Life has been taking cheap shots at you lately, but you have proven that you are strong and beautiful. Continue marching forward, reclaiming your life, your decisions, and your future. So many believe in you — I believe in you! And I really think that before long, you too will believe in you.
“Women ages 18-34 are at the greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.” –SafeHorizon.org
Dear K. L.,
Oh that I could take back what happened to you, sweet girl. You shake it off and say, “I’m fine,” but I see right through that into the heart of what I know is really true: You’re not fine, but you will be. And then you’ll be amazing. Healing takes time and work, so don’t give up on yourself or the journey. You can do this. You don’t deserve what happened to you, but you CAN heal from it.
“44% of victims [of sexual assault] are under age 18.” –rainn.org
Wow, you are amazing strength. What a testimony you have for others. Your joy, despite your painful past, is an inspiration to anyone you meet, and I am so proud and blessed to know you. As you march forward, know that I and many others are cheering you on, and we hope you know we can be a safe place to land on hard days.
“Part of the healing process is sharing with other people who care.” -Jerry Cantrell
If only people knew…that’s what you said. Well, I know now and I am absolutely positive that sharing your story with me is a gigantic step toward healing. You amaze me with your resiliency and I just know all good things are coming as you continue down this path of reclaiming your beautiful self. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
“According to the CDC, intimate partner violence affects approximately 1.5 million women each year and affects as many as 324,000 pregnant women each year. Pregnancy can be an especially dangerous time for women in abusive relationships, and abuse can often begin or escalate during the pregnancy.” –thehotline.org
How can you leave when you have nowhere to go? I understand this so well. I think when the “solution” seems so easy to the rest of the world, it’s even harder because it’s not easy for you. I want you out, of course, but I absolutely understand why you stay. I know what it feels like to feel so locked into one place, one life, and so I will continue to pray for your safety and your freedom. You are worth a beautiful, pain-free life.
“Why does she stay? Because she has nowhere else to go.”
My heart always breaks when I hear of a story like yours, and yet I am also filled with joy for what you have decided to make of it. I fear not as many men speak out about abuse, so I am thankful that you can and do. Grace to you in this messy place, and grace to you when the days are harder than usual. You can do this…this I know.
“…1 in 6 men have experienced unwanted or abusive sexual experiences before age 18.” –1in6.org
Thank you to each and every one of you for sharing your stories with me. May your journey be one step closer today to healing, grace, peace, and reclamation of self.