Sexual Violence, Rape, and Abuse Survivor Stories

Read the inspiring and powerful stories of survivors of violence and abuse. Are you a survivor wanting to learn about your legal options? Visit our Justice Hotline webpage.

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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