My name is Kylie, and among many other things, I am a survivor of rape. You can read my story at this link:
http://avoiceforheather.tripod.com/id25.html – I have come a long way since then, and where I once saw a wounded victim, I now see an empowered survivor. My hope is that all victims get to experience the joy and strength of the healing process, and become survivors. Sadly, too many victims of rape and incest end up committing or attempting suicide. That’s not cool. So I decided to try and do something about it.
In 2008, I founded a support group called RISE (Rape Incest & Suicide Education) in order to spread awareness about these epidemics, and to help those who have gone through them RISE above them and heal. Since then, many beautiful souls have joined the cause, including my husband who has played a huge part in my healing process, and together we try to spread healing and joy to anyone in pain, including survivors of rape, incest, and suicide.
One huge question this has raised (a question we’ve all asked at one point or another) is “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I think that through my work with RISE, I may have found the answer. I have come to realize that if bad things never happened to good people, those good people wouldn’t be as equipped to RISE up and help others through the same things. Everything happens for a reason, and YOU are my reason. You are the reason I get out of bed every day with a drive to make a difference. You are the reason I cry, and the reason I smile. You are the reason I am crying and smiling as I write this. I know how you feel, because I’ve been there. And I want to help you heal so badly it actually hurts!
RISE is made up of volunteers, and none of us make any money whatsoever through it. And we hope to keep it that way. Sure, it would be nice to have the money to hold a festival every year with healing music and conferences, and it would be awesome to travel around to schools and speak, but we don’t want to become one of those organizations that is all about money. We have seen it happen and it is not a good feeling when you see an organization that is supposed to be there for people become more about money than helping. So it’s not for fame or money that we do any of this, but love, healing, and most of all HOPE. Hope that through RISE we can impact someone’s life in a small yet positive way.
Emily Dickinson said, “If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.” That describes perfectly the way I feel about RISE.
Even if we never grow past the point we are now, even if we never get to the point where we can hold festivals, even if no one tells us
personally that we’ve helped them, if ONE person who is inches from suicide sees one of our posts and changes their mind, RISE has done
its job, and I am satisfied. I know this has already happened, not because someone has told me, but because I feel it. I feel it every
time I post on RISE. I feel the power in what I am doing and saying. It’s not my own power that I feel, but the power of a community. The
unity that comes from survivors all around the world banding together through one idea, one promise, one hope – that healing IS possible. I
believe that it is. And YOU are my reason to believe. Keep Rising, Butterfly. We are here for you.
-Kylie (RISE Founder)