In 2006, I was brutally raped in my college dormitory. At the moment it happened, I never believed I would be able to survive such a heinous crime. I was left to figure out the emotional struggle and physical pain on my own and, despite the supports I had in my family and friends, I was convinced I would succumb to my own sadness and pain. I was medicated and hospitalized at the lowest point of my healing process. I was devastated that I was unable to find the strength in myself, but I realized I was only trying to rush the healing that my mind and soul needed to go through. Eventually I was able to see the light at the end of the long and difficult road I had endured.
But that light held so much more promise and comfort than I ever imagined. I am now stronger than before, and smarter than ever. I work as a Case Manager in an Emergency Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Shelter where I provide crisis intervention and guidance to other survivors. I am a spokeswoman for Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) Speaker’s Bureau and address organizations and individuals about my harrowing experience. I also work as a volunteer educator for the Clery Center for Security On Campus. I am especially proud of the outreach and training I’ve done for the organization with hundreds of high school students. I believe education is the cornerstone of empowerment. If my words make a difference, then my experience serves a higher purpose and cause.
I hope to continue my work with the Clery Center. Its staff is dedicated to making a real difference on college campuses and, like me, helps all of us be stronger than before and smarter than ever.