April is sexual assault awareness month, a time to let people know more about sexual violence and how to help prevent it.
SaBrina Danquah, a sexual assault survivor, says coming forward with her story might be the single best thing she could’ve ever done for herself.
When you ask Danquah about what it was like to come forward with her sexual assault story, she says although it was difficult, she’s glad she opened up.
“Extremely difficult. I don’t even know that I could actually put it into words how difficult it was, but when I did, it was probably one of the best things I could ever do for myself,” Danquah said.
Danquah didn’t come forward for 30 years to the Horry and Georgetown Counties Rape Crisis Center, and that’s something that’s common with victims.
“They may be parents at the time, and they may be thinking, their child may be becoming of the age that they were when they were abused, and they may really start to come forward because they want to find out what can I do to recognize these signs, so that the same thing won’t happen to my child, it won’t happen again,” said Bevelyn Mitchell, outreach and awareness coordinator for the Rape Crisis Center.
“You know, you hear the saying as a child, it takes a village. That doesn’t stop at just being a child, because adults need villages too,” said Danquah. “Adults need support systems, adults need somebody to lean on and depend on.”
Mitchell says survivors are more likely to come forward now than years ago.
“I think more people are educated about sexual assault, and I think that they are coming forward now, and they’re reporting more,” said Mitchell. “People aren’t keeping it, and you know, of course, you know, the Me Too Movement has a lot to do, you know, with why a lot of people are coming forward.”
And what advice does Danquah have for those who may not want to come forward, like she did?
“Don’t let it, you know, overpower your life, because then that means that you’ve given them that power,” she said. “And, you’ve got to take your life back, so you just got to make sure that, you know, again, you’ve got to have that support. Your first step is just reaching out.”
Danquah is in school now and has a goal to become a psychologist, to help other survivors going through exactly what she went through.
Horry and Georgetown Counties’ Rape Crisis Center has a hotline for those who feel like they want to come forward with their survival story.
Click here to get more information about the center and how they can help.