Today’s feature is a story about overcoming abuse in a strict, religious family. In this story, K. Long discusses the many ways she tried to heal from what happened, from therapy to reading to journaling. What finally helped her begin the healing process was meeting other survivors and begin to share her story. She shares her story with all of you here as she continues in the process of healing and survival. Read K. Long’s story.
Our featured poet, Patricia Rickey explores the metaphor of animals, both as guardians and predators, in this lyrical poem. Check out her poem and the rest of the stories and poems featured during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Thank you to each of our contributors for sharing their stories. If you are interested in sharing your story, click here. Read Patricia’s poem here!
In this incredibly inspiring story, Tonia describes how poetry helped her survive 4 years of sexual abuse. Tonia begins with a poem that she wrote as a teenager, shares her story, and then closes with a poem written much later in her healing journey. Tonia describes why she shares her story – to help others find the courage to find their voice. She speaks to the power of our community as sexual violence survivors. She writes, “We should feel no shame; this was done to us, not by us. My hope is to reach and inspire others with stories like mine and to let them know that they are not alone. We are all in this together; it is not just my story, it is our story. Together we can make a difference!” Read Tonia’s story here.
In this brave account of the childhood sexual abuse she survived, Kylee shares her story of strength and hope. She shares her story in the hope that others may find inspiration in her words. She wants to let other girls and boys who have survived sexual abuse or who are currently surviving sexual violence know that they are not alone. Thank you Kylee for your courage in telling this story. Read Kylee’s story here.
In this eloquently written discussion of the healing process, Bonita touches on some important points about surviving sexual violence. She discusses the important role we play in our own healing process, that we have to be ready to embark on this journey for it to truly be successful. Her words really hit home with me, and I hope that you will find them inspiring as well.
She writes, “When the desire and willingness is there, the healing process takes on a journey exclusive to the individual. Everyone’s journey is different from everyone else’s and yet there are a few steps that may be similar for everyone. Besides desire and willingness, one of these steps is one of the most important. It may be a large step, a small step, or many of both. This step was very difficult for me. It is to realize that the event that took place was an event. It is not you. It was something that happened to you, but it does not make who you are. You are you, no matter what happens to you in your life. You choose who you are in spite of your surroundings and circumstances.” Read the rest of Bonita’s story here.
In today’s feature, Lynn describes her experiences battling depression after enduring a childhood of sexual abuse. Lynn spotlights the important reality that depression and the desire for suicide are symptoms of sexual violence and not always a “different problem.” Lynn describes the common urge to escape through medicine, self-harm, and drugs in a thoughtful and inspiring story. She also writes about how journal-writing and art helped her to find hope and share this hope with others. Read Lynn’s story here.
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…”
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
This I can handle.”