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Sexual Assault survivor uses experience to help others heal

You may have seen #MeToo on your newsfeed lately. The internet phenomenon encourages people to share their sexual assault or harassment stories.

One local woman and award winning author is now using her experience to help others heal and raise awareness.

Celebrities and even local leaders are sharing their sexual assault stories and encouraging others to do the same.

For Benoni Martinez, these stories hit close to home.

Me too are two words that may have recently been filling your newsfeed and have been spreading like wildfire after sexual assault allegations were made against the film maker Harvey Weinstein.

“This is great,” says Martinez. “It’s very important to understand how powerful it is to share your story because that story is going to get to somebody that never shared their story.”

Martinez is a sexual assault survivor and advocate at UMOS Latina Resource Center.

“I was sexually assaulted by a family member when I was five-years-old,” says Martinez.

She says the assault continued into her teenage years.

“My mom did not believe me,” explains Martinez. “I was going through all this mess growing up and did not find a way to heal the easy way.”

Until Martinez says she found UMOS, a place she felt safe. It’s also where she realized she wanted to share her story, which she did in a book called ‘The Little Girl inside the Closet’.

“When people read it they say it makes them feel like they need to talk to,” says Martinez.

It’s a dialogue Martinez is glad to see spreading through social media.

“If I made it, you can too,” says Martinez. “But it’s not okay to stay quiet.”

You can learn more about Martinez’s story and over her book here.

For more information on the Latina Resource Center click here

You can find more resources here


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