SC assault victim says Cleveland survivors have emotional road a - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

SC assault victim says Cleveland survivors have emotional road ahead

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Elizabeth Shoaf is now 21-years old. She takes a karate classes in the evenings, she says it helps to clear her mind and feel a little more empowered.

On the exterior she looks like most others her age but she has experienced things few people can understand.

It was back in September of 2006 when the 14-year old girl first ran into then 36-year old Vinson Filyaw.

"He had approached me out of the woods and actually startled me but stated he was with the Kershaw county police department. He was in camouflage he had a badge and weaponry around his waist and stated he needed to talk to me for a second."

It was enough convincing that Filyaw was able to handcuff her and take to an underground bunker in Lugoff, SC and it was there Elizabeth Shoaf says, she was sexually assaulted repeatedly.

"It began as soon as we got into bunker that was immediately the first thing, he locked the door and ten days of terror began."

And it may never end, trauma such as this, Shoaf says, can be remembered and relived at any moment.

"I can have a flashback with simple weather changes temperatures, certain smells like Romen Noodle Soup or simply the dirt itself. I was underground all the time."

One of the first things Elizabeth talked about was about was the recent turn of events in Cleveland and the rescues there—the insight she offered had a lot to do with the road ahead.

"I was very happy to see that they were found and I was happy for the family but I can also feel the pain they went through, just knowing what my mom felt when I came back. And then knowing what they are going to feel."

Those in Cleveland Shoaf said, have 10-years of trauma to sort through and the memory of abuse will never really go away. It's not about forgetting it's about finding a place to put it.

Know that it will be ok, it may seem hopeless as times you may seem like you will never get over it but you will find that peace of mind." Elizabeth Shoaf is now a dental assistant in Elgin, SC. The person who abducted her, Vinson Filyaw pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

 

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