My name is Tonya GJ Prince (bio below).
Whenever you see, hear, or read something that I have written; just know that I am never alone.
I have been working professionally and/or volunteering in domestic and sexual violence for 23+ years.
However, in the beginning, I avoided the topic of sexual violence. You see, I am a Survivor of child sexual abuse.
But after years of conflict, struggle, illness, pain, healing, and some more stuff………enough became enough.
The Right to Speak
It was actually my mother who decided that it was time that we share the lessons that we learned.
Years before my other mother, her sister, Eurgentine Simmons, had empowered my soul when she told me that everyone had a right to their own story.
Even though my entire extremely large extended family had made it clear that they would prefer that I remain completely silent about this trauma long beyond the day that I die, finally a new day had come.
I felt set free from a sentence that I never deserved to serve.
Actually, I felt that we all were set free, at last.
Sexual violence must not remain in the darkness, where it thrives and gains strength each minute.
WE want to enhance child safety.
WE want victims and Survivors to reach a higher level of healing.
This blog lives to amplify our voices, the Survivors!
Tonya GJ Prince Bio
I am in the process of Surviving child sexual abuse/rape.
From the first pain that I can recall through the earliest pain of healing, I can recall thinking: “I wonder if anyone else has gone through this. Then: “I wonder what they were thinking when this happened to them? How did they ever get beyond this part?”
No step on this journey has been easy. At 13, I brought years of painful secrets into the light. It wasn’t until my late teens that another speaker helped me find my voice. In my early 20’s, while in college, I began to volunteer and serve victims/Survivors of domestic violence.
So here we are….23 years later and over that span, I have continued to serve, earning respect as an expert, in domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse prevention, and social justice issues.
My specific service emphasis has been dedicated to, crisis counseling, education, centering the voices of victims and cross-cultural empathy and understanding.
Along the way, the title of author, activist, advocate, Survivor, speaker, counselor, & mentor has been added to my resume.
It has been an honor to be recognized by women leaders in the community for my work as the founder of the not-for-profit charity Braid the Ladder.
When I am not working I enjoy family, friends, laughter, music, movies, storytelling, reading, writing, DIY projects, and stage performance.
My personal healing recipe includes the teachings and values of her Faith, her culture, womanism, storytelling, music, select wise counsel, special friends, family and fellow activists/Survivors.
Tonya GJ Prince holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development from Bluefield College.