When I received a journal for my sixth birthday, my life would forever change. Unbeknownst to me at the time, that gift would mark the beginning of a lasting dedication to document my life's ups and downs--a dedication that is not only a constant source of joy, but therapy. Journaling has allowed me to see progressions of thoughts and feelings over days, months, and years. And I know I am not alone. The comfort and relief brought by journaling is internationally acknowledged by millions who faithfully keep diaries. Psychologists, doctors, and health studies repeatedly conclude that journaling can dramatically reduce and heal emotional trauma.
My high school sophomore year marked a particular turning point for me. As a part of my speech and debate class, I had the opportunity to discuss the growing issue of human trafficking. Uncovering the stories behind this horrible practice, I felt my heart break for the enslaved people. Even more, I was shocked to learn that human trafficking was happening in my own backyard, that the United States runs rampant with this heinous crime.
I began to brainstorm how I could make a difference. While I was aware of the therapeutic and emotional benefits of journaling, the idea of providing that cathartic activity to the abused and mistreated became clear. I then asked myself, "Why stop at just human trafficking? Why not also reach those who have suffered from domestic abuse? Or sexual harassment? Or any other kind of trauma?"
I became inspired to provide the same type of healing and introspective experience to those living in safe-houses and shelters who struggle to make sense of their past, deal with the present, and hope for the future. My goal is to provide as many shelters as possible with journals so that each survivor has a place to grow. Every individual has a right to relieve their fears, put anxiety to rest, and flesh out hopes and dreams that, with time, can someday become a reality.
- Taryn Murphy, Founder of Journals for the Journey