St. Luke’s Hospital in Allentown, PA held the 7th Annual Sexual Abuse Poetry Night on Friday.
Many survivors and supporters were encouraged to share their stories of sexual abuse through art. Ann Crothers, the organizer of the event, wanted to give victims a venue to express themselves but also a place to heal. Crothers, who is now a psycho therapist, was a victim turned survivor.
“I was sexually abused by one of my cousins and was raped by a stranger, both when I was 14 years old,” Crothers said.
Hundreds of thousands of people are sexually abused each year and will be emotionally traumatized for years like Amy Doerwang.
“About four years ago I just started really struggling, going through depression,” Doerwang said. “[I] was diagnosed with severe depression, PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder] and all sorts of other things that were not helpful.”
However, Crothers said people can heal, whether its through therapy or a good support system. Liz Jordan, who is a yoga teacher and the speaker at the event encourages victims to Speak UP about their experience.
“People who have a story they want to tell and they are not sure about, trust your heart,” Jordan said. “And if the first person you tell tries to silence you, don’t, go to the next one and just keep going because there is someone out there.”
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