42 million survivors.
Simple, but powerful:
A short phrase that sparked a big movement — one which was eye-opening for some, and long overdue for others. An acknowledgement, finally, that there are an untold number of people who’ve been deeply, deeply scarred in their past.
These survivors know now what they may not have before — that they’re far from alone. That there are millions of others who’ve been sexually abused, assaulted, or harassed. And that while they’ve inevitably been changed by what’s happened to them, they live on, they fight, they keep pounding.
For most, though, the journey’s been far from easy — especially if they’ve pressed on alone. The ‘me too’ movement is a vital beginning. But for many, acknowledging their painful past is just the courageous first step on the long road to recovery. So if ‘me too’ is step one, where can survivors go next?
How Charlotte’s taking the next Brave Step
Since 2014, survivors in Charlotte have turned to Brave Step — an organization that focuses on ensuring that victims of sexual abuse feel, “safe, understood, and supported,” while they continue to heal.
Founder Crystal Emerick knows better than most what they’re going through, she’s a survivor herself. And while she certainly recognizes the importance of ‘me too’s’ profound impact, she knows all too well that there’s more work to be done.
With Brave Step, Crystal shifts the focus from acknowledgment to recovery. From #metoo to #bravehealing. By using a highly personalized approach that emphasizes lasting mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, Crystal prepares Charlotte survivors to thrive while they live long, happy lives.
A long journey made easier
Sexual abuse and assault is a pervasive issue- with one in four women and one in six men sexually abused by the age of 18- thats 42 million adults in the U.S. who are survivors. And in Charlotte alone? Roughly 170,000 adults who’ve been sexually abused. They are your neighbors, your friends — people you love. Every journey is different, no wound’s the same. For some, a program like Brave Step’s would be too much, too soon. For others, it’s exactly what they need to begin to move on.
Brave Step offers a crucial bridge for survivors that can transform lives — one that can replace numbness with joy and anger with peace. Sexual abuse can take away a survivor’s voice. But with time, and a helping hand, healing can happen.
“Thank you for giving voice to my story,” a Brave Step survivor once said.
And thanks to people like Crystal, we’re all listening now.