A piece of me was taken in September of 2001 when I became a victim of an armed robbery and sexual assault. The months and years that followed taught me who I was meant to be, and that girl is a warrior.
As a victim, I watched law enforcement work my case with integrity and compassion. I learned firsthand the importance of being heard and believed. God blessed me with a voice that I’ve never been afraid to use and strength to endure the toughest battles. Once my battle was over, I realized there are so many who need the support to become a voice or need someone to be a voice for them.
As a survivor, I began speaking to criminal justice classes as part of a victim impact panel. I was amazed at the staggering amount of victims who approached me afterwards to tell me they were afraid they wouldn’t be believed or that they hadn’t been believed. I was compelled to reach out for additional speaking engagements and training opportunities. I wanted law enforcement to understand the importance of their role in a victim’s story. I was blessed with an amazing first responder and the most incredible prosecutor. These wonderful people assisted in securing a speaking engagement for me in front of local law enforcement academies in an effort to show new recruits a victim’s perspective and allow me to heal by helping others. As a warrior, I am now a victim assistant coordinator for a prosecutor’s office and I’m continuing to use my voice to guide others through the criminal justice process and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.