Sexual assault counselor explains how hard it can be for a survivor to speak out

DAVENPORT - Sarah Keeton recognizes Margaret's pain, she speaks to college students every day and counsels them through trauma like sexual assault.

"It's really hard, it's a violating thing that happens to you, especially not being able to remember something," said Sarah Keeton, Iowa Campus Coordinator with Family Resources.

News 8 showed Keeton our interview with Margaret, an Augustana College student, she came forward to talk about the night she says she was assaulted at an off campus house party on New Year's Eve.

"You get really scared that it's gonna totally destroy who you are, to some extent it did, to some extent I'm never gonna get part of me back, like something was taken from me that they didn't ask," said Margaret, sexual assault survivor.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college but less than 10% of victims will come forward.

"You have a fear that you're not going to be believed, you have a fear that you're going to be blamed and I think it takes courage to put those fears aside," said Keeton.

When News 8 spoke with Margaret she said, "I totally understand why people don't talk about it and they just shut up and they sit down because to hear like I'm a liar because it happened or I'm just spreading rumors, it just makes you not want to get up in the morning."

However, Keeton says campaigns like the "Me Too" movement could lead to a shift in society, breaking down the barriers for the victims who share their stories and people in power who hear them.

"They're not alone, it's not their fault and I believe you," said Keeton.