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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Surviving to Thriving

I am a survivor of sexual abuse and incest. I was molested by an older cousin for 5-6 years from the ages of 7 or 8 until I was 13. I never knew what I went through was...

I am a survivor of sexual abuse and incest. I was molested by an older cousin for 5-6 years from the ages of 7 or 8 until I was 13. I never knew what I went through was considered abuse, but after learning about the different types of abuse and what was considered abuse I finally learned that I had been a victim of such a thing. I now know that the despicable acts that were committed against me were not my fault. I did not seduce my abuser - I was a child. I am not dirty, disgusting, or gross. I was a child that was taken advantage of and fell victim to the attention that my abuser gave me. I have my voice and power back and use it to give a voice to those that have not discovered theirs yet. I want people to know that there is healing after abuse and you can live a healthy, successful life afterward. I didn't just survive years of abuse, now I am thriving! I have completed my B.A. in psychology and am starting a masters program in the fall to become a therapist so I can help others!

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Little by little

This year I witnessed a victim of domestic violence safely leave the relationship she was in and find solace in a new home with a new job. No one should ever have to...

This year I witnessed a victim of domestic violence safely leave the relationship she was in and find solace in a new home with a new job. No one should ever have to live in fear. Love shouldn't hurt. I'm so thankful that she's safe and happy now. I couldn't ask for a better ending.

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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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From survivor to therapist

I was able to start the healing process and am a current therapist who helps people with eating disorder and who also deal with PTSD. I am grateful for this wonderful...

I was able to start the healing process and am a current therapist who helps people with eating disorder and who also deal with PTSD. I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity.

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Forgiveness

I'm learning to heal with time, and it's hard, but it's worth it.

I'm learning to heal with time, and it's hard, but it's worth it.

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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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Speaking Out

I spoke out to a councilor and I cried but it helped so much. Just to get it off my chest. I could barely speak, but writing notes and giving them to her and having her...

I spoke out to a councilor and I cried but it helped so much. Just to get it off my chest. I could barely speak, but writing notes and giving them to her and having her telling me that it wasn't my fault and telling me she believes me when no one else did- not even the police. And it just felt good when everything was bad. Knowing that I had already broke down and got it over with felt amazing.

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It's time for a change

Recently a friend of mine posted on social media that they overheard an argument between their neighbors. My question to them was if they heard the argument turn violent...

Recently a friend of mine posted on social media that they overheard an argument between their neighbors. My question to them was if they heard the argument turn violent, what would they do. Their response was they would just roll over and go back to sleep. I would assume that is the same response many others would have, even if they wouldn't admit to it. Having been a victim of domestic violence myself, their response hurt a little bit, even though I know that was furthest from their intentions. It brought me back to the time that I was being hurt in my own home while one of my children were sleeping in the other room. I had finally had enough and went to call 911 on my phone when he snatched it out of my hands. I went to the room in which my son was sleeping and picked him up so we could leave. I knew he wouldn't hurt me with my son in my arms. I tried to leave and he blocked the door preventing me from being able to open it. I screamed for help as loud as I could over and over again until I was out of fight. No help ever came, and while I made myself believe for many years that help didn't come because no one heard it, I am sure it was just the opposite. I am sure someone heard me. We lived in a four plex unit with neighbors all around us. Like so many others, they chose not to help because they didn't want to get involved. It wasn't their business so they were going to stay out of it. We need to change that mindset. Being that woman who desperately wanted out and needed help from someone else, I know how hard it is for the next woman going through the same thing I went through. We can't just sit by and say, it is none of my business or I don't want to get in the middle of this. All you have to do is pick up the phone and report what you heard. Let an officer go to the home and do a welfare check. It could turn out to be something other than you thought it was, but what if it wasn't? What if your phone call prevented someone from getting another black eye or broken wrist? What if your call saved someone's life? The circumstances may not be your business, but what if this person was not able to get the help on their own no matter how badly they wanted to? By calling and reporting, you are opening a door for them. You are telling them someone has heard their cries and someone is there and able to help when they are ready for it. It is letting the abuser know that people won't just stand by and listen to this happen, that when they hear this happen they are going to call and report it. You may think you are going to make it worse, but to the person getting abused each day they are abused is the worst day of their life. If you don't call they will get abused, and if you do call and they make the choice to stay, they will still get abused. We need to stop standing by and pretending this doesn't exist. Pretending it doesn't exist won't make the violence go away, it will be an open door for the abusers to believe they can keep doing what they are doing with no repercussions. Be the change we need and speak out for all those people who feel they have no voice.Give them the voice they never thought they had.

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I'm grateful I'm able to see such an amazing level of awareness being spread in my lifetime. Seeing this kind of change from ignorance, by-standing & blind excuses to support, understanding & love is what a powerful movement is made of. I want to support survivors and change for many years to come.

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Being fearless enables us to embark on a journey of healing giving us the joy that should always be ours!

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Miracles Do Happen

2014 was a very dark year for me - probably my darkest ever - but in the midst of that darkness, several very special and beautiful lights appeared in my life. These...

2014 was a very dark year for me - probably my darkest ever - but in the midst of that darkness, several very special and beautiful lights appeared in my life. These people helped me to keep on going despite the overwhelming despair that made me not want to. Their appearance in my life showed me that the most unexpected and miraculous things can be waiting for you just around the corner, so it made me realize that perhaps it's possible that one day I will heal and that my life will feel worth living again, even though it still feels impossible right now. But maybe things won't always be this painful. And maybe the future has some more good things in store, things that I can't even conceive of yet, but I'll only experience that goodness if I remain alive. My gratitude for these earth angels who have given me this hope is immeasurable.

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Extreme Survivor Thriving who found her voice

After being assaulted as a baby (Justice done) & teen (no Justice) and in 2009 by a religious leader at gunpoint i almost died not breathing (no justice) i never...

After being assaulted as a baby (Justice done) & teen (no Justice) and in 2009 by a religious leader at gunpoint i almost died not breathing (no justice) i never found the courage or knew about Rapekits i tryed to reach out no one heard me lots of stigma then i realized this foundation in 2011 saw people standing up i saw a Advocate recently share her story of how she waited so long finally got Justice and the money donated to help the backlog it gave me strength inside and a voice after knowing people really care i been sharing my story and having others come to me educating them and getting them help for healing I long to see my state do what New York has done It all started with Joyful Heart ty for helping me find my dream again to go back to school and helping me find that advocate survivor who was the first one to listen to my storys responsed in the most caring loving voice anyone has ever to me I LOVE YOU YALL KEEP IT UP

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Courage

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