Reclaiming Your Voice After Sexual Assault

Reclaiming Your Voice After Sexual Assault

Be Heard Once More.
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“I have never heard a more eloquent silence.” - Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

If a story sits at the back of your tongue for long enough, it can burn holes in your mouth and drastically change who you are. The silence that follows a traumatic event can be just as damaging as the event itself- for it will sit in the back of your throat until you finally find the courage to speak. Sexual assaults on campuses nationwide are the untold stories that aren't carried in libraries. They are the voices that are muffled by pillows and fear. They deserve to be heard. You deserve to be heard.

It is estimated that between twenty and twenty-five percent of women in college are sexually assaulted- and nine out of ten of those victims knew their offender.

Although these statistics are alarmingly high, they offer one glimmer of hope: you are not alone in what has happened to you. Moreover, what has happened to you does not define who you are and who you will be.

Your story is your most powerful weapon. It is a revolver in the hands of a woman reclaiming her strength. When the trigger is pulled, it has the potential to destroy. However, out of destruction comes rebirth. Gardens will grow in your chest once more- even if it has been polluted and trampled. You are always capable of growing beautiful stories in a place that was once haunted.

I write this because I acknowledge that the courage to speak is perhaps the most challenging bravery you could ever muster. Once you do, I promise you will experience a new world beyond your demons- beyond the people who have hurt you. Beyond guilt, shame, and fear.

The moment I realized that my voice alone could defend me in times of trouble, I knew I would never be alone again.

I encourage you to wear your story on your lips like your favorite lipstick. Be unapologetically bold.

Have the courage to speak. Reclaim your voice. Relinquish your spirit.

Be heard once more.


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Need help?
Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Recommended Reading: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Other Resources:

Not Alone: Website dedicated to educating students and schools about sexual assault

End Rape on Campus: Advocacy organization for sexual assault on campuses

RAINN: Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network

NSVRC: National Sexual Violence Resource Center

NOVA: National Organization for Victim Assistance

VAW: National Online Resource for Violence Against Women

Information provided by rainn.org

Cover Image Credit: Google

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

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