Interpersonal violence impacts us all!
In two weeks I (B.Leah) will be headed to NYC for Black Women's Blueprint Truth & Reconciliation Commission on Sexual Assault. I have served as a Victim Advocate in multiple capacities. Helping survivors navigate systems, sharing their testimonies with their approval with law enforcement, I have spoken with harm-doers (sex offenders) about the impact of sexual violence, and have spent time on college campuses and in churches doing much of the same.
But, I too am a survivor. I too have experienced moments when I was triggered. I too have recalled moments when I said I didn't want to do 'x, y, or z' and "he" did it anyway. I too have cried myself to sleep. I too have eaten emotionally - trying to stuff myself full so that I could escape just for a moment. I too have self-medicated with alcohol, weed, and multiple sexual experiences in which I thought gave me power but really just sent me down deeper tunnels and wider valleys!
But on Thursday, April 28th I get to share my testimony as an invited guest of Black Women's Blueprint. I am sure that this is God's way of releasing me from a level of shame that I didn't know I was hiding under. I am convinced this is God's providence to relinquish every single chain that has been connected to those instances where I was not in control.
Please keep survivors in your prayers. Pray for the hearts, minds, and souls of survivors - that we experience VICTORY, HOPE, RECONCILIATION, and COMPLETENESS! Pray that we find more reasons to access God's healing, restoration, power, and love!
Please also pray for harm-doers (sex offenders). Pray for that they stop denying the harm they committed. Pray that they come to a place of repentance. Pray that they seek our Godly counsel. Pray that if they are bound by the criminal justice system that they comply with every aspect of their sentencing. Pray that they be accountable and take responsibility for their behaviors!