my dad left my mom when he found out she was pregnant, so since i could remember we had lived with my grandparents while my mom finished law school. a few years before i was born, my unlcle and his wife died in a car wreck and left their son “Kevin” in my moms care. i had grown up with him and he was like a brother to me. one day when i was five he took me into his room and told me we were going to play video games. however, that wasnt the case. instead he pushed me on the bed and told me that if i made a sound or told anyone, he would hurt my mom and my grandparents would no longer love me. this continued for about three more years. although we had moved out of my grandparents after i turned six, we still visited occasionally and on those occasions he would do it again. i didnt tell because i was afraid that my mom wouldnt love me anymore. my family is strongly catholic and abstinence was a big subject. it wasnt untill a year ago, when i was thirteen that my cousin, “Samantha” told my aunt that she thought she had seen him do stuff to me. my mom talked to me about it and asked me questions. when she brought it up i started crying, it was finally over. she wasnt mad, and she wasnt disapointed. i have been getting counceling for the past year now.
I was 16 years old and I will never forget it as long as I live. It was the first of two time I was to be raped within a year’s time. I was at a party with some friends. I was flirting with this guy that I thought was good-looking. A bunch of us decided that we would go to the hot tub, which was in view of the apartment we were hanging out at. This guy I had been flirting with (I don’t even know his name) was letting me borrow shorts and a shirt to go in the hot tub with. Afterwards, I went back to his apartment to get my clothes and change back. Suddenly I found that there was no room I could escape to in order to change in privacy. Before I knew what was going on, I was on my back staring at window blinds in shock of what was going on. I heard the sounds of laughter outside the window. I was envious of those people having fun while I was literally lying in my own personal hell with each violent thrust. It didn’t matter how many times I begged him to stop (and to never begin), it was out of my control at this point. I spent the rest of the night under his thumb in front of all the guests. He told me that if I didn’t do what he said at all times, he would tell everyone that we had sex at his place. I was mortified and didn’t want anyone to know what just happened, so I obeyed. Not only did this man take away my trust in everything by raping my body, but also stole my dignity in front of everyone that night. Every time I drive by that complex, even 7 years later, I want to scream at the top of my lungs. He will never realize what he did to me. Finally, at 23, I am able to say that I have let it go as much as possible. I still cannot trust men and I still fight the feeling that he left me with… that all I am worth is sex. I cannot hate him for it though. I pity him. I know that I must keep going on with my life, otherwise he has won by taking everything from me! I never reported my rape. I never told anyone about it until I was almost 21. It is not an easy burden to take on yourself. Don’t let hate consume you, as I let it consume me for 4 years after my rape.
It has taken me nearly nine years to openly say it: I was raped when I was eight years old. It was my English teacher. I paid no heed to the nasty rumours that followed the man: “they say he likes sixth-grade girls” and so forth. One day, I’d forgotten my schoolbooks in the classroom, so I went to get them. There he was. He knocked me to the floor, covered my mouth, told me he’d kill my family if I ever told anyone. I still remember when he left me in the classroom. My panties were soaked in blood, that’s how hard he’d thrusted. I threw them as soon as I got home. It was like that all fourth grade. Soon after the first encounter, I started dreading school. I threw up in the mornings. Men couldn’t be near me because I’d start screaming and crying. He was dismissed at the end of the term. But … when I was a mere month before turning fifteen, he tracked me down and raped me again. This time, he brought “friends” and threatened to kill my father – if I was submissive, it’s only because he was pointing a gun at his temple. He isn’t in prison, but I now know he has no control over me. Most men don’t see me as only flesh and a hole where to ram it in, and I know that. I’m not disgusted by my body or by myself anymore. Counseling has helped so much, and I’m a volunteer at a local rape victims’ support group. So you see, things can have if not a happy ending, a refreshing and peaceful start after Hell is over.
I have been profoundly affected by the molestation that one of my cousins and also my brother experienced when they were children. My uncle, his heroin, and his heroin buddies all molested my cousin several times when she was only 5. My brother was molested by a stranger when he was only 6. I can see how their lives were affected by these men and it is overwhelming to me. I guess that’s why I became a social worker, and why I will be attending TBTN vigil in April. I wish all survivors and the people who love them power in their continuous healing.