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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A Lifetime of Moments...

My moments go back as far as I can remember - moments of violence and abuse at the hands of another. I remember as a child, slipping and falling on wet leaves because of...

My moments go back as far as I can remember - moments of violence and abuse at the hands of another. I remember as a child, slipping and falling on wet leaves because of the plastic feet of my flannel footed pajamas, desperate to reach our neighbors home so they could call the police before he killed her - my father beating my mother and my two brothers and myself. This always led to the police showing up and either my dad having left the home or passed out on the couch and the police saying 'they couldn't do anything because they didn't catch him in the act'. The frustration of that led to severe depression and disappointment and the profound helplessness that comes with the feeling that there is no way out - that nobody cares. Those moments led to more moments of bad choices in men, always picking the one that was most similar to my abusive father - a trait I didn't recognize til later in life. Now, at the age of 45, two months have passed since my last relationship ended in yet another act of violence, with me on the ground being attacked by an angry man. But this is the last moment. As I realize that in order to stop a cycle that my 11 year old daughter has witnesses, as I witnesses, and that the ONLY way to save her is to stop the pattern. NOW. She gives me strength I never realized I had, and a conviction - and a promise - to unlearn what I was taught at a young age. By saving her, she saves me.

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First Step in the Right Direction

It has been 26 days since I was sexually assaulted by a "friend", a man who is a Special Ed. teacher at the local high school & head football coach. It has...

It has been 26 days since I was sexually assaulted by a "friend", a man who is a Special Ed. teacher at the local high school & head football coach. It has been very hard on me; emotionally, physically, & psychologically. There have been some good days & many horrific days. I went 8 days without sleep after my attack. Every time I closed my eyes, I had flashbacks to the attack. I just couldn't bare to relive it and still can't. I knew that something had to change. About 6 days after the attack, I knew I was coming to wits end. In the early morning hours of another exhaustive night, I found myself online trying to find some solution; to find out what was wrong with me, why this happened to me, & if I caused this to happen. I stumbled upon the Joyful Heart Foundation. I found so much strength on your website. I've learned that It wasn't my fault, as much as other people tell me it is. The strength I found gave me the strength to press charges. I owe my life & a big Thank You to you all.

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Healing in the hands of the lord

Healing In the hands of lord takes time but it has given me hope that that is a possibility. I have suffered all kinds of abuse. This is my time to heal.

Healing In the hands of lord takes time but it has given me hope that that is a possibility. I have suffered all kinds of abuse. This is my time to heal.

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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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A year of change

2015 is going to be MY year. A year of change and empowerment. I'm going to heal my heart through therapy and support of my family and friends. And I'm saying...

2015 is going to be MY year. A year of change and empowerment. I'm going to heal my heart through therapy and support of my family and friends. And I'm saying no more to the domestic violence I've experienced. I'm going to protect my children and help them to learn that physical and mental abuse is wrong so they don't continue the cycle. I don't want my son to be an abuser or my daughter to be a victim. Things need to change. And they can start with me. Happy NEW Year!!!

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Me

I learned to like myself once more. That I am still me. I let the assailant have such power over me by being afraid of the dark. I found myself and knew that I, me, was...

I learned to like myself once more. That I am still me. I let the assailant have such power over me by being afraid of the dark. I found myself and knew that I, me, was the same person I'd always been. so for me there's no more being afraid of the Dark for awhile. It never gets easier; only better at accepting who you are. That YOU are STILL YOU- that's Victory enough. As Bette Davis said "We have won a victory. A victory over the Dark.

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This is my moment of change. Thanks JHF for helping me change into a bold and fearless survivor.

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Looking forward to life

It has been 13 months since I've seen my soon-to-be ex-husband. My husband and I were married for 12 years and have a 10-year-old daughter. I had moved to where he...

It has been 13 months since I've seen my soon-to-be ex-husband. My husband and I were married for 12 years and have a 10-year-old daughter. I had moved to where he lived, leaving behind my home, friends, family, and a good job. His abuse began after we were married: the isolation, mean words, subtle putdowns, pushing. I felt so alone. Where was the man I thought I was marrying? Then came the holes in the walls and yelling. It was like living with a wrecking ball. There was no moderation. I was either a saint or that bitch he married. He was either high on happiness or high on anger, and look out when the ball would swing. He broke things that belonged to me or my daughter. He threatened to hurt the dog. He would tell me to "go home". Everything was my fault. He rarely took responsibility for anything. Nothing was ever enough for him. Then he hit me. He threw me into the wall. Smashed things. Told our daughter he was going to kill himself and that she was to blame. I covered up, fixed holes, cleaned up, and wiped tears. I cried all the time. Every time I heard him drive into the driveway, I cringed. I thought: "If I just love him more, show him more respect, tell him what a good job he's doing, it will be better." I tried doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, and priests. He was fired from his job because he didn't go to work. He started to walk around naked in front of our daughter. My daughter would ask, "Is it my fault?" I am an educated, confident, resourceful woman. He started a new job but very quickly he felt the work was beneath him. One night, he put his arm around my throat, cut off my air, and almost broke my neck. I had no more to give. My daughter witnessed this. I got an order of protection and am getting a divorce. I don't miss him. I don't wonder how he is. My daughter asked: "How do you love someone you don't trust?" Good question. I have flash backs. Last week, a truck just like his passed me on the road. I jumped. I couldn't breathe. I was shaking. My eyes filled with tears. Yesterday, my daughter looked at me, started to cry, and said, "I'm having a hard time. I'm afraid he'll come back." And I said to her, "We are moving forward. We're looking for a new house. You start at a new school in the fall. Don't ever forget the past. Focus on the future, because that's where we're going, and he's not in it."

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I learned to be fearless in many areas.

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After all these years....it still haunts me

Today I sit in college, absorbing and learning. My life as a victim started at the age of 7 when I was sexually abused for the first time. Over the years I was a...

Today I sit in college, absorbing and learning. My life as a victim started at the age of 7 when I was sexually abused for the first time. Over the years I was a victim many times at the hands of my friends grandfather, my own brother, strangers and my daughters father. By age 39 the memories were so horrifying they took over my mind and I needed hospitalization. I am now 47 and have been through several hospitalizations and intense therapies such as EMDR, CBT and exposure. The exposure therapy is I think the best by far for me. Today I am a full time college student, a committed loving mother to a 20 year old daughter also in college and a beautiful 12 year old autistic boy. My Complex Trauma and PTSD has rocked many aspects of my life but I am a fighter and a survivor and I have taken my life back completely. This may not sound like the end of a fairtale but I feel like I found "happily ever after".

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Thank you so much!

This year has been awesome for me beacuse of Mariska,JHF,and NoMore!You guys have brought so much joy back to my life. I'm different from others.I had low self-...

This year has been awesome for me beacuse of Mariska,JHF,and NoMore!You guys have brought so much joy back to my life. I'm different from others.I had low self-esteem in myself and no confidce in myself to.I was bullied by others it wasn't fun for me at all. U guys are helping me everyday.I was looked at wrong and mistreated bad too.I'm happy I get to shared a lot of my moments with you guys it has help me to haved a fearless heart.keep up the great worked that u do for so many survivors everyday yes I'm a survivor of bullying.I was very slicence before I found this foundation it has helped me not to slicence anymore and helped others to.

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Fifteen Years Later

The first time I was sexually assaulted I was five, then again at fourteen, again by my best friend and her boyfriend and his friend at the age of twenty after they...

The first time I was sexually assaulted I was five, then again at fourteen, again by my best friend and her boyfriend and his friend at the age of twenty after they drugged me. Lastly, around the same time as the last starting at the age of 19. For two and a half years I was not only sexually assaulted, but I was mentally and physically abused by my boyfriend. My church youth leader that I told when I was fourteen, comforted me then comforted my abuser even more because "he must be going through a lot to have done something like that." I finally saw a therapist that specialized in sexual abuse. She was sexually abused as well and projected her abuse and issues on to me as well as other patients and lost her license after my parents as well as others turned her in. I never got help after that. Needless to say, I've been emotionally stuck in my early twenties for a long time. I'm thirty-five now. Last year, I finally told my mother about the abuse at the hands of my best friend and my boyfriend after finding the courage to write Mariska an email and tell her first. Mariska was the first person I'd ever told. In this past year, I've healed so much all because I was finally able to voice my abuse. Not only emotionally, but physically as well. I've had horrible health problems for the past ten years and since I voiced my abuse! my health has improved greatly.

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