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    Sexual assault victim visits ‘Dagger’ brigade to share and inspire

    Sexual assault victim visits ‘Dagger’ brigade to share and inspire

    Photo By Sgt. Takita Lawery | Command Sgt. Maj. Lisa M. Haney, senior noncommissioned officer of the 299th Brigade...... read more read more

    FORT RILEY, KS, UNITED STATES

    10.19.2016

    Story by Sgt. Takita Lawery 

    19th Public Affairs Detachment

    Soldiers of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, welcomed a victim of sexual assault to speak and to promote awareness of the debilitating effects of sexual violence Oct. 19 and 20 at Morris Hill Chapel on Fort Riley.

    Michelle Corrao, then Michelle Meyer, was attacked and sexually assaulted on the night of Sept. 12, 1996, when she was coming from work and entering her apartment.

    “I want to introduce you to Michelle Meyer,” Corrao said.

    Corrao is the assistant director at Prevail, an organization that specializes in helping victims of domestic and sexual abuse. She spoke with the “Dagger” brigade to address the pain and experience that victims of violent crimes endure and the way she overcame her brutal ordeal and how she learned to cope and survive.

    “We need to let people know what resources there are to increase the sexual assault report rate,” she said. “Experiencing sexual violence is not easy to report, but there is hope and it will get better.”

    Corrao told her personal story of past abuse by going into graphic details about what happened that night.

    “I felt like my life was over,” Corrao, a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, said. “I will never know who Michelle Meyer might have been.”
    A year passed before Corrao recovered enough physically and emotionally to begin rebuilding her life.

    “Speaking in public to different audiences has really gotten easier and easier for me,” Carrao said. “It helps me through the healing process and I know it’s making a difference (for) my listeners.”

    Corrao said her main purpose for becoming a public speaker was to encourage more victims to find the strength to come forward after a sexual assault.

    “It’s essential that we are committed to sexual assault prevention,” said Sgt. Isaac Evans, a medic and audience member assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. “We as service members have access to unlimited resources to ensure that victims receive the best help and support offered.”

    Corrao credits counseling, support from friends and family and her faith for helping her slowly move forward past the pain and suffering she endured.

    “To be able to open up and talk things out with the people who care about you helps tremendously,” she said.

    Evans said he feels like it is essential for everyone to do what must be done to prevent sexual assault.

    “Today was a first-hand look at sexual assault from a victim’s point of view,” Evans said, “and it was extremely moving.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.19.2016
    Date Posted: 10.25.2016 14:54
    Story ID: 212883
    Location: FORT RILEY, KS, US 

    Web Views: 136
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN