Videography and select photography by Brendan Donohue.
Say It, Survivor is committed to:
Raise awareness and remove the stigma surrounding sexual abuse by telling our story shamelessly and encouraging other survivors to do the same.
Educate parents about abuse prevention and the crucial part they can play in its aftermath, and to law enforcement about the critical role they can play even in situations when traditional justice cannot be served.
Bring survivors into community with one another, and help them to reclaim their own stories in a safe, supportive environment as part of the path to healing.
As survivors, our stories are immeasurably powerful. They can cause us pain and keep us mired in the past. They have the ability to influence the people we bring into our lives, and the control we give them over us. Our stories can prevent us from being all that we are capable of being in this world.
The thing is, our stories only have that power if we decide to give it to them. They only wield that power if we keep them hidden inside, if we decide that our truths are so awful that they must be kept in the dark. If we attach shame to them. If we decide that they are UNSPEAKABLE.
Say it, Survivor was born when two cousins, abused in childhood by the same predator, decided to plant their feet firmly inside their stories and say them out loud. They wrote them down. They sent them out into the world.
Then the most miraculous thing happened. People read them and shared them. People said, "ME TOO." Women and men who’d carried around their dark and heavy secrets, some for decades, decided to lay them down. Hundreds of thousands of people stepped out of the shadows.
The perpetuating cycles of truth telling and healing are as powerful as the cycle of abuse- perhaps even more so. When one of us tells the truth about our abuse, it creates a safe space for others to do so as well.
That is how it works.
If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse, please know that you are not alone. Your story is not unspeakable. You are more than what happened to you.
Are you ready to tell your story? Are you ready to Say It, Survivor?
January 17, 2015
Mary, Officer Paul and Laura.
January 18, 2015