M.E. Hart's Story

child sexual abuse survivor M.E. portrait

Hi,

My name is M.E. Hart and I experienced over a decade of childhood sexual abuse. I lived in silence and shame for another ten years before speaking out.

The most difficult part of my recovery was not having role models 24 years ago who even suggested that it was possible to heal, grow and thrive as a man after sexual abuse. I didn’t see people who looked like me, who had lived through what I had lived through, even talking about abuse let alone thriving after having experienced it. It was terrifying to need help and only be able to find negative, hopeless information. I stopped reading it. I started living towards the unknown, one day at a time.

I was one of the first African American males to tell my story in 1990 on BET’s Our Voices. I turned the producer down the first time he asked me because I was afraid of the way I’d be perceived by my community. It was only when he called me a week later saying that he could not find a single African American male in the nation willing to speak out that I reluctantly agreed. At that point, not even my mother knew of my abuse.

That first experience speaking out began my healing process. What helped me most was connecting with other men and women who had lived through similar things. I slowly felt hope returning, and one story at a time I was able to discover the man I was born to be. Other survivors taught me lessons about the strength of the human spirit. They became my teachers for empathy, resilience, love and support.

RAINN provides me with a platform to share my story and connect with other survivors. I joined RAINN’s Speakers Bureau to continue to find strength through the courage of others, and to help show fellow survivors that a full, vibrant life after sexual assault is possible.
Today, I am a thriving. This is a place that was hard to imagine early in my recovery. It’s resources like RAINN that provide a lifeline of hope for survivors.

Happy Holidays,
M.E. Hart
Thriver

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