I saw this list on a leaflet about sexual violence I picked up and couldn’t believe how well whoever wrote it seemed to understand me and know how I feel. It amazes me how survivors of all kinds of sexual violence from all kinds of backgrounds seem to have so many feelings in common. To someone who isn’t a survivor this list probably seems really obvious but everything on here I have had to learn or relearn since leaving my abusive relationship. I wanted to share it as I hope it will help other survivors.

  • I have the right to be treated with respect
  • I have equal respect for myself and for other people
  • I have the right to say ‘no’ to sex I don’t want
  • It’s OK for me to change my mind
  • No-one has the right to hurt me in any way
  • I can take responsibility for my behaviour that may be harmful to myself or others – I am open to change
  • It’s OK for me to make mistakes – I can learn from them
  • It’s OK to express my feelings, thoughts and opinions