Sexual assault is a serious problem for youth in our communities. By age 18, one of every four young women will be sexually assaulted. In 1997, Anne Judson-Yager unfortunately joined the ranks of those many women. After being sexually assaulted by an acquaintance, she has dealt with her assault in a courageous and powerful way. Through community support, her own volunteer involvement in a peer education program in her community and an abiding inner-strength, Anne has transformed this traumatic and life-changing event into a powerful vehicle for addressing this issue in her community.
Several months after she was sexually assaulted, Anne went through intensive training to become a peer educator on issues of interpersonal violence in the Boulder Valley School District. During the 1997-98 school year, she gave more than 30 educational presentations in middle and high school classrooms, providing information to teens on the prevalence, dynamics and prevention of sexual assault and dating abuse.
In the spring of 1998, Anne started taking her volunteer service a step further by talking to students about her personal experience. To date, she has told the story of her sexual assault to nearly 500 students in the Boulder Valley School District. Anne's story of being a survivor of sexual assault impacts students deeply, many students, teachers and school counselors have testified. After listening to Anne's presentation, students repeatedly report that they recognize that it could happen to them, a crucial factor in preventing interpersonal violence among youth.
Anne continues to provide this service to her community even now that she has graduated from high school. She has, without a doubt, touched the lives of hundreds of young people by bringing this issue out in the open. She is breaking the silence about sexual assault on youth by reaching out to others with the express motivation of preventing their victimization and mobilizing her community of peers to look out for the safety of themselves and others.