Trigger Warning - Sexual Assault / Rape

James Rabe and Danielle Leukam - Photo by Rabe for TSM-R
James Rabe and Danielle Leukam - Photo by Rabe for TSM-R
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Having a conversation with Danielle Leukam today is much like it was just over a year ago. She's funny, energetic (got things to do!), and eager to tell her story so other people will know they're not alone. But it's also different because she's walked a million miles to help other victims since then and started a non-profit called WISH (We Inspire Survivor Healing).

A year ago on the radio in Rochester, Minnesota, Danielle and I were talking because the man that held her captive, raping her multiple times (with her young son in the next room) was finally sentenced to prison. She was ready to tell her story to the media.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Danielle arrived at the studio right on time, full of energy at 6:55 AM. "Is this early for you?" I asked. "Nope, I'm up around four most of the time, so this is perfect." That's the sign of a person that has a passion inside...in this case, a passion to make sure sexual assault/rabe survivors know they're not alone. You. Are. Not. Alone.

"So first and foremost, I just want other victims and survivors to be aware that they're not alone and there are resources that can help them. You're stronger than you think you are. And I would always encourage people to get the medical help they need and network with other survivors."

She also has something for the general public, "...stop making this a women's issue or a victim's issue. Focus on the cause of of sexual assault, which is the perpetrator."

James - So how do we start focusing on the perpetrators?

Danielle - I was in therapy for a while and my therapist said children that are abused are more often to grow up, to be abusers themselves. So we just need to make sure that our kids are treated well and, you know, learn consent at a young age and learn that they're in charge of their body. And if somebody else is trying to take over their body, that's wrong and they should talk to an adult about it.

James - Is that as simple as something like, "Hey, if I don't know, Andrea doesn't want a hug from Grandpa."

Danielle - Yep. And grandpa should respect that. Or grandma or cousins or whatever.

Click PLAY to hear her on the air, we play games, we laugh, and we have serious conversations, too...because that's real life. Click HERE to see the very unedited automatic transcript.

Want to hear the entire show? Click play.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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People can't resist trying out the selfie ring light. Danielle Leukam - Photo by Rabe for TSM-R
People can't resist trying out the selfie ring light. Danielle Leukam - Photo by Rabe for TSM-R
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Laws Acrss the USA

It's kinda cool to see what laws were passed the year you were born...and to see how things changed over the years.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.