“Being a survivor myself and listening to the words spoken today, I had tears come to my eyes and goosebumps on my skin thinking back to what happened years ago. Hearing the crowd agree to tell someone that they are worth it, that every survivor IS worth it, that almost made me cry among the crowd.” – Cheyenne
Cheyenne is a student who recently saw Mike present the “Can I Kiss You?” program at her University. Shared above is her reaction after hearing the crowd say survivors are courageous. She decided to share her courageous story with The DATE SAFE Project and with you, our community. Thank you Cheyenne for your courage and your words of wisdom! You are #Survivor Strong.
This is Cheyenne’s story, written in her own words:
Before my assault, life was always so simple. I could have relations with others and not be in fear of my safety. I could walk down the halls or the street and feel so carefree. Then, with someone I had never expected, I was sexually assaulted in who’s (I thought) was my friends house with no way to leave. I felt trapped.
This happened a few times with other people too later on in my life, and I began to fear anyone I had feelings for or friends. This lead into a spiraling depression and I had anxiety attacks all the time. I had also begun developing an eating disorder and self harmed. Now, I refrain from any sexual intimacy in fear I will be taken over. Relationships I’ve had endrd because I was never ready for anything sexual, and I just accepted that I was not enough…that I was nothing but someone to be used and thrown away.
I never truly came out with this story, but since then I have learned to grow and become stronger as a person, although I am still incapable of having any sexual relations with anyone. But I’m happy to say that after speaking about it to my best friend, I started to move on and get better. My anxiety attacks are less frequent, my depression episodes have gone down, and I am currently a year clean of self-harm. Talking to someone helps, even though it can be terrifying.
**The image at the top of this article is not of the survivor who shared this story.
-Mike Domitrz, founder of The DATE SAFE Project
If you have any questions about our programs at The DATE SAFE Project or speaking engagements please contact Rita at 800-329-9390 or you can email her at Rita@datesafeproject.org
Author: Lisa Baker