By George Markfelder (JFHQNCRMDW)April 18, 2014
More than a thousand servicemembers and federal civilian employees from the Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington listened to the horrific experience of Monika Korra's sexual assault during a training seminar at Joint Base Myer - Henderson Hall concerning rape and abuse in our society.
Monika Korra is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Monika Korra Foundation. After she was kidnapped and raped in 2009, she decided she would not be defined as a victim the rest of her life and began speaking up about the rape. Monika found that not only did she empower herself, but her voice gave other survivors their voice back.
"I will not let my rage define me," said Korra. "The night of the rape they took all my things from me, but not my spirit. It is possible to get back up; it is possible to come back."
Within days of the attack, the three attackers were arrested. Almost a year after the assault one of her attackers received 25 years in prison and the other two received life in prison.
She waited until the last man was sentenced before going public and talking to the press. "I wanted to speak up right away, but I was advised not to speak out until after the last trial was finished," said Korra.
She explained to her audience that when she found out how rare it is for rape victims in the United States to go public, she then knew how important it would be to let her story now have a name and a face for people to see her as a person, and not just a statistic.
The young woman from Norway explained that parts of her recovery, involved the immediate involvement of her friends and family.
"I called my friends and family the next day, and they all said, 'We will get through this together,'" said Korra. "I never felt as though I was alone, and that was very important to me."
In 2012, Monika graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.S. in Applied Physiology and a minor in psychology. That same year, she also became a rape victim advocate through Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center's volunteer training program.
Monika is a certified ACSM Health and Fitness Specialist and currently works as a personal trainer and running coach. She is also in the process of completing a book about her experience and healing.