, something that had a story to be told. I came across these creatures called Blurrs. They were said to be demons but no one could get a picture of them to honestly give them clarity as to what they truly were. It was then that I decided it would be fun to take a creature with little information or research for an origins story. This aided in my decision for them to be neutral beings.  And thank you! I threw a lot of that DC flavor in there for my fellow Washingtonians.


James:  Is there an underlying theme or message you are conveying in your writing?


Joey:  The message is that no matter how damaged or lost you think you are you can find your way back.  Keep believing and you will be granted favor to find that which is lost. No one is ever too gone or too lost. Ever….







An excerpt of Joey’s fantasy novel “Blurr” is reprinted below with the author’s kind permission.  I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I have since picking it up!











My ride home from work was awkward. I always fall asleep on the train but I never have dreams. Even when I go to sleep for as far back as I can remember. I’ll drift off to sleep and wake up with no recollection of a dream. When I sat down in the corner seat and got comfortable that is when the weirdness began.


The daydream took place in a dank and dark, shadow casted forest. It was hard for me to pinpoint a time and location of where I stood. Everything I’d laid eyes upon was unfamiliar. The fragrances in the air were alluring. Large rolling hills held tiny shack like buildings. Everything seemed of older times but had an almost modern twist to it. The air smelled like fresh baked bread. Natives of the land were roasting chicken and other livestock on an old school turnstile made of tree branches. Their clothes were scraggly, torn, and made of natural materials. It almost appeared as though they made their garments themselves. I walked to the top of one out of several dirt hills. The dirt hills trailed through an exotic forest. The trees and bushes were unlike anything I’d ever seen or read about. I was no expert but they were rare and beautiful.  Natives had many small stands where they sold crafted items. There seemed to be a whole lot of handcrafting going on in this town. I was almost certain that I was in some kind of Amish town. Their skin tones were a variation of colors but every person looked as if their skin was kissed by the sun. I walked through a path that led to a large wooden house within the woods. The trees were tall and peculiar. They were fruitiferous and umbriferous offering much exotic fruit and shade. It was paradise like. Some of them looked like a mix between palm, pine and oak trees. While others I couldn’t discern. The bark looked like sturdy bamboo. The trees were so tall and the leaves were only at the top of the trees. I could not help but to wonder what kind of furniture they could make from such exotic looking trees. The plants were interesting as well. They were vivid and multicolored. Each flower and plant glistened and glowed like they were watered with pure liquid gold.


As I walked down the brick red stone and dirt path staring at the most unique collection of botanical gardening I’ve ever seen, I walked into a mysterious woman of slender build. She appeared to be in her late twenties, with long, wavy, brown, tresses. Her eyes were so hazel they seemed almost transparent. And her skin was a flawless caramel complexion. She was beautiful. She looked as though she was in a hurry or running from someone. Before I got the time to ask if she was okay she told me to follow her. I was reluctant at first but she appeared to be harmless so I went with it. Plus, she could have snuck up on me if she really meant me harm.


The woman led me to the old rustic house I saw from the top of the dirt path. The beauty of the gardens perished as we grew closer to the area surrounding it. Trees and plants were limp and lifeless in appearance and color. Even the house had a creepy and shadowy cast over it.


I looked to the woman and said “What is this!? Where am I!?”


Before she could respond I was awakened by an announcement of the next stop over the train’s speaker system. “Eastern Market, Doors Opening” I sprang to my feet and ran off the train before the automated voice said “Doors Closing”.


Later on that night I couldn’t shake the feeling of that daydream. Everything about it felt so real. One minute I’m completely aware of my surroundings. Then the next minute I was completely engulfed in another world. So many things stood out and felt so real. The smell of the fresh bread and roast was unlike anything I’ve ever smelled, and I’ve smelled a lot of fresh bread. Every sandwich shop and bakery makes fresh bread, especially downtown where I work. However, the fragrance was different. It was so sweet and light. It didn’t smell strong and heavy like it does in the city. It was so tantalizing I wanted to taste the air. I could not only smell the bread cooking I could smell the grains and oats they were made from.


Thinking about the bread got me nowhere. I needed to get it together. It was difficult finding some kind of meaning to the dream. Being as though I never had one before, I didn’t really know what to make of it. My curiosity led me to thoughts of that house. What was up with it? It seemed so dark and shadow casted. Why would that woman try to take me there? She didn’t seem like she wanted to hurt me, but that house was so creepy I wasn’t too sure. The hairs on my arm stood up at the mere thought of it. I needed to shake the chills off and relax. I was sitting in the house freaking out about nothing. I washed my worries away in a steaming hot shower and nestled in my bed for some much needed rest. 

Last Updated ( Friday, 24 October 2014 )
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