Monika Korra: The Survivor

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here.

On a cold night in 2009, SMU freshman Monika Korra was kidnapped at gunpoint by three men in a van. They beat and raped her for more than an hour before shoving her out of the van at an intersection, throwing her dress after her.

The next morning -- after a rape exam, after taking anti-HIV medication that would make her vomit for days, after calling her parents in Norway and listening to her mother weep -- she woke up and took out a piece of paper. She stared at the blank page for a few moments, then quickly wrote three words: "Kill the silence."

For the past three years, this is what Korra has tried to do. Now, after her recent graduation from SMU, she's preparing to make it a full-time job.

Korra came to Dallas on a running scholarship. After her rape, she says, "I didn't feel like anything like this could happen in Norway." But she never thought of going home: "I promised myself I would fight through this."

She worked with detectives to build a case against her attackers, then testified against them during their trials last year. Two were convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to life in prison; the third pleaded guilty and got 25 years.

She waited until the last man was sentenced before she spoke to the media, although she didn't want to. "I wanted to speak up right away," she says. She learned how rare it is for rape victims in the United States to go public, and felt strongly it was important to give her story "a name and a face." She spoke to the SMU Daily Campus, The Dallas Morning News, ESPN and several Norwegian papers.

With school finished, she's devoting the next year to speaking about her experience. She recently started an internship with the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center and completed its advocate training, so she can help victims as they arrive at the hospital. She's working on a book, too. The title, of course: Kill The Silence.

"It feels good to get here," she says. "I've been waiting for so long to do this."

See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue.

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7 comments
watchingsouthdetroit
watchingsouthdetroit

I admire this woman and wish the best for her. But the laws of physics and simple common sense say that if the 3 illegal aliens who raped her were still in Mexico where they are from, she would never have been victimized and had to endure this.  Is there something about that fact you just don't understand?  

Tjhattorney
Tjhattorney

I am so happy to see that you are doing well. I will never forgot the trial and your brave and strong character.  Tell your Mom hello and I hope she is also doing well.    Judge Hawthorne

Gat2KeeponMovin
Gat2KeeponMovin

" Hours after three strangers abducted her at random off an Old East Dallas street and brutalized her" JUST THE KIND OF NEIGHBORHOOD JIM SHUTZE LOVES AND WANTS!

Larry
Larry

"...can't happen in Norway..."???  Well, recent events there show that random violence and idiocy respect no borders. But, more importantly, this young lady is a hero.  This crime is the least successfully prosecuted major crime.  Partly because of slow rape kit analysis; prosecutorial laziness; eyewitness problems....  but, we a a society need to get off the stick and do the right hing.

watchingsouthdetroit
watchingsouthdetroit

The article left out the fact that all 3 men convicted of were ILLEGAL aliens.  Not only did they attack this woman, there was evidence that they had attacked others as well. If these three illegals were still in Mexico where they were from and where they should legally have been, they could not have raped this woman.  Those who say that the illegals just "want to work"  conveniently ignore stories like this where illegals commit crimes on US citizens.  Now we, the US taxpayers, have to house and feed these three animals for 25 years to the rest of their lives.  Isn't that a great deal for the legal, taxpaying US citizens?

Gat2KeeponMovin
Gat2KeeponMovin

Even if we got rid of all the illegals.. we would still have millions of "African-Americans" out there raping.

Pops
Pops

But to have pointed that out would be racist, and against the policy of the Observer, that illegals are the real victims here.

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