YouTuber Eva Gutowski has decided to share the story of her sexual assault at age 16. In a new book, My Life As Eva: The Struggle Is Real, a video on her channel, and an in-depth interview with Teen Vogue, Gutowski details the aftermath of the assault and her hopes in sharing the story today.
“There are some things in life you prepare for and some things that just hit you like a ton of bricks,” she says in the video. “For some reason, either nobody wants you to feel anything or they want you to feel everything.” She describes the process of dealing with “what other people thought I needed,” all while remaining in school with her abuser. Even though she hesitatingly complied with the police, the department and her school dropped the case.
The video is a live-action scene from My Life As Eva, and Gutowski discusses her choice to share a scene about sexual assault as most readers’ first interaction with the book with Teen Vogue. “I thought that even though this story is about sexual assault, it would still inspire a lot of people to find the light to push past their hardships. It’s a video for everyone and they can take something away from it,” she said.
Her prevalence in the YouTube may mean that teens get an education from Gutowski’s video and book. She wants to make sure people understand that “It isn’t the victim’s fault. It’s not a question of ‘well, what was she wearing’ or ‘well, what time was it outside?’ This situation happens to anyone at any time and any age, and it’s terrible.”
The young star says she’s been able to find the light despite dark days and wants other to do this same. “When this happened to me, I had this feeling of worthlessness for months. But you have to move past that feeling. You have to show yourself how amazing life can be, and I know it’s hard, but it’s undoubtedly possible,” she says.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is here to help at 800-656-HOPE (4673).