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Attorney Victoria Elyonda Broussard was sexually abused for 10 years – from the ages of four to 14 – across continents. After being abused in Texas, Spain, Germany and upstate New York by numerous perpetrators, Victoria is now a successful attorney at the age of 44, and a volunteer for the RAINN Speakers Bureau. Victoria talked about her story with SABRE for the brand’s Survivor Stories initiative in partnership with RAINN.
SABRE: Was this a one-time assault or did this occur over any length of time?
VEB: My childhood sexual abuse occurred over a period of 10 years with eight abusers.
SABRE: Was this someone that you knew or was this a stranger?
VEB: All of the perpetrators were family members or friends. On one occasion, the abuser was a person hired to do work for my family, I would consider him to be the abuser who qualifies most as a stranger.
SABRE: Was this something that you felt like you couldn’t talk about at all? Or were you feeling like you wanted to seek help right away? Either way, why did you feel that way?
VEB: When it happened the first time, I lived with my grandmother and I told her. She handled it so poorly by laying me on a cold bathroom floor and applying Vaseline on my sore, swollen vagina. I got up from the floor, waiting for someone to get in trouble because she knew who did it, but nothing happened. From that point on, I learned it must have been my fault and if it happened again I shouldn’t tell. When it started happening with another person, the insidious nature of this crime had already gripped my child mind and telling wasn’t an option.
SABRE: If you had the chance to confront your attackers, what would you say to them and why? What do you want a person who hurts someone else to know about their actions?
VEB: What evil courses through your veins that you think it was okay to do the things you did to me? Pedophiles and molesters have no idea of the daunting effects their demented actions cause on young, innocent minds. I want them to know they took everything that is precious in the nature of a child, their ability to forgive, love, share, seek acceptance and care, and twisted those characteristics into something sinister. Those beautiful traits get used as a weapon against one’s own self for the predators’ sick pleasure.
SABRE: What can the rest of us do to make help more accessible, or to make people feel safer to come forward and ask for help? What do you think needs to change to make that happen?
VEB: What needs to happen is survivors must have open, continual and nonjudgmental dialogue about what happened to them. Survivors must understand that Truth Has No Judgment! The guilt and shame inherent in this crime is what produces for the survivor lasting consequences that seek to detour and destroy the survivor’s progress in multiple aspects of life. They must understand their truth is not ugly, it is simply truth. Survivors have to learn to go deep in processing these profoundly difficult emotional scars. Society as a whole must come out of denial regarding the darkness surrounding humanity and deal with this heinous crime head on.
SABRE: How has this affected you in your life post-assault? Is there anything that you used to do that you don’t anymore? Or is there something you didn’t do pre-assault that you make a point to do now?
VEB: Post-assaults, I never felt worthy of being treated well. I was very ashamed and guilt ridden over the fact that I had become something beyond my control. My choices in men was horrible and I constantly fell into a pattern of abuse with everyone. I became more promiscuous than I believe I would have been had not all those experiences happened to me. I also wet the bed until I was 13. After I disclosed my truth to my mother, she informed me I cried a lot when I was young, but I don’t recall this. I also developed a habit of masturbating at an early age, which made me feel dirtier and unlike others my age. Thankfully, and with much diligence on my part, I have grown and have learned to live well with my truth, recognizing that truth has no judgment. I no longer shame my truth, my life, or secret my scars.
SABRE: What do you think is the biggest misconception about sexual assault and violence right now?
VEB: The victim caused the assault.
SABRE: What advice do you have for someone who was recently victimized? What do you wish someone would have told you when this happened?
VEB: Don’t pretend you are alright, trust me, you aren’t! Get help quickly, the kind of help that will give you the freedom to open your heart to yourself to so the soul journey can begin. Remember, you where Pure Then, You Are Pure Now! Live Well With Your Truth, Because Truth Has No Judgment.
SABRE: What are some resources that helped you, and what are some that you want to make sure other people know about?
VEB: Writing my book, i-Comfortable Victim, which is the story of my life told through a therapeutic, fiction lens as seen through the eyes of the lead character, Saxxine De La Croix, was the beginning of my restorative journey. Writing made me face the truth that I could hide from no longer. i-Comfortable Victim is a riveting tale of how the soul stain of childhood sexual abuse can tear at the fibers of one’s being. It is a dynamic masterpiece woven with a palatable flair of entertainment, while simultaneously taking the reader deep into the psyche of a damaged woman struggling to keep her secrets cradled in the recesses of her mind by hiding behind the mask she created. Readers find it sensationally suspenseful, educational, healing, and comical all at the same time; it is truly a read like no other.
An invaluable resource is a program I offer for survivors of childhood sexual abuse unlike anything out there called “An Open Heart Journey to Your True Self". It is designed to break the chains of guilt, shame, and blame from your life so you can learn to LIVE WELL WITH YOUR TRUTH because TRUTH HAS NO JUDGMENT! In the program I walk you through the exact steps I used to transform my life from Shameful and Blameful to Blissful and Gainful! You can register for the program at www.icomfortablevictim.com or use the "Book Now" button on my i-Comfortable Victim Facebook page.
There is also a vividly enlightening program I strongly recommend called True Light Therapy, created by Dr. Mu of The All in All Ministries. I found his program to be extremely helpful in coming to terms with my truth and learning to love and protect my inner self. Dr. Mu helped me understand how to live in NOW, which broke my habitual nature to continuously cycle in and out of behaviors that were damaging to me. You can find more information on Dr. Mu’s True Light Therapy at www.theallinallministries.com.
But, probably the most helpful of all is being able to speak openly about what happened to me with the hope and objective of helping others. Touching people’s lives who have been traumatized by this same crime is what I now live for. My nonprofit organization, B’yond The Unveiling, is dedicated to the pursuit of eradicating childhood sexual abuse through a comprehensive “out of the box” approach that is one of the only nonprofits that factors in the greatest component of this heinous crime, pedophiles and their vile actions. For more information visit www.byondtheunveiling.com.