shame

‘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.”

‘A sleeveless shirt would ‘bring too much attention.’ Everything I did was a ‘sin.’ There was no escaping it.’: Woman overcomes ‘unique’ childhood, trauma to find self-love

“I was in his bed, having unprotected sex. I lost my virginity. I was supposed to wait till marriage. Within 3 months of meeting him, I got pregnant. I came home and caught him talking to another woman. I felt betrayed, heartbroken, and utterly lost. I convinced myself to do whatever I had to do to create a life with this man. Boy, was I wrong. That’s when a girlfriend set me up on a blind date with a man named Larry.”

‘Why doesn’t she leave?’ She thinks if she just tries harder, if she’s a better wife and mom, he wouldn’t get so angry.’: Domestic abuse survivor pens PSA, ‘we need your love, not judgement’

“He has threatened to tell the judge she is a bad mom and will take away her kids. He has taken away her money and convinced her she cannot make it on her own. He has told her if she tries, he will kill her or her family. He has brainwashed her to think it’s all her fault.”

‘My son chooses to wear makeup, dresses. ‘But…what if he catches The Gay?’ Well, then I’ll have a gay son. Simple as that. It’s a non-issue.’: Mom embraces son’s fluid gender expression, ‘it’s their body, their choice’

“My son has had autonomy since he was a toddler. As he grows, he makes as many decisions about his own body as possible. Our only limits are safety and hygiene. We often hear, ‘…But..but…but…it’s PINK!’ ‘Why don’t you just cut your hair like a boy?!’ ‘That’s for girls, you don’t want that!’ He informs them with absolute integrity, ‘No, it’s for PEOPLE!’”

‘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.”

‘Mom, something awful is happening to me.’ They found embalming fluid in my system, causing me to black out.’: Young woman overcomes meth addiction, hidden sexual abuse on camera, ‘My awful memories no longer haunt me, I am healed’

“I was 18-years old when I met him. I moved in with this man who was 17 years older. He told me he loved me. I believed him. He convinced me to do things, including recording our sexual encounters. ‘These are just for us to watch,’ he promised. I checked his browser history, horrified at what I found. Our sexual encounters were being posted on a pornography site.”

‘Sarah never even remembers a snack for her kid.’ I couldn’t believe all the crap they were talking about their ‘friend.’: Mom overhears rude comments on playground, insists ‘mom guilt’ is already intense, no need to amplify ‘shame’

“Today at the playground, I heard a group of moms who must have been the ambassadors of the Mom Shame Committee. I could not believe all the crap they were talking about their ‘friend.’ I need you to know that your children are not perfect. The quicker you can get that in your head, the better.”

‘Oh my god, did you see Elena’s ears?! I mean, it’s basically child abuse.’ I left the party uncomfortable.’: Woman defends cultural parenting differences, ‘a mother knows what is best for her child’

“When Elena was 5 months old, my friend Nia brought her to a baby shower. My eyes fell on her cute little ears, pierced with diamond studs! As soon as the door closed behind her, all the girls dived right in. ‘Who does that to a little baby?’ ‘What’s next, a tattoo or something?’ ‘Shouldn’t that be Elena’s decision when she’s older?’ Honestly, I didn’t know what to think. Nia was the only person of color at the party.”

‘Never say ‘NO’ to a guy who had the courage to ask you to dance. It’s 3 minutes. It’s not THAT bad.’: Mom ‘shocked, disgusted’ by church flyer she claims ‘perpetuates rape culture’

“The flyer tells girls, ‘Wear a little lip gloss. And don’t forget the approved dress standards. You don’t want the guy dancing with you to feel uncomfortable because of the questionable outfit you justified.’ No. NOPE. NOOO! My church taught me I needed men to tell me how to behave sexually. I lived my whole life with shame, guilt. This is not happening with my daughter.”

‘MA’AM!!! Ma’am stop! Please stop! You forgot your baby in the car!’ I didn’t even realize she was talking me.’: Mom caught off guard when stranger ‘causes a scene’ in grocery store parking lot

“She thought I left my baby in the car. This woman was YELLING. She caused a scene, people turned to look at the commotion. To be completely honest, I didn’t even realize she was talking to me. As I was pushing the cart into the cart return, I turned to look at her. Oh. She was talking to ME. She was waving her hands and started running towards me! I felt horrified.”

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