Dear Friends of Rape Victim Advocates:

For me, RVA has provided a life-changing experience.

I remember one time I saw a mural on the street that read, “Before I die I want to _____________________.” You were asked to write the end of the phrase and I wrote-“Before I die I want to LIVE.

RVA helped me find meaning in life. RVA helped me to believe in myself. And RVA helped me start living.

When I first came to RVA, I had recently experienced an abusive relationship with a therapist, the person who was supposed to help me heal from years of sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse I received from my family. But, instead, this therapist abused me for four years. It was a horrifying experience and I almost lost my faith. I trusted my therapist to help me work through the abuse by my family and not become another abuser in my life. But that’s what happened.

And then a friend told me about RVA

I remember feeling so scared the first time I met with my RVA counselor. My friend told me that this counselor was amazing, but based on my past experience, I still felt frightened about seeing the counselor. In my heart I hoped that this new counselor could offer me what no one else had been able to do – help me to start LIVING.

In one of my first sessions, I made a drawing showing a big cat hurting a mouse. The cat represented my former therapist and the mouse was me. And then I received an amazing gift from RVA – they believed my story and they believed in ME. I felt respected, I felt worthy – for the first time in my life.

I can’t thank my counselor and RVA enough for their support. I am glad that I have the opportunity to thank you, too, for supporting RVA . Because of your kindness and generosity, many people like me will experience a healing transformation.

Thanks to RVA and thanks to you, I have blossomed as a woman and as an artist. The first picture you see was created before counseling at RVA; the second picture was created after counseling at RVA. I will let you interpret the differences.

I am now very busy working on my art, participating in workshops and exhibiting my work. Two of my pieces were exhibited at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and two pieces are currently on display at The Awakenings Gallery in Ravenswood. My dream is to start selling my art by the end of this year. And I have other dreams so that I can start LIVING.

I learned that dreaming is possible when you start healing, and soon, those dreams will become a reality. I finally learned to believe in myself thanks to my RVA counselor. I am so grateful to her for guiding me on my healing journey. And I am so grateful to RVA for offering their services at no charge to sexual assault survivors and their loved ones.

And finally, I am so grateful to all of YOU for your support of this wonderful organization.

Thanks always.

Sincerely,

marthasig

Martha Alicia Montes Madrid

Make A Difference

When you make a gift to Rape Victim Advocates, you join hundreds of other supporters who are dedicated to our mission and to our vision.

Donate Now




Thanks to RVA and thanks to you, I have blossomed as a woman and as an artist. The first picture you see was created before counseling at RVA; the second picture was created after counseling at RVA. I will let you interpret the differences.

Martha Alicia Montes Madrid

Survivor & Artist