A Beautiful Warrior Discovers Love After Tragedy

In 2004, Eric Strauss, an ABC News producer for the network’s Primetime series, traveled to Texas to profile Bridget Kelly. Two years earlier, at age 24, Kelly had been the victim of a brutal attack in which she was kidnapped, raped, shot repeatedly, and left for dead. She miraculously survived her ordeal and told her father that she felt like God had lifted her up. Her father was angry and wanted to know where God was while his daughter endured horrific violence. “He was holding my hand,” she told him.

Bridget became an advocate for victims of sexual violence, and eventually left Texas to attend New York University. One day, she and Eric met for a friendly lunch. Their friendship soon blossomed into something more.

On July 7, 2012 — ten years after the attack that changed her life — Bridget Kelly married Eric Strauss in an interfaith Catholic-Jewish ceremony in Manhattan. During the wedding, Kelly told Strauss, “I knew from our first times spent together that you were smart and funny and caring…You listen. You accept me for who I am and make me feel safe and happy.”

Strauss told his bride, “You revealed yourself to be a beautiful warrior the second I met you. With your regal elegance, insightfulness, and compassion, you inspire me to be better.”

Watch the brief ABC News segment about the couple below for a reminder that hope can arise after tragedy:

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