"I'm one of the twenty percent."
This is what a young woman told me last week after I shared my story on stage at an event in San Diego.
She continued, "I'm one of the twenty percent, and I just want you to know that your message is so important."
A few moments later, another young woman approached me and said, "I just want you to know that I think The Stitch is awesome. I was sexually abused and... I just think this is awesome."
I spoke that evening in the East Village at a launch party -- along with Bob Goff, author of Love Does, and Brad Corrigan of the band DISPATCH -- as our creative agency unveiled their new name, BLVR.
BLVR's slogan is that, "only if one is a believer in something can one act purposefully." We at Speak Your Silence have worked closely with BLVR as we've built The Stitch, the story behind it, and our product, The Stitch kit.
While sharing about BLVR's investment in us, I shared my personal story of being sexually abused by a family friend when I was six, keeping it secret until after graduating college, and about the heavy toll it took on my life.
But, most importantly, I shared about the incredible freedom I gained when I finally shared my story a few years back, was surrounded by love from my family and friends, and discovered my innate value through the course of counseling.
I shared with them that, going by statistics, roughly twenty percent of the two hundred or so in attendance went through something similar to me when they were kids. And, most will never tell a soul.
I explained the symbolism of The Stitch, with the zigzag representing their voice frequency wave, and how, by wearing it, they show their friends and loved ones support in sharing the stories they've never felt safe sharing.
And then I asked them to imagine the impact it would make in the lives of their own friends at the party if each person in that room were wearing The Stitch right there and then.
It's a life-transforming story to be part of.
I also made a special announcement that night -- that we have reimagined The Stitch kit we launched in March, and that in the coming week, we would be unveiling a new, pocket-sized version.
Being as BLVR has played such an integral role in the growth of The Stitch, each person in attendance went home with The Stitch kit in its new form.
Our mission at Speak Your Silence is to conquer the stigma of child sexual abuse. What's so thrilling is that each time I share about my story and The Stitch, our mission is accomplished on a personal level for individuals like those young ladies at the party. But, in addition to this, each of their friends who took home The Stitch kit became part of our community, which grows the impact of our mission at an exponential rate.
Freedom is a powerful thing to share. I hope you'll be part of it.
As of today, you can now join our friends in San Diego in owning The Stitch kit in its new, pocket-sized (code word for awesome) form.
Get one for every pocket at speakyoursilence.org.