Saturday, July 4, 2009

30 Years of Independence Days

30 years ago this weekend a family member sexually assaulted me. I know for some of you, this may be hard for you to read.

As most of you know, I work at a Rape Crisis Center; working with victims of Sexual Assault (meeting them at hospitals, supporting them during their exam, training volunteers, and cooridinating the program).

I have always believed that what has happened throughout my life, happened for a reason. I still do. Each day I live for that day and live it for it's fullest. I help whomever is in my path to the best extent that I possibly can.

Each 4th of July holiday, I obviously can't help but recall the events that took place when I was 14 years of age, and brought me to where I am today. This weekend being the 30th anniversary, I am recalling many things, and now, and with the experience I have had, am realizing many things about myself (some good, some not so good!).

For those people in my life that I may have hurt along the way - I am truly sorry - I never meant to ever hurt anyone. I know that many times throughout my life I was hurting inside and did not know how to express myself (that is no excuse - but an understanding hopefully some of you can accept). I am continually learning about myself and am hoping to be a better person - day by day - and can only pray for forgiveness from those of you that I may have hurt along my path of life.

Because of the Lord and support of my wonderful husband and son, may I follow on the path where I need to be.

Yes, this "Indepedance Day" has made me "Independant" for many years, there is no denying that - I had no other choice for a long time.

But I can tell you I truly miss the love of my family and friends each and every day. And it is very deep.

*Please don't let the little things in life (and you know what they are) create more problems for you or others in your life than need be. Put things into perspective!

*People will only accept your help if they want help.

*Always offer a victim help. Let it be their choice.

*It is never the victims fault.

*Always believe a child that discloses sexual abuse.

*Be supportive of anyone that wants to talk to you about abuse. Offer them a hotline number from a local rape crisis center OR offer them the RAINN Hotline; 1-800-656-HOPE - or offer them to visit: www.rainn.org

*RAINN will transfer you to your local rape crisis center

*Remember, if someone that wants to talk to you about abuse, does not want you to solve their problems - let them talk!