I went as a counselor to the voice of peace retreat. I met so many awesome loving ladies of God. God allowed me to counsel these woman in a small group and it was amazing. That night I was sharing with a friend my testimony and what I have went through in my life, I was crying and could not stop. She simply told me I think You need to be a participant instead of counselor because I believe u need healing. My pride kicked in for a minute thinking I was just fine, but I prayed with her and another person and had a peace about it. I joined the girls that I was counseling the night before , I learned so much from the workshops the leaders were incredible and Jesus just oozed out of them. I went in not realizing that I needed so much healing myself and that I needed to forgive my Dad completely for sexually abusing me. I had so much in me from the abuse that I needed God to heal me and forgiveness is so powerful. I needed a voice there is so much freedom now and joy. I am a changed person through Jesus God has transformed me and I know who my identity in Christ is now. I am just amazed with this organization and all the leaders were incredible. Angela was amazing with all her knowledge with this subject and has such a sweet spirit. I love how she is helping people come into the light. I am blessed to be apart of the voice today family.
October 10, 2016
I just could not keep this is myself, I went to the treat this past weekend as a mentor and I brought my daughter who was sexual molesteted at the age seven. She is 12 now and, because I went through what she had gone through I knew the importance of being free. On our way back home after the retreat, she said to me that something happen to her, but she can’t really example it. She said that when she gets around boys or older man, she feels funny. She becomes a little uncomfortable but at the same time drawing to them. She said at the retreat she went up to get something to eat and notice she was standing by the Pastor a male, and it didn’t bother her. She said is was OK I didn’t feel that feeling. Thank you Jesus. Angelia Williams and Voice of Today volunteers for doing what God called you to due, my daughter is Free.
October 5, 2016
Voice Today as a community has been profound, on my healing journey. I’ve had the privilege to attend tworetreats, and each time God, showed me something new, allowing yet another piece of my part of me to heal. Trauma can be complicated to understand, yet the staff of voice today have done a great job of unpacking the complicated themes, allowing group and retreat members to understand the impact of sexual abuse has on our minds and hearts and provide resources to help heal that impact. Healing for me has not been an over night process, nor has it been linear, however voice today as a community, has been a place of rest, retreat and a place to refocus regardless of where I’ve been in my healing journey. I have not met new friends; but rather, my new family.
October 3, 2016
I reported a case of severe physical abuse in 1974. It was my first report. The child spent 37 days in the hospital. His father had beaten this 9 year old boy so severely that he required multiple surgeries. I set the goal at that point to learn all that I could about child abuse. I have spent over four decades working for medical and non-profit organizations which help children. It is tragic that child maltreatment and child sexual abuse are so prevalent in the United States and worldwide. I have now reported over 2200 cases of child maltreatment to law enforcement and child protective services, and in my current role as Executive Director or Child Enrichment, Inc., in Augusta, Georgia, I have overseen the services provided to over 10,000 child victims of abandonment, abuse, severe neglect and sexual abuse.
Bringing awareness and procedures which ensure ethical treatment of victims, and efficient reporting to authorities is greatly needed. The Physicians Power to Protect is such a program. I hope that the program is embraced by academic institutions and medical providers across the country.
Angela Williams invited me to attend an information session about Physician’s Power to Protect. I attended, and witnessed a wonderful thing: young medical students hungry for information about the assessment, reporting, and prevention of child maltreatment. Dr. C. Henry Kempe wrote the Battered-Child Syndrome in 1962, and he was quoted in 1975 saying: “The sexual abuse of children and adolescents is another hidden pediatric problem and a neglected area.” Evidently, it still is. Not only neglected in the medical field, but in society in general.
Four decades later, I am still awaiting a societal response to child maltreatment which will help current child victims, and protect innocent children through prevention. Angela Williams has my support.
Dan Hillman, MSW
Child Enrichment, Inc., the Child Advocacy Center and
Court Appointed Special Advocates.
I went to the Voice of Peace retreat in 2015. I came in as one person but left as another person. I felt so loved, accepted, and safe. I have only experience that one other time in my life. They loved on me and pour into me the person I am created to be not the person I could see myself to be. I was so hopeless, broken, distant, and had no voice. They help me to find my VOICE that I always had but my voice got silence through the years of abuse and hurt. The Voice Today staff and mentors have seriously change my life.
Since I have been home from the retreat I have seen God continually bring healing, closer, and restored relationship in my life. God has brought healing in my relationship with my mom. Two years ago, if you ask who am I or what are some of your qualities that you love about yourself. I could not name any of them not one. I no longer blame myself for the abuse that happen to me as a child. I am now advocate for sexual abuse and domestic violence. I never thought in a million years I would speak in front of 85 men that are in prison and tell them my testimony. Only God!!!
I am so thankful and grateful for Ms. Angela and her obedience to help survivors to find their VOICE and her team of staff!!
February 15, 2016
We can’t thank you enough for what you and everyone associated with Voice Today did for our daughter at the girls retreat. Our family lived in one of Atlanta’s best neighborhoods. Our children attended a top private school and we watched over them like hawks. We interviewed everyone who worked around our children and seldom let them out of our sight, even with family. In spite of all of our precautions and the seemingly insulated life we lived, the unthinkable happened. Our daughter had her childhood taken from her when she was six years old. We struggled over the ensuing years to understand why our extremely bright and talented little girl was turning into a dark, self-loathing person. She was incapable of seeing the good in others or in life itself. We were in a war for our daughter’s soul, but we had no idea what we were fighting against.
Earlier this year, when our daughter finally told us what happened to her 10 years ago, we were stunned beyond belief. If there was ever a poster family for “It couldn’t happen to us,” we were it. The past year has seen her get steadily worse, as she was now reliving the trauma literally over and over every night. We had her in therapy two times a week to treat PTSD, but I honestly thought we were going to lose her. When I picked Annabeth up at the close of the retreat last Sunday, I could see a remarkable difference in her eyes and her countenance. She immediately hugged me and said “This is the best thing you and mom have ever done for me.” Later, she told me that this was the first time she saw the world in color, since she was five years old. Before the retreat, I went to bed every night praying that my daughter would be alive in the morning, I now awake every morning thanking God for what He has done in my daughter’s life through you and Voice Today.
One thing we have learned from all the research we’ve done, and professionals we have spoken to, is how prevalent sexual abuse is in our society. It is an epidemic way worse than Ebola. While we are so elated with the turnaround in our daughter, our joy is tempered by the knowledge that so many victims of abuse are not able to get qualified treatment. It breaks my heart to think what our daughter has endured, and would still be enduring had we not been led to your retreat. It is unthinkable to me that any child should have to go without similar help. Our hope and prayer is that you will be able to expand your outreach to aid the countless victims who are leading lives of quiet desperation. Accordingly, we would like to begin by establishing a scholarship for one child to attend your next retreat. Hopefully, with God’s blessing we will be able to fund much more. I will be in touch regarding details.
While distance prevents us from supporting you with our presence on November 1st, you will be in our prayers. Again, we can’t thank you enough for what you have done for our family.
May God Bless you and the other miracle workers of Voice Today. You are truly the hands and feet of Christ.
Wayne and Mary Margaret Hopper
September 9, 2015
It has been my pleasure to know Angela Williams, founder of VOICE, for over ten years. I had the privilege of teaching her son, Jacob, in 3rd grade. Angela first gave a copy of her own story to me when she and I attended the same church. Having seen a beautiful woman with a lovely family, I would never have guessed that she had experienced sexual abuse as a child. Her story reminded me that we have no idea what another’s struggles are or have been until the curtain is pulled back. Angela became bold and passionate in her desire to tell her story in the simple hope that she could prevent another child, teen, or adult from suffering a life filled with pain, shame, and darkness. When she and I “bumped into” each other at a local grocery story in the spring of 2014, she told me that she had established a non-profit for reaching out and getting the message to as many as possible. Imagine my delight when she told me that her son, Jacob, had written two children’s books on the subject of sexual abuse that had the message that keeping secrets, which is what many abuse victims do, is what perpetuates the abuse. The books, “Gracie Finds Her Voice” and “Grant Gets His Shield,” are written in rhyme and contain the message that keeping secrets may be harmful. These two books are and will be powerful tools in helping children of abuse have a “voice” of their own to let someone know of their need for help. If you or someone you know has been or continues to be a victim of sexual abuse, contact Angela at VOICE TODAY. She’s been there and has the tools to help others conquer the secrets and ghosts that stay with them.
October 19, 2014
First I would like to thank whomever it was that sponsored my retreat! I first attended thinking this was going to be affirmation that I was healed. Little did I know that Good would reveal so much that was still in need of healing. I was able to surround myself with wonderful women who have suffered traumatic experiences of advise just as I have. This was my first ever healing workshop/retreat, and I am certain it won’t be the last. Thank you for helping me find my voice again!
October 13, 2014
Thank you Angela for coming to Ashburn, GA and sharing your heartrending story. You handled a very delicate subject with love and compassion. You have been truly lead by the Lord to give others a VOICE and let them know they don’t have to keep silent any longer. We had very positive feedback from the attendees to your event February 3, 2014. We are grateful you have brought child sexual abuse to the attention of our community and we look forward to having you come back again soon. Just saying ‘Thank You’ seems so little for the impact you had on the lives of some of our members, but we do know you have the Spirit of the Lord working through you and that He will continue to bless you and your work through VOICE Today!
February 2, 2014
While visiting my family in Michigan, April 2012, my father, sexually assaulted our oldest daughter Breann, twice. I went and found my father and told him what Breann had told us. And with complete shock and disbelief, my father confessed by saying, “Russ, I’m not going to lie to you, it was me.” I realized that what would happen for the family next, the tone that would be set for us, would be my responsibility. Would I give into my anger? Would I seek my own personal sense of justice? Or would I ignore it, hoping it would go away? Or would I put this in God’s hands? When we returned home, I was agonizing of what I would do. Would we pursue charges or handle this within the family? I sought out counsel from a lawyer friend who encouraged me, as difficult as it would be, to move forward in pressing charges against my father. When she said that, I knew she was right. Once I made the decision to do so, I was at peace. I thought to myself had this been anyone else but my dad, I would have not hesitated to file charges. But I had doubts, because he was my father. I knew I had to do the right thing. What kind of message would I have sent to my daughter had I not fought for her? She was worth protecting. She was worth fighting for, so I was more than willing and ready to fight for her.
Breann and I had to go back up to Michigan to testify against my father in an evidential hearing. At the hearing, I was not allowed to be in the courtroom with Breann when she testified against my father. I was a nervous wreck not being able to be there with her. But with my ear firmly pressed against the door, straining to hear what was being said. I could hear her very clearly recount everything that my father did to her. All I could do was thank God for His mercy for us and also for Breann’s courage. After Breann was finished, I took the stand and recounted the confession he had given to me. It was difficult for me to sit there and look my father in the eye. This is one of those times when your children give you strength, because if she could do this, then I KNOW I could do this for her. Afterwards, when talking to Breann about how she was feeling, she said, “I was really nervous, but I knew I was doing the right thing.” And she thanked me for being with her and she called me her hero. At that moment I didn’t feel like a hero, I just knew without a shadow of a doubt I was doing the right thing. Because I fought for my daughter and she knew that I would protect her at all cost. I wanted her to know that God, her Heavenly Father, will always be there for her and He will never abandon her.
I’m simply astounded, at what God can do when a family chooses the road of recovery and not keeping things in the dark. The phrase “You are only as sick as your secrets” is a reality for us. If we chose to keep this a secret, the sickness that would have invaded our family would have been mistrust, brokenness, anger, bitterness, and hatred. We are now walking in hope and victory.
John 8:32 “And then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The truth is, that we deal with the emotion of anger and betrayal over what happened…everyday. We have good days and bad days. But freedom comes in knowing that we don’t walk this emotional roller coaster alone.
This verse sums up everything for us.
Deuteronomy 1:30-31 The LORD your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. 31 And you saw how the LORD your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’
Voice Today has been a huge help in our healing. By giving my family an outlet to tell our story, we pray it helps others, but there is a freedom in telling our story. Each time we share it, we experience freedom. Freedom from guilt and shame.
Father of Breann and Brooklyn Hill
October 15, 2013
Angela Williams started a movement in my life that has saved me from a path of self destruction. She is my hero. My name is James. Im 19 years old and i am the victim of sexual abuse and rape which lasted over 3 months. The trauma and injuries that I received from the horrific act still haunted me in June of 2013 when i told Angela for the first time in 8 years. I was 11 years old and was perpetrated by a 17 year old school male friend. Because of the abuse I was confused about my sexuality, was socially awkward, scared of intimacy, and acted out sexually with members of the same sex. Unknowingly re-traumatizing myself over and over. Angela came up to me in June and asked me a simple question while I was volunteering at Voice with some friends. She asked me if I was a survivor. All of a sudden I felt a huge relief. I felt as if this woman was an angel and it reminded me of all the pain I had gone through in the past month. I had been struggling with staying sober, and trying no not hate myself each and everyday. I had also recently been contacted by my perpetrator over Facebook and it was the first time we had contact in over 8 years. This is the message he sent me which haunted me for months… Hey! I miss you!
October 20, 2013
Hello, my name is Anthonysh (Nysh…for short) and I attended The Voice Retreat (9/20/13-9/22/13) and it was AMAZING!! I learned to say “I am a SURVIVOR” of childhood sexual abuse. I was abused from as early as I can remember til about 18. My sister told my mother…and it was ignored. And my mother confronted me in 9th grade and I told her and it was still ignored. I held on to ALOT of hate and anger. When I went to Voice Retreat, I expected the opposite of what I got. I was greeted with love and respect. And I was around women who understand how I feel. It was awesome!!! I really want to thank Angela for sharing her story, not with just me, but with all the women and for making me feel at home. I have never been so comfortable around people I didn’t even know. I went for a weekend afraid and left with a family. I love them all!!! Thank you so much Angela!!
September 22, 2013
Angela Williams started a movement in my life that has saved me from a path of self destruction. She is my hero. My name is James. Im 19 years old and i am the victim of sexual abuse and rape which lasted over 3 months. The trauma and injuries that I received from the horrific act still haunted me in june of 2013 when i told Angela for the first time in 8 years. I was 11 years old and was perpetrated by a 17 year old school male friend. Because of the abuse I was confused about my sexuality, was socially awkward, scared of intimacy, and acted out sexually with members of the same sex. Unknowingly re-traumatizing myself over and over. Angela came up to me in june and asked me a simple question while I was volunteering at Voice with some friends. She asked me if I was a survivor. All of a sudden I felt a huge relief. I felt as if this woman was an angel and it reminded me of all the pain I had gone through in the past month. I had been struggling with staying sober, and trying no not hate myself each and everyday. I had also recently been contacted by my perpetrator over Facebook and it was the first time we had contact in over 8 years. This is the message he sent me which haunted me for months…. Hey! I miss you!
Forrest Smith MD
June 12, 2013
I was sexually abused when I was 7 years old on a Thursday night in 2010. For 2 years I did not tell anyone that a boy I trusted touched me inappropriately. In fact, my sister Breann who was sexually abused by our grandfather, helped me find my voice. She encouraged me to tell my mom and dad. I’m now getting the help that I need. The reason why I’m sharing my story now, is because I want to help other kids who are too afraid to speak. Don’t keep any secrets. If you keep secrets, people can’t help you.
I discovered the Voice Today organization when a patient shared her abuse story with me. After telling me what she had to say she told me she was being helped through Voice Today. As a physician I am very aware of the great number of persons who have suffered abuse. Many times I will be the first person whom they have told. Other times I have asked about previous trauma or abuse and have helped to open a person’s path to heal. Now I have more tools with which to help them. I am very grateful for the educational resources and outreach offered by Voice Today. The organization helps to clarify what steps to take when abuse has been discovered. It also offers pathways toward healing. I am grateful to have a place to which I can refer my patients. Thank you so much for all you do to bring light to the darkness.
James The Hero Email
October 20, 2013
I met Angela at a workshop she held at the Hope Project in 2012. I was funded to attend the Voice of Peace retreet that changed my life forever. For 20+ yrs I had carried a burden of a victim of sexual abuse. And like most “family secrets” it was swept under the rug. I had repressed all memory ; untill I was given information that the perpetrator had likewise assaulted a young girl, which triggered my memory and brought back a flood of pain. I learned through Angela that I had to find my voice. I sought the Lord on this matter and He presented the opportunity. I confessed all that had happened, and through tears and prayer God delivered me of my pain. That very night I felt the weight lift. The horrible burden I carried was as a mountain chained around my neck. As I gave my pain to Jesus, He delivered me of my suffering. God gave me strength and courage to speak , which robbed satan of power over me. There is power in confession! Though we sometimes suffer at the hands of others, it is not God’s will. God desires for believers to stand before Him without guilt, shame, or comdemnation. As though sin never existed. His power is readily available to ALL who call on Him. But the key is to call. To speak, to find your voice. Thank you Voice Today and Angela for your work, and may this testamony be as a love offering to you and a praise to our father.
I am a great grandmother who is still healing from childhood sexual abuse. I thought that I was one of three generations in my family that had been sexually abused; until recently when I was at lunch with one of my adult grandchildren and was excitedly telling her about Voice Today and that I was one of three generations that had been sexually abused and she corrected me by saying, “No Gram, it isn’t three generations, it is four!” She proceeded to tell me about the sexual abuse she encountered as a young girl. All to say, it’s gotta stop!!! I wonder how very different our lives could have been if we’d had available a means to have a voice. Generations of addiction of all sorts and violence and eating disorders and even suicide attempts could have been avoided. The good news is that there is recovery available today, and I have found that God can and does transcend all times and age with His wonderful healing powers. More recently I have been concerned about the next generation, my great grandchildren. I bought the book “Gracie Finds her Voice” and read it to some of my great grandchildren; a few weeks later the 9 year old said, That is a lot to think about.” Helping them learn that they should not keep secrets is a powerful tool. I am grateful for Voice Today and all the effort that goes into providing tools to protect our children and helping one heal from childhood sexual abuse.
Hi, My name is Breann Hill. I’m 11 years old. Last year over Spring Break, I was sexually assaulted. I wrote an essay on “My Greatest Fear”
My greatest fear happened last year, in 2012, over Spring Break. We went to Michigan to visit my grandparents. While we were there, on Saturday night, my grandfather sexually assaulted me. On Sunday, while my grandfather was giving a speech in church, I was wondering if what happened to me was a dream. I found out later, that it was real when it happened a second time on Monday night. On Tuesday morning, my mom came and sat down next to me. I told her, “I think someone touched me inappropriately.” My dad confronted my grandfather, and my grandfather confessed and said he did sexually assault me. We left immediately because of what happened. My father told me, “Breann, you’re my hero. If you hadn’t told us what had happened, it could’ve happened to Brooklyn or Morgan or Alexis. You saved your sisters.” I told my dad, “You’re my hero, too.” My greatest fear was telling my parents about what happened, but when I did, it wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t so bad because, at first I was scared to tell my parents but I felt I needed to trust my parents and tell someone so they could help me. It was my greatest fear because I didn’t want to get my grandfather in trouble, but I knew that he needed to be held responsible for his actions. I hope this encourages other children to tell your parents or an adult they trust about something that happened, no matter how bad the situation may be.
I believe that The Lord speaks;
I believe that The Lord cries;
I believe that The Lord loves;
I believe that The Lord gives;
I believe that The Lord takes away;
I believe that The Lord sees and I also believe that one day The Lord saw a need in the screams and cries
that he heard on earth. I believe that He answered the tear filled prayers of millions by delivering a blessing
that was caressed by a deeper love and an unknown strength to an unborn baby on earth.
I believe that The Lord appointed this soul to this baby and while in the womb, whispered to her a promise and
a blessing that, she shall have a courage and a strength that millions will have never seen. She will not only
be one of the survivors, but she will return, time and time again to reveal the path and lead the way out of the
blistering pain of child sexual abuse and show them how to heal.
I believe that The Lord only allows a few to have these precious gifts and blessings.
And I also believe that The Lord looked upon a woman as she slept and told her that she shall name her,
Angela Williams with Voice Today encouaraged me to remember an abuser’s name and then helped set up an interview with an assistant D.A. and Child Sex Crimes Detective who have chosen to open a case even though it happened a long time ago because I was a child when the incident occurred. The detectives are now pursuing a case and looking for more recent evidence against this individual who is in a position of incredible power in the community. I am thankful to Angela and Voice Today for supporting me and coordinating this effort as it is a great step in my healing journey.
March 28, 2012
Voice Today is a Light at the end of a Tunnel for Oh So many but I, being free from bondage of sexual abuse, and becoming a Board Member so I could help with those that were not I thought that was the reason God placed Angela Williams in my life. But just when you think you got it all together God shows you how much He pours his love on us. God gives as another reason to Praise Him. I sent Angela’s book to my daughter because she is a book writer. She read it in 2 days being a Wife, Mother, and Spiritual Mother to teenagers who’s parents were on drugs and or alcohol. Angela called me one day to tell me to call my daughter whom she had never met. Yes I found out my daughter whom I am close to had been sexually abuse and never told me. The man is Saved because I am Saved and that is why she never told me. If you know what I mean. But God works in Mysterious Ways as I not only work w/Voice Today to help the abused but I have a ministry to help the Predators and God set this ministry up not me but, it is done from my Heart. Voice Today is definitely used by God in Mysterious Ways and that’s just one of my testimonies. dgriggs to 90210
March 19, 2012
I am a mother, grandmother, spiritual mother to many., Duluth Ga
I am so grateful for all you have done here at Top of the Line Residential Care & Development inc! It’s been three visits now and you have really made a difference in the lives of so many, including my mother. They are all showing signs of healing and I’m sure with your continued prayer,support, and presentations, I know deliverance is nigh. Thank You again so Very Much. I look forward to you and your awesome volunteers return on the 29th of this month. May God continue to bless you in every area of your life, your business, and your ministry for him. You are truly walking in the vocation wherewith you have been called! Thanks!!! Dedicated to the Delivery of Service
Top of the Line, Georgia
March 18, 2012
I want to say, “Thank You” to all the volunteers, Tom Scale, our executive Director, Phil Williams, Deborah Griggs, Sara W. and of course our Founder, Angela Williams. I can not express enough gratitude for you all in so many ways. I have never felt more alive and free to share in my healing process. I thought that I was “good” and that I didn’t need any healing from my childhood abuse, I was wrong! From the moment that I walked through the doors of VOICE Today, I found a VOICE that I didn’t know that I needed or that I had. I didn’t know that I needed to share my voice, but I did and I have never felt so free. I know now that the power of a transparent life brings change and courage to those who need it the most. I am so honored to be working side by side with some of the strongest and most giving people that I have ever been around. Who give of themselves 100% to futhur the awareness, the healing and the protection of so many! What a blessing!!!
March 15, 2012
I am a wife of a chiropractor, mother of 5 and loyal helper in getting the VOICE movement going for our future generations, Milton, GA
I want to thank Angela Williams and Tom Scales for their incredible faith walk as Christians and being that VOICE for the silenced victims of child sexual abuse. VOICE Today brings to the forefront what no one wants to talk about in the larger community: child sexual abuse. But we all need to step up and take a part in this fight. The statistics are astounding, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. That is UNACCEPTABLE. And that means that survivors and victims alike of child sexual abuse walk among us as our brothers and sisters and members of our community, our churches, they are everywhere. Angela and Tom, both survivors of child sexual abuse, are my inspiration to do more as a mother, wife and citizen to protect children from all forms of sexual abuse. The Truth is that, as scripture says, when we refuse to help the least of these our brothers and sisters, we are refusing to help Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Voice Today and Angela and Tom’s own testimonies remind us that we ALL have a role to play in preventing child sexual abuse. The workshops that VOICE Today offers from A Time to Heal to Stewards of Children to Tough Talk to Tender Hearts are invaluable and a must learn for every member of our society. Innocent lives depend on us to do the right thing and step up and do more.
15 March 2012
Mother and VOICE Volunteer, Marietta, GA
I was sexually abused and molested from 4-11 years of age by family members. After that it seems like I sexually abused myself with demeaning internal dialog and poor boundaries. My relationship choices were a direct result of how I had been groomed to expect sex and relationships to be. I finally got a little secular counseling and discovered my faith in Jesus through a few key friends. I began to develop more appropriate boundaries and behave in a more honorable manner. I married an amazing man with a strong family foundation who showed me a better example of loving sexual relations. I became a mother of 2 wonderful sons but still suffered with the mental images that would invade the intimacy between my husband and me. Finally, in 2011 I attended a VoiceToday.org “Voice of Peace” retreat and found my ultimate healing and empowerment to take those images captive and leave them at the Sapphire Cross for Jesus to avenge on my behalf. Thank you Voice Today friends for helping me harness the power of HOPE. I no longer suffer. I am no longer a survivor. I am Victorious! I look forward to volunteering with you and helping others find the peace and joy that I now have.
March 14, 2012
I am Victorious!, Atlanta
I want to say thank you to Tom Scales and Angela Williams and all the people at Voice who are working diligently to return the stolen voices of victims. My story is one of many and I share it today as a victor over child sexual abuse. A few months before my 30th birthday the memories of the abuse I suffered, as a very young child, began to plague me. All of the guilt, hurt, shame and fear that I worked so hard to cover up began to reappear. I pride myself in being a logical person and I decided to deal with all of these emotions and memories logically. So, as if I were checking off a grocery list, I started the journey of recovery. Admit that I had been abused. Check. Talk to a sexual abuse counselor. Check. Disclose the truth to those close to me. Check. The problem was that when everything on my list was checked off I was still experiencing depression, anxiety, excruciating physical symptoms, and bouts of uncontrollable crying. It had been almost a year after my 30th birthday and I had seen little progress, in fact I was getting worse. Sunday, September 19, 2010 during a service I told God I was done and could no longer go on. I was too afraid to take my life but I didn’t know what else to do. The next morning I went in to work and to everyone else I know I looked normal but emotionally I was hanging on by a thread. As I was putting out mail I stopped to see what one of my co-workers wanted because she met me at my desk as soon as I came in requesting that I come and see her. She began to cry and told me about a man(Tom Scales) that she heard speak over the weekend. She handed me a book (From Sorrows to Sapphires) and explained that they were having a retreat this weekend. She gave me a number to call and I rushed home at lunch to call. The lady I called was very professional(Angela Williams) and explained all that I would need to do to go. The Lord worked out every detail and Friday, September 24 I took a 5 hour drive to John Tanner State Park. The last line in my journal before I went was “God Help! God Help! God Help!” From the moment I arrived I felt the hold that the enemy had on my heart loosen. I now know that there were many people praying for the events that would take place at this precious cabin in the woods. The only way to explain the way I felt was to imagine a person screaming, kicking their legs and flailing there arms on the inside while trying to keep their composure on the outside. Angela and all of the women were very kind and helpful but that first night was a rough one. The following morning we all woke up to the news that one of the group leader’s mother, a woman who spent her last hours on earth praying for the women at this retreat, had gone on to be with the Lord. I have never met this woman but I look forward to seeing her in heaven. It is hard to explain everything that happened that morning but the Lord allowed me to tell the truth about my abuse and my feelings towards my abusers and that TRUTH made me FREE!!!!!! As these women poured love and prayers over me, I began to experience a true healing that my checklist could never accomplish. That weekend was THE turning point in my life I felt a freedom and love that I had never known. This journey has not been easy. I have cried but I have also laughed. I have had pain but I have had love, joy, and peace. September of 2011 I had the great honor of returning to my “precious cabin in the woods.” I was permitted to pour my love and prayers on a group of very special women as a group leader. I had the rare privilege of being a witness to the miracle of Abba Father’s love covering these women. And God, the Lover of my soul, took this time to speak life to the dreams that He placed inside me. There is nothing that I did so special, there is nothing that I said so great for me to deserve to be delivered from my pain. God delivered me because of His love for me. That same love and this same deliverance is available to YOU!!!
January 20, 2012
It is wonderful to have like minded organizations feeding into the lives of people in crisis. We are grateful that we know well the work of Voice Today and can say with confidence that their efforts are consistently genuine with a heart of compassion infusing their passion for wholeness toward hurting individuals. With great joy,we those who work through us, will continue to support and give room to their “voice” in hopes that many others others will be heard and healing may infuse our communities. All to His glory and magnification, Candace Huffmaster.
October 4, 2011
Founder of Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc which is a non profit supporting environments of DV and Crisis in General., US
I was honored to be able to assist in the healing process of 16 adult child sexual survivors at the Voice of Peace Retreat at John Tanner State Park. What an amazing and awesome time we experienced. These special ladies began the weekend with fear, anxiety, bitterness, brokenness and much, much more. As the weekend progressed we began to see the healing begin. Slowly for some, very quickly for others, the Holy Spirit got a hold of their spirit. Healing happens in many ways, and for these ladies, it began and ended with TEARS. As the Holy Spirit ministered tears began to flow. These were tears of sweet release and of turning the faucet on so that He could change those tears of hurt and pain INTO tears of hope, love, compassion and faith. God did an amazing work in all of us, including those of us, like me, who were allowed to give of ourselves to minister to these women. I believe that I continued my healing process that weekend by being able to share where I was and where I now am. God is the author and finisher of our faith. He is wanting to do a work within each of us. He meets us where we are and travels that road alongside of us. Sometimes during that weekend I felt him carrying me as I wept with joy and thankfulness for His healing and compassionate spirit. I experienced such sweet worship and unity that was transported into each lady at the retreat. I am indeed grateful for this experience and want to be included in many more areas of ministering the love of God which passes all understanding.
October 4, 2011
Facilitator for VOICEtoday, Rentz, Georgia
I just want to start out by saying “Thanks so much” for coming to a little town called Cadwell, Ga.(smile). You did not think that Cadwell was too small of a town to come out and share that POWERFUL information with us. I must say that at first I didn’t think that I would be able to sit through the workshops because then I would have to relive in my mind those times when I was secretly and sexually abused. But after that first workshop I realized that if I had actually lived the abuse then surely I could sit through the workshops. I’m so grateful for all the things that I learned. Even when I’m watching a movie or show with abuse in it I start talking to the t.v. (like a crazy woman) telling the person who is being abused to scream NO!! or to tell someone until they believe what is going on. My life really has changed since those workshops for the better. I can process things better in my mind now and I don’t just have a pity party for myself anymore and I don’t think about it over and over like I used to do. My husband is also a survivor of child sexual abuse. Together we are helping each other in our healing process. So thanks again so much for coming to our church, but most of all thanks for giving me my VOICE back.
August 23, 2011
I just wanted to say thanks for your organization offering your time, knowledge, and life long experience to better educate my family, church, as well as myself on the overlooked topic of child sexual abuse. For so many years, I was unaware of the number of reported and unreported child sexual abuse cases right here in the county in which I reside until being employed by the Department of Human Resources. I was so much more educated on statistics, predators, and the signs to look for in a child who has been sexually assaulted after participating in your five week seminar. Please… continue the good work Jesus has ordained to make our nation more aware of what is going on right under our noses. Thanks again and God Bless!
Latasha L. Williams
August 23, 2011
DHS-DCSS Dublin Hub Child Support Agent II
Voice Today shared personal and professional experiences, provided handouts, and presented things I already knew from a new perspective. While their personal stories, of child sexual , took my breath away, their testaments of healing and recovery simultaneously inspired me. It is always inspirational to see someone with a broken past become a successful adult in Jesus Christ. I highly recomment Voice Today as trainers for professionals. volunteers and parents who work with and care about children.
Natasha M. Boston
August 22, 2011
Social Services Case Manager Laurens County Department of Family and Children Services, Dublin, GA Child Protective Services Investigator
Tunnel Hill U.M.C. partnered with Voice Today, Inc. to provide four workshops on how to understand the challenges, and give Godly support, compassion, and encouragement to survivors suffering from child sexual abuse. Awareness combined with education was our primary goal. We have a responsibility to our church and community to look carefully at all potential sources of child sexual abuse and to provide solid solutions to protect our children. Voice Today has provided us the tools and skills to encourage escape from this silent prison of pain to a path of victory and healing found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We as Christians are called to disrupt the patterns of sexual offenders and to foster safe environments for the children of Tunnel Hill. I applaud Angela and Phil Williams, Tom Scales, Linda Michelle Trainer, Sanna Gilbreath (who brought Voice Today to Tunnel Hill), and all who came to the workshops. Thank you for your commitment to speak out and give a voice to those who have cried in silence for too long.
August 22, 2011
Pastor, Tunnel Hill UMC
Dear Mrs. Williams: I would like to thank you and your staff for your great work at the Seminar on September 25, 2009 thru September 26, 2009 at the Bagby Park Lodge in Fort Gaines, Georgia. The attendees are out doing as you told them being soldiers to stop the silence war for children who are victims of sexual abuse. Your story as well as your knowledge that was taught in our area was what we needed to know. Your seminar has given everyone a different outlook on how to recognize as well as ways to protect children. It also has helped our community partners within this community to work together to protect children. I truly believe you presence in our small community was worthwhile and your dedication to breaking the silence educated people and encouraged others to break the silence by dealing with sexual abuse that has occurred to them. We all hope that your mission as well as Voice today’s missions continue to flourish from state to state so children will be protected. Please keep us posted on your success. I hope you guys have much success at Callaway on October 16, 2009. Thank you, Tanika Ward, SSCM-ADV.
August 22, 2011
We are a very active family in our church and I volunteer at many school functions as well so I know most of the parents and friends of my children. I monitor text messages and I use SpectorPro to monitor online access to the internet. Being alert and making sure my kids are safe has always been the top priority for me. I would say that I’m very much involved and there’s very little that I don’t know about my kids. When I see a news report regarding child sexual abuse I wonder how does this happen in families if parents are really tuned in and watching their children. There must be issues in the home, otherwise how would a parent not know what’s going on with their child. Several months ago, while monitoring my 17 year old daughter’s computer, I found a message from her stating that she had been molested by our neighbor, a boy her same age, from about age 6 through middle school. Were there ever signs? Did I attempt to understand or get help when I saw the signs? Yes, there were signs. Yes, I attempted to get answers and find the problem. The problem was that she never told and I was not trained to recognize the symptoms. Never in a million years would I ever have thought such a thing would happen to my child. As in-touch and proactive as I thought I was, I missed it. I wish I had been given access to testimonies such as these 20 years ago, before I became a Mom. I wish all victims could have the courage to come forward and tell their story to help educate us all. I wish everyone in our community would step up and make a commitment to face this issue and the statistics so that we can begin to stop this madness. I wish I had been given the opportunity to attend workshops and learn how to prevent abuse, recognize the signs of sexual abuse, how and when to talk about healthy sexuality and what to say or most importantly what not to say if a child discloses their deep dark secret. If I had been given the chance to attend these workshops 20 years ago, would I have gone? Would I have taken two hours out of my busy schedule each week for these classes? I cannot answer that question because that time in my life has passed. I can tell you this, today I would give anything in the whole world to go back in time and get any little piece of knowledge that would help eliminate the possibility of the events that took place right under my nose. Over the last year I have attended each workshop offered by VOICE Today. Never again will I be caught off guard, untrained or uneducated about this subject. The workshops are not just books and lectures from a podium, you will see and hear teenagers, adults and detectives tell their amazing stories. With a child in middle school, the reference book on internet safety has been a blessing in my home. We now take every opportunity available to talk about healthy sexuality. I would highly recommend these workshops to every person that knows a child.
August 22, 2011
As a pastor, it was a joy for me to bring these conferences to my congregation. I was completely amazed at the number of my people who had been exposed first hand to child sexual abuse. Because of the loving, non-judgmental and compassionate way that these issues were handled, many in my congregation experienced a great healing. All pastors should invite VOICE, step back and watch God work!
May 18, 2011
Pastor, Cadwell, GA
I took all four of VOICE’s workshops and was so sad to see them end because I felt less anxious and more and more empowered as a parent in each one. Each one taught me something new and vital: Stewards of Children taught me how vulnerable our children are to sexual abuse. It also awakened in me a new found responsibility to protect and look out for not just my children, but those that are around me wherever I go. It reminded me that as a Christian, God calls us to protect the children. However, the most crucial lesson was that we, and that means ALL adults, are responsible for preventing and ending child sexual abuse; children should never be assumed to take on that responsibility or to have to bear that burden. Internet Saftey 101 taught me that one of the most dangerous weapons available to a predator is the internet and that one of the biggest risks to my children’s safety is in my own home: our computer. It empowered me to take specific steps to safeguard my children and my entire family from the effects of an increasing “all access” digital world. Tough Talk to Tender Hearts taught me that I had no clue how to even begin to talk to my children about their bodies and healthy sexuality. It gave me the tools to begin the ongoing conversation with my children about personal boundaries and empowering my child to say “no”. Time to Heal healed me. Enough said.”
April 6 2011
Thank you so much for today! I deeply appreciate what you are doing for all of us! I would NEVER EVER had thought so deeply about such a vile and vicious problem in our society if it weren’t for what I have learned in the past 2 workshops! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!”
March 6, 2011