rape victim

‘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.”

‘If I refused his advances, I’d get in trouble. I had to keep my head down, my mouth shut. I couldn’t ‘ruin’ her image of the perfect family. I paid my dues every night for 6 years.’ Sexual assault survivor breaks silence after 2 decades

“I was starved for affection. He used that to introduce adult discussions and behaviors. Beyond the exhaustion, I saw glimpses of silent threats. He’d sit in the dark until I got home, silently staring, so I knew he was watching. He’d threaten to kick me out, send me away to the state. All in the name of control. Instead of exploring who I was as a child, I was trying to be invisible.”

‘My brother started paying extra attention to me. I didn’t think much of it until he began coming into my room at night. He took every chance he got to touch to me.’ Assault survivor shares heartbreaking journey to peace

“It began out of nowhere. I was frozen, unsure of what was happening. He told me not to tell. I knew something wasn’t right but he was my older brother, so I did what he said. Until one day, we heard my uncle’s car pull into the driveway. As he quickly opened the quickly, my brother rushed to get off of me. ‘What’s going on?!’ My stomach was in knots.”

‘I was handed a drink. I woke up the next day in an empty room, except for an air mattress. I was completely naked. All my belongings were missing.’ Woman ‘hurt no one was looking for me’ after 3-day-long sexual assault

“There was a window in the bedroom. I tried to open it, but it had been nailed shut. Then, the guy I knew from the party opened the door. ‘As long as you’re compliant, you’ll make it home,’ he said. No one took any notice that I had been gone for 3 days. Not my family, not my friends, not my instructors at school. No one. I felt completely alone. Nobody ever asked me if I was ok.”

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