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Stories of Thriving after Experiencing Sexual-Related Trauma


Stories of Thriving after Experiencing
Sexual-Related Trauma

At an age just barely beyond our adolescent years, my friend Frances and I experienced sexual assault; but it wasn’t until one night in the midst of a deep discussion, many months after having met each other in our mid-20s, that we slowly shared and uncovered our own and each other’s stories. Now we realize that until that conversation, neither of us had really named our experiences as sexual assault. Like many survivors, these experiences were fraught with shame, guilt, diminution, and denial in our minds.

Since this breakthrough disclosure, followed by a training program for sexual assault crisis line counselors and continued mutual reflection, we came to realize that indeed, what we had each experienced, was rape.

Recognizing the power and the release that we felt after sharing our own stories, we set out to create a space for others to do the same. We combined our expertise in videography, public health, sociology, sexual assault, and a shared passion for survivor empowerment, to create The Journey of Powerful Voices (

The Journey is a series of short films, each one dedicated to an individual who approaches us ready to share her or his story. The films are devoted to illuminating stories of strength and productivity that can be realized on the path of healing after a sexual assault. Currently, this series is the main endeavor of The Powerful Voices Project, which was founded by Frances and I in 2010.

Sexual assault is an epidemic that impacts every individual around the globe. With nearly one billion survivors around the world, there is no one who does not know someone who has a story to tell.

We are inviting women and men who have a story to share to connect with us. There are many ways to express your story: through film, art, writing, dancing, etc. We welcome everyone, and any way that makes the contributor feel comfortable.

Our project is gaining momentum, and we’re excited about the trajectory we are on! The Journey was recently featured on the local radio station KOWS 107.3 with DJ Arnold Levine, and at a San Francisco event underwritten by Dr. Maya Angelou called Surviving & Thriving.

It’s time that this prominent issue has the strong and positive voice it deserves, and the power of its survivors is highlighted.

For more information, contact information, and our videos to-date, please check out our website and connect with us through social media:


Twitter: @journeyofvoices


Frances McCorkle (Project Director) and Becky Fein (Project Producer) were both born and raised in Sonoma County. Frances has a background of visual-journalism and documentary-making at Brooks Institute of Photography, and Becky has a Masters degree in public health from Columbia University, and is currently working in the field at a local college.