MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW)-April is sexual assault awareness month and there have been various events on the Grand Strand to raise awareness and raise money for victims. News13 spoke with a young lady named Helen who recently stopped hiding behind her shame and guilt of being a victim.
She says she’s not a victim anymore, she’s a survivor. Helen’s first childhood memory was her uncle inappropriately touching her.
The abuse went on for years because she said she didn’t know the behavior was not normal.
Scars from Helen’s childhood carried over into her adult life impacting the way she felt about herself.
Within the last year, Helen says she’s overcame her biggest obstacle and she’s never had a more freeing experience.
“I think the moment I knew I was moving forward was when I looked at my abuser and my rapist and I said I forgive you. In that moment, the look on his face and how I felt, I don’t think I will ever feel like that again. The weight of years and years of the pain of the shame of the memories and everything I felt was gone. I’m still hurt by this. I still struggle with this at times. I have nightmares I have flashback but it doesn’t bother me as much anymore,” said Helen Tran.
For those trying to start their own healing process, Helen said her first step was accepting what she couldn’t change.
“How I feel and what I’ve done is that I hope it works for others. I’ve accepted that it happened, I’ve accepted that I cannot change it and that I need to move forward from it. I don’t need to put it in a box, I don’t need to hide it, I don’t need to be ashamed of it. It was not in my control. There was nothing I could have done any differently and just accept that it happened.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually abused and needs help can call the rape crisis center anytime day or night at 843-448-7273.
Saturday there will be a walk to increase awareness of sexual abuse and how people are impacted by it. It’s at Sharkey’s beach bar on North Ocean Avenue and starts at 9 A.M.