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Karen Huger is turning her pain into power. The Real Housewives of Potomac star is opening up about being date raped at the age of 19 and is hoping her story helps others.

In an interview with PageSix, Huger revealed she’s sharing her story on The Real Housewives of Potomac in order to help combat the alarming suicide rate among victims. “The fact that I survived is part of my reality and I’m hoping that message resonates with the viewers,” she stated. “I am put in a very wonderful position to show that when adversity comes your way it doesn’t stop you, it can propel you. It is my responsibility to be real. I have no shame and I carry no burden because of what happened.”

The 54 year-old is open to sharing many details from what she called “a typical date that went totally off the rails,” but she will not be revealing her attacker’s name. “I will never reveal his name, he has passed on,” she explained. “[But] I can say he was a public figure. If he were alive today it might be a different story,” she said. “I’d like to have it out with him. But I forgave him a long time ago, that is why I lead I life I do today, forgiveness is a part of it.”

Karen recently received the ambassador award from Promoting Awareness | Victim Empowerment (PAVE), a non-profit organization that works to prevent sexual violence through education. She look forward to spreading the message of empowerment to women across the globe. “I have had a full life now [and] I did it victoriously, that’s the message I want: there are choices we can make – I chose empowerment. It wasn’t easy but I choose to be among the empowered.”

Wow! Kudos, Karen.

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