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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.
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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.
Walking With Othera
One of the things for which I'm most grateful is being able to walk with other survivors because when I began my own healing journey I didn't have the...
One of the things for which I'm most grateful is being able to walk with other survivors because when I began my own healing journey I didn't have the resources that are available today. My most joyful moments have come from being there for others, even if all I can offer is that I keep someone from feeling so uniquely affected that no one could possibly understand what they feel and think. I am what I call a "Riser" because, even though I've faced the challenges of incest, torture, brainwashing, priest abuse, date rape, a series of abusive relationships, mental health issues, disability and homelessness, I continue to get back up. There aren't many people with whom I can't find some commonalities, and I share myself openly in order to find others and offer them my support. I recently had to deal with my best friend and roommate, a survivor who read my profile and reached out online, passing over to Spirit. I don't regret any of the loss I feel because I know how much it meant to both of us to journey together in the time that we had. It's so worth it because I got to see her transform in the years before she suddenly lost her life. Love really is what it's all about for me. <3
It took a long time to get past the things that happened to me years ago. Being sexually abused by a family member when I was 8-9 and then being raped when I was 22...
It took a long time to get past the things that happened to me years ago. Being sexually abused by a family member when I was 8-9 and then being raped when I was 22 really messes with your ability to not be afraid. But I realized with support, law&order SVU, Mariska, JHF and other survivors that what happened to me was NOT my fault. I decided to not be afraid of something happening to me again and focus on rebuilding my self. I can tell my story now to help other survivors heal. And once you start healing you will thrive. It's a whole new world when you become fearless. So I am thankful for the people in the world that have helped and are helping me thrive!
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!
This does not define YOU
In 2005, I became a drug addict. I was 15, and people are easy to take advantage of you. At 16, my 'best friend' brought me the drugs I needed, as 'a...
In 2005, I became a drug addict. I was 15, and people are easy to take advantage of you. At 16, my 'best friend' brought me the drugs I needed, as 'a gift'. When he asked me to pay him, after we finished it all, I told him I didn't have money, and I thought this was a gift. He then took it upon himself, to rape me, as compensation for the drugs provided. He left me on a park bench, near a lake, in the cold. I told ONE person at that time, she then told my 'friend' what I said happened, and he got 3 girls to beat me up, and threatened to kill me if I said another word. I never saw him again. I stayed an addict. I almost died in a car accident a year after my rape. I broke my body, did permanent damage physically, emotionally and mentally. 3 years after that, I almost overdosed, and put a gun to my mouth. I don't blame 'my friend'. I am not angry at him. I'm sober now for nearly 5 years. It's been a struggle and it's been a beautiful, painful struggle. I wouldn't change this at all. Now, my rapist is in jail, for god knows what, and that's satisfaction enough. HE did not define me. MY RAPE did not define me. THE DRUGS did not define me. The strength to move forward, and see life for the beauty it is, that defines me. Be strong. Don't let the struggles define you.
I am a survivor of child Molestation, it has taken me years to get over it. I now go to counseling daily basis. This has helped me deal with the trauma that I received...
I am a survivor of child Molestation, it has taken me years to get over it. I now go to counseling daily basis. This has helped me deal with the trauma that I received as a child, and trying to kill myself as a child. I Hope one day I can share my story with others and to let them know you can get through this.
I was sexually abused by my father for my entire childhood. My father will never face justice because his crime happened so long ago, it has been 34 years since I left...
I was sexually abused by my father for my entire childhood. My father will never face justice because his crime happened so long ago, it has been 34 years since I left home, but I find the love and understanding of beautiful people like those at Joyful Heart makes my heart sing. I am comforted by the knowledge that we are changing the playing field. We are talking, we are taking action, we are standing strong. I love all those women and men that fight against ignorance and carry the message of hope for those still presently in pain. Thank you for your hard work.
One Day, One Moment, At A Time
When I was 18, I ran away from home. I left my house with a small garbage bag of clothing, got into the car of an almost stranger, and refused to look in the rear view...
When I was 18, I ran away from home. I left my house with a small garbage bag of clothing, got into the car of an almost stranger, and refused to look in the rear view as we drove away. I was terrified of what the future held, but I was even more terrified to spend another day in that house. I knew that if I had stayed, I would die. My Step Father started physically abusing me at a very young age, but the sexual abuse started on my 12th birthday. Over time, the abuse got worse and more severe, eventually, when I was 15, he took me out of school and kept me close to him almost 24//7. I never thought I would escape, and even a few times,I tried to take my own life. After I left, he tracked me down to the state that I moved to, harassed me for years, came to my new State that I live in now, and last year, we came face to face once more. I never believed I could work through all that happened, and hated myself for what happened to me. I blamed myself for every bruise, every scar,every broken bone, and every panic attack/flashback I had. I found the Joyful Heart Foundation, and through the stories of others, I found the courage within me to stand up and fight for myself like I never had the courage to do before. I found a courage and strength that I didn't even know existed, and I turned it around. I realized I was NOT to blame for what he did to me, and I also realized that what he did, what he allowed others to do to me, did not define me at all. It wasn't overnight, but I was finally able to look in the mirror, and not hate what I saw staring back at me. I had an amazing therapist, I found the Joyful Heart Foundation, and seeing all these other people coming forward with the "No More" campaign, I found my voice again. I am so grateful, to Mariska, The JHF, My Therapist, and all of the other people out there, who have inspired me to continue my fight, when there was a time that I thought there was no way possible I could get through this. I'm 29 now, and while I'm not exactly where I want to be, I know that one day I will be, and if you find yourself in that position too, don't give up. There's hope and healing, and I promise you, you're not alone.
Being Set Free
Born into the foster system, but had a relationship with my biological mother until I was ten. Sexually abused by from when I was four until I was twelve. Physically...
Born into the foster system, but had a relationship with my biological mother until I was ten. Sexually abused by from when I was four until I was twelve. Physically abused from 2009 until 2011, sexually abused two days after my sixtenth birthday. I'm now twenty years old living with epilepsy,wanting to make a difference in this world. My first moment of healing happened in a vision I had of me being set free from the abuse, feeling ashamed of everything. From nobody believing me, being yelled at when I confessed to someone I thought would help. I gave up telling anyone anything ever again, and accepted it was my fault. My moment of healing began when I had this amazing dream, and I saw butterflies. Butterflies to me symbolize life going from being unseen and un thought of to being such beautiful and inspiring creatures. I remember Mariska Hargitay saying "even if noone else stand by you, know I'm fighting for you". It was long ago. It's 2015, and I'm healing more each day and am happy
I was sexually abused starting at the age of 3, however I also experienced physical/verbal/emotional abuse throughout my life. I had developed C-PTSD by the age of 4 and...
I was sexually abused starting at the age of 3, however I also experienced physical/verbal/emotional abuse throughout my life. I had developed C-PTSD by the age of 4 and chronic depression by the age of 10. I spent years trying to take my life and finally resigned myself to living alone in the darkness that is surviving. In fall 2013 my best friend finally sat me down and helped me contact a therapist. 18 months later I have found hope and while that first therapist has now moved, I will never forget her. My current therapist is just as amazing and has helped me grow even more. I have now started a support group in my area for others who have survived. I know now it wasn't my fault. There is hope, there is light, and there is joy in this world. I have felt joy for the first time in my life. I have hope that I can thrive now and maybe one day have a family. My story is just beginning.
Thank you to all the moments posted. Most of all thank you to one special friend who I find dear and close to my heart who has been a great listener. He has been such an...
Thank you to all the moments posted. Most of all thank you to one special friend who I find dear and close to my heart who has been a great listener. He has been such an outstanding gentleman to express helpful input to help me come out of a dark place. My emotions and actions still have not found a place on this earth at this time and I am still closed to express them to anyone. Life is a challenge and there are moments when you just walk away. I am much stronger now and grow everyday. Somedays there are words or statements that trigger certain things but you have to learn to move forward which is very difficult. Thank you to joyful heart for everything. Most of all thank you to my special friend who has been their through the rough times that I have been really moody. You have been very caring and understanding. Wish the best to all. I am not ready to share my story with all at this time but when the time is right I know you all will be there for me.