Sharing her experience as a college student ...with other college students.
The following remain anonymous for purposes of protecting the individual's identity and the nature of their disclosures. All derive from Ashley's survivor keynotes and presentations.
"After your talk today, for the first time in my entire life I was able to say out loud to one of my friends that I was assaulted. It happened a long time ago, and I have never told anyone. I always told myself it was insignificant. Today was the first time I ever said it out loud. Thank you for coming to talk to all of us... what you're doing did really help someone."
"A few months ago you spoke at my school. What you said really affected me. It took some time, but you gave me the courage to finally leave my abusive boyfriend. I finally saw what I was going through and realized I deserved more. I hope you realize what a difference you've made for me, and I bet so many other students that day. Thank you..."
"Hearing your story, I was in shock. I didn't know that there were people that go through the same thing I was. Sometimes I've thought maybe I would want him back because I have not met anyone here at college yet. But when I heard your story, I know that I will never go back to him. I never will be with someone who hurts me that way again. I want to do good for me, and as I tear up writing this, hearing your story tonight changed my life. I am so confident now. Thank you.."
"I can not thank you enough for speaking to us tonight. Everything you said is stuff we see and experience here at school, and we don't know what to do or how to step in and help. The next time I see something going on in a social setting that is wrong or abusive, I will speak up. What you taught truly helped. You inspire me. Thank you."
"My friends and I talked about everything you said all night... we all feel so inspired. Thank you. We talked and realized we all have been through similar things. Your story helped us to open up, and I feel like we can help more people now. We all don't feel alone anymore... we even want to do something about it like you have!" "I hope what I tell you makes your day brighter. Years ago, you ran an abused woman's group. I sat there knowing I would just go back to being abused... but you came in and reminded me and everyone there that we ARE worth so much more. It stuck with me and I kept getting stronger, having your words in my head. I kept growing and believing it until finally after some time it pushed me to believe in my worth and walk away. A short time after I went to the ER with head pain and found out I had about ten concussions. I was stunned it got that far, I could have died. I now live with some memory loss and post concussion trauma but I'm alive... I survived partly because of your words, thank you. Seriously, keep helping people. Sometimes the smallest thing said will help."