Monday, December 6, 2010

I am a survivor.

There are an estimated 60 million reported cases of childhood sexual abuse in the U.S. alone.  And these are only reported cases.
I am a Mother of two and grandmother who survived childhood sexual abuse. I am a survivor who did not allow someone else's choice to ruin my life, and supersede my ability to succeed.
I was a child when I was faced with the traumatic experience of sexual abuse.  My survival inspired me to write an autobiography called VISIONS FROM THE PAST (A True Story).  Despite the fact of it being difficult for me to recall the unfortunate sexually abusive encounters of my past, a dear friend convinced me that there were others like me who shared my experiences and pain.  Although it took years for me to build the courage to write my story, I did.  The refusal to remain silent freed me from the shames of the past.  Now, through our Non-Profit Organization S.N.V., Inc. (Survivors Not Victims), I’m in a position to help and assist those who has experienced this great sin of sexual impropriety which has caused so much harm in our communities,  
Going through life’s trials, through God I learned that with Shame; there is no shame in something that was out of my control, with Guilt; there is no Guilt for the atrocity that was forced upon me and with Fault; I was not at fault for the actions of others.
Learning that I was a strong individual that could beat all odds, sharing my story so that others would know they were not alone and accepting that God had given me strength to survive all that I had experienced, I realized I had a choice to either remain a victim of my abuse or become a survivor. I understood that I could not allow my past to deter, break or prevent me from being the successful individual that God meant for me and all survivors to be; I am a survivor and not a Victim. 
Being a survivor of Sexual Abuse, I want other survivors like myself to realize that there is life and success after such a traumatic experience.  I was a child when my sexual abuse occurred and writing my book was the most difficult thing I had ever done in my life.  However, being Survivors, we face difficulties in life that others would not understand; overcoming fears, jumping over hurdles or just taking the next step.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7.
I do not want to see another child go through what I went through as a child; something so horrific and atrocious that no child should ever have to experience.  Sexual Assault is wrong; not the people who were victims of it.  It took many years to understand I was not the one at fault.  What's key here, is for those who have been affected by sexual abuse to do something about it, and that's what S.N.V., Inc. is all about.  This organization is a beacon of hope for those who seek to survive and overcome the effects of sexual abuse.
All those who are victims of sexual abuse, join me in becoming a SURVIVOR, because God gave us the strength, the power and the choice to do so.  Faith and a desire is all we need.

Article by Veronica Thomas

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