So, my first day as a volunteer advocate at my local Victims Service Center went well. They told me they would like to use me at the SATC (Sexual Assault Treatment Center) where I could be there to support the victims that come in for treatment within 72 hours after they've been assaulted. It will be my job to comfort them and provide them with information about what to expect next.

What to expect if she/he decides to report the assault.

What to expect if she/he decides not to report the assault.

What types of emotions and coping mechanisms they can expect.

What will happen if their case goes to trial.

Where they can look for victim's compensation.

But most importantly, I will be there to comfort them.

I didn't have a victims advocate when I was assaulted. I don't know why. Maybe I was offered one but I refused. I don't remember much about what happened after I was rescued. It was like my brain shut down once it knew I was safe. The only thing I do remember with acute clarity was Tina, my quiet comforter. Tina was a girl that I went to school with and for some reason that I still do not know, she was there with me.  She stood silently next to me while chaos broke loose around me. We barely spoke to each other but just having her near me was comforting. She wasn't an adult. She wasn't a police officer. She wasn't a paramedic. She was just a girl from my high school but she's the only person I remember clearly out of all of my rescuers from that day.

Maybe I can be that for somebody.

I have come such a long way since that day. Heck, I've come a long way since 2007 when I finally worked up the courage to share my story online. Back then it was still too painful to talk about. That's why I chose to write about it. But it wasn't just writing about it that made me feel better. It was interacting with other survivors online that made me realize that I wasn't a freak for feeling the way I did.

Back then I wasn't able to talk about how I was kidnapped and raped so I never went to counseling. I never had the courage to call a hotline or anything.  If there was an online hotline or support group I might have been all over that. But there wasn't...until now. Now there is a completely anonymous, online hotline that victims and their families can go to for support as well as information about recovery, medical issues, the criminal justice process, and local resources that can help them too. It is provided by RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network).

RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and it was named one of "America's 100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine. RAINN provides support through their hotlines, educates the public about sexual violence, and works with policy makers to improve the system for the victims. Many changes have come about since my assault in 1991 and RAINN played a huge part in that.

I personally am a proud supporter of RAINN as well as a member of their Speakers Bureau. If you are a victim of sexual violence or abuse, I strongly urge you to use one of RAINN's hotlines. You can call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or you can go online at

I wish I hadn't waited sixteen years before I started talking about my assault. I wish I hadn't allowed it to control so much of my life for so long. And I wish that my story will inspire others to come forward and end their silence as well.

There is power in your voice.

♥ Jurney Eve

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