Sexual Assault Survivor Speaks Out
President Obama demands more attention be directed toward sexual violence and prevention. A proclamation was signed in early 2013 to help bring light to such a tragic reality.
It was a frightening moment for the once 20-year-old-girl, and it makes her a part of the troubling statistic that shows 1-in-6 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime, 1-in-4 of whom are in college.
"He took it upon himself to let me know I was going to be controlled because I told him I wasn't, and that's when he took it upon himself to sexually assault me to prove me wrong," said Tasia Aden.
Tasia Aden was sexually assaulted in 2004 while she was in college. All these years later, she remembers the incident like it was yesterday.
"He slammed the door and locked it behind him, which made me instantly nervous. He approached me screaming that I should never talk to him like that, and now I will be taught a lesson -- that he will rule me! He forced himself on me as I screamed 'NO!' I knew I was alone. It took him a little over 10 minutes to turn my world upside down. I was dead inside," shared Aden.
What has come out of such a horrific event is what makes this story remarkable.
"My life is better now, and I think that's kind of hard for people to understand because how can you go through this and say your life is better? It actually helped me grow as a person. I'm more confident. I'm discovering who I am. Stepping out, and finding my voice, has been very powerful for me," shared Aden.
Finding a voice is what counselors want every victim to do because it's what helps in the long-run.
"Know that you're not alone, and that it will be very helpful to you to seek some assistance. It will help fast-forward you through some of the negative symptoms or experiences that you're feeling," said LeAnn Obrecht, director of UNK's counseling center.
Once Aden was able to find her voice, and begin speaking to hundreds of people about her experience, it allowed her to become everything she wanted to be.
"I'm a better parent. My husband and I have two boys and one thing I have learned during our second pregnancy is that we were told we were having a girl. I had a panic attack because I was very fearful that things could happen to her…like what happened to me. We gave birth to a boy, but I think the entire situation woke me up in knowing that I need to receive help of my own," stated Aden.
"Your story matters. I think that is huge for survivors to hear and understand," continued Aden. "I think for so long they have been told that they do not matter, that what is going on doesn't matter, and that they don't have the right to tell anyone what's going on. Just telling them that they can share their story in a safe place and be loved is pretty powerful."
REPORTER'S NOTE: "The Teal Lotus Project" will be hosting their annual run for sexual violence awareness on April 27th. For more information, and for registration details, visit their web site at http://www.theteallotusproject.com.