I Developed a Passion to Encourage and Empower Others

During my childhood I was sexually assaulted by 3 different men. The first two assaulters during my childhood were men who were in my life temporarily. The third man became my step-father when I was 9 years old, and if he had not died in 2011, he would still be in my life. My mother remained with him even after she discovered his assault of me.

As a survivor of sexual assault, I have a passion to help others heal from their assaults. And as a sister of a rapist, I also have a passion to reach loved ones of other rapists–to help them realize the need to help their family member to face justice for their sexual assaults, and to help give justice for the victims of their loved ones.

I am thankful that I was able to heal from my childhood assaults, as well as other issues which I experienced during my early years. From this I developed a passion and mission to encourage and empower others. For over 22 years I have worked in college financial aid, and have not only been able to help thousands of students with the financial assistance to have a college education, I have also been able to have conversations with many students in which I was able to encourage them, direct them to free counseling services when needed, etc.

I believe in looking for positives in negative situations, and it has been thrilling to be able to use the negatives and pains of my past to uplift, help, and empower hundreds of people. I have happily shared important messages which I learned from my experiences, such as the fact that a person’s past does not have to dictate their future, that it is important to choose whose opinions you receive and value from others, and the value of self-encouragement. It has been empowering to use the pain of my past to help people who I encounter to find their own healing. Negatives of the past can be used for positives of the future. Being assaulted does not define us, it is what we do from that assault actually defines each of us. We can heal, we can be empowered, and we can overcome.

-Mary, Survivor