Broken and Beautiful
Broken or Beautiful
I am a sexual abuse survivor. Molested from the age of three by teachers and family, I silently suffered in a world where I had no voice. Branded for life as a target for other abusers, as a pre-teen I was raped by a camp counselor. I never told anyone. My teen and young adult years were further scarred by chronic violence and sexual abuse. A violent assault by a boyfriend and gang rape by a college football team in my late teens, confirmed I had no tools, no skills and no boundaries to ward off predators. We didn't call it trafficking back then, but I know first-hand what it is like to be sold, traded, and exploited for sex. At 22, a violent, criminal gang rape at knifepoint by a street gang was too much. I gathered enough courage to report for the first time in an estimated 80 sexual assaults. I was painfully reminded why many sexual assault victims never come forward when the lone officer who took my report in a private interrogation room forced me to strip in front of him and proceeded to 'gather' evidence. There was no rape kit involved. Life wasn't worth living. A failed suicide attempt propelled me into a life-changing journey. There is hope for victims to reclaim life out of the cycle of sexual assault. Raising awareness can bring hope and healing to the Broken or Beautiful in our lives.
I am not alone. Statistics now reveal that one in three women will be the victim of some sort of sexual abuse in her lifetime. My story is not unusual. The victims walk among us. Bullying, addictions, suicide, and inappropriate sexual behavior can define sexual abuse victims and keep the victim cycle alive. We need to stop the cycle and offer healing and hope.
How do we reconnect sexual abuse victims with hope? First, we have to reconnect them with who they were before the abuse happened. We have to help them discover who they were created to be and how they can interact with their world in spite of their sexual abuse.
Every community, church, group, organization, school, and business includes sexual abuse survivors. Would you like to offer hope and healing to hurting victims among you? Consider bringing a Broken and Beautiful event to your community and a make a difference in the lives of the broken and beautiful in your life.
BROKEN OR BEAUTIFUL EVENTS
The face of sexual violence is everywhere. The grumpy grocery store checker, the guy who flipped you off on the highway, the neighbor that is constantly in your face, the family member that yells at everyone - these are the walking wounded. You can't tell by looking at them because victims of sexual assault and domestic violence don't come with labels. But if you take time to listen, you will see the evidence. Most people don't want to be angry, violent, or abusive. Most people don't want to walk around feeling afraid and ashamed. Beginning with ourselves, we can break the victim cycle.
This program helps attendees to understand the victim cycle and take an active part in challenging sexual abuse, domestic violence and rape culture. The personal story approach makes this difficult topic real to students and adults who have been exposed to these very real issues.
Speaking sessions can be presented in one hour, half day, or full day programs. A multi-session approach gives attendees time to fully engage the message and break into small groups for interactive round table discussions. Additional role-playing and team building exercises can be added for extra impact.
Broken or Beautiful events are available for:
High school groups
College age groups
Adult women of all ages
Sexual assault survivors
Mens and women's Community organizations
Law Enforcement Trainings
Medical Personnel trainings
Crisis responder trainings
Employee health and wellness programs
"These are such important topics. Our school is facing tragedy like never before. We need to work with students and parents to keep positive messages in front of them all the time. This program was a cost effective way to bring in a quality program that meets kids where they are." - High school administrator
"When you have issues like teen suicide, drugs, bullying, and pregnancy in your school, it is hard to remember what is true and right. This program reminded me and my friends that there is good in all of us, we just have to find it." - High school student
"He killed himself. He fricken killed himself. Why? Why would that be the answer he chose. I know he had it rough-he didn't have a dad, but we could have helped if we had known. I should have known. I should have been a better friend to him." - A high school senior
"This program is exactly what I needed. I have never shared my abuse with anyone. Kind of stuffed it down so far that it would never come out, at least that is what I thought. It was hurting me, defining me, and ruining my life. Maybe now I can take and honest look at my abuse." - College student
"Hatred is a confusing emotion. You don't know where hatred for the man who did this to me starts and the hatred for myself for allowing it ends. I don't want to hate anymore. I want to be healed. I know I can-I am more than my abuse." - Single mother
"I have never told anyone about my childhood sexual abuse. I have stuffed it away all these years and it has eaten me like a cancer. Tonight I found freedom in releasing it and speaking those horrible words for the first time." - 60 year old sexual abuse survivor
"This was safe place to open up. I needed to get that poison out of my soul. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from me. Maybe now I can heal." - Teenage sexual abuse survivor
"Bringing my wounds to the cross where Jesus was wounded Himself, gave me the strength to face this journey. He will walk with me and show me the path of healing and hope." –Sexual abuse survivor
“This was so hard to hear. I never knew what victims of sexual abuse struggle with. This session gave me good tools and resources to help the hurting people in my life. I will look at them differently now.” – Male attendee