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Friday, December 9, 2011

In the News: Sexual Assault Victim Takes a Brave Stand

Domestic violence comes unfortunately in many forms, affecting men and women of all ages, demographics and socioeconomic statuses. Among the uglier incidences are sexual assaults like rape. They're often unreported crimes that rob the victims of their sense of worth and emotional balance.

So it's pretty amazing to see how one sexual assault victim courageously identified herself in public (going against the understandable norm of being anonymous) and told her assailant she was the victor. Here's how the UK Daily Mail reported it today:

"The victim of a brutal sexual assault confronted her attacker in court and told him: 'I am not the victim, I'm the victor'. Heidi Damon waived her right to anonymity to be allowed to be filmed in court unleashing her anger as her attacker Javon Cooper was jailed for 15 years after attempting to kill and rape her.

The 40-year-old told Cooper, 18: 'I just want to tell you — and I want you to look at me when I address you — I woke up ecstatic today, happier than ever.'You know why? Because I'm alive. I'm alive, alive, alive.'You have not broken my spirit. You have not changed my belief in God. If anything, you've strengthened both. I am not a victim. I am the victor, the stronger and the winner.’"

Strong words for a woman who was accosted by a then 16-year-old Cooper in 2009 in a multi-storey car park in Ybor City, Florida, according to the UK Daily Mail. Stronger still is the truth behind them. Domestic violence can scar us but it doesn't have to break our spirits. Damon shows how she has moved on from being a victim. You can read the full story here.

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