The 6 Steps to Freedom

Let's help 1,000 people find freedom this year!

20% of the population experiences sexual abuse and/or assault. We designed The 6 Steps to Freedom to help them move forward to live great lives! Our goal is to help 1,000 people find freedom this year.

We’re not counselors (although, we have lots of amazing ones we can connect you with!) and there’s no cookie cutter answer to moving forward. These are the steps that our founder, Matt, took to move forward in his own life.

These 6 Steps to Freedom were designed for you to commit to and step through at your own pace and in your own way. We’re thrilled and honored to come alongside you to help you gain the freedom you deserve in your life. 🙂

Commit to taking the 6 Steps
Step 1 Objective:

Get it off your chest.

Stop carrying it. You don’t need to share your story with the world, but you also don’t need to continue carrying it. Get it off your chest. You’ll be SO glad you did!

  • Action options:
  • Share with one person you completely trust (and this could be a simple 10-second explanation)
  • Share it via letter with a church leader, teacher, or mentor
  • Share with SYS totally anonymously (click the "counseling" tab and scroll down)
  • Write it down in a journal
  • Type it in a word doc and delete it or write it on a piece of paper and burn it
  • Record it on a voice memo
Step 2 Objective:

Strip the weight from it.

Start focusing on moving forward, understanding that you don’t have to carry the weight of the abuse on your shoulders. The more frequently you share about your story, the easier it will become. Think about it this way: The first time you do something, it can be REALLY scary. But the 100th time you do it… not scary at all.

  • Action options:
  • Talk with a counselor about it
  • Talk with a friend or loved one, but share more in-depth about how it affected you emotionally, in relationships, and in life (no need to relive and share about the details of the abuse itself, unless it’s somehow definitely beneficial - but it rarely is)
Step 3 Objective:

Tell yourself, "I rock!"

This one sounds silly, but it’s one of the most important things. You’re probably quick to tell others how important they are, right? Well, it’s time to recognize and acknowledge this about yourself. When you allow yourself to acknowledge how valuable you are – and not even in a “selfish” or “arrogant” way, but simply matter-of-fact… it makes all the rest of these steps make sense. Replace lies that you believe about yourself with TRUTH.

  • Action options:
  • While by yourself in total privacy, out loud, say, “I rock!” And say it with confidence. Yep, this sounds super awkward. And it might even be… because, well, it kind of is! But, seriously, you need to say it with confidence as a simple fact. Do it!
  • Write it down. And then write it again. And it doesn’t have to just be, “I rock.” It can be, “I am so valuable,” or something else along those lines. It just needs to be a matter of fact statement about yourself, affirming your innate, unchangeable value and worth. Matter of fact, not opinion.
Step 4 Objective:

Diffuse your anger.

Hanging onto anger doesn’t hurt your offender. It only hurts you (and probably those around you too). In Matt’s case, he didn’t even realize he had anger toward his offender. Let it out, but in a healthy way!

  • Action options:
  • Write a letter to your offender (which you will NEVER send), and simply “let it fly”. You may be surprised with what surfaces. Don’t feel bad about it. And say everything you could ever need to say. Get it ALL off your chest. And feel free to delete it or burn it after writing.
Step 5 Objective:

Choose to forgive.

Forgive and take away all the power your offender has had over your life.This is the step that is most often overlooked and misunderstood, and the one that typically meets some (or, sometimes a lot of) resistance. Don’t skip this one! Trust us. It’s SO important for YOU!

  • Action options:
  • Now that you’ve diffused a lot of anger in Step 4, write another letter to your offender (which you will NEVER send), and this time, include something about forgiveness. And remember, forgiveness does NOT mean that your offender is any less guilty of what they did to you. By forgiving, you are letting go of any claim you have to your abuse, thus taking away every bit of power your experience or offender has over you. And feel free to delete or burn the letter after writing.
  • Additional action option, if necessary:
  • Forgive YOURSELF. Write a letter to yourself at the age you were when your abuse took place. Tell the younger you the exact words you needed to hear back then: the truth about your innate value and worth, how loved you are, how it was not your fault, encouragement on how to get through it, or anything else that only you would know that younger you needs to hear. Keep this letter and read it any time that you need to forgive yourself again. Remember - forgiveness is typically something we need to choose over and over again, rather than just one time.
Step 6 Objective:

Visualize what you want your life to look like.

If you don’t have plans for where you want to go, that’s exactly where you’ll end up. Deep, huh? It’s true. Be intentional. Set a vision for your life with real, specific, time-sensitive goals that energize and excite you. And then go after them with all you’ve got!

  • Action options:
  • Write down a very clear picture of what you want your life to look like, now that your abuse no longer holds any power over you. Write down dreams, specific goals, and deadlines for those dreams and goals (and make note of & celebrate when you’ve accomplished those goals). Also, write down things you’d love to see happen simply for fun. Have fun with this and dream big. Continue to write your goals down often - daily is definitely best (seriously!) And any time you’re discouraged, hit a roadblock, or something else… write down your goals again. They’ll energize you and refocus you on attaining the future you want!
Final Call To Action:

Turn your story into an asset to help others.

Your story has the power to change lives. When people know they’re not the only person in the world going through what they’re going through… it makes a world of difference. When you’re ready, use your story to help others. Keep it simple, don’t worry about being grandiose, and simply do what’s healthiest for you.

  • Action options:
  • Have coffee with a friend who’s had a similar experience or some other form of trauma or stress, simply for the sake of encouraging them.
  • Share your story with a couple more friends than you already have.
  • Get involved with Speak Your Silence or another organization that helps people with similar experiences to yours.
  • Pursue a career that would allow you to help others in a way that’s meaningful to you.
  • If you feel called to, write your story in a forward-focused, hope-filled way, so as to help others overcome things they’ve been through. But, don’t feel like you have to share your story publicly. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with only sharing this with a very small group of trusted friends. Do what is healthiest for you.