Survivor Voices

Sexual violence has a profound impact on a survivor’s life. So do the reactions of others.

Thanks to the powerful voices of survivors, it is clear how harmful it can be when others respond negatively. Yet their stories also illustrate the healing power of positive reactions, paving the way with support and care.

Angelika Martinez Mcghee
As scandals end, promises are made.
As a Sister Survivor I know
that there is more work to be done.
Angelika Martinez-McGhee
Emma Mannion
Using the power of my voice again, after having it taken away, is the strength I strive
to have every day. – Emma Mannion
JMS headshot
“I froze when I was raped by Jeffrey Epstein
in 1991 at 22 years old. It took 30 years for
me to learn that to freeze is not to consent. Thirty years to learn it was never my fault.”
Jess Michaels
“Not being believed at age 3 meant not knowing how to believe myself.  Invisibility within the stories about me meant not
seeing myself. Finding my voice, I found
belief in myself and by others. ”
Dylan Graves Barbeta-Comstock
Kerrian Beasley
I am thankful for the sleepless nights
and the time put into figuring out my case and ensuring justice was served. 
Kerrian Beasley
Wendy Jensen
My first step was to believe in myself, and then to tell someone my truth. Only after
that could healing begin. – Wendy Jensen
Stephanie Schulte
There is always help and people, advocates, law enforcement and others that will
believe you and offer you support. You are never alone. – Stephanie Schulte
Chloe Pustelnik
 ”I used to be afraid of being a statistic,
but I turned my fear into strength. Now I
tell my story so I can help other survivors
find strength in themselves.”
– Chloe Pustelnik 
Hollis Brown
Every 73 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States and 5 years ago, I was one of those people.
Hollis Brown
Gail Sherwood
“Having someone say ‘I believe you’ helped
me find the strength to start talking and fighting back against the terrible injustice I received from the very people I thought
would help me and protect me.”
 – Gail Sherwood 
I turned my fear into fortitude and my cautiousness into capability.
Guiliana Cozzo
Failure is not an option. Yes, you can!
Johnnetta McSwain
Nicole Stephens 
 ”I’ve found peace learning that healing is
an ongoing journey of many layers.”
– Nicole Stephens 
Elizabeth Johnson
I share my story ‒ I hope I’m offering what
I myself needed, someone to hear and say
“I believe you.”  – Elizabeth Johnson
Just like shattered glass, I was able to pick
up the pieces of my life.  One day at a time.
– Cathy Almonte
Dustin Dakota
Believing in yourself is the first step towards
a life of freedom that is defined through
truth rather than silence. – Dustin Dakota
Beth Flory
Our experiences with assault, no matter
how different, are all valid and deserving
of support and justice. Beth Flory
Brittany Boitnott
I am more than a statistic.
Brittany Boitnott
I am a godly, beautiful Black woman.
Believe our Black sisters. Protect Black women! – Veronica Y. Njeri-Imani
Caroline Hammond
This is my passion. This is my mission. Use confidence, patience, and truth to tell my story of surviving abuse, and celebrate what came after ‒ even when it’s really hard. All I need is to impact one person, and Start by Believing. – Caroline Hammond
No matter how dark it may seem, you are
not alone and there is light. You are stronger than you think you are, and you have the power to find it. – Rachel Sines
Kelly Wallace
All throughout my childhood and into adulthood people told me I was brave.
I never saw it that way. I was just telling
my truth. – Kelly Wallace
Kat Duesterhaus
If you asked me how I’m doing now I would tell you that I’m no longer just surviving…
I’m thriving. – Kat Duesterhaus
Nicole Raab
Love hard, live fearlessly, and be
kind always. – Nicole Raab
Amanda Culpepper
Warriors are not born, they are made.
– Amanda Culpepper 
Rena Romano
I grew tired of being ashamed of crimes I did not commit, and I am determined to be a voice for those who have not found
theirs yet! – Rena Romano surTHRIVER®
Kara Chamberlain
Belief is the first step towards healing and empowerment. – Kara Chamberlain
Being believed gave me the power to transform from a victim into a survivor.
Kimberly Corban
Tizz O'Toole
Every time I get back up after being knocked down, I am stronger. Every. Single. Time.
– Tizz O’Toole
Tracy Rector
When a victim is believed, she begins to gain agency over her life as she moves from her vulnerability to her strength to being a survivor. – Tracy Rector
Dyanie Bermeo
Someone out there believes you,
I believe you. – Dyanie Bermeo
Mandi Howell
With the right support systems in place, it makes it easier for us to move from victims
to survivors to thrivers. – Mandi Howell
Anther important part of the #metoo movement is “me.” Me being a victim does
not define my intelligence, my relationships, my dreams, my laughter, my love, my ambitions, or my successes… I am still me.
Dr. Danielle Moore
Chrissy Depre
 You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, and my own voice… until now… you will hear me. – Christine Depre
Kayla Cash
My name is Kayla, and I Start by Believing because support in your most
vulnerable moments can change your life.
Kayla Cash
Taylor Hirth
You never know who you might be saving
by believing somebody when they tell
you they’ve been raped. – Taylor Hirth
Cresta Starr Anderson
When we stand together, we can make a difference. We are strong and we can be victorious! – Cresta Starr Anderson
I stopped talking about it for a long time.
The message I was receiving was this wasn’t the violation I was saying it was, or worse, it was and people just didn’t care.
– Julianna Notten
Anna Nasset
I know what it means when law enforcement Starts By Believing, because it saved my life.
Anna Nasset
We are not defined by our life experiences, but we – and we alone – are in control of deciding how we will incorporate and give meaning to them.
– Mary Simmerling