Speak Your Silence

by Matt Pipkin, That Guy + Guest Blogger

One of my favorite things is when I hear about someone turning something negative into something massively positive.  There’s just nothing better.

A few years ago, I started sharing a story that I’d kept secret since I was 6.

I come from an awesome family, so for twenty years I lived in heavy, heavy fear that I’d devastate my parents if I told them what I’d done.

You see, I was sexually abused by a family friend; someone I trusted. I saw myself as an accomplice, and therefore, knew that if my parents learned the truth about me, my life would be ruined.

Just after college, I found myself at low point – I’d lost a bunch of money in business, had my heart broken by a girl, and had no direction for my life. I finally made a connection between the fear and panic attacks I was now experiencing… and the fact that I first started experiencing them at age 6.

Finally, I told my parents. And they simply loved me. If only I’d realized that would be their response. Eventually, I began seeing a counselor and he completely changed my life. I realized that the “truth” was not that I was bad, but rather, that I’m infinitely valuable innately, and nothing can ever change this.

And then I recognized the power my story has to bring freedom to the 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys who go through something similar.

So, I started a nonprofit called Speak Your Silence, focused on moving child sexual abuse from a taboo issue to an inspiring cause that you can be excited to champion.




To do this, I had an idea that has now resulted in a product and, more recently, even a clothing line. It’s called The Stitch. The Stitch is an orange thread zigzag that physically symbolizes your voice frequency when you wear it. It looks like this:  




By wearing The Stitch, you symbolically show support for people you love to share their stories.

The extra awesome sauce is that 100% of profits from The Stitch fund in-person, one-on-one counseling nationwide for those directly affected. I obviously love this because, well, counseling changed everything for me. It’s been pretty special to see such a powerful community grow around this simple idea. We’ve seen so many people wear The Stitch in support of their friends or family, and others wear it as a sign of healing and hope in their own lives.

You possess so much worth. And, when you’re so bold as to use your voice to share your story, there are people in your life whose world will forever be changed.

You’re worth it. Be bold. Be a voice for those who do not have one.    

- Matt

This April, you’ll receive #TheStitch kit for free with any I Am That Girl t-shirt purchase, while supplies last. www.shopiamthatgirl.com -xo IATG 


Let's Chat!

How do you create and identify safe spaces for telling your truth? What would it take for you to speak your silence?

About Matt


 Matt kept his secret for twenty years due to fear, shame, and guilt. His life was finally changed when he realized  just how innately valuable he truly is. He founded Speak Your Silence in late 2012.

W: speakyoursilence.org IG: @speakyoursilence & @mattpipkin FB: speakyoursilence


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  • commented 2016-04-27 12:56:30 -0700
    I know what’s like being silent for so long. I’ve been through a lot of abuse in my life and when I tried speaking my truth while going through the abuse, I was silenced by my abuser and had the police believing I was lying. It was so hard that after we escaped and I was sexually abused I never told and he got away with the injustice. Worse yet he did it to others that I later became friends with. After years of silence, I finally came forward and have been speaking my silence. I started the It’ll Be Okay campaign a few years ago but after some unfortunate times I had to relaunch it this year. I’m hoping to turn it into a center for victims and survivors of all types of abuse. The name came from a childhood friend, she would tell me everyday it’ll be okay and even wrote me a song to keep as a reminder when she couldn’t be there physically. This quote has kept me going through all of the abuse I’ve been through, and now I want it to be the quote that keeps other victims and survivors going. That little ray of sunshine, that tidbit of hope that ignites their inner warrior, so they can go from victim to survivor!
  • followed this page 2016-04-27 12:48:28 -0700

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