In June 2002, when Kara was just 15 years old, her life changed dramatically.
While in the front yard of her best friend's house, a man approached her and put a gun to her neck telling her to come with him. He forced her into a plastic storage container in the back seat of his car and took her to his apartment where she was held captive and assaulted for 18 hours until her daring escape.
While her captor was asleep, Kara escaped the restraints and his apartment. Kara went to law enforcement and was able to give them information that lead them back to the apartment of her captor and identified him as the man responsible for at least three other unsolved homicides.
Following the identification and death of her captor, Kara went on to form relationships within law enforcement and complete the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. She went on to work with the agency that investigated her case as a school resource officer, a sex crime and child abuse investigator and a victim's advocate until the birth of her children.
Through the years, Kara realized that she survived for a very specific purpose: to spread hope and encouragement to other survivors. To remind them that they are not alone, that they can heal, and that they are stronger than what happened to them.
That we are who we are because of what happened but we are not defined by it.
Kara went on to get married and currently has two little boys and two dogs.
She currently uses her experience as well as years of work in law enforcement to speak to groups around the country. She tells her story as a means to help educate those who work with victims and empower individuals to be the best version of themselves they can be, regardless of their past.
Kara is involved in several organizations, outreach, and advocacy groups and projects as a means of supporting her community.
She is also active on social media where she creates content that shares her story, answers questions, shares advice on healing trauma, empowering victims to become survivors, and helping loved ones support survivors. Her goal is to inspire other survivors to just keep going because they are not defined by their past.