New Feature: Sarah Ann Henderson

 

Today’s feature is Sarah Ann Henderson, a former contributor to End the Silence Campaign. Sarah has shared several poems on the website that explore her personal journey surviving sexual violence. This is her latest poem, “Outcry,” and she is proud to share it with you.

My body’s a breathing crime scene
I’ve known no other life

My memories are riddled with trauma
It’s a miracle that I survived

I live in a long-dead war zone
Flinching at threats that aren’t there…”

Read the rest of Sarah’s poem here.

New Title: Lena MacBeth

Today our feature is a beautiful poem written by Lena MacBeth. Here is a preview. But make sure to check out the complete work and leave your comments!

“Help me
Icarus, Hades
is after his ChildBride again
But I’m just the Flower girl
Shoot down once more
I’ve got to fly with you
Let me melt rather than become broken
Let me become flames and drops
Let us crash comically
And yes! Let us land so hard
we’re unrecognizable
This I can handle.”

Read the rest of Lena’s poem here.

 

New Feature: Kink

Our latest feature, a poem entitled “Darling I Tamed Myself For You.”

“The sweetness of your smile softened the edges of my heart
But I never realized your effect until we began to part
And when I saw how little of myself turned out to be true
Darling, I came to realize I tamed myself for you…”

Read the rest of the poem here.

New Feature: Merideth McCallick

Merideth’s poem, titled “Running”, allows the reader to travel with her as she runs from her deepest, darkest moments and into self-reclamation and hope. Capturing both her strength and depair, “Running” is a well-documented journey of one survivor’s story of recovery.

Read “Running”.

New Feature: Kristen Bakalar

In this compelling story about the moment that Kristen was preparing to testify against her attacker, Kristen acknowledges a number of difficulties that many survivors encounter,  including the reaction of parents and loved ones, the seemingly unavoidable barrage of memories of the attack, as well as some of the physical reactions one has to memories of the attack. Wonderfully descriptive, this story allows even the most far removed reader to really experience exactly what Kristen was going through during that very difficult time.

“The dam behind my eyes continued to build as each second passed; I was nervous it would break. The sweat was consuming my body, but it wasn’t a normal sweat.  There were no drips running down my cheek, no beads forming on my forehead, and the color of my shirt hadn’t changed under my arms.  This sweat was more agitating; I was squirming and fighting to get it off of me.  I was panicking and felt under attack by the silent sweat that was steaming out of the pores of my skin.”

Continue reading Kristen’s story.

New Feature: Taylor

In this moving account, Taylor describes surviving an attempted rape. Her words bring light to the important reality that attempted rape can have many of the same effects on a survivor’s physical, mental, and emotional health as rape. Here is an excerpt from her story. Make sure to read the full account, and check out the other stories, poetry, and art posted on the site.

“My reasoning behind keeping it a secret at the time was that I was afraid no one else would believe me. I had no proof (the cuts and bruises had faded away), there were no witnesses, and it was just my word against his. I only told one person: my best friend. Of course, she believed me, which brought me great comfort. I never told my mother. Even to this day, she does not know because I don’t have the heart to tell her. Above all else, I did not think what he did was as serious as “attempted rape”. I tried to blame myself, and dumb down what happened to make it seem as if it was not a big deal. But it was. It took my best friend, and my therapist, years to convince me it was ruining my life by not addressing its severity.” Read the rest of Taylor’s story.

 

New Stories and Poems!

Hey everyone! Check out some new stories and poems on the website. And if you haven’t already, make sure you download “In Our Own Words” – our first collection of stories, poetry, and art by sexual violence survivors.

Abbi Baker – My Story

Annastacia – Cried

Felicia Smith – Save Me Now (He Still Loves Me)

Heather Marie Laica – Fears for Years – Released by Tears

Deborah Hall-Branch – The Healing Process

Celeste D. Barnes – Flashback

C.E.G. – Survivor!

Our First Collection is Here!

In Our Own Words – Volume One , End the Silence Campaign’s first collection of stories, poetry, and art by survivors of sexual violence is here! In this collection, you will read accounts by men and women of all ages who have survived rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse and found hope for their lives and for the future. You will also see some breathtaking artwork that captures the complex range of emotions that survivors of sexual violence face. It is our hope that this collection will increase awareness about sexual violence, while inspiring and empowering anyone who finds comfort in these words. Thank you to everyone who submitted their work – we couldn’t do this without your support! If this collections inspires you, feel free to pass it along to anyone that you think could benefit. And as always, keep posting comments on the site and spreading the word!

Click here to download and read In Our Own Words – Volume One.