Conceived through Rape; Miss Pennsylvania USA's Inspiring–and Miraculous–Testimony
Aimee Herd : Jun 10, 2014
"I believe God put me here for a reason: to inspire people, to encourage them, to give them hope that everything is possible and you can't let your circumstances define your life." –Valerie Gatto
While Miss Pennsylvania, Valerie Gatto, did not win Sunday night's Miss USA Pageant, her testimony is already a victory of life.
Valerie, 24, spoke with media about the fact that she was conceived when a man dragged her mother behind a building in Pittsburg and raped her, then miraculously, she got away.
"He was going to murder her," Valerie told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "but there was just this bright flash of light and he got scared and didn't want any onlookers to see her and what he was doing to her."
After the attack left Valerie's mother pregnant, she planned to give her child up for adoption, but that changed on the night her baby was born. The following are excerpts from Valerie's "Biography" on her website:
Valerie's mom told her family about her adoption plans; but Valerie's great-grandmother said: God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Her mother listened and decided to raise Valerie with the help of God and her family. When Valerie was six, she started asking about her father and her mother explained to her that he was not part of her life and would never be. When she was about ten, she started asking more questions about her father and her mom explained that she was attacked at knife point and raped which resulted in Valerie being conceived.
Family is a large and important part of Valerie's life. Her family came together, made sacrifices, worked hard and stayed positive during difficult times. Valerie grew-up living with her mom, maternal grandparents and for a while her aunt. Every Sunday, Valerie would go to Church with her family and great-grandmother. Growing up and today, Church is a very important part of her life. Valerie would go to Church-wide events like mother/daughter luncheons and fashion shows (she got to model in with her mom), picnics, baseball games and hayrides. Besides the fun events, her Church also provided services for the community. One of which was the Church's food pantry that her mother was in charge of for several years. As a result, her mom delivered food baskets to those in need and Valerie would go with to deliver. This taught Valerie that no matter how little she had; there was always someone who had less than her and that it was important to give back.
You can visit Valerie's website to read more of her inspiring testimony by Clicking Here.
Valerie also uses her experience to help educate women about protecting themselves from sexual assault.
"I believe God put me here for a reason: to inspire people, to encourage them, to give them hope that everything is possible and you can't let your circumstances define your life," she says.