Breanna Stewart, WNBA Finals MVP, on Basketball as Healing

Each month, RAINN highlights a member of its National Leadership Council. The NLC is a group of dedicated individuals who have shown their commitment to RAINN’s mission of supporting survivors and ending sexual violence.

This month, RAINN’s Christy Rozek checked in with Olympic gold medalist Breanna Stewart, who was named the WNBA Finals' MVP after leading Seattle Storm to their fourth WNBA championship this year.

What inspired you to serve on RAINN's National Leadership Council?

I was inspired to serve on RAINN's National Leadership Council because I want to be able to use my story to help others. Sexual abuse is something that is more common than we think and I don't want anyone to feel alone.

How has your passion for basketball been part of your healing journey?

Basketball has been a part of my healing journey because it was my outlet. It was my place where I could put my head down, work hard, and not think.

What advice do you have for those hoping to protect children in their lives from abuse?

Advice for those hoping to protect children in their lives from abuse is just to keep an open line of communication and make them feel comfortable to talk to you about anything.

How can we all be better supporters and advocates for survivors?

We can all be better supporters and advocates for survivors by realizing that no story is the same. Being there for one another, no matter if it is just to be a sounding board. The biggest thing is don't make us feel alone.

What words of support do you have for other survivors? What do you wish someone had said to you?

To other survivors I would tell them to not let this define them. Do not let this dictate your life, but instead fuel you to be better. I don't know why bad things happen to good people, but our story can help change and save lives going forward. Something I wish someone said to me is just that there is no right or wrong way to heal your wounds, but you will find the way that is right for you. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

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