When a sexual predator has assaulted you, you are made, through no fault of your own, into a Victim.

When you decide to seek help, to speak out and tell what was done to you, you begin the journey to becoming a Survivor.

When you take surviving to the level of re-engaging in life, in actively pursuing dreams and feeling hopeful again, you are now Thriving.

When you realize that you did not cause anyone to assault you, it was never your fault, that you are a worthwhile, wonderful human being who deserves all the goodness life has to offer, you are now the Victor over it all.

But there’s one more title in this process – one more title I’m asking you to take.

Advocate.

You know what it is like to be victimized. You know the pain, the anguish, and the powerlessness you felt…or you know someone who has…and someone somewhere is experiencing that right this minute.

That is why is so important for Victors to also become Advocates. To speak for those who can’t, to change the legal system for those who are suffering, to ultimately reverse the sick cycle of abuse into a cycle of healing and empowerment.

Speak out. Demand change from your politicians and courts. If you can, give financial support to programs that heal victims. Give of your time to organizations that promote change and stand up for the rights of the abused.

Refuse to be quiet, refuse to be put aside, refuse to let this epidemic take one more life.

You don’t need to be a celebrity to be an Advocate. You don’t need to be a millionaire to be an Advocate. You don’t need powerful connections to be an Advocate. All you need is to remember where you once where…at time when you most needed someone to stand up for you…

Victim to Survivor to Thriving to Victor to Advocate. That’s me…and I want that to be you too.