Image: Rachel is smiling at the camera while sitting at a plain desk in front of a green background. She has brown hair pushed back with a multicolor headband and is wearing black-rimmed glasses with a red shirt. Her elbow rests on the table and a hand props up her chin. In the background to the right are books on green metal shelves.
Contact Rachel: rdlitchman at yahoo.com
Rachel is a writer, artist, and student studying creative writing and sociology in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a queer, physically disabled survivor of childhood sexual abuse living with dysautonomia and post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2017, she participated in The Voices and Faces Project “The Stories We Tell” workshop which led her to speak and write publicly about her experiences with sexual abuse in a psychiatric facility as a child. This experience, as well as the trauma of repeated institutionalization and forced medical treatment throughout her adolescence, continue to shape her advocacy for the rights, compassion, and love that all disabled people deserve. Through her writing and art, Rachel hopes to spread awareness of the pervasive but largely silenced nature of abuse, sexual abuse, and institutionalization of disabled people, as well as visibility for not rare, but rarely diagnosed diseases.
I write and have written personal essays and op-eds about family, homelessness, and food insecurity, though I wrote about these topics under a pseudonym for safety reasons. I am happy to be contacted to write about these topics in the future, though I likely will ask to write under an abbreviated name.
You can find Rachel on Twitter @litchmanr
Rooted in Rights, July 2018: We Need to Break Through the Silence on Abuses of Institutionalized Children
Columbia College Chicago, May 2015: Reflections on Trauma, First Place Winner in Nonfiction
Anomaly 25: Was It Practice?
Rachel is available as a source and for personal essays and opinion editorial
Additional communication availability: Phone, Text, Chat, Videoconference