Wednesday, March 8, 2017

There Is Only Honor in Being a Survivor

With all the negative media attention and the stigma of sexual assault I love it when TV shows get it right. From everything I've heard Law and Order: SVU gets it done right. I don't often watch this show as I am still easily triggered by themes of sexual assault; however, I do sometimes read articles about it. I read an amazing article about their most recent episode "No Surrender," which lead me to actually watching that episode.

It revolves around an Army Captain, Beth, who was brutally attacked and raped. My favorite part of the episode was the last scene where Captain Beth Williams gives a press conference. I absolutely adore what she had to say.

"My name is Captain Beth Williams. On January 8th I was raped. This does not lessen my ability or worth as a soldier. It will not define me. It will not break me. I'm not ashamed of what happened. I stand here with one mission only to encourage other survivors of sexual assault to do the same. There is only honor in being a survivor."

Ah!!! Doesn't she just say that perfectly. That is exactly what I try to live by and emulate. I don't always do it fully. I struggle with feeling shame or embarrassment, but in those moments I remind myself that the actions of another do not dictate my character. My worth comes from God.

It is not always easy to speak out about such topics. My stomach flip flops every time I press publish, but this needs to be talked about. I have had so many people come to me and tell me something similar happened to them. I love that. I love that more people feel safe enough to share and talk. The more we do the less stigmatized sexual assault will be.

Just like Captain Beth said, my rape will not define me and it will not break me. To all other victims and survivors, I stand with you.

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