Beaumont sexual assault survivors share stories at Rape & Suicide Crisis Center of Southeast Texas vigil

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Editor’s Note: The following story includes brief mentions of sexual assault and rape.

Ashley Trahan says therapy saved her life.

The Beaumont native and author of Break the Silence: Setting Captives Free by Sharing My Story was molested as a child and later raped.

“(Therapy) taught me how to manage the trauma that had happened to me and (gave me) the strategies and tools to be able to succeed in life.”

Therapy, however, did not fix her underlying issues, she said. She was addicted to ecstasy and made suicide attempts for many years, in addition to many other obstacles.


“If you do not heal from trauma, it will continue and show up in different areas of your life,” Trahan said. “I would start jobs, quit them. I would start projects and quit them. I couldn’t complete anything. I had a problem with authority. There were a lot of issues with relationships – not trusting people. I struggled with homosexuality. I ended up prostituting. However, in 2017, God answered my prayer.”

Trahan said that God told her that she needed to be delivered and healed of hurt, unforgiveness, rejection, abandonment, and self-sabotage. So, she went to a 21-week deliverance program and has since become someone who speaks up about the issue.

She has also become a writer. 

She was just one survivor who shared her story during a vigil for sexual assault awareness put on by the Rape & Suicide Crisis Center of Southeast Texas earlier this week.

Trahan and Trudy Jacobs, both members of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, shared their stories after  an introduction, welcome and announcements and before a candle lighting and a prayer led by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church priest, Father James Pevehouse.  

Like Trahan, Jacobs experienced childhood sexual abuse for many years and was raped as an adult. She endured in silence for a long time before her brother helped her to get help.

In 2017, she made a resolution to be more positive.

“I felt like I was being negative and wanted to get better with my life and be a better person,” Jacobs said. “I started doing speeches and helping others, and that has really given me another purpose in life – to help others to overcome and achieve things in life and know that whatever happens to you, it is not your fault.”

The biggest message she wants to share is that a person is not their past, nor do they have to be defined by the things that others have done to them. Now she advocates for those who have gone through similar experiences.

And she agrees with Trahan about one very important part of a survivor’s healing.

“The whole forgiveness thing? It’s real,” she said. “It does help if you can forgive – not for that person, but for yourself. So, I have finally gotten to that point and feel good and know that there’s so much more out there than the trauma that destroyed me.” 

The hosts lit their candles and shared the light with others in attendance. Everyone shared their fire with the person behind them until all those seated had a light.

Then Pevehouse prayed to “the God who always remembers and stands with the brokenhearted,” asking for the courage to labor for justice.

“God of endless love – ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just, we remember before you the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind and spirit…,” he said. “Soothe their restless hearts with hope. Steady their shaken spirits with faith. Grant them justice for their cause, enlightened by your truth. You are the Comforter of Hearts – heal your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness.”

The crisis center operates a 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-800-793-2273.

 

https://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/SETX-crisis-center-hosts-sexual-assault-vigil-17132183.php

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