Jillian's Experience Part 4:

Reclaiming My Voice

A Journey from Darkness to Advocacy

woman wearing floral dress standing on brown grassland

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

They say that our darkest moments often become the catalysts for our most significant transformations. As I reflect on my journey, I am compelled to share that my experience has ended up a story of resilience, healing, and advocacy.

Years ago, I found myself ensnared in the web of silence, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted figure. It was a secret I buried deep within, allowing shame and fear to dictate my life for far too long. The shadows grew darker, and my voice remained unheard.

The turning point came when I discovered Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR became my beacon of hope, guiding me through the labyrinth of trauma and helping me process the pain that lingered in the recesses of my mind. The rhythmic beats of EDMR paralleled my journey, slowly but surely leading me towards healing.

Empowered by my newfound strength, I decided to channel my experiences into a force for change. My journey expanded beyond personal healing; it became a mission to break the silence surrounding sexual abuse. I delved into legislative advocacy, working tirelessly to change child abuse laws and ensure justice for survivors.

I knew that my story was not unique, and there were countless others silently battling their demons. I became involved in community outreach, working with populations affected by sexual abuse and domestic violence. Through support groups and counseling, I aimed to be a source of strength and understanding for those who felt trapped in their own darkness.

woman sitting on sand

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

As I look back on my transformation—from a survivor to an advocate, healer, and facilitator—I realize the ripple effect that one person's journey can have. By speaking out, I not only reclaimed my own voice but also gave others the courage to do the same.

My journey from the depths of silence to a place of advocacy has been transformative, challenging, and ultimately empowering. It's a continuous process—one that involves not just healing the individual but also contributing to the collective healing of a society that too often turns a blind eye to the pain of survivors.

If my story can serve as a beacon of hope for even one person, or if my advocacy work can bring about a positive change in legislation, then my journey has been more than worthwhile.

Together, we can break the chains of silence and create a world where survivors are heard, believed, and supported on their path to healing.

The journey continues, and so does the mission—to turn pain into power and darkness into light.

About the Author

Jillian Coburn is an entrepreneur, inventor, outdoorswoman, and mother of three who is passionately committed to supporting and elevating women who have nowhere to turn and living under the shadows of domestic violence. A survivor herself, she assists women living with abuse by empowering and teaching them how to get out, heal and build a life they’ve always imagined.

Jillian is an author, speaker, and advocate who is dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse and holding offenders accountable.

Published by SurvivorSpace, an initiative of Zero Abuse Project