Autumn Shell

Autumn Shell

 
March 13 2015

I Am A Survivor

Autumn Shell

 

I AM A SURVIVOR!

It took me half of my life to be able to say these words. I didn’t realize how empowering those words would become to me. I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. I became a victim at the hands of my uncle when I was six years old. The abuse continued until I was ten.

I hid this secret for decades. I saw my uncle constantly and he never let on how he had hurt me.   I felt ashamed and blamed myself thinking I had done something to cause him to abuse me. I justified keeping the abuse a secret any way possible. I loved my family. I didn’t want to be the reason for tearing our world apart. I suffered in silence.

As life continued, I became a wife and mother to my own children. The suffering I experienced from the abuse never stopped. I was 32 years old when I began having terrible nightmares about my abuse. I was reliving the violence all over again, night after night. I couldn’t continue living and suffering silently. It took me a year to become strong but with the help of my husband I can honestly say, “I AM NO LONGER A VICTIM!” I am no longer under the control of my perpetrator.

I have reached out to many, just as many have reached out to me. I started a Facebook page titled Sexual Violence Awareness, Stories, Info and Help. I continue to reach out to anyone who will listen. We have to end the silence to break the cycle of violence. I still suffer from PTSD but feel more in control of my life than ever before. My uncle can no longer hurt me.

My dream is to start an awareness and advocate program in my small community. Our children need to be educated. I have children myself and want everyone to realize the epidemic of sexual violence in all communities. It is everywhere and no one is safe from the possibility of becoming a victim.

I am taking a two-day training program on advocacy this month. I plan to start an educational program in our schools. I want to spread the message that we all have the power to do something to stop this abuse! Everyone can play a role in breaking the silence on sexual violence! I will continue to reach out to anyone who wants to listen. I will fight to protect the rights of victims and continue to educate others about the crime of sexual abuse. We must work together to end sexual violence.