I was 17 when I met him. I was still in high school and he was the cool, older college man. Everything was new and fun and when he told me that I should always wear my hair that way I thought that he liked it, not that he literally wanted me to always wear my hair like that. The abuse started slowly but crept in. I was stripped of everything that was me. I couldn’t eat onions because he had conviced me that I didn’t like them. I mean, how do you forget that you like a food? The abuse got more and more physical. He made everyhing my fault, like it was my fault for burning the supper that I got tossed against the wall. I was so panicked when he would hold me down on the bed with the covers on my face, I still feel like i’m suffocating if there are covers on my face. After being with him over a year, I finally broke free of his abuse. My wonderful sisters and parents came and never said “i told you so” The abuse didnt’ stop with me moving out. He did a lot of emotional damage. I had to find myself again. Make sure I was doing things because I enjoyed them, not becuase it was the way I was supposed to act when I was with him. It has been 5 years and I still have memories of some of the events that I had forgotten that come back to me. Then, I cry or break out in hives. I’m still surviving day after day. We are all survivors. Audre Lorde once said “Your silence will not protect you.” and she is correct. Now is the time to shatter the silence!
I feel like a sexual assault magnet! I was 8 when my step father first molested me, he always smelled of booze, he continued to molest me until I was 11. At 12, a park worker took me into his office and exposed himself to me. He wanted me to touch him but I ran out.When I was 13, I was jumped by 5 boys at a park. They were all on top of me at once grabbing me, sticking their tongues in my moth and their hands down my pants. At 15, my stepfather was back for a visit, he had his hands all over me and tried to rape me. When I was 20, I was raped, beaten and choked for 3 hours by a stranger. He was never caught. I am STILL scared at night! I am 40 now and have told less than a handful of people about my experiences. Thank you for letting me share.
When I was a little girl I thought violence was normal. It was not uncommon for my father to come home screaming, whip off the belt, smack us with his hands and fists, throw us against walls, forcefeed us, stuff our mouths with tabasco sauce, lock us in rooms and other such inhuman treatment…but this was life, this was normal. My entire neighborhood knew what was going on, the weird part is some people liked my father more than the rest of us. It took almost a decade of this treatment before my mother was able to leave. It was hard, we had to hide and leave everything. We dealt with him stalking us, restraining orders and the disappearance of our entire way of life. But my mother was strong, she fought and fought and fought. He did find us but my mother was always quick to inform police and gather evidence. My mom was unrelenting in court. She got us our house back and my father was forbidden from ever seeing us again. Me and my siblings all suffer from anxiety and PTSD as well as the emotional loss of a father and confusion as to why this happened to us. But all of us are in college now, my mother just finished law school and we are alive. WE ARE ALIVE! And if she had not been strong we might be dead, we would be alot worse off and we would not have the amazing chances we have now. I’ll never forgot the silence of my neighborhood, and when I pass by the “Garden of Rememberance” for domestic violence victims in my town I am angry and hurt at the way we were put out of site and out of mind. I think about how many other children whose moms could not get to where my mom finally got, and all i can hope and beg for is that if you know someone is being abused you inform the proper authorities because by being silent you only help their abuser.
I was sexually assaulted as a young child and had no memories of it until my daughter was sexually assaulted at college in her freshman yr. A week after she came home I started feeling funny and my deceased father was lingering over my shoulder. I was starting to panic and called my sister and together we knew he had abused us as children. I went to counseling and I will not let him take away all I have today. I am happily married (31 yrs) have two healty children, and one deceased at age 21. I have worked so hard in getting myself back to reality since my sons death,that I refuse to let my past haunt me forever. I have accepted it and will move on and hope that someday my daughter can do the same. This needs to stop on college campuses!!!