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from the Founder

“Welcome Home, Fiona” is a music video  about the struggle and the healing of child sexual abuse survivors.

Child sexual abuse is virtually an epidemic in the United States. Sadly, most children never
speak up about their abuse until long after it has stopped. Some children may even completely block memories of their abuse only to have them surface later in life when, as an adult survivor, they can better deal with the trauma and emotional pain.

For survivors, dealing with childhood sexual abuse is a grueling and confusing process that can feel completely overwhelming. Seemingly simple interactions and situations can suddenly cause extreme anxiety, panic attacks, stress, illness, depression and other side-effects. However, fully accepting what happened and releasing the resulting inner-demons of self-judgment, self-hatred and low self-worth is the only path to true healing and a life of peace, joy and freedom.

If you are a survivor, finding a safe place to let your voice be heard is an important part of that healing process. It also helps other survivors. Creating a community of individuals who understand each other like no one else helps to relieve the isolation and shame most survivors feel, and reminds us we are not alone on our path. There are others like us who have been there too.

Since I started The Fiona Project, I have met many survivors who have privately shared their stories with me–many more than I could ever have imagined. They are around us all the time. Friends, family, neighbors, church members, and even strangers have shared their stories with me simply because I stepped forward and spoke up, which created a safe space for them to acknowledge their own experiences: out loud, in front of God (if you believe in God) and another human being.

Most survivors carry their stories silently out of unduly placed shame and guilt, or because they are trying to block the pain of the abuse by not speaking about it. However, as an adult, “telling the truth” of the abuse–for the child inside that was hurt and could never speak for him/herself–is the foothold to healing. Speaking up may be the single most frightening step an adult survivor can take toward their own healing; and it might also be the most liberating.

If you are a survivor, telling others openly that you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse can kick-start your healing process. When you do this, you are making a commitment to yourself to stop being ashamed of something that was NOT YOUR FAULT! The pent-up stress and tightness in your body can release as you finally let go of your secret. Tears flow… breathing begins… and your life starts to change.

In sharing with others, you begin to understand the prevalence of your shared experience and that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Then and only then, as we break the silence together in numbers, will abusers no longer be able to hide their dirty deeds in the darkness of children’s fear and shame. There will be too much knowledge shared.

Educators and doctors and church staff will know the signs of someone grooming a child for abuse and how to identify a child being abused.

The children will know they are safe to tell.

As a society, we must start listening to the voices of our little ones with educated and understanding ears. We are their only voice and their only defense.

We must finally stop protecting the abusers and start protecting the children.

This is what the FIONA project is about.

~Asha Lightbearer, Founder