Survivor Stories

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.

13 years old in Moline, IL

2010

I was 13 years old when my innocence was taken from me.
I had a whole life ahead of me. My rapist was my 8th grade teacher. He had
asked me to stay after school for a project… Little did I know what his
intentions were. I walked to the back of the room after school, to get
something from the back closet. It was a walk in closet. Not very large. He
followed me in and shut the door. He grabbed me around the waist and grabbed
my arms. He spun me around and threw me to the ground. I must have hit my
head, because I blacked out for a minute, he was undoing my pants and had his
belt in his hand. I screamed and he whipped me. He continued to undress me,
to the point that I was naked. Laying on the cold floor. He was knelt over
me. He began to undress and raped me. The whole time I cried and everytime I
screamed he hit me. Harder. I wished in that moment I would have just died.
When he was finished. He threw my clothes at me and said run. But if I ever
told anyone, he’d make sure it was worse the next time. It’s been four years.
And I’ve finally told. And soon getting justice for the many years he took
away from me.

15 years old in Sacramento, CA

2014

I had gone through a huge depression faze. So eventually
with feeling like my life was not important I took a bottle of pills about 70
clondines. I rushed to the hospital and they diagnosed me with PTSD from the
early rape trauma in my 1-3 year old self. My father had apparently raped me
many times. And his friends did the same. But when I got into the mental
health hospital I made a friend. He was a funny guy with lots of talent I
trusted him and even had a crush on him. He one day came to my room and I
said what are you doing. He laughed and said don’t cry I have little time
and I want to have sex with you. I opened my mouth to scream to protest but he laughed
and shut up. He swore at me I was appalled. He raped me and continued to act
like it was no big deal the next day. I was in pain and distraught. I soon
left him to go talk to someone else. He continued to taunt me. Until one day he left to go be somewhere else. I will
never forget how his eyes stared at me when he slid into me as if to say I hate you. I hate me. I hate this world. After he was done he said in a
mocking tone good girl.

19 years old in Cincinnati, OH

2013

He was the first guy i ever slept with, i thought i
loved him we were together my whole freshmen year in college. We ended things
during the summer then he was in my dorm room one night and wanted to have
sex i said no and told him to leave. Instead he forced me to my bed and raped
me in all ways. After he left i went straight to the police it was hard but i
didnt deserve that and i didnt want it to happen to anyone else. I am
currently at trail with him. Be brave Girls/Guys and remember its not your
fault thats one of the hardest things to realize.

26 years old

2013

He was my friend. I had known him for almost twelve
years. We had met at church, for goodness sake! I was having a hard night
after finding out that I hadn’t gotten a job that I really needed. He
insisted on coming over because he was worried about me. He brought beer, and
I got drunk. I was about to pass out when he kissed me. He asked if I wanted
to sleep. I went tobed and didn’t know he’d followed me until I woke up with
him touching me, hurting me, and his tongue in my mouth.
It continued for six hours, and I was in and out of consciousness throughout.
I went to the police, but in the end the prosecutor said there wasn’t enough
evidence to file charges. He gets to live like nothing happened; I can hardly
call what I’m doing living.

15 years old in Darby, KS

2013

I had been talking to a guy that had been introduced to me through a friend back in May 2013, and I thought he was perfect. We had never met in person, but I was slowly starting to like him. His hair, the way he talked to me; sweet and polite. Everything about him I liked. My heart had been broken before, but I trusted him. At first, things were good. But pretty quickly, I was getting nervous when I talked to him. He asked me if he could come pick me up and he could have sex with me. At first, I said nothing. I just changed the subject or said I was too scared. Soon, his pleads got more frequent and I knew he had a temper and I was beginning to get scared. So I said, “Sure. You may come over, but we aren’t going to have sex”. Those words exactly. So he came over and we went down to my room to watch Netflix but all of the sudden, when I sat in my bed (fully clothed) he took off his pants right there and I just acted like I didn’t notice. He got in my bed and under the covers, I was on top of the covers. He coaxed me under and this was when I started to get scared. I closed my eyes to keep from crying, but then he kissed me hard. I didn’t know what was happening, it was like I wasn’t myself. Before I could do anything, he started fingering me and I tried to pull his hand away, but he was too strong. He got on top of me so fast I didn’t know what was happening. He forced himself inside me and his tongue was so far down my throat I couldn’t make a sound. He had me to where I could not move no matter what I tried. He never asked me for sex. He never asked me once if he could do anything he did. Ever since then, I have to watch my back everywhere. I do not hug people, let them touch my hair, or touch me anywhere from behind unless I tell them they can. I still have nightmares about it and every time I see someone who even looks similar to him, I start getting uneasy. I am going to therapy for it, but it still won’t help the fact that it happened. He told me I was beautiful, he made me trust him. I was just naive enough to believe it. I had thought he really liked me, but he just used me for his own good. He took advantage of me and I cannot let that go.
He was a mistake… I feel like it’s all my fault.

25 years old from Atlanta, GA

2006

Two years ago I was raped by someone I thought was my friend in my own apartment. When

people ask me why didn’t I report him to the authorities, I really don’t know what to tell them. I

guess it’s because there was a part of me that blamed myself for what happened. I was the one

who let him come by late that night. For days my apartment reeked of his cologne. The smell

would turn my stomach every time I entered my home. He had violated my body and my personal

space. I lived in fear for months wondering if I would come home from work one day and he’d be at

my apartment.

Thanks to my family and friends I feel more open to speak up about what happened to me and I no

longer blame myself for what happened. It saddens me that sexual assault is such an epidemic and

that it is a crime that is treated so lightly by many people. I hope that there will be a turning of the

tide before long.

53 years old in Cincinnati, OH

2006

Hello. I am the mother of a now 15 almost 16 year old daughter. She was raped at age 14 by a 19

year old male. Before the rape over a year ago- he almost killed her 2 times by giving her 150

proof alcohol. He also gave her her first taste of marijuana. I am writing this now because I just

heard from the prosecutor’s office that the verdict is NOT GUILTY. You see,we have gone through

so much and have waited a long to hear the bad news. The bastard who did this to her is not guilty

according to the law of the land and free to go out and do this again and worse. When I entered

the country I am from just now- I was ashamed to enter USA. I am 53 years old, and had never

been to a court trial or hearing before. And,especially, never a witness for my baby daughter. And

now, instead of a court system that I had previously had faith in, my daughter and I and my family

have been re-victimized and re-raped by this very court system. The charge of rape had been

reduced by the grand jury to indecent conduct with a minor. This decision had disturbed and

confused me at that time of the decision. But, you know, I never kept hoping and expecting that

there would be justice in the end. And, now I was proven wrong. I don’t know how to tell my

beautiful, brave daughter that the court did not decide in her favor. I won’t tell her how angry I am

and how it feels like “justice” spit in our faces. I now believe that if I and my family was rich and/or

had power in this stinking county that the trial was held in, I would not be writing about my

disappoint now. I am bitter and mad and feel totally powerless to do anything else about it. My

advise to any and all who might be wondering if they should remain silent is that silence only gives

the bastards more power and makes them laugh at us. He will be laughting at us when he hears

the verdict. But, in the back of his mind, he will always know the truth and know how brave my

daughter is for standing up for her rights. He forever scarred my daughter by taking away her

innocence. But, I do know he will ultimately be punished by God-the higher power than this fool of

a judge, grand jury members, and prosecutor. To all of you who failed us- I am so glad we are able

to rise above you. My daughter will be OK in spite of you. My daughter will be rewarded for all the

s__t she has gone through by a joke of a legal system I no longer have faith in. Thank you for

listening out there. And, God Bless you all who have been wronged by ones we had trusted and

who should have done something about all the pain instead of causing us more pain.

19 years old in Bellingham, WA

2006

When I was young, in third or fourth grade, I went to the doctor. I honestly can’t remember if the

doctor was a man or a woman, but I remember that (s)he sexual abused me. My parents were not

in the room for some reason. I don’t remember the extent of what happened, only the beginning of it. Somehow, I think it was a female doctor, but again, I’m not sure. Aside from this, I’ve told one

person.

When I was 15 or 16 I was sexually abused by my dad, he didn’t rape me, and it only happened

once. I never told anyone but a few close friends. Never my best friend, she’d have taken action. I

have an OK relationship with my dad now, I see it pains him to remember it whenever we’re around

each other.

A few months ago I took my girlfriend to see her friends and family in her hometown, and one of

her friends got her high and tried to rape her. He molested her and by the time I got to where they

were I could see that she was terrified. It was pretty terrifying for me as well, getting her out of

there. Telling him no and pulling her away from him. She was so high she could barely function. She

made the decision to do drugs, but she never made the decision to be a sex toy. There was another

girl there, and after I took my girlfriend away from the situation and got her sobered up, we went

back for her. I wish we’d gotten there sooner, but we managed to get her out too.

It was the worst of three similar instances.

It was discouraging to me because I felt that if I had been a guy, or it had been a boyfriend there

instead of her girlfriend, those guys would have been hesitant to try anything.

We’re just friends now for other reasons, but I know she still thinks what happened was her fault. It

wasn’t and I’ve told her so. She made a bad decision by getting high, but she didn’t deserve what

happened to her.

It still scares me whenever I date that I won’t be able to protect my girlfriend or myself because I’m

a woman.

15 years old in Milwaukee, WI

2006

let me just say that i was raped by my stepfather as well and now im not only scared 4 life im terrified to walk out my front door,to walk to a friends house, and even to let my boyfriend kiss me.i found TBTN in a magazine,went to the website and found out that i am not alone. when i sleep all i think about is those bad times,but then i come to the website and all the bad times seem to fade a littie.so i just want to say.. THANK YOU TAKE BACK THE NIGHT websit U LET ME SEE THAT I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS FIGHT. AND TO ALL U OTHERS OUT THERE U ARE NOT ALONE IN YOUR FIGHT!

30 years old in Spring Lake, MI

2006

Flying to San Francisco, I arrived late to my hotel the weekend before the bombing of the WTC and asked my concierge at the Hilton to find me a restaurant where I would feel safe. I wanted it to have fantastic food, not have it be dead or empty, and not have it be a meat market. The female concierge said, “Oh! I know of a perfect place. I know the owner and the maitre’d; they will take care of you.” So she called {a restaurant} to make me a late reservation. ‘She was right, he took care of me. The maitre’d even sat down with me and struck up conversations, so I was not alone, which I thought was a little unusual, but I was fine with it because the place was full and I was eating alone. By the end of the dinner, I remember him saying “This is too easy, I feel guilty.” Soon after, I could barely support myself up (if not at all) for the rest of the evening and was sick for four few more days. He basically took me to his apartment and raped me, (I didn’t exactly resist because I couldn’t even hold my head up). The next morning he brought me back to my hotel in his shiny (maybe newer) SUV. I felt dirty and ashamed that I let this happen. I never reported it because I was in a lawsuit over someone killing my husband (in a crash) a year earlier. If the other attorneys found out, they would have thrown it in my face & publicized it (I didn’t want my mother to know). ..I had told my attorney (female) and my sister. They both told me that I was drugged. I’ve never, at the age of 30, had anything like this happen to me before. I couldn’t believe it. …so I learned quickly, not to even trust the staff at restaurants & bars (which makes it very scary that we can’t even trust them).

38 years old in Hopewell Junction, NY

2006

I was in 2nd grade when I was sexually abused by my neighbors son. He was 15 to 16 at the time and I was 7. I looked up to him as a role model. He taught me how to throw a baseball and gave me my first glove. He fondled me and forced me to perform oral sex. I blocked it out for 10 years and I have been haunted by it ever since I started to remember what happened. I have children of my own now and I am very overprotective of them. I know where Tino(the guy who abused me)lives, I know his phone # and I want justice. But I have no source to turn to for help. I dont know how you could ever harm a child. Every spring the feeling of anger and helplessness consumes me as I see my children playing in the yard.

51 years old in Pelham, NH

2006

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!!!

20 years old in Bellingham, MA

2006

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.

40 years old in Cooper City, FL

2006

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.

22 years old in Hays, KS

2006

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!

14 years old in Loganville, GA

2006

I used to be best friends with “Elizabeth” from the time I was 9 months old, until I was 11. She had an older brother who was about 13 then, and I was only 5 years old when it all started. When I went to her house, her parents were usually at work, so her brother would usually baby-sit us. One day, while “Elizabeth” was using the bathroom, “Andrew” told me to come into his room because he had to show me something. I always thought of him as a brother, so I didn’t think anythig of it. When I got in there, he shut and locked the door behind me, told me to take off my clothes, and then lie on the bed because we were going to play a game. I did as I was told and undressed and lied on the bed. He did the same. As he started to get on top of me, I knew something was wrong. I started kicking and screaming, but he wouldn’t get off, so I just lied there in shock. Finally he got off, told me to get dressed, and said “I’ll kill you if you ever tell anyone.” To this day, I still haven’t told anyone, except for my (now) best friend, not even my Mom.

26 years old in Minneapolis, MN

2006

I was 25 years old. The handyman in a motel confined, raped and strangled me. It was broad daylight. Let’s take back OUR RIGHT TO BE.

24 years old in Manchester, NH

2006

I was repeatedly molested and raped by my father ever since I could remember. The first time I ever remember him molesting me was when I was 5 years old and we were in the bath and he was cleaning me and he touched my vagina, and then asked me touch his penis. Through out my child hood he would always sneak french kisses and touch me under my shirt and underpants. He would even sneak in my room at night and wake me up to make me sexually interact with him. On my tenth birthday he raped me for the first time, and continued too until I was 12, one time he even made me stay home from school so he could molest and rape me all day long. He would never let me go outside to play with my friends or my brother always kicking him out of the house and keeping me inside so he could abuse me. When I was 12 years I finally told him to stop that he did not have the right to touch me, and then I went to the police. He has been in jail for the past 10 years and refuses to take responsibility for his actions, and refuses “treatment”, so they keep adding time onto his sentence. Now I tell people about my story, I know it’s not something meant to be kept a secret, and it was definitely not my fault. I’ve sung at the Manchester, NH Take Back the Night event and each year I tell my story and plead for victims to tell their story, get help, and stop being victims. It’s time we become survivors and make the world safe for other women, and men (this doesn’t just happen to women!!!) and our children. Take back YOUR night, SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT, BE HEARD!!

18 years old in Philadelphia, PA

2006

I was repeatedly raped from the time I was 3 until I was 14 by my baby-sitter. It took until I was 17 for him to be brought to justice. The abuse only ended when my family moved to a different state. When I first spoke up nobady believed me, that’s when I found Take Back the Night. They helped me through the past four years, and helped me find my voice. Now, by telling me story, I hope I can help to SHATTER the silence. Without your support I could have never been able to begin to heal. THANK YOU! and keep on helping others.

? years old in Bay Area, CA

2006

When I was 15 I was at a friend’s house with a group of girls and we had been drinking and then decided to invite some senoir guys over (we were sophomores). They came and as a joke my friend promised one of them that I would make out with one of them. They came and sold us some alcohol at a low price. I made out and did a little more with one of the boys. Then I decided I was done and went in a sleeping bag to show everyone I was done partying. Then the other guy “Jordan” came to me, unzipped the sleeping bag, climbed on top of me, and zipped it back up. I was trapped. I had not had that much to drink, and reflecting on the situation I believe the liquor the boys sold us had *something* in it. At the time I also felt it was my fault was “Jordan” was doing to me because I had messed around with his friend. I kept begging him to stop, he would merely laugh and continue. I was so afraid someone would notice what was going on so I stayed quiet. I kept falling asleep even though I was trying my hardest not to. Afterwards I blamed myself thinking I had brought it upon myself until I talked to a friend that had been there that night and she confided in me that “Jordan” had done something similar to her monthes earlier. I wish I had done something about it and I pray that he does not hurt any more girls. I feel sick thinking about him hurting someone else and I wish I had told someone sooner!

? years old in Oswego, IL

2006

I was sexually abused by my uncle for seven years. I was also date-raped when I was 14, and again when I was 15. The silence is what keeps this from happening over and over again. I won’t be a victim anymore.

35 years old in Tampa, FL

2006

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.

17 years old in Laredo, TX

2006

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.

23 years old in Plano, TX

2006

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 aparment 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. Everytime 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.

14 years old in Carrboro, NC

2006

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.

14 years old in Grand Rapids, MI

2006

It started when I was twelve. I went over to this guys house to hang out. He brought me to his bedroom and started making sexual advances on me. I told him to stop, and he got angry, and ended up beating and raping me. That was in seventh grade. In eighth grade, my boyfriend sexually abused me many times. Because of what had happened to me before, I was confused and it took me a long time to end the relationship. Then in ninth grade, I was abused again, this time by an older guy. All this time flashbacks and nightmares kept reapeating themselves. Then one day I couldn’t stand it any more, and I tried to commit suicide. My social worker found me and stopped me. He brought me to Forest View Psychiatric Hospital. That was a few months ago, and im doing better now. Today is January 26, and i was baptised last night. I still struggle with seeing them every day at school, but it’s easier now. I recently told my best friend and she has been very supportive. My social worker is now one of my best friends and he has helped me so much. He is the only reason im still alive.My advice to everyone is to get a stuffed animal. they are safe and very huggable and lovable. you can cry and tell them everything. they will listen. i have a stuffed dog named Hugs that my social worker gave me, and I can’t sleep without him.

15 years old in Ellicott City, MD

2006

I don’t know how old I was, or when it happen. All I know is who did it, where it happen, and how it had happen. I was barely a child, but I was old enough to be able to remember memories. I had innocence. I liked Minnie Mouse and Disney movies.

My own Dad pinned me to the ground outside of my bathroom and room. I remember the feel of the carpet against my skin. He slid down my pants, and raped me there despite my cries and how I begged for him to stop. I can remember his deep voice telling me not to tell anyone, especially my Mom. I nodded, and tried to forget about it. I think it might of happen again–but my mind is blurry on that.

My Dad verbal and physically abuses me as well. He sexual abuses me in a way with calling me ‘sexy’ and ‘beautiful’ when I am alone with him. He grabs my wrist so tight when he talks to me, and scream at me.

During a summer, I have a strong suspsion that my Aunt and Uncle sexual assaulted me. I’ve been having flashbacks about that for awhile now.

A teacher of mine molested me when I was in 5th grade, and followed my parents by car.

The first person I told was my ex-boyfriend, who is also a best friend of mine. But I don’t know how much he cares about me right now.

14 years old in Sanford, NC

2006

I was sexually abused by my best friend’s step-dad. After my dad left they were like family to me so he definitely had earned my trust. It happened a lot because we were always together. It was hard for me to keep this big of a problem from her but I thought it was the right thing to do. Looking back I could’ve put her in danger of him hurting her. I had to report everything to the police and i’ll soon be going to court. In the past year I have been sexually abused and I lost my best friend. I never thought that telling the truth would cost me so much. I pray for her everyday and I hope that she’s okay. I hope that one day I’ll be a better person from this experience. I’m thankful for my friends and family that have gotten me through this

16 years old in Temple City, CA

2006

Unfortunately I have been a victim of sexual violence more than once. all throughout my life i have had to deal with such things. it started when i was 5. i was raped by a family friend more than once. It is something that was extremely painful and becuase of that i did not tell anyone till 10 years later. then at the age of 10, i was sexualy harassed by a fellow peer at school. then again at 12 another family friend molested me in my own home. it took me years to overcome the emotional wounds of these experiences, but i did. and becuase of my experiences i have become a stronger person. and i am now determined to speak out against sexual violence through organizations like this and help other people who have been through the same thing. god bless everyone associated with this sight, and let’s continue to “shatter the silence!”

15 years old in St. Petersburg, PA

2006

you see their stories you say how sad, you hope you never have the same fear they had, it goes on forever in a shadow of hate, you will never know who all had the same fate, it might be painful it may make you cry, but you will never know why most of them die, when they said those words of hurt and pain, when those thoughts of death run through their veins, they will never fill clean no matter what they do it will haunt them for life, their stories maybe even ending with a knife, you see their stories you say how sad, does’nt this poem make you so {…} sad.

14 years old in Antioch, TN

2006

My story happened about 6 months ago: I went out with this guy for about a year. About six months into our relationship, he got to be sort of controlling. As we went “on and off,” continuously breaking up and getting back together, he just got more controlling. He would constantly put me down, and my friends could see it. They told me what they thought of him, but I wouldn’t be swayed. I refused to see any bad in him. After we went out only two months, we had sex. I was convinced I was in love. I would do anything for him, and he knew it. Then everything turned sexual for him. I can still feel him carressing me “down there” in a public swimming pool. I felt so dirty, but I refused to admit I was wrong about him. All he wanted to do was have sex, and I didn’t. Then, one day, he was at my house, as usual, and we had fought, again, because I wasn’t “in the mood.” He finally gave up and we layed on my bed watching tv. I was soon half asleep. He wispered my name, but I was too tired to ans!wer. I just figured he wanted to ask me to have sex again or something, and I didn’t feel like dealing with that. So I layed still. He began to caress my body. By then I was used to that, as he “touched” me often, but never for long. He then got on top of me, moved my shorts aside, and penetrated. I froze in shock. How disgusting was he that he would have sex with an unconcious person? I began to move as though I was “waking up,” but he didn’t stop. I jumped. Who was this man on top of me? It couldn’t be the man I loved, could it? But it was. I began to fight him off of me, but with no prevail.He was much stronger than me, I was left defenseless. After I struggled for a few seconds, he stopped, pulled me to him, and held me. I just sat there and cried. What was all this? He said to me, “Sshh. It’s okay. You know I’d never hurt you. I love you, and you love me too.” I was in shock. I didn’t tell anyone. It happened again. He seemed relentless. We b!roke up. I turned to “self-mutilation” and anorexia, which caused me to lose 20 pounds (I was five foot seven and weighed 135lbs at the time-I went down to 115lbs and was horribly thin). My friends were worried and took me to the school counselor. But no matter what, I wouldn’t admit it was my ex’s fault. It was mine. After months of going back out with him and breaking up time and again, I decided to end it. Even after being without him for a while, I had nightmares every night, and still do. But after a while I couldn’t take it anymore. I told my closest friends. They were not suprised, but they didn’t say it. They held me as I cried. He still has no idea that I told anyone. Some of my friends are now urging me to tell an adult, but I’m scared to find out what he would do if he found out. I pray to God everyday to help me through this. Slowly I can feel my voice again.

16 years old in Boca, FL

2006

I was sexually assulted by my boyfriend when I was fourteen. I don’t remember much and I guess I might have blacked out from fear. My two friends found out the next day. One moved and one doesn’t talk to me anymore. If it weren’t for the support of one good male friend. I don’t know how I would be able to control my anger. And who knows my ex might have tried to manipulate me again. I didn’t press charges. I’m afraid I’d be called a liar. My school did nothing. He wasn’t allowed near me but when they saw him try to hug me, they just stood there while I stood scared. I won’t be scared anymore.

22 years old in Boulder, CO

2005

I’m not really sure how old I was when it started. I remember a few little thing: an inappropriate touch in the swimming pool, him always wanting me to wear dresses. So, I wore the dresses and didn’t think about it except when the PE teacher got mad that I wore dresses on PE day. There were other concerns in my young life.

But, then, when I was 8, my parents sent me to stay with him alone. I still have the journal I started that vacation. I wrote about my plane trip and one more day, but after that some events required words that weren’t in my vocabulary. I stopped writing in the journal. That night I was taking a shower and he was “helping” me. This means he was sitting there watching me. I remember he got up–there were two sets of doors leading into the bathroom and he closed both of them. I’m not sure where my grandmother was. He said I was old enough and he was going to “teach” me something. He told me to get out and lie down on the floor. There was a white rug. Part of my back was on that and part was on the white tile floor. It wasn’t clean, but that doesn’t matter- I wasn’t going to be clean for much longer.

He told me to bend my legs. He separated my legs with one hand on my left knee and put his finger inside me. I said (or whispered): “Please, no, that hurts.” He said: “Bad girls say it hurts. Good girls like it. You want to be good, don’t you?” He sounded irritated and determined. Then came the space. I would get familiar with these spaces over the years to come. This one wasn’t as scary because I didn’t know what was coming and I didn’t know if I’d be moved I’d be hurt- that all came later. He always took his time after. I think he liked to see me lying there– it turned him on. He would use this space to prepare himself- it took a while for him to get an erection. Sometimes just me lying there was enough. Sometimes he would invent an excuse, (like that I was moving) to jam his finger into me a few more times. Sometimes he needed me to whimper to turn him on, but he didn’t need any of that this time. From the few times I opened my eyes, he was rubbing himself. Then he got on top of me. He was an old man. It took him a while to get down. Then he was inside of me and the pain overshadowed everything else. It felt like I was being split apart. I begged him to stop. He told me I had to learn and that if I was good it wouldn’t hurt so I must be bad. All I really remember is pain and fear that I could taste. When he was done I was so dirty inside- I don’t know if it was his semen or my blood or both. But he wiped me and put the paper in the toilet and flused it away. As he pulled up his pants and told me to put on my underwear and clothes, he told me I had been bad and hadn’t learned, so he would have to do this again. He said if I told anyone they would know how bad I was and would hate me. He forced me again, the first of many times that night in bed. It would be 10 years before I told anyone.

16 years old in Liverpool, NY

2005

I have been sexually abused in my lifetime and taken advantage enough times. My 2nd oldest brother sexually molested me when i was 9 & 10 years old. It would of continued if i didn’t start to feel scared more & more often. My parents only found out about it Christmas night of 2004, and im not saying theyre bad parents, but they did nothing. They cried & blamed themselves and when my 2 other brothers confronted the one, he denyed it all. And no punishment was brought against him and he still lives here. I will never forgive him for it but i’ve been trying to forget about it. As a direct effect in my opinion, i started having sex when i was 14. I didn’t ever sleep around with anyone. They all meant something & promised me they wouldn’t hurt me, typical guy’s lies. But i think i was forced to grow up and be more mature. I’ve been thinking about going to meetings for any of this plus the more secrets i consume to myself. I live with it and have survived it so far.

14 years old in Port St. Lucie, FL

2005

One summer I went to my grandparents house expecting a wonderful, funfilled summer. What I got was a disgusting memory and feelings that I was a worthless person that would haunt me for years. I was about 8 or 9 years old. I was in my Aunt’s bedroom, on the floor sleeping. I heard my grandpa open the door and say my name quietly, as if he didn’t really want me to hear him. I heard him. I don’t know why, but I was always afraid of my grandfather, so I stiffened up and pretended like I had heard nothing and was still asleep. I heard his boots coming closer to me, his breathing was unusually loud. I had my eyes open just enough so I could see him but it still looked like I was asleep. He got down on his knees and blew in my ear. It sent shivers up my spine. He stroked my hair and back, and after a few minutes of that got on top of me. I will never forget how truly afraid I became at that moment. He began moving himself up and down, back and fourth on me. I felt sickened. I wanted to scream, but it was if I could not move or speak because I was so afraid. After a few minutes of him rubbing himself on me and breathing loudly in my ear, I “woke up”; and tried to move. He noticed me moving and quickly got up off me. He just said he was trying to wake me up and walked out of the room like he had done nothing wrong. I told no one. I honestly don’t know why. Maybe fear or denial. But it didn’t pay, my keeping quiet. Because the next summer something similar happened. I came from the back of the house, going into the kitchen. I saw my grandpa in his maroon chair, watching an old western show. I avoided eye contact, as usual. I was deathly afraid of him ever sience the last summer. He asked me to come and sit on his lap. Not wanting to disobey an elder, I did as I was told. He then wrapped his arms around me, pulled me closer to him, and started blowing in my ear. I automatically had flashbacks of the past incident and began to feel sick. After a minute or two of that he began licking my ear, again breathing hard and fast. I could not take it anymore at that point. I pulled myself off of him and went outside. That night I was afraid to sleep out in the living room on the couch like usual so I asked my Aunt if I could sleep in her room. She asked me why, and I told her what my grandpa did earlier that day. I was astonished that she didn’t at all seemed suprised. She just said okay, sleep in here. That was it. I thought for sure she would tell my grandma or my parents, but she didn’t. And that was it. I still went there every summer. I just slept in my Aunt’s room. He died a few years later, and it was a huge relief to me that I didn’t have to be afraid of him anymore. Just a month ago I worked up the courage to tell my mom what my grandpa did to me all those years ago. She seemed suprised, yet not. She said that my Aunt “April,” the one who’s room I had been sleeping in, told her when she was a kid to be careful around him because he had “done stuff” to their other sister, “Maria.” I didn’t get a chance to ask her myself about it though, because she died at a young age of lukemia. I still haven’t fully gotten over those awful and haunting experiences, but I am working on overcoming my feelings of guilt and worthlessness. And for everyone out there who has experienced a trauma like sexual harrassment, sexual abuse, date rape, or the like, I am truly sorry. But please know that it is not your fault, and you cannot let the scum who did that to you ruin your life. Please have the courage to speak up and be heard. Don’t be stupid like I was and wait until it’t too late for anything to be done about it. But even though I was stupid for not telling anyone until it was too late, I learned from it. That’s why I am sharing my story now. Again, please speak up and be heard. It is definitely the right thing to do. No matter who did it to you, a friend, relative, employer, teacher or anyone else. SPEAK UP!!

17 years old in Grand Rapids, MI

2005

I was with a friend on night waliking from the store and a car pulled up with a group of guys in it. They knew my friend and invited us to go to there house. Me being a thirteen year old and very childish did not think anything was wrong. we went to there house and there was around ten guys from the age 17 to 22 their and one of them was hitting on me. He wanted to talk in the other room to talk and i agreed to go. when we got in the room he locked the door and raised the music loud. I Knew some thing was wrong i tried to get out but he threw me on to the bed and ended up rapeing me after a struggle. Now, five years later it still hurts yet im still scared to tell any athorities. I had have very bad depression and other issues that has resulted from my situation. But it did not kill me and i belive i Lived through it to help others.

? years old in NY

2005

I was with a friend on night waliking from the store and a car pulled up with a group of guys in it. They knew my friend and invited us to go to there house. Me being a thirteen year old and very childish did not think anything was wrong. we went to there house and there was around ten guys from the age 17 to 22 their and one of them was hitting on me. He wanted to talk in the other room to talk and i agreed to go. when we got in the room he locked the door and raised the music loud. I Knew some thing was wrong i tried to get out but he threw me on to the bed and ended up rapeing me after a struggle. Now, five years later it still hurts yet im still scared to tell any athorities. I had have very bad depression and other issues that has resulted from my situation. But it did not kill me and i belive i Lived through it to help others.

17 years old in Harmon, ME

2005

My friend was raped in the past four months. This rape occurred at the school that we attend. I do not know who she was raped by because she did not confide in me. However, I do believe that she did not do anything about it. In the school we attend there have not been any talk about it from the teachers. That leads me to believe that she kept silence, which is not good. I am now confused about what I should do about the situation.

13 years old in Missoula, MT

2005

Well, when I was born, my mom was married toan abusive man who constantlyhit her and told us that he was going to kill all of us. When I turned about 5, he startedto molestme when mymomwasgone.I didnt understand what it was but it felt gross.When I turned 6, he started to rapeme. I thought I was being punished for being bad.As I got older it got worse, but after my 2 brothers and 1 sister were born, mom finally left him. I felt dirty and insicure for years, but finaly told my counseler. It felt SOO good! I Have been going to groups and now am very active in anything to make it safe.

14 years old in Montclair, NJ

2005

at the age of 12 i was sexually assaulted by one of my best friends older brothers, he was drunk and high and i was sleeping. ever sinse then ive been dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide, i always felt so alone, but eventually i was checked into a hospital where i got better and i realized that i am not alone and that all things get better with time and the simple knowledge that i wasnt the only one who was (and still is) going through the pain that being sexually assaulted leaves behind. i still think about it sometimes but now i know that im not alone which makes things so much better, im in the process of writing a book filled with my old journal entries along with some of my thoughts, when i cant sleep at night i write, because its a way for me to get out what im feeling with out being self destructive or hurting anyone else. everyone has to right to know that they are not alone and that there is always someone who has gone or is going through the same thing or even possibly worse. thats the reason im writing, because i want others to know that they are not alone and thats why i believe so strongly in this organization, because thats exactly what it does. so thank you, thank you times one million.

14 years old in Brockton, MA

2005

My story is actually very recent. About a month ago I was raped by a complete stranger.not only was i raped but he also robbed me of my virginity in the process.I am only 14 years old

? years old in Sweet Home, OR

2005

When i was younger i was going out with this guy he had gone to a party and got really stoned then when he met up with me later i was alone at my grandmas house and he decided to have sex with me i told him no but he wouldn’t listen to me and he raped me than hit me recently one of my boyfriends had gotton high i told him why i didnt like him to do that but all he said was im so sorry not i would probably do it to you too i was really shattered innside but i realized that he probably would continue getting stoned and that i had to break up with him so i just want to say to anybody that if your boyfriend does things like getting high that you aren’t confortable with tell him if he doesn’t stop than brak up wiht him because your safety is far more important

14 years old in Tulsa, OK

2005

When i was 5 my mom got married to this guy. He was cool until one day my mom finally got a job. After that my life changed forever. I have 5 older brothers who were living with us at the time he told them to go in our room to play, so they did. I thougt he was talking to me too so i followed my brothers when he grabed me by the arm and told me to sit on the couch. I thought i had done something wrong but it turns out my body was in troble . He made me lay down on the chouch and used is fingers first then moved fron thier. He told me not to tell anyone or he would do it harder next time. this continued til i was 8. I ended up telling my aunt and she called my mom at work. i told her what had been happening to me. he went to jain and docters did all these tests on me. i had to testify in cort which was the hardest thing i ever had to do because the whole time he was starring at me. so if somthig has happened to you or your loved one don’t be silent because it will just get worse if you don’t say something.

24 years old in Beaverton, OR

2005

I wrote this poem after being raped and the follow up I am also submitting:

I was wrapped in the peaceful tranquility of dreams.

I woke sharply to the sound of breaking glass.

My sleep drugged mind was bewildered by the sound.

Before I could clear my head and react, you were there.

Looming in the doorway dark and threatening.

I tried to choke out a scream, awash in sudden fear.

Thinking desperately of the little boy in the next room.

My eyes frantically searched the room for a weapon.

Asking myself why I never thought to keep one in the bedroom.

You lunged in my direction and I tried to dodge past.

Your arms around my waist, lifting me off of my feet.

Tossing me ruthlessly back to the bed, hitting my head on the wall.

Everything was hazy, my vision a red blur before my eyes.

Your hands groped at me, easily deflecting my struggles.

Pinned down beneath your crushing weight I began to sob.

My limbs were immobilized, my throat clogged with terror.

Desperately grasping at any defense I spit in your face.

Your retribution left my cheek torn and my mouth bleeding.

You grappled at your pants and I kicked at you blindly.

Your brutal fingers clasped about my throat choked the fight out of me.

From some unseen pocket came a thick leather cord.

I whimpered desolately, pleading with my eyes, as you wrapped it tight.

Binding my wrists the excess forming a noose about my neck.

Savagely ripping my nightgown from neck to hem.

Exposing vulnerable unmarked flesh to your brutality.

Your nails bit viciously into the skin of my breast.

Your stale, alcohol laced breath washed over me nauseatingly.

Your words hit me like drops of acid rain, flaying my soul.

Your hate became a tangible force between us.

Looming and lurking like a vengeful shadow.

I felt you free yourself and struggled anew.

The cord tying me closing off my airway with every movement of my arms.

Afraid of the unknown blackness seeping around my consciousness.

I lie still, holding awareness as my last thread to survival.

Blood trickled over my body from your blows.

My tears mixed with your sweat, leaving me weak and shaking.

My heart begged for this to end, my mind praying it was a dream.

With unrelenting cruelty your mouth crushed mine, biting my lip.

Your hand pulling fiercely on my hair forcing my head back.

The leather dug deeply into my skin lacerating the flesh it tied.

You forced me to look at you, spewing hate filled taunts.

Wanting me to see you, wanting your face to burn inside my memory.

Looking into your eyes I despaired at what I saw.

They were empty, devoid of any trace of humanity, any remorse.

I knew what was going to happen and I knew I was powerless to stop it.

I willed my soul to go someplace else, but your relentless words chained me.

I couldn’t escape the biting voice in my ear, in my mind.

You knew it, I could see it, you were aroused by my helplessness.

You wanted me weakened and at your nonexistent mercy.

Fresh tears of desolation rolled over my cheeks as you laughed evilly.

When i believed my body couldn’t possibly hurt more you proved me wrong.

The tool of your vindictive punishment plunged into my unyielding flesh.

A scream tore from my throat of such agony I didn’t recognize it as my own.

Again and again, each stroke more excruciating than the last.

I felt my body tearing under your torture, tender flesh forever marred.

I wanted to die, I begged to be taken from this hellish prison of my body.

One thought bound me to my mortal form.

Keeping me tied to a reality forever altered.

I thought of the sleeping child on the other side of the wall.

I couldn’t let you win, not completely, I would never give you that victory.

Your depraved touch told me that that was exactly what you wanted.

Absolute domination, complete defeat of every part of me.

Mind, body and soul now in your ruthless clutches.

I felt your body shudder and heave from a great distance, detached by pain.

From somewhere above me I watched you lift your weight away.

You looked at me mockingly, spewing more searing taunts.

A fistful of hair brought us nose to nose as you searched my eyes.

Searching for proof of your victory, proof of my downfall.

Seemingly satisfied you shoved me away, spitting in my face.

You casually lit a cigarette before walking back out the door.

As if you hadn’t just abused my spirit and damaged my soul.

Torn, broken, and bleeding I curled onto my side.

Trying to become as small as possible, trying to hide from the memory.

I couldn’t move, I couldn’t think, my body lay shaking.

Conscious thought escaped me as I tried to will movement into my limbs.

Frozen, still bound in your nightmare, I lay shivering and bleeding.

An eternity passed before I heard distant sirens, saw flashing lights.

They came through the door with guns at the ready.

In my terror locked mind, I tried to get away from them.

Knowing only that I hurt in unimaginable ways.

Unable to comprehend that they were there to help.

Three paramedics and a wicked dose of morphine finally did the trick.

I stared fuzzily at the ceiling as they freed my hands, and took pictures.

Numbly hearing them move around the room searching for evidence.

As I fell into drug induced stupor, your face burned behind my eyelids.

Never again would I sleep without your image. Carved irrevocably into my consciousness.

This is a follow up poem to the previously submitted Demon Night:

Demon of My Nights

Since your vicious attack on my spirit,

My mind and my soul have been hiding.

Locked in a tiny cell in the prison of your hate.

The demons guarding me have been ruthless.

Your relentless cruelty is a bruise upon my heart.

Yet as I look around me I see the walls dissolving.

Brick by brick they’re melting away before me.

The impenetrable bars are turning to ash in my hands.

Your bloodthirsty grip on my throat is lessened.

I can breathe again, life seeps into my veins.

The chains of terror that bound me are disappearing.

You’re still there, a shadow in the darkness.

Calling my name in my dreams, a dimming spectre.

You’re losing your grip upon my life.

I’m turning my back on your torment and on you.

For too long I’ve been your captive, your victim.

I am no longer begging for release.

YOU WILL LET ME GO!!!!!

Your image will haunt me no longer.

I’ll become deaf to your taunts.

You can no longer hurt me.

I’m taking back what was never yours.

All that you stole from me is once again mine.

You have no power over me.

16 years old in Hernando, MS

2005

I have never spoken about what has happened with other people only in my head.My cousins both brothers sexual assulted me by making me do things and them doing things to me.I hate reliving these thing because i cannot even take a simple shower without feeling sick about what has happened i hate it i wish it never happend.The things they did makes me wish someone would speak up,but I read in Seventeen about this girl that had the same problem with her cousin I feel ok knowing that Iam not the only person but I will always have to live this memory in my head.

14 years old in Spring, TX

2005

at a young age i would say about 5 ish my older brother started to molest me at the time i didnt know what he was doing but as i got older i started to understand but he told me not to tell so i didnt but at the age of ten my cousin spoke up i never knew that she had been abused to i thought i was the only one and that if i spoke up that every one would think im bad. so since she spoke up my brother had to go to counseling he stopped everything he was doing. at the age of 13 i started haveing thoughts of suicide and i started cutting and doing drugs such as weed and riddelin and aderal ect. my parents had no idea of what was going on in my life because i hid it so well i was always smileing and i was thought of as the goody goody one night i tried to kill myself and took 4 riddelen thinking it would do the trick but i woke up the next morning just fine. i just recently started going to a youth group and i have been saved and i do not feel the need to cut any more and i dont have thoughts of suicide although i do write about my life in poetry i have forgiven my brother and now we are very close.now because of all i have gone through i share my story with other people to help raise the awarness and i want to be a youth pastor so that i can help other young people out of situations like mine. to all of you who are to afraid to speak up TELL SOMEONE i made the mistake of waiting to long to speak up and some one else was being hurt also. you could not only save yourself but others around you.

Butterfly wings

She flies with wings of a butterfly

look how beautifully her wings match the sky

wings so delicate

wings so pure

you would think

she is the cure

but broken inside

she was left to die

yet she still flies

high.

Higher than the trees

she can hear the birds sing

she needs no rescue

she will make it threw

the night is cold

but it wont harden her soul

she will be free

without any fee

she flies

15 years old in Norwalk, OH

2005

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.

15 years old in Kapolei, HI

2005

ENTERING HIGH SCHOOL I DIDN’T HAVE MUCH EXPECTATIONS

I KNEW THERE WOULD BE HOMEWORK AND MANY TEMPTATIONS

BEING A FRESHMEN, AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FOOD CHAIN

I WASN’T EXPECTING HURT OR TO FEEL ANY PAIN

BUT IT HAPPENED ANYWAY TO MY SURPRISE

THE DAY YOU SAW ME AND LOOKED INTO MY EYES

I DIDN’T KNOW YOU, BUT YOU WANTED TO KNOW ME

YOUR FRIEND GAVE ME YOUR NUMBER SO I COULD DISCOVER WHO THIS MYSTERY BOY COULD BE

I WAS SKEPTICAL ABOUT GIVING YOU A CALL

BUT I PICKED UP THE PHONE, DIALED YOUR NUMBER AND GAVE IT MY ALL

I WAS NERVOUS, NO WORDS I COULD SPEAK

HOWEVER AS SOON AS I SPOKE YOU SAID YOU WERE EXPECTING MY CALL FOR WEEKS

YOU KNEW ALL MY CLASSES AND WHERE I SAT AT LUNCH

I WONDERED WHY YOU CHOSE ME OUT OF A BEAUTIFUL BUNCH.

YOU AND I TALKED FOR HOURS ON THE PHONE

YOU SAID YOU WOULD ALWAYS BE THERE AND NEVER LEAVE ME ALONE

YOU WERE CONSTANTLY GOOD TO ME

YOU SAID FOREVER ME AND YOU WERE MEANT TO BE

BEING TOGETHER FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS

YOU SPOKE THOSE THREE DREADFUL WORDS I DARED NOT TO SPEAK

YOU SAID “I LOVE YOU’’ AND ASKED IF I FELT THE SAME

I TOLD YOU YES NOT THINKING THAT YOU WOULD FILL MY HEART WITH PAIN

EVERYTHING SEEMED TO BE GOING GREAT BUT I DIDN’T KNOW THE WORST WAS YET TO COME

THE MOMENT YOU TAINTED MY LIFE I WISH COULD BE UNDONE

YOU ASKED ME TO COME OVER ONE DAY AFTER SCHOOL

I TOLD MY MOM I WAS GOING TO THE MOVIES; LYING I BROKE THE GOLDEN RULE

DRIVING TO YOUR HOUSE I HAD A BUNCH OF BUTTERFLIES

I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING, I CAN’T BELIEVE I LIED

IN YOUR HOUSE WE HAD A GOOD TIME

YOU RESPECTED MY FEELINGS AND DIDN’T CROSS THE LINE

WE SHARED A KISS THAT MADE US BOTH SMILE

THE FEELING WAS SENSATIONAL MY HEART WAS BEATING A THOUSAND MILES

THE TIME HAD COME FOR ME TO GO

YOU WANTED ME TO STAY BUT I TOLD YOU NO

YOU ASKED YOUR FRIEND TO DRIVE ME HOME THAT NIGHT

EVERYTHING SEEMED PERFECT, EVERYTHING JUST RIGHT

I WALKED TO MY ROOM SMILING EAR TO EAR

MY LIFE WAS WONDERFUL THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR

MY CELL PHONE RANG AND TO MY SURPRISE IT WAS YOU

YOU TOLD ME TO COME OVER THE NEXT DAY THIS TIME DURING SCHOOL

WITHOUT THINKING I AGREED TO SKIP CLASS THAT DAY

THIS DECISION I MADE WOULD LEAVE MY PARENTS IN DISMAY

I DIDN’T GO ALONE I BROUGHT A FRIEND ALONG

NOT THINKING IF THE SITUATION, NOTHING FELT WRONG

WE WALKED INTO YOUR HOUSE ME AND MY FRIEND SAT DOWN

YOU TURNED ON THE T.V AND NO ONE MADE A SINGLE SOUND

MOMENTS LATER YOU CALLED ME INTO YOUR ROOM

BEING YOUNG AND NAIVE I DIDN’T THINK MY LIFE WAS IN ANY DOOM

YOU TOOK MY ARM AND PULLED ME ONTO YOUR BED

WE STARTED KISSING AND I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS UP AHEAD

MINUTES LATER YOU ASKED ME TO UNBUTTON MY SHIRT

I THOUGHT IT WAS HARMLESS, I THOUGHT IT WOULDN’T HURT

YOU STARTED TOUCHING MY CHEST NOTHING FELT WRONG

IT SEEMED TO BE INNOCENT FUN SO I PLAYED ALONG

THE NEXT THING I KNEW YOUR HAND WAS DOWN MY PANTS

I TRIED MY BEST TO SCREAM BUT I JUST CAN’T

NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO I WENT WITH THE FLOW

YOU ASKED ME IF I WANTED TO HAVE SEX I TOLD YOU NO

YOU TOLD ME IF I LOVED YOU I WOULD LET YOU IN ME

I TOLD YOU I LOVED YOU BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO LOSE MY VIRGINITY

YOU BEGGED AND PLEADED BUT I TURNED YOU DOWN

THE NEXT THING I KNEW THE DEMON THAT WAS HIDDEN WAS FINALLY FOUND

YOU PULLED DOWN MY PANTS AND I TRIED TO STOP YOU

BUT YOU WERE TOO STRONG, THIS WAS YOUR PLAN I SHOULD HAVE KNEW

THE NEXT THINK YOU WERE PIERCING ME INSIDE

THE PAIN WAS EXCRUCIATING MY TEARS I TRIED DESPARATELY TO HIDE

I TOLD YOU, YOU WERE HURTING ME AND I WANTED YOU TO STOP

YOU SAID FIFTEEN MORE MINUTES DETERMINED TO MAKE MY CHERRY POP

TIME SEEMED TO BE GOING BY SO SLOW

WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST LISTEN WHEN I TOLD YOU NO?

WHEN YOU WERE FINALLY DONE DOING YOUR DIRTY DEED

YOU FINALLY PULLED PUT AND GOT OFF OF ME

YOU SEEMED TO BE HAPPY, YOU SEEMED TO BE PLEASED

YOU SAID YOUR DAD WOULD BE HOME SOON SO I SHOULD LEAVE

I GRABBED MY THINGS AND GOT DRESSED

TODAY WAS SUPPOSE TO BE INNOCENT INSTEAD IT TURNED OUT TO BE A MESS

I WALK TOWARDS THE DOOR AND TOLD “ANGELA” LET’S GO

SHE QUESTIONED IF I WAS OK I TOLD HER I DIDN’T KNOW

BEFORE LEAVING YOU GAVE ME A KISS GOOD BYE

MY MIND LEFT CLUELESS, I ONLY WONDERED WHY?

ME AND MY FRIEND WALKED ME HOME THAT DAY

SHE ASKED ME WHAT HAPPENED. IF I WAS OK?

I PUT ON A SMILE ON MY FACE AND SAID EVERYTHING WAS FINE

HOW COULD I TELL HER THAT MY BOYFRIEND HAD CROSSED THE LINE?

YOU VIOLATED ME IN SO MANY WAYS, DID I DESERVE THIS? SHOULD YOU HAVE TO PAY?

I HAD SO MANY THOUGHTS RUNNING THROUGH MY MIND

IF ANYONE KNEW I WAS NOT CLOSE TO BEING FINE

I PUT A SMILE ON MY FACE TO HUDE THE HURT AND PAIN

I FELT IT WAS MY FAULT, I AM THE ONE TO BLAME

I SHOULDN’T HAVE GONE TO YOUR HOUSE THAT DAY

THE PATH I CHOSE TO TAKE LEFT NO ONE BUT ME IN DISMAY

I LIED TO MY MOM BREAKING THE GOLDEN RULE

THE DAY WAS SUPPOSE TO BE INNOCENT; I TURNED OUT TO BE THE FOOL

WHEN I REACHED HOME THAT NIGHT

MY MOM LOOKED INTO MY EYES AND SENSED SOMETHING WASN’T RIGHT

WITH MOTHER’S INTUTION SHE KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG

SHE ASKED HOW MY DAY WAS. I TOLD HER IT TURNED OUT TO BE LONG

I WALKED INTO MY ROOM EVERYTHING WAS STILL A BLUR

WHAT I THINK JUST HAPPENED DID YOU RAPE ME; DID THIS JUST OCCUR?

I SAT IN MY ROOM MY MIND AND BODY IN SHOCK

I VOWED TO MYSELF THAT DAY MY HEART WILL NEVER AGAIN BE UNLOCKED

I REALIZED YOU WHISPERED SWEET NOTHINGS TO GET ONE THING

A KNOTCH ON YOUR BELT TO MAKE YOU KING

I PUT A SHIELD AROUND ME AND WANTED TO BE LEFT ALONE

I IGNORED EVERYONE AND EVEN DIDN’T ANSWER MY CELL PHONE

I HAD TOO MUCH PAIN AND HURT DEEP DOWN INSIDE

I HAD TO LET IT OUT NO LONGER I COULD LET IT HIDE

THE PAIN OVERWHELMED MY WHOLE LIFE

THE SOLUTION TO MY PROBLEM COULD ONLY BE SOLVED WITH A KNIFE

I WOULD TAKE THE BLADE AND PUT IT TO MY WRIST

I WOULD CUT MYSELF REPEATEDLY NO VEIN I EVER MISSED

THE FEELING OF THE BLADE CUTTING MY SKIN

COVERED THE EMOTIONAL PAIN I FELT DEEP WITHIN

SOONER OR LATER MY MOM CAUGHT ON

SHE KNEW SOMETHING HAPPENED, SHE KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG

ABOUT A MONTH LATER AFTER THE TRAGIC EVENT

MY MOTHER ASKED IF I WAS PREGNANT

I WAS SPEACHLESS WITH THE QUESTION SHE ASKED

I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY EXCEPT MY PERIOD JUST PASSED

I WAS LATE LIKE MONTHS BEFORE

THIS SITUATION I WAS IN WAS A SITUATION I COULD NOT IGNORE

SHE QUESTIONED ME AND ASKED ME WHO WAS THE GUY?

I TOLD HER IT WAS “JOHN DOE” IT HAPPENED THE DAY I LIED

THE DAY I SKIPPED SCHOOL AND WENT OVER TO HIS HOUSE

HE FORCED HIMSELF ON ME AND IT ALL STARTED WITH A BLOUSE

I COULDN’T STOP HIM FROM DOING THIS DIRTY DEED

HE WAS TOO STRONG AND IT’S POSSIBLE HE HAD PLANTED HIS SEED

I THOUGHT HE TRULY LOVED MEAND WOULD DO NOTHING TO PUT ME IN PAIN

I GAVE HIM MY TRUST. AM I THE ONE TO BLAME?

HE WAS WOLF DISGUISED AS A SHEEP

THE FEELINGS I HAD FOR HIM I NO LONGER CAN KEEP

MOTHER YOU WARNED HE AND KNEW HE NEVER CARED

YOU KNEW HE NEVER LOVED ME AND MY SOUL HE WOULD TEAR

YOU KNEW EXACTLY WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN; YOU THINK YOU ARE THE ONE TO BLAME?

YOU THINK YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS. PREVENTED ME FROM PAIN.

MOM DON’T BLAME YOURSELF THERE’S NO ONE TO BLAME BUT ME, MYSELF AND I

I MADE A STUPID CHOICE AND I SHOULD BE THE ONLY ONE LEFT TO CRY

YOU CALLED THE POLICE AND STATED MY DAUGHTER’S BEEN RAPED

THEY TOLD US TO COME DOWN AND MAKE MY STATEMENT ON TAPE

I WOULD HAVE TO RELIVE MY EXPERIENCE ONE LAST TIME

I NEEDED TO PRESS CHARGES; HE HAD COMMITTED A CRIME

HE VIOLATED ME AND NO IS NO

HE FORCED HIMSELF ON ME WHAT HE DID WAS LOW

I MADE MY STATEMENT; SAID WHAT NEEDED TO BE SAID

MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY HATED YOU AND WANTED YOU DEAD

I WISH I COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE MY GIVEN FATE

BUT THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE ALL I CAN DO IS LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE

YOU PLAYED WITH MY HEART AND STEPPED ON MY SOUL

YOU RUINED MY LIFE AND NEEDED TO PAY THE TOLL

YOU SCREWED ME OVER AND PLAVED WITH MY MIND

YOU’RE LAUGHING NOW BUT YOU’LL GET YOUR TURN IN A MATTER OF TIME

IT WON’T HAPPEN TODAY, TOMORROW IT MAY TAKE PLACE NEXT YEAR

THE TABLES WILL TURN AND I WILL NO LONGER BE THE ONE FEAR

I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SEE YOU BURN IN HELL

I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOUR PUNISHMENT WILL BE ONLY TIME WILL TELL

I WILL MAKE YOU SUFFER AND BLEED IN PAIN

JUST BECAUSE I LOVED YOU THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT I AM THE ONE TO BLAME

I GAVE YOU MY LOVE AND HOPED FOR YOUR LOVE IN RETURN

YOU SORRY IS TOO LATE THE HARD WAY IS HOW YOU HAVE TO LEA[RN]

16 years old in Suffolk, VA

2005

when i was in the 7th grade i was attaked by a guy from my grade in my local middle school. he threatened me and all i could do was sit there because he had me pinned against a wall. he then tried to rape me. it seemed like hours i was in that bathroom, turns out it was only minutes. i was so relived when one of my friends heard him talking and came into the bathroom. he saved me from alot of things that could still effect me today. i still feel bad for not fighting him back. and there isnt a day that goes by that i dont think about it.

14 years old in Grants Pass, OR

2005

I was 12 years old when this happened. And it destoryed me. My parents were divorced. My mother had been seeing this guy, “Mark ” for about four years. So she thought it was time to let us meet his kids. He has two kids. One teenage boy, two years older than me. And one teenage daughter about to graduate highschool. “Mark’s” sons name is “Travis”. One day when “Travis” was with his dad at my house he made a move on me. I was so numb, I didn’t know what to think. Really, I thought it was a one time thing.But it keep happening.. Often. One time he pinned me down and went down my pants. I remeber calling my best friend and crying to her after it happened. I put up with this for a little over a month, until I worked up the strenght to tell him not to touch me. *This destoryed my relationship with my dad. I hated him so much for not being there, and not protecting me. I started getting deeply depressed, and started cutting myself, started drinking, taking random pills, anything to make me feel better. And I never did feel better. Now my mom asks me why i’m so “mean” to him. And I still can’t tell her the truth. I wish I told her, I wish I told someone. I was so alone, and then I started pushing people away. It’ll neevr be the same, and i know that now. So now i’ll tell anyone, Breaking the silence is the only way to make people see, and listen. And for all the young girls or boys this affects their not alone. And they shouldn’t have to feel like they are.

15 years old in Wright, TX

2005

i lived in ny last year and i was walking home from my schools football game as i walked i heard “‘Marissa,’ wait up”; and i turned around it was my friend “Rachel,” she said get home therers sum people that was just talkin about u im goin to walk u home just incase they want to start sum… by that point she was a block away running and sorta out of breathe i told her im fine that she doesnt need to worry and she turned around then a man knocked me out and draged me into the church … when i woke up the man was on top of me wit us both naked i couldnt moved i was tied to the benches ..he raped me…… i never told ne1 when my dad asked about the bruises i told him me and my friends were pretendin to fight and sum jerk jumped in and hit me he believed me

17 years old in Felton, CA

2005

I was attending an all expenses paid camp for civics literacy, my dream is to study political sceince in college, and this was my chance to get prepared. It was an honor. That is until I met “Daniel.” He sexually assaulted me on the last night of the camp, when we had a graduation ceremony and discussed our futures… I got home. I felt numb. He never spoke to me that morning when we left. He knew what he did. he got away with it. The DA’s office didn’t believe me. The DA told my mom that she thought I made it up because I didn’t want to tell my boyfriend I cheated on him. If she only knew…

16 years old in Justin, TX

2005

I was nine, and living with my grandparents. My grandfather would rape me everyday before my grandmom got home, and when I said no, he would beat me. Sometimes he would come into my room at night while I was sleeping and pin me to my bed while he raped me. This went on for 4 years, and no one ever noticed. I honestly believed that I was unloveable, because someone who loved me would stop the pain. Then someone reported it to CPS, and he left my life. I’m still having some problems related to it, like I still don’t trust people very much, and I’m afraid to be touched by anyone at times. But its better than it ever was, and I’m grateful.

15 years old in Norfolk, VA

2005

It all started last August. I had been talking to this guy online, and I hadn’t really wanted to meet him- and I didn’t plan on it either. But some how we ended up hanging out, and I didn’t have a problem being friends with him. I was fourteen and he was seventeen, so it was kind of awkward when he said he wanted to be more than friends. Well, we hung out at his house and he took me the garage to listen to music. And he raped me, I screamed, scratched and bit. But nothing happened,- no one came. He told me that if I told he’d kill me, so I was scared. I kept it to myself, and he would call me and say “come hang out with me, or else I will come to your house when your alone and beat you.” I was scared.. so I went. For two and a half months he raped me. At my house, his house, his garage- Finally I told, but no one believed me… I’m no longer a victim, I’m survivor.

14 years old in Arlington, VA

2005

When I was in sixth grade, my brother started sexualy harassing me. Finally one day, he was successful with rape. It was horrible. I hate it so much and I can never think of him the same now. But I have moved on from that, and it made me stronger, and able to handle more things.

18 years old in Moberly, MO

2005

When I was eight years old, my oldest brother sexually assaulted me for two years. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t do anything to stop it because it was all I knew. One day before my mom left, I asked her not to go because I didn’t want to be alone with him in the house. She asked why and I finally told her. His defense was that it wasn’t just one-sided, but I didn’t know what else to do but let him do it. Things got awkward after that, but now he doesn’t even speak with us, has a wife and kid and is just fine, i suppose. When i told my mother that, i felt like i lost 300 pounds of non-physical weight. So speak up and start saying this slogan to yourself and others: Lift the Weight; Don’t Wait.

13 years old in Indianapolis, IN

2005

I was at a high-school football game with a bunch of my friends. We were all hanging out, having alot of fun. But one of my friends from another school had brought his friend, “Jason”, with him to the game. “Jason” seemed nice enough and I talked to him for a little bit. The guys started joking around about paying me to do sexual stuff with them. I just ignored them and walked away. But “Jason” came up to me. He pulled me in front of him so my back was to him. Then he grabbed my hand and pressed it against the lower part of his pants. My heart stopped and I was scared. But he then proceeded to stick my hand into his pants. I knew it was wrong but didn’t know what to do. My hand was now directly on his penis. I couldn’t figure out why no one was helping me. It was the worst expierance of my life.

17 years old in Toledo, OH

2005

well it all starts out with my cousin molesting me when i was 11 then another cousin does the same thing when im 12 then raped when im 16.

14 years old in Arlington, MA

2005

When i was about 8 when i used to go over my great-grandfather and great-uncle’s house after school, they would pick me up and i would do my homework. One day after picking me up, i was sexually assaulted by my great-uncle, i didnt really understand what was going on, He made me swear i would not tell anyone. I didnt understand how wrong it was until about three years later. By then my great-uncle had moved out of the state.

17 years old in Vancouver, WA

2005

I am sickened by our corrupt court systems. Last New Years I was raped by my best friend’s father. A man from a nearby city is getting 7 years in jail for stealing women’s underwear while they weren’t home; my abuser is getting a maximum of 2. It is time for us to break the silence that surrounds the topics of rape and sexual abuse.

17 years old in Clifton Park, NY

2005

I was living with my boyfriend, and everything was good…until he started acting different. He became violent, and spit in my face and hurt me. I was left with bruises, and so hurt. He made me get on the ground to lick his shoe. (At this time we were no longer dating…he had a different girlfriend, who was pregnant with his child.) He forced me to perform oral sex, and I was crying the whole time, saying that I didn’t want to. He threatened to kill me if I didn’t, and he said he was going to let other people rape me. I was screaming and crying, his hands were around my neck, moving my head. I was so disgusted, that I threw up. He didn’t even care…

13 years old in Rapid River,MI

2005

when i was 6 years old we lived in an apartment in escanaba michigan and our neighbors seemed nice at first.in our seccond year there the youngest girl from their family decided to play a “game” with me. she made me do “things” that i didnt want to do.she would touch me and other things like that.but the thing is that i didnt tell anybody until two years ago it was a stupid thing not to say anything,but i was scared.i just wanted to say that if anybody is going through the same thing i was going through , tell someone … speak up before it is to late.

13 years old in Youngsville, PA

2005

When I was a young girl, about 7 years old, my cousin, “Jen” and I were being molested by our older cousin, “Eric”. We both loved him but he wouldnt stop and “Jen” and I didnt know what to do. We knew that we should tell our parents but it was too hard so we just kept quiet. after a while it just got to be too much for “Jen” and I so she told her parents and her parents told mine. She thought i would be mad at her but i was really relieved that i didnt have to say it. And now we dont ever see “Eric” again. and im glad that we’ve learned to speak up about what’s bothering us.

13 years old in Alhambra, CA

2005

when I was about 5 or 6 my moms friends older daughter forced me and her little brother to hav sex together.At the time i truely didnt kno what sex was and once I found out what it ment.I was really frighted about getting in trouble by my mother so i waited 10 years for her to find out I hope no one waits as long as i did because it ruined my whole life because i waited soo long for her to find out and then its was way too late to press any charges against the girl that did that to me

17 years old in Wheatland, CA

2005

When I was a freshman in high school, I met “John”. He comforted me on the messenger I had on my computer. We talked all the time and I was going through a point in my life where I thought I could not live another day. He took advantage of this situation. He gained my trust after talking for 6 to 8 months, and then he had a brilliant idea. That we should meet. I was only 14, and he claimed to only be 21. Well, little did I know that my life was going to change forever after that night. He came to my house and my stepsister was home. I told her to go outside so me and “John” could talk. Then thats when he started taking my clothes off, I said no so many times that I just kept crying and crying. Eventually I pushed off of me and ran. By the time I looked back he was gone. I never told anyone till about 2 months later, when there was little evidence. The only evidence was the fact that I was pregnant. I had an abortion (i had no choice in this issue) and they used the fetus to match his blood. It turns out “John” was really 27, they charged him and he plead. There was not enough evidence to convict him of rape so he only got one year jail, but the important thing is that because the judge so how emotional i was, “John” became a registered sex offender. I wanted that, in fact, I needed that. I am now 17 years old and want to start the I club at my high school before i leave. I want students to be able to shatter the silence. I will never be the same, but i have grown. I lost friends, and gained friends.

16 years old in East Greenwich, RI

2005

was sexually molested by my step father of 9 years only 6 weeks ago… i told right away but this event has turned my life upside down… i try to stay strong and keep telling my self that i shouldn’t let this man make me become a different person… my step father after finding out i called the police tried to commit suicide and when he was found he on his death bed but he survived. So much change is going on in a result of this and i have good days and i have days where i just can’t think and function.. he was a father to me because my own father has never been there for me but i guess he was not a good father either. my friends, family and school have given me so much support but its hard because they don’t understand what im going through and what it was like for this to happen to me. going through this is toough and but i hope that every girl that goes through this gets help and tells someone… no matter how long and difficult the court prosses let the man live through the pain and there is lots of help out there… and also i think that the healing process is a long one so no matter what other people say about how you should feel you should take as long as you need to heal… i know that the path ahead of me is a long one but i try as hard as i can to just get through the day for now..

13 years old in Athens, TN

2005

I was 10 years old when I was raped twice by two of my best friends.Heald at gun point.Three years later I was put in a hospitel for other medical reasions,And then I told them what had happend to me. They told the athority.But it was to late by then. Because the night it happend the guys moved.And the people stoped looking for them aouthw Itold them where thay moved to but thay did not listen.But i’m NOT staying quiet NO more!!!

16 years old in Oklee, MN

2005

THE PERSON WHO ABUSED ME WAS MY BIG BROTHER. It wasnt just one night of pain it was about 4 or 5 years of torture. Every night my parents left us alone him babystitting me and he would do weird things to me that i didnt like but had to put up with. I tried to tell my parents but they didnt belive me and told me “stop telling lies your brother could get hurt if the wrong person hears that” and its been like htat my whole life they always seem to stick up for him and not for me its like they dont care aobut me. The worst part is they told everyone i was lying and it hurts so much because i’m an outcast in my family and community but, i do have a few close friens who belive me and my story. The day I turn 18 is the day I will ‘TAKE BACK THE NIGHT’.

15 years old in Newton, CT

2005

I was only 11 years old when my own brother sexually molested me. I don’t know why it happened to me. But after a month, I finally broke down to my mom, and soon my dad came down and asked me what exactly happened. I couldn’t say anything except the areas were he touched me, and the whole time I sat there crying on the couch. After a few weeks, my parents brought me to my brother and all was said to me was, “Sorry.” And untill about at least 2 months did my brother and I actually start talking to each other again. It just pains me every day, that I hvae to live with the fact that I was molested, and that all I ever got out of it was, “sorry.” It’s never affected me until I 13 and I got depressed. Even then, my parents didn’t even realize what was going on in my head. I’m a 10th grader now in high school and each day that passes, I have to think to myself everything I went through and that people don’t even understand anything that’s actually happened to me. 4 years after the incident, I was arguing with my dad and he said, “stop acting like an abused child.” Completely forgetting I was. So my response, while crying hysterically was, “Last time I checked I was an abused child.” and all he could do was look away from me, and I went to my room and he never came in to check on me. I’d love to tell everyone and get it off my chest but I just can’t bring the words out of my mouth. I don’t want my brother in jail, I just want him away from me. The horror of it all is that, I still look at my own brother’s hands, and fear runs through me.

13 years old in Cumberland, RI

2005

I am sexualy molested by my fathers best friends son. I’ve never told anyone because it would ruin my father is he found out. it kills me evryday adn i dnt kno how to handle it anymore. once he pushed me up against a tree…and in the process he scratched my leg so bad that it bleed for a bout 2 hours and i was a massive scar. I know have a boyfriend that loves me adn cares for me, but i can not get around to telling him what happened to me. I just can’t handle this on my own anymore.I want to report this kid…but if i do…will anyone belive me?

15 years old in Mountain Home, ID

2005

I thought a harmless night of hanging out with these 2 guys i just met would be fine but i was very wrong. i was given alcohol and drugs and taken advantage of. I distinctly remember trying to push them off of me but it didnt seem to work. I made one of the guys take me home the next day and i have avoided them since.

17 years old in Marlton, NJ

2005

I was dating this guy during my junior year of highschool who was a senior, we were driving around one night, he lived on the opposite side of town of me where it was dark and alotta of trees & not too many street lights. He drove and stopped his car and he tried to force himself on me by undoing my jeans & whatnot, i kept saying no that i didnt want to & started crying & yelling it, he finally layed off & drove me home in which I remained silent & crying the whole way home. He brought me home & then forced himself on me again in his car in front of my house, I felt so weak bc he was bigger than me & I did like him but I didnt like him enough to have sex, after I went into the house that night, i felt destroyed, I haven’t told anyone about it since, its been over a year since its happened, and im still scared to come out about it today, & I cut off my connections with him for the past few months because he’s been nothing but a huge jerk.

16 years old in Wichita, KS

2005

When I was 12, I was in a relationship. One night he wanted to “have oral sex.” I wasn’t ready for that. He then left me with a scar and some bruises and took my virginity by rape.

14 years old in Plano, TX

2005

my father druged me everynight in my sodas everynight and then would unclothe me while i was asleep, touch me and take photos of me.. then later on trade them online. he would tape me in the shower without me knowing, would be very “overly friendly” with me, gave me wedgies ALL the time, and tickled me to the point where i cried because it hurt.. my father is a sick man. because of his actions he’s now spending 50 stacked years in prison. i never will be able to trust my future kids alone with him.. and that just tears me up inside.

17 years old in Bartlett, TN

2005

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 advertized 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.

33 years old in Bloomington-Normal, IL

2005

At 21, I was happy and successful. I had a loving family, great friends, a man who loved me, a good job, nice car, and I was living on my own. One of my male friends asked if he could stay with me while his apartment was being prepared for him to move in. I told him yes after talking it over with my roommate.

My boyfriend from Chicago came to visit me one weekend, and my friend didn’t like it. I didn’t understand why he was so angry with me. After my boyfriend left for the evening, my attacker and I got into an argument after which he spent the next few hours raping me.

There was no way I was able to stop him from doing what he wanted to do to me. He had me pinned down on my bed, ignoring my screams, tears, and hits. When he stole my most precious and priceless gift reserved for my future husband, I died. When he penetrated me, he took my virginity.

I only remember bits and pieces of the remainder of that night. After he left my room, I curled into a ball in the middle of my bed and cried. At some point, I got up removed my clothes and bedsheets and washed them. I took boiling hot water with bleach and started cleaning my house. I scrubbed the floors, tables, and vacuumed the couch where he was sleeping. I don’t know at what point he left the house, but I noticed he was gone. While I was cleaning I tried to be quiet, so I wouldn’t wake up my roommate. I didn’t want to have to explain to her what just happened and why I was crying.

I don’t remember how long I stood in the shower scrubbing my skin. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, angry and frustrated that I still didn’t feel clean. I could still feel his hands on me, and I scrubbed harder. My skin was so raw and tender when I got out of the shower, but I wanted to get back in and scrub some more.

I went to work the next day, speaking to no one, only speaking when I had to. I had no idea of how I was going to tell my parents or my boyfriend. I didn’t want to hear the I told you so’s. I didn’t want to be touched, looked at, or even thought of by anyone because I felt so dirty, ashamed, as if what happened to me was my fault.

For me, the letters of rape stand for removing all possible evidence, because that’s what happened to me. The person I was before the rape, was gone. The letters of survivor stand for strengthening, understanding, respecting victims of incest, violent crimes, or rape. The sexual assault support group through Stepping Stones of the YWCA helps me because I’m strengthened by sharing my experience as well as listening to the experiences of others.

16 years old in Terre Haute, IN

2005

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.

? years old in Bulger, PA

2005

After reading a number of the other entries and realizing that it must help to read others’ stories I figured I’d add my own…Now this didnt happen to me, but it did to my mother. My mother was a victim of a controlling and abusive relationship/marriage. She and my father had been together for the majority of their lives, they were high school swetthearts, too bad the sweetness didnt stick. Growing up no child sees everything that goes on behind closed doors, even in your own home, I know of what happened but everything and for how long is unknown. My father was an abusive drinker. He and my mother would fight but as soon as my sister or I were to awake,the fighting would tone down. As I got older I saw more and began to understand that this was serious. My father didnt just “smack ‘my mom’ around” he would beat her. One night as I lay sleeping I awoke instantly at the sound of my mother crying out “Get off of me.” I didnt know what was going on and I went out into the hallway. I looked down the hall to my parents room and saw through the door, my father holding my mother down with one hand and pulling back to hit her with the other. I ran down the hall and yelled for him to let her go. As I aproached the door he stood up and walked toward me. I had never seen the look in his eyes that I saw that night, they were so dark and cold. He pulled his fist back to strike me this time, how it happened I dont know but I fell backwards at that same time my mother had gotten up and grabbed his fist. Feeling her on him he turned and threw her across the room with one arm. I got to my feet and unsure of what to do I screamed for him to stop, my sister heard my cry and came to see what was wrong. She ran through the door way and pushed my father into a closet. He stood back up and walked toward us not knowing of his actions we backed up, soon enough we were outide of the room and he had closed the door in our faces. My mother was still inside. After my sister and I had been banging on the door, for what didnt seem long, my mother broke through. The three of us ran down the hallway to the kitchen with my father close behind.I did not make it to the kitchen,I was to afraid to move after the sight of broken chairs and coffee tables moving about in the air.I stayed in a corner in the living room and watched as my father ripped apart our home. He yelled and threatened and insulted everyone of us and then left. Now unfortunately that was not the last of their fights.

Thankfully today they are no longer together. They have been slipt up now for almost two years, I believe. I now live with my mother and her boyfriend, though he is not my father I still do not feel I can really trust him yet. My sister is off making something of herself, something I intend to do in the not so distant future. I have not seen nor heard from my father in over a year, now I know that this is for the best.Now I do not have to deal with the drrunkenness, as my mother’s boyfriend does not drink.

As long as I live I’ll never forget their fights,the sounds of doors slamming,objects breaking,the cry of my mother that no matter how deep of a sleep I may be in, I would awake instantly. My mother was blinded by what she saw/thought was love…how can that be love? How can it be love when there is so much pain? My mother did not want to be the single mom who is looked down upon as a bad mother for raising her children without a father. My mother thought that fighting was what people did when they are in love…yes people do fight but not like what she went through. It had not been for my sister and I my mother may not be here today…My sister and I stepped inbetween countless fights…

By writing this I hope to be helping ohers realize what you may be putting yourself though and those around you. Dont stay in a bad relationship for it to get worse, dont stay together for the children…you really dont want them to see the truth, do you?

Think things over and dont stand for abuse of any sort…be strong!

15 years old in Oxford, OH

2005

I was 14. I had a bestfriend. I loved her very much. She has 4 sisters 3 were triplets all girls, aged 10. 1 sister aged 11 and of course her aged 13. She was a year younger than me. Her family was like my family. I went to all family reunions and everything, and since I dont know my dad I was very close to her dad. But he wanted to be closer. When I would spend the night; wich was all the time every weekend, all weekend and I would usually be over there on weekdays from after-school till about nine.

At first he would look at me wierd and wink, and hold my hand and kiss me on the lips. He would always cuddle with me and be really nice. Since I had never had a real dad that I was really close to, I just figured it was normal, and I let it go. Soon he moved on to touching my butt and waking me up in the middle of the night to give me a kiss, he would rub my face.

Soon he was touching my breasts, but never in front of anyone. But he did that to all of his daughters, he would give them titty-twisters, and un hook their bra, but they really didn’t have boobs yet!

He never did that to me but one day my best friend and I were sitting on his lap, and he told her to unhook my bra, and it hooked in the front! I was wearing a tanktop so if it came undone they would fly out!! he was holding me down and she was trying to unhook my bra. I had been telling her what he was doing she told me to tell him to stop but i was scared. While she was trying to get my bra undone she noticed he was looking down my shirt and she stopped she told him she couldn’t get it! He looked diappointed. She told me to slap him and tell him to quit but I didn’t know how he would react. I didn’t know if he would think I was stupid for thinking that he was trying to make a move on me..

Soon he was sticking his pants on my butt and on my side like my thigh, trying to make his way to my vaginia. But I stoped him everytime. This was constant and very annoying. He would walk me to bed and ask me to lift my shirt or pull down my pants and I always said no. I was not sure what to do. I never told anyone. I always pretended to be sick or asleep so he would leave me alone, sometimes it worked sometime it didn’t!

One weekend we walked to a pizzaria, because he is the manager and he has the key and can get free food. And he kept asking me if he could stick his hand down my pants and i said no like a million times but he was drunk.. still it was no excuse he kept asking me why and i said because i love you and your family.. He said please!! i said no! and i remember his exact words! He said your right i am a dick, i am sorry please forgive me. I said “its fine” and he said “no its not i am a dick” and after that no more than 10 min later he said so can I. and I said no!!

About a week later my friend left for cincinnati to spend the night with her grandma, she had to go to work with her for school! and i spent the night over there anyways! the next day he woke me up and asked me to lay in bed with him and watch a movie and that was really normal! But he was asking me again if he could stick his hand in my pants and i said no! But then he was above he with one hand next to me and the other down my pants fingering me! It scared me to death, but there was footsteps comming up the stairs so he quit! I can remember the look on his face, and it haunts me! But i wrote my other friend a letter at school explaining what had happend and i didn’t have the guts to give it to her so i braught it home!

The next day i went ice skating with all of the girls and him. But when we got back I got a phone call, it was my stepdad he was comming to get me and he was mad! He had went into my room and read the letter! I had to tell my friend that i couldn’t see her anymore and why.. She told her mom and he had already cheated on he 3 times that she knew of, but they belived him! He refused to take the lie detector test. I had to get an exam and 4 sessions of councelling. I had to go to grand jury and they didn’t ever convict him because of lack of physical evidence!! and he is still walking today!

14 years old in Koshkonong, MO

2005

When I was 9 years old I was sexually abused by a boy 5 years older than me (he was 14). It was on the bus. I told him to stop and he wouldnt stop, He touched my breast and My vaginal and butt area. I was ashamed, scared, and embarrassed. I was ashamed because it sometimes felt a little good. I knew nothing about sex or anthing like that. I was only 9 and in 3rd grade! I didn’t tell my parents at all. It went on for about a year and a half.I had nightmares almost everynight. Dreams like me running down a never-ending hall, then he would catch me,pin me down, and rape me. I would wake up crying, but still was to ashamed and afraid to tell my parents. This went on for a year. I was terrified of the dark and began sleeping with my light on. So just incase he ever came to my house I could see him and scream. (in my 9 year old mind thats what I thoguht) When I was in 4th grade his brother made (blow job) hand jester to me. Some of the older girls seen this happening and told. Thats when everything came out, I told my parents everything. I felt a little better getting it off my chest. My dad someone I never seen cry, cried his eyes out. He was so deeply hurt. I was afraid of all men. Even my own brother and dad, who I know would never do anything like that and havent. My dad went to the juvinile and talked to some people there. They said it was my word against his, and he would probably just get off scott free. There was nothing that could be done. My dad went to the school that I was at (I no longer go there) and they told him it was a year ago and there was nothing they could do about it. Although it happened there. My parents didn’t want to put me through that kind of pain of watching him no get into trouble for the wrong he did. I still see him. I’m not over it. Everytime I see him I become that 9 year old little girl all over again. The other day I seen him in Wallmart, I froze up, grabbed my moms shirt, and broke down into tears. I cried from Wall Mart all the way to my grandparents. Non-stop. I still have dreams every great once in a while. Mostly just after I seen him. I hope I will get through this all. Thats why Im gonna start handing out poster and hopefully get people to help me pass out things and help people understand it! If I could keep even just one girl from going through what I went through, I would be satified! I want people to be educated! Or if they have been through something like this, To tell them not to be ashamed and their not alone like I once thought myself! You can make it through this with the help and love of people around you.

21 years old in Woodland, PA

2005

I was 20 years old. And i was going through a tough divorce from a military relationship. “Paul;” was my best friend and was helping me through divorce. Or so i thought. My family was on vacation and i had let “paul” stay at my house because i didn’t want to be alone. (the ex’s family was crazy). He had kissed me before that night. But i saw it as nothing more than very good friends. That night, as i lay in my bed, he forced himself on me. I said no, he just pushed harder. I cried, trying to push him off me, afraid that he’d hurt me.

I was so afraid to tell anyone, so i did nothing. You always hear about the rape cases that nothing ever gets done about. About 9 months later, after my baby boy was born, i decided to speak out about what he had done. But it was too late. My mom had known about it, my therapist, my current boyfriend. Their support helped but it didn’t cure. “paul”; gets visitation of my babyboy and continues to take peices of my soul away from me.

My word of advice: please please dont wait to tell someone. They can help

19 years old in Sterling Heights, MI

2005

I was sexually assaulted twice once by a stranger once by a close friend. I went to the authoritys and was called a liar. I will not be silent any longer.

22 years old in Whittier, CA

2005

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….

20 years old in OH

2005

My story begins in late October of 2003. I had met “Ryan” online. I guess I should have known to be more careful, but since the time my father had passed away I had become more reckless, I was somewhat promiscuous. I met with “Ryan” several times, and we started getting closer. On October 31st,a saturday, the program that I lived with at college was going to be having a halloween party. “Ryan” expressed an interest in coming down to it, so I drove up to his house to bring him down.

When I got to his house, he had already been drinking. I guess looking back that should have been my first sign, but like I said “what if’s” won’t help me write this. We left his house, returning to my school, and he continued to drink the entire way back to school and he continued to get worse and worse.

Once we got there and got up to my dorm room so I could change, he began to be beligerant to my roommate and was harassing her. She left to go to the party, I finished getting ready, and we headed downstairs to the part. By this time he wasn’t feeling well and was getting sick, so I told one of the girls runnign the party that I would be back later, because I was supposed to help out.

I ran back upstairs and changed out of my costume. I was a victorian vampire, I can remember all the details of my dress: the color, the way my hair was, my makeup. So many insignificant details. I can see my friend when i told her I had to leave, I remeber all the decorations in the basement. I can see it all in perfect detail, those few hours before my life was forever changed.

The drive back was pretty uneventful, with the exception of him trying to get out of my car while I was doing 70 on the freeway. I got him home and while he was able to get out of the car by himself, he almost passedout at the door, and I had to use his keys to get into his house. He crawled in the door and passed out on the floor. Now I had never seen anyone so drunk before and I was worried that he would be ok or not. I helped him up and got him on to the couch. I think back on this moment and wonder why I stayed, why I worried about him. I didn’t know him that well, why did I care. I guess I’ll never be able to answer those questions.

He gained some semblance of consciousness while he was sitting on the couch. I asked him if he was ok, and if he needed anything. He got this look in his eyes, its a look I’ll never forget. I’ll never know how he did it, but he grabed me by the shoulders and pushed me back on the couch. I was wearing a long skirt so he was able to pull it up. I kept telling him no, and that I didn’t want to, but it was like he wasn’t there. His eyes where blank as he watched me struggle against him. He ripped my underwear off and pushed himself inside of me. I remember crying, and I just kept begging him to stop.

I don’t know how much time passed, but he was finally done. He got off me and just went back to sitting on the couch and he turned on the TV. For me it was like I wasnt’ there anymore. I couldn’t understand how he could just sit there like nothing had happened. I sat up, pulling down my skirt, I couldn’t find my underwear. I never said a word to him, I just picked up my purse and calmly walked out the door. The minute the door was closed I ran to my car, it was like as soon as that door was closed between him and me, I could feel again. My body hurt everywhere.

I got in my car and drove. I don’t remember where I went though, school was only half an hour to 45 minutes away and it was about 1am or so. I didn’t get back to my dorm until 10:30 that morning….I have no memory of those hours.

_____________________________________________________________

I went to the college wellness center was examined and was given the morning after pill. I tried to continue school, but my grades started slipping. The spring semester rolled around and i was placed on acadmeic probation. I started not going to classes, not doing homework, just generally not caring abotu school because I couldn’t care about myself. Towards the end of the year on of my professors tol dme I would fail his class and that i should get a withdrawal from it, so that it didn’t affect my grades. To do so, I ahd to petition the deans office. I waited over a week for an answer from them, and when i got it, it wasn’t what I expected. I was granted the withdrawal, but I was being forced to take a leave of absence do that I could deal with my “issues”. The wellness center had told the deans office everything that had happened, and the deans answer to that was to kick me out for a semester. _____________________________________________________________

I would be a year and a half before the semblance of life that I had made for myself would be destroyed again. I had returned to school. I had jumped through every hoop that the deans wanted me to and I was allowed to return.

It was May 7th, the guy that I had been seeing on and off again since January, “Allan,” asked me to come down to visit him. I hadn’t seen him in about a month, so I decided it was a good idea. I had an idea that he was expecting something to happen because we had been intimate before, but it wasn’t what I wanted to see him for. I got there and he buzzed me into his apartment. I went in and he was naked, just about to take a bath. I came in and got settled, I started flipping through the channels on the TV. “Allan” was in the bathtub and he called for me to come to him in the bathroom. I got up and peered around the corner: he was sitting in the tub and he was shaving himself down there. I wouldn’t know how important that was to be until later.

He came out of the bathroom wearing just his boxers and a t-shirt, and sat down next to me to me to watch TV. We smoked some weed and he had a few beers. After while he got hungry so I cooked dinner for him. We continued watching TV for awhile when we leaned over and started kissing me. When he started trying to touch me I told him to stop and that I didn’t want to. He stopped and just went back to watching TV; it was almost like he forgot that I was there. A few minutes passed and he started trying to kiss me again, and one again I told him to stop. This time he stopped long enough to get up and grab my arm and drag me to his bedroom.

He pushed me on to the bed, and because I was wearing a skirt and tank top he was able to just push them up while he went to hold me hands down above my head. When he got my skirt up he pushed his fingers into me. It felt like he was digging his nails into me. The louder I would cry the more he would hurt me. He stopped that and because he was wearing boxers he pushed himself inside of me. He let go of my arms and I started pushing at him trying to get him off of me. He got angry and bit me in several places on my chest. When I started screaming he wrapped his hands around my neck and started choking me. I became terrified that he was going to kill me. I passed out, and when I came to I was on my stomach and he was behind me trying to push his fingers into me anally. When I started crying again, he told me to shut up and started calling me name. He then tried to push himself into me anally. I was doing everything I could to stop him, and he finally did give up trying. He moved me back onto my back and started to rape me again. My body seemed to have stopped working, I couldn’t fight him anymore and I stopped yelling, but I remember still crying.

When he was done, he just rolled over and seemed to fall asleep. I was finally able to make my body move again. I got up and managed to leave his apartment.

It was nearly 4 a.m. before I was able to leave…it had been 6 hours of hell that he put me through. ____________________________________________________________

My life hasn’t been the same since that night. I was doing so much better;it had been a year and half of counseling; I was piecing my life back together at that night tore everything I had worked for away. Slowly, through the help of those that I have to support me I am realizing that he won’t win, that I have control of my life, and though it might be a long road I’m not alone.

45 years old in Bakersfield, CA

2005

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 Californias 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.

18 years old in Orlando, FL

2005

my stepfather sexually molested me before i knew what those words meant, especially together. he finally stopped after reading what i wrote in my journal. i’ve told few people. i don’t report him because another failed marriage would destroy my mother.

34 years old in Gettysburg, PA

2005

From an early age, I was subjected to sexual abuse. I was victimized by a relative when I was a child, yet barely anyone belived 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 isif 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!

? years old in Australia

2005

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.

20 years old in Toms River, NJ

2005

This posting must be anonymous but just because I cannot leave my name does not mean I cannot leave my identity. I am a short little girl from Toms River, New Jersey. I am 20 years old. I have a 16-year old sister, a 13-year old brother, and cute little puppy. I was raped in the sixth week of my freshman year of college and he was a sophomore whom I had never met until that night.

Rape is all over. It is within every culture, within every country, within every city, within every town, and working its way to be within every family. In my immediate family now, I can count one. I pray that I will not have to count my little sister as two. Too many people find this issue too “touchy” or too big to deal with. They push it to the back of the their minds, seeing those nights only through blurred eyes, leaving the stories of those nights untold, leaving the attackers as free individuals when in fact they have committed a federal crime. The victims are left alone, feeling ashamed, feeling to blame. People pretend that it does not exist.

Our world is filled with pain and we cannot ignore it. We must try to make it better, if not for ourselves, then for the future. We are all in this world and in this space and time together. Our lives, whether we like it or not, are deeply intertwined. A quote from one of my favorite books explains it best: Mitch Albom says in this current bestseller—the five people you meet in heaven—“No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river…[it is] the secret of heaven: that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”

I write with enthusiasm, with encouragement, but most importantly with a desperate plea for everyone to just talk. Talk for yourself; share your burden. Talk so that maybe you do not have to feel so alone. Talk so that other people can know of the dangers of the people around them. Talk so that people can realize the repercussions of their actions. Talk so that people will know that they are not alone.

Most importantly, talk for the world. Talk so that people are aware that rape and violence do happen and that it can and will happen to them and their loved ones if they do not do something about it. Talk so that the world can realize that this is indeed a very big problem and that, despite whether or not they want or like to think about it, it needs to be addressed. We cannot let this continue.

One story touches other stories. Share your story. Talk so that maybe other people will start talking. Talk…because it will make a difference.

15 years old in Norwalk, OH

2005

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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