Local woman who was raped, beaten stands for cause

Every 98 seconds someone in America is sexually assaulted. The Gulf Coast Center for Non-Violence is putting on a walk tomorrow for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

News 25’s Gina Tomlinson spoke to a victim on the Coast whose past is the reason she stands for the cause.

“I really at one point just said why don’t you just kill me and get it over with because it strips you, it strips your womanhood.” Around one hundred different victims of sexual assault seek help at the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Non-Violence every year. One victim was brave enough to share her story. “From being molested by two brothers and then going into an abusive relationship, it kinda made me feel like, is this how it’s supposed to be?”

This woman met the man she’d later run from at college on the Coast.  “It was my first relationship in life literally. It started with hitting.”

Like many other victims of sexual assault, the experiences this woman convinced herself were minor and isolated started happening more and eventually got worse. “Within four years, I think I was raped six times.”

In the long run, the victim was able to escape her situation, but the damage and scars left from being a victim of violence and sexual assault she’s still working to overcome decades later. “I was body slammed on a concrete floor. To this day I suffer from a chipped spinal cord at the very top of my spinal cord.”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and advocates want to make it known the women’s center is a source victims can turn to.  Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Stephanie Piper said, “Our services include counseling. We’ve got group counseling, individual counseling, and advocacy.”

Friday morning, starting at 9 in the Biloxi Lighthouse parking lot, there will be a walk to help end sexual violence. It’s free to attend and for a great cause, but here’s the catch: all genders must do the whole mile in high heel shoes.

Categories: Featured, Local News, News

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