The decision to tell your story is an intensely personal one. It can be a wonderful and healing experience in the right environment and when shared with the right person/people. For some, it’s also a personal risk. It’s an unfortunate reality in our society that there is often a negative stigma attached to being the victim of sexual abuse or rape, and being public with your story may expose you to some of that.
Trust is one of the first casualties of an experience with rape or sex abuse. If the perpetrator was someone close and trusted, it can damage your ability to trust others that you’re close to. If it was a stranger, it can make you suspicious of every stranger you meet. Talking about your experience with others can be a step in the direction of learning how to trust again. It may help you externalize what happened. It can help you begin to separate your sense of self from your experience and realize that you as a person, need not be defined by that experience.
One of the advantages of choosing to share your story through AVFTI is the anonymity we offer. You only need an email address to sign up, and we never ask for any more personal information than you are willing to give, and we will never share any information that you haven’t made public on our site with anyone under any circumstances, except as may be required by law. You’ll be joining a community of people who have either experienced the same sort of thing, or at the very least, who are willing to listen and offer their support and compassion without judgement.
However, telling your story might not always be a positive experience. Take a look at our Things to Consider page for more information on the potential risks of telling your story.