sexual assault victim

‘Will I look like him?’ The plane landed. Instant panic struck. My parents never wanted me to find out about him.’: Woman ‘finally complete’ after emotional reunion with biological father, ‘He’s the piece I’ve always been missing’

“I lost my adoptive father and mother only 2 weeks before. Between all the madness, I finally found my biological father. I was told he was ‘the town drunk.’ I was never supposed to know he existed. I heard the plane fly over the dark sky. My stomach suddenly dropped. ‘Please remain seated,’ the pilot announced. I took a deep breath and turned my teary eyes. An average height man locked his blue eyes on mine. Both our smiles began to rise. This was the moment I’d dreamt of my entire life.”

‘You’re stupid, and you’re worthless, and you’re a failure, and you should just die.’: College graduate discusses battles with Depression and PTSD

“My own self-worth was now completely dependent on how well I was doing in school. I turned to binge drinking and partying on the weekends to cope with the immense pressure I felt throughout the week. I did not know how to express my pain or ask for help, I only knew to bottle things up and press on, and so I did. I felt dead inside already, I’d hit my rock bottom. I decided I was going to get serious help.”

‘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.”

‘You should’ve just killed yourself and got it over with.’ My gym teacher caught me in the girl’s bathroom. I was the talk of the school.’: Teen mom overcomes bullying, sexual assault, ‘I’m learning to love myself in a way I never have’

“I was so tired of being the ‘fat friend.’ I started getting up at 5 a.m. to do my hair and makeup. I bought ‘promiscuous’ clothing and dropped to a size 0. When I was sent away to rehab for not eating, it took my so-called ‘friends’ over a year and a half to even notice I was gone. I could feel that something was still missing in my life, but I didn’t know what.”

‘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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