Woman shares rape survival story

Mary McLeod of Darlington was raped in 2002 by a former boyfriend. She hadn't seen him in 15 years before the attack and she is now speaking out about the incident.

"I was brutally raped. I was left to die and there are so many people out there babies, men, women didn't get to where I'm at. They not half way to where I'm at. They're not able to say thank you Jesus, I made it, " said McLeod.

McLeod calls herself a survivor.

"I was a rape survivor, not a victim. I don't ever claim to be a victim," said McLeod.

She didn't always have this confidence, especially during the first few years following the rape.

"In the beginning, it made me feel not human. It made me felt lost, empty, alone mostly afraid and I was determined I was going to make it. I had to."

She says she had to pull through it for the sake of her family and her survival.

April is sexual assault awareness month, a time McLeod uses to show that you can get through this.

"We go through our nightmares . We go through our changes, but you can't let the rape defeat you. You got to defeat it. You can't let the rape take over your life, you've got to take over it. I wasn't going to give my assailant the chance to keep pulling me down," added McLeod.

McLeod continues to look up knowing she's a survivor. McLeod often speaks at events for the Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.