sexual assault

‘What will you tell your kids? They look trashy.’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me.’: After lupus diagnosis, sexual assault survivor uses to tattoos to ‘help me reclaim myself’

“Unsolicited, I have been ‘advised’ on my body art. I’ve been asked, in horror, ‘What will you tell your kids?’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me, and when they’re older, they can get tattoos if they want them. ‘You’re inviting people to judge you.’ Actually no, I’m not. ‘Can you get a job with those?’ Firstly, none of your business. Secondly, yes. Then there are the people who find my tattoos TOO appealing. ‘Where ELSE are you inked?’ ‘So, you like pain, huh?’ ‘Wanna see MY tattoo?’ Seriously, be less sleazy.”

‘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 going to do exactly what I tell you.’ He grabbed my throat. The devil was staring me in the face. Fear washed over my body.’: Young woman survives sexual assault in woods, ‘I refuse to hide. I need others to know they aren’t alone’

“A boat was pulling up, and two guys were inside. They said, ‘Who is this?’ I was confused. He was locking up his truck and his friends told him to hurry the hell up. He responded, ‘Hey at least I brought you guys some tail.’ My stomach sank, my heart started to race. I had recently been told I overreact…was this just an overreaction to a dumb joke? I went in the tent to grab a shirt because I was freezing. He followed me in and starting kissing me. My ‘no’ didn’t matter. I burst into tears. He looked at me with disgust. ‘I don’t like your attitude.’”

‘I’m 14, alone with a boy. ‘What if you had sex with me?’ He leers. ‘No thanks.’ ‘What if I held you down and made you?’: Survivor advocates for fellow survivors of the Me Too Movement, ‘Culture tells us not to complain. To keep quiet.’

“I’m 17, and I have a long-distance boyfriend. He begs me for phone sex and I say no. ‘I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable.’ I hang up on him, feeling guilty. He’s lonely in the Marine barracks. I’m all he has. He needs me. He suffers from depression, self-harm. A few nights later, I pause on the phone. I hear his heavy breathing, muffled moans. ‘Are you…?’ I ask. ‘Don’t stop. Keep talking,’ he pants. Feeling sick, I hang up the phone. I feel dirty and embarrassed. ‘Men will only go as far as you let them,’ I’ve been told. Boys will be boys.”

‘Mommy, what is this?’ ‘That’s a condom.’ My kids know about masturbation. They know sex isn’t for children, but can be pleasurable for adults.’: Mom raises kids in ‘sex-positive family’

“‘How are babies made?’ ‘An adult male will put his penis inside an adult female’s vagina and they have sex.’ I was horrified to find out many grown women didn’t know the names for their own anatomy! As ADULTS, they’d never learned. My children are 5, 7, and 8. They know all about consent, menstruation, sex, pedophiles and puberty. I’d rather they learn from me than the playground or internet.”

‘I called him from a crackhouse. ‘I don’t know you very well, but if you don’t come for me, I’m going to die here.’: Woman overcomes lifelong battle with addiction, ‘I finally found how to love myself’

“I was invited to a party across the street. There were white rocks on the table. I asked, ‘What is that?’ They asked me if I wanted to try it. The second it went into my body, I was already addicted. In the middle of winter, I walked down the street with no shoes as blood ran down my legs. After ONE HIT, I went from start athlete to sticking needles in my arms in abandoned apartment buildings. I sold my body, my soul, and everything for the next one.”

‘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.”

‘This is $150 of underwear. My team and I are no longer willing to let our survivors go home without a bra, or decent pair of underwear.’: Sexual assault nurse examiner shares act of kindness for rape survivors

“Ever seen a woman who’s just been raped, just had a 3-hour forensic exam, had every surface of her battered body swabbed, photographed, and inventoried for the police walk out of a hospital wearing oversized hospital scrubs and postpartum hospital underwear, her arms wrapped tightly around her chest, ashamed, because she doesn’t have a bra to wear? I have. And I absolutely refuse to ever see it again.”

‘I ‘killed’ my son, long before he went missing 5 years ago.’: Mother encourages shift in ‘black parenting,’ claims ‘we can change the world with love’

“Growing up, my son loved me more than life, but feared me worse than death. I screamed in his face, threatened him for disturbing me, and dared him to cry when he was hurting. Sometimes, I denied him hugs and loving arms. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Our sons suffer an invisible death when their mother is the first one to call him ‘bad.'”

‘We still have to invite uncle Tommy to Thanksgiving.’ I will not be part of a family who chooses my abuser over me.’: Rape survivor ‘thankful’ for second family who takes her in during the holidays

“For years, my anxiety was high during the holidays, my emotions an all-time low. Nobody knew the cause. After I came out about my sexual assault, my family didn’t know what to believe. My uncle was a ‘great guy.’ When, the shock wore off, my mom hugged me. ‘Everything will be alright.’ Yet, she continues to invite him to every holiday. No one should have to exist in the same room with the one who makes them want to vanish within it.”

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