Dr. Christine Blasey Ford waited almost 40 years before coming forward to say she was sexually assaulted. WMAR 2 News spoke to one woman who waited almost three decades before she shared her own story and explains why so many victims wait and others never get the courage to talk about what happened to them.
Ashley Horner is the founder of Anchored Souls, an organization devoted to helping victims of all kinds of trauma. She's also a sexual assault survivor who is dedicated to being the hope for those who feel they don't have a voice.
"It was part of my healing process just opening up sharing my story and in doing so, as I started to share my story, my audience grew."
An audience touched by sexual trauma, looking to regain normalcy.
"As we continue to talk about these difficult topics, the more of us that speak, the louder we are, the bigger the impact. If it's just that they need somebody to listen. Sometimes it's just a matter of knowing that somebody believes you."
Something many sexual assault survivors are afraid they won't find.
"At a very young age, I experienced the trauma of being sexually molested for a period of almost 10 years."
Horner never hid her story of sexual abuse and rape which started at the age of 10 from her own family. In fact, Horner's daughter came from that nightmarish time.
"When I found out I was pregnant, there was no question. I've always loved her, for her, not how she came to be," said Horner.
Her abuser was someone she trusted. Someone she couldn't bring herself to bring to justice because of the control she says he had.
"It was someone trusted in the community, someone trusted by my family and no one would've ever thought that this person could be so evil. At 17, I'm then also being told by the individual that I'm going to go to jail, you have to undo this, you're the only person that can fix this and i recanted. When I found out I was pregnant, I went back to the court system and they basically said, who's going to believe you now?"
Now left to raise a child, Horner stayed quiet.
"You just need somebody to listen because that in itself is hard. iI's hard to open up it took me 29 years."
And that's why Horner started Anchored Souls, an organization to help anyone dealing with trauma.
"I've gone through all this for some reason, so let me turn this into something good and if I can help one person, then I've achieved my goal."
She said healing is a process and hopes her story will one day save someone else.
"There is just an internal scar that just never goes away. My expertise is based on experience only and what I've been through and how I'm able to offer my shoulder and my ears. I'm giving a space, a platform that people just don't have to feel alone anymore," Horner said.
Horner said she's still healing from her trauma but she has a two sons from her first marriage and is now happily remarried.