Posted: Apr 28, 2012 6:55 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News
Updated: Apr 28, 2012 6:55 PM
Marcello Bedrolo is a survivor of sexual abuse.
Since 2007, he's volunteered with San Luis Obispo's Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center.
"I think it's very hard to understand what goes through your mind when you go through situations like that and I think it's a mark that stays there for life. It takes a lot of courage and self determination to face it and try to help yourself out of it," Marcello said.
Today, he's standing a little bit taller- in fire-engine red heels.
"When I first put them on it was very hard but now I got very used to it."
He wobbled through downtown San Luis Obispo, Saturday, with dozens of other for the SARP Center's annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event.
"It has a lot to do with people that are next to you that push you through it, give you courage in a way," Marcello said.
Together, they're trying to stomp out sexual abuse.
But Thursday, more victims reported yet another incidence near Cal Poly's campus.
University Police say two female students were approached by a man late Thursday night, who tried to pull down their underwear.
It happened on the corner of Longview and Hathway Streets.
Police say it's the fourth similar case reported this year.
But members from Cal Poly's sexual assault program, SAFER, say their reports are actually a good sign.
"It's not that it's happening more, but it's that we're creating an environment where people are feeling more able to come forward," said Christina Kaviani, Coordinator for SAFER.
Kaviani says only five-percent of victims report sexual assault.
But now, the issue won't be ignored.
Marcello says the first step towards recovery for victims of sexual assault is to tell a friend.
"No matter what, you're never alone," he says. "there is always somebody there to lend you a hand."
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