“Stunning. Authentic. Emotional. Deeply Moving. Grace Under Fire. Shari is a unique talent with a story that is unlike anything we’ve experienced.”
Shari Karney is attorney, author, and sought after speaker. She shares her inspiring journey from child abuse victim and troubled past, to the attorney who ultimately changed the law for child abuse victims across the country giving children and adult legal rights. In the process she found her own voice and empowers and educates others on how to find their voice. She shares insights and life-changing takeaways on overcoming life’s greatest challenges and turning them into powerful life purpose assets.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
Karney skillfully adapts her motivational message for each audience. She teaches effective tools to overcome adversity, thrive with kindness, and transform your life. Her honest and encouraging message, her passionate authenticity and inspiration, brings audiences to their feet in joy and moves them to heartwarming tears. Prepare to be profoundly moved and intensely inspired. Prepare to be taken on a journey.
If you have been sexually abused, you are not alone. If you love someone who has been sexually assaulted, you are not alone. If you are related to someone who has been sexually violated, you are not alone.
I am a survivor and know that you can heal from it. You can be de-victimized. Sexual abuse will always be a part of who and what we are but we don’t have to let it control our lives forever. We can view it as the glass half empty or half full. Hidden in what happened to us, in every trauma, is our greatest gift. It made us who we are today. We have the power to channel this energy into personal and professional achievements that empower us and other survivors as well.
Life is not simple for us or easy. We have had to fight our way through our own feelings and emotions to function, raise families, love others, and give to our community. We have had a unique human experience. We can allow it to destroy us, our faith, our health, our ability to love, to have relationships, careers, abundance, or we can see it from the other side.
I’ve learned from my sexual abuse that here is no pain that I cannot relate to or feel compassion for. Others are comfortable around me, because they know that I understand them, don’t judge them, and love them for who they are. I learned to love others unconditionally and understand and look into each person’s heart. That has allowed me to be one with you and others.
If you can see that in the greatest trauma of your life, lies your greatest gift, you can Speak. Heal. Empower. You can be part of the Hope. The way to heal is to help others to heal. To reach out together with compassion and hope. To be part of the change. We heal by doing, giving, loving, and helping others. Sexual violence is 100% preventable. If each of us can save just one life, one person, one child, that person, life, or child changes the world one-by-one, until it’s hundreds, thousands, and millions of lives saved. Then what happened to us, will have served a purpose. We are not fallen soldiers but warriors in the fight to save another’s life because that life saved is our own. We are one. Be part of the love, part of the whole, and part of the healing.
For the past few years I have made it my personal mission to reach out to survivors of sexual abuse whenever I can. We need to come together to create a movement for survivors of sexual abuse. We are the last frontier of those victimized without a true national presence and awareness. Break silence, be brave, join us, and come together to make a difference. It’s the only way to protect our children, help with the healing journey, and build awareness.
Something that I only recently started to open up about is that I am also a cancer survivor. I have spent most of my life being an outspoken advocate for victims and then was faced with the reality that my journey and my mission might be put to an end.
I realized that I could not leave this world without advocating for more change. Greater than the tragedy of sexual abuse, is the tragedy of living a life without actualizing your gift. Having recently had a near-death experience, I am determined not to waste this lifetime.
Like abuse, you can let a diagnosis rule your life. Or you can allow it to empower you to make positive changes in your own life and the lives of others.
We are connected through the bonds of shared experience and, together we speak as one heart, one soul, one voice.
-- Shari Karney