Rape Victim Doesn’t Want The Incident To Define Her And Hence She Now Wants To Win Miss England
Shannon Ault has always been a performer and enjoyed being in the limelight. A graduate from the University of Chester loved to dance and perform. However, things took a turn when she was raped back in November.
It was a staff party at a hotel where she worked and she had booked herself a room. She began to get ready for the party after completing her shift. As she was dressing up, she heard a knock on the door. It was her male colleague who forced his way into the room and started to kiss her. Shannon who was not up to it pushed him away and he left.
However, an hour later, he once again entered her room and this time he ended up raping the girl. Unfortunately, her case didn’t make it to the court because of insufficient evidence for a guilty verdict.
Naturally, the incident shook Shannon and she was scared to go out. She even considered killing herself.
She said: “My anxiety was really bad at first. I couldn’t go out of the house on my own, and when I did it was with my parents. If it wasn’t for my mum and dad I don’t think I’d be leaving my house now to be honest.”
The incident kept rolling back into her head and things could have been worse. She didn’t plan the suicide attempt. Driving home from a friend’s house, she experienced a flashback to her ordeal. At that point, crashing her car into an oncoming barrier seemed like the only way out.
She said: “When you’re in a flashback, you’re put back in the situation. It was like I was back there. I wasn’t in my car driving, I was where I was back when the incident happened.
“I was trying to drown it out completely and I just couldn’t. I was trying to turn my music up to drown it out, but it was as if as I was turning the music up I was actually turning up the volume of my flashback. It just kept getting worse and worse and in that moment I saw no way out of it other than to crash my car into a barrier on the motorway. I was doing 70mph.
“I never planned to go out in my car to end it. It was literally there and then. I’ve never had suicidal thoughts before then, it’s just how scary flashbacks can be, and it is the first time I had properly had one. I just didn’t know how to react.”
Her car was crashed, but luckily she came out with just a mild concussion. She has since been diagnosed with PTSD and still experiences flashbacks, but she is receiving cognitive behavioural therapy and has learnt various coping methods.
Finally, Shannon is getting back to her usual self and has set her eyes on becoming Miss England. The first step is getting through the local heats – and being crowned Miss Cheshire later this month.
She says that she comes alive on the catwalk and she wants to make the most of it and determined to be involved.
She wants to use the finals to rebuild her own confidence. Not only that, she aims to use the platform to raise awareness and serve as a role model to other women, proving that she will not allow her persecutor to define her.
She said: “It would mean everything for me to win. I would love nothing more than to be a role model for women and girls in Cheshire and possibly in England, because if I win Miss Cheshire I go straight through to the final of Miss England. That opportunity would be absolutely amazing.”
As for others who have suffered a similar ordeal, Shannon hopes they can find the strength to talk to someone and realise they are not alone.
She said: “I would urge them [other victims] to tell someone if they haven’t already, thenyou’ve got that support there when you need it. It gives you that bit of comfort that there is someone there you can talk to about it.
“It’s not just you going through it. You’re not alone. I’ve have had so many people around me supporting me, but you still can feel lonely. I wasn’t alone, but there were still times when I did feel lonely, and I don’t want anybody to feel like that, because I certainly don’t now. They’re not alone, they’re not alone at all.”
Now, this is how you should make a comeback. Of course, it’s easier said than done but the key is to just never give up.