What is consent?
Beginning a new life within a different setting is a challenge for everyone. Especially for those who have been struggling with what some may call baggage but tends to be the destroying point of lives. Using masks to cover what we presume our identity to be seems to be the easiest way to live with real life nightmares.
Voices of Consent- a local group of supporters started in Lynchburg, Va- is an organization where we will help take off those masks. Regardless of the emotional, physical, or sexual assault that has become a part of your testimony, we are here to equalize the fields of distrust and fear back to the hope that’s missing.
Consent allows us to choose what we as individuals want; and therefore, should never be forced upon us. The purpose of individuality reveals the traits and aspirations of a singular person. This should not be disturbed with forced connection of another person. There is heartache, there is brokenness, and there is fear. But with all of this, there is also support, love, and a safe place.
Moving in a forward direction
Confidence in the setting of being in this state is haunting- seems too far to reach- and hopeless. Through the process of awareness, the healing comes- and when that comes, it’s going to stay, and the daunting fear will lessen. Strength and courage will build back what was stolen and the confidence will reign over the cloudy days.
Although the hurt is different for everyone, the same goals are desired. Regaining the pride, the self-image are all holes that need to be filled, and instead of filling them with useless things that will still leave you feeling empty, fill them with what is necessary to rebuild you. The foundation was broke, but it can be repaired- and essentially, be rebuilt more stable than before, because now, now that foundation is layered with hope, courage, and strength.
There is no timeline on how long a healing process should take or a manual on which steps to follow to start feeling whole again. No person should ever feel as if their story is not worthy of support or that their emotions are not valid. Healing does not take place overnight or alone- it can start by surrounding yourself with those you trust and with those who make you feel safe. Voices of Consent can be a haven where ones who has struggled with assault of any type can get help to move in the right direction when you have no idea where else to turn.
From a personal standpoint, I believe that intimacy in relationships is beautiful: It brings a closer connection between individuals. Friendship, mentoring, and dating are blossomed into a deep connection by sharing thoughts, feelings, and of course struggles. The English language is kind of funny, there is only ONE word for love. Expressing your love for your dog and how much you love pizza are completely different and so is how you love a family member, a spouse, and even yourself.
And without realizing the resources that are available there may be no stop to the nightmare of thoughts drowning you. But when help is sought the breathing will get easier and that burden will be a step stool to lift you higher. Now I know that overcoming the fear of revealing your face under that mask is terrifying. But there’s hope. And there’s still dreams.
Voices of Consent Volunteers