My assault took so much away from me without even understanding it. I lost a huge part of my life to living in survival mode. The carefree full-of-life 18-year old didn’t exist anymore. I was now a survivor and there was no going back. The fear that we all may have at one point or another, of someone breaking into our home, our safest place, in the middle of the night, for me became my reality. After fighting for my life and my children’s lives, I was able to escape and get help. Even though he was prosecuted, that did not end the nightmare for me.
Still to this day, 20 years later, I find myself still having to defend my actions that night. Not being believed can be crippling and make a survivor question: “Is telling even worth it?” I can say this, it is. Our stories and our voices give us power. It has given me the power to take back my life and help others break free from the hold on theirs. I have dedicated my life to being an advocate to those who cannot find their voice, lift them up and believe them, so they can find their power again. This life has too much beauty for survivors to be silenced.