Tell Your Story
Survivors of incest have stories to be told - and heard. Most survivors were told to keep the abuse a secret, and often go into adulthood afraid to disclose. For some, part of the healing journey is telling others what happened to them and the deep and lasting effect it has had on their lives. Disclosure encourages others to come forward in a similar way, and educates the community on the importance of discussion and prevention.
There are many opportunities to share survivor stories through written or spoken words. Below is a list of organizations providing space for survivors to share. Note that inclusion on this list is not an indication that the opportunity is right for a survivor. Those considering sharing their stories should carefully research the organization beforehand, and understand how their story will be used, how it will be kept private (if anonymity is important), and what right survivors have to their story post-submission. This guide from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) is an excellent resource for survivors considering public disclosure of their stories, and this publication is designed specifically for females preparing to tell and/or publish their story.
Opportunities to Tell Survivor Stories
1 in 6 Bristlecone Project: The Bristlecone project compiles a mosaic of photographs and words that portray the reality and hope of men who were sexually abused or assaulted.
Ask a Sex Abuse Survivor: This project seeks to amplify the voices of sexual assault survivors through a virtual storytelling event called Survivor Stories Online.
A Voice for the Innocent: AVFTI strives to empower survivors to safely share their written stories to community members.
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse: NAASCA’s Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) Talk Radio Show offers child abuse survivors and survivor-professionals opportunities to share their stories of childhood abuse, trauma, and recovery.
National Center on Sexual Exploitation: This organization helps survivors to share their written stories across multiple platforms because they believe that sexual exploitation should not be kept a secret.
Sexual Assault Youth Support Network: SAYSN accepts submissions of survivor stories, poetry, and creative writing, as well as photo submissions for their “I AM” Series Awareness Campaign, from young sexual assault survivors.
SNAP: The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests StoryCorps program records survivor stories at locations around the country (which are preserved at the Library of Congress) with the hope that those who have not yet found the courage to share will be inspired to come forward.
Surviving the Mic: This project offers a brave space performance and interview series for survivors of sexual harm.
Tail of the Bell: Exclusively for incest survivors, Tail of the Bell’s podcast series allows incest survivors whose life histories have gone through extreme adversities of the human experience to tell their stories.
Take Back the Night Foundation: This organization invites survivors to share their written stories and shatter the silence around sexual violence.
The Brave and Unbroken Project: Survivors can tell their abuse stories in this podcast series that aims to create brave, safe spaces for survivors to find their voices and heal.
Voices and Faces Project: Believing that silence is the enemy of change, this storytelling initiative brings the names, faces, and testimonies of survivors of gender-based violence to the attention of the public.
“When I hit one of my many bottoms, my life seemed distorted and disorganized, so I began to write it down. It was then I was able to visualize and understand how my life took a wrong turn. It was upside down. I knew more about sexual feelings than any six-year-old is supposed to experience. As I wrote, it became like a puzzle, and I could move the parts around into the proper order and make sense of it. That was an ‘Ah-ha moment’ for me.”
- Jane Epstein