abuse

Bailey "No Shame In Our Stories"

Bailey "No Shame In Our Stories"

“Finally, I got to the fork in the road, my choices were to take the destructive path that would eventually ruin my life or take the path of healing and moving forward. Something that had not clicked in me in a year clicked, and I decided it was time to heal and fight for myself. There is no shame in our stories, there is only truth and healing that comes from the stepping up and stepping out and sharing our stories.”

READ BAILEY’S STORY HERE

Dawn "People Are Just Beautiful"

Dawn "People Are Just Beautiful"

“I was probably about thirteen when I decided that I probably wasn’t going to live until twenty. I didn’t fit in the world anywhere. At nineteen I got pregnant with my son. I decided that, “I guess I’m not gonna die, so I’m gonna have to try to figure out my way in this world, as scary as it is. Life’s an adventure. Life isn’t fair, and bad things happen, but because of the things I’ve experienced and seen, I have a very deep empathy for a multitude of situations that children and adults face. I guess that’s a good quality? I can see past all the bad things and just see how beautiful people are in the rawness of life. People are just beautiful, just the way they are. A behavior is a behavior, but it has nothing to do with how beautiful they are inside.”

READ DAWN’S STORY HERE

Angela "It's Never Hopeless"

Angela "It's Never Hopeless"

“I remembered saying no. After having that realization, feelings and flashbacks started coming back to me. There was nothing I could do to get what I had back. Those men had taken something from me. I am supposed to have the right to say no. I didn’t even know what happened until two weeks afterwards. Not only did they take something from me that I couldn’t get back, they left horrible disturbing feelings in its place. I felt like there was nothing I could do and they got away with it.

Not only do I still have my life but I have brought a new one into this world; a beautiful baby girl. I am so in love with her and she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She inspires me to show her how awesome life can be. I know that even if it is really, really bad and nothing makes sense and it just seems hopeless, it is never hopeless. Don’t ever think it’s hopeless.”

READ ANGELA’S STORY HERE

Shannon "Choose Your Legacy"

Shannon "Choose Your Legacy"

“Growing up in a violent home affects the way you relate to people, to the world, the way you perceive things. It's learning that fear is the ruling voice, that love means pain, that there is no such thing as being protected. It is humiliation and embarrassment, wondering what you did to deserve this and why you were born so bad. It is wanting to tell someone, but also wanting to protect the only life you know. It's believing you are worthless and spending years making choice after choice to prove it.

This legacy of pain has tried time and time again to steal away with my dreams, my hope, my relationships, and yes, even my life. A full life is a gift only given to the brave. So I am choosing to be brave in the face of fear. I've chosen to leave a legacy of passion, and I pray that you will choose your legacy. Because you can."

READ SHANNON’S STORY HERE

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.”

READ MONICA'S STORY HERE

Michelle "Soul Set Free"

Michelle "Soul Set Free"

“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.”

READ 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."

READ SHAWNA'S STORY HERE

Janice "The Woman I Have Become"

Janice "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 STORY HERE

Sabrina "Mercy To Both"

Sabrina "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 "Life Will Surprise You"

Monisha "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 "Homeless, Not Worthless"

Jennie "Homeless, Not Worthless"

“I’m forty-six years old, and I have been homeless since October 10, 2014. I was married to my ex-husband for twenty-four years, and we raised three children together. The day our youngest son turned eighteen 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 JENNIE’S STORY HERE

Cindy "We Shine Light"

Cindy "We Shine Light"

“The odds a boy will suffer sexual abuse is one in five, and the odds a girl will suffer sexual abuse is one in four. My son was sexually molested when he was just three years old.”

READ CINDY’S STORY HERE

Beth "Perfectly Imperfect"

Beth "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 HERE

Kimberly "Torn"

Kimberly "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 STORY HERE

Joel "Miracle Existence"

Joel "Miracle Existence"

"When Joel was born, he weighed one pound and six 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 JOEL’S STORY HERE

Jennifer "Break The Cycle"

Jennifer "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 JENNIFER’S STORY HERE

David "Hope Dealer"

David "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 STORY HERE

Amber "New Wings"

Amber "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 fourteen I was raped by three men, while my mother slept a room away."

READ AMBER’S STORY HERE

Heidi "Addiction" and "Amazing Grace"

Heidi "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 HEIDI’S STORIES HERE

Mahailya's "Addiction"

Mahailya's "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 STORY HERE