abuse

Monica "Focus on the Beauty"

Monica "Focus on the Beauty"

"“Do you have any friends left?” were the first words I heard in the recovery room when I woke up after delivering my first son by emergency C-section, at age 17. The nurse was referring to me having a mixed-race child. I verbally defended my child as much as I could given the state I was in, but this would soon be only one situation out of many where the color of my now-3 sons would determine how people spoke to and treated us.”

MONICA'S STORY HERE

Michelle "Soul Set Free"

Michelle "Soul Set Free"

“My life was constant chaos and I had to learn to turn off my feelings completely in order to survive and try to live in peace.

I heard so many people say things like, “I don’t know why she stayed”, or “You seem so much smarter than that”, or “I would never allow my children to be exposed to that". Many women do not leave because this is exactly the statements and questions we hear and why in a twisted way, it’s easier to stay than to leave and be judged in addition to all of the other issues that come up.

I’ve forgotten a lot of things because that is how the mind is - it protects you. But your heart doesn’t listen as easily. I was broken, alone, scared and all I knew to do was to pray constantly. One day I finally made the decision to leave and I walked out that day with the clothes on my back and my soul set free.”

MICHELLE’S STORY HERE

Shawna "Silent No More"

Shawna "Silent No More"

"I have felt like I was at a standstill in my life. I desperately wanted to reach out and help others like me, who had been through so much to find strength to never give up. To keep going and to find their voice.

I realized after reaching for help that so many others like me were suffering in fear and silence about these issues.

Despite all the obstacles in my life I am not giving up on my dreams to become a nurse and to help other women who lived through what I have to find their voice and never give up. I just want people to see that no matter how hard life was or what you’ve been through that there is always hope. I have managed to find good despite all the bad things that have happened."

SHAWNA'S STORY HERE

Janice's Story "The Woman I Have Become"

Janice's Story "The Woman I Have Become"

It took years for me to finally see that it was not my fault in any way, that my lack of some ill-perceived perfection was not the cause of his abuse. This shame should not belong to me. 

Read Janice's complete story HERE.

Sabrina's Story "Mercy To Both"

Sabrina's Story "Mercy To Both"

The beginning of my college year I met my current boyfriend. He treated me like a queen and truly understood me. He seemed so perfect but not too long after we started dating the boy I started falling for became my abuser. For a year I was being physically, emotionally and verbally  abused by the one I loved.

Read Sabrina's Story HERE.

Monisha's Story "Life Will Surprise You"

Monisha's Story "Life Will Surprise You"

After joining the military at age 17, I was targeted for sexual violence by someone in charge in my unit.  In addition to physical injuries that I incurred, the incident left me with some challenges that make it hard to sustain my self independently at times.

Read Monisha's story HERE.

Jennie's Story "Homeless, Not Worthless"

Jennie's Story "Homeless, Not Worthless"

 I’m 46-years-old, and I have been homeless since October 10, 2014. I was married to my ex-husband for 24 years, and we raised three children together. The day our youngest son turned 18 was the day I left. I filed a restraining order and went to a shelter, Harmony House. He was charged with first degree domestic assault. I had to have the left side of my face reconstructed because he had been getting so abusive for the last twelve years of our marriage.

Read Mama Jennie's story HERE.

Cindy's Story "We Shine Light"

Cindy's Story "We Shine Light"

The odds a boy will suffer sexual abuse is 1-5 and the odds a girl will suffer sexual abuse is 1-4. My son was sexually molested when he was  just 3-years-old.

Read "We Shine Light" HERE.

Beth's Story "Perfectly Imperfect"

Beth's Story "Perfectly Imperfect"

Incest in a middle class family in the late 1960’s and 1970’s was the juxtaposition of “not in our family” and “yes, but no one talks about it”.  Silence.  So, I never said a word and compartmentalized the best way our ego selves protect us:  we just don’t remember. 

Read Beth's Story "Perfectly Imperfect" HERE.

Kimberly's Story "Torn"

Kimberly's Story "Torn"

My childhood was not healthy. I was molested from a very young age by a close relative who wasn't much older than me. I endured this for many, many years. I never spoke of it to anyone. It left me numb. I felt unloved, disgusting, embarrassed, and ashamed. I was worried I would never be believed if I spoke of this "unheard" of abuse. I felt alone. I didn't want anyone to know my dirty "secret".

Read Kimberly's full story HERE.

JOEL'S STORY "MIRACLE EXISTENCE"

JOEL'S STORY "MIRACLE EXISTENCE"

"When Joel was born, he weighed 1 pound and 6 ounces because his birth mother had tried to abort him using drugs and a coat hanger. Immediately after Joel entered the world, he had to have open-heart surgery on a ruptured valve in his heart."

READ MORE ABOUT JOEL'S ABUSIVE START TO LIFE HERE.

Jennifer's Story "Break The Cycle"

Jennifer's Story "Break The Cycle"

"People often ask why a woman doesn't just leave when she's being abused. Some people even say, "I wouldn't let him do that to me." And that's what I said, too, at first. I fought back. I tried to stand up for myself."

Read the full story HERE.

David's Story "Hope Dealer"

David's Story "Hope Dealer"

"I was abused emotionally, sexually and physically as a child. That abuse led to a struggle with mental health issues and anger, which led me to finding escape in drugs and violence." 

Read David's full story HERE.

Amber's story "New Wings"

Amber's story "New Wings"

"My childhood was filled with domestic abuse, an alcoholic, drug abusing father, an absent, mentally ill mother and an older sister who rejected me.  At the age of 14 I was raped by three men, while my mother slept a room away."


Read Amber's complete story HERE.
 

HEIDI'S STORY "ADDICTION" AND "AMAZING GRACE"

HEIDI'S STORY "ADDICTION" AND "AMAZING GRACE"

"But, even after I became clean, the painful emotional, verbal, and mental abuse that continued in my marriage was too much to bare."

READ ALL OF HEIDI'S STORY HERE.

Mahailya's Story "Addiction"

Mahailya's Story "Addiction"

"Only one week after we gave our baby up for adoption, my husband went to prison for the first time. His charges were domestic assault against me - he beat me five times."

Read Mahailya's full story HERE.