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Fundraiser started to help 13-year-old sexual assault victim, family access therapy

Money is being raised to help cover the cost of therapy for a 13-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted in south Edmonton last week.

“Her feelings and emotions kind of go between shock and it seems surreal, to hysterics,” a family friend said.

The girl was at the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre last week. She told Edmonton police a man followed her into a stall in a family change room and sexually assaulted her.

The family friend said learning about what happened left her with an “absolutely sick feeling.”

“You hear about things like this all the time in the news and of course they’re horrific, but when it’s close to home, I think it turns your stomach a little bit more than most,” she said.

A 20-year-old man turned himself in to the Edmonton Police Service after surveillance photos of him and his vehicle were released.

Police said his name will not be released until charges are laid.

Initially, the girl and her family were connected to support through the Zebra Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.

“Which was amazing, good, good resources, but they’ve referred them to a counseling service,” said the friend.

The girl’s mom doesn’t have coverage for the counseling and will have to pay out of pocket. She recently underwent surgery for a medical condition and used up most of her paid sick time.

“This is a single mom; her daughter won’t leave her side right now.”

“Her daughter just sort of goes between hysterics to moments of calmness and won’t leave the house, feels ugly, feels dirty. And those are her words,” said the friend.

A GoFundMe was started to help the girl and her family access counseling.

“This little girl is such a beautiful, energetic soul, and it’s just it’s destroyed her,” the friend said.

“Nobody should have to go through that.”

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