By LAURA SANCHEZ, Opinions Editor 

There are stories within each and every one of us; they are the ones that make us so perfectly unique and distinct and remarkable. All of these stories come together through the experiences, thoughts, and feelings that have the power to swirl together to shape and mold us into the people we are today.

The best part about these stories is that no one can take them away from us. No one has the power to yank these stories from their roots within us and shred them into pieces. They’re immutable, and here to stay forever.

However, the downside about our stories is that they’re not always bright. We all have those dull, gray moments in our lives, and some even have those angry, horrifying moments that can tear down the happy moments in our lives. Some of the worst moments in our lives make for strikingly powerful stories, stories that we sometimes don’t even want to say aloud.

It’s when you reveal parts of these stories, when you say them aloud and admit them to yourself and those surrounding you, that it becomes something greater than you. The story was already real, but when you let it loose and it comes pouring out of you, that it become actually manifest and honest, and ultimately, a STORY. Sometimes it’s hard to do so. Sometimes it’s hard to reflect and be reminded of those bad moments, of the downturns in life, of the moments where nothing seems right.

Break_the_silence_by_MisisShine

Survivors of sexual abuse are some of the people that have the most powerful stories within them. They’re powerful in the sense that these stories can be so emotional, and relay so many terrifying aspects of the reality that sexual violence entails.

It’s incredibly brave to convey these stories. Many survivors do not wish to relay their stories, or replay them in their heads over and over again, reliving their horrific scenes of violence. But others do want to make their stories manifest. They want to spill their stories out into the world, and shout them at anyone who wishes to listen. Sometimes it’s part of the healing process to do so. Other times, it becomes part of the advocacy process and protest against sexual violence. Voices are important. And something just as important as that is providing platforms, safe spaces, and ears to hear these stories, to stand with these people in their stories of survival and empowerment, and to support them wholeheartedly.

My Women, Politics, and Law class is helping out with an event titled VOICES on October 18th, an event sponsored by the Wayne County SAFE, a program that provides emergency clinic services and crisis intervention, counseling, and support services, advocacy, and referrals. They host an art show every year that gives survivors the space to manifest their stories and their own healing processes through different the mediums of paint, poetry, spoken word, and music.

Hearing these survivors come together and express their stories in such diverse forms is sure to be a powerful night that can proclaim such important stories of survival into the world. If you are interested in attending this event, please visit http://wcsafe.org/2014-voices-registration for more information.

If you need any sort of assistance, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.