A Journey of Hope: Monica’s Story
Monica felt like her life was pretty normal before that night. As a single mom she kept busy with her kids, work, and social life, including a bit of online dating. She met a man online and after a background check, she agreed to meet him for a couple of drinks. She had two margaritas and split a third with her date. The last thing Monica remembered was the check coming before she blacked out.
“The next conscious moment I have was sitting in the passenger seat of my car while a complete stranger drove me home.”
It wasn’t until the next morning that she noticed her date-night clothes strewn about her car and started piecing together what had happened to her the night before. She knew she needed to go to the hospital to have a sexual assault exam. Thankfully, Monica was greeted by a Hospital Advocate from Alexandra House.
“She literally held my hand through the process.”
For the next five hours, the Hospital Advocate stayed with Monica assuring her and explaining the sexual assault exam and her options. She was able to give comfort to Monica during the scariest and loneliest moment of her life. After many hours of tests and questions, Monica was told by her Forensic Nurse Examiner that her experience was a textbook case of a date rape drugging. The news left her distraught and distressed. The Alexandra House volunteer offered Monica a resource packet of available services for victims of sexual violence. She let Monica know that what happened to her was not okay, and not her fault. Monica left the hospital exhausted, overwhelmed, and numb. But she also left with a sense of peace. She now knew there were people who would help her through her journey of healing. Monica’s Hospital Advocate gave her the resources she needed to begin that journey.
“I remember thinking, I can’t believe that someone signs up to do this. I’m so thankful she’s here to support me and to make this really horrible set of circumstances bearable.”
It took time, but Monica found healing. Her relationships with her children, family, and friends have begun to strengthen. She participated in a support group at Alexandra House, which inspired her to make a career change. She is now focused on helping people live healthy lives.
“My mission in my work is to always leave people better than I found them, much like Alexandra House did with me.”
Last year, in Anoka County, law enforcement investigated 525 reported sexual assaults. Sexual violence has a profound impact on the physical and mental health of victims/survivors. Through a combination of staff and professionally trained volunteers, Alexandra House responds 24/7 to Mercy and Unity Hospitals and local Allina medical clinics 365 days a year to provide immediate support to victims during physical and sexual assault evidentiary exams. Advocates help victims/survivors with safety planning, accessing shelter, and assistance in reporting to law enforcement. We also provide legal advocacy services and offer several weekly support groups. For those who receive the help they need, there are hundreds more that don’t. Alexandra House is struggling to serve more people with fewer resources as we have experienced a decrease in funding.
If you have given recently, thank you so much for your support! If you have not made a year-end contribution to Alexandra House, and would like to, please consider joining our Luminary Society. The Luminary Society is a monthly giving program that allows donors to make a contribution each month through a checking account, credit, or debit card. Monthly giving reduces administrative costs so that more of your valued donation can directly benefit victims and survivors like Monica. However you choose to give, it is deeply appreciated and will help strengthen our community so that we may, one day, see an end to domestic violence. Please take a moment to make your contribution today.
“I can’t fathom how differently my life would be had I not had the help of Alexandra House.” — Monica
AS YOU CONSIDER THE SIZE OF YOUR YEAR-END GIFT, PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE MAGNITUDE OF THE CHALLENGE OUR COMMUNITY IS FACING:
- In 8 out of 10 cases the victim knew the perpetrator
- Nationally, 1 in 4 women will experience sexual violence
- 81% of women who have experienced sexual assault report significant short or long-term mental health impacts