interpersonal violence

‘I was an intern. He was the manager. I was in his home with his wife and kids. He knew what he did was wrong, but that he could get away with it. That same year, the unthinkable happened.’

“I didn’t know what to say or do. I was frozen. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t concentrate. My mind pretended like it never happened. I felt like I couldn’t ‘risk my career’ by speaking up, so I remained silent. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Just graduate and get a job.’”

‘Mom, I made a mistake.’ My boyfriend left me on the side of the road, a burning sensation on my face.’: Young woman escapes abuser, ‘I only survived for my child, but now I survive for myself’

“While I was asleep, he took my phone and began browsing through my messages. I awoke to his voice. ‘Who is this guy you’ve been texting?’ He looked angry. ‘That’s just my friend,’ I explained. ‘Well, don’t text back. You’re flirting with him by texting back.’ I tried once more to defend myself, but ended up pinned down for hours while I sobbed and begged for him to let me go.”

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I hopped into his car, not yet understanding what pedophilia was.’: Male sexual abuse survivor finally realizes ‘it wasn’t my fault’ after 32 years

“My mom wasn’t looking. In a moment’s notice, this stranger had given me the attention I’d tried for years to get from my dad. When he removed my pants, he removed my dignity, my identity, my hope to feel whole. For 2 years, he made me believe that I was ‘enjoying it’ because I had physical response to it. I believed him. It took me 13 years to call it what it was: abuse.”

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