Thursday, February 5, 2015

Healing The Past

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

"It's not your fault." "Time heals all wounds." "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." If you're a survivor of sexual abuse then you know these words are of no comfort. The pain and wounds are forever present. Occasionally they show up in your fear of the attentions of a man. A strange man in the grocery isle turning and telling you that, "you're so beautiful" sends your anxiety through the roof as your eyes follow along your planned, safe route back to your car. Over time you learn to take back your innocence that was stolen. You take back the power you thought had been stolen from you. Then one day, while writing a blog post, you find yourself saying for the first time publicly: "I am a sexual abuse survivor." At 17, I was not to blame; and though I no longer had an innocence to offer in marriage, I no longer feel the need to devalue or disrespect myself. I am now empowered to be all that I was meant to be. I'm empowered not to feel ashamed because yes, I am NOT to blame.

This is the theme behind a new photographic project by Forge's,  Espavo Project: Taking Your Power Back. Recently one of the photographers, Kerri Cecil, brought the project to my attention and without hesitating I felt the need to signal boost this important and amazing project.

Trans people are susceptible to many traumatic episodes in their life, but it is important not to let these things strip you of your dignity and power. Kerri Cecil says that, "FORGE encourages trans ( including all those under the broad transgender umbrella), gender non-conforming, and loved ones who have experienced sexual violence to take part in this photographic and narrative project. Forge's,  Espavo Project encourages the goal of increasing personal healing and empowerment, and offers strength and hope to the community."

TMP supports and encourages healing for all victims of sexual abuse and encourage our readers to take a moment to check out Forge's Espavo Project.

Below is an excerpt from

Espavo Project


Espavo:   Thank you for taking your power back

FORGE encourages trans, gender non-conforming and loved ones who have experienced sexual violence to take part in this photographic and narrative project, with the goal of increasing personal healing and empowerment, and offering strength and hope to the community.

It is the nature of a trauma that sometimes victims feel like it never ended, like we are still living through it.  The Espavo Project aims to break that destructive hold by creating professional photographic portraits of transgender, gender non-conforming and SOFFA survivors of sexual assault in all their current, vibrant aliveness.   Each participant will receive a frameable copy of their portrait, and all will be invited to share their image with others via online and/or traveling galleries.  Participants will also be invited to produce a statement to accompany the portrait, with FORGE staff providing reflection and/or writing assistance and guidance to those who would like it.

For more about the project go to Espavo Project


                          Tortured Muse: A personal poem by Sabrina Samone

                                          Dealing with your new opposite gender 

                                              Horror at the Hands of the Hateful
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