"When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." Carolyn Hudson is a living example of that philosophy. For her lemonade, she is being honored this month as one of 12 outstanding "Champions" by the Champion Promise Foundation, an organization to empower high risk women and girls who have survived and thrived.
Carolyn lived a life of fear and insecurity beginning when she was about two years old. The memories of childhood sexual assault were blocked from her mind for a long time, but a part of her brain remembered and affected her physically, mentally and emotionally. She now thinks it was the cause of her stuttering.
Then, when she was 58, Carolyn was raped by an elder in her church who was infected with AIDS. That event forever changed her life. She suffered from depression, memory loss, insomnia, confusion, anger, grief, PTSD, hopelessness, mental numbness and more physical health issues.
However, through years of TSSNT therapy and hard work, Carolyn has defied the odds. Most rape victims suffer silently through lives altered by their assaults. Carolyn credits her faith in God for keeping her and guiding her to a new life. Not only has her life been restored, but her passion for serving sexual assault survivors has led to the creation of her own organization to assist similar victims: Silent Screams www.silentscreams4help.org.
Recognizing that many women, especially those in faith communities, have remained silent about their abuse, Carolyn's organization is a confidential resource website for survivors who want help but wish to remain silent. A Silent Screams webinar is forthcoming. Carolyn is also an outstanding speaker on TSSNT's Speakers Bureau. In addition, she participates in community events, fairs, church functions and conferences sharing resources with victims of sex crimes.
Because Carolyn did not remain silent but reported the rape by the elder in her church, he was found guilty and is serving a long prison sentence. When the trial was completed, the jury gave Carolyn a standing ovation for her testimony. Because of her courage, the predator is off the streets and other women were saved from the possibility of AIDS. Carolyn still suffers from health issues, but she does not let that stand in the way of helping others. She is using her experience to bring healing to women and girls with similar experiences.