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Young woman could use help after ordeal

Editor's note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency that could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

This college student has struggled emotionally, physically and financially since she was raped.

Throughout the yearlong legal process that put the perpetrator in jail, the 24-year-old woman shed so many pounds that her clothes no longer fit. She worked at a well-paying job when assaulted, but she lost it amid the stress of her ordeal. Unable to cope with college coursework, the woman dropped her classes and has moved in with a friend while she looks for a more affordable apartment.

This woman’s losses are all too prevalent among rape victims, said Susan Moen, executive director of the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team. So is the harassment this woman endured from the rapist’s friends and family, added Moen.

Even people whom this woman considered her friends refused to believe that a “nice guy” — popular in the local community — could commit such a crime, let alone multiple times. Yet this woman accomplished what so few do, said Moen, by seeking and obtaining justice.

Despite being so drained, the woman is determined to regain her formerly full life. She has upcoming job interviews, but her car is unreliable, needing a few significant fixes. She also lacks professional clothing that fits her thinner frame. Gift cards for department stores, an auto-repair shop and gas would speed her on the road to healing.

Attending counseling also would help her manage the trauma she suffered, said Moen. She draws strength from hoping that her role in the rapist’s conviction brought some comfort to other victims. SART works with Rogue Valley hospitals and support groups to provide free care for victims of sexual assault.

To help, call Moen at 541-840-0904.

Young woman could use help after ordeal