When people look at Mandy Hatch, she says nobody would ever know that she has a painful past.
Nobody knows that she was assaulted at gunpoint in 2012 while she was taking out the garbage.
They just see a confident, smiling 36-year-old woman, and she said Prevail of Hamilton County is a big reason why.
“I feel Prevail is how I got my life back,” she said. “I don’t know if I could have done it by myself.”
Hatch was one of the featured speakers at Prevail’s annual gala at the Renaissance Hotel in Carmel on Aug. 27.
More than $150,000 was raised at the event. Hare Chevrolet presented the event, which honored the nonprofit’s 30th anniversary. The countywide Noblesville-based organization educates and engages the county about domestic abuse and has helped more than 37,000 victims since 1986. Last year’s gala helped restore the lives of more than 2,500 victims of crime.
Hatch gave a powerful speech to the black-tie crowd, retelling her story about how she was attacked. She said Prevail was with her every step of the way, even at the police station when she went through the difficult process of collecting evidence and giving information to police.
Carmel resident Lisa Albertson said that Prevail helped her 19-year-old daughter, Natalie Shook, after she was drugged and raped by three people in one evening when she was 16 years old. Albertson said her daughter participated in one-on-one sessions, group sessions and even therapy involving horses.
“Prevail reassured her that a crime had been committed. This was not something she asked for, provoked or was responsible for in any way,” Albertson said. “They empowered her with confidence and strength to be the survivor she is today. She was a victim, but it doesn’t define who she is now.”
For more information on Prevail, visit prevailinc.com.
Check out Prevail’s 30th Anniversary video their YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc8R3D-L4XU