DeShannon Barnes-Bowens

Is the author of Hush Hush and founder of ILERA. She serves as a psychotherapist, Interfaith minister, Ifa-Orisa priestess and professional development trainer focusing on: spirituality, sexuality, sexual abuse prevention, vicarious trauma and healing.

Increasing Awareness. Changing Lives. 


"To support healing and affirm the authentic sacredness of human beings to be seen

and valued as a whole."


"DeShannon Bowens is an exceptionally skilled and sensitive facilitator and educator on issues of sexual abuse, sexuality, vicarious trauma & wellness. ILERA workshops make a real difference for people working on the front lines of trauma and abuse."


Rev. Sally N. MacNichol, PhD

Co-Executive Director, CONNECT


Spiritual counseling &/or coaching is available for individuals, couples and groups over the age of 18. All sessions take place on-line. A free consultation is needed to determine if the clients' needs can be met.



Customized training is available focused on vicarious trauma & wellness, self-care & sustainability, the impact of racial justice work on activists, and how the intersection of sexuality & sexual abuse is crucial in preventing ongoing cycles of abuse.


DeShannon delivers customized presentations highlighting the work of her book Hush Hush as well as encouraging messages about healing, freedom and wellness for conferences, agencies, colleges and universities.


In this revised and expanded second edition of Hush Hush, DeShannon Bowens revisits her insightful interviews with the Peterson family. Bowens makes a compelling case that intergenerational healing from sexual abuse cannot happen in Black communities without releasing shame-based sexuality narratives from the past. Hush Hush, stresses the importance of empowered sexuality narratives and communication within families as a key component in preventing and ending child sexual abuse.

"In Hush Hush, DeShannon has created an innovative tool for spurring conversations about sexuality and sexual violence in the African American community. Kudos."

Lori S. Robinson,

Author of I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse