Advice from a Survivor: Asking for Help


Help is something that’s hard to ask for. It’s not easy in any way. There is so much fear in asking for help.

I am a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence. I am successful and have a wonderful family. But my story is quite traumatic. Sometimes I feel that it is too much to even believe. I have overcome so much hurt.

It started when I was a child when I lived in two different worlds. One world was Christian and another was a mix of drug and alcohol abuse.

As a teen, I made poor choices. I was drinking and ended up with the wrong person at the wrong time. I was too scared of my choices to even speak of what happened. All I knew was that I needed to find out if this man who I had a sexual encounter with had HIV. After STD testing, it was found that he was negative. I did encounter this man again and have a precious baby boy from this relationship, but it was sexually, emotionally, and mentally abusive.

I decided to tell my new husband about my experiences. I felt I was coping well with my past until I began to speak of it. I then began to have feelings that I had never encountered before. I felt trapped, ashamed, and very insecure in my present relationship with my husband.

So I asked for help. I asked my doctors and nurses. They have supported me through so much. I am at peace with myself for the first time in my life.

It is never too late to ask for help. Without my husband and family, I would be lost.

Ask for help. Find trust in the people who are sincerely there for you. Don’t hide. Don’t run. You are SAFE!


For more information on advocating for your needs with health care providers, read Futures Without Violence’s “Survivor Brochure: A Health Care Guide For Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence.”