Sarah was raped at the age of 18 at the end of her senior year in high school.
She had showed up for what she thought was a social gathering, but quickly realized she was the only one invited. He was a cousin of her friend, so she thought she would be safe, but the situation quickly became volatile. She became trapped and felt her life was in danger. She had to do what he wanted, or she knew she would not survive. Sarah was forced. She felt physically and emotionally crushed. She had been raped. Later that night, she went back to her family’s home and went straight to her bedroom, closed the door, and cried. She never thought she would find herself in this situation.
A couple of years went by when her assailant found her and began to stalk her. He knew where she lived, knew what car she drove, and where she worked. When Sarah had the opportunity to leave her hometown, she did.
Sarah spent over a decade hiding from her secret. She lived her life, and thought it was her best life - but was just running away from her past and her suppressed emotions. She had difficulty completing things; she dropped out of college; was in and out of hardworking, low-paying jobs; and found herself just getting by. After learning she was pregnant, Sara decided to move back to her hometown to get additional support from her family. But moving back to her hometown forced her to face buried emotions.
Sarah began doubting herself as a mother, a partner, and a person. She doubted her future and what she could accomplish. She was filled with fear about how she could be a mother to a boy after being a survivor of rape. She questioned how she would be able to raise a son in this world to be an outstanding person, who would be respectful to all people, and understand what is right from wrong. Sarah’s emotions finally came to a boiling point one evening when she had a panic attack. It was then that she realized that she needed help.
Without insurance, she didn’t know what resources were available to her. But then, she found Families First.
At the beginning of her therapy, Sarah was very depressed and physically inactive to the point that she could hardly change her clothes at the end of the day. She was skeptical of therapy, but knew she had to give 100% in her sessions if she wanted to get better. Slowly, Sarah found her happy self again.
Today, Sarah’s parents and friends remind her that this happy person is who they knew before she was raped. Sarah says she is finally able to be herself and is truly happy with who she is as a person, a mom, a wife, a friend. Today she has confidence and has taken control of her professional career by going back to school to create a stronger, healthier future for herself and her family.
Sarah finally told her parents what had happened over a decade ago and was also able to have constructive conversations with her husband who comes from a culture where the survivor is often blamed. She no longer has the weight on her shoulders, the weight of what she was running from for so long.
“I was really sick. I was emotionally sick. It was only because of Families First that I was able to become myself again. I am making steps that I would have never dreamed of a year ago. I am truly thankful every single day for what Families First has done for me and for my family.”
If you have been assaulted and are in need of help, please call 317-634-6341 and ask to speak to a sexual assault advocate or call our 24-hour Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 833-338-SASS.