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Abuse Survivor's
Bill of Personal Rights

Compiled by Deb 1999

We have been hurt, but we have endured and
survived, and now we can grow and flourish.
Having lived through such threatening
experiences is a triumph of the deep
and wild spirit inside us.

  1. We have the right to clear communication and equal access to available support services.

  2. We have a right to ask for the support we need. We should not have to suffer injustice to get what we need. Our needs are valid and important.

  3. We have the right to take risks and start new adventures.

  4. We have the right to good will, enrichment, joy, strong, positive connections, warmth, honesty, understanding, respect, rapport and concern for our well being.

  5. We have a right to our bodies, to embrace physical self care, nutrition, exercise, relaxation. Our bodies are temples for our souls.

  6. We have a right to express our opinions, ideas and emotions. It's all right to have our own view of the world.

  7. We have a right to plenty of rest and sleep. Whatever problems we may be experiencing can wait until morning.

  8. We have the right to free ourselves of guilt and shame that doesn't belong to us, and to give back to our abusers what belongs to them.

  9. We have both a right and a reason to be here. We are children of the universe, no less than the earth and the trees. We have the right to take up space and the right to just be.

  10. We have the right to be out in the world, to explore, to relax, to play, to experiment, to be taken care of and to stand up for ourselves.

  11. We have the right to our curiosity and intuition.

  12. It's our right to push and test to find limits, to say no and be separate.

  13. We have a right to think for ourselves.

  14. We have a right to think about our feelings and have feelings about our thoughts.

  15. We have the right to be angry when our rights are violated. We have a right to let people know when we feel angry. We can be angry at people we love.

  16. It's our right to test our power.

  17. It's our right to take time to explore who we are.

  18. It's our right to make mistakes.

  19. We have a right to our own morals and methods, and a right to do things our own way, or the way of others, or the way of the group as we choose.

  20. We have a right to choose to be independent, interdependent or dependent. We don't have to give up our independence to be taken care of.

  21. We have a right to back out of any social, sexual, or work related contact if we feel uncomfortable, even if we initiated it.

  22. We have the right take care of ourselves under any circumstances.

  23. It's our right to make choices beyond mere survival.

  24. We have a right to say no to anything that we are not ready for or that feels unsafe.

  25. It's our right to terminate conversations with people who make us feel put down and humiliated.

  26. It's our right to be self protective, even selfish and set limits as we choose.

  27. We have the right to share our stories, to share our triumphs and vent our pain.

  28. We have a right to divorce ourselves from all abusive relationships and surround ourselves with loving, trustworthy people.

  29. We have the right to reclaim our lives as our own.