“He was my best friend, and I trusted him with my life. And he took advantage of me. When I saw him walk into the courtroom, he had his head held high with not a single look of remorse on his face. Seeing his face again made me feel ashamed all over again, that I was the one to blame, that I was in the wrong. I had believed that for a long time, and I believed it again when I saw him. I was disgusted with myself and wanted to rip my skin off. I would scrub it abusively for ages as I cried in the shower. Having to re-live everything again was one of the hardest things that I had ever had to do. It took me a long time to realize that taking him to court was the right thing, but once I did I was so glad that I opened up about it. I went through an extremely painful relationship where I was taken advantage of, but it doesn’t define me as a person. I am so much more than that. Beauty can rise from ashes. I rose from the ashes, and so can you.”

Photo Courtesy: Katy Barnard

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