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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Education, Awareness and Understanding about Domestic Violence and Abuse.

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Heart Opening

I was sexually abused as a child, by a girl I grew up with. I told no one for a decade. Through years of therapy, prayer and soul searching I was able to forgive her and...

I was sexually abused as a child, by a girl I grew up with. I told no one for a decade. Through years of therapy, prayer and soul searching I was able to forgive her and move on. I resigned myself at 19-20 to a life of being single, believing that I was damaged goods and no man could love me. However God had other plans. Years of therapy with an incredible counselor helped change my warped view of thinking. What truly terrified me was the knowledge that at some point I would have to share that painful part of my past. Fast forward to today: I'm in a healthy, beautiful relationship with the most amazing man I have ever met! We have been dating for over 8 months and no problems of any sort. He knows about what happened to me as a child, he's been amazing. I got to meet Mariska back in 2005. I hugged her and said 'It was so hard to survive this alone.' Her response was simple, 'But you did it.' Four words that forever changed my way of thinking, opened my heart to a world of possibilities

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Change

Hi, my name is Alexis S. I have an aunt that used to be in an abusive relationship, for years i couldn't figure out why? why would she stay? why would you defend...

Hi, my name is Alexis S. I have an aunt that used to be in an abusive relationship, for years i couldn't figure out why? why would she stay? why would you defend the person who gave you bruises and mad you feel so bad about yourself. I always told her god didn't put Eve on this earth to be beaten and abused, he made her so that she can be strong and be all that she can be as a woman. One day my aunt and her boyfriend drove to NYC and he got so mad he put her out in the side of the highway and drove off, later that night he beat her so bad, she had a broken arm and ribs, her one eye was so swollen she could barely see out of it. I was brought up in an environment that if a guy lays his hands on you, it was time to beat his ass but now i understand that some women and men are fragile they cant fight for themselves but that's why you have loved ones so cares and tries to help out. My aunt later on got fed up and kicked him out and had a restraining order on him, she was a changed woman, she was so depressed and cruel that literally everyday she fought for her life. I thank god for people like you Mariska & staff, this is changing the lives of people who so are afraid to get help and think their voices cant be heard but it can with your help. Thank you

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Friendship is (Forever) Magic

I took the time to remember a friend that I lost a friendship with and made an apology for not being a more committed friend and seeing past a disagreement that led to...

I took the time to remember a friend that I lost a friendship with and made an apology for not being a more committed friend and seeing past a disagreement that led to the discontinuation of our friendship. I very clearly let them know that they didn't do anything wrong and that I was sorry and regretful for not fighting harder to secure our friendship. The friend accepted the apology and said it meant a lot which eases any previous existing burden of grief, and for myself I can be free from failing to do the right thing that should have been done earlier. This allows two people to heal and start the new year with a fresh positive step forward!

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Rape Survivor Tattoo

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Beautiful Journey

Forgiveness has been a freeing part of my healing. I’ve realized that forgiveness is a process and as I reach different plateaus in my journey I must forgive/heal from...

Forgiveness has been a freeing part of my healing. I’ve realized that forgiveness is a process and as I reach different plateaus in my journey I must forgive/heal from that point of view . . . and the journey is absolutely beautiful.

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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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Time heals wounds

As a child I was molested by someone who was close to me, my own blood, my father. I was only 13 years old and I decided to share this with my friends because I couldn...

As a child I was molested by someone who was close to me, my own blood, my father. I was only 13 years old and I decided to share this with my friends because I couldn't take it anymore. They told the school about what was going on with me. The police was called, and my father was arrested that same night. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison, leaving my mother by herself with 4 children. We lost out home because my mother couldn't keep up with rent, so we had to go to a shelter. We lived there for 4 months until my mother was able to find a small studio for us to live in. We started out with nothing, not even a bed. But little by little with help we were able to get our necessities. We were dealing with poverty on top of all our psychological problems. My whole family system changed and the healing began, which was such a painful process. Now Fast forward! I am 25 years old, I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. I have a family. Time help heals wounds, it's a process.

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As a survivor of child and sexual abuse, I used my own healing as a platform to work on justice issues and women's rights. This evolved into helping women weavers in Guatemala -all survivors of war and violence - earn a living. There products are for sale at www.corazonscarves.com.

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Acknowledgement

It has been 12 years since my grandfather last abused me and 4 years since my ex boyfriend last raped me. The last time it happened I got pregnant, that was my chance...

It has been 12 years since my grandfather last abused me and 4 years since my ex boyfriend last raped me. The last time it happened I got pregnant, that was my chance for something good to come out of a bad situation. Losing the baby hurt more than anything either of the men that have hurt me could have done. Keeping it all inside and attempting to bury it all had just intensified the pain and made me unable to move on with my life, until I became aware of the awe inspiring light that is Mariska Hargitay and The Joyful Heart Foundation. Because of her strength and love I no longer feel alone, like nobody else knew this feeling of complete self loathing. Because of Mariska I have found the courage to talk about my story, to open up and seek professional help. I feel I owe it to Mariska to live my life to the fullest and to help others that are in need of some light in their lives. So thank you to The Joyful Heart Foundation and to Mariska Hargitay for being the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel.

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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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Never To Late To Start Over

Being married over 20 years with 4 children working 60 hour weeks has many challenges. In the beginning of the marriage the abuse started almost right away. About 7...

Being married over 20 years with 4 children working 60 hour weeks has many challenges. In the beginning of the marriage the abuse started almost right away. About 7 years in I started to make a considerable more money and also had the gastric bypass surgery which made me very thin he then had a reason to not be as abusive but I found out later he had moved it to my children. He would tell then when he did it if you tell your mom I will do it twice as bad the next time when she is not around. In a lot of ways my story is unique but not unique. As my children got older and moved out my health took a turn for the worse and I could not work so he did not have his sugar mommy anymore. Well the abuse started full force again even thou I was sick. Easter started very turbulent and he would not let up when he told me he was going to hurt my son it was like a light switch went off I called the police, got a Protection From Abuse, and started the fight of my life for the next 5 years. After he was moved out we all started therapy and through therapy and time and spending time together learning what it was like to live life normally I look back and want to help anyone I can to realize they do not deserve any type of abuse and especially there children do not reserve. My children after he was out started to confide in me and tell me the truth. This person I lived with for over 20 years broke my son s wrist and had him lie about it, gave my daughter a concussion, knocked my grandson over on Christmas eve all because he did not get his own way. He played on the facts that he usually was quiet in public, was built nice and attractive. One of the big problems involved with this is he new it. He played on everybody feeling sorry for him. Once we all got away from him it was easier to piece things together like the fact that he made fun of everyone even people who thought they were his friends. His family and mine he made fun of the most. Getting out of this relationship was the best thing that ever happened to me. My children have suffered the most due to the abuse, fear and secrets. He would tell the kids about his horrible parents and losser siblings and really he is the worst. I would tell everyone involved in some type of abuse it is never to late to get out. It was tough in the beginning but it was worth it. I love my life and I am glad for everyday. I would tell everyone you are worth it to start your life over and continue to make positive charges. Just keep trying.

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Inspired

"Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity." Thich Nhat Hanh

"Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity." Thich Nhat Hanh

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