Survivor Ally Alexander shares her story during Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 

Stories that Matter presents Ally Alexander, a survivor of sexually assault. Ally was sexually abused twice, in middle school and college. Since then, she has used her strength and support system to get through some of the most horrible moments in her life - but ultimately she survived. Ally wants other victims of sexual assault to know that: "You are not alone & I believe you. You are allowed to take as much time as you need to heal. Put all the blame on the perpetrator and not yourself."

Please share your story about child sexual abuse (please give as much information as you would like) 

In 8th grade I was sexually abused by someone I thought I could put so much trust in. It was my middle school softball coach. When I was 13 and 14, I was probably one of the most innocent kids in school and had no idea what was even happening at the time. The abuse went on for almost 2 years and it wasn’t until high school that I began to understand what had happened to me. In high school, I tried my best to push away those memories and keep them a secret. I always feared I would be in trouble for being in that situation and felt it was my fault. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I told my truth to anyone. Several years of memories and flashbacks finally caught up to me and the pain was just too much to bear. In 2016, I wanted to take my life because I felt there was no way out of the shame and sadness I was experiencing. I was hospitalized for a short period of time and still managed to finish my first year of college. Although I had overcome the abuse, I still had to face my daily battles with PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression. 

Please share your story about sexual assault in college (please give as much information as you would like)

In 2017, I was a sophomore in college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One evening I attended a party near Duke University where I had met a guy there. He seemed nice and later us and several others Ubered to a club near the university. After flirting with the guy I met, he wanted me to follow him back to his dorm in which I was a little nervous about but we had been drinking a little so I was fine with it. After walking back to the dorm, he decided we couldn’t go up to his room but instead pulled me into the downstairs lobby bathroom. I had not wanted to go in the bathroom because I didn’t want anyone to see us kissing, in which I thought that was all that was going to happen. I felt trapped and froze during the rest of the time, and he took advantage and assaulted me in the bathroom at the freshman dorm on campus. 

What are some of mental challenges that follow along with sexual abuse - how do you cope?

- PTSD, anxiety, depression, self-blame, guilt

- going to therapy weekly, spending time with my ESA, writing, devotionals, and bible

What tools, tactics, people, have you used to stay uplifted and get through these tough situations?

Online survivor support networks, online support chats, therapy, my family, and God

What would you tell other people that have experienced sexual abuse?

You are not alone & I believe you. You are allowed to take as much time as you need to heal. Put all the blame on the perpetrator and not yourself.

What does this month mean to you - sexual assault awareness month?

This month means a lot to me as an advocate and survivor. As sexual abuse has literally made such an impact on my life, it is definitely something I am passionate about spreading awareness for. During SAAM, I want survivors to know they have a voice and a support system behind them. 

Is there anything else that you would like to add? 

In 2018, I founded The S.C.A.R. Foundation, in which is an online community to spread awareness and support survivors of child sexual abuse. We advocate and share resources for all survivors in hopes to help with healing. 

IG: @thescarfoundation 

 

 

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