By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a difficult story to tell, but Jenna Quinn of Carrollton says it needs to be told.

“There’s a lot of power in sharing your story because the human plight is never an island unto itself,” she said.

The 24-year-old spoke at a reception in Denton Tuesday, honoring victims of crime who have persevered through terrible circumstances. It’s common practice among journalists to withhold the identities of sexual abuse victims, but Quinn wants her story told.

Before her speech, Quinn sat down with CBS 11 to explain why she remains open about her life-changing ordeal.

“I was so outraged by what had happened. I wanted everybody to know,” said Quinn.

The University of North Texas grad student was sexually abused at age 12 by a close family friend. The abuse lasted three years. Her attacker got 20 years in prison.  Quinn is the first to admit that sharing her story is not always easy.

“I have my hard days. But in every case, it’s always worth it, because I’m willing to share and be open and i know that I’m not the only one and that’s what comforts me.”

Quinn said she’ll continue to go public with her story because she believes she’s making an impact.

“I have had many people tell me that I gave them the courage to say something after years and years of holding secrets in.”

Quinn’s speech is part of Denton County’s Crime Victim’s Rights Week.