A Port Orchard woman is using her past traumatic experiences to promote a book that provides a step-by-step plan for healing to sexual assault survivors.
Anne Peters is a sexual trauma coach who has survived being sexually abused numerous times in her life. In a presentation at the HUB Center for Seniors in Belfair, she said that she began taking self-defense classes after being assaulted in a recording studio.
“That was still just the beginning of my healing process,” she said. “I needed a counselor, or a psychologist, or something like that.”
Peters fell into a pit of depression. She said her “rock bottom” came when she was arrested for DUI and experimented with multiple drugs. She would eventually find a psychologist who uses Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing to change her mindset.
“I used to think of myself as damaged goods. Nobody would love me, but I changed my mindset through the help of this psychologist, who changed the way I think about myself,” she said.
Peters also credited a newfound faith in God as one of the reasons she was able to heal. “I turned to the Bible, and that was a huge, huge help. I started praying more,” she said.
This healing process led her to author a book titled “Finding Your Hope: Restoring Peace in Life After Sexual Abuse.” The book, published in January, provides a 15-step guide to healing. Each step includes her own stories and stories of others who have healed from sexual abuse.
“I’ve always thought about writing books,” Peters said. “I want to help others expedite their healing instead of taking years, nearly decades, like I did to heal.”
Peters said in her presentation that one in five girls is a victim of sexual abuse, along with one in 20 boys. She said that she hopes her story will help others feel like “they are not alone. There are a lot of people out there who have been through it. There’s a lot of people out there that have healed from it and gone on and done great things with their lives.”
Peters told sex-abuse victims that they are never alone and that help is always available. “Don’t wallow in self-pity. I did that for many years until I realized that I’ve got lots to live for. It took me a long time to realize that. This is not your fault, and I would like to help you.”
For details go to findingyourhope.com. Anyone experiencing sexual abuse can call the National Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.