Survivor Stories

Christa's Story

Christa Hayburn was sexually assaulted by a superior at the Police Department where she served as a law enforcement officer. “I’m so glad I can be there for survivors. I will continue to advocate for change until true change takes place across the country. People in these institutions have to take sexual assault seriously and be more supportive of those who come forward.”

Ethan's Story

Ethan Levine was sexually assaulted in high school by a friend of someone he was casually dating. “In the immediate aftermath of the first assault, my focus was on whether it was real and whether I was right about what had happened. I got hung up on the fact that what happened to me didn’t fit the definition of rape I had grown up hearing.”

Tara's Story

Tara is a survivor of multiple sexual assaults and intimate partner sexual violence. “I’m a very open person with everything else, I’m very outgoing and I talk a lot. But when it came to these things, it took me years to say anything to anyone. The first time I talked about them was years later with my husband and after that with my therapist.”

Carolyn's Story

Carolyn experienced child sexual abuse by an older cousin and another sexual assault later in her life. "It’s so healing to talk about it. The more you talk about it, the more you’re letting go, bit by bit. I can feel it exit my body every time I tell my story."

Maya's Story

Maya was raped by an acquaintance a few weeks into her freshman year of college. As is the case for many survivors, Maya didn’t immediately identify herself as a victim of sexual violence. "I hadn’t put a word to it yet...But now it’s been really important for me to call it what it was."

Lacy’s Story

Lacy was sexually assaulted and abused by her high school partner. “No one understood what I was going through and what it was like in that relationship. But when we were apart, I realized how great it felt to be away from him—I really wanted that freedom.”

Brad’s Story

Brad Simpson was groomed and sexually abused by a private sports trainer from age nine to his mid-teens. He didn’t tell anyone about the abuse for the next 35 years. “It was scary; I was afraid of judgement most of all. I had feelings of guilt, and I struggled with self esteem and trying to hide my story.”

Lisa’s Story

Two months after Lisa Gray divorced her ex-husband, she discovered that he had been sexually abusing her daughter Nikki throughout their seven-year marriage. “As it started to settle in, I replayed it in my mind. How could this happen? I had so much shame, so much guilt that I had brought this man into my house to molest my child. What kind of mother am I? The guilt and the shame were deafening—but at the same time I knew I had to do what was necessary for my daughter.”

Eileen's Story

Eileen was sexually and emotionally abused by her father starting at age two and sexually abused by her uncle starting at age four. “There was always that darkness inside me, but I didn’t know the root cause for all of it. The floodgates of my memory opened. I spent most of my 20s in a lot of pain and trying to find my way out.”

Brian’s Story

Brian Johns was repeatedly sexually abused by a trusted older family member, starting at the age of five. Like many men and boys who are survivors of sexual abuse, Brian has faced a specific set of challenges.

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