#skatetofightsexualassault - A film by Made In SLC Productions and #skatetofight, in association with Directive Boardshop, Seismic Skateboards, and Concrete Wave Magazine.
#skatetofight Team Rider and world renowned downhill skateboarder Candy Dungan suffered the unthinkable when she was 18 years old. Over many years, she was able to learn to cope through skateboarding, community, and support from loved ones. Watch hers and the stories of five other female skaters on their journeys to self empowerment and healing. We challenge all of those who see this video to do their part to combat the everyday rape culture in our world, and stand up for the men, women, and children who have fallen victim to sexual assault.
#skatetofightsexualassault - A film by Made In SLC Productions and #skatetofight, in association with Directive Boardshop, Seismic Skateboards, and Concrete Wave Magazine.
It's time to announce our next project!!!
Over the years, we have branched out to help those who struggle with addictions, sexual assault, and even just the challenges of daily life. Although #skatetofight is and always will be our name, we recognise that the core of why skateboarding helps us and those around us through life, is because of the passion behind it. Passions in general are one of greatest healing and strengthening powers to help us get through life.
We recently decided that it was time for us to step up our game in the fight against sexual assault, and so we introduce our new campaign: #skatetofight- Stand Against Sexual Assault
Our first installment of this project will be a video about our team rider, writer, and professional downhill skateboarder Candy Dungan. Candy is a skater from Colorado who rides for Seismic Skate, Hi5ber, Ridersfly, and Shred Rebels. She spent this last year traveling the world racing in the International Downhill Federation Would Circuit, and managed to come out of it with 5th place in the womens category! Candy is an increible person who has dedicated her life to empowering women, particularly those who have experienced sexual assault. She has written articles for Concrete Wave magazine and for us, and is actively doing her part for women and the skate community, by teaching girls to skate and empowering them through the power of a skateboard. She constantly is spreading the stoke, building the skateboarding community, and helping others along the way, and we are so incredibly grateful to have her as part of the team. To view Candy's full story, visit http://www.skatetofight.com/blog/welcome-to-the-team-candy-dungan-and-her-story .
In this video, Candy will talk about how skateboarding has helped her to heal and cope with the experiences she has had in her life, particularly with sexual assault. In this video we will be featuring her boyfriend and professional skater Aaron Hampshire. Anyone who is a part of the downhill skating community knows his name, but for those who don's, Aaron is also a downhill racer out of Colorado, and he managed to snag 3rd place in the IDF World Tour this year. Aaron won the Airing IDF World Cup in South Korea and even just yesterday he won the Soldiers of Downhill race in Ohio. In this video, Aaron will be discussing how men can raise their voices and stand taller against sexual assault. Far too often on this issue, men remain silent, don't fully understand the problem, or consider it to be a "women's issue," when in reality, it is a "men's issue" and a "human issue." This isn't just about women. It's about everyone.
#skatetofight's videos have reached nearly 200,000 people in the past, and we've recieved an overwhelming amount of messages from people worldwide telling us about the impact that we and our writers and riders have had on them. We attribute a large part of this success to Made in SLC Productions, who has handle both of our rider profile videos in the past. To see our last video done with Made in SLC, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tao70ir0BpA . Made in SLC is teaming up with us again for this project, and we are really going to go all out with it. With this video, we hope that we can spread the message even farther and have a truly profound impact on as many people as possible. We hope that with this video, and with this entire campaign, we will bring strength and a voice to those who have suffered from sexual assault, and that we can be a strength in their healing process. Thanks to Candy, Aaron, and our video producers, we know that we can bring out real change in the hearts of many, and we invite you to help us in this battle to Stand Against Sexual Assault.
Visit our kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1688497715/skatetofight-stand-against-sexual-assault?ref=user_menu
Something new has been cooking up here at #skatetofight. We are now working creating our new collaboration line. You may have already seen the Drang Durante, the first board of the series to be released. Designed by me (Beau) and built buy the boys at Drang, it's an exciting new piece of art that can take you down hills real fast.I'll discuss it more in a bit. A lot of the things about our new collaboration series go along with our goals at #skatetofight and help to further us and the companies who help.
The goal that we have with this lineup is simple. Support Local. Support Positivity. Support PEOPLE. All of our boards are going to be designed with graphics by local artists, where possible the boards themselves will be designed by #skatetofight team members. Through this project we are hoping shed more light on what #skatetofight is about while helping local companies in the skateboarding industry. As of right now, we have one board released, and two more in the works with separate companies that will be announced soon. We hope that through this project, word can be spread, help given, and skateboarding can be had. With that, here's the Drang Durante (edit coming soon).
Photo: Damon Shaff
I'm incredibly stoked to announce the addition of Michael Danger to the #skatetofight team, as a writer, rider, and media supplier. Michael is currently living in Salt Lake City and is a huge part of the Utah downhill scene. Anyone who knows Michael knows that he is an absolutely incredible man, who spreads stoke and kindness unlike anyone else. Mike has an incredible story and overall writing ability and I believe he will be an incredible addition to the team, and I hope that having him to post media will help him further help people, and help us help people, someting that he is already incredible at. With that, here is Michael's first article and story.
My name is Mike Danger. My story begins much like so many others. Foster care, adoption, group homes, and juvenile hall. These are things that I have long since relinquished any resentment for, but they are some of the things that set the stage for the story I'm about to tell you.
I was 22 and lived with some great friends in Buffalo. It was quite the bachelor pad really. I'd been set up with two nice machining jobs thanks to family friends, and for the first time in my life, I was financially stable. Laughing at bars with work friends, frisbee golf outings and road trips, stopping by my parents place feeling proud and enabled for the first time ever. At a glance my life seemed pretty ok, promising even. But as the glow of new acquisition and confidence faded, I could feel something taking over. I didn't know it yet, but I was severely depressed.
All the years of bottling my emotions had begun to overflow, and I realized that no amount of material success was going to remedy my wounds. I began to crumble little by little. Bills going unpaid, responsibilities avoided, all in a slow trickle until i felt buried by a landslide of my own shortcomings. I had fully sabotaged myself and manifested all of my internal grief. As much as I tried, I could not find the courage to ask for help. I had beaten my sense of self worth to a pulp. Things were getting dark.
I was drinking a lot and found myself nearly blackout drunk at the wheel more times than i care to admit. Eventually my car was impounded for driving with lapsed insurance. I was humiliated as the cracks began to show, and I didn't know how to explain it to anyone. This is when the fantasy started. I had visited San Francisco when I was 16, and stood at the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge looking down. At the time I had innocently wondered how long it would take to fall all that way to the water. Now it was all I could think about. I quit my job and cashed my last paycheck without telling anyone. The day before I left, I walked to a sporting goods store, bought a hiking pack and some basic supplies. I hid them in the basement to avoid any suspicion from my roommates. In the morning I waited for everyone to leave before getting out of bed. I gathered my pack and some basics. The only comfort item I brought was my skateboard as I walked to the onramp and began hitchhiking. I was on my way to kill myself.
After three days and lots of friendly rides I made it to LA. I had been dropped off on a highway junction and found myself walking towards the big city in the distance. A van pulled over and out jumped a flamboyantly dressed couple. They were self proclaimed Chicano flower children and wanted to know my story. I told them I was going to see family in SF. After sharing dinner with me, they offered to take me to the next onramp. While driving, they told me that the township had just put in a real nice skatepark and offered to take me. I thought why not, and got dropped off there. As I walked up to what was indeed a really nice concrete bowl, a cop briskly walked up alongside me and paused. I froze and stiffened as he said "HEY! You kids get those bikes out of here! This park is for skateboarders." As he walked away, I let out a big breath and had a feeling that maybe I was right where I was supposed to be.
It took me about a week to make it up to San Francisco. All along the way, people had told me about skateparks along the way, so i skated them. I found that skating through the midst of this dark journey gave me moments of clarity. Times where I could think straight, and remember all the people that have stepped up and given themselves to provide me worth. I was starting to remember that I was not alone. By the time I reached the Golden Gate Bridge, I had carved myself into a better place. I walked across the bridge and paused in the middle. I took a moment and felt the breeze on my skin but never looked down. I knew that I was headed for the next skatepark.
Skateboarding did not, and has not cured my depression and anxiety. I don't expect that it ever will. But it did keep me afloat and offer a new sense of hope when I was at my darkest and most vulnerable. I learned that it is important to keep passion in your horizon, and it is ok to ask for help. Surround yourself with those who see the beauty in you, and never ever hesitate to reach out to someone you think might be at risk. We are stronger when we are together. Peace! #SKATETOFIGHT
Our second downhill clinic is being held this Saturday starting at 1:00 in Logan, Utah! Due to potential rain, the event may have to be rescheduled to May 13th, but so far it looks like we should be good! A few reminders, Helmets and Gloves are required. We will provide as many as we can but there's a chance we won't have enough. So if you own any, Please bring them. Second, listen to the instructors. Move for cars, don't cut in front of skaters, etc. The event is also going to cost $10, which includes the ability to use demo boards, rent a helmet and gloves, and gets you a raffle ticket for our prizes. Drang and Gunslinger will be selling boards on site, and homemade gloves will be for sale for $5. Added raffle tickets will cost more, and bringing two friends with you will get you an extra amount of raffle tickets! I'll be posting the location at the bottom of this post. So come out, invite friends, and learn to skate!
We're stoked to announce our second longboarding clinic coming up on April 29th in Logan, Utah! We held a clinic last year where roughly 40 people of all different skill levels showed up to learn how to improve their skating. Experienced downhill skaters from accross Utah come to teach beginners and intermediate skaters how to do everything from pushing and carving to predrifting and tucking. With a fat lineup of sponsors this year, the demo gear and prizes are going to be off the charts! The location of the event will be in the same place as last year, and we will release that location to those who don't know where it is as the event draws closer.
We have two main reasonings behind holding this event. The first, simple reasoning, is to raise money to create a product line and host more events, and also produce more media. The second reason is to teach people how to skate safely. Everyday of my life, as I walk through my college or drive to work or scroll through social media, I see people riding their boards down hills with no safety gear, no real knowledge of their equipment, and no way to stop. It is as a result of all of these factors that we hear news stories of terrible accidents happening to innocent people. This event is held to reduce the number of these accidents as much as possible.
So come on out, win some gear, and learn how to skate safely!
- Intro And A Note From Beau -
I am very stoked to announce that we are welcoming Candy Dungan to the team as our first official Team Rider! Candy is from Colorado, and after following her on social media for a long time and eventually meeting, I saw what a great addition she could be to the team, as we are working to branching out to survivors of sexual assault. I hope that through our partnership we will able to continue to branch out and help more and more people with their challenges through skateboarding and other healthy coping mechanisms.
Candy is also currently working on raising funds so that she can travel the world to race. We're doing all we can to support her, and if you have any money that you feel you can donate to help this great person compete in the 2017 IDF Series, head over to https://www.darkhorsepros.com/campaigns/194 .
- Candy's Story -
When Beau approached me about joining SkateToFight, I thought there couldn’t be a more perfect union. My life’s goal is to empower women - specifically those who have experienced sexual assault. However, I don’t think I can successfully and honestly write about sexual assault and skateboarding without first sharing my own story.
SkateToFight’s message that skateboarding can help those with depression, mental illness, or suffering from sexual assault has been the overlying theme of my life since the first time I stepped on a longboard. Below, you will find my story of how skateboarding helped me 1. find my power again, 2. understand and accept my feelings, 3. cope while going though difficult times, and 4. heal by giving me a way to make a difference in the lives of other women.
So, let’s jump right in.
In July of 2009 I was raped at my high school graduation party by someone I had considered a friend. I blamed myself for being raped... I thought I should have pushed him off harder, and I should have screamed louder. Experts call that “victim-blaming,” and it’s actually quite common. A month later, I found out I was pregnant. My daughter's name is Mona, and she was born on April 15, 2010.
Skip forward to May 2012. I borrowed my friend's longboard to skate around the block, and I fell in love. I bought a $70 no-name complete from ebay that day, and I spent the next 6 months skating almost every day and night. I’d skate to and from my college classes during the day. At night, I’d put my daughter to bed, thank my mother for staying in, and head downtown to skate garages and lit streets till 2 or 3 am.
I didn't know it at the time, but what I was doing was finding my self-power. I was feeling empowered and regaining self-respect and self-love that I had lost after being sexually assaulted.
Skip forward to August 2015 at Central Mass Skate Festival. I had just won 2nd place at my first big race. I beat out many seasoned female competitors, and Emily Pross had complemented me on my skating. I couldn't have been more excited! So when it came to party, that's exactly what I did.
I was playing pool when a fellow skater started hitting on me. He was whispering in my ear and running his hand down my back. I was definitely uncomfortable, but I was nice because I had always been told that's what you do. "It's a compliment, you should be thankful that they're hitting on you/grabbing your ass/etc."
So, when he grabbed my ass, all I did was walk away.
Thankfully, one of my friends saw it. He stood up for me, as did a few other skaters. That's when it hit me - It's not okay.
It's not okay for someone to grab my ass without my permission. It's not okay for someone to sexualize or objectify me. It's not okay for someone to make me feel like the way I look defines who I am. BUT, it is okay for me to stand up for myself, and others, when things make me feel uncomfortable. It was as if a switch had been turned on. I went from living a blind life to feeling completely awakened.
I spent the next 8 months exploring sexual assault, my past, and how it made me feel. I started dating someone new (a skater), who made me feel so loved, respected, and equal. He showed me what a relationship and sex is supposed to be like. For the first time, I fully accepted that I had been raped, that it was wrong, and that it wasn't my fault.
Flash forward to March 2016. There's a nasty custody case going on between my daughter's father (my rapist), my mother, and myself. I felt this was my fault. If I would've had the strength and understanding to report being raped right after it happened, then my daughter wouldn't be going through this now.
It was about that time I came across something on the internet about the statue of limitations being 7 years. It had been 6.5 years since Mona's father raped me. So, I decided to report it for my own peace of mind. I thought, "I couldn't do it then, but I can do it now."
I didn't plan on pressing charges, but, when I went to report it, the police officer encouraged me to see it through. So, that's exactly what I did.
About a month later, I received a phone call from my mom. The detective and two cops had shown up to arrest me. I was being charged with false accusations.
Short term, I wasn't allowed to leave the country. That meant I missed Danger Bay and Jake's Rash, which I had already bought flights too. I also had to turn myself in and spend some time in jail while being processed. I spent hours in a a small, cold room with two benches, one toilet, and two women who were still high on crack.
Long term, the next five months were the hardest of my life. I finally had the strength to report my rape, but I was being persecuted for doing so. I was looking at up to 6 months jail time if found guilty, and - worst of all - my rapist was going to testify against me.
It was during this time that I raced the IDF NorAm circuit. Being able to get out, race, travel, and just skate all the time, was heaven sent. I don't think I could’ve made it through this period without skateboarding. I needed that opportunity to get out of my head, take my mind off the trauma, and just skate.
In August 2016, I saw a forensic psychologist as well as a therapist I had seen once in 2010. Both the psychologist and therapist supported me and my story, so in September of 2016 (one week before my scheduled trial date) the prosecution dropped the charges against me. I was a free woman.
There's only one way to describe how I felt when this happened - like someone who’d been beat, robbed, and left on the side of the road. I was happy it was over, but that didn't help ease the emotional pain and financial burden I had been through.
It's been three months now, and there's only two things that have helped me heal; 1. the empowerment that I personally get from skating big roads with advanced riders, and 2. helping other women find their own self-power and healing through skateboarding.
To help other women, I started the Rad Girls Krew back up. RGK Is a group for Colorado women with an interest in skateboarding. In the matter of months, RGK has grown from about 4 to 20 members. Some of the girls are already skating advanced roads, sponsored by brands, and bringing up their own girls. Being able to make a difference, and visibly seeing the results, has expedited my healing process.
I would’ve never thought I could pick myself up so fast - but, I didn't really pick myself up. Skateboarding picked me up, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Photo #1 by Erin Paul
Headshot by Keala Reeverts
Photos #3 and 4 by Peter Jones
It seems that every day as I get onto social media pages, I see more and more of the suffering that people are going through. Not just of the worldwide news stories, but of my friends, going through struggles I did not know about. Because of the increasing rate that I have been seeing of people who are seriously struggling with mental illnesses, addictions, and many other problems, I saw this as a good opportunity to discuss again why #skatetofight was founded.
When all of this was first conceived, our original goal was to create a community where people could feel safe to discuss their problems and seek help. Some days this community feels like it’s just James and I discussing our own issues, which technically still accomplishes our goal, but then other days as I scroll through my texts with many people I’ve met through helping or seeking help from them on the site and in my life, I see that this community is slowly growing. James and I have both experienced serious, different, and broad aspects of problems ranging from Seasonal Affective Disorder to Major Anxiety and Depression to Substance Abuse and Addictions. My point here is, between the two of us, we understand a lot of the problems that you may be going through, and even if we do not, we can relate to a point and are always willing to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. Although it has been said before, I want to say it again. We are always here, always willing to help everyone and anyone. We want to help, we want to do everything we can to help you endure. Simply email us or message us on our facebook page, and we will be happy to talk with you. We will always offer a safe, judgement free, positive conversation no matter what.
Now I understand that talking to a stranger about difficult, intimate problems can be very difficult to do, and if you don’t feel that you can, I have some recommendations of methods to help keep yourself feeling sane. These are methods that have helped me in the past, currently, and hopefully for the future, that I feel can help others out.
“You gotta swim, Swim for your life
Swim for the music, That saves you
When you're not so sure you'll survive
You gotta swim
Swim when it hurts
The whole world is watching
You haven't come this far
To fall off the earth
The currents will pull you Away from your love
Just keep your head above.”
And to close up and go along with that thought, don’t forget the famous quote by the beloved Dory of Finding Nemo, “Just Keep Swimming.”
This is a video that I discovered a few years ago that I felt like sharing. I am sure that many of you have seen it. I think its message is one that is simple but important: Be nice and smile! We have so many forces trying to bring us down. My challenge to you is to be a force for good that raises people up. This week, look someone in the eye and tell them they are great.
A Safe Community For All
This page was started by people who suffer from mental illness, with the intention of helping any and all people who expereince similar challenges of depression, anxiety, addiction, victims of abuse and sexual assault, and to help those who experience these challenges of life through their passions.