Here at Verity, we serve hundreds of survivors every year and reach thousands through our outreach and education efforts. Some survivors choose to share their stories with us, and others simply silently make a note of our services. Not every survivor will want or need our services, but we still want to amplify the voices of people who have experienced sexual violence.
Every person who has experienced sexual abuse deserves to feel heard and valued, whether they identify as a survivor or a victim or don’t let it affect their identities. We want to hear from YOU — whether or not you have experienced sexual violence, exploitation, or trauma yourself. Sexual violence impacts our entire community, and we can all benefit from a safer world where we support and uplift each other with compassion and grace.
If you want to share some insight, advice, thoughts, histories, prayers, wishes, or any words with the Verity community, we would be honored to have you take part in our #DearSurvivor campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We want to provide this platform for stories both from survivors and to survivors. Please click here to share.
Some examples so far:
“Your negative feelings are valid, but that doesn’t make them true. You are worthy and loved, just because you’re you.” – a survivor, victim, friend, child, sibling, relative, and future lawyer.
“You are strong. You are still you. None of this was your fault. You deserve happiness.” – a sibling, friend, and child.
“I was sexually assaulted by a stranger while I was hiking alone. No one was around. For me, the hardest part was admitting to myself what had actually happened and admitting I needed help. Then, once I finally became a client at Verity, I was worried that talking about what happened out loud was only making it worse. Slowly, the nightmares became less and I stopped having panic attacks when someone breathed or walked in a way that reminded me of him. For me, it was a slow process and I had to work hard, but I feel more like myself than ever thanks to Verity and the wonderful supportive people around me. ” – a survivor and former Verity client.
“just because i’m quiet doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. just because i ignore the subject so as to ensure that i keep my panic attacks about the night i was raped as quiet as possible, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. just because i don’t openly label myself as a survivor doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. it just means i need more time to heal. please allow space for me.” – a survivor, victim, resident of Sonoma County, sibling, partner, relative, friend, child, and student.
“Don’t let anyone take any more of you and your future than they already have. You are strong, you are brave, you will get through this. Keep moving forward, find your light again.” – a survivor, victim, and resident of Sonoma County.
“This is not the beginning nor the end of your story. It is a page of a much, much larger and deeply important book.” – a current or former volunteer, a child, and a daughter of a survivor.
“The fact that you are here – moving forward each day – proves your strength and resilience. I hear your story. I believe your story. I believe in you.” – a current or former volunteer, a resident of Sonoma County, a survivor, a victim, and a friend.
“Healing happens at your own pace. No one has the right to rush the healing process.” – a current or former volunteer, a resident of Sonoma County, a survivor, and an ally.
“You are so much more than what has happened to you. One day, you will pick yourself up. One day, you will feel joy and light again. And you are already OK, even if you don’t feel hope right now, I believe in you and I know your healing is possible.” – a survivor