READING, Pa. - In just a few seconds, Lonnie Walker wanted to wipe out years of painful memories by cutting his trademark locks.
The San Antonio Spurs standout known for that high hair had been hiding a secret since 5th grade. He wrote on Instagram that he had been sexually harassed, raped and abused, so he grew his hair because he felt it was something he could control, but now, he said he's taking the mask off.
"It shows breaking the isolation, which is huge with sexual assault, so even if that word gets out to one survivor to get on the road to healing, that is huge, so we admire his bravery coming forward," said Danielle Palerno, the director of counseling at Safe Berks, a center for survivors of abuse.
Palerno said the Lonnie Walker Foundation has helped Safe Berks with donations at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so she was especially proud when she heard what Walker had done.
Crystal Gilmore Harris, who's the program director of the Lonnie Walker Foundation, gave 69 News a statement from Walker's agent.
George Langberg said, in part, that "being able to share this shows tremendous strength and courage... and it is his hope... that it will help anyone... that may have been sexually abused in the past, or anyone who may be going through something similar now, to know that they are not alone."
And that's exactly the message Safe Berks wants to get across.
"Coming forward and knowing that there's support, and that's what our counseling is for, too, as far as individual counseling and support groups, just knowing you're not alone," Palerno said, "and he made that statement with this, that he's not the only survivor, and he wants to inspire other survivors to come forward."