National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
  • NAESV C/O RALIANCE, 655 15th Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005
“You can rebuild your life after rape. But sometimes, you need a safe place to go to begin that process.”

On a family vacation near the Wisconsin Dells, Sasha Walters was raped by a 16-year-old boy staying with his family at a nearby cabin. She was 13. “I lost forever the person I was before that day. I learned that rapists take what they want, even if they look like – or literally are – the boy next door. They take your childhood, your innocence, and your spirit. I am so grateful that somehow I was able to hold on so tight to my own spirit. But it was very hard.”

“My biggest breakthrough in healing came years later, when I became involved in a local sexual assault program. It was awesome to learn that I had not been to blame because I had not explicitly said no, and to be reassured that crying and saying ‘Stop’ are forms of resistance, too. I remember when this happened to me I said that I was going to work to create a world where this could never happen to my little sister, Kim. That is why I became a social worker and became involved in the rape crisis movement. Reaching out to other survivors has been so important to my healing.”