CLEVELAND-- It's not easy for crime victims to speak out, especially when a victim is only 15 years old and was the victim of rape.
However Katie Ravenel and her family reached out to WKYC wanting to tell her story, in hopes of helping other young women across Northeast Ohio.
Our station policy is not to identify rape victims, however both Katie and her family agreed.
Just two weeks ago Katie was leaving her first summer job at Sunrise Pool on Cleveland's west side when a masked man raped her snatching her innocence but not her voice.
''I'm just happy that I'm alive," said Katie. "I was snatched and I was told not to make any sound or I was threatened to be killed."
Katie says her grandmother, who was also a victim of rape, inspired her to speak out.
"Basically motivation from my grandmother so it won't happen to other women or girls my age," she said.
Katie's warning message to others was amplified Thursday night at a rally in her west side community.
"We have monsters who walk in the street and we come against those monsters in Jesus' name," said a pastor close with Katie's family.
"He violated my niece and I'm not going to tolerate it," shouted Katie's uncle. "If you are a pervert go to jail where the pervs live."
Hand in hand Katie's family and neighbors marched and retraced her steps that day, calling out for others in the community to get more involved and not let another young girl become a target.
"Katie you know was strong enough to come forward to make everybody be aware of what's going on in this neighborhood," said Christine Wilson, Katie's grandmother. "So that the public can know that there's a rapist out here raping these young girls."
According to data recently released by the Cleveland police department, there have been more than 280 rapes reported in the city during the first six months of this year.