The Power of Sharing Your Story

Nothing is more powerful than the written word.  Remember that documentation creates history.  There would be no history books if people had not taken the time to share the activities of yester years.  Everyone has a story to tell; some stories are more powerful than others, while others make the saddest memories.

According to Wikipedia, storytelling is the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, often with improvisation, theatrics and embellishment.  Stories or narratives have always been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values.  When a story is shared with others, words are used interactively with the listeners and readers.

Stage fright keeps some people from sharing a story in public, while privacy attributes to the silence of others.  In some cases, fear prohibits people from telling their stories.  Whatever the reason is for you not sharing your story, keep in mind that the truth does not disappear.  People have been sharing their stories far longer than the documentation of activities.  Stories are either about other people or about the person sharing the story.  You might think that your story is uninteresting or no one will want to listen to it or read it.  There is always someone who will want to listen or show interest in what you have to say, especially if it impacts the lives of others.  People are emotional, and your story could be the one that provides pertinent information to a solution.

Stories can play a major role in the development of children.  The idea of reading stories to children before they fall asleep was to instill pleasant thoughts in the minds of the children.  While they slept, the story they heard prior to falling asleep will have an impact on their dreams.

Telling your story gives you power over the trauma you suffered and control over your life.  It helps you dispel all fears the trauma from an earlier age might have created.  Sharing your story can be a form of therapy.  One woman had never shared the experience she had with female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) with anyone for more than two decades.  However from the day she broke her silence, she has not stopped sharing her story with anyone who will listen.  She now feels a sense of freedom and empowerment.  Another woman found it difficult to move forward with her life after she survived a very bloody coup d’etat.  She finally shared her story with the world, and to her surprise, telling her story became the best therapy for her to overcome her trauma. These two women found that talking about their trauma actually helped them to embody the power over their challenges.

According to Dr. Martin Cohen, pervasive fear and feelings of helplessness are natural reactions to events you probably had little or no control over.  He said, “Whether you have been a crime victim, involved in an accident or natural disaster, or were the victim of childhood abuse, the resulting trauma is similar.”


When little girls experience FGM/C, they are sworn to secrecy.  It is instilled in the girls never to tell anyone what happened to them on that day, otherwise they will die.  In most cases, the girls adhere to the sworn secrecy and never divulge what they experience.  Many of them have lived to ripe old ages of 80 plus years, and they take that secret to their graves with them.  In such instances, either fear prevents them from speaking out or the deeply rooted secret society controls their minds and actions.  The fear and sworn commitment is too large a burden for a child to carry on her shoulders after the experience of such trauma.  After the recent FBI arrests in Michigan, the girls told law enforcement that their mothers told them that it was their “little secret”.  They were told that they were going on a girls-only trip, and not to tell anyone about it.


Women and girls who have experienced female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) are encouraged to seek help.  One of the best ways to get assistance is by sharing their stories with either a professional or with someone whom they trust.  Release your fears and talk about what was done to you.  Remember that you do not have to be ashamed or embarrassed because you had no control over what was done at the time.  As an adult, you now have control and you can break your silence.  Empower your life by speaking out.  Inspire younger generations through your own story.  What you speak or write today could become history tomorrow.


Send all comments and questions about the preceding article to or call (703) 818-3787.       

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2017 Calendar


We will update this calendar as the year progresses.  Please mark your calendars, as we work toward a prosperous 2017.

Volunteers Needed:  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is in search of volunteers for their 4th annual Walk to End FGM in the nation’s capital on Saturday, October 21, 2017.  Volunteers’ responsibilities are: Arrive early, set-up, on-site registration, T-shirt and bag distribution, oversee donations, supervision of the tents, coordinate pre-walk ceremony, seat speakers and guests, coordinate photo-ops and pre-walk interviews.  We invite our 2016 volunteers to join us this year.  They did a great job last year.  All volunteers will have free registration for the walk.  If you are interested in being a volunteer for the Walk To End FGM send an email to  and put in the subject line, “Volunteer”.

To volunteer, contact us at or call 703-818-3787.  Register at and Walk to End FGM.

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  As such, your donations and registration fees are tax deductible to the maximum extent required by law.

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2017

When you shop during the year at Amazon, please select Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation as your charity of choice. When you #StartWithaSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Global Woman Peace Foundation. Bookmark the link below and support us every time you shop.

In your charitable contributions and donations in 2017, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 14001A Grumble Jones Court, Centreville, Virginia 20121.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Do you have an announcement you would like to place in this section of the newsletter?  Here are the guidelines below:

The guidelines to submit an announcement are to appear in this newsletter:

  • The length of announcement must be no more than a paragraph of 6 lines.
  • Your announcement is free of any charges.
  • Your announcement should be something that pertains to women, girls or students, such as events, walk-a-thons, conferences, etc.
  • If there is an accompanying image, it must be no less than 72 dpi, preferably in jpeg.
  • Your announcement must be received no later than the Thursday 5:00pm prior to the following Tuesday publication.

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation reserves the right to deny a submission if it is not within our guidelines.

Weekly Word-Scramble

Do you enjoy playing with words?  This is a fun way to see how well you can unscramble the following words.  We will reveal the unscrambled words in next week’s edition of the newsletter.  If you enjoyed this, write and give us your feedback to

Can you unscramble the following five words?

This Week’s Scrambled Words







Last Week’s Scrambled Words                               Last Week’s Unscrambled Words

TINOVACA TUTICGN                                                       VACATION CUTTING

CANCESVA NASS CISIONEX                                         VACANCES SANS EXCISION

REMUMS PACM                                                                SUMMER CAMP

SETW RAFAIC                                                                   WEST AFRICA

DITRATIONS                                                                     TRADITIONS

We give you five scrambled words each week.  We hope you enjoy playing.

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2016:

  • Donations (including in-kind donations)
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship or Student-Ambassadorship Program
  • Volunteering
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-818-3787

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Virginia Crime Victim Assistance                        888-887-3418

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Sexual Assault                301-618-3154

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                     410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center           301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                           410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police           202-727-9099

Alexandria Victim/Witness Program                    703-746-4100

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program         703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program            703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness               703-392-7083

Attention: The U.S. government opposes FGM/C, no matter the type, degree, or severity, and no matter what the motivation for performing it. The U.S. government considers FGM/C to be a serious human rights abuse, gender-based violence, and, when done to children, a form of child abuse. It is against the law to perform FGM/C in the United States on a girl under the age of 18 or to send or attempt to send her outside the United States so FGM/C can be performed. People who violate this law can face prison time and significant immigration consequences. Additionally, anyone who performs FGM/C on a woman 18 years old or older without her consent may be charged with a crime under other laws.  If someone performed FGM/C on you, you have not violated any U.S. laws and are not at fault, call 1-800-994-9662.