Updated: 6:36 p.m. | Posted: 4:43 p.m.
Mayor Betsy Hodges took to social media Monday to say publicly she was abused by "adults unrelated to me for many years," starting when she was 8 years old.
"I am a survivor of sexual assault," she said in a Facebook post tied to "Break the Silence Day," a local effort to encourage victims of childhood sexual violence to share their stories.
"My family did not know. I believed — was threatened into believing — that the slightest indication that anything was amiss would jeopardize the safety of everyone and everything I loved," Hodges wrote, adding that she is an alcoholic but sober since age 19.
Hodges is among 79 women and men who've shared their names, photos and stories on the website. Sarah Super, who started Break the Silence after an ex-boyfriend raped her in 2015, said Hodges' participation is a turning point in the movement.
"I know that this has happened to so many people, and I'm just grateful that I could support her in this path in some small way," Super said.
Hodges didn't offer any more information about the nature of the assaults or who committed them.
"I learned well how to suffer quietly, I learned to meet tragedy with a poker face and a plan, and I learned it was dangerous to share too much about the things I care about most," she wrote.
She said she was speaking out "so others can know: you are not alone. I know we can heal from anything, because I have. We can heal, succeed and thrive."