Jerome’s Story

Jerome Whitehead is an author, husband, and survivor of multiple childhood sexual assaults. “When you’re groomed, you’re taught to keep secrets. You don’t even realize that you’re being groomed to keep secrets.”

Nelson’s Story

Nelson Hincapie is a husband, father, Colombian-American, and president and CEO of the Voices For Children Foundation. He is also a survivor of child sexual abuse. “I don’t think it’s talked about at all. I think that for heterosexual men to be abused in their childhood by adult males it is a source of great shame and deep wounds."

Kaylee’s Story

Kaylee Conway was sexually abused by an extended family member. As with most children experiencing sexual abuse, she didn’t have the words to understand what was happening at the time. “To me, there was always this elephant in the room. I wanted to talk about it, but didn’t know how. I thought that because they didn’t ask, they didn’t want to talk about it. I blamed a lot of my extended family members for not bringing it up, but I wasn’t ready for that conversation either.”

Justine’s Story

Justine Baker is a Native American artist, advocate, and survivor of sex trafficking and abuse. “As my descendants come across my name, I don’t want them to come across the horrors I went through. I want them to see this article, and read that I’m a survivor.”

Dedeker’s Story

Dedeker Winston is an author, relationship coach, podcast host, and survivor of intimate partner violence. “What I want on a T-shirt or maybe my gravestone is the phrase ‘no jerk is worth it.’ You are worth so much more. Every single person is worth so much more than putting up with abusive behavior.”

 

Nicole's Story

Nicole is strongly connected to her Peruvian heritage and is dedicated to her faith community. She is also a survivor of child sexual abuse. “I don’t know if anyone can understand this, but my faith healed me. I just know that I’ll be okay. I’m no longer just trying to survive, life is about living everyday to your greatest potential.”

Lorward's Story

Lorward is faith-oriented, a dedicated friend, and a writer. He also experienced sexual violence during his first year of college. “Every level of campus—roommates, RAs, school counselors, therapists, and the administration—needs to be part of this. We need an increase in capacity and programs so that students can get the help they need and administrators and therapists aren’t too swamped. We need to make resources known on campus.”

Desarae’s Story

Desarae Garcia is a social worker, mother, podcast creator, storyteller, and survivor of child sexual abuse. “I’m a huge advocate for people to be trauma informed. If someone tells you they’ve been abused, believe them. If it’s too much for you to handle, find someone else who can help.”

Samantha's Story

Samantha Lynn is a musician, member of the LGBTQ community, and survivor of sexual violence. "Music is how I talk about what happened. Every time I share my story in a performance, people come up to me after to say they’re survivors, too. It’s so healing to know you’re not alone."

Elise's Story

Elise Roberts is a professional dancer, dedicated friend, and visual artist in her spare time. She is also a survivor of intimate partner violence. As a teenager, Elise experienced depression, bullying, and self-harm. “You are not a victim, you are a victory. Remember— you’ve made it through 100% of your bad days. You made it this far, you can keep going.”

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