Your Moments

Your support has made many remarkable moments possible in our work to heal, educate and empower. Your commitment, your resolve and your belief in change inspire us every day. We've launched this platform for you to share your own meaningful moments right here. Whether words, an image or a video, we invite you to contribute your moment of joy, gratitude, healing, change, hope, progress—anything significant to you. 

We also ask that you consider making a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you—to support Joyful Heart’s transformative work. 

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Coming Into MySelf

I’m so grateful today that I can now fully remember previously excruciating childhood scenes with little to no emotional charge accompanying the memory. That doesn’t...

I’m so grateful today that I can now fully remember previously excruciating childhood scenes with little to no emotional charge accompanying the memory. That doesn’t mean it’s all gone or that there’s nothing left to process. The further I get into my recovery the more I realize not to over-process and over-analyze anything, and that I don’t keep my nose down to the ground either. I am learning to be myself. I don’t know if the old age television blank screen noise disconnection, will still lurk on the edges of my consciousness, but I do know that I am aware it exists, where before it was all I heard. The way I make sense of coming into myself is that I am in a relationship everyday as 50 first dates. Every day fresh and new, with wide eyes and expecting nothing accepting everything in peace. Relationships are not static entities. They are actually living entities. Like any other living organism, every relationship needs continual care to survive and thrive. Coming into myself is a lifelong journey. For me, it is intimate, spiritual in nature, and it requires deep reverence for my own and others wounds. I have come to appreciate that no matter what the external circumstances were, no one gets out of childhood scot free, but if you get out alive, you’ve got a chance to turn things around.

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Thank You Mariska

Mariska words cannot describe how inspiring you have been, you have given me the courage to tell my mom about how I was molested as a kid. The back story is that my...

Mariska words cannot describe how inspiring you have been, you have given me the courage to tell my mom about how I was molested as a kid. The back story is that my abuser was my neighbor who my family was very close to. I knew what he did to me but I never realized it was bad when it happened I was age 6-12 I was young I didn't know. I was friends with his niece and I told her what he did and she said he did it to her too. From then on I knew it wasn't good anymore so I kept my distance. I didn't want to tell anybody because he had a wife and a daughter and I didn't want to get him into any trouble. I'm 17 now and about a 3 months ago I told my mom I'm not sure why I waited so long, I guess I thought since I moved 5 hours away it wouldn't haunt me anymore. I use to cry about it at night because it still haunted me I felt so bad for my young self that I felt that way about him; not wanting him to get in trouble. You gave me the courage to tell my mom it wasn't easy at all but I knew if I told her a huge weight would be lifted off my chest and it did. I finally feel free and I feel like I can really be myself. I use to think of myself as worthless because someone took advantage of me I use to be the victim but now I'm the survivor and surviving feels great. It was such a long time ago but it hurt for a long time because it ruined my self esteem because I felt like anyone could take advantage of me like that. When it says "submit a moment of:" joy,healing,change, and gratitude really do apply to me. Thank you Mariska for everything you have done.

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Survivor for 5 years

After much therapy, realization and education Im beginning to get used to the fact I didnt deserve it. I was in a same-sex relationship for 5 years, but I didnt hear...

After much therapy, realization and education Im beginning to get used to the fact I didnt deserve it. I was in a same-sex relationship for 5 years, but I didnt hear much about that type of violence. I was so emotionally blind and felt it was my duty to take care of her and make her feel better after she beat the shit out of me, I comforted her. I still keep the ring that cut up my face and affected my eyesight, although Im fine now physically, emotionally I still dont let myself believe it. I want the glbtq community to know that again, violence is violence, its wrong, get out.

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Justice is coming

Arizona is finally changing their ways. Its long over due. Holding test kits because a victim was not able to get her abuser to admit what he did on a recorded phone...

Arizona is finally changing their ways. Its long over due. Holding test kits because a victim was not able to get her abuser to admit what he did on a recorded phone line is UNACCEPTABLE. It is no surprise that so many victims do not come forward after being assaulted. Its another assault to ask someone to "pretend to have liked" what happened just to get a verbal confirmation from an assailant. http://azcops.org/arizona-law-enforcement-revising-stance-on-rape-kits/ Hopefully the 4000+ test kits to be "reopened" bring justice to the victims in Arizona.

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Justice is slow but I'm not giving up

2014 proved to be the best and worst year for me as I pursue justice. I still haven't gotten to tell my story in court, but I am inching forward. My case is...

2014 proved to be the best and worst year for me as I pursue justice. I still haven't gotten to tell my story in court, but I am inching forward. My case is difficult because the rape occurred in 1976. But I will not allow those involved to tire of doing the right thing and pursuing justice. Most of all, I am in court and am seen, if not heard, by the man who raped me, even though he is still protected by juvenile law. He is no longer safe in my silence.

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Thank You

Made our first donation to the Joyful Heart Foundation today. I was a victim of sexual assault at 16. Now, at 48, I finally realize it wasn’t my fault. Thank you for...

Made our first donation to the Joyful Heart Foundation today. I was a victim of sexual assault at 16. Now, at 48, I finally realize it wasn’t my fault. Thank you for doing what you do and for giving so many a voice.

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Little Sister

My little sister was raped by my stepfather when she was just 10. Your foundation helped her, along with local therapy. Now, at age twelve, I almost see that bright eyed...

My little sister was raped by my stepfather when she was just 10. Your foundation helped her, along with local therapy. Now, at age twelve, I almost see that bright eyed little girl again who's not afraid. Thank you, from a big sister, and an open-eyed supporter.

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A post from my blog back in September: A glimpse of the role this organization and the No More campaign have played in my healing journey.

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I want to thank JHF it is with all their efforts and Mariska's that I am no longer a victim of abuse, I am now a survivor who is on her way to becoming a thriving survivor! Thank you for helping me make the first step, thank you for believing in me and fighting for me!

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ENOUGH

The enough campaign presented by The Girl Code Movement

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Taking back control and creating a positive path

I read 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway' this year, after seeing it recommended by Mariska in an interview. Reading this amazing book made me want to take back...

I read 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway' this year, after seeing it recommended by Mariska in an interview. Reading this amazing book made me want to take back control of my life and my future. It's a slow process, but it's all coming together :) I look for positives wherever possible, I volunteer for a charity to help victims of crime, I donate to the JHF, I give love freely and am kinder to myself. There is beauty in this world and we all deserve to experience it. I am no longer anyone's victim, least of all my own!

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Pure Joy

In August, I married the most kind, and patient man I know.

In August, I married the most kind, and patient man I know.

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I'm so grateful for all that the JHF has done for survivors, public policy & awareness. I’m especially grateful for the awareness raised through social media.These campaigns have shed so much light on issues of sexual assault/dv & it's this work that will continue to impact our generation.Thank you.

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Live in the moment

After many years struggling in my world trying to keep everyone out. Keeping my wall so solid from the past of pain that no one could get in. After many tears and...

After many years struggling in my world trying to keep everyone out. Keeping my wall so solid from the past of pain that no one could get in. After many tears and trying to figure out who I can actually trust in this world I am starting to live in the moment. From the times of thinking nothing is going to change, I dont deserve any happiness and that this is actually the end. My dogs became my world my only reason to live even though everyone else was on the other side of that high wall my dogs I knew wouldnt have nasty words to say or even do anything to me that I didnt want. I have stopped trying to numb the pain with substances and abuse toward myself and started to trust others. Not all at once but with every little positive and the support people who came in and out of my life I started to gain that trust. Now after hitting roack bottom being homeless, loosing my job and loosing all those materialistic things in life I have learnt to be happy by myself and to like me. Through mindfulness, friends who have been amazing support and various mental health organisations and therapy I am dicovering myself not the person I was created by my past but the person I am creating on my own terms. I now have hope for tomorrow and dreams that I want to achieve. Also getting into peer support work where I can help others in similar situations to myself. I have become apart of this organisation as the founder Mariska Hagitay has been a huge part of my recovery sometimes giving me that hope even when I had no hope at all. Life is a journey there is the ups and down but I have discovered and am starting to come to terms with acceptance doesnt mean you are saying its ok what has happened to you but more that you accept that this is my past and has made me the person today. I am not letting those sick a and twisted people win. Thank you for reading hoping it makes some kind of sense but just getting it out there is where to start. There are many people out there who are there for support and if you cant find them just yet keep searching and never give up xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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taking back controll (ITS MY LIFE)

10 years ago i was sexually assault, while i was homeless. by a man who was sexually involved with my mother. when i finally got sent home by the juvenile officer and...

10 years ago i was sexually assault, while i was homeless. by a man who was sexually involved with my mother. when i finally got sent home by the juvenile officer and got the gust to tell my mother she took his side said i was lieing. all because she didn't want to lose her boyfriend. i let the memory of that horrid night run me out of my home town. i recently moved back and started attended a support group three weeks ago my rapist walked in to group, but i am taking back my life he already took so much i wont let him have another min in my head. head up chin up im taking back control be strong everyone and carry on

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