By Inesha Howard | Contributor
To survive means to continue to live or to continue to exist, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. This definition is the story of Karen Mobley’s life.
Many know her as a professional in the office of Student Life and Engagement on the campus of Augusta University, and to some she is also known as a survivor. Her story has helped other people tell their survival story and she uses her survival story by helping with programing at AU, such as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) planning.
“It was at least about four years before I told my survival stories to others,” Mobley said. “I told my survival story in order to protect others from the same situation and when I realized that others were in danger because of me not sharing my story I realized it was important for me to share.”
Mobley said that her survival journey has helped her grow as a woman because it required perseverance and it required her going through something that she didn’t want to go through.
“It has caused me to understand that even when I am at my worst I can still reflect my best,” Mobley said.
Out of the many things that has helped Mobley get through her survival journey, her faith has played a major role.
“My faith has impacted my survival journey because knowing that there is a greater good outside of myself and knowing that there are situations that everyone goes through that may be traumatic for them at the moment but through faith, guidance and support you can get through any situation,” Mobley said.
The beauty of her survival story is that she has used it to help with SAAM planning at AU.
“It’s been somewhat therapeutic to be able to come through a situation and realize that although it was a negative time for myself that I can assist people by making sure that they have the comfort of others as they go through a devastating tragedy or situation,” Mobley said.
According to Mobley, helping with SAAM planning came about because she started working as an advocate for Rape Crises and Sexual Assault Services. As an advocate, she said that she realized the need to promote the services of the office. She also said that she realized the need to advertise to those victims that the community is in support of them.
“The community will take a stand against perpetrators and so it’s a great way to exhibit to others that they are not alone,” Mobley said.
Being a survivor means that there are tips and advice that one can leave behind for others who may be getting over a traumatic situation, or that needs help telling their survival story. A tip that Mobley said has been most beneficial to her is realizing that she is a survivor and not necessarily a victim.
“As a victim I felt that I had very little importance and I felt that I was misfortunate,” Mobley. “As a survivor I was able to take power back and realize that as a survivor I do have importance. I realized that a survivor comes in many forms.”
She also wanted to tell others to listen to their intuition and realize that your intuition speaks volumes. She said that one should realize that you have no one to make happy but yourself, and if that means telling someone no or telling someone you’re not interested, be very bold and direct.
“Surviving doesn’t necessarily mean that you had to fight in a situation,” Mobley said. “Surviving can mean that you did exactly what you needed to do in order to survive the situation. Often times people believe that in order to be a survivor you have to fight through something but sometimes doing nothing is your survivor technique.”
Even with all of the tips and faith, a simple quote has also helped through this survival journey. She said that she uses a quote by Mary McLeod Bethune as a survival quote through life in general. She included small excerpts from the quote that stated:
“If I have a legacy to leave to my people, it is my philosophy of living and serving. Here then is my legacy… love, hope, confidence, thirst for education, respect of power, faith, racial dignity, desire and responsibility.”
Contact Inesha Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org.