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Andrea Cooper Shares Kristin’s Story

April 23, 2009

Andrea Cooper shares Kristin's StoryAndrea Cooper shared her daughter, Kristin’s, story in the Mount Union Theatre on April 22.

Kristin’s Story; A story of Acquaintance Rape and Depression is the story of Kristin Cooper, who was a Baker University student and member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She held performing arts and academic scholarships and was an avid skier. Kristin committed suicide shortly after she was raped by a friend in 1995. Her mother, Andrea Cooper, shares Kristin’s tragedy with students all over the country.

Kristin chose to go to a small school that was ten hours away from her home. She wanted the personal attention that small schools offer.

“One year and five months after we left her at Baker, she would be dead,” said Cooper. “I never dreamed I would lose a child to suicide.”

There were two things that helped Cooper get through the tragedy of losing her daughter. “Number one was my strength in my faith, and number two was my great husband,” said Cooper. She and her husband, Mike, went to counseling together after the suicide.

The first weekend in August of 1995, Kristin’s rape occurred and she never told her parents. In September, her serious boyfriend broke up with her. Kristin returned home in October, for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas. On New Year’s Eve, when her parents came home at 2 a.m., they found her dead in the family room with a journal in her hand.

Through the journal, they learned of her being raped and all of the pain she endured.

Cooper presented facts about depression. One-third of all college students will suffer from some form of depressed, and in order to be classified as depressed, they have to be so sad that they are nonfunctional, have trouble concentrating and are suddenly have their grades suffer as well. Cooper also offered statistics on rape, including that a woman is raped in the United States every two minutes. She also offered advice on how to help a friend.

With the support of the Delta Delta Delta Foundation and the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, Andrea Cooper has spoken about her experience with acquaintance rape depression and suicide at more than 300 colleges and 22 conferences internationally reaching more than 80,000 students.

In addition, Mount Union’s Alpha Chi Omega chapter held “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” prior to Kristin’s Story. Participants walked a mile in high heel shoes to raise awareness and show their support of this issue. The walk ended at the theatre for the presentation.

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