Assault victim Melissa Schuster speaks to self defense classes

Ana Turner, Business Manager, Opinions Editor

Melissa Schuster has one message she wants to share with others after surviving a home invasion in August of 2015.

“I want to make people aware that violence is real, but to not live in fear,” Schuster said.

On Aug. 29, 2015, Schuster was attacked and sexually assaulted in her home in Willowbrook, Ill. She survived 17 stab wounds and several fractures.

After her attack, Schuster wanted to share her story and convey that one negative incident does not define a person.

Schuster travels the country sharing her message at various high schools and women’s groups.

On April 20, Schuster visited to Central to share her story with the PE girls self-defense classes.

“We can always tell you things [from] online or things that we see, but to actually bring someone in to share their own story is a lot more impactful,”self-defense teacher Sarah Peterson said.

Schuster talked to each self-defense class at Central along with family friend, Frank Delo.

Delo owns Amalgam Martial Academy in Lisle, Ill. and has aided with sharing a different view in the presentation.

“I try to share broader information on human violence in general,” Delo said. “Such as what happens in the brain of the victim of an attacker and legal aspects that people don’t always know about.”

Before the attack, Schuster hoped to be a physician assistant, but after her attack, she has decided to travel around the country, spreading her message.

“My life has kind of been flipped upside down,” Schuester said. “I want to empower other people and help with my own healing.”