"With every person that speaks out...

my resolve strengthens. Sharing these words, finally calling [the] abuser out publicly by name, brings

the start of a new calm." 

Eliza Dushku

                                                         Content Warning 

The Survivors Speak section of this blog is a space for survivors to engage in free self-expression through a variety of creative formats. When the experience of abuse is generalized instead of specific it can hide the true impact. If you choose to enter these first person accounts and experience a trigger or flashback, here's some helpful advice from other survivors who have been there with you.

January 31, 2018

I was 12 or 13 when I had a dream that Jesus was reaching out to me and he was asking me to reach out to him.

When I was born, my big sister and my mom created homemade birth announcements to welcome me into the world. My five-year-old sister drew pictures of a little baby in a blanket on each card and the inscription my mother added read: “I am not at all as small as I look from the outside.”

I was in Junior High and I’d just r...

May 8, 2017

Prior to the new millennium I had never experienced depression, as I understand it now, and therefore could not relate to those who had. However, by early 2002 that changed. My husband and I were experiencing financial difficulties as a result of 9-11 and the subsequent economic downturn. And the year before, my good friend and her husband and a couple of their family members were killed in a tragic car accident. I was devasta...

April 12, 2017

This may be an unfair assumption, but many people are probably only reading this post to hear about my experiences with Luke Hartman. My story is so much bigger than him though, and writing this post has involved revisiting some of the hardest moments of my life. Please don’t cheapen that long and painful process by skimming to the “gossip.” My story may be long, but grab some caffeinated coffee, maybe a cookie or two, and kee...

September 15, 2015

"We [who break the silence] are not the creators of tension. 

We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.  

We bring it out into the open where it can be seen and dealt with.

Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up

but must be open with all its  pus-flowing ugliness

to the natural medicines of air and light,

injustice must likewise be exposed,

with all the t...

August 2, 2015

Representing SNAP Mennonite (Canada), Dr. Cameron Altaras delivered the following speech at the annual SNAP conference in Alexandria, Virginia on August 2, 2015. More than 300 survivors of sexual abuse in faith communities and their loved ones gathered to hear speakers from around the world who educated and inspired us to “protect the vulnerable and expose the truth” about sexual abuses of power in our own denominations.  A vi...

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