Aspen Matis

Aspen's RAINNmaker Page
  • My Goal:
  • $10,000
  • Raised So Far:
  • $9,288
  • # of Donations:
  • 36
$9288 of $10000 goal
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ON MY SECOND NIGHT OF COLLEGE, I was raped. Shattered and alone, I fled to the Mexican border and headed north through 2,650 miles of desert and mountains to Canada, walking the height of America and writing a book about my journeyall in an effort to raise $10,000 for RAINN.

I hiked all the way to Canada, crossing a border in the woods and in my mind. My walk is the story of how my recklessness became my salvation. 

This page is my effort to complete my other goalof raising funds to help other victims of rape find support, and healing, and cross their own borders to places of amnesty from shame.

THE BOOK

Girl in the Woods is Aspen Matis's exhilarating true-life adventure of hiking from Mexico to Canada—a coming of age story, a survival story, and a triumphant story of overcoming emotional devastation. On her second night of college, Aspen was raped by a fellow student. Overprotected by her parents who discouraged her from telling of the attack, Aspen was confused and ashamed. Dealing with a problem that has sadly become all too common on college campuses around the country, she stumbled through her first semester—a challenging time made even harder by the coldness of her college's "conflict mediation" process. Her desperation growing, she made a bold decision: She would seek healing in the freedom of the wild, on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail leading from Mexico to Canada.

In this inspiring memoir, Aspen chronicles her journey, a five-month trek that was ambitious, dangerous, and transformative. A nineteen-year-old girl alone and lost, she conquered desolate mountain passes and met rattlesnakes, bears, and fellow desert pilgrims. Exhausted after each thirty-mile day, at times on the verge of starvation, Aspen was forced to confront her numbness, coming to terms with the sexual assault and her parents' disappointing reaction. On the trail and on her own, she found that survival is predicated on persistent self-reliance. She found her strength. After a thousand miles of solitude, she found a man who helped her learn to love and trust again—and heal.

Told with elegance and suspense, Girl in the Woods is a beautifully rendered story of eroding emotional and physical boundaries to reveal the truths that lie beyond the edges of the map.

After being raped on her second night at college, Aspen Matis dropped out. Depressed and shocked that her school didn't believe and protect her, she sought solace in a remote wilderness. Years before Cheryl Strayed's memoir and movie Wild came out, Aspen also found the Pacific Crest Trail and hiked the entire length, over 2,000 miles from Mexico to Canada. She now lives in Greenwich Village, where she's finishing her degree at The New School and working on a novel.

PERSONAL PAST

About Me ~ Spring 2009
I am a freshman at Colorado College, and on my second day of college I was raped. The young man moved on. I still haven't.

I believe that getting help is the single most critical step a victim of sexual assault can take on the path to recovery. It is vital that victims have access to professional support services, and RAINN provides a safe place where victims and their friends and family can go to receive free, live, and anonymous support around the clock.

This coming spring and summer, I am walking 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. I ask you to support me--to donate as little as a penny per mile ($26.50) and as much as you can afford. I think about my second night of college everyday. Please help me--and thousands of other college women--move on.

UPDATE ~ September 2010 : Success! BEAUTIFUL success.

I backpacked from Mexico to Canada. My five-month, 2,650-mile hike carried me through the Mojave Desert, the High Sierra, the volcano-lands of northern California and southern Oregon, the Cascades. And I traversed all that viewing an end more important than Canada; I walked from Mexico to Canada to raise money for RAINN.

But I gained more than money from the hike.

Alone among sunshine and cliffs and trees and storms and strangers, I found happiness. I found a community of hikers, also backpacking the country on the Pacific Crest Trail. I found confidence, closure, and purpose.

And I found, with another hiker, friendship. He and I are now married.

Justin Matis, I love you.

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My Story
The Cause
Aspen Matis is fundraising for General Donations benefiting RAINN.

ON MY SECOND NIGHT OF COLLEGE, I was raped. Shattered and alone, I fled to the Mexican border and headed north through 2,650 miles of desert and mountains to Canada, walking the height of America and writing a book about my journeyall in an effort to raise $10,000 for RAINN.

I hiked all the way to Canada, crossing a border in the woods and in my mind. My walk is the story of how my recklessness became my salvation. 

This page is my effort to complete my other goalof raising funds to help other victims of rape find support, and healing, and cross their own borders to places of amnesty from shame.

THE BOOK

Girl in the Woods is Aspen Matis's exhilarating true-life adventure of hiking from Mexico to Canada—a coming of age story, a survival story, and a triumphant story of overcoming emotional devastation. On her second night of college, Aspen was raped by a fellow student. Overprotected by her parents who discouraged her from telling of the attack, Aspen was confused and ashamed. Dealing with a problem that has sadly become all too common on college campuses around the country, she stumbled through her first semester—a challenging time made even harder by the coldness of her college's "conflict mediation" process. Her desperation growing, she made a bold decision: She would seek healing in the freedom of the wild, on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail leading from Mexico to Canada.

In this inspiring memoir, Aspen chronicles her journey, a five-month trek that was ambitious, dangerous, and transformative. A nineteen-year-old girl alone and lost, she conquered desolate mountain passes and met rattlesnakes, bears, and fellow desert pilgrims. Exhausted after each thirty-mile day, at times on the verge of starvation, Aspen was forced to confront her numbness, coming to terms with the sexual assault and her parents' disappointing reaction. On the trail and on her own, she found that survival is predicated on persistent self-reliance. She found her strength. After a thousand miles of solitude, she found a man who helped her learn to love and trust again—and heal.

Told with elegance and suspense, Girl in the Woods is a beautifully rendered story of eroding emotional and physical boundaries to reveal the truths that lie beyond the edges of the map.

After being raped on her second night at college, Aspen Matis dropped out. Depressed and shocked that her school didn't believe and protect her, she sought solace in a remote wilderness. Years before Cheryl Strayed's memoir and movie Wild came out, Aspen also found the Pacific Crest Trail and hiked the entire length, over 2,000 miles from Mexico to Canada. She now lives in Greenwich Village, where she's finishing her degree at The New School and working on a novel.

PERSONAL PAST

About Me ~ Spring 2009
I am a freshman at Colorado College, and on my second day of college I was raped. The young man moved on. I still haven't.

I believe that getting help is the single most critical step a victim of sexual assault can take on the path to recovery. It is vital that victims have access to professional support services, and RAINN provides a safe place where victims and their friends and family can go to receive free, live, and anonymous support around the clock.

This coming spring and summer, I am walking 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. I ask you to support me--to donate as little as a penny per mile ($26.50) and as much as you can afford. I think about my second night of college everyday. Please help me--and thousands of other college women--move on.

UPDATE ~ September 2010 : Success! BEAUTIFUL success.

I backpacked from Mexico to Canada. My five-month, 2,650-mile hike carried me through the Mojave Desert, the High Sierra, the volcano-lands of northern California and southern Oregon, the Cascades. And I traversed all that viewing an end more important than Canada; I walked from Mexico to Canada to raise money for RAINN.

But I gained more than money from the hike.

Alone among sunshine and cliffs and trees and storms and strangers, I found happiness. I found a community of hikers, also backpacking the country on the Pacific Crest Trail. I found confidence, closure, and purpose.

And I found, with another hiker, friendship. He and I are now married.

Justin Matis, I love you.

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