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Healing from Child Sex Abuse

It took me 42 years to finally tell someone that I had been sexually abused as a child starting from the age of 5. That’s a long time to carry a secret. More than that – it is a long time to move through life not truly living. Hiding so much of yourself. Coping through drug use. Suffering from panic disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts. Dropping out of school. Being re-victimized and never feeling worthy. Thinking that you are the only one…the only person who feels such shame. That was my reality and on December 13, 2005  I broke that silence and began the journey to wellness.

Since disclosure I have moved forward and turned my pain into something valuable and healing. Starting Voice Found has been a labour of love and has helped in my healing so very much. One of the most significant things I discovered on this journey is the importance of knowing that I am not alone. That I am not the only person who has woken in fear during the middle of the night certain that ‘he’ was there. That I am not the only one who can’t walk alone in the woods or enjoy a simple sunny afternoon in a meadow. That dental appointments are like facing the gallows or that a certain smell or touch can bring me back to that 5 year old child who does not understand what is happening. Learning that what happened to me at such a young age was the reason my life felt so out of control was a gift. Finally things made sense.

That conversation – that understanding – that voice where there was once silence – it is so powerful when shared. 

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Lauriane – a vibrant young woman from France who now calls Canada home. She shared with me her story and told me of her plan to bike across Canada as part of her healing journey. BIKE. ACROSS. CANADA!!!!!!??????  She wanted to get people talking about child sex abuse as she felt that it was still so shrouded in silence and that there was so much more support needed for survivors. I wholeheartedly agreed. Her idea was to get survivors talking about ways they heal and to shed light on organizations across Canada that provide help to survivors. For her, biking and physical activity is healing.  And so when she said she wanted to do this ride from Vancouver to Ottawa THIS SUMMER and would I support her- how could I say no?

This is Lauriane’s journey. We are providing moral support, encouragement and through the power of social media want to help connect her to as many survivors and organizations as possible along the way. Her website is live and through GPS and social media you will be able to follow her journey. We would love to see you bike a few kilometers with her, cheer her on and share your stories of healing. And, if you are so inspired, we have been selected as her charity of choice. Funds raised will help us in our mission of preventing child sex abuse and commercial sexual exploitation.

I will be at the starting line on July 4th! If you are in Vancouver (Third Beach in Stanley Park to be exact) – the ride starts at 10:00 AM local time.

Time to ‘Break The Chain’.

Cynthia – Founder and CEO of Voice Found

 

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voicefound [un]gala

voicefound [un]gala

This is one event you don’t want to miss! We are shaking up the status quo and tossing the typical ‘sit down and eat rubber chicken gala’ out to the February snowbanks. Instead we present to you the [un]gala – a casual, playful, entertaining, creative and FUN evening. There will be spaces for you to create things, areas for dancing, great entertainment, fun food stations, lots of laughter, art and silent auction.

We will also be premiering our new short film; ‘The Yellow Dress – A Story of Hope’. Artist and inspiration for the film, Torre will be here from Lethbridge, AB along with some of the paintings from the yellow dress series.

As for your attire? Well you can dress up all glitzy if you want or you can come in your jeans – heck you can even wear your sweats if you want.

One of our favourite people – Mr. Derick Fage – will be our Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Host of CityTV Breakfast Television Montreal, most of you will remember him from his many years as host of Rogers Daytime in Ottawa.

Tickets are available on The Hope Found Store!

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE!  (click on the word sponsorship to see our downloadable pdf.)

Join our other sponsors; Bank of Montreal, Diane Kroe, Guardsman Insurance and Speedpro Graphics for this unique event.

 

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Iqaluit March 2015

March 2015, Voice Found returns to Iqaluit to deliver Stewards of Children, child sex abuse prevention training. This training will be delivered in partnership with Embrace Life Council as part of their suicide prevention strategy. Along with this important training, we are looking to provide the community with ‘Words of Courage‘. This initiative features survivors of suicide, drug and alcohol addiction and sex abuse sharing stories to inspire and support others who are struggling. We want all Canadians to know that they are not alone and that child sex abuse runs rampant in every society, across all geographies and social/economic classes. Delivering education, engaging in dialogue and sharing stories help those who are struggling to know that there is help and hope.

We have funding for one person and are looking for your help so that we can bring two other facilitators and speakers with us.These are all volunteers and so money raised will go directly to travel, living expenses and printed material. Additional team members will allow us to meet with more people as we begin development of customized training that will address issues in the community related to human trafficking and the sexual abuse of children.

Donations can be made by clicking on this link.

About Embrace Life Council:
The Isaksimagit Inuusirmi Katujjiqatigiit Embrace Life Council (IIK) was established in January 2004 as a result of partnership efforts between the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tungavik Incorporated, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and many others. Efforts to create the Council began in 2003 with the recognition that there needed to be a coordinated initiative in addressing the high suicide rates in Nunavut.

embrace life
The symbols in the logo are meant to convey the concept of reaching out and finding your circle of support. The story behind the message is, “You are not alone; the circle of support is there for you. Reach out and find your circle of support: friends, family, co-workers and the spirituality that comes from within. Let the sun and the beat of the drum guide you to embrace life.”