I recently stumbled across a site created by a male survivor of sexual abuse. Only it is more than a site, it is a movement.
Matt Pipkin created Speak Your Silence in 2012 to help raise awareness for survivors like himself and to raise money to provide free counseling services.
By selling red stitches that people apply to clothing and accessories to symbolize everyone’s unique voice waves his organization has already provided funding for over 500 counseling sessions for survivors across America. One hundred percent of their sales go to this cause.
In addition, they are contributing to breaking the silence against the widespread problem of childhood abuse and spreading awareness with the symbolic wearable stitch.
I am deeply inspired by what Mr. Pipkin is doing as a fellow survivor of childhood abuse. It takes actions like his and those invested in making a difference in social change to bust through the stereotypes and shame of an issue that impacts so many.
In America alone a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. According to childhelp.org that is enough to pack 10 football stadiums per year.
They also report that 80% of survivors of child abuse have at least one psychological disorder by the age of 21. This creates a significant problem for our adult population and an amazing need for counseling services.
As a survivor, it has not been easy to speak out about a subject that is so shrouded in silence. And I wasn’t always able to afford therapy. It is my sincerest wish that in time this will be something less and less in the dark as more people feel comfortable coming forward with their own stories. I have seen great strides over the past two decades.
With people like Matt Pipkin and Speak Your Silence out there shining the light on this issue, it renews my hope that one day silence and child abuse will cease to be spoken in the same sentence.
Thank you, Matt Pipkin, for lighting a brilliant candle out of your own trauma and providing a path for those still lost in the dark.
Stephanie is a writer, survivor, and advocate.
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See Stephanie’s Previous articles on Kindness Blog.