#METOO – It happened when I was 14. He was a deacon of the church I grew up in and still attended regularly. He was well known in the community. He assisted in church and was at some youth group activities. He tried to rape me with my grandmother and his wife in another room of the house. I fought like hell to get away from him as he was literally trying to rip my clothes off of my body. He touched me in places that weren’t for him to touch. His saliva still wet on my shirt after I finally got away from him by literally digging my nails into his hand with every bit of my might. I had never even kissed a boy, yet this grown man in less than 10 minutes tried to take every bit of my innocence away.
I spoke up and told my mom and my grandma only because my grandma heard him scream as I was running away from him and she made me call my mom. From the police to the church, I felt like they made him the victim and I was the perpetrator. His wife said I was lying and that her husband was an honorable man that would never do anything like that. The police and church both asked what I did to provoke it. I felt dirty like something was wrong with me. I started thinking that it was my fault, like somehow or someway I caused it. I stopped going to church for a long time because they still allowed him to attend there. Apparently being a high up deacon at the church somehow made him not accountable for his actions and it made him immune to any repercussions. The 14 year old girl who loved church and was in everything from youth group and Sunday School to Bible Drill and Choir who felt like church was a safe haven and place where she could go to worship God now felt it was a place of pain, destruction, abandonment and lies. I already felt like I didn’t have a voice from the bullying I experienced growing up and this made me close off myself even more from the world. I felt like no one cared to listen. I didn’t matter. This experience caused deep self-hatred for many years and made me resent churches. It took me years to go back to one. This wasn’t my only experience being sexually assaulted or harrassed, but it is the one that had the most impact on me.
I share my story because I want other women to not feel so alone because it can feel really lonely . Here are 3 things I learned from being sexually assaulted:
1.) It is not your fault. Do not let anyone (including yourself) try to turn it around on you. Your body is the body God gave you and someone forcing access to it is them in the wrong. You did not “deserve” what happened to you. You are not to blame.
2.) Your experience can help others (and the process can help you begin to heal yourself). For years after feeling like it was my fault, I refused to talk about it. I hid it deep within me praying and wishing it would just “be erased” from the timeline of my life. It didn’t go away. Not sharing it made it embed even deeper within me and led to depression and self-hatred. When I decided to finally speak up, I found that I was not alone and sharing my story and the release it gave me led to me creating platforms to help other women share their stories (from bullying to sexual assault to overcoming divorce and illness). Everything I have gone through in my life has prepared me for what I am doing now with the #IAmSimplyBeautiful Movement and Fearless Poets.
3. There is life on the other side. In that moment, you may have felt like your life was over and you just wanted to die or for everything to just go away, but you still have your life. Life will continue on. Sometimes you may have to pause and that is okay, but know that this is not the end of your story. God is not done with you yet.
Please #Share this because someone you know needs this and if it is you, know that whether or not you are ready to share your story at this moment in your life, your story matters and YOU matter. You are enough just as you are. I turned my mess into my message and so can you. You are stronger than you know and you are simply beautiful just as you are. Period. Your story is still being written…
#IAmSimplyBeautiful #SexualAssault #SelfLove #YouAreEnough #NotYourFault
DeVon Franklin’s new book, The Hollywood Commandments is THE book for 2017 if you are ready to grow your spirituality AND walk in the purpose God has for you! My princess, Victoria Love, created a special message to DeVon and I am so grateful for his response.
DeVon sent an inspirational message in return to Victoria:
And posted the video across social media platforms:
If you have not gotten #TheHollywoodCommandments yet, Victoria asks, “What are you waiting for?” Head on over to http://www.devonfranklin.com to grab your copy today!
DeVon Franklin has been my “mentor in my head” for a while now as I have yet to meet him in person, but I have learned so much from him that has positively impacted my life. If you don’t know who DeVon is, you are living under a rock. He went from being an 18 year old intern for Will Smith to being an award-winning film and TV producer, New York Times best-selling author, international speaker, and spiritual success coach. Credits under his belt include producing the hit-film Miracles From Heaven which grossed over $73 million at the box office and the best selling book The Wait, in which he co-authored with his wife Meagan Good, that reveals the benefits of waiting and delayed gratification to build a true love that lasts.
One of my favorite interviews DeVon Franklin was with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. It drew me to him because I was at a point in my life where I was just starting to become a public figure and I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t feel good enough. Check out the interview that changed the game for me below helped me to realize that the key to my success is the ability to “stay in my own movie”.
From that moment, DeVon’s words of inspiration and motivation became a daily push to keep me on track for what I have been called to do in my life. When the opportunity presented itself for me to be a part of the launch team of his new book, The Hollywood Commandments: A Spiritual Guide to Secular Success, I knew this would be the opportunity of a lifetime to support someone who has made such a great impact on my life.
I was ecstatic to get to read the book and start applying the principles before the book is even released. When the postman handed me the book, I ran around the house like a little child (I am 30 and sooo not afraid to admit it). The book not only exceeded my expectations, but also gave me the blueprint I need to reach the next level on my success journey.
“When you decide that following your purpose passionately is the most important thing, you break out every skill, every bit of wisdom, and every character strength at your disposal, and you go for it.”
That quote was from the introduction of the book and sets the intention for what the book is about. It is not only for those in the Entertainment industry and in Hollywood, but anybody can use the Commandments in this book to take their life and business to new heights.
Another favorite quote of mine from the book comes from the chapter titled, You Are the Talent.
Leading up to the launch of The Hollywood Commandments on September 26, Devon has been posting videos where he shares some of the principles in the book. A couple of my favorites are below.
I have gained so much from serving on his launch team for this book and I cannot tell you enough how much I have been impacted from this experience.
If you have not pre-ordered The Hollywood Commandments, head on over to http://devonfranklin.com/the-hollywood-commandments/ to grab your copy today and if you are looking for more inspirational videos like the ones above from DeVon, be sure to follow him on social media and visit his website at www.devonfranklin.com.
I will also be doing a video discussing key points that I love about the book in the coming days and will post it on here and YouTube once I do it.
COMMENT ON THIS POST BELOW & SHARE IT ON FACEBOOK! I will be choosing two of you who help spread the word about this amazing book to receive a FREE copy of the book!
I am super excited to report that Ermylou Records released the long awaited Destination EP by New Orleans hip hop artist Lucky Lou today in all Digital Stores.
Jermy Earl Tassin, better known by his stage name Luckylou, is a diverse-genre African American Indie hip hop artist from New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the leader and founder of FNS, and established Ermylou Records in 2010. He also formed the Stomp The Violence Campaign and school tour of New Orleans KIPP Charter schools which is soundtracked by the rappers, “Stomp The Violence” single and video. After releasing a mixtape in 2011 entitled Destine, his debut EP album, Intersection, was released on October 31, 2011. Luckylou over the years since he begun rapping in 2011 has musically inclined and effectively evolved into a entertainment game changer.
Check this video out of him at a recent performance at Pep Rally With A Purpose…
I spoke with Luckylou about the release and he stated,
“My listeners can expect me to get more open about my relationship with Christ, love life, and some excited dance tunes.”
Check out one of the songs from the EP below and go grab it in all digital stores today.
Oh and if you get the opportunity to check Luckylou out in person, it will be an unforgettable experience. I first saw him perform at an anti-bullying event in Baton Rouge a few years ago and his unique mix of dance, thought-provolking lyrics, and spiritually captivated me.
You can catch him live at…
PraiseFest on the Bayou in New Orleans, LA on Oct 22nd
Birmingham, AL on Oct 27th
Hammond, LA on Oct 7th
Gentilly Fest and Oct 7th & 8th
Connect with Luckylou on all social media platforms @4Luckylou and visit his website at www.4Luckylou.com
Justine Damond, a 40 year-old yoga and meditation instructor, was just a few weeks away from getting married. This should have been one of the happiest times in her life, yet it turned tragic near midnight on Saturday when she called the police reporting that she heard a noise in an alleyway behind her home.
According to the New York Daily News, she met the police outside while wearing her pajamas and that’s when things went south. An officer in the police car shot and killed unarmed Damond.
A blonde-haired, white woman is not your average case of police brutality in America, as we have seen unarmed black men and women killed over and over again and not one cop convicted or held accountable for it.
Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, and most recently DeJuan Guillory are just a few of those black men and women who died at the hands of those who were sworn in to “protect and serve”.
Apparently, the police car’s dash camera did not capture the moments that lead to Daymond’s death and the officer’s body camera’s were shut off.
According to KARE, the officer who pulled the trigger was Mohamed Noor, who came to the United States from Somali at a young age and joined the Minneapolis Police Department in March 2015.
Noor’s lawyer, Tom Plunkett, issued a statement.
No details have been given at this time as to why the police felt it was necessary to shoot Damond. She Was known for being a spiritual healer and was from Australia, but had relocated to Minneapolis.
Both of the officers involved are on paid administrative leave which isn’t a surprise compared to the similar brutalities listed above.
A report by NBC News stated that Daymond’s family issued the following statement:
“This is a very difficult time for our family. We are trying to come to terms with this tragedy and to understand why this has happened,” read the statement.
Don Damond, told reporters Monday that he and the Ruszczyk (Damond’s real last name) family were heartbroken.
While families and friends of Damond are looking for answers, people have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts.
Right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of race, gender, or status. This instance keeps reoccurring across the country and must come to an end because too many lives are being taken by those who are supposed to be there to help us, not kill us.
UPDATE The audio transcripts of Damond’s 911 calls have been released:
Share your thoughts below or tag @iamashleyalove with updates.
It was brought to my attention in a Facebook group that I am part of, that Walmart has a wig cap for sale in the color “N*gger Brown”. I clicked the link and sure enough it was right there plain as day.
Walmart has since made the product not available.
@Walmart, what the hell is going on? Do employees even read over the descriptions and approve them before they are LIVE for the world? If not, y’all need to tighten up on that and if so well someone needs to be held accountable because this is unacceptable.
There have been conflicting stories since the news broke early in the morning.
According to WAFB, Channel 9 News (Website):
According to LSP, the deputy responded to an attempted burglary call in the town of Mamou Thursday morning at roughly 4:10 a.m.
When the deputy got to the scene, he found Dejuan Guillory. The release did not say whether Guillory was suspected of committing the alleged attempted burglary.
“Once contact was made, an altercation between Guillory and the deputy occurred,” states a press release. “During the altercation, Guillory was shot.”
Guillory was pronounced dead at the scene.
During the struggle, the deputy was injured and was taken to a local hospital. Officials did not provide details regarding his injury.
The deputy, whose name was not provided, is reportedly in stable condition.
Later in the evening, investigators with LSP arrested Dequine E. Brown, 21, of Church Point in connection with the case. Officials say Brown was with Dejuan Guillory during the incident. She is charged with attempted first degree murder of a police officer and was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail.
Then later today this was released on Pinpoint News:
Mamou, LA- Ville Platte Deputy Paul Holden LaFluer was the officer involved in the shooting this morning.
According to the family, the girlfriend of Deputy LaFluer had been having an affair with Guillory.
Between 4-5am, Guillory and the girlfriend of LaFluer were out riding Guillory’s 4-wheeler to catch frogs; frogging.
It’s reported that the officer sustained injuries in the scuffle that ensued but no gunshot as originally reported. Guillory was unarmed although his fists are considered deadly (fighter).
The family of DeJuan Guillory viewed his body and said that DeJuan Guillory was shot 4 times in the back. They saw NO exit or entry wounds on the chest.
It is speculated by family members that because Guillory has a record and has recently served time for attempting to stealing an ATM, family members believe police said the deputy was there to investigate a burglary.
He’s beloved in the community by all races. All-star athlete, father, and business owner, Guillory fell on hard times and took to crime when he was younger. He turned his life around.
He was seen last night in a good mood from being paid on a big concrete project. His family and friends are speaking out saying he had no need to steal anything.
There is an outpouring of support for him on social media but the local media is not reporting on any details other than him being a possible suspect.
Community members in Evangeline Parish have stressed that their parish has a reputation for being the most corrupt department in the state.
Friends and Family took to DeJuan’s Facebook page to show their respects, share memories and post their unfiltered thoughts on what really happened to him.
Some of the posts…
This evening it was reported by WAFB that Dequine E. Brown, 21, of Church Point in connection with the case. Officials say Brown was with Dejuan Guillory during the incident. She is charged with attempted first degree murder of a police officer and was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail.
Brown’s sister posted on Twitter about the situation:
#BlackTwitter is slowly but surely lighting up with the Hashtags…
Update Saturday, July 8
Dequince Brown’s Attorney spoke out on the case telling Brown’s side of the story including that Dejuan was laying facedown on the ground with his hands behind his back when he was shot four times and she fought the officer to try to prevent DeJuan from execution.
Click here to watch the oh-so-short press conference. Never seen one last a minute and sixteen seconds before… Really?
This is the cop who shot DeJuan:
DeQuince has been released! Update 07/11/2017
As more updates are made known, I will update this page.
Please grab the following graphics, use the #DeJuanGuillory and #JusticeForDeJuan hashtags. Share with news, celebrities, friends, neighbors.
***If you have an update you would like added to this page, tag me @iamashleyalove on social media.
I wrote this last year and it still stands true today —
Ummm…I won’t just sit back and be quiet! The person I was before all this is the person I am today. It took me years to find my voice and I am going to use it to stand for what I believe in. I will not silence my voice to please others when my daughters are looked at differently than I am just because of their skin color, my best friends are black males and my kids father is a black man and I pray for all of them and every other black man and woman in America that they realize #BlackLivesMatter..Period.
Yes, ALL lives matter. I matter. YOU matter. WE matter. BUT until BLACK lives matter we cannot say ALL LIVES MATTER because that is not the truth.
As a white woman, I have no idea how it feels to be black. I can sympathize from what I have seen happen to those closest to me, but I cannot empathize because my skin color is not hated upon every day. They do not watch me closely when I go into a store thinking I’m going to steal something. I don’t get pulled over and shot at just for being me. Although I wasn’t born into the privelidged life and money has always been kinda funny and I’ve had my share of struggles, my skin color makes me privelidged. I don’t have to worry each moment that my father or brother will get shot at the hands of those who are supposed to protect our community. The sad reality of our society is what my three beautiful daughters who I love with every inch of me will face these facts and have to worry (already do) about their father who is a black man and their 3 brothers who are young now, but will one day be black men in America.
Yes, this is a racial problem that started wayyyyyyyy before the last two murders and is happening every day regardless of whether it was videotaped or not. To conquer the hatred we must come together. Killing innocent cops is NOT the answer and there are good cops out there who believe in the oath they took to protect and serve. Each of them has a family and kids that love them and killing them only destroys more lives and makes things worse.
We must join together to start supporting one another and creating positivity in the world and in our communities. It’s action time not sit back and look at social media all day feeling bad time. If you want things to change, then it’s on YOU. And ME. And every other person to take a stand for what’s right. Our country is about to go to war within its own borders and WE are the only one who can change that. Stop talking and start taking positive, intentional action. Go to a rally, but instead of creating a riot protest in peace. Start a black owned business. Support black owned businesses. Eat produce from black owned farms. Stop feeding the pockets of already rich CEOS by purchasing expensive shoes and purses and save your money to get off government assistance. Keep on saving and buy your family a home. Educate those around you and spread LOVE in your own communities. You are the light that your community and family needs. Do not dim your light, but shine brightly for them to see the love, strength, peace and knowledge that you bring to the table to support them on their journeys.
I repeat…I will not silence my voice on issues I believe in just because it makes people uncomfortable. I love everyone and pray for each of you even those who disagree with me.
YOU are enough. PERIOD. Stand in your power to positively affect change in the world and have a blessed day. 💖💖💖