Joy Studio - Cheryl's story

Please tell us your story.

I’m a Survivor of mental physical and sexual abuse. This all happened from the age of 4. My stepfather and mother were my abusers. This carried on until I was 17. At 18 I married. Turns out my hushand was schizophrenic and very violent not just towards me as my pets.

I left the marriage 3 months pregnant with my oldest daughter. My fears were real, the nightmares not able to trust anyone, how did I deal with all of this.

I became a loner not going out. Looking after my daughter going to work coming home and just staying at home. My whole childhood and into adult hood, I have suffered abuse one way or other.

Joy Studio - Cheryl's story

3 years ago, a brother whom I loved and trusted raped me. All I could think about was, I was that child again wanted to die.

But I grew the strength to charge him. I felt good until I lost his twin and my best friend over me charging him. My strength crashed again.

What did I do to cope? I starting to drink every day. Trying to forget. Then one morning I woke and up and said to myself, I’m not to blame for any of this, they are.

Joy Studio - Cheryl's story

Why is having your photos taken important to you?

Having my photos taken was the best thing I did. When I saw them, all I could see was the abused child had become a woman with strength and courage to carry on and become the woman I know I can be. We all deserve love, respect, trust but before we can get those things, we have to love ourselves. 

What words of wisdom would you give women who have gone through abuse and trauma?

To all woman out there, whether you have gone through abuse or going though it now, ‘remember you are strong and only you can make yourself do things. Look in the mirror and tell yourself every day I am better than this.’

Joy Studio - Cheryl's story

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