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Blog on Sexual Assault Gets People Talking - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Blog on Sexual Assault Gets People Talking

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You never think the worst will happen to you. But when it does, it's not often easy to know who where you can turn.

That was the case for one young woman in the valley when the unthinkable happened.

Sexual assault is very real in our community; and it's kept much too quiet. That is, until she made her story public. Now she has people talking.

Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman shows us how one it only takes one voice to inspire change.

Once every two minutes someone falls victim to sexual assault. Statistically, in a room full of people, one in every six has survived.

"I never thought it happened here and, now, I feel completely silly for thinking that," Anna Rice said.

They're everywhere we are. They're people we know and love, our sons and daughters, our friends, they're people just like Anna Rice.

"Whenever they would have people over, I would just kind of hang out in my room by myself but for some reason one night I was like, well, I'll be social and hang out with everybody."

And the night that would change her life was just like any other.

"I was going to stay up and do some cleaning up after people and from that point right there, until I woke up in the truck, I don't remember anything."

Anna can only suspect she was drugged that night. She can only remember flashing images of the rape.

"When he pulled into my parking lot, I came to, and said, 'do you get what you just did?' He opened the door and shoved me out of the car and I fell onto the ground and drove away," she said. "I just couldn't talk at all, I just fell asleep that night and kept it in for a while."

It took months for her to tell her family, eventually filing a police report. But, once she started, she wasn't about to stop.

"Because I didn't do the right thing right away, I feel like it's just a series of really horrible events that just add up to nothing and nothing happens from them," she said.

More people needed to know. More people needed to talk. Two weeks ago, she posted a blog writing about the assault and telling her friends and family.

"The main page has been shared 157 times on Facebook."

And wouldn't you know it, people listened. Then, they responded.

"Anna, I've been wanting to contact you for about a year now but I haven't had the words. For one, I worry that you would be mad at me. I would probably be mad at me. Second, I worry you would judge me in similar ways that others have. Finally, I'm just scared," an anonymous reader wrote in.

Anna posts these as well, because they're not nameless numbers or faceless statistics. And because they're not alone.

"Only two-percent of women ever come forward. Period. And so, there's just tons of assailants just walking around without anything on their record," Anna said.

Each year, there are 207,754 cases of sexual assault recorded. Now, you know one.

"I think now, I feel pretty invincible."

Anna went through three investigations after coming forward with her assault. But, her assailant still walks free, in part, because after months of keeping it quiet Anna didn't have the DNA evidence to convict him. She wants her story to be an example to others to look for help immediately.

She'll be updating her blog with accounts of the investigation. You can read more by clicking here.

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