Abi shares her story of sexual assault to offer hope to others facing abuse.
Two instances of abuse shaped Abi's journey. A female babysitter first assaulted Abi when she was a child. "I didn't know it was wrong. I didn't know that adults (teenager) shouldn't do that." Between the ages of 4-and-6 years old, Abi's mom hired a family member to babysit her and her brothers. She remembers this teenage babysitter pretending that Abi was asleep.
Years later as a teenager herself she realized what happened and knew it was molestation. At the time, her boyfriend encouraged her to keep it hidden so the perpetrator and Abi's family wouldn't be "traumatized" by the revelation.
Eventually Abi was able to face the assault, understand how it impacted her, and begin healing.
Years later as a freshman in college, Abi was studying with a male classmate who assaulted her. Eventually she left the college. It wasn't until a class at a different school that Abi realized that services existed to help survivors heal from their experiences.
Both traumatic experiences affected Abi in different ways, which she shares in her conversation with DASAS Executive Director Rose Ludwick.
Abi's advice to assault victims: Find someone you can trust and talk.
Abi's advice to the world at large: Believe survivors when they open up. And listen.
Visit https://www.dasasmi.org/ for resources or call our 24-hour hotline at 800-828-2023.