My name is Lauren Bimmlet. I am 27 years old, a Navy veteran and a rape survivor. When I was 17, I was raped in the backseat of a car. I had come from a friends graduation party and his friend offered to take me home. I was a little under the influence and he seemed nice so I said yes. I was going in and out of consciousness but I came fully to when I realized he had pulled the car over on the side of the road. Next thing I knew i was put in the back seat and he was raping me. I was a virgin. I remembered seeing a car drive by and I tried to wave it down but I couldnt move my arms. After it was done he told me to get in the front seat and he drove me home. I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. I thought if I had convinced myself that it didnt happen, I would forget that it happened, I would forget the pain. I didnt tell anyone until almost 9 years later. I started having nightmares and I saw him in my dreams. I knew I needed help. I sought out counseling and I told myself over and over, I could either be a victim or a survivor. I chose to be a survivor. I saw your documentary and it gave me strength. It gave me a voice. I wasnt able to speak about my rape without having a panic attack. Now when I speak about it, I realize it wasnt my fault. I was not to blame. You have given me strength and I cannot thank you enough. You set me free.
— Lauren, age 27