YWCA Metro St. Louis

Survivor Stories

BT

Receiving help after a sexual assault can mean the difference between being a victim or a survivor. BT, a client, knows this first-hand. She was struggling with her sense of self and with experiencing healthy intimate relationships.

She had suffered years of abuse as a child at the hands of her father, and later in life by her husband. Finally, she sought the help she needed through the YWCA in September 2010. Her case manager noted that “she proved to be a very insightful client and allowed that skill to drive her therapy experience to help her become more comfortable with herself. She was committed to her treatment process and took each therapy session and assignment seriously.”

With the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder managed and a better understanding of her triggers, BT successfully completed her treatment in December. BT says that without the support of the individual and group counseling she received, “I’m not certain I would have been able to achieve a sense of balance and healing.”

Mary

A sexual assault survivor, we’ll call “Mary” came to us about four months ago. Mary is currently completing her first year of recovery from alcohol and crack. She came to the YWCA Women's Resource Center to work on dealing with her brutal sexual assault that took place when she was 15, and was then forced into prostitution. Mary later went on to survive a series of domestic violent relationships and is now in stable housing and working full time.

While Mary has overcome so much she still faces many challenges. She makes less than $9 an hour, has no car, and is fighting to regain custody of her children. Mary, with the help of staff, is exploring ways to improve her financial situation as well as the possibilities of owning a vehicle. Mary continues to attend each session on time and ready to work. Just this past week Mary discussed her struggles with losing everything− her marriage, kids and home− and being homeless. Mary says that her journey with the Sexual Assault Center has been amazing and that she is glad that she is ready to finally face her sexual assault and the impact it has had on her life.