Why I speak publicly about my experience
During my three years of silence after my rape, I was numb and miserable. It wasn't until I told someone about my experience that I actually began living again. I cried real tears for the first time and my life began to make sense. Every time I tell someone about my rape, I take a little bit more control back from the rapist. I feel strong and courageous, where I once felt weak.
Where I have told my story
My first telling experience was during my freshman year of college. I wrote a mini-biography on Tori Amos for an English class and did a presentation on my work. I stood up in front of the class and said, "The reason I wrote about Tori was because I was raped four years ago." And I didn't cry, which was a miracle at the time.
My next telling experience was my sophomore year in college, at Take Back the Night. I was the only survivor who spoke and this time, I did cry. But it was good to get up and talk, even if I was a sobbing mess for a while afterwards.
I also spoke on a show called Trackers, on the Oxygen channel. I was a call-in guest for their show about sexual assault.
One of my speaking experiences was for a girl who is doing a paper on rape. She was looking for stories for a scrapbook. I wrote something for her, and you can read it here.
I was interviewed for an article in Teen People Magazine. You can read that here. I was photographed for the Faces of Rape and Sexual Abuse Survivors project in September of 2001 and I appeared on The Montel Williams Show in January of 2002 to talk about teenagers and sexual violence.
Are you organizing a speak-out or presentation about rape?
I work with Laura Hartley, from I Sang Holy Holy, Kellie Greene from SOAR and Shannon from Welcome to Barbados to help find survivors for speaking engagements around the US. If you are organizing an event and want to get in touch with sexual assault survivors, please email me, Laura, Kellie or Shannon and we will be more than happy to help you.