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Saprea > Survivor Stories > Since We Only Have One Heart


Since We Only Have One Heart


I was born in a small town on the west coast of South Korea  where  I grew up with a big family. I was  first  sexually abused at the age of  four. Then, between the ages of 5 and 7, I  was sexually abused  by my  eldest brother and one of my cousins. 

As a result  of this trauma,  I had to face many issues throughout my life for decades, especially in communication and relationships.  I chose to stay deep within my own world  because  I thought that if nobody in the world but me knew about the abuse,  then  someday I would also no longer remember anything about it. I was also pessimistic about seeking any consultation to  help me heal. I could not trust anybody, and I was always so nervous and uncomfortable having people around me. 

I became  more  vulnerable to sexual abuse and suffered institutional abuse  at the hands of  my teachers and colleagues.  I was also abused  by  my  friend’s boyfriend while  he was  helping me with babysitting. 

In my own journey to healing and empowerment, I found  that  other approaches and programs did not meet my needs. It was during my prayer in  the  spring  of  2010 when God  helped  me connect the dots  and recognize  that  many of  my issues stemmed from the impact of being abused. 

As a survivor, I have longed to find a way to help other victims of sexual abuse. In 2014, I formed a nonprofit called One Life One Heart (OLOH) International, in Ames, Iowa. I chose the name One Life One Heart to portray that one’s life goes with one heart, which  carries all of  our  stories whether happy or tragic.  Since we only have  this one heart,  it is important to take care of  it  and keep it functioning properly to enjoy a healthy life. 

– Michelle, survivor