ELIZABETH'S STORY: LIFE AS A WOMAN OF COLOR IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA

I moved to Charlottesville from Baltimore roughly a month after graduating from college in 2016 to pursue my first real world job. I walked into my first day wide-eyed, nervous, but full of hope. These feelings carried me blindly and happily until about mid-October. Up until that point, I love Charlottesville and thought I had found a new home. That all changed after one trip to bar called Biltmore on the Corner; a popular place for undergrads of the University of Virginia.

KIRSTIE'S STORY: HOW I TOOK MY "SIDE HUSTLE" TO FULL-TIME

It was a dream job. Truly, it was everything I had worked for. By age 22, I had found a career that suited all of my strengths, in an industry I had a passion for, working for a firm where I felt I had unlimited potential, under the best management team I could ever hope for. Phenomenal benefits, excellent compensation, and a positive work environment surrounded by some of the smartest and kindest people I had ever met.

SAYING IT OUT LOUD: WHY REPORTING ABUSE IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK

When I tell people I've been abused, their first reaction is to either (A) give me a sad look or (B) tell me how sorry they are that it happened to me. I don't mind either of those things, because I know that it comes from a good place. But despite good intentions, the inevitable and dreaded questions always follow: "Why didn't you tell someone?" "Why didn't you go to the police?" or my personal favorite, "Why didn't you tell me sooner?" 

MOVIES WE LOVE: WONDER WOMAN

I want to preface this by saying I am not the biggest comic book nerd. I know the difference between Marvel and D.C., I used to by Hulk comics religiously when I was in elementary school, and a have a legitimate crush on the Tom Hiddleston version of Loki. But beyond that, I go to the movies like everyone else just excited to eat popcorn and frozen junior mints. With that being said, I was SUPER excited for the new Wonder Woman.

AMY'S STORY: DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, AND LIFE'S BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS

The air is thick with panic though the sun shines brightly outside. Her stomach twists into tiny knots and she gasps to catch her breath, balling her fists onto the perfectly teal couch she bought to remember. Every day, she strives to remember. She remembers that she’s safe, that he’s in prison and wants her to be happy. She remembers that she’s loved, that she has friends all over the world and has accomplished every goal she’s set her mind too. Yet the panic remains.