NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Life after sexual assault can be an uphill battle for many survivors, but there’s a new nonprofit working to help by providing free access to mental health services.
“I still remember the day I first revealed it to my husband,” said survivor Bethany Lawson.
Lawson survived a fate.
“To be here now…to be able to help others, it’s just…it’s amazing,” she said.
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Ten years ago, she went on a date with a man who locked her in his home and sexually assaulted her.
“At one point, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m never going to get out of this house alive; like this person won’t let me go,’” Lawson said.
She was able to escape and months later, she made arrangements for therapy.
“It was amazing to sit down with someone and talk as little or as much about my experience as I needed in the moment,” Lawson said.
Therapy and music also helped her deal with past traumas that she had worked hard to bottle up.
“I was sexually abused as a child,” Lawson said. “I didn’t talk about it until I was 25.”
Now Lawson works to help others get the help they need.
She works as a counselor for a brand new non-profit organization called Help; To listen; Heal. They partnered with a mental health company called Thriveworks to provide six free therapy sessions for survivors.
“We are all very unique, and it takes a lot of compassion and understanding and a professional to help you through this trauma,” Lawson said.
The nonprofit is nationwide and can help survivors find a mental health care provider in person or online.
Lawson says she’s in a much better place now and knows other survivors can make it there too.
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“Having a professional who understands these feelings can help you sort it out and realize, ‘There’s nothing wrong with me; I’m not the only one to blame,” she said.
The nonprofit was officially launched last week.
If you are a survivor interested in getting free mental health services, you can register here.
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