Vanessa Johnson

Women everywhere are working hard to make a difference in the lives of their community and the world at large. Some have overcome tremendous adversity and find ways to keep going. Others have blazed a path where few women have gone before. All of them are making a difference in some way. And each month, Hope for Woman, seeks out and talks with one such woman thanks to the nomination of readers. Read the stories of women much like you and be inspired to make a difference today!

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration has been my mother. It’s not because she was this dynamic, take-charge woman, because she was, in fact, the opposite. I am inspired by her because even in her state of brokenness she did the best she could to raise her children, and I think that took a great deal of courage. I am inspired by her because she motivates me to help women not die with their destinies unfulfilled like her.

What do you do to encourage others?

As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I try to stand as a representation that healing, restoration and wholeness is possible after a traumatic experience. I offer coaching as well as workshops to empower men and women to move beyond their place of pain to their place of purpose.

What obstacles have you overcome?

As a victim of child sexual abuse, I have had to overcome shame, anger and low self-esteem. I have had to deal with rejection from people who misunderstood me as I suffered in silence daily. Stolen innocence can cause a mountain of negative emotions to erupt and disrupt your life. Healing was not only needed, it was necessary.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?

What I enjoy most is meeting a survivor and seeing their tears when they realize they are not alone and someone can relate to their pain. It is a humbling experience to see your own purpose come to life through the life of someone else.

What’s one message you wish all woman could hear?

You are not alone! 

Do you know someone who should be included in the “Women who Inspire” section of Hope for Women? Send their name, contact information and a few sentences about them to