I’M A SURVIVOR

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As a ten-year survivor of sexual assault, I praise God for restoration, true relationship with Him and health; mentally, emotionally and physically. I thank God that I am no longer a victim but a victor. I am taking back everything the devil stole from me. I am not the woman I was back in 2000. I am not afraid, angry or fearful. I am strong, confident and at peace. To God be ALL the glory.

As a survivor, I feel strongly about educating and empowering those around me regarding this issue. I want to encourage people to be more aware, safe and responsible. Often time’s violence and victimization are not discussed due to people feeling ashamed and embarrassed. While the topic of sexual assault is uncomfortable, it must be discussed so that the growing epidemic can be stopped.

People need to know how to prevent sexual violence and what to do if they or someone they love has been victimized. I was ignorant about sexual assault until it happened to me on my college campus. I didn’t tell anyone, except one friend. I didn’t know what to do, so for two years I did nothing. I kept going to my classes and attempted to live life as normal. Needless to say, I was struggling. Life was not the same, I was not the same.

Two years after the assault, I confided in my GPhiG campus minister because I was tired of the emotional rollercoaster. The minister, an awesome woman of God that I remain in contact with, loved on me and encouraged me to seek counseling. My counselor was understanding and compassionate and she encouraged me to tell my parents. My parents were then and still are amazing, very supportive and understanding. Rededicating my life to Christ in 2002, telling those that loved me about the assault and seeking counseling, were three of the best decisions I have ever made.

I don’t want anyone else to have to suffer in silence. I want people to know that they are not alone and there is help out there. I want people to know that God is bigger than sexual assault; He loves them and wants to see them free. He wants to give you beauty for ashes.

Here is a poem that I wrote on 2/20/03. My counselor encouraged me to submit it into the Creative Expressions Exhibit, an art exhibit for sexual assault survivors and it was selected! It was displayed with many others at the Detroit Public Library-Main Branch for a few weeks. There was a seminar held the day the exhibit was featured. My parents and a few friends came to support me. We went to dinner afterwards. That was a great night!

Survivor

Today the sun is shining

And I am feeling good

I have no fears or worries

Though the world may think that I should

I have control over my emotions

And no longer am I hiding out

I am now facing my fears

And I know so much more now

What life is all about

And even when the bad days come

I know now what to do

No longer do I get depressed

Because that would give the control right back to you

You may have raped me

But you didn’t kill my soul

I am stronger now

And the days of being a victim

Are now long gone and old

I am being healed more each day

God is my comforter and He is taking the pain away

My life is good and I am truly blessed

I don’t fear or hate you, like you may have guessed

I pray that you have stopped hurting women

And have turned from your wicked ways

But where you go or what you do

I am no longer fazed

Today the sun is shining and great is how I feel

Everyday is not always easy

But daily I am being healed

Because I am a survivor!!

 

Resources

Word of Faith International Christian Center

Bishop Keith A. Butler, Pastor
Pastor Andre Butler, Co-Pastor
20000 W. Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Phone: 248.353.3476
24-Hour Prayer: 1.800.541.PRAY (7729)

Perspectives of Troy (Christian Counseling)
888 W. Big Beaver  Ste. 1450 (Northeast corner of Crooks and Big Beaver, City Center Building)
Troy, MI  48084
Tel:  248-244-8644

East Location
4151 17 Mile Rd. Ste. D (E. of Ryan on North side of 17 mile)
Sterling Heights, MI  48310
Tel:  586-268-6712

HAVEN

Our mission is to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault across Oakland County and the surrounding communities through treatment and prevention services.

Local Crisis and Support Line: (248) 334.1274
Toll-free Crisis and Support Line: (877) 922-1274
TTY Line: (248) 334-1290

Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

http://www.mcadsv.org/

RAINN

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE

http://rainn.org

Here is a list of state resources listed on RAINN’s website

http://www.rainn.org/get-help/local-counseling-centers/state-sexual-assault-resources

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