sexual assault

‘Am I still a virgin?’ A 13-year-old girl sits on my examination table. ‘Yes.’ She cries tears of relief.’: Child abuse pediatrician pens PSA on virginity, ‘women need to know the truth about their bodies’

“Her uncle started raping her when she was 7 years old. I tell her she’s going to be okay. I tell her WHY she’s still a virgin. ‘Rape is not the same thing as sex. Having sex WITH someone can only happen with consent. Otherwise, it’s just violence, period.’ She dries her tears, and smiles for a new beginning.”

‘Don’t be a prude!’ He grabs my waist. I say ‘no’ 12 times. He wipes my tears. They’re ‘not sexy.’ I give in. ‘Fine.’: Woman finally calls sexual abuse ‘what it is,’ says consent must be ‘enthusiastic, genuine’

“My phone glows. ‘Hey, can we talk?’ My friend’s eyes are red, puffy. Suddenly, I feel like crying, too. I think she’s going to tell me she’s pregnant. It’s much worse. ‘I’ve been raped.’ Inside, I’m screaming, ‘Tell her you’re a victim, too!’ But I don’t. I mean, am I REALLY one ? Sure, I said ‘no’ and lay there, emotionless. I didn’t want to. He knew that. But technically, I said ‘fine.’ So, am I victim? The answer is yes.”

‘I stumbled on my dad’s porn. The girl was young, like me. In shock, I watched the man on TV do the things that happened to me.’: Child sexual abuse survivor says there’s always ‘light waiting to wrap you up’

“My dad went downstairs to get ready for work. When he didn’t come up, we figured he was asleep. At 9 a.m. my mom’s screams pierced every cell in my body. I turned the corner and saw his body. He was exposed, sitting in his chair in front of naked women running across TV, his lifeless eyes staring at the ground. ‘How could you die like this, dad?’ I tied his robe closed, called 911, and ran outside. My hero was not who I thought he was.”

‘Papa, please back up!’ He doesn’t move. ‘Oh, relax. I can play how I want with her,’ he ruffles her blonde hair.’: Mom stands up to grandfather for inappropriate touching, teaches 3-year-old daughter she is ‘allowed, expected’ to say no

“A grown man looms behind my 3-year-old daughter. He will poke or tickle her, and she responds by shrinking. ‘Mae.’ My tone cuts through the noise. She does not look at me. ‘Mae.’ I start again. ‘You can tell him no.’ As I say the words, my stepfather leans in closer. His grin taunts me as my daughter tries to escape his hot breath. I repeat myself. She finally peeks up at me. ‘Mama…can you say it?’”

‘My brother started the ‘naked man’ game when I was 6. I felt so empty I thought I might just float away.’: Woman overcomes sexual trauma, now uses kindness as an ‘act of rebellion’

“I walked home in a dress, but no underwear. I told my mom and dad I was staying with a friend, and then went into the operating room to have my right fallopian tube removed along with the baby that would never be. I went home the next day and said, ‘I feel like I have the flu’ and went straight to bed. My cry for help didn’t work. Nobody noticed. Nobody asked if I was okay. I knew if I didn’t start fighting for myself, I’d end up dead.”

‘5 out of 6 of my sisters have been sexually assaulted. We’re all under 30. I’ve had ENOUGH.’: Woman pens open letter, claims we ‘can’t change the ugly,’ but we can ‘support each other through it’

“I’m tired of carrying pepper spray. I’m tired of clinging to my cup at parties like some wild animal out of fear of getting roofied, again. I’m tired of school dress codes. No, my shoulders are not sexy or distracting. I’m tired of women covering their bruises with makeup before work. Y’all, I am TIRED.”

‘When people look at me, they see the fat girl. But no one ever wonders WHY I’m fat.’: Plus-sized woman says we shouldn’t tell others to ‘lose weight,’ we should ‘help them heal’

“You see, I wasn’t always this way. The weight came on after I lost my brother to a motorcycle accident. The weight came on after I had 3 miscarriages. The weight came on after my husband cheated. After I was drugged and raped. But you don’t see all that, do you? You only see the fat. You remind me to lose weight. In fact, you’re obsessed with doing that. But you’ve never once reminded me to heal.”

‘Did you not get my letter? Your dad’s been dead 7 months. He killed himself.’ Imagine being told that over the phone.’: Woman endures years of trauma, meets ‘saving grace’ who saved her life

“I don’t know what sound came out of me, but I know I started screaming, shaking. I ran to the bathroom and sat on the floor for about half an hour before I could even stand up. Students put posters in their friends lockers with sweet notes. My ‘Get Well Soon’ poster comments were ‘Hope You Die’ and ‘Don’t Come Back.’ That month changed everything, including my innocence.”

‘After that baby was inside me, it was over. Heroin was no longer an option. I had no choice.’: Woman beats childhood addiction, now ‘8 years sober’

“I was addicted to heroin at 15. It was no longer enjoyable. No longer an escape, but a hell I was creating for myself. Maybe a few seconds of serenity, then reality always slapped me in the face. I’d feel so guilty about the damage I was causing to people that loved me, the pain I was inflicting on myself, the hatred and anger I felt from all the things I had no control over. I thought this was the only way to feel this good. That little heartbeat was the sound of a chapter of my life closing.”

‘The weird looks. Names. Disgust. Laughter. Violence. I just couldn’t fit in.’: Woman with Congenital Melanocytic Nevus claims ‘beauty is diversity,’ learns to love her ‘endless birthmarks’

“Before I could prove myself, they already knew what they thought of me. Judgement straight away. To be honest, nothing feels more discouraging than not even getting a chance. Over the years, teachers just accepted the bullying. I can’t even remember how many times my parents spoke to the principal, but I’ll always remember him saying, ‘We don’t care.’ I was alone, scared, broken. It was my son that got me through the worst. When everyone else left me alone, he always offered a home to my soul.”

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