Quotes about sharing your story

"Each and every one of us has a personal story to share.  And your story — of struggle and of triumph — can inspire others. Your story has the power to awaken others to their potential, opening them up to new possibilities of living, learning and loving." -Maria Shriver

"When we share our stories, what it does is it opens up our hearts for other people to share their stories. And it gives us the sense that we are not alone on this journey." -Janine Shepherd

"It's very important that we tell the truth. Don't tell everything you know but do tell the truth." -Dr Maya Angelou

"The whole story is about you. You are the main character." -don Miguel Ruiz

"Tears are words that need to be written." -Paulo Coelho

Sharing your story of sexual assault can be extremely difficult and painful, and even harmful to your healing process if you are not ready. It takes time to process the violence you have endured as a survivor. Be kind to yourself and know that just because you are unprepared at this very moment to share your story to family, friends, or the world, that it's really okay. Rushing your story isn't in your best interest. You will know when it is time to share your story. Your voice will be heard, and your heart will be felt.

Thinking about sharing your story?

Here are some questions to help you get started:

The facts/history:

In as little or as much detail as you are comfortable with, talk about how you were sexually assaulted. Include: when, how, who, what.  Again- only what you’re comfortable sharing on Profiles Of Hope!

Who did you tell afterwards, and when?

How long has it been since you were sexually assaulted?

What kind of treatment, if any, did you receive afterwards?

What kind of steps did you take to begin the healing process? (Remember, if you didn’t think you took any steps at first, it’s okay- no one tells survivors what to do afterwards!)

Your heart:

Today, where do you think you are in your healing journey?

What does your healing look like? (i.e. therapy, art, writing, activist, being a mom, etc.) (answer in any way you see fit, no wrong answer)

Have you overcome the shame/guilt? Is it something you still struggle with?

What other psychological factors have affected you because of being sexually assaulted? (Trauma, nightmares, flashbacks, feelings of unworthiness, PTSD, depression, etc.)

What’s the hardest part about being a survivor?

What healthy ways have you learned to cope with the past (being sexually violated)?

Your life today:

What does your life look like today?

Where are you living? What are you doing? Who is in your life?

In what ways does sexual assault still affect your life today?

How does it affect your loved ones surrounding you?

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Can you speak on “hope” and the way you have picked up your life and carried on since? What gives you hope?

In what ways have others helped/encouraged you in your healing/recovery from sexual assault? Who are those people who have come alongside you?

In your own words, what does it mean to be a survivor of sexual assault?

Do you find it easy or difficult to tell your friends/family your story?

As a survivor, what advice would you give to survivors reading/watching/listening to your story? What encouragement can you give them?

If you're sharing through Profiles Of Hope:

How do you think survivors can/could benefit from Profiles Of Hope?

Did you watch the video? If so, what were your thoughts?

In what way(s) can we (POH) improve our website/mission/outreach to other survivors?

Are there any other comments you would like to make about your personal story or Profiles Of Hope?