SURVIVORS of sexual violence are told they should be over it by now. There was no physical damage done to you so why are you letting this get in your way, why are you letting this stop you from achieving your dreams. Why are you holding onto this; forgive him/her move on.
As a society, we seem unable to understand, empathize and sympathize with those who are violated but have no visible scars to show. We place less emphasis on the invisible scars. We ignore and ridicule those who suffer when they appear to be “healthy” and “normal”. Who decides what’s normal/healthy, who decides who is allowed to feel pain and what constitutes a long enough period to go through the healing journey?
As survivors, too often we let people who have no knowledge of what we go through dictate how we should act and how long we are allowed to act that way. We let people dictate when we should heal, how long we should take to heal and who we must forgive. Part of the healing journey, part of beginning to take control of your life, is deciding what is best for you.
The invisible scars are no less important than the visible scars. The invisible scars stick with us, and while no one else can see them, we can. We can feel them, we see them every time we glance in the mirror, and to us they are visible and truly that’s all that matters. What matters is what you see, how you feel and what you want.
This is your life, you were violated, you have a right to feel how you’re feeling. You have a right to be angry, scared, sad, confused. You have a right to feel violated because you were. Don’t let anyone minimize the scars that you bare just because they can’t be seen.
I want you to know that what you went through, what you continue to go through everyday isn’t easy. I know the pressure you are under to pretend it never happened, to forgive, to move on, to BE OK, to pretend the “invisible” scars don’t matter, that they aren’t important. Sexual Violence leaves scars both visible and invisible with its survivors. No one gets to decide which scars are important and which aren’t. No one gets to tell you that what you went through is any less important than someone else. Know that are strong and brave and you will get through it. Know that you are not alone, that we understand and are here to help and listen if you ever need.
PROSAF has been out of the spotlight for the better part of 2017. While it may seem like we were gone, we were not. We took some time to become better educated, to get PROSAF officially registered and to subtract a few of the obstacles in our way to providing the services we want to offer.
We would like to continue to serve as the safe place where you can seek support and validation throughout your healing process. We understand that this is a big step that not everyone is ready to take. We completely understand. Don’t be hard on yourself, when you are ready we will be here.
For those of you who are ready, please feel free to call, text or email us. We at PROSAF are always here to listen and support you. Feel free to contact us via the information below. Remember you are not alone. You are strong and brave. You will get through your healing process but it takes time and patience. We are here to help and listen. Feel free to contact us if you ever need a place to offload or vent.
Souyenne Dathorne, Velika Lawrence
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com
Facebook: SURVIVING SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CARIBBEAN: https://www.facebook.com/pages/PROSAF-Surviving-Sexual-Abuse-in-the-Caribbean/165341356853908
Twitter: @PROSAF_SUEEZZY: https://twitter.com/PROSAF_Sueezzy
Webpage: http://www.prosaf.net/ (under construction)
Telephone: 1-758-724-9991(Sue) 1-758-723-6466(Vel)