Public Relations Archives - Cavalry PR
Public Relations, Crisis Management and Legal PR in Los Angeles and across the United States.
Public Relations in Los Angeles, Crisis Management, Legal PR. Amplify Your Intelligence.™ Cavalry PR of Los Angeles. PR for Startups. Law Firm Public Relations, Corporate PR. PR for Startups. Santa Monica PR.
archive,tag,tag-public-relations,tag-82,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-2.2,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.5.2,vc_responsive

For A Broken-Hearted Sister, Need for Counseling Took a Backseat to Trial of the Century


There were two traumas that destroyed my psyche two decades ago – the loss of my older sister and the outrageous trial that followed.

We will never get over the loss of Nicole, but I could have emerged much less traumatized by the trial if I had excellent counselors who understood what we were going through.

But it was a different time. Everybody, including myself, was too focused on the Trial of the Century. There had never been this big of a trial before. The government wasn’t prepared to deal with all of the defense team’s maneuvers and antics—much less the crisis’s impact on the victims’ families.

Through the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, my family was assigned a victim-witness advocate who was compassionate beyond belief and who played a crucial role for my family during the court day. He escorted us from the DA’s office to the courtroom, protected us from the prying media, helped us understand the system and provided us with community referrals and counselors who could help us heal.

Trials are very dynamic and it is a different type of exhaustion. In fact, it can be a greater exhaustion than the crime itself because you are trying to understand something so foreign and confusing in the midst of your emotions. You are so emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically fatigued that even trying to comprehend the system can become incredibly overwhelming.

So, the advocate took that pressure from us and helped us navigate through the chaos of the Trial of The Century. I truly am so grateful to him. He is still in my heart.

However, looking back now, two decades later, there was something missing: A friend, a liaison, a coach.

I needed alternative means of support beyond our court advocate – someone to help me transition from a day of court proceedings to my regular routine in my personal and professional life.

Sure, the DA’s Victim Witness Program gave me a referral for a local therapist, but the counselor was more focused on the case and my sister’s children – the youngest survivors of the victims – than on my mind and all the pain that occupied it.

That neglect left me disenfranchised with therapists in general. So when the trial ended, I never reached out to anyone. I held everything in.

That didn’t work out too well.

As I documented last year in my book, Finding Peace Amid The Chaos, because I had no skills to manage the chaos, depression, anger, and hate that festered inside of me, I wound up for several days as a psych patient in the local hospital.

It sounds rough, but that was a key turnaround point. I finally started learning how to deal with my pain.

In the months and years that followed, I kept learning about counseling and psychology until I found myself with a graduate degree in counseling psychology, although my life experiences have given me far better training to help people in crisis than any degree on my wall.

Today, as a speaker, coach, author and member of the Cavalry PR Crisis Management Team, I make up for the wrongs of the past. Where there are murder cases that are so high-profile and chaotic that the victims have no one in their corner who truly understands what they’re going through and who truly knows how  to help, know that I am here. And I am with you.

Madyson Middleton slaying a painful reminder that we need to do more to protect children



Once again my stomach knots up and the awful memories return as I read about  another senseless murder of an innocent child.

This time, it’s 8-year-old Maddy Middleton. I feel her parents’ pain and I know every moment of everything they’re feeling, because I had the same experience 20 years ago.

On Aug. 7, 1995, my 10-year-old son, Christopher, went missing from our small village of Aroma Park, Illinois.

As the authorities and volunteers searched,  my entire being was consumed by pain that I couldn’t stop no matter what I did. I kept thinking, “When am I going to wake up?”

When Christopher’s badly decomposed body was found, blessings were the last thing I could ever think of.

Once that all consuming grief began to subside, I knew that I couldn’t just sit and wallow in self pity.  I was angry that my son had been taken in such a violent manner.  Then I realized that anger is a powerful energy. And so I decided to redirect that energy into something positive.  I needed to find blessings within this catastrophe.

The blessings have come in the way of learning the statistics of missing children and what needs to be done to protect them.  I chose to create a nonprofit organization:  Christopher’s Clubhouse.  We provide safety education and prevention programs to children, families, teens and women.

Also this year, I teamed up with Cavalry PR, an agency that shares my vision. Together, when crisis strikes, we provide our clients with a broader range of services than they’re going to find anywhere else — not only helping them manage and share their story but also helping them as individuals desperate to have someone by their side who truly understands what they’re going through and who has the background and the resources to help them in myriad ways.

The majority of us go about our daily lives believing that all is well in the world.  We are saddened to occasionally hear about the missing or murdered child, never hearing about the other 800,000.  We have faith that our ‘system’ will take care of the offenders and absconders and believe that it will never touch our lives.  Most of us feel very blessed, we have a roof over our head and food on the table.

I am blessed that I have the strength to move forward and work to better our communities for our children.  I am blessed that, after catastrophe touched my life, I was able to redirect that anger into relentless advocacy for children and for victims.

But on days like this, when I’m thinking about how Madyson Middleton’s body was discovered in a Dumpster in her own neighborhood in Santa Cruz, not far from where she was last seen riding her scooter, it’s tough not to be angry. These tragedies have to stop.

As a society we have to work together to turn our anger into positive energy to protect our children from predators and teach them how to protect themselves.