What happens when you buck tradition of GENERATIONS of women who don’t discuss sexual abuse and rape? You break the silence, and give voice to future generations; you give them the power of language, framework, self-worth, un-shame.
They, the new generations, are finally able to speak up to and about abusers, thwart some abuse situations, keep themselves safer, stronger, more educated - even if you weren’t able to do so yourself. They are able to rally around others and spread good information.
It is a most powerful ripple effect - helping so many and creating a chain of support and belief.
My mom spoke early and often, in age-appropriate conversations, about her own abuses. She armed me with her history, and the histories of generations of women who endured abuse, and largely swept it under the rug. I was taught and encouraged to speak up and speak out - no judgement or shame in our safe home and conversations.
I had the language, history, and self worth to stand up for myself in situations that felt unsafe, relationships that turned forceful or sexually abusive, with someone at home who believed me, stood beside me, and fought for me when I was the recipient of random sexual assault in school. I was given VALUE.
I am so grateful for the information, stories, and language she shared with me. She gave me strength, power, belief in myself, and unconditional love - and broke the chain of silence and shame in our family.
Nichole Madonna is a local artist in Lancaster, PA. She transforms her experiences into multi-media works which you can find at nicholemadonnastudio.weebly.com. Nikky also volunteers as Speak Truth Ministries' social media coordinator, bringing encouraging and empowering quotes to you daily.
Speak Truth Ministries is a 501(c)3 organization. We rely on the generosity of others to continue being a bridge of hope for sexual abuse survivors. To donate, visit our home page.