Read the inspiring and powerful stories of survivors of sexual violence. You can submit your own using the form at the bottom of this page

21 Years Old in Unknown, Unknown

21 Years Old in Unknown, Unknown | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

I was 19 when this happened to me. I was at my friend, Mike’s, house watching a movie. While I was watching the movie, he leaned in & kissed me.

I didn’t know what to do, so I kissed him back. He tries to kiss me again, but I refuse & tell him I’m just there to watch the movie. “Oh, come on! I know you want it”, he says as he starts kissing me more & I’m telling him to stop. Then he starts kissing me “passionately” & touching me in private areas under my clothes.

Before I can yell at him, he’s on top of me – holding me down as he tears my clothes off of me. “Don’t worry, I know how to do a girl right”, he says as he takes his pants off. In that brief moment he’s not on top of me, I try to run out the door – even though I’m half-naked.

He grabs me by the shoulders, screams, “What the ****, Katherine? I thought you loved me?!?? You kissed me back, didn’t you?!?” & then throws me down onto the couch. He punches me in the face & wraps his hands around my throat. He gets back on top of me, covers my mouth, & then fingers me with his other hand. Every time I scream, he tells me that I “like what he’s doing” or that I’m “enjoying it”. Then, he ‘actually’ rapes me (forcible sexual intercourse).

When he’s done, he spits in my face, puts his clothes back on. He calls me a “dirty little wh*re” as he leaves me there – crying & in the fetal position. After he’s gone for a few minutes, I hurry & put my clothes back on & ran out of there as fast as I could.

I never talked to him again after that. I drove myself home & took an extremely hot shower to try & clean himself off of me. I didn’t go to a hospital because I was terrified that he would somehow come after me & rape me again.

I did tell the bishop of my church about it & he (the bishop) asked me a bunch of sexual questions, probably to find out if it was “really rape”.

He kept asking me things like, “Were you wet?” “

Did you get s*xually aroused?”

“What clothes were you wearing?”

“Where did he touch you?”

“Did he use his p*nis?”

“Did he do/use other things to arouse you?”

“What position were you in when he penetrated you?” … I was completely appalled by that & stopped going to church because of it.

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22 Years Old in Mount Pleasant, SC

22 Years Old in Mount Pleasant, SC | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

I met Justin in Alcoholics Anonymous, I was 19 years old at the time. He was in his mid thirties. At first he showered me with positive attention, attention I wasn’t getting at home. While it seemed nice in the beginning, looking back I realize he was grooming me. Things progressed very quickly in our “relationship.” Lovely texts soon became demands for sexual pictures and videos. He would force me to do these things for him through coercion and manipulation. If I didn’t give him what he wanted, he would just ignore me or make me feel bad about myself.

We didn’t just have an online “relationship” though. We eventually met up when I went away for college. He bought a cheap motel room for the night and raped me while I was heavily under the influence of drugs. Over the course of our time together, he raped me on three different occasions, filming two of the rapes.

I was only able to get away from him when I started dating my now deceased fiancé Kyle. During the course of that relationship, I found out that Justin had shown the videos of my rapes to other men in AA. I found out about this through a friend who also attended the fellowship. Justin was not my only rapist, but he was my first attacker. He took my virginity, self esteem, and self worth. I feel very angry and stupid to this day, especially since he got away with everything.

Even though he took so much from me, I have to remember that I’m a survivor. I just fell victim to a predator.

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21 Years Old in Toronto, ON

21 Years Old in Toronto, ON | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

It was my second summer as a camp counselor and I had a crush on a guy that I was working with. We would have days off and he invited me to come to a cottage with a couple of friends. Little did I know I was the only girl who went. I felt the pressure to impress him and the only way I knew how to do that at 16 years old was to interest him sexually. But when it was about to happen, I said I didn’t want it anymore. He said he already had the condom on so that it wasn’t fair. After it happened, he laughed at me and left the room. I had to sleep there that night because I had no where else to go. The next morning we all drove back to camp and he made me hug him before I left. I’m writing this for all the other young women out there who feel the pressure to engage in sexual activities with someone in order to get their attention.

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Anonymous Years Old in Anonymous

Anonymous Years Old in Anonymous | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

He told me he only wanted to sleep and that we could do all the “cute stuff” in the morning. He told me I could leave whenever I wanted to. I made the mistake of believing him. Boy was I wrong. He told me to be daddy’s good girl. I guess an injured shoulder and rape taught be to be a good little girl.

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33 Years Old in Philadelphia, PA

33 Years Old in Philadelphia, PA | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

“We both know all the truth I can tell”
I can’t forget
My mind won’t let me
I’m reminded when I least expect it
I can close my eyes and it’s like I’m there
And I’m still that scared little girl
Back of the car
Whispering to your friend
Was this your plan?
You were so overpowering…I froze
This isn’t how I imagined it to be
But I let this go
I was only 14
We were drinking
I couldn’t even stand
You picked me up and threw me over your shoulders
Next thing I knew
I was Face down, the room spinning
I didn’t say yes, I couldn’t
What you tried was wrong
I will not let that almost be my last time
I would not even let that be a memory for so long
I was only 15
Because I loved you
I let it go and time moved forward
We were arguing, I said no, I didn’t want to
You backed me into the corner
I was crying but you made me do it
You were wrong
Others saw my tears that night but
I protected you and didn’t speak up
Because I loved you
I let it go and Time moved forward
It wasn’t a good night, we were arguing, we were disconnecting
I sat on the oor and hugged my knees
I said no
I didn’t want to
You pushed me with force
My head hit the hard oor
I grabbed my head and sobbed
You took what you wanted
I turned my head as far away and stared at the doorway. I wanted someone to come
through and stop it
Saying no wasn’t enough. I wanted to scream.
Instead I cried and froze
You were wrong in what you did
I was only 16
As if nothing happened
You still wanted things I didn’t
You got angry
And told me to get the fuck out
I felt so alone
I still could not speak up
You told me you loved me
You tricked me to still get what u wanted
You left me scared and alone in the middle of the night
I walked home in the dark alone and vulnerable
It was nally over…I thought
Time went on
I moved on with someone new
But then You saw me…you grabbed me inappropriately
I turned and pushed you away
You grabbed me again below the waist and this time pulled me towards you
I wasn’t yours, I never was
You were wrong
I was only 17
Because I loved you, I let you live your life without consequence
My life was forever changed.
It’s not over for me.
I don’t hate you but I don’t forgive you
A decade later you let my voice be heard
From this I felt a strength I’ve never known
I said everything I wanted to say and pleaded with tears in my eyes for you to never
do this to anyone else
You said you loved me and that you were sorry
You validated me and this helped
But the pain stays
The tears still ow
As I become a distant memory for you
Your actions can never be undone
We both know the truth
Those scars will forever be with me
Those Nights haunt me with ashbacks
You have the power.
You have the control.
You took my ability to say no and to have control over my own body.
I can’t get that back.
I am a victim
This Has shaped who I am
This has impact on my present and future
But I am strong
I can endure
But I can’t forget
Rape is forever
I want to forgive you someday but 17 years later I’m still not ready
….Somethings only God can forgive

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23 Years Old in Bronx, NY

23 Years Old in Bronx, NY | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

23 with a secret

I begin writing every time a new story inspires me but I can never find the words to tell the world what happened so many years ago.I always ask myself why am I not as strong as these other women? Why can’t I ever get the words out my mouth? Am I ashamed ? Does this define me and the choices I make? All these questions and yet I can never find the answers or seek the help that I so desperately need. I think that every girl has a story to tell, whether it’s been an unwanted kiss, touch or full blown pain of facing the truth that they’ve so long denied. Does this define who i am, well I don’t really know I just assume that it does because subconsciously it’s there taunting at me… don’t speak the truth it says, don’t tell nobody it says, no one will believe you it says. But on the outside I throb with that feeling of wanting to be wanted so does that mean that this defines me.

Does that mean that because I said no so many times over and over again as a little girl that I have grown up to want the same very thing I agonized as a child. Just touch me here, kiss me there I plea ignoring the feeling, and thoughts that once brought me pain. Don’t be so rough, but hold me down, don’t bite me to hard, but slap me up. All the things that I didn’t want but all the things that seem so natural to me.

6 year old little me never knowing when it’ll end. It started off as a game with my older step brother. “Do you know what this is” he asked as he shows me his private part. I just wanted to show him my dolls but he wouldn’t let me. I just wanted someone to play with but he wouldn’t let me. Instead he made me do everything I didn’t want to do. Made me cry for him to stop , “but you like this don’t you” “didn’t you miss me”. Shown the world of sex by the same devil that people talk about. Yes I’ve met him with my own eyes, yes he’s touched me, and held me down. He snuck in rooms while my mother wasn’t around, slept in my bed when the door was closed.

6 years old alone people asking me if I was ok. Little ole me just shrugged it off and shrugged it off until I couldn’t anymore. Save me please I would beg with my eyes but my mouth wouldn’t word. Save me mommy please although deep in my heart I felt like she knew. All I wanted was to play with my dollies,all I wanted was to be loved was I not allowed that. Here i am now 23 with a secret that people don’t understand, why didn’t I say something they ask ? I chuckle it away laugh at the pain … I just didn’t know any better. Self blame is always there but yet I choose to hide it with drinks, and humorous remarks . So has this defined the life that I live that away on vacation I have no choice but the face my demons with my two best friends. Explaining the agonizing pain, but they don’t know this is my pain because I don’t say it like that I can’t show them that, I’m too strong for that. Instead I say it like a story a big bad wolf and an innocent red riding hood except at the end I was still alive with just a part of me dead.

Soul stolen so many times each and every time, I should of said something what about every girl after me, what about every secret they’ve held on for so long. They’ve danced with the devil too, they held his hand and felt his body pressed to theirs, his breath on them and sweat drip onto their innocent skin. I’ve let them down and that’s why I’ve held onto this secret for so long this is why I don’t speak on it because it’s to late and the damage has been done. I am defined by the devil himself and have been marked with this tragedy. I was raped there it goes finally said out to the world. I was sold into the arms of the devil. No care in the world about my temple of a body, my innocence or even how this will carry on in my life forever, like a plague. Into every room I walk in, into every relationship I become one with this story, these scars will always follow me. Always doubting any man who comes to close to me, but yet seeking protection from any man I can. I couldn’t save myself or every other little girl after me but just wanted to tell you that it’s ok to share your secret people do care, and you are strong you just needed a push.

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25 Years Old in Atlanta, GA

25 Years Old in Atlanta, GA | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

I Wanted to See the Aquarium

The first person that ever saw my bare chest was Jimmy.

We were both 12 at the time.

It started off as playful kissing and after saying no a few times, he forced my shirt up so he could see my chest. I laughed and ran away.

Jimmy was the son of my dad’s best friend.

Parents that are best friends — they make their kids hang out.

They’ve always lived far away, but we would visit them in the summers and attend large family gatherings.

So there was a party and that’s the first time I met Jimmy’s cousin Colin. I was 14, Colin was 18.

The first person that ever offered me a drink was Colin. We were standing in the side yard with a bunch of kids and he offered me a drink. I said no because my little brother was standing right there (and I’m too stubborn to fall into peer pressure). Years passed. Colin would comment on my Instagram posts, text me on my birthday, ask when I was coming to visit again — all very innocently.

I liked the attention.

When I was a sophomore in college I was feeling adventurous with the freedom of college and a little money in my pocket. I told Colin I wanted to see the aquarium where he lived because it was the largest in the country. I bought a plane ticket. He bought us aquarium tickets. I was 19, Colin was 23.

He was a family friend so I figured it was fine. My dad knew I would be there — we even scheduled lunch with his best friend (Colin’s uncle) so I could see him while I was there. Colin picked me up from the airport and we had a very easy going day and a half with the aquarium, exploring, and trying new food. Anytime I picked up my phone he told me to stop texting my friends and pay attention to what was happening with him.

When it came time for sleeping, he said to share the bed with him. I said no both nights and slept on the floor. When I showered, I took all my clothes in the bathroom so I didn’t have to walk around in a towel. I didn’t bring flirty clothing with me. We went to hang out with his college friends — guys and girls. We watched football, ate Chinese food, played frisbee, and made a last minute decision to go see Andy Grammar and O.A.R. Colin offered to buy my ticket, I said no and paid for myself. Sitting on the rooftop bar above the concert venue I used my fake I.D. to get myself a Blue Moon.

I felt so cool.

Everyone in the group went down to the concert, Colin said to stay with him for one more drink. He sat across from me and told me he wished I lived near him because he would date me in a second. I rejected that notion — friend zoned him.

He seemed to take it well. We walked downstairs and found the group we came with.

The next time I had a glimpse of consciousness, I had fallen off the back of a barstool onto my back and the bouncer was kicking me out.

Andy Grammar played a full set. O.A.R. played a full set. I got photos taken with Andy Grammar (I only know because I have the photos).

We left and went to four different bars, all using my fake I.D. I have no idea how I got in. I don’t remember anything.

The next morning Colin dropped me off at the airport. I went to the bathroom after I got through security and it hurt as I peed. I texted Colin and asked if we had sex. He said yes. I was very confused. I flew home, told my dad it was a great trip and drove back to college. I was at college for a few hours when my hands and feet started to swell and I broke out in hives. I went to MedExpress and got a steroid shot.

It didn’t help. My hands swelled so badly that I couldn’t sign my discharge papers at the ER later that night after more allergy medicine and steroids. Days passed. A glimpse of consciousness came back to me. I was on a futon with Colin over me, forcing himself into me. I sat up, grabbed my jeans, and walked into the bathroom.

Did that really happen or was that just a dream?

Days or weeks later I was in the mall when an O.A.R. song started playing and I burst into tears and needed to leave. I didn’t know why. In the weeks that followed, I started drinking a lot. I started blacking out a lot. But no blackout was quite like that night with Colin. I started to realize the night with Colin wasn’t a normal blackout.

I looked up the reactions to being allergic to date rape drugs. The reaction to GHB can take up to 24-48 hours to set in — enough time for me to get back to college without a reaction.

That’s when — about two months after the trip — I realized and accepted that Colin had drugged and raped me. I went home for a weekend and told my dad.

He punched the kitchen counter and then walked over and hugged me.

My dad called his friend and yelled. Colin’s dad called my dad and said he would force Colin on a plane to come up and apologize to me.

I said no. I never wanted to see them again. My dad refuses to travel to that city, not even for business.

I didn’t eat Pho for years because Colin taught me how to eat it. I cringe when I see a Mazda Miata.

I can’t listen to certain music from that weekend (even though I don’t remember hearing it).

When I got my wisdom teeth out at 23 years old, I was allergic to the fentanyl. Fentanyl allergies are related to GHB allergies. It’s been about 5 years. I still live with it every day. I still question myself.

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15 Years Old in Norwalk, OH

15 Years Old in Norwalk, OH | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

I was staying at my friends house like i had many times before. she fell asleep on the floor, while i fell asleep on the couch .. her father was sitting at the end of this couch. i woke up with him touching me on the chest..i didnt know what to do i was so scared, i was thinkin to myself if i yell he may turn violent, so i sat there and prayed to god that this would end i was screaming so loud inside but no one could here me. He reached his hand lower onto my body, he got to the lining of my pants and i pretended to shift in my sleep. it worked he moved his hand back up 2 my chest but know.. his body was moving, i had no idea what he was doing. he was grabbing me harder on the chest now and then i realized he had been masturbating. Tears were pourin from my eyes, i tried not to let him see and to still pretend to be asleep. He left the house when someone called shortly after…I broke down when he left i didnt tell anyone though. not until recently. I dont dare tell my friend though.. im too scared she’ll hate me. i still dont understand why this happened to me or what i did wrong or any of the things i feel now. That night something inside me changed, its like an innocent part of me died. Any child like feelings i had left me that night. And reality struck me.

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6 Years Old in Australia

6 Years Old in Australia | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

I was sexually abused by my father for a period of 6 years while I was growing up. Now, as a grown adult, I find that I was not alone in this plight, friends and other family members are also effected. I was shocked to read that one in four women are effected by sexual abuse. I feel that this is an undercurrent in society and that it must be dealt with, rather than keeping silent about a huge issue.

Silence only continues the abuse, not dealing with it and minimising the effects cause so much sorrow and pain. Why is everyone so silent. Why? Why must this topic be so difficult to talk about – why is there shame and guilt? It is a crime, it should be treated as such.

Why are the courts so overloaded, allowing the perps to continue walking, abusing? Why must I be told to wait for justice, if I ever receive justice at all.

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34 Years Old in Gettysburg, PA

34 Years Old in Gettysburg, PA | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

From an early age, I was subjected to sexual abuse. I was victimized by a relative when I was a child, yet barely anyone believed me. None of my abusers ever had to serve any time in jail. I got into a marriage ruled by Domestic Violence. I left my husband when I was 6 months pregnant. I didn’t get involved with anyone for another several years. That was a mistake, too – he became very violent and I left him only about a month or two after we started seeing one another. It was only a few months later when I was raped. The only way I can prosecute him is if I show up HIV+. Thank God I’m negative, but I haven’t been with anyone since then. I now volunteer with Survivor’s, Inc. and am on the Board of Directors for the same organization. I am currently a college student and trying to get TBTN and DVA Nights started here. I also write poetry and wrote a song called “Take Back The Night” which I perform yearly. I have nothing to hide and only want to help other victims find their voice. There’s more to my story, but not enough space here to tell you. Bless you for having this site and for helping others!

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