Survivors Have the Right to Tell Their Stories

Silence
You have the right to remain silent.
 I learned about the Miranda rights case in my 8th grade Civics class.
Great lesson. 
Remaining silent can actually keep you out of prison. Got it.
That was pretty easy. 
That went right along with the family’s commandment. 
Don’t put all your business in the street.”  


Speaking

But who teaches when to speak? Who teaches us how to speak? 
Specifically, who teaches us how to talk about rape or sexual abuse?

There are no classes for that. There aren’t even classes to teach you about body safety or child sexual abuse.

Do y’all remember those fire safety classes?  What about the tornado drills going back to Kindergarten?  I was well prepared for a house fire or tornado, but not for the devastating disaster that millions have suffered.

What makes me sad, and angry is that when Survivors finally find our voices we must deal with obstacles in the form of ignorant people. 

Ignorant people who try to preserve a “legacy” or a fictional character. 

Who try to up to uphold an ancient myth or tired con that was discredited in the pages of the Bible for goodness sake. 

I have spoken. I have been heard by those I care about. I even got a chance to find out that “understanding” is completely overrated. Don’t need it. 

Give me my peace, justice, healing, and blessings and I’m on my way.

Your inhumanity is showing
But others. Let me see someone attempt to silence another victim boy/girl, man/woman- I get sad. I get angry. I have to get myself.

Because it amazes me how inconsiderate people are about the lifetime pain that violence brings. 

So people who want to protect legacies, fictional characters, money, reputations, statistics, and entertainment over peace, health and wellbeing; I think one would have to be God himself to understand. 

Their thinking missed several updates. They are out of date.

There is no way that you can experience what WE have, or hear the many stories coming through through trembling voices that so many of us have and feel that way. 

No way that you could hear about suicide attempts and people dying of suicides because the pain was just too much and feel that way.

No way they could hear about how the pain of violence gets passed down from generation to generation and still feel that way.

If so, they may want to go track down those downloads. It is causing them to be less humane I’m afraid.  We can tell.

Benefits of Speaking

You know, there are several benefits of sharing your story, but I’ll just leave you with two for now:

1. Speaking can be healing. 

Public speaking should never be used as a therapy session. However, if you are truly delivering your speech from a genuine place with every intention of helping to educate others, you may get a great sense of reward.  

Because stories from the heart often do help others in a way that other methods of communication just may not. 

2. Your story can open the eyes of many.  

It exposes people to different type of people who have experienced trauma and abuse. Sometimes people seem to believe that  rape and sexual abuse happens to “certain” people. They also believe that only “certain” people rape and abuse others. 

When audiences hear stories being told from the voices of people from many backgrounds it helps to break through these stereotypes.  Hearing them tell their many varied stories can open eyes.

I really enjoy the impact of speaking. I know firsthand that it changes lives. 

(What a Difference a Voice Makes)

Remember, no matter the size of the audience, if you are reaching one person you are doing something amazing. 

Safe adults need good information. Information is our greatest weapon.  

Our power is in our words. 
Our power is in our writing. 
Our power is in our voice. 
WE have the right to SPEAK!  
For us, it is the way that WE remain free. 


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Tonya GJ Prince
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Tonya GJ Prince

Tonya is a Social Justice Info Expert with over 23 years experience. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development. Her cat MiaBelle is her co-writer.
Tonya GJ Prince
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