By Margot Allemand
Everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them. You might have seen Daisy around campus, at the tattoo shop in town or on social media, but do you actually know her story?
In 2015,RAINN, The nation’s largest anti- sexual violence organization , found out that 59% perpetrators of sexual violence were acquaintances of the victims. Survivors don’t usually come forward, because it’s hard, society makes it hard.
“People have always seen sexual violence as such a taboo that they almost are in denial,” Daisy said.
Daisy Coleman Life’s changed dramatically during the winter 2012, when she was sexually assaulted by a well known high school football player, Matthew’s Barnett’s, while being unconscious.
She came to Missouri Valley College last year on a wrestling scholarship.
“I feel wrestling was a way to get rid of frustration. It was also a great way for me to restart, even though I already made peace with many demons, ” said Coleman.
The charges were dropped, even though her case was strong and included a video of the rape itself. It seems like the case was strongly influenced by Matthew’s Barnett’s grandfather who happened to be a Missouri State representative. But it didn’t stop her.
She wanted “ to advocate for other survivors” she said. And this is exactly what she has been doing ever since.
“It’s immensely hard rehashing my story and case, but even if I save one person by telling my story, it’s all worth it,” said Coleman
When she met the film producers , she admitted being a little hesitant at first.
“My case had already gone viral and had been closed,” Coleman said. “It wasn’t until I heard Audrie Potts’ story that I decided to go full force with the documentary. She’s my angel and inspiration.”
And this how the “Audrie and Daisy” documentary all started.
Being a part of such a big project, she found herself being “an inspiration for so many victims to finally stand up against their perpetrators, said Coleman . She also wanted to do it for Audrie, who killed herself after being sexually assaulted,
“She wasn’t given a chance to speak out against those who hurt her so I took the responsibility of being her voice,” Coleman said. “She was no different than me”
This past December, Daisy became a PAVE embassador. PAVE is a national nonprofit organization that goals are to shatter the silence and prevent sexual violence using social advocacy, education and survivor support.
Coleman’s objective for victims of sexual violence is “to know that they aren’t alone in their endeavors or journey. They have a whole army of people who are 110% standing behind them whether or not they want to speak out about their injustices. I want them to know that whatever has happened to them, is absolutely no way, shape or form, their fault. Most of all, I want them to quit calling themselves victims because they aren’t; they are survivors and soldiers.”
There is lot more to her story. If you want to know more about what happened , watch her documentary “Audrie and Daisy” available on Netflix now.