“I really don’t feel like I have any say in the situation” Tonja said. She had been living with a “purchaser” for the last 5 years. They had 2 children together and although he remained sexually abusive and had multiple affairs, Tonja believed she was “stuck”.

Much like Tonja, Sabrina went back to her madam after 6 months of recovery. She said “I was afraid that if I didn’t go back she would sell the kids to make money.” The madam had two children of her own and had, on multiple occasions, threatened to sell the 3-year-old and 5-year-old if Sabrina didn’t bring in enough money to ‘pay the bills’. Sabrina was 15 when the madam began selling her, who at that time, was a run-away seeking a safe place to stay.

Part VI

These ladies have something in common – they both feel stuck or that they have no choice. This is very common for survivors of sexual abuse. They begin to identify themselves by what others have told them or manipulated them into believing. All survivors share a similar level of trauma and loss of control.

Dear Survivor,

There are a few things I want to share with you. These are things I wish I’d known earlier in life but very thankful I know them now.

  1. Healing is available and possible! Things might get worse before they get better, but the end is spectacular.
  2. Support and services are out there, and you are worthy of receiving them. PATH is one way of getting the help you need. Call the number below today.
  3. You are a cherished child of God and deserve to be treated with kindness and love. The Lord created you to be cared for and honored, not abused.
  4. You have the right to a forensic exam by trained clinicians, as well as treatment for STIs and HIV.
  5. You have the right to report at any time, and you have the right to be represented by legal counsel.
  6. Complete joy is possible! Seriously, I would go through it all over again to get to where I am today. I am happier that I have ever been, and I would love the opportunity to share that healing with you.
  7. We are praying for you! That may not seem possible, but every morning the PATH team comes together in prayer and we pray for all survivors – ALL! So, regardless of where you are or what is going on, God is sending His angels to your aid. He is ready to love you when you are ready to receive.

Note: Whoever you are; wherever you are, we are right here praying for you. Call 501-301-HELP (4357) or 501-993-1641. If you don’t call PATH, call someone. Get the help you deserve. Be sure to seek help from those who specializes in trauma. We are praying with you and for you!!

This is part IV of an educational series on healing from sexual assault called “Dear Survivor” by Louise Allison, Founder of PATH; Nurse; Speaker, Writer, Survivor