Taking the Silence Out of Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse is surprisingly common, but rarely discussed. By openly addressing the issue, we can help create a safe community where childhood victims can become shameless adult survivors.

How it began:
Hope for the Future was originally named, “Shh is for Shameless” and was created by NYU alumna, Belinda Rodriguez in conjunction with the Health Promotion Office. It is about reclaiming the “shh” of being silent to being shameless! No child asks to be sexually abused. It is never the child’s fault.

Together, we can make NYU a place where survivors of child sexual abuse feel that they have support, hear each other's stories, can see that they have allies, and where they feel safe to acknowledge their abuse and heal or continue to heal.

We invite both survivors to share their stories in the spirit of healing and awareness by using this submission form, emailing submissions to health.promotion@nyu.edu, or submitting stories to the physical story box located in the Health Promotion Office at 726 Broadway, Suite 344.

* 1. To ensure your safe & confidential participation, please take a moment to read the following statement of anonymity:

All submissions are anonymous. However, submitters may choose to identify themselves as as the author by selecting that option on this form. Unless otherwise specified by the submitter, some submissions may be pre-selected and made available for others to read publically and anonymously at the “Cup of Hope” event. Authors are also invited to read their own story submission if they choose. Cup of Hope is an annual event taking place on Thursday, April 11th at 7pm in Kimmel 802. If you would NOT like your submission to be available at the open mic event, please indicate below. If you would like to be contacted with future opportunities to get involved in Gender Violence Awareness Week, please provide your contact information. All contact information will remain confidential and story submissions will remain anonymous unless otherwise indicated by the author.

Please note that the Health Promotion Office may be required to break confidentiality and share information you provide with authorities or university personnel if you disclose information about the ongoing abuse of a child, or any act that violates NYU/NYS policies/laws and/or poses a threat to oneself or community.

I read, understand, and agree to this statement of anonymity.

* 2. I would like to remain anonymous.

* 3. If no, please provide your preferred name to be credited for this piece:

* 4. I would like my story to be available for someone to read at the open mic event, "Cup of Hope," on April 11th.

* 5. I would like to receive a follow-up email from the Health Promotion Office regarding receipt of my submission.

* 6. If yes, please provide your NYU Net ID:

* 7. I would like to receive more information about Gender Violence Awareness Week at NYU:

* 8. If yes and you have not already doneso, please provide your Net ID:

* 9. It takes courage to speak out about child sexual abuse. Thank you for taking the time to share your story. Submissions of any length and style are welcome.

Questions to consider:
If you’re a survivor: How old were you when the abuse occurred? Did you ever tell anyone? If so, what was that like for you? If you could give a word of advice or hope to another survivor, what would it be?

If you’re an ally: Have you met anyone who is a survivor? If so, what was it like for you to hear about their experience? If you could give a word of advice or hope to another ally, what would it be?

Thank you for your submission. To get involved with this year's Gender Violence Awareness Week, please go to www.nyu.edu/shc and click Programs and Events to see the full calendar. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to change your answer to any of the questions on this form, please email Health Promotion Specialist, Ri Marchessault, at ri.marchessault@nyu.edu.

If you would like to process your experience with writing your story or would like additional support for your healing you can call the Wellness Exchange 24/7 at 212-443-9999 or walk-in to speak with a counselor in person at the Student Health Center, Room 402.