Survivors of sex assault find new way to heal by sharing stories with worldwide audience

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DENVER -- Survivors of sex assault in Colorado are finding a new way to heal by sharing their stories with an infinite audience.

Today, they shared a new tool with dozens who crowded into the State Capitol for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“My grandfather started sexually abusing me at the age of 10,” said Suzy, a sexual assault survivor.

They are words that once wounded.

“On December 17, 2010, a man raped me and tried to kill me,” said Alyssa, another sex assault survivor who talked about an attack that also left her with a traumatic brain injury and pregnant.

But now, they are words that heal.

“The man who raped me left me to die on that cold December day. But he had no idea what strength was in wait,” Alyssa said.

They came to hear Alyssa and Suzy tell their stories, in their own words.

“Twelve years after he died, I was still afraid to tell my family,” Suzy said about her grandfather.

“My story is an epic story of finding help and hope and healing,” said Alyssa.

Their goal is to show the many forms of sexual violence.

CCASA says sexual violence can happen in marriages, among family, friends, acquaintances and strangers.

The group also knows their reach has become even larger. You can now turn to social media and the internet to hear these life-changing stories.

The women have spoken through the CCASA Digital Storytelling Project.

Women turn something so private, public—available to anyone to view on video.

“Every time I tell it (my story), I feel stronger. I feel like a part of me heals just a little bit more,” Alyssa said.

They hope it encourages other survivors to speak out too.

“I could not speak up all of my life. So I feel like every time I do it, I go a step forward, not backwards,” said Suzy.

They also want survivors to know, their stories aren’t over--their stories will have happy endings.

One in two Colorado women and one in four Colorado men will be victims of sexual violence in their lifetimes.

CCASA will release a new video every few days during April.

You can see them on their social media platforms, including Facebook, and their website.