Sexual Assault Victim in Hudson Finds Solace Using Social Media to Help Others

Updated: 06/02/2014 10:39 PM
Created: 06/02/2014 10:01 PM
By: Beth McDonough

It's a startling statistic: 1 in 6 women will be a victim of sexual assault.

Almost half of them, 44 percent, are 18 years and younger, according to the Department of Justice.

Meanwhile, a Hudson, Wis., teenager has kept her alleged attack secret for almost two years. That was until recently, when she found solace in social media.

A lot of people share what happens in their lives online.  Whether Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  It's powerful, efficient and reaches many people. 

It's why Josie Gall finally went public with what she says happened to her in private, "my rape is a burden I've carried with me for a longtime."

She connects with even more people online, "this generation now, my generation, we use social media for everything."

Gall felt compelled to tell her own truth, after learning the guy she says sexually assaulted her, violated another classmate this year.

First Gall told a teacher, then her family and then police. She soon told as many people as possible on Facebook, "it just disgusts me that this can continue happening and people don't think there's anything wrong with it, that's when I found my voice."

In the post, Gall claims she was violated by someone she knew at a house party. She filed a police report and officers investigated. 

And while the St. Croix County Attorney's office recently announced in a letter, it's not issuing criminal charges, Gall feels she did the right thing.

The Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault counsels survivors and says victims have different ideas of what they need to heal.  For some, it's traditional therapy. 

For others, it's sharing online, "I think the challenge of social media is once it's out there it's out there, " according to Yvonne Cournoyer with the MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Gall went on to say, "I think it's a healing process for me and I hope this story will spark someone's eye and make a difference in their lives."

Gall says she was floored by the responses. So many, her phone exploded with messages. Despite how public the internet is, Gall says she felt like it was a safe environment without judgment or criticism.

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