ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene woman filed a police report, detailing her alleged sexual assault from 36 years earlier. Even though it’s taken so long to seek justice, April Salazar said she has a better support system to help get her through reliving her trauma.
Salazar told KTAB/KRBC she had kept a terrible secret since she was seven years old, only telling one other soul about her alleged assault in the past.
“I really thought I would die with it,” Salazar said. “I would never tell nobody.”
Those were intentions she thought she’d uphold. That was until her daughter Alyssa brought up the subject of sexual assault in a conversation. That’s when Salazar finally spoke aloud, for the first time in years, what she said she’d gone through as a young child.
“I had to watch my mom go through a battle that she went through silently,” Alyssa said.
Finally speaking up and out about the event, Salazar said she was sexually assaulted by a known man when she was seven. Now that she has a better support system in her daughters, she said she feels good about her decision.
While Salazar has filed a report against the man, no charges have been filed. Until charges are filed, his identity will not be disclosed.
“We do know that at least one out of four women have been a victim of sexual assault over their lifetime, so it’s a huge number,” explained Dr. David McAnulty, a local psychologist.
Dr. McAnulty told KTAB/KRBC that nearly half of women who’ve been sexually assaulted will not come forward – which could be for a myriad of reasons. Whether the reason may be avoiding blame or not being believed, Dr. McAnulty said every woman has her reason.
For Salazar, it was not being believed. At 16 years old, Salazar said she told her mother what happened.
“She was like, ‘Why are you doing this, why are you lying like that?’” Salazar recalled.
After that, she said she never wanted to tell anyone else again, out of fear that they wouldn’t believe her.
However, it was her daughter Angelica who encouraged her to finally seek justice.
“I think that can do a lot to a person – keeping it in,” Angelica empathized.
Salazar filed the sexual assault report with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office last week, then took to Facebook to speak on her abuse.
“People that it has been done to them and it has been a long time, it’s never too late to say something,” Salazar encouraged.
Through the trauma, Salazar said she hopes she can encourage other women to speak up. She even told KTAB/KRBC that after naming her assailant, another alleged victim of his came forward.
The accused, who remains unidentified, spoke with KTAB/KRBC over the phone Monday afternoon. He said he’s innocent.