Survivor Interviews

Listening to women with lived experience, we learn about the ways women are impacted by and how they cope with sexual violation – that is, what supports, activities or comforts helped them to survive the most challenging parts of their experience. We collaborated with Carol, Deborah, Janis, Megan, and Michelle, who in sharing their experiences of sexual violence, illuminate how individual women are impacted differently – including their experiences with systems meant to support victims/survivors.  Click the icons to watch the videos.


Carol shares her experience of sexual assault that occurred on her 19th birthday.  She chose to press charges against the perpetrator and recounts her experience with the criminal justice system.  She also discusses the impacts of the assault on her and her family as well as her engagement with formal and informal support networks.  She shares advice for other survivors and those who support them.


Deborah, age 63, is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. This proud mother and loving partner shares the impacts she experienced, her decision as an adult to tell others about her childhood abuse, and how  non-judgemental and supportive people have assisted her in coping.  She also discusses how writing and speaking about her childhood abuse  plays an important role in her healing journey.


Janis, age 51, is a survivor of sexual violation, psychological, physical and economic abuse during adolescence, in intimate relationships as an adult and in her work as a sex worker. Learn from this poet and author, as she discusses the spiral of outcomes she experienced, as well as the support and inner strength she developed through friendship, martial arts, and writing.


Megan, age 31, writes about her experience of sexual assault at a Halloween party when she was 23-years old.  She reflects on the different support networks she engaged with after the assault and explains why she chose not to proceed with legal action against the perpetrator.  She hopes that her experience will help to support other survivors in their healing and recovery.


Michelle, age 23, is blind and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault at age 17.  She plans to attend Law School and to work as a legal advocate for individuals with disabilities.  She discusses personal impacts, other consequences, her experience with the justice system, and what has supported her healing and recovery.