Shelbie's story hit home for me...being a survivor myself, I immediately resonated with her typed words. You never suspect those who are responsible for our safety as children would ever be the ones to do such hideous things when no one is looking. My experience is the reason I have taught my children that no matter enters their lives, they must earn your respect before it is given. Not allowing anyone the opportunity to use their authority to violate your body or silence you from speaking up of their intentions or attempts.
Shelbie speaks out after years of being silenced to share with us what drivers her to continue on and be the light in this world...offering community protection and justice as local police officer. Her inspiration through her struggles have been a series of books by the author Sarah J Maas. In the words of these books Shelbie found what she needed to cope and today she bares an artistic representation of this on her arm. We created a piece tying elements of this book series together and its everything she dreamed it would be. Below are Shelbie's words describing how this piece has continued to facilitate healing for her.
"I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who has never had a bad day. We all have bad days, and that’s okay.
But now, when I’m having a bad day, I have this big beautiful reminder now forever with me. It reminds me to push myself to do my best in all aspects of my personal and professional life. It gives me strength on days when I am running low.
I don’t know how Mandi created such a perfect piece of art for me, but I do know I will never stop being thankful to her for coming into my life. This beautiful tattoo is such a proud reminder of my strength.
For anyone suffering from things they do not speak of… there is such light in this world, and I implore you to seek out the things that bring you closer to that light.
And to my fellow SJM fans don’t forget…you could rattle the stars, you could do anything, if only you dared."
Below I am leaving some links for continued education and resources to be proactive in your efforts to end childhood sexual abuse. Thank you for your support and help with spreading this message.
The Womens Law- https://www.womenslaw.org
Planned Parenthood- https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/sexual-assault
Darkness to Light- https://www.d2l.org/education/5-steps/step-1/
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network- https://www.nctsn.org/