For Chloe Redmer from Michigan, prom night was about much more than getting dolled up and taking selfies on the dance floor with her friends: It was about proving to herself and her peers that she was strong, brave, and unafraid.
Though just 16, Redmer was sexually assaulted twice in her first couple years at Chelsea High School, experiences that haunted her and drove her to perform self-harming acts and have suicidal thoughts, she told MLive.
“The deeper I started getting into that depression, I started cutting myself and then I started thinking about suicide,” she said in an interview with MLive. “Because it’s like I’m violated…I just really wanted to end it.”
After the second assault, MLive reported that Redmer “threatened violence against the aggressor,” which ultimately got her suspended for 45 days from school. Thankfully, Redmer was able to transfer to another high school.
But, Redmer wasn’t about to let the horrible experiences she had while attending Chelsea High define her.
“I look back at it like a fight that I survived,” she told MLive. “And I can look back at my scars and be like, ‘I lived, I’m alive.’”
Last weekend, Redmer went to Chelsea High’s prom with her close friend, Tyler.
She told MLive that the support from her friends and family over the past couple of years has helped her deal with the most difficult of times.
"It's called family and friends and a really big support system," Redmer said. "The more support, the more I realized, look you're not going to fall, you're not going to die. You're going to live. You're going to make it. As long as you have these people with you, you'll be fine...There will always be positive at the end. And there was, there really was.”
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).