Waking up every morning may seem like something automatic to do and possibly something that can even be taken for granted, but to the innocent people who have been sexually assaulted or/and raped, this can be very challenging and an on-going battle. Whether survivors have come forward or are still in silence, the feeling of being alone and helpless is constantly being reminded to them as their fears keep re-surfacing from deep within flashbacks and memories of their attack. However, by having an inspirational organization like RAINN ( Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network) who specialize in encouraging survivors to get the right help from professionals, survivors can move forward and start to have hope in their lives.
“It is vital you get yourself help if you are in an unsafe situation. I cannot stress strongly enough to get support after you come forward as a process so gruelling, cannot be done alone. Dealing with triggers such as songs, smells etc can cause flashbacks, which is hard to cope with sometimes but then I have the support of my friends and other survivors who help me through it.” – Alyssa Marie
No matter how young or old anyone is, sexual assault and rape is wrong and it is never the survivors fault. As a survivor, they tend to feel guilty, shameful, and feel like they are to blame for putting themselves into these dangerous situations, but the only one at fault for being raped and/or sexually assaulted is the one who does it. Although this is something that a survivor is constantly always feeling and can be hard to fully understand and accept, with great help-lines and organizations like RAINN, they can help them to understand that these are normal feelings to have after a traumatic incident. With the help from RAINN, survivors are not only taking the first step, but a first positive step forward onto their journey of recovery, healing, and hope.
“After a traumatic event, it is also typical to have feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards. Victims also might avoid places, events, or objects that remind them of the experience. Emotions related to avoidance are numbness, guilt, and depression. Some have a decreased ability to feel certain emotions, like happiness. However, Understanding what you’re going through is the first step to recovery.” – RAINN
In the moment of the attack, the survivor’s power is taken off them and is transferred to their attacker because the feeling of watching some vulnerable gives them (the attacker) a sense of power. Unfortunately for sexual assault survivor Alyssa Marie, she was unable to defend herself to her attacker because she was too young and the vulnerably was sadly unavoidable. Alyssa’s loss of security was taken away from her at a very young age because of these traumatic episodes that surfaced throughout her childhood years (until he was reported a few years later), but sadly he was never convicted due to lack of evidence.
“It started when I was 3 and it didn’t stop until I was 5 or 6. It was my dad and he was never convicted because I was too young to testify and when I was old enough it wouldn’t hold up in court so he is still in NZ however I am safe and I have a protection/restraining order against him.” – Alyssa Marie
For survivors who have been through what Alyssa has, (especially when their attacker is out in the community unpunished for their crime) their instant reaction is to keep quiet because they fear that if they speak up, no one will believe them. Many survivors who have been assaulted in their childhood or adult life generally do not share or report their attack straight away (if at all) because of this and therefore stay silent. With supportive organizations like RAINN, they are always making it aware that as a survivor, there is constant share of love to help them report, reach out, and guide themselves to the right kind of help that will benefit the recovery process. RAINN however, do not force survivors to report their attacker (although it is strongly encouraged) but are there to 100% support the survivor and make sure that they feel safe and have a place to go to if not.
“RAINN is helpful because they offer hotlines and services that are available. In my opinion you definitely need to seek professional help and also definitely do things that make you happy or do things to take your mind off it.” – Alyssa Marie
To a survivor, having hope is hard to contain because when you lose all sense of security nothing positive, seems possible and you feel like you should always expect the worst to happen. But thanks to Gorjana and Hollywood Actress/RAINN advocate KaDee Strickland they have made this possible for survivors to have hope because their collaborated RAINN Hope Necklace certainly brings light out of something so horrific.
“The RAINN Hope Necklace is a meaningful symbol and reminds me of what it means to be a survivor and it’s a constant reminder of how far each individual survivor has come.” – Alyssa Marie
The RAINN Hope necklace not only reminds survivors that they all survived, but also that they can get through anything and they never have to be alone because it is never too late to get help. To everyone who is not a survivor, it is also another way for anyone to show their support and help encourage survivors to reach out and gain back their control.
“I am not a survivor by I bought a hope necklace as my way of showing support to survivors who have one through the worst of things and need help to get their voice back.” – Lacey Ives
No matter if you were sexual assaulted or raped that happened 20 years ago or last week, there is always hope for you and it is never too late to get help. Please contact RAINN by calling 1 800 656 HOPE or on their 24hr hotline at www.rainn.org because once you have taken that first step, you will be able to start to heal properly.
To buy a RAINN Hope Necklace, please go to Gorjana’s website direct link: www.gorjana.com/products/RAINN-Hope-Necklace.html and for every necklace you buy, 80% of all the proceedings go directly to RAINN.