Isabell Hutchins grew up in Rossford, OH and is currently in her third year of undergrad at the University of Toledo, majoring in Exercise Science with a concentration in Pre-Medicine. She plans to go to medical school, followed by a residency in Orthopedic Surgery, then a fellowship in Sports Medicine. Due to her sports career and history, she aims to help athletes return to their sports in a quick but safe manner and re-establish a trust in sports medicine professionals.
What do you hope viewers take away from the film?
I hope that this film helps bring attention and awareness to the abuse that has been swept under the rug and hidden for so long, both emotional and sexual. I hope people are able to see the signs more clearly and help act on them. I want this to help spark a flame for change, preventing and treating sexual assault.
How do you remain positive in challenging times?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without my family and loved ones, and I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done without their unending love and support. They always have my back and my boyfriend Cody is always there to pick me up when I’m depressed or overwhelmed. Whenever I feel like I can’t do it, they remind me how strong I am and how far I’ve come. There was obviously a lot of dark moments but through therapy and my support system, I have been able to heal and grow over the past year. Dogs also help a lot to keep me positive.
What’s one way someone can be a better ally to survivors of sexual abuse?
I think one of the key things in being an ally to survivors is understanding. It is very hard for others to grasp the enormity of what people have gone through because they can’t relate. It is so important to try and put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic. You have to be able to understand that their feelings and perceptions are different than your own. What may seem like a small, easy thing to you, could be something that they think is impossible and terrifying. Encouraging them to open up and release their emotions allows the burden to be lifted and help with their mental health. Every person heals differently, so it is also important to try and understand what that person needs from you. It may be space, or it may be comfort, but always be there if they need you and remind them that they aren’t at fault.