Retired Tenn. police officer to share story of surviving sexual violence

January 31, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Although retired police officer Monica Blake went into law enforcement to help victims of crime, in 2016 she survived a violent sexual assault from an off-duty police officer that changed her life forever by exposing her to the other side of criminal justice and the so-called Blue Wall of Silence. Hear her story at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in Flex Theater in the HUB-Robeson Center.

The program, sponsored by Penn State’s Gender Equity Center and Centre Safe, is free and open to all. It will be moderated by School in Life podcast host Ashley Adams.

"The story of Monica Blake is compelling and thought-provoking,” said Terry Watson, founder of Strategies for Justice — Blake’s social justice-driven speaking bureau. “It gets at the heart of the #MeToo and the #BlackLivesMatter movements and what resiliency looks like for not just black law enforcement, but our sisters in blue." 

Jennifer Pencek, programming coordinator for the Gender Equity Center, said Blake’s story is particularly poignant since one does not often hear from police officers about their own ordeal surviving sexual violence and other crimes.

“It is important we recognize the fact that sexual violence has no barriers,” Pencek said. “Taking the time to hear Monica’s story, and the stories of other survivors, shows we actually care and want to do more to make sure survivors are heard and validated.”

For more information the Gender Equity Center, a unit of Penn State student affairs, visit Learn more about Centre Safe at

  • Monica Blake
    IMAGE: Monica Blake
Last Updated April 15, 2021