The Pixel Project is proud to present the Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2014. The project runs throughout the month of May 2014 and features an interview per day with a survivor of any form of violence against women (VAW) including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, forced/child marriage, sex trafficking, breast ironing etc. A total of 31 VAW survivor stories will be featured. This project was created to provide:
- VAW survivors a platform to share their stories and solutions/ideas on how they rebuilt their lives and healed/are healing.
- Girls and women currently experiencing or who have survived VAW ideas, hope, and inspiration to escape the violence and know that there is light at the tunnel and there is help out there.
This project is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2014 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.
Our nineteenth Survivor Stories interview is with Kelly Wilson from the U.S.A.
The Survivor Bio:
Kelly Wilson is an author, comedian, and survivor of childhood sexual abuse, trying to maintain sanity through laughter. She is the author of Live Cheap & Free and Don’t Punch People in the Junk. Her third book, Caskets From Costco, demonstrates the certainty of hope and healing in an uncertain and painful world through her own story of survival. Kelly Wilson currently writes for a living and lives with her Magically Delicious husband, junk-punching children, dog, cat, and stereotypical minivan in Portland, Oregon. Read more about her at www.wilsonwrites.com.
1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence (this may include domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation etc)?
I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of my father. Both of my parents were alcoholics and my mother was a classic enabler. When I came forward as a teenager about my abuse, she left my dad, only to take him back a short time later. He eventually left our family, which has since imploded, and the last I heard was that they both continue to blame me for the abuse I experienced.
2. How did you escape the violent situation/relationship/ritual?
When I was 17, my dad left and the rest of my family moved to another state. I lived with a friend’s parents to finish my senior year of high school and was able to get a full-ride scholarship to attend college in Portland, Oregon. This has been my dream and plan for escape since I was 10 years old.
3. How did you heal and rebuild your life after the violent situation/relationship/ritual? What actions did you take?
I went through many years of counseling, which I continue now, as well. I made it through school and read a tonne about surviving and thriving after trauma like this. I wrote my experiences into a book – Caskets From Costco – that I hope will offer enough hope to help others. I practice taking basic care of myself, including taking anti-depressant medication, attending counseling sessions, building a strong support system, eating a balanced diet, sleeping well, and exercising regularly. As I tell my husband, “This is a tonne of work, my friend.”
4. What would you suggest to or share with another woman or girl facing the same situation as you did?
Ask, ask, ask for help until you get what you need. You are strong and capable. You can do this, but you must seek the help you need. Choose hope.
5. How do you think we can end violence against women?
It’s really important for us to stand together against all kinds of violence against women. This allows for support for survivors at any stage of their personal journeys and brings awareness to people around the world about the depth and breadth of this issue. Prevention through education is also key to ending this violence. It’s essential to break through dated cultural and societal traditions, providing victims with options and hope, and perpetrators with possible rehabilitation. Lastly, one of my personal goals is to help end the stigma against mental illness. Because of the perceptions and lack of education about mental illness, people do not seek out the help that they need, which ultimately perpetuates abusive cycles.
6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?
I know personally how hard it is to get out of an abusive situation and how much damage can be done. I, also, know that, as a survivor, I have the power to break the cycle. I have hope and can work toward healing. I want other survivors to understand this, too, and The Pixel Project is helping to make that happen.