SMU alum chronicles rape, survival in new book

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A former college track athlete who was kidnapped, robbed and gang-raped by three strangers in Dallas continues to share her story of survival, working to inspire other victims to shed the stigma of rape.

Monika Korra is on a mission to share her story. She's 25 years old now and is releasing a book about her ordeal.

On Tuesday night, she talked about her book at SMU’s Moody Coliseum.

In 2009, three men kidnapped her at gunpoint as she left an off-campus party in east Dallas.

They wrapped duct tape around her eyes and raped her for nearly an hour and half.

She was only a college sophomore at SMU the time.

Korra describes Dec. 5, 2009 as the most horrific day of her life, yet she is willing to share her case file and every terrible detail.

Korra tells her stories at conferences and turns down officers to conceal her identity, instead asking news outlets to show her name and use her face.

She says she has nothing to be ashamed or afraid of.

“It's not sex,” Korra said in a 2011 interview. “It has nothing to do with sex. It's just an action of power.” 

Jan Langbein of the Genesis Women's Shelter believes Korra’s approach will save lives.

Statistics vary, depending on the study, but by all accounts, researchers agree that most sexual assaults don't get reported.

The Rape Abuse Incest National Network estimates that 98 percent of rapists won't spend a day in jail.

“When someone stands up and says, ‘I have the courage to do this,’ that's the beauty of it because other people will stand up as well,” said Langbein.  

Korra made the decision to speak out after testifying in the trials that led to the convictions of her three rapists.

Two of them are serving life sentences in Texas prisons, and the third is serving a 25-year one.

Korra’s life has gone on, and she chronicled her survival in a book called “Kill the Silence: A Survivor’s Life Reclaimed.”

In it, she writes about the feelings of guilt and shame that can haunt someone who has been sexually assaulted and she hopes her story will help others to kill the silence.

“My hope is that we will come to a place in our society where we stand up and say, ‘That was not my fault,’ and there is help and there is hope,” said Langbein.

On Tuesday morning, Korra went live on FOX 4’s Good Day and welcomed personal questions about the worst night of her life.

“I think it's just the stigma about rape and abuse, and they tend to blame the victim and it's uncomfortable to talk about because we don't want to acknowledge that it's actually happening,” said Korra. “But we have to and we have to fight it.”

At Korra’s book signing, strangers and powerful allies alike talked about the need to do more to support survivors.

“Sexual assault is the most underreported crime we have,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown. “Many victims don't come forward and tell their story. Because of that, many perpetrators are out on the streets.”

Korra also runs a foundation dedicated to helping sexual assault survivors.