Our volunteers are a huge part of Scarleteen, and I call them superstars with very good reason. They're all incredible.
I want to tell you something very personal about me. Not because I want to. I really don't want to. But I'm going to do it anyway.
I'm trying to organise some sort of event/forum at my university in Australia about sexual assault and violence against women....
Anyone who knows me or who knows anything about me usually knows that my pre-teen and teen years were incredibly difficult. I dealt with neglect and abuse in my family, starting from about the time I was 10. I was sexually assaulted twice before I even became a teenager. I was queer. I was suicidal and was a self-injurer. I struggled to find safe shelter sometimes. Few people seemed to notice, even though after I gave up trying to use my words, I still used my eyes to try and tell them constantly.
I'm 40 now, and in a whole lot of ways, I felt older at 16 than I feel now. Some days, I am truly gobsmacked that I survived at all, let alone with my heart and mind intact and rich.
A lot of why I survived is about having gotten support.