• stephhandsofhope

Transitions from victim to survivor

Blogging is a new thing for me. Let me start by introducing myself to anyone that hasn't had the opportunity to meet me...My name is Stephenie Och and I am the Executive Director at Hands of Hope Resource Center. I started at Hands of Hope in 1994 working under a new grant that focused on child abuse services and community education. From there I transitioned into a series of positions throughout the years until I began as the Executive Director in 2006. Having worked in this field for so long, I have a lot to say. I am hoping to share those thoughts with you and am happy you have joined me in this new adventure!

Life is a series of transitions. When you get up each morning, you go from sleeping to awake. That is a transition. When you commute to work from home, that is a transition. Transitions are not always menial-- there are many very significant transitions that happen in our lives, such as graduating from high school and going off to college, or getting married and moving away from home. This blog is really going to focus on the events in a person's life that center around experiencing abuse or a crime. If you experience abuse in your life-- whether once or multiple times, those are transitions. Everything that happens is a series of transitions from where we were to where we are now. I want to talk about that. Who we are changes after abuse-- whether you are the person who experienced the abuse or the loved one of someone who did. When the people around you suggest that you should "get over it" and "move on", well... that is just not possible. You see, you are now changed. You will never see the world as it was before that. You have transitioned. There is nothing wrong with you-- you are normal. Your experience has forever changed you.

Something that I have learned about over the last couple of years is the idea of "post-traumatic growth". Post-traumatic growth refers to the positive changes that occur as a person works through their healing journey after trauma. I like this concept a lot, mainly because a person cannot change the fact that they have been victimized in some way. They CAN determine how this change is going to impact their life. They can control the transition. They can take an active role in how they get from the place of victim to survivor.

With each new blog post, I hope to explore the idea of post-traumatic growth and how focusing on strengths and triumphs can move a person forward in their healing journey in a positive way.

Thank you for being a part of this new journey with me!