“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Most of us can recite this verse without really thinking about it. If you grew up in the church you heard this along with other ones multiple times throughout your life. Lets stop and actually think about it now. God has plans for our lives, “plans to prosper [us] and not to harm [us], plans to give [us] a hope and a future.” This verse is extremely impactful to me because it means God’s got me, no matter what; He has my best intention in mind.
Now after a couple years of My Story being out I still haven’t found the easiest way to say it so I’ll be blunt. I was sexually abused as a child. Before you stand back in shock like I am a unicorn you just discovered. I am not alone in this. According to victimsofcrime.org 1 in 5 girls will be abused and 1 in 20 boys (these statistics change annually). But roughly in a crowd, 20% of females will remember sexual assault as a child that’s not including any victim with suppressed memories. The statistics are crazy, there are more of us out in the world than you would like to believe.
Because of Lady Gaga a group got together and designed a tattoo to be a symbol of survivors. The symbol is a rose set on fire. No matter the hardship we go through the rose remains untouched because I am still beautiful. God has no intention on hurting me. He only wants me to grow stronger through him.
A group of men have stepped up to the plate and brought awareness to our stories by pushing themselves out of the box. These men are called A Polished Man. This organization puts themselves in the position for snarky comments to end child abuse. Their opening page says “1 in 5 children fall victim to physical or sexual violence before they turn 18. That’s one too many. It shouldn’t hurt to be a child, and we all have the power to change this.” Because the numbers are 1 in 5 each man paints one fingernail for the cause. I am lucky I carry the support from my father, who is indeed A Polished Man. He has put himself in the way for weird looks, judgmental glances and people jokingly telling him he forgot to remove a fingernail from his weekend affairs. To stop and say that he is putting a finger up for change, not just for me but for every other child that has been affected.