Kay Hansen, a former UFC fighter, has spoken up about the trauma she claims she endured while developing from a young athlete to a professional fighter in her teens and beyond.
“My successes and struggles have all been in the public eye for many years, but everyone has a story behind the scenes,” Hansen wrote on social media Tuesday with a link to a new mini-documentary video. “I was raped/SA [sexually assaulted] by my father as a teenager for years. Fighting/training was my escape, and the only form of reality I really had control over.”
The 23-minute video production, which was made in collaboration with Invicta FC by the team of Jorge Barbosa, Cynthia Vance, and Mark Johnston, among others, was made public on Tuesday. The documentary depicts the traumatic and emotional journey that caused Hansen to end her relationship with her father, who had been her longtime mentor, as well as the subsequent emotional relief and process of healing.
“I never spoke up about the abuse I endured due to the fear of repercussions that may follow,” Hansen wrote. “I tell my story, not to ‘help people get to know me,’ but to use the platform my sport has given me to inspire courage in someone who is, or once was, in a similar situation. Sexual abuse is far too common, but often times swept under the rug. You do not have to go through this alone. You deserve peace and justice. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Hansen, 23, has not participated in an event since leaving the UFC in 2022 following a 1-3 run. She joined Invicta FC after being released from the UFC, but hasn’t competed for the organisation since her return. She competed for Invicta in eight of her first nine professional contests. Hansen joined the UFC at the age of 21, making her one of the promotion’s youngest female competitors ever.