In the words of a survivor...
Sam, a survivor we recently supported, wanted to share her healing journey and the experience she had with Rape Response. Thank you, Sam, for having the courage to share with the world.
"There was a time when I truly believed that the sexual assaults I had endured were somehow my fault. I would say "maybe if I wouldn't have hit him" or "I should have just gone with it" and those things would not have happened to me. I was unable to trust and because of my failure to trust, I could not have healthy relationships with boundaries and mutual respect. I lived in a constant state of shame, guilt, and fear.
While those thoughts and emotions tormented me, I was introduced to Jen at Rape Response and the women that she works with. For the first time, someone told me that those assaults were not my fault. Somebody hugged me and told me that it was going to be okay for the first time. The ladies at Rape Response showed me that while my past was shattered, my future could be whole. I began working with Rape Response during my college years. I began learning how to trust others, but more importantly, I began learning how to forgive myself. All it took was someone to listen and believe me. I found that through the amazing women there.
Now, I am an advocate working for a Domestic Violence Shelter. I am able to help other women find their voices because Rape Response helped me find mine. I can love and be loved in return and I owe it all to these women. They do not come into the office to work. They come in to love; to show compassion; to help heal; but most of all, to help empower those that have had their power stripped from them. In the beginning, I was a shy, quiet little girl. Now, I am an outgoing, loud, and powerful woman, thanks to Rape Response."