Tori Keeth Speaks Out For Mental Health Awareness Month

Four years ago, someone I loved and trusted raped me. It wasn’t just my physical safety that I lost: My emotions and mind were shattered. I lived in constant fear, pain, and anger after the assault, my world torn apart.

I told my mother what happened, and she immediately grabbed me and held me. She was strong for me. But like many victims, I questioned what I did to deserve to be hurt. Why wouldn’t someone I loved listen when I said “no” loudly, over and over? What could I have done to stop it?

I constantly blamed myself. I broke down from simply being touched by someone, or when I’d look at my reflection in the mirror and remember. It was on the first anniversary after the rape that I realized I suffered from PTSD.

I went through intense therapy for 18 months. I spent hours educating myself on sexual violence to help my healing process and so I could learn the language I needed to help others. I got angry about the stats – that one out of six women will experience sexual violence. One out of 10 men will be rape victims. I realized I wasn’t alone … but I also realized I could be more than another statistic.

Survivors like me have to live with this hurt for the rest of our lives. And just like mine, a lot of our abusers will continue to live a normal life. Even when we report sexual assault like I did, the system will continue to fail many of us, no matter how much evidence we present or pain we’re in.

Today, I use my platform to spread awareness about sexual violence so other survivors find tools for healing. Sharing my story came with shame, fear, and vulnerability at first. But when I heard from others who’d experienced the same, it helped so much. I wrote my song “Poison” for every survivor. I want to do what I can to make others feel heard and validated, less isolated, and empowered.

There are so many resources for help, advice, and outlets. At RAINN, hotlines are available 24/7. They advocate on behalf of survivors. And they educate communities on how to help those in pain.

I’m thankful my mother was my #1 supporter and advocate, and taught me to speak up. We can be here for victims facing mental health crisis because of sexual violence. There are more of us than you know … and each can use support to feel comfortable enough to face trauma that they’ve suppressed.

Thank you for helping give survivors that support.


Tori Keeth

Tori Keeth is an actress (Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules”, “Danger Force”, “The Message”), singer (“Poison”, “Sober”), and survivor of sexual violence.