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how to tell your story of abuse
Photo by Aris Leoven

Have you told your story of abuse? 

Sharing your story isn’t easy. There are challenges you will face, precautions to keep in mind and many platforms to choose from. 

However, sharing your story and pushing through the tough stuff is important. It is time to share your story with the intention to help yourself and others heal, and raise awareness of domestic violence.

You have so much to gain!

The Challenges of Sharing Your Story

Right off the bat, let’s acknowledge the emotional challenges of sharing your story of abuse and the trauma you experienced. This topic isn’t exactly a tea-time conversation. 

It is normal to feel emotional or get flashbacks when you recall your story. 

It is ok

Choose ahead of time how you will process and release any emotions that come up for you. Especially if you share verbally in front of people on a stage, podcast or video. Personally, the more and more I share my story, the fewer emotions that come up for me. 

Currently, I can share my testimony in any form without emotions surfacing for the most part. Praise God for healing!

fear of sharing
Photo by Daria Shevtsova

What fears do you have about sharing?

Most survivors are afraid of the judgment they will experience by putting themselves out there and being vulnerable. 

Take a moment to accept that people WILL judge you. People judge survivors all the time, mostly because they do not understand what domestic violence is and the cycle of abuse. 

Don’t let this stop you. 

Again, it is important to share your story in order to raise awareness of domestic violence in your community, church, to help other Christian women heal, and to heal yourself. Don’t let the enemy flood your heart with fear. Share afraid.

It’s normal to be afraid of the repercussions after sharing your testimony. As well as feel nervous about what your church, family and/or friends will think of you. 

I’m sure you’re also afraid that your ex might be unhappy if you speak up. Or if your friend from church may stop being your friend. 

Again, these are all legitimate fears and there are precautions you can take to keep yourself safe.

Remember it is your CHOICE to share this chapter of your life, not an OBLIGATION. Focus on the positive impact and benefits of sharing, rather than the fears and unknowns.

Healing and Empowerment

I love therapy. I appreciate the gains and positive outcomes I have experienced by going to therapy for years. 

Sharing my story has given me therapeutic benefits that have propelled me further in my healing. I have also gained a louder and more confident voice and solidified my God-given purpose.

Simply put, sharing involves releasing, especially when you share out loud. There is power in the spoken word and in confession. 

Remember God SPOKE creation into existence: 

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6 AMP. 

That’s a lot of power in our words.

share your story of abuse
Photo by Gratisography

Be mindful that telling your story may bring up thoughts, feelings or emotions that are hidden in your heart. Even the ones you thought you dealt with! 

As a Christian survivor, I believe our stories are even more necessary to share and are veryChristians impactful. Our stories are filled with testimonies of God’s intervention, faithfulness and restoration. But they are also filled with the realities that Christian’s aren’t exempt from hurt, that abuse does happen to God’s people and that sometimes God can feel very, very far away. 

Child of God, share your story. 

Be a part of increasing awareness of domestic violence in the church.

So many of our sisters sit silently in the pew, feeling lost, stuck and painfully forgotten. God can use you to be a flicker of hope to them. 

You never know how He plans to use your testimony to help someone else.

What You Should Consider Before You Share

Now before you start sharpening your pencil, there are a few key considerations you should keep in mind before you tell your story. 

You need to prioritize your safety and well-being

Here are 5 considerations to keep in mind as you prepare to share your story:

  1. Do not use names or identifying information in regards to your ex and your life together. I have never used my ex’s name or personal information whenever I have shared my story. You don’t want any legal battles or harassment from him. 
  2. I don’t recommend sharing personal information about yourself like your address, phone number etc. 
  3. Don’t share more than your comfortable with sharing
  4. Consider sharing anonymously. If you share in person or in video/picture then this doesn’t work. However, if you choose to write, you don’t have to use your real name.
  5. You may have people criticize or put you down for sharing your story whether in person or online. Don’t waste your energy trying to prove them wrong or win them over. Plenty of others will support you and make you feel loved and validated. 

As I mentioned before, sharing your story of abuse may trigger emotions or memories for you. Lean on loved ones when you feel overwhelmed or feel like sharing was a ‘mistake.’ 

Pray and tell God how you are feeling, and what you are experiencing. Ask for His wisdom as you step out in faith.

How to Share Your Story

There are SO many ways you can share your story with the world!

  • social media (facebook, tik tok, instagram, threads etc.)
  • you can write a book
  • blog
  • podcast
  • public speaking
  • join or host a support group
  • paintings or drawings
  • vlog

Think about what your strengths are and where your skills lie. Are you a good writer but struggle with public speaking? Do you prefer to take photos that convey a message, or shoot a video that captures your personality and authenticity?

Don’t let fear dictate or limit your choices. Personally, I am a much better writer than a speaker, but I have challenged myself with making videos in the last 6 months and have come to enjoy it. 

Whatever you choose there will be pros and cons to each option. For example, social media is accessible to a worldwide audience, but be prepared for some backlash from ‘keyboard warriors’ and their not-so-nice comments. However, you can set your profiles to private to control who can see your posts.

how to journal

A blog will require you to learn some web design and you need to be comfortable with a computer. There are also some upfront costs for hosting and storage.

Do some research and talk to other survivors who are currently sharing their stories. 

Then get started!

Half the battle is getting started.

What Information Should You Share?

Ok, so if you have decided you wanted to share your story. Congrats! 

But, what kind of things should you share or talk about?

I’ll share with you a brief outline of what information I include when I share my story:

  • how I met my ex and how the abuse started (ex. Verbal abuse)
  • the progression of the relationship and the escalation of abuse before and after marriage
  • my thoughts, feelings and processing during the abuse and my relationship with God
  • my catalyst for change and why i left after 5.5 years of marriage
  • my healing journey ups and downs
  • where I am today and where I am going

I think it’s important to convey your journey, your resilience, how you saw God intervene in your situation and the lessons you learned. 

You don’t need to share every detail or feeling, that’s too much. 

In time and practice you will gain your flow. 

Invite God into this process. He can give you the words and important highlights to share. 

Find Community and Connection

If you feel alone in your desire to share your story, you definitely are not!

There are so many communities online, and in person, that are filled with survivors who are sharing their journey and supporting each other. 

I had no idea how big and active this community was, until I stepped out and started sharing as well!

Connecting with other survivors will help you feel seen and empowered. I found there is a bond and understanding, amongst survivors, of each other’s feelings and experiences that do not always need to be spoken.

If you would like to join our community of survivors click here.

Christian women domestic violence support group

You may also be inspired when you see how other survivors are raising awareness. Some women are starting charities, non for profits and starting movements. 

You never know what doors will open for you and what opportunities will present themselves. I have co-authored two books, been a guest on numerous podcasts/Youtube and met some amazing survivors and creators. It all began in my early days of starting an Instagram account to document my journey.

Inspire Change and Raise Awareness

Do you have a heart to help other women? To be used by God to help other survivors heal and thrive? If your heart answered yes to any of these questions, then you have a pretty good reason to share your story.

I was at a conference in 2019 and someone mentioned that sharing our stories could save someone’s life.

…sharing our stories could save someone’s life.

That reality hit me hard. It screamed purpose and passion into my heart. 

Do you mean that MY story could change the direction of someone’s life?! That I could have that much impact on another human being?

Sit and think about this for a moment.

What an honour to be a part of a chapter of someone’s life in this way. 

Another ripple effect of sharing your story of abuse is raising awareness of domestic violence in the church, and breaking down taboos.

What is domestic violence awareness?

In brief, domestic violence awareness in the church would be increasing the knowledge and understanding of the issue of domestic violence amongst Christians. This means exposing the lie that abuse doesn’t happen in Christian marriages, the reality that divorce or separation is sometimes necessary, that the word ‘submit’ has been abused in the church, and that there are more survivors in church on Sunday than we know. 

Lastly, when we share our story or testimony, we are giving others hope that their lives can get better, change is possible and that God still heals and is active in our lives.

You Can Do This

When you share your story of abuse, you not only share what happened to you but also the ways in which God healed you and was/is faithful. 

Sharing is monumental in your own healing as it releases feelings and emotions tied to trauma. It also brings domestic violence awareness to your community and church, which helps breaks stigmas and taboos that have caused shame among survivors. 

Lastly, sharing your story could save/change someone’s life.

I hope you feel encouraged and motivated to tell your story.

May God give you courage, creativity and confidence as you take this step of faith. 

Share this article with other survivors, family and friends to help us raise awareness of domestic violence and educate the church (links at the top of the page).

We are stronger together.

He is faithful,

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