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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Monika Kørra signs book at SMU bookstore

Kørra signs copies of her book at the SMU bookstore. Photo credit: Madeline Frizell
Kørra signs copies of her book at the SMU bookstore. Photo credit: Madeline Frizell

Editor’s note, Oct. 14, 8:50 p.m.: This story has been updated throughout.

Run. That’s what Monika Kørra loved to do as an SMU student on the track and field team. And she was good at it.

But when that word came from the lips of three men in December 2009 as they tossed her out of a van in South Dallas naked, trembling and terrified from being repeatedly raped, it took on an entirely different meaning.

This time, she was running for her life.

Almost six years later, Kørra was back at SMU to sign copies of her new book “Kill the Silence: A Survivor’s Life Reclaimed.” Kørra sat at a table near the front of the SMU bookstore on Sept. 12 in a blue dress and a smile as she greeted the 10 people circled around her.

Her book was released Aug. 25 and is an inspirational story of her survival and healing.

“She has a truly incredible story that many women can relate to,” said Stephanie Strassner of Dallas as she clutched her newly signed book after waiting in line to meet Kørra.

Kørra was left blindfolded with duct tape and naked, with no cell phone, money or idea of where she was after the rape. The three men were tracked down when they used Kørra’s stolen cellphone and were convicted of aggravated sexual assault.

Two of the men are serving a life sentence in prison and one is serving 25 years after he plead guilty. Kørra has visited one in prison as part of a victim and offender mediation program where she gained further closure.

Kørra and her best friend Kristine Eikrem Engeset were taking a break from studying for finals to go to a soccer team party near the Mockingbird Lane and Greenville Avenue intersection the night she was raped. They were walking home together when a black van pulled up beside them and Kørra felt a gun sharply pressed up against her blonde hair. Three men dragged Kørra from the sidewalk into the van by her neck and turned the gun on Engeset when she fought back. Engeset had no choice but to let her best friend go.

The van drove to South Dallas where Kørra said she was raped “singly and in pairs, the three of them working together to subdue me, to break me.” She said she noticed another woman’s shoe in the corner of the van. She said she just wanted to live.

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Kørra signs copies of her book at the SMU bookstore. Photo credit: Madeline Frizell

Yolanda Deluna has lived close to where Kørra was abducted around Greenville Avenue for over 30 years. She was moved by the story and went to the book signing.

“I was very scared to be out and alone after I heard what happened. But Monika’s story is very impactful and a reminder that we all have something in the past,” said Deluna.

Through running, journaling and the support of her friends and family, Kørra became a survivor.

“It is possible to overcome every challenge we face in life – that’s really what I want people to take away from it. Life happens,” said Kørra. “We all go through challenging times and I want to show people that it is possible to get back up and that it is possible to live a happy life.”

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