I, Survivor-logo

I, Survivor


Women get assaulted. Women get attacked. Women get harassed, manipulated, intimidated, but women are survivors. Time and time again, she persists, even against all odds. Hosts Jenna Brister and Wagatwe Wanjuki share their stories, and those of the men and women who fought back, who won, and who live rising above the trauma of their experiences.

Women get assaulted. Women get attacked. Women get harassed, manipulated, intimidated, but women are survivors. Time and time again, she persists, even against all odds. Hosts Jenna Brister and Wagatwe Wanjuki share their stories, and those of the men and women who fought back, who won, and who live rising above the trauma of their experiences.
More Information


United States




Women get assaulted. Women get attacked. Women get harassed, manipulated, intimidated, but women are survivors. Time and time again, she persists, even against all odds. Hosts Jenna Brister and Wagatwe Wanjuki share their stories, and those of the men and women who fought back, who won, and who live rising above the trauma of their experiences.




Tested to the Limit

When Consolee Nishimwe was 14, the Rwandan Genocide ripped her country and family apart. She hid out in bushes, attics, and she survived. She shared her story with us and inspired the hell out of us. The Rwandan Genocide is a big and terrible topic that we couldn’t fully explore in this episode, so do ya homework and learn more about it to fully appreciate Consolee’s journey. Links from Today’s Episode! Read Consolee’s book! You can also follow her on Twitter for more. If you want more...


My Husband The Sociopath

When Michele Simms was 23 she met the man she married. He was a sociopath and she couldn't escape. It took a stay in a really unlikely place for her to find the strength she needed to get out. Reminder that mental illness is not your fault, nor is it a reflection of your value. Asking for help or taking medication to manage your symptoms is not weakness and admitting you are not okay is not a failure. Links from today's episode: How to Spot a Sociopath Are you the target of a...


Introducing Imagined Life

What is it like to be famous before you’re famous? What is it like to walk in the shoes of another person? Each episode of IMAGINED LIFE takes you on an immersive journey into the life of a world-famous person. It’ll be someone you may think you know, even admire -- or maybe the opposite. You’ll get clues to your identity along the way. But only in the final moments will you find out who “you” really are. So sit back, let go, and -- imagine your life. Subscribe today at...


Not Today, Dogs

Cat Crow was on vacation in the Italian countryside when she was attacked by wild dogs. When she got to the hospital a new set of horrors was waiting for her. Links from the episode! Rabid or just plain dangerous? Know the difference. Wagatwe is sending out a weekly newsletter! Check it out. You are also supporting this show whenever you support our advertisers, like Ritual. Visit Ritual.com/Survivor to start your ritual today.


Surviving Dr. Death

The Texas medical system failed to protect 33 patients from Dr. Christopher Duntsch. Philip Mayfield was one of the survivors. We spoke to Laura Beil, host and reporter of the podcast Dr. Death, about the story, Duntsch's victims, the survivors, and the institutional betrayal that occurred all across Texas Links from the episode! Listen to Dr. Death if you haven’t. The story is wild! Institutional Betrayal - Article by Dr. Jennifer Freyd And, you can support this show by supporting our...


How To Lose A Husband In 10 Weeks

We’ve never told Jenna’s story on our show, so here it is: she’s part of the First Wives Club and survived an abusive first marriage. Did you know that more than 10 million people each year are victims of intimate partner violence? We’d also kindly like to remind people who ask survivors, “Why didn’t you [verb] sooner/earlier/fight back?” to eff right off. Links from today’s episode: CNN has your DV stats and a timeline of legislature related to DV in the US Jenna’s on Twitter if you’re...


Introducing Sold in America

Listen to Sold in America wherever you listen to I, Survivor.


Covert Affairs

Paul Gilmartin, host of the podcast Mental Illness Happy Hour, survived covert incest. It’s especially insidious because there’s no physical contact, but the emotional damage is very real. Paul has dedicated his life to his recovery, and regularly talks about depression, addiction, anxiety, abuse and gender identity on his show. Jenna was also on his show! You should probably check it out. Links from today’s episode! Paul’s podcast is available wherever you listen to I, Survivor. Kenneth...


Bonus: Institutional Betrayal with Dr. Jennifer Freyd

This is a special episode all about Institutional Betrayal. We've mentioned it a lot, but haven't really gone into it in detail. We talked to Dr. Jennifer Freyd, a psychology professor at University of Oregon who coined the term.


Life After Death

Norman Buckley is a director known for his work on Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, but what you may not know is that he’s survived the untimely and tragic deaths of two of his partners. He shares the story of them and how he found a way out of what could have been a hellacious grief spiral. Then we talk to grief expert David Kessler. It’s a heavy episode, friends, so hug your lovers tightly. Links for today’s episode! David made a free three-part series for anyone who has had a loved...


Behind Closed Doors

Myrla Baldonado is a caregiver who survived sexual assault working in five homes. She’s an activist and a badass who showed up for her interview wearing a Time’s Up pin. We also defined some key terms like gaslighting, so you can stay vigilant, and we talked to Bernice Yeung. She’s a ProPublica investigative reporter who covers sexual violence on the job. The stats are appaling. Time’s Up, motherf*ckers. Links from today’s episode: Time’s UP! If you want to learn more about workplace...


Homeless in Los Angeles

Joey Weinert was just a kid, when his dad, The Manila Envelope Bandit, was arrested for a string of bank robberies throughout Southern California. That led to struggling with addiction. The Midnight Mission in Downtown Los Angeles helped him, and some women we talked to on Skid Row, turn their lives around. Over the last few years, the number of homeless women has increased 50%, and after seeing the everyday trauma firsthand we’re happy places like the Midnight Mission exist. Links from...


Trafficked, Recovered, Redeemed

When Jasmine Grace Marino was 18, her boyfriend forced her into the dark world of sex trafficking. Alicia Molina first started using drugs and alcohol when she was 13. She’s now 5 years sober. Sex trafficking and addiction are both stigmatized as individual failures, rather than reflections on our society. So here’s your weekly/daily/hourly reminder that they (and you, if you’re in similar situations) did not do anything wrong. These women were lucky to find ways out, and if you’re...


Judgment Day

Mav Viola was attacked by someone she trusted - her youth pastor. She eventually realized he’d been grooming her (and other girls) for this abuse. Even WORSE, her church community didn’t believe her because apparently ‘someone who is a mostly ok dude that sometimes does terrible things to women’ is good enough! We’re throwing out some Hail Mary’s hoping churches get the hell away from this idea. Here’s a tip for people hiring anyone who works with children: if they’re a sex offender, DON’T...


All In The Family

Aishah Shahidah Simmons survived incest and sexual abuse. She is a self-described Black feminist lesbian documentary filmmaker. Then, we talk to writer Amanda Rosenberg, who survived a suicide attempt and says hiding her mental illness from her family almost killed her. We also describe both as badasses who took their trauma and created art from it. Family members telling you to hide your feelings because they say they don’t want to deal with you? Now that’s mental. Links from today’s...


Doin' It For Themselves

When you've experienced trauma it can seem almost impossible to put your life back together. Today on the show we have two women who not only did that, but who have dedicated their lives to helping people who have faced similarly traumatic events. Patricia Wenskunas was attacked in her home by someone she knew; Elena Christopolous was gang raped at a college party by her peers, but both women reclaimed their lives and are helping other women do the same. Here's to all the sisters doin' it...


Are You There God? It's Me, Johnno.

Johnno Wilson was spending a serene morning on Venice Beach, when a quick dip in the Pacific Ocean turned into a ride in a rip current and a brush with death. Since we’re now officially terrified of the ocean, we invited lifeguard Captain Remy Smith in to school us on water safety. Inflatables are NOT allowed on some beaches, so check the rules in your state and know that if you bring water wings to the beach: we’re watching you. Links from today’s episode: Heeeere’s Johnno! Learn more...


A Letter to my Terrorist

Rachel Pharn was riding her bike along the Hudson River when a terrorist drove a truck into the bike path. She survived, and reads us the letter that she wrote to the man who attacked her. Then, we hear from Dr. Laurie Punch. Dr. Punch is a trauma surgeon who moved to Missouri and trains residents to be first responders to gun violence. Forget what The Fray taught you, this is how to save a life. Links from today’s episode: Read more about Rachel in the New York Times Watch Rachel perform...


Not Today, Motherf*cker

Kelly Herron was attacked in a Seattle bathroom while she was out running one afternoon. But Kelly fought back. She shares her story, and we get a primer in self defense from Jenna’s neighbor, Jose Angel Castro, who just so happens to be the founder of NowHouse Education Group. Pro-tip: Get hard bones into soft places. No one’s gonna square off and tell you to put up your dukes like you see in the movies. Links from today’s episode: Not Today - Kelly’s Slam Piece NowHouse Education...


Life After the Plane Crash

Carol E. Miller survived a plane crash when she was just 16 years old. But Carol didn’t feel whole until years later, after discovering EMDR therapy. We learn more about EMDR from a psychotherapist and frequent guest on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Dr. Steve Dansiger. Plus, we discuss safety tips from Cosmo. Really? We can’t go to a park or outside at night or on a walk alone or use our cellphones or talk to anyone again? Ever? Links from today’s episode: More information about EMDR...