Maryville teen hopes her story will inspire others to speak out about sexual assault

Crisis workers say support is crucial

Kansas City, MO - It's taken Daisy Coleman more than a year to get the courage to go behind countless camera lenses and tell her story.

"I felt really weak, warn down, just like wasn't' worth anything," Coleman said.

So far, thousands have heard her speak out about allegedly being raped then dumped on her front yard by several classmates who say it was all consensual.

"It's been really shocking how many people have heard and how many people are speaking out now even about their stories," she said.

Now, Coleman hopes that will inspire others to not only understand her story, but to also come forward.

"It's just amazing to have so much support," she said.

Julie Donelon with the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault is seeing some effect.

"We've had a lot of calls from volunteers who work here to see how they can show their support," Donelon said.

She and her team at MOCSA work around-the-clock counseling rape survivors and while she's glad to hear Coleman's story getting so much attention, she said there's a chance it will scare people from speaking up.

"Survivors are seeing how ugly people can be when they come forward with an allegation," Donelon said.

That could be the reason why the phones at the MOCSA crisis center haven't been ringing any more than usual. But after news that Coleman's case may be reopened, many there expect that to change.

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