When you use your voice to tell your story you give permission for others to do the same.
In telling your story you become a witness to the truth of your experiences. How you have made sense of your path, and found a way to walk it, can give hope to and inspire others in their own journeys. Your testimony can push back against the voices of influential people who find realities like yours uncomfortable, inconvenient, or challenging. Sharing your personal story can shift culture, joining with those of other people to change the popular narrative from one which represents only a few, to one which allows space for diversity. Your story, along with other stories like yours, can topple the powerful.
See what happened with the #MeToo movement; the stories of a group of women emboldened by one another, who recognised they had a shared experience, collected first into a stream, and then into a flood, which literally overthrew an oppressive system, and enabled change.
The New Zealand public has had an opportunity in 2021 to re-think the history of Centrepoint and to consider further how it affected the children. Within 2 weeks of the release of "Heaven & Hell - The Centrepoint Story" in May 2021 it was the 5th most viewed TVNZ television item of 2021, with over 700,000 views. Recently it was nominated for a number of television awards, including best documentary for 2021. While it looks a lot like the former adults of the community are not listening, the rest of New Zealand does not seem to be struggling to hear. Those who have nothing to protect are looking at this from the outside and they are concluding that it is actually quite simple; for many of the community's children the experiences that they had at Centrepoint were devastating and damaging. The old invalidating narrative, which was bred from deep within the abuse-enabling culture of the community, that blamed either the children or society for what went wrong, is simply old and tired now.