More than 2 million Texans say they've been a victim of sexual assault. In East Texas alone the numbers are staggering. The East Texas Crisis Center says last year they helped more than 600 victims of sexual assault. Those growing numbers are why April 20th has been chosen as "A Day To End Sexual Violence.
To show support for others battling the pain of sexual abuse, one East Texan has decided to share her story of survival and healing with you.
Her name is Kaye Sheetz. She became a victim when she was just 12. She says the assault still effects her today.
"Just yesterday I felt as if someone had cut my gut open and pulled it over my head," she says.
For years Kaye said she masked her pain.
"I have been walking around for a long time with my gut hanging open; striving to hide and keep it all in. It didn't work it messed up my life."
Which is why today, shes speaks openly about it with her counselors. Her abuser was the man who drove her to church every Sunday.
"He befriended me and made me feel special. I was his special angel."
The man took such an interest in Kaye, he took her in his home as a foster child. Kaye says that's when the abuse began. He assaulted her night after night for four years.
"It took away my value. I thought I was ugly. I thought I was God's joke."
Kaye eventually took legal action against her abuser, which helped her heal. She also found healing in the power of the pen.
"I pour my pain on paper and it's changed. I see how I have healed. Before my poems were full of pain and now they are full of hope."
That hope inspired her to share her story today, to let other victims of assault know the only way to heal is to face what happened.
"Going through the pain is hard, but the only way out the door is the way you came in."
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, and you need someone to talk to you can call the East Texas Crisis Center. There number is 903-509-2526.
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