May 06, 2015
Patricia found strength in the stories of other survivors --including her own.
As we look back on National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, we would like to say a huge “thank you!” to everyone who helped make Faces of Courage such a huge success. We were overwhelmed by the encouragement and appreciation we received. You offered your time, work, and words to this project, and it couldn’t have been done without you.
There is power in telling your story.
Years ago, Patricia found strength in the stories of other survivors. “The damage was deep because the abuse started so young,” she says, “but I started reading a lot. I read other people’s stories, and I could relate.” Patricia found strength and hope in other survivors’ words. She began to see that there was a way out.
When Patricia first spoke out about the violence, she did so to keep other women safe from her father’s abuse. Today, she tells her story with a different goal in mind. “I hope that I can help other women heal,” she explains. She knows that other survivors of violence will find strength in her story.
She is not alone in this. Like Patricia, Marie and Christina shared their experience to help others. We would like to give special recognition to these courageous women for sharing their stories. Their words offer strength, inspiration, and the promise of a better future to other survivors of violence.
We would also like to thank our community partners who took the time to share their stories and experiences. They make up a community-wide network of support for women and children fleeing violence. They offer strength to survivors of violence through their work, and through their words. In reading these stories, women fleeing violence know that when they call for help, they will be answered by someone who cares.
We are also giving a huge “thank you!” to Liz Dungate for capturing our Faces of Courage, and to Tugboat Group for pouring their time and energy into designing this beautiful site. You made this project possible by providing us with the tools to raise our voices and share our stories.
Over 5,000 people have visited our Faces of Courage page. Most of them are from Surrey and the surrounding area. Every one of them has been touched by violence in some way. For those of you who follow us on Facebook, you will have seen our followers celebrate these stories, calling them “inspiring” and “brilliant”. One reader shared that, “It’s wonderful to see who’s behind the hard work of protecting and preventing violence against women and children.”
We know that these stories – your stories – made a lasting impact. They are a reminder that help is available and that we all have a responsibility to lend support wherever we can.
“If non-violent people are silent,” wrote one reader, “then we are not helping”. Patricia echoes this: “Most people are silent about violence,” she says, “but the damage is generational.” Patricia has seen the impact of violence first hand. From her own experience, she knows the importance of breaking the silence. “You need to speak out right away,” she stresses.
Words have the power to make change, the power to heal. Faces of Courage provides a space for women to share their experiences of violence. This is both an act of courage and a path to healing.
We are truly proud to be part of this and feel privileged to share your stories.
Thank you all for helping to build a better future for women and girls.
For those of you who haven’t already, please visit Faces of Courage and let us know what you think!