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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My Darkness

My story starts as a victim of child abuse that started when I was 7 by a trusted adult. It lasted til I was 11. I never had the courage to tell anyone. I have always...

My story starts as a victim of child abuse that started when I was 7 by a trusted adult. It lasted til I was 11. I never had the courage to tell anyone. I have always had trust issues growing thru my teens. Then as I got into high school things got worse. When I was 17 I was raped by my step brother. Fear, Trust, Stability issues have been deep in my thoughts. Not having the support I needed to report or even speak about it. At the age of 28 I found the most supportive man loves me in spirt of my fears. 1st time if acceptance. I had a great job, gr8 guy. I went with a few friends to a company party. Having a good time I was talking to a few ppl. Come to realize that I was given a spiked drink. Next thing I knew I was raped again. This was someone again I trusted. Kept telling myself that this wasn't real. It couldn't have happened again. I discovered The JHF . Mariska Hargitay & Maile Zambuto are my reason for living. Bucket List Wish 2 meet both ladies & say THANK YOU & I ❤️ Y'all .

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Let"s Keep Going!

There have been many moments of awareness & education in our violence prevention movement this past year, nationally and internationally. We continue to struggle...

There have been many moments of awareness & education in our violence prevention movement this past year, nationally and internationally. We continue to struggle against the silence and injustice surrounding sexual and domestic violence as we attempt to discover,uncover,heal and prevent these traumas and crimes. But we are making progress. We now know the extent of this illness. It exists within families, the military, on campuses, within prisons, within sports, etc. It is pervasive and endemic. The more people become engaged, the more organizations collaborate, the more progress will be made. At the dawn of a new year----let's keep going. Together we can heal and prevent!

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Possibilities

I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the people who gave me support and guidance through my journey of discovery and healing. A victim of childhood sexual abuse...

I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the people who gave me support and guidance through my journey of discovery and healing. A victim of childhood sexual abuse and abuse and violence in what should have been safe..my own home and my first husband. When faced with the shame and disgust I felt towards myself... I found there are people who care. It started with my therapist, my very supportive second husband of 30 years and discovering Joyful Heart. I can honestly say I love who I am. I now do everything I can to help, so children and anyone who has had to go through this familiar pain, have the tools and resources to get the help they need.

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Bound by 20 years of silence

My moment, is of more than just healing, joy and gratitude, for it is a moment of all 3! I want to thank JHF and Mariska and all involved for all that they have done. My...

My moment, is of more than just healing, joy and gratitude, for it is a moment of all 3! I want to thank JHF and Mariska and all involved for all that they have done. My entire childhood I was abused both physically and sexually, I have been raped 6 times, sodomized 3, and molested, that is not the end of my abuse, I was also verbally and emotionally abused. I told no one, for 20 years I pretended it didn't happen until June 2014 I told my story for the first time. I am no longer a victim to the assault, the abuse or the worst of it all SILENCE! I am going to reclaim my life, it may take a while but if I have lived through the abuse, I will survive the recovery. Thank you all at JHF and Mariska for letting me know that my story, my feelings and myself matter. My life has been forever CHANGED! "Survivors who have been through horrific , unfair experiences, they have this will, when they get support, a chance, they can not only survive but they can THRIVE"- Olivia Benson

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No More Abuse

The domestic violence and sexual assault needs to stop. Women who are rapped are being treated like an animal. It is not right to abuse women, and viciously murder...

The domestic violence and sexual assault needs to stop. Women who are rapped are being treated like an animal. It is not right to abuse women, and viciously murder someone I am standing to end Domestic Violence and Sexual assault. I say #NoMore!!

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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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Its On Me

I've never thought my words would matter. When I was in high school, I was sexually assaulted by a football player. I was a teenager- head over heels in love with...

I've never thought my words would matter. When I was in high school, I was sexually assaulted by a football player. I was a teenager- head over heels in love with the fact that our star quarterback "liked me". One day, he walked me to class- alone in the back hallways where we knew there wouldn't be any traffic or teachers to keep their eyes on us. I've always been shy when it came to public affection, but this boy made me bold. And yet, I was always scared to be left alone. I wasn't strong enough to resist him. And so, as I bent down to tie my shoe, he grabbed my butt. I asked him to stopped. He only laughed. As I stood up, he pushed me into the wall, and I became terrified. I asked him to stop, and remember saying I had to get to class. He laughed and began putting his hands down my pants. I froze and he laughed, saying that no one would believe me anyway- that I was "too smart" to let sexual assault happen to me. The first time I told this story, was through tears at an open mic during our sexual assault awareness week. I had kept my story to myself for so long. It was full of shame, guilt, and secrecy. But, when I opened up with others, the story gave me a power. It allowed me to heal others, to be a light, and a voice. It gave me the chance to put it on me- to put the power to end sexual assault in my hands.I am speaking. I am crying. I am healing.

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Opened Doors

I finally was able to open up to a dear friend about my assault many years ago - and his support meant more than is possible to put into words. The last time I'd...

I finally was able to open up to a dear friend about my assault many years ago - and his support meant more than is possible to put into words. The last time I'd told someone I was pushed aside & shamed for it. The two of us healed together - my willingness to talk about my experience led him to opening up about his as well. Our support for each other will help us grow immensely as people and as survivors.

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My life, and this work—the work that we are doing together—is a testament to the fact that healing is possible. That change is possible. That justice is possible. This captures a remarkable moment for me—one when I felt in my heart like never before that the end of violence and abuse is possible.

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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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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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Sometimes Sunshines in my life

I start my week with Sunday worship. Then Monday is meditation time to reflect on where I am and to thank God for giving me the strength to forgive. Once you are able to...

I start my week with Sunday worship. Then Monday is meditation time to reflect on where I am and to thank God for giving me the strength to forgive. Once you are able to forgive, the person who hurt you no longer has any power. The memories are still there but you are free. Your smile returns. You are able to show compassion to another. You become an active listener. Your walk changes and above all your heart will change. I now understand the meaning of the battle is the Lord's not mine. There are times when I just ask the lord to "fix it". The valley I walked through I would not wish upon the one who used and abused me. Prayer changes things no matter what others may tell you. Even when the images come, tears fall but I know in His time all wrongs will be made right. It is in His word and His promise. There is healing if you are willing to let it go. The decision is up to you. Let 2015 be the year you decide to start the healing process. You will feel renewed with a rejuvenated spirit

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Meeting Mariska & Maile outside the NASDAQ opening, thanking them for saving my life, and getting a hug from them that put a piece of me back together, a piece that had been broken for far too long.

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Sentenced

Today I watched my abuser be sentenced for her crimes. I thought that I would be frightened being in the same room with her, that I would feel powerless again, but as I...

Today I watched my abuser be sentenced for her crimes. I thought that I would be frightened being in the same room with her, that I would feel powerless again, but as I watched her walk into the courtroom in an orange jumpsuit and shackles, I was not afraid. I felt relief, because, in that moment, I realized that I am free. I am free from what she has done to me whereas she will have to deal with the legal fallout of her actions for the rest of her life. I am a stronger person for having overcome it, and I will remain strong.

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I did an ice bucket challenge to raise awareness for ALS, but also in honour of the Joyful Heart Foundation and End The Backlog. So important to me to spread the word in the UK about the amazing changes you are creating. From the bottom of my now joyful heart, thank you.

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