Southeast University sexual assault survivors find their voice t - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast University sexual assault survivors find their voice through writing project

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

It can be difficult for victims of sexual assault to come forward, but survivors at Southeast Missouri State University are sharing their experiences on March 23.

Not only are they talking about it, but they are writing it down.

It's called Project Unbreakable.

Survivors are shedding light on what they call the positive and negative words that will stay with them forever.

"It's something that I've never told anyone before, even though, I have been talking about it for years now," said survivor and Southeast student Jessica Strunk.

Words that normally don't leave a journal.

Survivors at Southeast Missouri State University share the words of their attackers.

"We've had a few people come by that have never told anyone, and writing it down was the very first time they've actually had to look at it," said Lynsea Casey, a graduate assistant for Campus Violence Prevention.

Strunk says her rapist was a friend.

"I'd known him for years. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know who to tell."

But it was the words of her mother that meant the most.

"She understood that she didn't know what I was going through, and she just wanted me to tell her what can she do, and it meant so much. That really helps more than anything," Strunk said.

"This is a good way for other people to see what survivors go through, and to see the pain and the experience, and recognize the trauma that they've endured," said Casey.

"It's quite emotional. I literally almost felt like crying when I saw some of the statements. . Doing this kind of project is a way is to communicate to people – first, that it's wrong, second, that this happens, and we need to work together," said University President Carlos Vargas said.

Strunk says sharing can be difficult, but writing it out helps to let it go.

"It's not a secret. It's not something I'm ashamed of, and being able to help other people using my own experiences has meant everything to me," Strunk said.

The women say they hope this will help others understand what survivors go through, and how others can help.

"A lot of people don't know what to say because it's such a harsh issue, and just asking how you can help makes so much of a difference," Strunk.

The group got the idea through a blog on Tumblr.

If you'd like to participate click here.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Volunteer training at Paducah Warming Center

    Volunteer training at Paducah Warming Center

    Saturday, October 21 2017 3:54 AM EDT2017-10-21 07:54:01 GMT
    (Source: KFVS)(Source: KFVS)

    With colder temperatures now here, Paducah Warming Center at the Community Kitchen is offering two volunteer training sessions. The sessions are set to be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 6 and 13 at the Community Kitchen, located at 1237 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

    With colder temperatures now here, Paducah Warming Center at the Community Kitchen is offering two volunteer training sessions. The sessions are set to be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 6 and 13 at the Community Kitchen, located at 1237 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

  • 1 detained, car seized following deadly Reynolds Co., MO shooting

    1 detained, car seized following deadly Reynolds Co., MO shooting

    Friday, October 20 2017 11:36 PM EDT2017-10-21 03:36:28 GMT
    (Source: Sherae Honeycutt, KFVS)(Source: Sherae Honeycutt, KFVS)

    Authorities say one person has been detained, but this person is not under arrest. There is still an ongoing search for a second person, according to the sheriff's office. 

    Authorities say one person has been detained, but this person is not under arrest. There is still an ongoing search for a second person, according to the sheriff's office. 

  • I-57 NB closure in Williamson Co, IL

    I-57 NB closure in Williamson Co, IL

    Friday, October 20 2017 9:25 PM EDT2017-10-21 01:25:49 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    Illinois State Police and IDOT are shutting down the northbound lanes of the interstate about five miles south of Marion in Williamson County. 

    Illinois State Police and IDOT are shutting down the northbound lanes of the interstate about five miles south of Marion in Williamson County. 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Charges, insults fly after Trump aide assails congresswoman

    Charges, insults fly after Trump aide assails congresswoman

    Friday, October 20 2017 4:12 AM EDT2017-10-20 08:12:41 GMT
    Saturday, October 21 2017 7:45 AM EDT2017-10-21 11:45:00 GMT

    White House chief of staff John Kelly delivered a raw and searing monologue Thursday about the reality and pain of war sacrifice, praising those who serve and summoning the 2010 death of his own son to defend President Donald Trump against accusations of insensitive outreach to a grieving military family.

    White House chief of staff John Kelly delivered a raw and searing monologue Thursday about the reality and pain of war sacrifice, praising those who serve and summoning the 2010 death of his own son to defend President Donald Trump against accusations of insensitive outreach to a grieving military family.

  • Teacher hit with brick after confiscating student's phone

    Teacher hit with brick after confiscating student's phone

    Friday, October 20 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-10-20 06:00:06 GMT
    Friday, October 20 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-10-20 06:00:06 GMT

    The student’s mother is facing several charges, including aggravated assault, in connection to the incident.

    The student’s mother is facing several charges, including aggravated assault, in connection to the incident.

  • Defiant Torrey McNabb held up middle fingers, saved final words for AL before execution

    Defiant Torrey McNabb held up middle fingers, saved final words for AL before execution

    Friday, October 20 2017 11:21 AM EDT2017-10-20 15:21:20 GMT
    Torrey McNabb (Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)Torrey McNabb (Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)

    The Alabama Department of Corrections executed Torrey McNabb Thursday night for his conviction in the 1997 murder of Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon.

    The Alabama Department of Corrections executed Torrey McNabb Thursday night for his conviction in the 1997 murder of Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon.

Powered by Frankly