sexual assault survivor

‘Shut up. Just let me finish.’ I lay there, weak, my best friend’s hand over my mouth.’: After years of denial, sexual abuse survivor accepts it wasn’t her fault

“I’ll never forget his words. There were no warning signs. No grooming. I remember wanting to scream, but not feeling like I could talk, so I made a mumbling noise. I didn’t want my body. I wanted to take it off like a jacket, but I couldn’t. I woke up the next morning with a huge bump on my head, my underwear backwards. I never wanted to be the girl who was raped.”

‘It was a long time ago. Get over it!’ I was the victim. I thought my family would hold me. Instead, I was blamed.’: Woman admits brother’s sexual abuse, ‘forgiveness doesn’t mean you must have a relationship with your abuser’

“I sent my brother an email. ‘I was a wake last night.’ He never came into my bedroom at night again. When it came time for my wedding years later, my mom insisted I do things ‘her way.’ She wanted my brother to stand beside my husband. We danced around it, but nothing worked. I had to tell her what my brother did to me. ‘How could you do this to us? You’re tearing our family apart,’ I was told. For years, I tried to navigate this deep, dark pit and find light. She threw me back into the dirt.”

‘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.’”

‘WHO DID IT? Is it true?!’ My mom stormed into my room, filled with rage. I looked into her eyes, and lied.’: Rape survivor vows to protect daughter after generations of abuse, ‘she will not know this darkness, it stops now’

“My mom stormed into my room. ‘Is this true?’ Her face was red. Confused, I looked her in the eyes and lied. I really wanted her to know. For her to hug me and tell me it was okay. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized it wasn’t normal.”

‘When I was 15, I was sent to a private boarding facility in the backwoods. I snuck out was roaming during the night. I was suddenly taken into a building far in the woods, the doors locking behind me.’

“For the next 2 years, I was ‘locked up’ with wire fences, an open bay dorm of girls in dresses. I was to say yes ma’am and no sir. Everything was taken from me. Our letters were censored. Girls who would cry would be forced to sit in a baby stool with a pacifier.”

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