It’s OK to take a leap of faith.
Trust that there are safe people.
Sometimes your pain is too much to carry on your own.
If you are in despair, even to the point of being suicidal, I have learned that the most important thing is to know that there are people who will help you. It’s OK to take a leap of faith and trust others with your pain because sometimes it’s too much to carry on your own. It is absolutely possible to make it through to a better place.
Take a deep breath in and let the breath out. Your hurt is real, but we can all heal.
If you’re thinking about killing yourself, please stay alive. I’ve been there, and I decided to live, and I’m so glad I did. Take a deep breath, pick up the phone, and call someone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for confidential help, or call someone you trust. You can also go to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org to use their confidential chat feature.
We get suicidal when we lose hope, so I’m here to remind you there’s hope. I’m on the other side of this. I made it. You can, too.
Sexual Assault and Violence
If you’re experiencing sexual assault or violence, let’s start with this: It is not your fault and you have nothing to be ashamed of. All the fault and all the shame belong to the person who is hurting you. It doesn’t matter how much they rope you into thinking you should carry some or all of the blame or embarrassment, they’re wrong. They’re lying.
The next most important thing for you to know is that you matter and people care. There are so many people in this world who will root for you and cheer you on as you recover from what happened. You are not alone. There are support groups, there are therapists who are passionate about helping you heal, and you will become friends with wonderful people along the way — people who have been through the same thing and can look into your eyes and know what you mean before you even say it.
National Sexual Assault Hotline
The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) is run by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). They can provide confidential support and help you figure out what to do next. They also provide a live chat feature if you can’t make a phone call. Their website is www.rainn.org.
Here are some helpful definitions of sexual assault:
- The Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.” https://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault
- RAINN defines sexual assault as “sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include attempted rape, fondling or unwanted sexual touching, forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body, or penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape.” Rape is further defined by RAINN as “a legal definition to specifically include sexual penetration without consent.” https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-assault
- The FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” https://ucr.fbi.gov/recent-program-updates/new-rape-definition-frequently-asked-questions
- Additionally, each state has its own definition of rape, which you can find through an internet search or on the RAINN website’s state law database. https://apps.rainn.org/policy/?_ga=2.33490750.1420230877.1589400552-254056006.1584735540
National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) provides confidential support to help you figure out what to do next, and they have a chat feature if you can’t make a phone call. Their website is www.thehotline.org. They have some great resources about creating a plan to get safe here: https://www.thehotline.org/help/path-to-safety/
A Word of Encouragement
I know what it’s like to be in an unsafe situation, thinking it’s all your fault, and not knowing how you’ll ever be able to get out of it and heal. The good news is it’s all possible. It’ll take some effort, some courage, and some time, but be encouraged: You can change your whole life. Speak up. It’s ok. There are a lot of us out here who will believe you, care about you, and cheer you on as you take back your life. You’re amazing. You’re strong. You can do this. I believe in you.
Please note: This site is not designed primarily as a crisis response resource. It is intended for people who have survived crisis and are at a point where they feel ready to grow their mental and emotional health. However, these are some easy access resources I think will be most helpful in case you are in a crisis.
The Amanda J. Rivers website provides general information that is intended, but not guaranteed, to be correct and up-to-date. The information is not presented as a source of legal advice. You should not rely on statements or representations made within the website or by any externally referenced Internet sites for legal advice. If you need legal advice upon which you intend to rely in the course of your legal affairs, consult a competent, independent attorney. Amanda J. Rivers does not assume any responsibility for actions or non-actions taken by people who have visited this site, and no one shall be entitled to a claim for detrimental reliance on any information provided or expressed.