Friends in Blogland! I have yet another guest writer! But first I want to preface it with a short blurb!
If you have read the My Story section, or have been reading my blog for a while, or have read the thing in its entirety in one sitting ( I know there have been a few!) then you know that part of my journey has involved dealing with the long-term effects of sexual abuse. I began really actively looking at this part of my story almost 2 years ago now and I will probably have to continue looking at it in some form for the rest of my life. I am ok with this.
Jen and I were talking earlier last week. She had watched an episode of Oprah where she was interviewing sex offenders. At some point she asked this man if he regretted what he had done to the girl he abused. His response was this. “Of course I regret it, I stole from her who she could have been.”
I had been making Jen some guacamole and I stopped what I was doing and just kind of froze. Jen then said to me that no matter what it takes, I have got to get the training I need to be able to help others along in their journey to healing from sexual abuse. That she has watched me over the last couple of years fighting to reclaim who I was meant to be. What was stolen from me.”
All of this is true. I have been fighting and I want to help others in their journey’s some way, some how.
Ironically enough, Sara is a friend of mine ( a real life one!), who is passionate about this sort of thing herself, was telling me about what she is up to in regards to helping people find their healing. So, I told her to write something up about what she is doing to raise awareness to this issue and I would post it here, to help bring more awareness and perhaps help raise some funds for this issue. Every little bit I can do to bring awareness to the reality of abuse/assault the less likely another woman will suffer with the feelings of self blame/condemnation that does not belong on her. If there is some small thing I can do, like helping to bring awareness, that will help some other woman reclaim who she is meant to be, I will do it.
So without further adieu here are some words from Sara.
Kim, I appreciate your candor and enthusiasm to face the things you once resisted. Though we don’t often cross paths, all of our conversations have been impactful and I appreciate your willingness to show both vulnerability and courage. Beauty has always been with you and I have seen your spark ignite others. Thank you for sharing your story and being willing to risk, in order to create freedom for other survivors of violence. I know that we both have a passion for encouraging others to heal from the effects of sexual abuse and assault and I hope that others are able to move from victim, to survivor, to thriver. Sexual abuse doesn’t have the last word!
With that said, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and I am raising pledges, along with 7 other individuals, to skydive in Operation Freefall.
Operation Freefall is the only event of its kind to increase awareness of sexual violence. The event is held simultaneously across the country on the last Saturday of each April, and it benefits both SOAR and local community-based anti-sexual violence organizations. In the past nine years, Operation Freefall has raised over $1,000,000 with nearly two-thirds of that going back to local communities. These funds are used to:
- Increase local support and outreach services for survivors of sexual violence.
- Provide recovery, risk-reduction, and prosecution information to tens of millions of people, including many in your local community, each year.
- Enhance SOAR’s programs to help victims of sexual violence throughout the healing process.
- Educate lawmakers, police officers, students, the public, and the media about sexual violence.
So if you are interested in donating to this cause, go to www.firstgiving.com/sarawright1 to make a pledge. I am on a team called “Y Fly” because a portion of our donations will go to the YWCA of West Central Michigan (my teammates are also looking for pledges). The YWCA provides crisis counseling, sexual assault nurse examinations (rape kits), and therapy for victims of sexual assault. We only have until March 15 to collect donations!