Your Moments

Your support has made many remarkable moments possible in our work to heal, educate and empower. Your commitment, your resolve and your belief in change inspire us every day. We've launched this platform for you to share your own meaningful moments right here. Whether words, an image or a video, we invite you to contribute your moment of joy, gratitude, healing, change, hope, progress—anything significant to you. 

We also ask that you consider making a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you—to support Joyful Heart’s transformative work. 

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NO MORE shame

Today, February 18th, marks the two year anniversary of when I found the courage to leave my ex-husband. This day also marks the anniversary of when I could no longer...

Today, February 18th, marks the two year anniversary of when I found the courage to leave my ex-husband. This day also marks the anniversary of when I could no longer lie to myself anymore, and had to reach out for help. The past two years haven't been easy but I've made it quite a ways on my path through recovery. I am just starting to find the courage to share my story of domestic violence and hopefully making an impact. I am a professional, and even so, I wore long sleeves in the summer while pregnant to cover the bruises on my body and told NO ONE about the abuse until the day I left. At the time I felt so ashamed and thought I was the problem, that if I could just be or do better that I wouldn't get hurt. I have learned so much through my experience... about the importance of bystander intervention (I had none), about reaching out to a friend you suspect might be in an abusive relationship (mine only said after they had suspected something), and how badly victims just want to be heard, not told to "get over it" or questioned about why they stayed. Time to stop questioning the victims and put the responsibility where it belongs, ON THE ABUSERS. #NOMORE

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Start healing

I am a survivor of child Molestation, it has taken me years to get over it. I now go to counseling daily basis. This has helped me deal with the trauma that I received...

I am a survivor of child Molestation, it has taken me years to get over it. I now go to counseling daily basis. This has helped me deal with the trauma that I received as a child, and trying to kill myself as a child. I Hope one day I can share my story with others and to let them know you can get through this.

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Being fearless enables us to embark on a journey of healing giving us the joy that should always be ours!

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Why Me

From the age of 9 until i turned 14 years old I was constantly rapped by my older cousin. We are 5 years apart in age. My parents would let him come over and babysit me...

From the age of 9 until i turned 14 years old I was constantly rapped by my older cousin. We are 5 years apart in age. My parents would let him come over and babysit me and my younger bother. I would try to think of every reason for them not to go out. I would act out tell them lies about what him hitting my younger brother. A lot of people will ask " why didnt you just tell?" I didn't tell because I had a friend who was going through the same situation and her mama never believed her. So i kind of felt my mom would act the same. I also didn't want to mess my family up. But one night my mom walked in on him during the act. Yes, he called the police had him put away. My whole reason for this story is just to say, Dont wait get help. If not from parents go tell someone else. It took years before I became myself. I had to think about it as I wont let him mess up my life. I dont dwell on the past anymore. I have to do whats right for me and only me. I have forgave him but I will NEVER FORGET.

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sexual abuse...the deadliest poison of all!

When I was child,I fell victim to sexual predators (both male and female), who showed no mercy or remorse while violating my innocence and destroying my youth.For many...

When I was child,I fell victim to sexual predators (both male and female), who showed no mercy or remorse while violating my innocence and destroying my youth.For many years I had to endure this horrific lifestyle because I was too scared to address this issue to my single mother and family members due to their dysfunctional upbringing of physical abuse and lewd sexual habits.I ultimately grew up to become a womanizer and prisoner to an underground collective of sexual sadists.In closing, human trafficking of minors is an underlining dilemma which so often is placed on the back-burner by the highest legal entities in America. My life has been horrific that I would never wish it upon anyone. join the fight to end domestic battery of women and sexual exploitation of our youth in this country.

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Rape Survivor Tattoo

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Acknowledgement

It has been 12 years since my grandfather last abused me and 4 years since my ex boyfriend last raped me. The last time it happened I got pregnant, that was my chance...

It has been 12 years since my grandfather last abused me and 4 years since my ex boyfriend last raped me. The last time it happened I got pregnant, that was my chance for something good to come out of a bad situation. Losing the baby hurt more than anything either of the men that have hurt me could have done. Keeping it all inside and attempting to bury it all had just intensified the pain and made me unable to move on with my life, until I became aware of the awe inspiring light that is Mariska Hargitay and The Joyful Heart Foundation. Because of her strength and love I no longer feel alone, like nobody else knew this feeling of complete self loathing. Because of Mariska I have found the courage to talk about my story, to open up and seek professional help. I feel I owe it to Mariska to live my life to the fullest and to help others that are in need of some light in their lives. So thank you to The Joyful Heart Foundation and to Mariska Hargitay for being the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel.

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Opened Doors

I finally was able to open up to a dear friend about my assault many years ago - and his support meant more than is possible to put into words. The last time I'd...

I finally was able to open up to a dear friend about my assault many years ago - and his support meant more than is possible to put into words. The last time I'd told someone I was pushed aside & shamed for it. The two of us healed together - my willingness to talk about my experience led him to opening up about his as well. Our support for each other will help us grow immensely as people and as survivors.

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im a survivor

hi my name is tia i live in Arizona and im adoppted by my beautiful family at age 4 when i was in the orphanage i was wape by a guy and girl and whould do horrible...

hi my name is tia i live in Arizona and im adoppted by my beautiful family at age 4 when i was in the orphanage i was wape by a guy and girl and whould do horrible things to me and at first i whouldt tell anybody about it because i flet ashame of what they did to me and when i was adopppted my parents where noitce some odd things about me i whould kick theam bite theam and whould not let theam touch me and act out in school then they took me to a doctor and that is when they dicovered that i had bipolar and attachment disoder and other things and they took me to a theapepist and that is whene they found out that i was sexrely abuse and i keep thinking it was my fault i had to talk about it a lot and sence i got older i relise that i didt do wrong they did i finley flet free to finley relize that it was not my fault it was there,s flet free to be out of that place and now have a great loveing parents and brother so that is why i support no more and to show victims that they are survivers

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Educating

I work as an elementary school teacher and sadly I'm confronted with sexual abuse and especially domestic violence against children on a regular basis. Thank you...

I work as an elementary school teacher and sadly I'm confronted with sexual abuse and especially domestic violence against children on a regular basis. Thank you all at JFH for your educational work, for being an inspiration and for your unending compassion towards survivors. Here's to hoping that you might consider going international in 2015 so light could be brought back into even more people's lives.

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