Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pro Wrestler Now Fighting Against Sexual Violence

Mick Foley, pro-wrestler, just wrote a new memoir (his fourth!). His favorite chapter is about how he started listening to Tori Amos, and the place that her music had in her life. Tori Amos, it turns out, co-founded an anti-sexual assault group called RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network) in 1996. After meeting Amos in person, Mick Foley decided to get involved. Very involved.

Not only to all of the royalties from the new memoir go to combatting sexual assault (50% to RAINN and 50% to Childfund, giving financial support to survivors in Sierra Leone), but Foley has given much of his time and his face to the group. He volunteers weekly with the group's anonymous internet hotline and is on the organization's National Leadership Council. He's gotten a lot of press for the new book, and the wrestler has used every interview as an opportunity to talk about the RAINN and the fight against sexual violence.

Foley wrote an article for Slate, posted today, that talks about all of the things above (it should be noted that he's a very good writer). You can also read his blog to hear more. Here's some highlights about his involvement with sexual assault activism:

" I'm thankful for everything Tori has motivated me to do inside, and especially outside, the wrestling ring. For many years, I had thought of the fight against sexual violence as one best waged by women and survivors of assault. But then I heard that voice one night, in my beat up Chevy minivan, on my way home from some other road trip I can't recall. "When you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do?"
Since February, I have been a weekly volunteer for RAINN's online hotline, doing my best to help victims of sexual violence piece together their lives. Last week, I was named RAINN's volunteer of the month. It's a tremendous honor, and it's amazing to think that it might never have happened if I hadn't heard that haunting voice in the back of Maxx Payne's car. So many years after that first listen, Tori Amos still inspires me every day. Most of all, she still convinces me to believe that I'm strong enough to do the things I already know need to be done."