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Monument Quilt On Display in Quapaw
QUAPAW, OK.--- There's 200 stitched squares that expand into a 100 by 100 quilt. The Monument Quilt is part of a healing process for rape and abuse victims who've become survivors.
"I feel like there's a reason why it's stopping here, when there's only 10 stops across the country. So I'm very honored and my message is just to reach out to not just native women, but all women," said Betty Gaedtke, survivor of sexual assault.
Betty Gaedtke is a survivor of a brutal beating and rape that occurred when she was a young child. She wants to remind victims there are organizations waiting to help.
"They will be there to help you put your life back together and help you feel not be so broken, and survive what you have dealt with," said Gaedtke.
Many leaders of the Quapaw Tribe's Domestic Violence Program are also survivors of abuse.
"We are trying to break the cycle and let people know they are not alone, that they can be out there and there's people here to help them," said Dixie Stone, Quapaw Tribe Family Services.
Gaedtke says it took her about 40 years to share her story with the public. She hopes victims of abuse understand it's okay to stumble and fall, but you must fight to get back up.
"I don't want women to stay victims. I want them to be able to overcome it," she said.
She says her courage didn't come over night. It was many years of trial and error.
"I also believe that this is happening for a reason to me. And maybe it's just, if I can just convince one person to go get help, it's all worthwhile," said Gaedtke.