Forgiveness is one of the things people often teach. We hear things like forgive our enemies all the time but depending on what’s been done to you it may be extremely difficult to forgive those who have trespassed against you. In order to become a better person as a whole we must learn to forgive our enemies and those who have hurt us. One woman has made it her sole mission in life to not only teach forgiveness but also help those who have been hurt and those who have hurt others. Victoria E. Broussard is a practicing attorney in Texas, author of the book i-Comfortable Victim and a survivor of sexual abuse. Instead of shaming those who have committed such unspeakable acts, Victoria has dedicated her life’s work to helping survivors, families and offenders who seek change.
When Victoria was a little girl, she was sexually abused by a neighbor. When she was 5 years old, Victoria was living with her grandparents while her mother was away serving in the military. Her grandfather was constantly away as well making his living as a seaman, Victoria was left in the care of an alcoholic grandmother for a great majority of the time. During this time Victoria was raped by a neighbor but when she went to her grandmother for help she was told not to tell anyone what happened to her. At such a young age to have a terrible thing happen is one thing but then when she received no help afterwards Victoria sadly learned that this was something to be expected. Such a horrible act not only took away her innocence as a child but also affected her well into adulthood.
“I am a survivor of sexual abuse. It went undisclosed for the better part of my life, “Victoria noted how for a long time she felt like she was broken as a human, unable to love or trust another person because of what was done to her. She would spend many years being preyed upon by a number of different molesters, for Victoria this almost became the norm for her. She had given up hope for herself and life. Thinking the past was behind her, Victoria wasn’t aware of how the things she experienced as a child would influence her. “I was convinced that I was fine and that although this had happened to me, it didn’t effect me.”
When Victoria had her son, she began going to law school and kept herself so busy with work that she didn’t need to address the internal pain she was feeling. For years, Victoria was depressed but didn’t know why, she had entered into a loveless, abusive marriage after looking for love in all the wrong places. It was then that something clicked inside of her, “I was in an abusive relationship and trying to get out and out of nowhere the words ‘i-Comfortable Victim’ came to me.” She started writing and with this outlet she was finally able to address what had happened to her and how she came to be the way she was.
i-Comfortable Victim is a novel, but it is also a fictional account of her experience with sexual abuse. It follows the journey of Saxxine DeLa Croix as she tried to make “sense of a provocative past shaped by years of secreted childhood sexual abuse.”
Victoria is also the head of an organization called B’yond The Unveiling, whose main purpose is to eradicate sexual abuse as well as provide support for survivors, families and offenders. There are a lot of organizations that will help survivors and families of abuse of all types but the one thing that separates Victoria’s is that hers is probably one of the only few that exist with an aim to help the offenders as well as the victims. “We cannot talk about trying to stop this without addressing and dealing with those who offend,” Victoria explains. Victoria spends time with her organization bringing awareness, promoting and diagnosing sexual offenders, who wish to seek help. In Victoria’s opinion, one of the problems with such a sensitive matter is that there’s no second chance help for those who have offended. Once they’ve committed the act, they’re branded as societal leeches and shunned. For those who wish to change and seek help, there are not a lot of options out there for them which is why many become repeat offenders.
Some people may say that although what Victoria is doing is inspiring, many sex offenders cannot be changed so what she’s doing is only a waste of time. “Part of me agrees with that, but another part of me doesn’t. I’m only looking to truly help those who wish to change themselves for the better. Any one is capable of change as long as they are given the proper tools. Transformation is a part of everyone’s life but only those who are willing to do the hard work needed can transform not only their minds but hearts into becoming a better person.” Victoria also notes that there may be genetic factors as to why people offend, but she hopes that with enough funds and support, her organization will be able to look more deeply into the matter.
Being a victim and community organizer isn’t the only thing Victoria has going on, she’s a mother of a son who’s in school on both an academic and basketball scholarship, she’s also engaged to the man of her dreams. “This is a testament to my journey, when you’re a survivor of sexual abuse, there’s so much shame and guilt that it makes someone feel like they’re incapable of love or being loved. I was able to find someone who loved me for who I truly am,” she confessed.
Victoria plans to start another nonprofit called Open Heart Journey which will look to inspire the victims of sexual abuse to move towards a brighter future so that they can find happiness within themselves like Victoria was able to do for herself. “I hope to help victims like me go from shameful and blameful to wishful and gainful,” Victoria says.
Victoria offers some last words of advice for survivors and their families, “Know that there is help out there for you. Just because this has happened to you that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you as a person.” She also urges people to speak up and out about what’s happened to them and seek immediate help.
Readers can find Victoria Broussard’s book i-Comfortable Victim in many bookstores and online at places like amazon.com. For those looking to learn more about Victoria and her nonprofit organizations go to her main website www.icomfortablevictim.com, www.byondtheunveiling.com and her law office website www.Broussardlegal.com.
She can also be found on various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter just by searching her name Victoria E. Broussard.