Abigail Livingston is a true survivor turned advocate. She did not let what happened to her define her. She is using her voice to empower others not to feel alone, to come forward and to speak up! Abigail has partnered with the Children’s Safety Center, where her handprint is on the wall, to inspire others through her own words.
Will they believe me? The thought that goes through every victim’s head. We are told shh be quiet, don’t tell, you’re fine, you’re supposed too. These thoughts are those that fill victims’ heads, but no one knows. We are dehumanized and used for others’ pleasure. Hundreds of thousands of kids face this every year, and yet only a few of them ever are given a voice to speak about it. And it needs to stop now! We carry around this burden that no one will ever understand, no amount of therapy, or talking will ever change that. A part of us has been taken, and we will never get that back.
However, it’s what we do with what we have that matters most. No, we can’t change what happened to us, but we can do everything in our will to make sure no one else ever has to go through that. The problem is we grow up in a world around us where we are told to keep to yourselves, only share the joy in your life, no one wants to hear about your wounds. Victims become ashamed of what has happened to them and feel as if it’s their fault. This is so wrong.
For so many years, I would have never considered myself a victim. I was scared of what people might think and of who I might hurt – never thinking of how much I was actually hurting myself by holding it all in. Many of us are hurt by the people that we are closest to, the people that we are told we can trust no matter what. But for us that wasn’t the case, we were betrayed, hurt, and many times alone. For most victims this happens at such a young age that we don’t even know what’s going on. Even years later, still trying to process everything.
But I realized it wasn’t me; it was because of someone else’s wrong actions I will have to feel this burden for the rest of my life. And so many kids don’t know that, but it’s time to change that. Now more than ever kids need help, being trapped with their abusers for days on end with no one to help them. This can be anyone. White, black, rainbow for all that it matters. Abuse doesn’t discriminate, and neither should we. We often think it’s from low-income areas, where kids make bad decisions. It’s not. It can be anyone! Anyone can be sexually, physically, or mentally abused. So often so many people don’t realize that. Kids you would never think, too afraid to speak up for themselves.
They need our help. Too many victims never do anything, they live their whole lives in silence and isolation. Today is the day to change that. The Children’s Safety Center gave me and so many others their voices back. They came running to my side when I needed it the most and will forever be a program I’m thankful for. They have one of the hardest jobs I can think of and still continue to full-heartedly put the kids first. Kids just like me.
To help, visit www.childrenssafetycenter.org/make-a-donation