Hello! Welcome to the Survivor's (and Protector's*) Mark Tumblr.

My name is Sandy, and I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor. The Survivor's Mark is a tattoo I came up with one night in a moment of clarity and inspiration after somewhat of a breakdown brought on by a trigger. (You can read all about that night via the "Sandy's Story" link in the header.) My Mark means, "Abuse is bullshit, and I am not afraid to talk about it or hear someone else talk about it.”

The morning after the meltdown I called my Mom and told her all about my idea, and she loved it so much she got a Mark of her own. We were tattooed together on April 27, 2008. Now we use the Mark, and the perspective behind it, to try to change the world. That's what this page is for. It's a place for survivors to share their stories (plus Mark pictures, fan art, helpful links, and inspirational quotes and images.) It's a place for hope and love and joy and comfort and facing fears and taking back what was stolen from you. It's a place for healing.

My message is this:
No one has to stay a victim.
We can all be Survivors.
Abuse doesn't have to be a death sentence.
It doesn't have to control your life.
You can live happily after abuse.
I know, because I do it every day now.

To anyone who is struggling to believe they are a survivor: Just keep swimming! I understand. I know it's hard, but it's worth it. And you are not alone. Not EVER.

If you're reading this thinking, "Wow, I wish I could be like that!" or "What can I do to help victims/Survivors?" Submit your story. If you think about it, that's all I ever really did. (Feel free to submit anonymously or openly, that's completely up to you, but please specify which you'd like. If no discernible choice is made, your name will not be posted.)

*The Protector's Mark was dreamed up by Mom and I and Sam, our tattoo artist, while we were getting inked. The PM was originally to be white, but we all decided it was too pale so Sam, the genius he is, made it the colors of the sun. The light to fight the darkness.

The Survivor's Mark is for those who have been abused, the Protector's Mark is for the people who love Survivors and stand with them in solidarity, fighting against abuse of all kinds. Some wear the SM, some wear the PM, some wear both. You can see all the pictures I have received of Marks via my tattoos tag, but please be warned the stories attached to some of the images might be triggering, and there are some images there that aren't Marks at all. You can also see them in the photo album on the SM Facebook.

1.I want to share my "post-mark" story. When I got my mark, I was just beginning my healing process, I was still in the midst of constant flashbacks, self-harm, and self-hate. Since I got my mark 4 years ago, I have stopped harming myself, stopped hating myself, forgiven myself for my abuse, and realized that the abuse wasn't my fault. I can't remember the last time I had a flashback, and I'm in a college program to learn to support abused and assaulted women and children. I am creating the life

[continued] I want, the life I deserve. I no longer need someone beside me to keep me from killing myself. I have shared my story, mostly my pre-mark story since I got my mark but it was the beginning of my healing journey, which has taken me further than I could have possibly imagined four years ago. I needed Sandy to help me start this journey, and thanks to her, I am now helping other people start theirs. (the end, feel free to publish publicly!)

Thank you for sharing, love.

<3
~Sandy

It's Z. (I hope its ok I put this in "Ask!") Thank you for the post. That was one of the first times I've written down my story. I actually found the inspiration to tell my husband & some girls & I are going to get tattoos together. I think telling you was a very important moment in my life. For now I have to learn to speak (work requires disclosure) & telling you was a first step for me being able to tell others without panic. Thank you for listening, supporting, & for being a voice.
Asked by Anonymous

Asks are always okay, I only published that response the way I did because I felt it was a message that needed to be shared with many.

And, you’re welcome. You are so, so very welcome. I’m honored that you chose me to share your truth with, and I’m proud and humbled that doing so allowed you to open up to your loved ones. You can’t see them, but there are happy tears streaming down my face.

~Sandy

Z, and anyone else reading:

If you feel like you experienced abuse, of any kind, you’re “worthy” of the Survivor’s Mark.

It’s really that simple.

There is no hierarchy of abuse. Pain is pain. Trauma is trauma. We all experience it, and recovery, differently. The Mark simply means we aren’t going to hide from what we’ve been through. That doesn’t mean telling your truth to anyone else, it means accepting what happened to you and healing from it in whatever ways work for you.

I don’t want anyone to ever think that the only way to heal from abuse is to tell the world about it. That is what worked for me, but again, we all experience abuse and recovery in different ways. If staying stoic and silent with others works for you, then please, continue to do that.

I’m an advocate for abuse awareness, Survivor community, and above all else, love and hope. Some people will never be comfortable telling their stories, and that’s okay. Keeping your truth to yourself is just as brave as sharing it.

<3
~Sandy

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, women who LEAVE their abusive partners are at a 75% greater risk of being killed than those who stay.

supersandys-space:

The many, many times he threw things/punched walls/called me names he said, “I didn’t do it to hurt you, I did it to let off some steam.”

When he slapped me across the face he said, “I didn’t do it to hurt you, I did it to calm you down, you were acting hysterically.”

When he shoved me into a table in the kitchen he said, “I didn’t do it to hurt you, I did it to get your attention.”

When I told him I was tired of him being abusive toward me he said, “It’s not abuse if the purpose is not to hurt you.”

…and there’s the problem with most abusers. They truly believe that if their goal isn’t physical harm, it doesn’t count.

selfcareafterrape:

selfcareafterrape:

Survivors Speak Out is looking for submissions!
What is Survivors Speak Out? 
Survivors Speak Out is a month long event highlighting voices often not heard within the survivor community. The aim is to make a platform for people to get their voices heard and also to help other marginalized survivors to realize that they are not alone.
What is required to submit?
All submissions must come from marginalized survivors of sexual trauma. 
What does it mean to be a marginalized survivor?
While I couldn’t possibly list all the ways that one could be marginalized, I can name a few.
Survivors of Color, Disabled Survivors, Trans Survivors, Spectrum (Mogii, LGBTPQIA+, whatever your preferred word for the community is) Survivors, Male Survivors, Survivors whose assailants were women, Survivors whose assailants were other children.
and all the lovely intersections and varying identities that come along with it. This is not a checklist or a competition of ‘whose more marginalized’, as long as you fall in a marginalized community SSO will take your submission. 
Can I submit if I’m a non-marginalized Survivor? or if I’m a survivor of non-sexual trauma?
No. This event is specifically for Survivors of Sexual Trauma from marginalized communities.
While SCaR is an open place for all survivors- this particular event is not.
Why marginalized survivors of sexual trauma?
Because these voices are often ignored in favor of experiences that fit a more common narrative. In being ignored thousands of survivors are left feeling confused or like they are the only ones. While all survivors are valid, there are certain issues that some communities of survivors face more than others, as well as some completely unique struggles. Survivor Speaks Out hopes to help address some of the problems that these survivors face.
Who runs Survivors Speak Out?
While SCaR is now home to many mods of many different walks of life, SSO is run by SCaR’s founder Kris.
They are a 21 year old white non-cis disabled queer. 
What kind of Submissions is SSO taking?
This year SSO is taking submissions for these 6  categories:
1. Letter to yourself during the crisis period.
2. Letter to survivors in your marginalized community.
3. Letter to survivors who aren’t in your community. What do you wish we understood? How can we build a better support system for each other?
4. Letters to non-survivors. What do you think they need to know? Maybe you want to write it to a specific non-survivor in your life, maybe you want to write it in general, or to the ones at your school. 
5. Art. Poetry. Drawings. Pictures. Sculptures. Music. Videos. 
6. For the last option- I would like to interview some survivors who have done things in their communities. Maybe you volunteer at a shelter or for RAINN. Maybe you helped put on a domestic violence event at your college. Maybe you fundraised for the cause. Maybe you spoke at Take Back the Night.
When is SSO taking place?
The month of September this year!
When is SSO accepting submissions? How do I submit? Can I do so anonymously?
SSO will begin accepting submissions next week- starting on July Seventh. It will continue to accept submissions for the rest of the month of July and for most of August.
All submissions must be in by August 25th. September 8th.
You can submit either by Submitting to selfcareafterrape or by emailing selfcareafterrape@gmail.com. If you plan on submitting it straight to SCaR make sure you touch base with Kris first.
If you want it to be anonymous- that can be arranged.
Further Questions?
Can be sent to ssoquestions.tumblr.com. Any questions sent to SCaR itself will be deleted unanswered. This is to keep SCaR’s inbox from becoming flooded. The actual SSO will still take place on the main blog.

3 more days!

The deadline is tomorrow but that&#8217;s plenty of time to share your truth, should you desire to do so.

selfcareafterrape:

selfcareafterrape:

Survivors Speak Out is looking for submissions!

What is Survivors Speak Out? 

Survivors Speak Out is a month long event highlighting voices often not heard within the survivor community. The aim is to make a platform for people to get their voices heard and also to help other marginalized survivors to realize that they are not alone.

What is required to submit?

All submissions must come from marginalized survivors of sexual trauma. 

What does it mean to be a marginalized survivor?

While I couldn’t possibly list all the ways that one could be marginalized, I can name a few.

Survivors of Color, Disabled Survivors, Trans Survivors, Spectrum (Mogii, LGBTPQIA+, whatever your preferred word for the community is) Survivors, Male Survivors, Survivors whose assailants were women, Survivors whose assailants were other children.

and all the lovely intersections and varying identities that come along with it. This is not a checklist or a competition of ‘whose more marginalized’, as long as you fall in a marginalized community SSO will take your submission. 

Can I submit if I’m a non-marginalized Survivor? or if I’m a survivor of non-sexual trauma?

No. This event is specifically for Survivors of Sexual Trauma from marginalized communities.

While SCaR is an open place for all survivors- this particular event is not.

Why marginalized survivors of sexual trauma?

Because these voices are often ignored in favor of experiences that fit a more common narrative. In being ignored thousands of survivors are left feeling confused or like they are the only ones. While all survivors are valid, there are certain issues that some communities of survivors face more than others, as well as some completely unique struggles. Survivor Speaks Out hopes to help address some of the problems that these survivors face.

Who runs Survivors Speak Out?

While SCaR is now home to many mods of many different walks of life, SSO is run by SCaR’s founder Kris.

They are a 21 year old white non-cis disabled queer. 

What kind of Submissions is SSO taking?

This year SSO is taking submissions for these 6  categories:

1. Letter to yourself during the crisis period.

2. Letter to survivors in your marginalized community.

3. Letter to survivors who aren’t in your community. What do you wish we understood? How can we build a better support system for each other?

4. Letters to non-survivors. What do you think they need to know? Maybe you want to write it to a specific non-survivor in your life, maybe you want to write it in general, or to the ones at your school. 

5. Art. Poetry. Drawings. Pictures. Sculptures. Music. Videos. 

6. For the last option- I would like to interview some survivors who have done things in their communities. Maybe you volunteer at a shelter or for RAINN. Maybe you helped put on a domestic violence event at your college. Maybe you fundraised for the cause. Maybe you spoke at Take Back the Night.

When is SSO taking place?

The month of September this year!

When is SSO accepting submissions? How do I submit? Can I do so anonymously?

SSO will begin accepting submissions next week- starting on July Seventh. It will continue to accept submissions for the rest of the month of July and for most of August.

All submissions must be in by August 25th. September 8th.

You can submit either by Submitting to selfcareafterrape or by emailing selfcareafterrape@gmail.com. If you plan on submitting it straight to SCaR make sure you touch base with Kris first.

If you want it to be anonymous- that can be arranged.

Further Questions?

Can be sent to ssoquestions.tumblr.com. Any questions sent to SCaR itself will be deleted unanswered. This is to keep SCaR’s inbox from becoming flooded. The actual SSO will still take place on the main blog.

3 more days!

The deadline is tomorrow but that’s plenty of time to share your truth, should you desire to do so.


TW: Childhood Sexual Abuse, Rape, Molestation, Incest

My story hum, well I’m a 40 year old mother of 4 amazing boys , my oldest whom I had when I was only 16, is getting married this coming weekend, then I have a beautiful 17, year old sweetie with autism, just a jewel , then followed by the bash brothers who are 12, 13, I’ve been married to my husband for almost 20, years all though it has not been easy we have faught , tooth and nail, at times to keep our family together, . my husband knew coming into our relationship that I was sexually abused as a child, but of course I sugar coated it , you know so he didn’t think I was a slut, or weird or whatever. 
   My abuse started when my mother married my stepfather I was 4, the “grooming ” process began . he was nice and kind and you see my mother had a favorite child , and that was not me, it was my older sister , she was beautiful exsotic beautiful, dark eyes, hair, skin, people would stop just to look at her beauty, and then there was me I was lanky and white , bald, and I looked like my dad, and that was allll bad. So here is this “father ” type that thinks I’m just the bees knees , and he’s got all there fun “WIERD” games daddies ONLY daddies and daughters play , for the first two years it was just hide and seak quarters on body parts, and he ALWAYS, had to come in wake me up in the middle of the night just so he could rock me back to sleep literally in his LAP, at 6, we moved to a new town my mother got a new amazing job to which she worked 12, hour shifts that’s when the oral sex started, he would get me out of bed , act like we were watching TV and just push my face right there then lay me down and force me to allow him to perform oral sex on me, sometimes I’d wake up with him trying to force himself inside, me, it got to the point if I wanted to go anywhere or do anything , I had to perform some sort of sexual act on him then had to allow him to do the same on me,  the abuse was pretty much daily he made sure of that , I was 13, the last time he tried to force intercource on me and I was scared I was pregnant , so I took a chance and told my mother, 
  My mother you see was a police dispatcher and we can’t say anything because she could lose her  job and would be very embarrassed, so she said I’ll just tell him to stop. For a year he continued to abuse me and I started smoking pot, running around with the wrong croud of course, then I decided to run away with a girlfriend to Florida, we hitch nicked , the entire way with truckers, when we got there , we got caught right away , and my mother left me there for a week trying to decide if she wanted me back, the only way I got home was my grandma sent for me. 
  When I finally got home, my mother didn’t speak to me for three weeks but finally decided to report The abuse, but we went to her police ddepartment where all their friends worked , he got $1000,00 fine and that was it, my mother chose to stay with him , 
  For years I kept them in my life, but every time they would leave , a holiday, or birthday party I’d be damaged for days, but I always felt being a GOOD christian I had to forgive and move past it, but I was drinking to self medicate, I was acting out sexualy, wasn’t like I had never went to counseling , I had , had be on all different types of medication combos, 
  Almost 2years ago my uncle passed away very sudden , I was very close to this uncle, you know the “type” of father you’d want , he was also my step fathers brother , so during this wake and funeral, I’m helping my aunt and cousins , and seeing my step father everyday for 5days , I literally had a breakdown, and had to be placed in a mental ward, for almost two months, 
  I learned I don’t have to have them in my life, I learned the damage the abuse caused mentally, I learned I can be a good Christian love my mom but if she wants to chose a monster over her very own daughter then there is no room for her in my life. I learned how to love life sober.I have recently gone through some quite intense medical issues, which my specialist has told me due to my PTSD my abuse is one of the major contributing factors,  I know my abuse will be apart of me , but I will not longer ever let it control me, I believe in talking and sharing , joining a support group or make sure you have an amazing support system, 

TW: Childhood Sexual Abuse, Rape, Molestation, Incest

My story hum, well I’m a 40 year old mother of 4 amazing boys , my oldest whom I had when I was only 16, is getting married this coming weekend, then I have a beautiful 17, year old sweetie with autism, just a jewel , then followed by the bash brothers who are 12, 13, I’ve been married to my husband for almost 20, years all though it has not been easy we have faught , tooth and nail, at times to keep our family together, . my husband knew coming into our relationship that I was sexually abused as a child, but of course I sugar coated it , you know so he didn’t think I was a slut, or weird or whatever. 

   My abuse started when my mother married my stepfather I was 4, the “grooming ” process began . he was nice and kind and you see my mother had a favorite child , and that was not me, it was my older sister , she was beautiful exsotic beautiful, dark eyes, hair, skin, people would stop just to look at her beauty, and then there was me I was lanky and white , bald, and I looked like my dad, and that was allll bad. So here is this “father ” type that thinks I’m just the bees knees , and he’s got all there fun “WIERD” games daddies ONLY daddies and daughters play , for the first two years it was just hide and seak quarters on body parts, and he ALWAYS, had to come in wake me up in the middle of the night just so he could rock me back to sleep literally in his LAP, at 6, we moved to a new town my mother got a new amazing job to which she worked 12, hour shifts that’s when the oral sex started, he would get me out of bed , act like we were watching TV and just push my face right there then lay me down and force me to allow him to perform oral sex on me, sometimes I’d wake up with him trying to force himself inside, me, it got to the point if I wanted to go anywhere or do anything , I had to perform some sort of sexual act on him then had to allow him to do the same on me,  the abuse was pretty much daily he made sure of that , I was 13, the last time he tried to force intercource on me and I was scared I was pregnant , so I took a chance and told my mother, 

  My mother you see was a police dispatcher and we can’t say anything because she could lose her  job and would be very embarrassed, so she said I’ll just tell him to stop. For a year he continued to abuse me and I started smoking pot, running around with the wrong croud of course, then I decided to run away with a girlfriend to Florida, we hitch nicked , the entire way with truckers, when we got there , we got caught right away , and my mother left me there for a week trying to decide if she wanted me back, the only way I got home was my grandma sent for me. 

  When I finally got home, my mother didn’t speak to me for three weeks but finally decided to report The abuse, but we went to her police ddepartment where all their friends worked , he got $1000,00 fine and that was it, my mother chose to stay with him , 

  For years I kept them in my life, but every time they would leave , a holiday, or birthday party I’d be damaged for days, but I always felt being a GOOD christian I had to forgive and move past it, but I was drinking to self medicate, I was acting out sexualy, wasn’t like I had never went to counseling , I had , had be on all different types of medication combos, 

  Almost 2years ago my uncle passed away very sudden , I was very close to this uncle, you know the “type” of father you’d want , he was also my step fathers brother , so during this wake and funeral, I’m helping my aunt and cousins , and seeing my step father everyday for 5days , I literally had a breakdown, and had to be placed in a mental ward, for almost two months, 

  I learned I don’t have to have them in my life, I learned the damage the abuse caused mentally, I learned I can be a good Christian love my mom but if she wants to chose a monster over her very own daughter then there is no room for her in my life. I learned how to love life sober.I have recently gone through some quite intense medical issues, which my specialist has told me due to my PTSD my abuse is one of the major contributing factors,  I know my abuse will be apart of me , but I will not longer ever let it control me, I believe in talking and sharing , joining a support group or make sure you have an amazing support system, 

Kayla&#8217;s Mark.

Kayla’s Mark.

(Source: thelatestkate)

Annie&#8217;s Mark.

Annie’s Mark.

10 Ways To Talk To Your Kids About Sexual Abuse

The poison leaves bit by bit, not all at once. Be patient. You are healing.
Yasmin Mogahed (via tea-storm)

(Source: beautifulsabr)

My mother once told me that trauma is like Lord of the Rings. You go through this crazy, life-altering thing that almost kills you (like say having to drop the one ring into Mount Doom), and that thing by definition cannot possibly be understood by someone who hasn’t gone through it. They can sympathize sure, but they’ll never really know, and more than likely they’ll expect you to move on from the thing fairly quickly. And they can’t be blamed, people are just like that, but that’s not how it works.

Some lucky people are like Sam. They can go straight home, get married, have a whole bunch of curly headed Hobbit babies and pick up their gardening right where they left off, content to forget the whole thing and live out their days in peace. Lots of people however, are like Frodo, and they don’t come home the same person they were when they left, and everything is more horrible and more hard then it ever was before. The old wounds sting and the ghost of the weight of the one ring still weighs heavy on their minds, and they don’t fit in at home anymore, so they get on boats go sailing away to the Undying West to look for the sort of peace that can only come from within. Frodos can’t cope, and most of us are Frodos when we start out.

But if we move past the urge to hide or lash out, my mother always told me, we can become Pippin and Merry. They never ignored what had happened to them, but they were malleable and receptive to change. They became civic leaders and great storytellers; they we able to turn all that fear and anger and grief into narratives that others could delight in and learn from, and they used the skills they had learned in battle to protect their homeland. They were fortified by what had happened to them, they wore it like armor and used it to their advantage.

It is our trauma that turns us into guardians, my mother told me, it is suffering that strengthens our skin and softens our hearts, and if we learn to live with the ghosts of what had been done to us, we just may be able to save others from the same fate.

S.T.Gibson  (via modernhepburn)

(Source: sarahtaylorgibson)

Recovery is a conscious choice. It’s not something brought about by repeat hospital visits and pills and forced therapy sessions. Those things only supplement it. But what recovery really is is a conscious choice to wake up tomorrow and want to live. It’s a choice to drive across a bridge and not want to jump into the water, but to admire the view.
Megan on choosing recovery (via expresswithsilence)

(Source: angryasianfeminist)