This is Yaz, and this is her story: "My name is Yaz, and I am a survivor of sexual assault. Throughout my life as an adolescent, I was constantly made to feel guilty or forced to things I didn’t want to do; with school, with family, and even with relationships. The amount of times that I was cat called or unwantedly touched, does not even compare to the amount of pain I felt after having someone, like a brother, assault me. It took many months of therapy, and countless trips home to help me move through that difficult time. Summer time rolled around. That ‘Cali’ weather is what I was praying for after my first year in Arizona. I found myself on hikes, ocean swims, and walks on the beach, trying to live up the SoCal dream before I had to return. These adventures were my escape, my way to burn off some unwanted emotions and stress I had built up over the last year. Yes, I told my close friends and family, but it didn’t give me the same benefits as being outside and enjoying my life I have here. I started to eat healthier and put my mind on a stronger, more positive, track. Looking back, I’m ashamed of myself for ever thinking it was my fault. I am now mentally and physically stronger because I've discovered a world of good health, and it has made me a much more appreciative and better-off person." #featurefriday

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