Today, I am officially sharing what I experienced 4 years ago. I’ve felt prompted to share this message because many of you have experienced what I have experienced–or something similar. I know that this will help so many people, and my vulnerability will be worth it. Please share this with anyone who needs to know that they are not alone, and anyone who needs help in their situations. I will be sharing more from now on, including specific resources, strategies, tools, and other information on healing. I want you to know that I BELIEVE YOU. Healing is possible. No matter what, negatives can be turned into positives. So here’s me using my voice, and opening the door for you to use yours. 

 

Disclaimer :

The reason I am safely able to share my experiences is because there are things that have been proven in a court of law, criminal charges, and information on public record. Anything that was not taken to the police or did not have “sufficient evidence” are things I need to be careful sharing. For this reason I cannot share details of all the things that I have experienced. I hope that you can understand. I will be sharing what I can, and only things that are productive for those who need help.

TRIGGER WARNING:

This content includes discussion of sexual assault, sex-trafficking, and rape. This message is intended to be educational & helpful to victims. If you are someone who is experiencing any of these things, please use the Hotline number 1800-799-7233. Utah’s 24-hour sexual violence crisis and information hotline is available at 1-888-421-1100.

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My name is Brit L’Amour. I am a survivor of sexual assault, online sex-trafficking, sexual exploitation, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. I am an advocate for mental health and survivors of abuse. I am officially sharing my personal experiences today. I’m doing this, not only to advocate for others, but also to advocate for myself. Feeling like I have a voice is a massive part of my healing process. This is a way for me to restore my dignity regardless of what others think, as well as take back my control after it had been taken away from me. This is my chance to take what I’ve experienced and all that I’ve learned, and allow it to actually help those around me who are hurting. This helps me feel like I am making a difference in this world, and doing what I wish someone had done for me. I want to take something bad and make good from it. I want to take something ugly and bring about beauty. It was intended to harm me, but God has used it for good to help many other people. So I know I need to let this be healing for myself, even if my main focus is to help others find healing.

 

Genesis 50:20 

 

For years I have felt prompted to do this. Ever since I came back on social media four years ago, I’ve had thousands of women reaching out to me for help about their own situations–including sexual abuse, divorce, domestic violence, rape, fatal illnesses, mental health trials, sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, etc. All of these women found me purely from rumors alone. Rumors that others had spread after finding my ex-husband’s arrest on public records. Through the years, I have taken time to heal and educate myself. I’ve done what I can to help others without sharing the majority of my personal experiences. But it’s time for me to create a safe place for you guys, to let you know that I can relate to you, and you are safe to reach out to me and to others for help. This will be the first time I publicly confirm certain things that I experienced.

 

To give some background on how I feel about sharing what I’m sharing today – Around 2 years ago, I planned to speak up & publicly become an advocate for myself and others. It was delayed another year because a second criminal case had opened with my abuser, and if I were to speak up while the case was open, the defense could pick apart my words and use it against me in court. After this case closed, I have been allowed and encouraged by law enforcement to share my experiences and move forward with helping women and girls more openly. However, as much as I knew I needed to speak up about what I experienced, deep down I didn’t want to. I was terrified. Sharing such personal things so publicly, especially with the risks involved, became overwhelming. But I didn’t want to admit it. So I told myself excuses for not sharing yet. Yes, there were times where I couldn’t talk about anything for legal reasons regarding open cases. But once I was free to share my voice, I allowed my fears to control me. So please know how difficult this has been for me, and know that I am risking a lot by speaking up.

 

So why then? Why am I sharing my personal experiences if it’s been so difficult for me and if I face risks doing so?

 

Because it is no longer about me and what I want. It’s about the thousands of women who stand where I once stood – terrified, trapped, injured, pleading, and some even completely unaware of the severity of their situation. I know that if I had heard someone talk about anything similar to what I was going through, I would have realized what was happening to me, and I would have gotten out of my situation so much sooner.

 

So sharing my experiences & using my voice is part of my healing–yes. But sharing these things is for those that need to hear it. Because they need to know that what they are going through is real. That they are NOT crazy. There is a way out. They can heal from this. There is hope. They are loved. They have the strength to do this. And they do not need to do this alone. 

 

So women, this is for you. This is for me. This is for us.

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In April of 2018 my previous husband was arrested, convicted, and sent to jail for the charge “Distribution of Intimate Images”. During the marriage, he was taking intimate content of me without my knowledge and without my permission. In addition, without my knowledge or permission, he then distributed the content of me online, in exchange for different things..

I found out that he had been doing this after 11 months of marriage. I was mortified. The discovery of this & more, lasted 3 days before the police got involved.

 

During those 3 days, I remember feeling like my world had crumbled before me. My entire reality was false. Everything I thought to be true was completely shattered. All the information I was receiving, and the evidence I was finding was more than I could bear. I couldn’t process it. I desperately wanted to deny the severity of everything and my body quickly began going into a trauma response. A few hours into discovery, I slowly began to realize how bad everything really was. I remember dropping to my knees, and pleading. I had nothing left. I had no strength. But I was willing to do whatever I needed to do. It was a defining moment for me when I had absolutely no strength to face what was necessary in order to survive. I remember the moment more vividly than any memory–kneeling in the gravel behind a trailer, I gave myself completely to my Heavenly Father. I gave Him all of my trust and every ounce of my faith. And within seconds, my Savior was carrying me. I physically felt Him. Everyone believes in their own higher power, and He is mine. He’s my Savior. Then, now, and always. From that moment on, my strength was not my own. And even with the help of my Savior, it still took another 24 hours of additional discovery, and several meetings with professionals, before I could finally see clearly. I knew that I was in danger, and I needed to get out of the marriage. After another 24-48 hours, the situation escalated to the point where the police got involved.  

 

PLEASE, if you know anyone who has or currently is experiencing anything similar, please tell them to reach out to professionals as soon as possible. If they want to reach out to me, they are welcome to! I have many resources that I can give them. https://britlamour.com/healing/ 

If YOU are experiencing anything similar to this, you’re not alone. You’re not crazy. It’s not your fault. You can get out. You can heal. And you do not need to do this alone. I am here for you. Please reach out to someone you trust for help. Please reach out to a professional and DO NOT hesitate to call the police if you are in danger. I know how scary all of this feels. Just don’t give up. So much happiness and healing is waiting for you.

 

The national hotline number you can call is 1800-799-7233

You can also call your local police anonymously, let them know your situation without sharing your name and/or the name of your abuser, and ask them what would happen if you pressed charges. Let them educate you, let them help you. 

If possible, do not hesitate to call the police. It negatively impacted my cases because I hesitated. I wish I called them sooner. I know it’s hard. But you CAN do this. 

 

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In addition to that case, I went through 2 more. Many of you know how involved I have been with different non-profits that fight against sex-trafficking. There are obviously many reasons why I am passionate about anti sex trafficking, but I have also had a personal experience in my life that opened my eyes to the many different forms of it and how it all begins.

My previous husband was being investigated by the Utah Attorney General’s Office. A case was then opened for Conspiracy of Human Trafficking. It was later dismissed for the reason of “lack of sufficient evidence”. 

If you or someone you know, has been sexually exploited online, sex-trafficked online, or sex-trafficked in-person, PLEASE tell them to reach out to the authorities. Please tell them that they are safe to reach out to me as well–I have personal recommendations for legal assistance, victims rights attorneys, counselors/therapy, guidance through the justice system, and more. https://britlamour.com/healing/

 

If you personally are experiencing any of these things, or feel like you might be, immediately get all the evidence you can. Screenshots, photos, videos, recordings, witnesses, etc. Please reach out to the police and tell them everything. Do not hesitate – it’s not worth waiting. You can do this. You can get out of your situation. You can find safety & healing. You’re not crazy. I BELIEVE YOU. 

 

If you are questioning at all if you have experienced sex-trafficking or conspiracy of sex-trafficking, please call this national hotline. 1-888-373-7888 

If you live in Utah, you can call the Utah State Attorney General’s office at (801)-281-1200. Ask for Joe Shuler.

If you believe someone is being sex-trafficked online or in-person, PLEASE REPORT A TIP with information on potential human trafficking activity to the national hotline 1-888-373-7888. You can do this anonymously. It can save someone’s life.

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After the case of Distribution of Intimate Images was filed and closed, a second case opened up. My ex-husband was being charged with multiple counts of a First Degree Felony of Forcible Sodomy for raping me. Going through this sexual assault case as the victim was traumatizing to say the least. It was because of this case in particular that I have become passionate about advocating for victims and for helping victims who are currently going through the justice process. I found countless flaws in the justice system, and even more so in the victim’s advocacy programs. My case progressed all the way until right before the Jury Trial, where it was then closed for the reason of “lack of sufficient evidence” – a very common result to a case of sexual assault within a marriage.

“Just one in 10 sexual assault cases in Salt Lake and Utah counties end in a conviction, and police send less than half to a prosecutor to be considered for charges.” – The Salt Lake Tribune

Two-thirds of the sexual assault cases reported to police in Salt Lake County stop there — and are never sent to prosecutors for them to evaluate whether they could file charges or ask for more investigation before making a decision.”- The Salt Lake Tribune

“Due to ‘distrust, a burdensome system and fear,’ data shows there is only a 12% chance that a sexual assault in Utah will be reported to law enforcement.” – The Salt Lake Tribune

Source : https://www.sltrib.com/news/2021/11/14/few-utah-sexual-assault/

When I was first advised that the Sexual Assault Case would be dismissed, I was devastated. Even though the evidence was strong, it still wasn’t strong enough. After a year of trials, it made it all the way to the jury trial, and right when the jury trial was being scheduled, it was dismissed..

Like many sexual assault victims, I was terrified and originally didn’t want to go through this case – I knew it would be traumatic, but soon realized that would be an understatement. Due to the difficulty and trauma the first case caused me, I did not want to be dragged through another criminal case. I will never forget the phone call I had with my best friend the day I found out the sexual assault case had been officially opened. I cried to her on the phone, telling her how badly I didn’t want to go through another criminal case. She understood, and helped me feel heard. She also knew how concerned I had been when I had found out that I was not the only one who had been sexually abused by this man. She knew that one of the other victims had reached out to me for help, and that when she went to the police about it, her case never went through. My friend lovingly, and boldly told me something that spoke directly to my soul. She said “Brit, I know you that you’ve healed and are so happy in your life right now. I know that you don’t want to have to go through this case… but this isn’t about you anymore. This is about the other girls who need you.” 

From that moment on, I committed to do my part – to stand up for myself and for other victims. I knew how difficult it was for ANY sexual assault/rape case to end in a conviction. So I knew that even if my case “wasn’t enough”, any future girl(s) who comes forward in the future about the same man abusing her, will at least have my case on file to help her with hers.

The sexual assault case ended up taking a massive toll on me mentally & physically. I now have severe stomach problems due to stress & PTSD. Nightmares have come back, and so has debilitating fear. Like many victims, there were many times during the case that I wanted to give up. I noticed how much it was hurting me, and I so badly wanted to just move forward. It was in those moments when my friend’s voice would come to mind:

“Brit, this isn’t about you anymore. This is about these other girls who need you.”

As much as I prioritize my own well-being, I never wanted to stop doing what I could for the safety & well-being of others. No matter how much I mentally prepared myself, I still felt defeated when the case was dismissed. I felt like all that I went through for that case was for nothing. All the horrifying moments I had to relive, were for nothing. But after healing from this case, I realized how much I had learned. How much I now understood. I had become educated, experienced, and passionate about fixing the flaws in the justice system, as well as the flaws in the victims advocacy programs. I now knew from personal experience, just how confusing and painful it is to call the police and go forward with a case. Now I understand the pain of so many before me. I realized in that moment, that all I went through didn’t have to be for nothing. Just like any trial or negative experience in my life, this could also be turned into something good. It was then that I saw clearly how badly I wanted to help other victims going through the justice process, and help them heal while doing so. So I began my journey of doing just that.

If you or someone you know has experienced rape, sexual abuse within a relationship, sexual abuse from a stranger/family member/aquaintance, etc. PLEASE let them know that they are safe to reach out to me. I will be there for them and I have many resources that can help them through what they are going through. Please, if you are experiencing any of these things, PLEASE call the police and talk with a professional immediately.

https://britlamour.com/healing/

Rape absolutely can happen within a marriage. No means no, even if you are married.

If you are questioning at all if you have experienced sexual abuse or rape, please call this national hotline 1800-799-7233. You do not need to go through this alone. There are resources that can help you through this.  

You can reach out to me. While I am sharing my story here, I will freely offer to speak with you, hold space with you, and help you. If you are currently a victim in a criminal case, or are about to call the police–there is a free packet that you can download from my website that can help walk you through what to expect when going through the justice process, including the very first steps of calling the police. I wish I had this information before. It would have helped me so much.

https://britlamour.com/healing/

If you are not someone who has personally experienced these things and are seeking to become more educated about what these victims go through before, during, and after reporting abuse to authorities, you can watch the Netflix series “Unbelievable” and also the series “Maid”. These series can help you see how difficult it is for these cases of rape & abuse to be accepted & end in a conviction – no matter how much evidence you have.

 

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Thank you for following my journey all this time, and for supporting me regardless of how much you knew of what I was going through. It was your support that made me realize how powerful this community can be for those who are struggling. We are all in this life together. We don’t need to feel like we are alone. 

In future videos and posts, I will be continuously sharing resources, tips, strategies, red flags to look out for, healing guides, support groups, retreats, etc.

Like many of you, I have experienced depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations, PTSD, panic attacks, etc. Through time, I will be covering topics like these as well. 

I will of course continue posting happy, uplifting, silly, fun content every day as well. So don’t worry, my account won’t be all serious posts haha But I do want to share real, raw, productive, and helpful content as well. So my biggest hope is that my account can be a place of light and truth for you.

Thank you for taking the time to listen. If you are a survivor of any form of abuse, I want you to know that I BELIEVE YOU. Thank you to everyone who has believed IN me for so long, and for BELIEVING me. You have no idea how much it means to someone who has experienced something so dark, to know that their truth matters. I hope this video can inspire you to speak up about your experiences. You have a voice that needs to be heard.

 

Sending you all my love! Talk to you soon.