A dream come true!!! An opportunity to give back just as I had hoped.
Dear Kim Dunham-Christian,
Hello to ALL! Before anything else, I would like to commend each and everyone of you for your courage in sharing your experience and yourself as we work to create the first ever state-wide Speaker's Bureau for survivors of sexual and domestic violence in Virginia. Your words and the knowledge that you have gained along your journey have the power to bring healing and hope to so many. Your presence and your willingness to share your experiences can bring about much needed progress and change to a culture that, far too often, turns a blind eye on the trials that face survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Silence has been our enemy for far too long. Together we can make our voices heard!
The Survivor Caucus of the Virginia Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Action Alliance has reviewed your application and would like to invite you to attend our first Speaker's Bureau Training...
When I received this email I cried because there was finally a way for me to make a difference; an opportunity to stand before the General Assembly, local legislative bodies, schools, churches, etc. and let them know that there is a name, face, and voice for Domestic/Sexual Abuse victims in Virginia.
We had a training session two weeks ago and to say that it was intense would be an understatement. I met 8 wonderful women who have been affected by domestic/sexual violence in their lives as victims or advocates and they each touched me in a way that I can't begin to describe.
I knew accepting this would be a challenge but it was one that I felt I was ready to take. I wasn't wrong. It opened up a lot of wounds that I'd like to keep closed but they won't ever heal that way so it was/is much needed. I heard stories similar to mine, more horrific and heartbreaking but also stories of victory, survival and thriving that boosted me up and let me know that greater things are out there for me.
I received hope that one day there will be no more demons haunting me, no more nightmares, no more fear and total healing and forgiveness for everyone involved. I received hope for a brighter future not just for myself, but for all the victims that have been silenced in the past.
As we stand up and tell our stories, their stories, we can bring about a change in the way society views us, handles and supports us as we strive to break the silence, break the chains of bondage that keep us in the dark or cowering and living in fear from our abusers.
And where there is hope, there is light to show the way as we walk out of the darkness.