trauma survivor

‘This is $150 of underwear. My team and I are no longer willing to let our survivors go home without a bra, or decent pair of underwear.’: Sexual assault nurse examiner shares act of kindness for rape survivors

“Ever seen a woman who’s just been raped, just had a 3-hour forensic exam, had every surface of her battered body swabbed, photographed, and inventoried for the police walk out of a hospital wearing oversized hospital scrubs and postpartum hospital underwear, her arms wrapped tightly around her chest, ashamed, because she doesn’t have a bra to wear? I have. And I absolutely refuse to ever see it again.”

‘You look so much more beautiful with a black eye.’ My entire life revolved around staying alive. There was no tomorrow, no next week. Just the now, and an escape plan.’: Young woman escapes domestic violence, finds love with ‘selfless’ man

“Leaving meant dying and staying meant torture. My mornings consisted of figuring out how much time I had to dry my eyes and wash the blood off before work. How much time I had before he came home to get on my hands and knees and pray for my life. On average? 11 minutes. Then the abuse clock started again. It’s not easy loving a domestic violence survivor, but my partner makes it look easy.”

‘Shut up. Just let me finish.’ I lay there, weak, my best friend’s hand over my mouth.’: After years of denial, sexual abuse survivor accepts it wasn’t her fault

“I’ll never forget his words. There were no warning signs. No grooming. I remember wanting to scream, but not feeling like I could talk, so I made a mumbling noise. I didn’t want my body. I wanted to take it off like a jacket, but I couldn’t. I woke up the next morning with a huge bump on my head, my underwear backwards. I never wanted to be the girl who was raped.”

‘I heard a cracking sound and a thud as my head hit the window. He threw the car into park. I’d ‘pushed his buttons’ and made him do it. He told me it was my fault.’ Woman recounts how ‘fairy tale’ quickly turned to abusive nightmare

“In slow motion, the scene still unspools in my head. ‘You loved me once,’ I croaked out, looking up at him. We had history. We had a home together. Failure was not an option. I clung to him, my heart believing if I just loved him enough, he’d emerge from the darkness.”

‘It was a long time ago. Get over it!’ I was the victim. I thought my family would hold me. Instead, I was blamed.’: Woman admits brother’s sexual abuse, ‘forgiveness doesn’t mean you must have a relationship with your abuser’

“I sent my brother an email. ‘I was a wake last night.’ He never came into my bedroom at night again. When it came time for my wedding years later, my mom insisted I do things ‘her way.’ She wanted my brother to stand beside my husband. We danced around it, but nothing worked. I had to tell her what my brother did to me. ‘How could you do this to us? You’re tearing our family apart,’ I was told. For years, I tried to navigate this deep, dark pit and find light. She threw me back into the dirt.”

‘He lit my insides on fire. So, I did it. I married him. My body signaled that something was off. I pegged it as nerves. I didn’t know about the pools of women.’ Woman breaks free from abusive relationship 

“It was the same with everyone. The same love songs, the same pet names, the same date night spots, the same EVERYTHING. In a ten-day period, he cheated with 3 people. He played it off as him being drunk and stupid. I believed it at the time. I didn’t tell friends or family. ‘If I can’t even make a marriage work, what else will I fail at?!’ I kept it private, until things began to boil.”

‘I was an intern. He was the manager. I was in his home with his wife and kids. He knew what he did was wrong, but that he could get away with it. That same year, the unthinkable happened.’

“I didn’t know what to say or do. I was frozen. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t concentrate. My mind pretended like it never happened. I felt like I couldn’t ‘risk my career’ by speaking up, so I remained silent. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Just graduate and get a job.’”

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