TULSA, Okla. -- Domestic Violence Intervention Services saw more than 100 new walks ins over the last year.
One DVIS advocate did not want to show her face on camera, but said sharing her story is what helped with recovery over the last 14 years. As a freshman in high school she was assaulted. The survivor said three classmates held her down while the fourth raped her.
"I blamed myself. Maybe if I hadn't have worn that shirt, or maybe I led them on. I blamed myself," she said.
She waited a year before telling anyone. At that point, the victim was told it was too late to prosecute and she sought out DVIS as a resource.
"When you don't feel safe in your own body, you don't feel safe anywhere. Everywhere I turned I saw his face. It was a terrible feeling," she said.
Staff at DVIS don't believe more assaults are happening. Rather, they say more victims are speaking out. As the culture changes, the center is adding to the crisis team and they plan to hire more counselors.
"There's a lot more permission for people to come forward with the thought that they'll be believed. I think some of the things happening nationally with the Me Too movement has really encouraged people to come forward," Vice President of Clinical Services Missy Iski said.
The DVIS survivor started by speaking with counselors, then joined outreach efforts at the center. She said with more voices, they can potentially stop other assaults before they happen.
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