April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month worldwide. Survivors of rape, incest and sexual abuse have an opportunity to tell their stories and provide support, as well as encouragement to others. Organizations such as MeToo, RAINN.org and Joyful Heart work very hard to educate, promote awareness and build a platform for those who have been victimized, those of us striving each day to live productively and happily post-abuse. I'm grateful for these organizations and the countless survivors who have fearlessly shared their experiences.
I am doing the same thing--allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to relive my story, while being strong enough to share it with you. As a teenager, my life was changed forever as a family 'friend' assaulted me and tried to convince me it was because I had a big rear end. He took no responsibility for his actions, leaving me confused and broken for a long time. Unfortunately, victims of sexual abuse and rape get blamed or called into question. We've got to fix that! It's not your fault, and you are brave for choosing to rise above your ordeal. You are indeed a survivor.
I wrote this memoir essay months ago; however, I thought it would be practical if you actually heard my voice. There's something impactful, powerful about hearing somebody tell their story. If you can listen in its entirety, great! If not, give a listen for a few minutes. Towards the end, I provide encouragement for survivors and tips for people who love them on how to provide support. I appreciate you and thanks for taking time out of your day for me.