Joan


Content is being used for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted in the Content is a model

Being the first one in my family to get more than a high school education, I was always seen as the “perfect daughter.” My parents were concerned about how I would do in a big city after living in a small town my whole life, so they arranged for me to stay with a cousin and his family in Calgary while I went to school. One week into the fall term, I woke up in the middle of the night to find a family friend in my bedroom, choking me and sexually assaulting me. I was afraid he would hurt me if I called for help, so I lay still until he finally stopped and left. He threatened to kill me if I told anyone what happened. In the morning, my cousin’s wife noticed the bruise on my neck. I started crying, and I told her what happened, it all just came out. My family took me to a health centre where I could get medical care. They counseled me and gave me information about reporting to the police. After regular sessions with my counselor, a reduced course load, and the support of my family, I was able to keep going to school and get on with my life in a healthy way.

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