Ybor rape victim explains why she tweeted

5:35 PM, Jun 3, 2011   |    comments
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A woman was raped inside a school bus that she had renovated and made into her home.

Tampa, Florida - The victim of last week's rape in Ybor City on a renovated school bus says tweeting about her attack gave her an instant support group through a close network of friends.

The 24-year-old woman, who we are not identifying by name, tells 10 News she has no regrets about posting information about her attack online and hopes to help others by going public with her ordeal.

Dr. Leslie Kille with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay says it is every victim's right to talk openly about their attack, but she cautions victims to think before posting information on social media websites.

"Our concern for young people that choose this method of sharing their pain, sharing their story is that they set themselves up to be re-victimized," Kille said.

Below is a list of seven questions 10 News emailed to the victim along with her responses.

Police are continuing to follow up on leads and have released a sketch of the alleged attacker.

Q: How are you doing?

A: I was lucky enough to be able to take a week away from FL with family in Washington. I used the week to heal rest and see family. It was a tough move to make, but ultimately the right one.    

Q: Why did you decide to send out tweets?

A: It was a way to reach out quickly to a large number of people who had the potential to have information or the ability to help. In the long run, I hope that tweeting it aids in catching him. It also gave me an instant support system through a close network of friends. 

Q:  Has tweeting throughout this ordeal helped you?

A: Based on those that have directly mentioned me, the tweets have been very supporting. People I have never spoken with before have sent their support via Twitter. I could not have gained that through any traditional means of communication. I could not have made it through such a difficult day without receiving the support I did.  

Q: What type of response have you gotten, both good and if any bad.

A: It has all been very supportive. I haven't seen any negative tweets, although I wouldn't be surprised if they were out there.  

Q: Do you regret anything that you tweeted?

A: Absolutely not.  

Q: Yesterday, I believe you posted that you hope your story helps others, can you expand?

A: The main goal in all of this is to prevent him from doing this to anyone else. Other than that, it is providing support to others.  This may have happened to me, but that doesn't mean I am a different person, I am just as strong, independent and as much a woman as before I was attacked. I hope that others who have been through the same thing are able to find comfort in that they aren't the only ones.    Twitter has given me the power to help others and I hope that something positive comes from this. 

Q: Finally, will you use social media to help others and share your story.

A: Absolutely. I hope to be able to reach as many people as possible.  

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