“We’re not allowed to say things like that.”
“Did you really just say that? Wow!”
“I don’t think I could ever speak that way in front of an audience.”
These are things I hear all the time from people who work for organizations, or from other survivors. They can’t believe I say the things I do the way that I say them. They’ve never heard such brutal honesty, never laughed and cried from a single statement, never felt rocked to their core by a speech. They’ve never witnessed survivor after survivor come forward to disclose their abuse for the first time. They’ve never heard of people in schools, churches, and organizations moving so quickly to change their policies.
How do I do it? Why do my speeches have this effect? Because I’m real. All the time. Everywhere.
The fact is that too many children are being raped and abused every minute of every day in every town, and I can’t stand it. I’ve never been one to sit by and hope for something to happen or for something to stop. I make it happen or I make it stop. Used to be that my words and actions caused misery and got me into trouble. Now they’re saving children from the horror of rape.
I understand that there are certain things that advocates, government officials, and other professionals can’t say due to restrictions in their jobs. I understand that most survivors don’t feel comfortable speaking so bluntly about their experiences. I get that most people aren’t used to hearing the brutal truth about the rape of children.
Here’s the thing: I don’t work for any organization, I don’t work for the government, I’m not afraid of my own story, and I don’t give a damn if the truth makes people uncomfortable! We’re talking about the lives of children here! I will say whatever needs to be said if it means one less child has to suffer rape or abuse.
Sometimes I’m pushy about wanting to speak in your agency, your school, or your town. It’s because there’s no time to waste! There are children being raped where you are, right now, and I want it to stop. Don’t you?
“Did you really just say that?” Yeah… you heard me right!