Five years ago I couldn’t imagine telling a single person the things that happened to me when I was younger. I was overwhelmed by many painful secrets I had carried around for years, but the thought of telling anyone those secrets caused fear and shame to consume me.
Four and a half years ago I finally sought counseling. Shortly after I began counseling I went through a very traumatic event. That event brought up many things from my past. I slowly began to work though past trauma that had haunted me for years.
After a lot of therapy and healing I began sharing my experiences to help others understand what is really happening. I wanted to give hope victims and survivors by showing them that their past trauma doesn’t have to define them. Speaking has also helped me to feel empowered and is a reminder of how far I’ve come and it encourages me to keep going. I have developed a passion to be a voice for the voiceless
Last week I spoke at the Circuit 5 Human Trafficking Symposium and it was a special experience for me because I had the opportunity to speak at the same event some of the people I look up to were speaking at.
Frank Williams, a Prosecuting Attorney, was the first speaker of the day. When it comes to fighting for victims Frank is by far the most passionate man I’ve ever met. In January I was on a panel with him at an event in Gainesville, FL. During that panel session Frank said something about me that changed the way I look at myself. He explained the process in which diamonds are made. He talked about how a piece of coal has to withstand a lot of pressure. He said, “coal can’t always handle the pressure, but when it does sometimes you get a very rare diamond like Savannah.” I will forever be thankful for Frank showing me how I’m like a diamond.
When I arrived at the event last week someone told me that everyone was excited to hear me speak. She told me, “the speaker this morning knows you and he told everyone how great you are and that they need to be here to hear you.”
I was amazed by how attentive the audience was while I was speaking. I could tell they truly care about victims and want to do the best they can to help. After I spoke I received a standing ovation and many people at the event told me that I’m changing lives. There was even a lady who came to talk to me and shared with me that she has been sexually abused, but has never told anyone. Her sharing her secret with me was a reminder of why I share the most painful experiences of my past.
I will never stop being a voice for the voiceless.