Katie Hnida shares her story of sexual assault; takes a stand against sexual and domestic violence
It is never easy for Katie Hnida to open up about what happened while she played football at the University of Colorado.
"Unfortunately my dream became really a nightmare," she says.
Her successful athletic career as the first woman to play and score in a division one game, was overshadowed in 2004 by reports that she was raped and sexually assaulted by her teammates.
"I was harassed, verbally, physically and sexually and at the end of the season I was raped by one of my teammates," Hnida says.
However, it was awhile before she was brave enough to come forward with her story.
"It was literally killing me inside. My life just started to fall apart. I completely lost who I was, I was a shell of my former self," she says.
Now, Hnida spends her time sharing her story of strength and survival in an effort to fight violence against women.
"They are not alone. That is so important for them to know because when you are in it you feel like you're completely by yourself. I think its important to know there are resources out here, there are people out here who are going to believe you and help you," Hnida says.
Hnida was an honored speaker at Chattanooga's Take Back the Night Wednesday, an event that takes a stand against sexual assault and domestic violence. The Partnership for Families, Children and Adults as well as the Women's Center at the University of Tennessee hosted the event which also included a march through Fort Wood Historic District and candlelight vigil.