Survivors speak out against sexual abuse - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Survivors speak out against sexual abuse

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Candice Litsey walked by rows of shirts Thursday night that were emblazoned with messages condemning sexual assault, something that's all too real for her.

"I was 15 so a lot of it was really difficult for me to comprehend. I didn't have much parental supervision; I grew up with a really low socioeconomic status so I didn't have any support," remembers Litsey.  

Her story was echoed by many other people at Georgia Regents University during the Take Back the Night rally.

Even through the hurt is still raw for many victims, they came together to share stories through tears and take a stand against sexual violence.

The group, which met on GRU's Summerville campus, lit candles for the victims of sexual assault.

For many people, the rally was a part of the journey from being a victim to becoming a survivor.

 Litsey says seeing her rapist has made it a long and sometimes painful journey.  

"Times that I'd see him I would have heart palpitations, I couldn't breathe, my mouth would get dry I'd go into shock. I once saw him in the mall and ran to the bathroom and stayed in there crying for about an hour," she said.  

She wanted to free from the anxiety she felt toward her rapist, so she started considering going to therapy.  

Litsey remembers thinking, "Maybe after therapy, there's a possibility that my rape and my rapist will no longer control me and my anger would no longer control me and it was worth a shot." Fox54's Mark Barber asked, "Standing here today, do those things control you?" Litsey said, "No."

Litsey says she's even forgiven her rapist, something she says her therapy helped her do.

Organizations such as Rape Crisis and SafeHomes offer therapy to victims of abuse. If you are in immediate danger, SafeHomes will get a temporary protection order for you. Rape Crisis has a 24-hour crisis line for survivors and victims at (706) 724 - 5200.

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