Sharing her story publicly for the first time Monday, Mayor Betsy Hodges wrote in a social media post that she was sexually abused as a child.
“I was abused by adults unrelated to me for many years, starting when I was eight years old,” Hodges wrote, adding that her family was unaware at the time. She said it was a factor in her early alcoholism before a shift to sobriety at age 19, but that she didn’t tell her family until after she quit drinking.
“I am breaking the silence so others can know: you are not alone,” she wrote.
Hodges, who is currently running for re-election, shared the story in a post to the Break the Silence Facebook page. Sarah Super, a survivor of sexual assault, is the founder of the Twin Cities group. An ex-boyfriend who broke into Super’s apartment and assaulted her at knife point was sentenced in 2015 by a Ramsey County District Court judge to a 12-year prison sentence for criminal sexual conduct.
Break the Silence encourages rape survivors to share their stories as a way to bring an end to sexual violence. The Minneapolis City Council last year declared Break the Silence Day on Aug. 17.
Hodges’ story was the 79th added to the Break the Silence page. Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough shared his story of sexual assault by a Scoutmaster in June of last year.
“I know we can heal from anything, because I have,” Hodges wrote. “We can heal, succeed and thrive.”