Back in America

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November 24, 2020  

Listen Again: Sheri Kurdakul CEO of VictimVoice tells her story of abuse that started when she was a toddler (with Nov. 2020 update)

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Today is The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

In this episode, first published a year ago, I speak with Sheri Kurdakul the CEO and founder of VictimsVoice an app that provides a legally admissible way for victims to document abuse incidents.

 

Sheri speaks with Back in America about her father’s abuse that started when she was a toddler, her recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD and how she reclaimed her life to become who she is today.

Since I first interviewed Sheri Kurdakul the pandemic has struck and VictimsVoice experienced massive growth.

“The law enforcement officers that I've spoken with have said that while the number of reports has decreased, the severity of the incidents, by the time they do report, they are pretty much at the life or death stage,” says Sheri.

 

She adds, “You have people who probably have lost their jobs, money is tight, the Feeding America saw a double increased need in food distribution, for people needing food. You have people that normally are being watched all the time when their spouses or significant others are home. And now they're forced to be home all the time. So whereas an abuser may have gone to work, or, left the house for any length of time, that was an opportunity for a victim to be able to talk to a nonprofit and put together a safety plan to get out or be able to just have some downtime, where they're not being controlled and abused. They don't have that anymore. They don't have the luxury of having any downtime at all. And if the victim is also employed, now they must act professionally in a space where they're being abused."

Sheri says, “We saw six states between January and February. And then we compared it to March and April. We had six states in the US that had triple-digit percentage increases, Utah saw a 450% increase in usage. And we had over 30 states that had double-digit percentage increases as well. New Jersey is one of those.”

 

For more information about Victims Voice https://victimsvoice.app/

November 12, 2020  

How do you feel about the election? Six Interviews with Democrats and Republicans

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Twenty-four years ago, I was living in Washington D.C. while studying at the University of Maryland. I came back to America in August of 2016, this time with my family. It was just a few months before Trump's election. As I settled in the US and tried to understand why Trump got elected, I noticed how much the country had changed.

I believe that two major crises have determined the shape of what the country is today: the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the subprime economic crisis in 2008.

Then came Trump. A man loved by half the country for being anti-elite, playing tough, and speaking his mind and hated by the other half for pretty much the same reasons. Trump has polarized America and the world at large, pushing what we thought was politically possible. Lies and mediocrity became the new normal.

For a year now, with this podcast, Back in America, I have been exploring and questioning America's culture, values, and identity. In every episode, I ask my guests “What is America?”. Quite often, they say that America is a story, an idea in the making.

By many standards, the 2020 election is historical and will once again help define what America is. The pandemic, the foreign interferences, the mistrust in the democratic voting process, and now the legal attacks against Biden's victory. 

I have asked Americans what they thought of the outcome of the election.

Here they are: 

Jake Hoffman, the president of the Tampa Bay Young Republicans.

 

Mark Charles, an independent candidate who ran in the 2020 Presidential Election who holds dual citizenship to the United States and the Navajo Nation.

https://twitter.com/wirelesshogan

Previous episode https://pod.fo/e/a048d and https://pod.fo/e/a048e

 

Richard Heinberg, a Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, and one of the world’s foremost advocates for a shift away from our current reliance on fossil fuels.

https://twitter.com/richardheinberg

Live Interview

 

David Treibs, a Constitutionalist, Christian, and gun-rights activists from Fredericksburg, Texas.

Previous episode https://pod.fo/e/a2f78

Live Interview

 

Chivona Renee Newsome, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter chapter in Greater NY.

https://twitter.com/newyorkvonni

Live Interview

 

Majid Padellan, social justice warrior, social media expert, Twitter celebrity, an author, a digital designer, and a proud father of 5. His Twitter handle is BrooklynDad_Defiant.

 https://twitter.com/mmpadellan

Previous episode https://pod.fo/e/9f4f2

Live Interview

 

Read the Transcript

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