Kristine Irwin was just a few months into her first year of college when she was raped and left in an unconscious heap on the side of the road. Her perpetrator was someone she had known for years. Her long, hard road to recovery was full of painful false starts and steps backward as well as forward. While Kristine is stable and healthy now, her experience of rape and trauma will always be a part of her. She has found that the best way for her to heal is to tell her story and advocate for others. Roughly 10 years into her recovery, Kristine realized that the sexual violence she had endured wasn’t just about her—the pain and struggle was also about every family member and friend Kristine encountered both before and after the incident. She began to discover the pain endured by her parents, college roommate, best friend, aunt, and others close to her. In order to continue her own healing, Kristine had to learn what those who loved her had gone through as a result of her rape.
This book is the story of a rape survivor, her family and friends, their roads to recovery. In Voices of Hope, you’ll learn how they empowered themselves, built trust, and created solid relationships. The story in these pages demonstrates the power of the human spirit, love, and friendship to overcome trauma, allowing you to choose life on your own terms.
In 2015, Kristine began an organization called Voices of Hope (VOH). The organization recently joined forces with her family’s non-profit, Wings of Hope. VOH is now a subsidiary of Wing of Hope. Her goal by being a non-profit is to educate on sexual violence prevention and to donate to various organizations includine, RAINN, PAAR (Pittsburgh’s Action Against Rape), and Red My Lips.