Learning about Honey's impact on the lives of survivors and their loved ones is an immense source of fuel for our work, so when we learned that a number of survivors had decided to get tattoos inspired by the impact Honey has had on their lives, we were floored. We wanted to learn more about what led them to get Honey ink, and their responses were beautiful—read them for yourself. Meet Cami, Shelby and Anna:
I found Honey in 2015, just a few months following my assault. As I read through the Truths, I couldn’t believe people were being so open and vulnerable about their experiences. I felt so connected to these strangers, and felt inspired to share my story. I shared my Truth in September of 2015. It was scary, but it felt like I had taken a huge step toward healing. Honey showed me that there shouldn’t be shame in sharing my story. Honey showed me there is a community that is eager to provide love and support to those affected by sexual violence.
In February 2016, I adopted a dog and named him Beckett. I randomly saw the name of a playwright, Samuel Beckett, and thought it was such a cute name—and it definitely fit him. After months of training, he was registered as my service animal. For over a year following my assault, I had felt alone, anxious to go out in public by myself, struggling to find my way back to a normal routine. Beckett was by my side everywhere I went. I wasn’t alone anymore. I used to fear going to places alone, but now I always had my best bud with me!
Beckett isn’t a very common name and everyone asked where it came from, how I thought of it, etc. so I researched the meaning of his name and found that Beckett is an Old English name meaning beehive. The correlation between Honey and the reason I had adopted Beckett in the first place was mind-blowing! So naturally I wanted to get a tattoo to show the significance between my sweet Beckett and Honey—both major sources of support during my healing.
Honey influenced me to not be afraid of talking about my story of when I was raped. I read so many honest Truths and it gave me the strength to want to speak mine in my own life. It felt like the authors of the Truths were the only people who understood what I was going through at the time. Honey was a part of my life everyday for the year and a half I was suffering.
After I went through therapy for the trauma, I wanted to honor the one of the places that made me feel safe and helped make me feel strong again. The honeycomb shape of my tattoo is to represent Honey. When I look at it I smile because it represents the strength I had to have to get through the trauma. I had severe PTSD and I still face many challenges to overcome to this day. My tattoo is a reminder of where I’ve been and shows me that I will only keep growing through this journey. I call it my “badge” as a way to honor my journey and never forgot what it has taught me.
Inside the honeycomb shape is the Forget Me Not flower. I chose this flower because it grows in the darkest, most difficult, and destructive places. The flower is also symbolic in my family. The outline of the honeycomb shape is a tribute to Honey for helping me find my strength.
Honey has influenced my life in many ways. From the beginning, Honey was a constant reminder that what happened to me was real and that it was wrong. It’s easy to blame yourself in any assault situation, but that’s not right. I needed to be reminded that I’m not alone, and that what happened to me was not unique in the fact that it happens more often than we think to so many people. I wanted to get a tattoo representing Honey; something I could look at and be reminded of the hope Honey has given me.
A bee was what I came up with, it’s beautiful and delicate, just like our souls. My soul has been so impacted by what has happened to me, but after everything Honey has helped me with I feel more beautiful than ever, inside and out.
When people ask me if it has significance I proudly tell them that it stands for Honey, an organization built to support survivors of sexual trauma. Their curiosity peaks and little by little I am spreading awareness of this global pandemic. It needs to be talked about, it needs to change.