Type of Work

Research Paper - Limited Access

Publication Date



Throughout history, systems of oppression such as the patriarchy, racism and sexism have been at work to keep survivors silent. Due to this, survivors have been silenced through covert and overt methods including legal, social, religious and familial systems. These factors combined have created an environment where survivors struggle to speak out due to fear of negative repercussions. However, it is important to amplify the voices of survivors and to provide them with healing strategies so that they can live fulfilling, healthy lives. Using a combination of memoirs, novels, poetry and a self-help book, this paper analyzes the stages of the healing journey. Survivors have the right to share their stories and this paper is replete with survivor stories and suggested healing methods. Healing is not linear and often a survivor can come to the same stages over and over again, while still making progress on their healing journey. Due to the non-linear nature of the healing journey, self-care and self-love are instrumental parts of the healing process. Healing can be painful, because it can involves engaging with difficult memories, flashbacks, grief, and anger. It can also be incredibly rewarding because it can include: self-forgiveness, caring for inner child, support systems, spirituality, finding inner strength and a reclamation of the body. Survivors can learn from and uplift one another by sharing their stories of survival, healing, and pain. It is in this story telling that survivors may find ways to heal themselves and each other mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Hamilton Areas of Study

Women's Studies

Hamilton Sponsoring Organization

Levitt Public Affairs Center

Hamilton Scholarship Series

Levitt Summer Research Fellowship

Hamilton Faculty Advisor

Vivyan Adair