The courage and strength of survivors

courage quote and photo

When reflecting on the courage and strength of survivors, Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) Advocates say that even the initial call or visit to our offices can be overwhelmingly difficult. Some survivors arrive for their first appointment literally shaking, and then afterwards, reveal that just making the call and walking through the door of WRCNM was one of the hardest things they ever did. That is courage and strength.

Imagine a survivor who has been isolated, controlled, belittled and told the abuse was not real; that she must be crazy. Imagine the strength it takes to make that call to reach out for support. Imagine sharing the raw and painful details about your personal experiences — your confusion, defeats, anger, grief and shame — with a person you do not know. That is courage and strength.

Imagine yourself leaving an abusive partner who has so tightly controlled the relationship that you are without a support network, driver’s license, vehicle or the financial means to leave. Imagine you have one or more children to protect. Imagine you do not speak English. Imagine you are deaf, have never lived independently and you lip-read to communicate which is severely hindered by pandemic-related face masks. Imagine the abuse has gone on for years and the time to leave is now — so you do it. That is courage and strength.

WRCNM staff use words like courageous, resilient, brave, grateful, hopeful and strong to describe those who reach out for services. This includes the “super strong kiddos” who eventually find safety, peace and an opportunity to heal from their trauma after working with our professional staff. Each survivor story is unique, each survivor faces multiple obstacles on their personal journey to a more positive future, but the common thread is strength and courage.

Since 1977, WRCNM has been focused on providing services that meet the needs of adults, children and families in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet and Otsego counties. The strength and courage of survivors propels us in our work to continue to provide quality services that empower, enrich and help people heal from trauma.

We are honored to walk with survivors, whether it is a one-time meeting that helps them get “unstuck” or months of counseling and advocacy to help them understand the harm done to them was not their fault. We are honored to walk with survivors as they work to regain control in their lives, gain education or training to secure a first or better paying job, establish credit, get a driver’s license, buy a car, move into their own home and soar.