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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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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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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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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45 Years Old in Bakersfield, CA

45 Years Old in Bakersfield, CA | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

On July 19, 2003, my 14 year old daughter went to a party with a girlfriend, and was given date rape drugs, held down and raped by several young men. The DNA came back showing only one man did not use protection. He also raped a 12 year old neighbor while waiting to hear the outcome of the charges from raping my daughter. He avoided jail by convincing the judge to use a Deferred entry of judgement, a loophole in California law created with the election of Prop. 21. Senator Roy Ashburn now has a bill pending in the Capitol, SB 520, and Assemblywoman Audra Strickland has a similar bill, AB 743. You can go to aroundthecapitol.com and type in the bills under search, and get a chance to e-mail the committees who are hearing these bills. Please put your voice out there for them to hear, even if you are not from our state. It is important that we close these loopholes which allow rapists to walk free.

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22 Years Old in Whittier, CA

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When i was 15 my virginity was taken from someone who claimed to be my friend. he was 2 years older than me. i had never drank before so i didnt know that 10 shots of tequila would do the trick. i dont remember much else from that day other than waking up having someone sitting there staring at me wondering if i was breathing. he told people that i let him. how was i capable of that? he took advantage and to this day i have such horrible memories of my first time being taken from me….

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16 Years Old in Terre Haute, IN

16 Years Old in Terre Haute, IN | #WeShatterSilence | Let This Story Be Heard By Clicking Share

When I was a freshman in high school (i’m now a junior) one of my ex-boyfriends transferred to my school. I had dated him for 3 months a couple of years before and he had been violently possessive. We started hanging out again because he seemed like he had changed. He started giving me rides home after school and on one occasion he drove to a secluded place a short drive away from my house and raped me. I still talked to him at school and stuff, but i was scared of him and didn’t want to be around him. During summer break, he stopped by my house when my mom wasn’t home. i had been getting ready to get in the shower and told him to wait on the front porch while i went and changed into some clothes instead of my robe. He followed me back to my bedroom instead and shoved me down on my bed. He was attempting to rape me again when my grandfather walked in. He threw my ex out of the house and told him not to come in, then told my mom that he had been there. My whole family decided that since i had slept with him while we were dating that he didn’t have to take no for an answer. He recently got busted for raping a 14 year old girl and she asked me and a friend of mine (who he also raped)to be at their court date.

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17 Years Old in Bartlett, TN

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when i was fourteen, my “boyfriend,” who was eighteen, came over to my house. my parents had gone out of town and i was staying at a friend’s house, but i went back to mine to hang out with “Kyle” for a while. we were lying on the couch, watching XXX, and i remember thinking that Vin Diesel was so hot. i hate watching him now. anyways, “Kyle” wanted to do things. we made out for a while and he wanted to do more, but i said no. before him, i had never done anything, not even held hands with a boy. he moved so that he was lying on top of me and pushed my sweat pants down. i’m sure he thought he was being nice, because he didn’t go right into it, but i didn’t think so, because i didn’t want to do anything at all. anyways, he raped me, and i didn’t tell anyone. we moved, and finally like a year afterwards i told my friend. i only told my mother last year. i think there should be more organizations out there, or at least more advertised ones, even anonymous ones, because i felt like i had no one to go to. he told me if i told anyone, he’d come with friends and do it again, but i think if there had been an anonymous group i could talk to, i could’ve gotten through it better. please, anyone who has had this happen to them, don’t be shy, because the longer you wait, the worse it gets on your mind.

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