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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stop silence, stop suffering

My name is Manon. I've 18 years old and i'm french. And here, you have my story: I was sexually abused when I was 12 years old. I kept silent three years,...

My name is Manon. I've 18 years old and i'm french. And here, you have my story: I was sexually abused when I was 12 years old. I kept silent three years, but during those three years, I became depressed, suicidal , anorexic. I was dirty, shameful , ugly. This guy was my brother's bestfriend . And my friend too. I saw him often , he had the opportunity to hurt me , and he put me lower than the earth . I was just a child. And one day, after having lost 13 kg, during the medical visit at my college it's the nurse who became aware of my anorexia. Everything went very quickly. she made me talk . I was delivered , finally. Police, judge , everything. it was considered , but not guilty. police considered "an teenage experience" , because at the time it was no older to 16 years. When he rape me I said " no", "stop ", " you can't ", he doesn't stopped . It was not considered rape as such. And the police considered it not an sexual assault. Drug, addiction, no friends, no love, destroyed at only 15 years. I have not been a teenager, I grew up too fast. more quickly than others. others do not interessaint me. I was alone, harassed by others and by my past. Besides that , my brother went to live with my mother because my father hit him violently. He left the house. And my father hit me at me . He hit me once . Then two. Three ... five ... ten times. growing stronger each time . He said it was my fault that he hit me . child beaten and raped, it's me. I moved with my mother 5 years after my brother , I suffered because of my father for 5 years after my brother left home . more rape. more the rejection another. more my scarification . live in silence , yet. When it will finally stop? And then there was this sudden change in my life. I met some wonderful people who give love to my life , who guiding me has a very good psychologist, who made ​​me regain confidence in me, who showed me that I had a values ​​and I was not "nothing" or " a shit " or "good for nothing " or " dirty girl ." I started to change , I have my confidence back . I found a second family , this family? Scouts of France . they me saved . They know that my history is realy difficult. But they have always supported me. Today, i myself am. I live again. I have my history, and i live with. My life is much joyfull. I've changed, I would definitely never again the same, but I grew up , I am a good person and I do good around me. An part of my life is also engraved in my skin. I made ​​ tattoo the phrase " our best " in french, because I always wanted to get me by , I have doing my best to get me by , and they have helped me to get myself out , so together we do "our best " . I'm these children affected by the violence of a father and victim of the sexual crime of a teen judged not guilty, but i'm alive. No more.

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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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Healing and justice

I never received justice for my sexual assault or physical abuse. In fact, my abuser died. Finding the Joyful Heart Foundation, SVU, Mariska, has provided me with the...

I never received justice for my sexual assault or physical abuse. In fact, my abuser died. Finding the Joyful Heart Foundation, SVU, Mariska, has provided me with the justice and healing that I need. For years I couldn't share my story, I was depressed, angry, and stayed in bed all day everyday for months. I stumbled upon the foundation and Mariska and things slowly started to change. It was the first time that I learned that people care about me and wanted to help me! Thank you! Thank you for saving my life!

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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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"That's a feeling, not a FACT"

As I watched the SVU marathon, on 12/31/2014, there were many scenes that hit home, but there was one that went right to my soul, one that I watched several times, and...

As I watched the SVU marathon, on 12/31/2014, there were many scenes that hit home, but there was one that went right to my soul, one that I watched several times, and words so strong, I will remember them everyday to come. It was at the end on episode 5 season 15. Mariska Hargitay is telling a 2x rape vic. That the hardest thing she herself has to remember, is not to beat herself up for putting herself in that situation. The victim says, so it's your fault, but not mine. Mariska, responds, no "THAT'S A FEELING NOT A FACT" THANK YOU Mariska Hargitay. Words to remember. These words should be shared in your NO MORE ads. My deepest GRATITUDE for such healing words and all you do to help break the silence.

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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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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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I wrote about poem about society's complicity in violence

we can stop violence and abuse, but we have to do it together

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JOY IN HEALING

I was married to a man when things were good life was to but when there was a problem he became very controlling and abusive both verbally and physically to me and our...

I was married to a man when things were good life was to but when there was a problem he became very controlling and abusive both verbally and physically to me and our oldest son when I got out I put all the hurt away to raise my kids but they are all grown grandkids are grown so had time to remember things that happened was very depressed didn't enjoy much then God should me JHF started reading and watching everything about Mariska and what she was doing work up yesterday happy and wanted to help support JHF work thank you for giving me a reason to keep going.God BLESS MARISKA her family and ALL THE PEOPLE OF JHF.

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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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Healing

I am very gratiful i am able to finally break the silence. Over 50 years ago i was molested feels good to be able to talk about. i am looking for some professional help...

I am very gratiful i am able to finally break the silence. Over 50 years ago i was molested feels good to be able to talk about. i am looking for some professional help . God Bless Mariaska and entire Joyful Heart Foundation for giving me to courage. Doug Longmire

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I'm constantly inspired by all the members of our community, especially on social media, who turn towards these issues with such passion, creativity, positivity and determination. Every day I get to witness the way our community responds to them and to each other like this is a moment of joy.

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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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World Summit on Innovation at the UN

How Beethoven's 5th Symphony changed my life

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Healing My Heart

I am still on my journey of healing my heart, and my mind, after being sexually, physically, and psychologically abused from age 3 to 18. I was never believed when I...

I am still on my journey of healing my heart, and my mind, after being sexually, physically, and psychologically abused from age 3 to 18. I was never believed when I tried to tell as a child, so I stopped trying to tell; especially after being told by a church leader that "(I) wouldn't be getting hurt if (I) was just more obedient". Now, as an adult, I work with my therapist; and with the support of God, I am finally healing. As I heal, I pray for ways I can help to stop the abuse of children. No child deserves to be abused! I am thankful that I recently found The Joyful Heart Foundation, and for the work you do to end sexual assault and child abuse. Thank you!

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