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Kill the Silence
"In choosing to tell my story, I hope to shatter the silence that often follows attacks like the one I endured. The paralyzing feelings of guilt and shame that accompany being raped last far longer than the assault itself. Just as rapists often tell their victims to shut their mouths, society can do something similar to victims. I hope that by sharing my experiences I can help others who’ve been raped, their family members, friends, mental health experts and counselors gain a new and better perspective from someone who has there and is now here. The silence does not have to linger forever. I’m fortunate that I was able to utilize many of the skills and traits that I developed over the years as a competitive runner to aid my healing.
I still have some ways to go, but I’m not that young woman who didn’t want to be here anymore. I am here, and I have a voice and I want to be heard.
For anyone who has struggled with a adversity, who has experienced things that they wish they could undo or leave behind, anyone who is haunted by their past, I am here to say that there is a way through. We will all face it; we will refuse to allow those feelings of guilt and shame, to hold us back or to victimize us again. We can use those experiences, as horrible as they might have been, to make us stronger than we ever dreamed possible. I hope that in reading my story you’ll find some keys to unlocking your own strengths and abilities. You may not be a runner like I am, but you can begin to move more freely in your world and in your own way. You can find peace and take pleasure in simple acts. You can recover what was taken from you. Your life can be better than it ever was before, knowing that you have strength inside you to overcome any obstacle."