Why do survivors choose to live openly?

There are a number of reasons survivors make the choice to live openly. Sometimes, survivors choose to live openly to protect others. For example, they have to explain to their children why they cannot visit family, or not allow their younger relatives to be alone with known violators. However, most survivors choose it because the guilt and shame become too heavy to continue to carry. They release the truth in order to heal.

Do I need to tell my story?

The approach of ‘story-telling’ is widely recognized and frequently requested, but we speak of our “experience” as a survivor. We embrace the term ‘experience’ when speaking of our strength and resilience because it empowers us to define our own journey. Constructing a "story" to repeat to people is not deemed helpful for healing. You should choose what to disclose to people depending on the present situation, given the relevance of your experience, the trust established and your comfort level.

Is there a step on the healing path that requires survivors to live openly?

There is no ‘step program’ for healing. Instead, every survivor’s journey is unique, so each survivor is encouraged to live in the present as life unfolds along the journey. Education, information, and inspiration may serve as signposts for guidance that comes from within so that you will know when you are ready to live openly.