New Story – Roberta Dolan

Thank you, Roberta, for sharing your story! Here is an excerpt from our newest submission. Click on the link to read and comment on Roberta’s story.

“For nearly forty years I buried the secret deep within. To anyone that knew me my life was nearly perfect; successful career in education, good marriage and three beautiful children. It appeared wonderful and for the most part it was wonderful. I loved my role as educator, wife and mother. I just didn’t love myself. There was something “wrong” with me but I didn’t know what it was.

My final thought on ending the silence sits close to my heart. As a little girl I never dared to tell anyone what my parents were doing to me. To this day victims live in silence out of fear and shame. If this is going to change, society must change. Sexual abuse is still a “dirty word.” For those who are old enough remember when we could not use the word ‘cancer’ or ‘AIDS?’ It took the brave souls who were willing to speak out about cancer and AIDS to educate society and open the door for victims to receive support without shame.  Children take their cues from adults. If we as adults can talk openly, shamelessly, about sexual abuse it is much more likely that children will have the courage to tell that they have been abused. Ending the silence is the step we need to take to end the abuse.  If only I was able to tell an adult when I was a little girl…well, I am telling you now. Please help by taking the risk to end the silence and Say It Out Loud!”

Click here to read the rest of the story.

New Stories!

Check out the three new stories below. Happy New Year to all of our writers, supporters, and fans! We truly appreciate all you do to help end the silence surrounding sexual violence. Here’s to a year full of hope, healing, and change!

Disconnected - Anonymous

“They won’t know that the coldness comes back.  That a part of me grows hard, quickly rebuilding those walls so they don’t come down.  Don’t react.  It’s my unspoken mantra.  One I don’t even believe in, but can’t seem to break out of the trance.  Don’t be upset.  Don’t speak.  This is what happens.

And it’s that cage, that final captor, that has allowed for the others.  That has left me with the invisible mark of victim.  Only some can see it, like an infared mark most never notice.  Hidden in ambition, lost in personality, but those who can see through the covers all do, and they all find me.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  I refuse to live with it being this way.

New mantra: This is not what happens.” Read more.

Taking Luck – Lee Ann Walker

“I look at my Hannah, something is wrong; I can see her fur turning dark like ash left from a fire. Her eyes are turning black as an empty night sky with no stars twinkling to light the way. The sun is battling a dark sky approaching from behind me. It is losing. It is getting colder now, I feel the rush of goose bumps all over my body, I can almost see my breath. I begin to quiver slightly. The sweet smells are turning rancid, spoiled, rotten.  The grass is molding, the flowers are wilting, the brownies are burning, the dried tobacco is now a burning cigarette that closes my throat with every inhalation. I can no longer laugh.” Read more.

Abuse Story – Jennifer

“I was in such excruciating pain that I could hardly breathe.  I was sick and tired of the relationship but did not dare to walk away from my abuser. In August, 2007 things changed in my life.” Read more.

Poetry – Sarah Ann Henderson

In these moving poems, Sarah Ann Henderson explores her journey as a survivor of sexual abuse. In her poem, “The Afterword,” she writes:

“…With that hell that I carry inside
With the tortures that I’ve ambled through

I suppose on some level I’m healing
At least I pray that’s true

And I will just have to keep writing
This life story that’s long overdue.”

Read more of her poetry by clicking on the links below:

And as always, feel free to share your comments and support the brave survivors who share their stories.

Beautiful Sunsets

He wanted to show me a really pretty beach that was nearby. I said no. He said it was so beautiful and I would love it. He said we will watch the sunset together. I said no. He said it won’t take long… Let’s just watch the sunset together before it is too late… It did not make sense. I am scared. I am in his car. I am in my bikini. I am alone with him. There is no beautiful beach. There is no sunset. I do not know how to get back to my hotel. His beautiful eyes and smile are gone.” (excerpt from “Beautiful Sunsets”)

Read “Beautiful Sunsets” posted in the Prose section. Thank you, Tori, for the courage and strength it took to share your story. You are among friends.

Join Tori in the campaign to end the silence surrounding sexual violence. One story at a time.