Survivor narratives


Photo by Flickr user benessere (Creative Commons license).

This page is a collection of links to writing, art, and talks by survivors of many forms of violence (so, TW for rape and all forms of abuse). These writings range in style and form from creative nonfiction and poetry to journalism and blog posts, but all have some element of the personal narrative.

Feel free to comment with a link to a piece of writing you think would be appropriate for this list, or with supportive props to these brave writers. Bc breaking silence ain’t easy.


6 brave personal stories of domestic abuse (powerful TED Talks by Leslie Morgan Steiner, Theresa Flores, and Pamela Taylor, who all survived domestic violence; by Javier Espinoza, who witnessed it in his childhood home; and by Jackson Katz and Tony Porter, who call on men to consider abuse and rape culture to be more than “women’s issues,” and to be better)

How I Broke Free: Six women share how they went from feeling helpless and crazy to seeing the truth of emotional abuse, (Good Housekeeping, 2/22/16)

My Husband Tortured Me for Years in Every Way He Could Think Of—This Is My Story of Survival, by Anonymous as told to Britni de la Cretaz (Marie Clare, 8/8/16)

3 reasons you wouldn’t believe my ex abused me–and why they all mean you should, by Anonymous (Everyday Feminism, 8/21/16)

My story as a rape victim and a response to the sentence for Brock Turner, by Tricia Barker (author’s personal blog, 6/11/16)

Witnessing domestic violence in my home, part 1, by Raymond Baxter (Open Thought Vortex, 7/6/16)

Witnessing domestic violence in my home, part 2, by Raymond Baxter (Open Thought Vortex, 8/10/16)

Domestic Violence, a poem by Eavan Boland (The Poetry Foundation)

I don’t know how to discuss being raped: I am different, permanently, but there’s no language to describe how, by Raymond M. Douglas (Salon, 4/2/16)

Dear Peace Corps: No One Should Have to Apologize for Being Raped, by Danielle Dryke (Invoke, 12/11/15)

As a victim I survived, by Charlotte Farhan (Open Thought Vortex, 4/4/16)

Escaping an abusive relationship, finding space to be a mom, by Stephanie Land (The Washington Post’s On Parenting blog, 10/28/15)

I understand why some women stay, by Vanessa Mártir (xo jane, 9/9/14)

The Terrible Things I Learned About My Dad: On Abuse and the People We Love, by Liz Prato (The Toast, 4/9/15)

It Will Look Like a Sunset, by Kelly Sundberg (Guernica, 4/1/14)

Poppies, by Kelly Sundberg (The Rumpus, 4/5/15)

You can get PTSD from staying in an emotionally abusive relationship, by Jennifer Williams-Field (Medical Surity, 7/3/16)

Juliet II (poetry chapbook available for free download), by Sarah Xerta (Nostrovia Press, 2015)

Woven, by Lidia Yuknavitch (Guernica, 8/3/15)