1 in 3
Upon sharing our testimonies amongst one another we discovered we all experienced sexual assault before the age of 18. According to the CDC studies state that “1 in 4 girls experience childhood sexual abuse” and “More than 1 in 3 women have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during her lifetime.”
If you do not fully comprehend sexual violence/assault please feel free to do your research:
I was 7 years old when I had an encounter with molestation and sexual assault.
My mother sent me to live with my father when I was starting 1st grade. I hadn’t seen him in a few years, and I didn’t know any of that family aside from my grandmother. It was a completely different environment from what I was used to.
I had a “cousin”who was at least 20 years old, lets call her Melanie. She despised me, and I knew she did. I was light complected and too articulate (something I never heard the end of), thus began her dislike for me.
One night my father and some other family members decided they wanted to go out. Because Melanie was pregnant she was in charge of watching my 6 year cousin and I, as well as her teenage brother who invited several of his friends too. I didn’t feel as though I was in any danger, after all I was with family.
That night all we did was watch movies and play games. I noticed that one of the teenage boys was a lot more playful than the others with my cousin and I, but as a kid it didn’t matter to me.
When It was bedtime, Melanie told us all to go to sleep. As I got up from the den to go into the room with my younger cousin, I was told
I was not allowed to sleep in there and that I had to stay in the den.... with 4 teenage boys.
I was uncomfortable, and I wanted to go home to my grandmothers but the only way that would happen is if my father came to get me.. I called him several times that night, but he didn’t come nor did he answer... therefore I had no other choice than to do what I was told.
Melanie went downstairs, and I laid down. I don’t recall how much time passed, but I woke up to the TV blaring and one of the boys touching me. I was frozen with fear, I felt helpless. All I could do was to continue to be motionless as if I was asleep.
I was laying on my stomach turned away from the individual. All I remember was praying that something would happen and they would stop. Then he tried to penetrate me, he kept pressing himself against me but because of how I was positioned he could not do what he was trying to do.
He heard Melanie coming up the stairs and he quickly rolled over then pretended to be asleep. She had come upstairs to turn off the TV, as soon as she did I bolted downstairs and I told her I wanted to call my father.
When I got the phone, I called the police and hung up thinking they wouldn’t come.
I got in so much trouble for calling the police that It didn’t matter what happened, and I never shared the story.
I was going to be 13.
I had just started my journey into womanhood. (Yay menstruation)
My mom had her first battle with cancer.
I got sexually assaulted for the first time.
It was June. My mom was about to have surgery to get her ulcer removed. It was good news. She could finally start healing.
My uncle dropped my brother and I off at our cousin’s house. My older cousins had always taken turns taking care of me. We normally stay with my aunt’s daughter, my then single, older cousin, but this time it was different. We stayed with my other older cousin, her husband, and their daughters. We were close, we always had been, and still are. Because they don’t know.
There was another person in the house with us, my cousin’s brother-in-law, let’s call him Matt.
Matt was 21. I was going to be 13.
I remember the house. Beautiful red brick, nice neighborhood, two-stories, game room, movie room. The movie room. A room of adventure and imagination. I could never forget.
We stayed for 5 days.
On the last day. We went to the amusement park, we went to Braum’s for ice cream, it was a good day. A day I could never forget.
It was time for bed. My brother and I were asleep, but I heard a noise so I woke up. It was coming from the movie room. I saw a familiar light, the tv was on. Who was up? It was Matt. He saw me and invited me to watch the movie, but that wasn’t his only intention. The movie was Rated-R. I didn’t understand what was going on. I was uncomfortable. Matt could tell. He moved closer to me and touched my leg. I froze. He then whispered, “they’re just doing things that feel good. Let me show you.”
His breath on my neck.
His chest against my arm.
His hand moving from my thigh to my groin.
The pressure of fingers where I knew they shouldn’t be.
I could never forget.
He didn’t stop to see that I was holding my breath. He didn’t stop to see my hands gripping the carpet so hard I had strands of it in my nails when I let go. He didn’t stop to see the tears sliding down my face. I could never forget.
That night, in the middle of trauma, I started my 2nd cycle. Seeing blood on his fingers stopped him from continuing. I didn’t scream. I got up, walked back to the room and crawled into bed. My brother always had a sense of something being wrong with me, he grabbed my hand and went back to sleep, and I squeezed it tight as silent tears ran down my face.
The next morning, my uncle picked us up. Everyone smiled and embraced each other as we said our goodbyes. They noticed my low energy, half hugs, and red eyes. They blamed it on my cycle. I blamed it on my cycle. I couldn’t bear to tell the people closest to me what happened while we were dealing with my mom’s situation. I had to be strong. I stayed quiet, but I could never forget.
I turned 17 in the summer of 2014.
Budding adulthood right before her in the midst of childish dreams. A girl who couldn’t wait for her prom and to talk across that graduation stage. A girl that didn’t expect the trauma of sexual assault.
Adam and I grew up together, he was my best friend. We often referred to each other as brother and sister. I went to stay the weekend at Adam’s house. It was supposed to be our end of summer on a high note. We stopped at a vape shop. That’s when I met him. Adam introduced me to this 30 year old man who suggested hanging out at his place after his shift. He was twice our age, yet I felt safe. I was naive.
When we arrived, we were greeted by his pregnant fiancé. As the night went on, Adam and his friend were drinking beer and noticed I was not drinking. He had the bright idea of having his fiancé take me to the corner store and get me “real alcohol“. I was in earshot, when I heard him say “get her drunk“. I came back with two MD 20/20 ‘s, orange jubilee flavored. After that, nothing.
The next day, I woke up in the empty room, with nothing but my white crop top on, and my panties were across the room. I came out and didn’t ask questions because I didn’t want to know the details. His fiancé offered their bedroom to sleep off the hangover. I remember it being about noon when she left for work. Adam went to get food. He slithered into the bed behind me and wrapped himself around me. I was very confused and uncomfortable. He said softly in my ear, “we f***** last night“. I was filled with confusion and shame. I kept thinking WE didn’t do anything, WE couldn’t have done anything. I DIDN’T WANT IT! He blocked me from leaving. Peering down at me menacingly, he told me to take some Advil and relax, so I did. Adam came back with the food and I got out of there as soon as I could.
I never saw Adam again after that. The look on his face after telling him what happened, told me that he knew far more than he was telling me. It was evident he was no friend of mine. Days later I reluctantly went to the police, spent hours in the hospital with my legs in the stirrups as they collected samples, and took pictures for evidence. Nothing ever came of it. For the longest time I thought that going to the police was a mistake. For a long time I didn’t want to accept that I had been raped that night. I thought I had put a target on my back, that he would find me and hurt me, hurt my family. I still have nightmares where he finds me. I can still see his piercing blue eyes watching me. I hope to never have to see them again.
I know now that I cannot let my story be one of too many to count that goes untold. I could not discredit the trauma that he put me through. Because the aftermath is real, the nightmares are real, the regret is real. Although I might not have gotten justice, I spoke up. From that experience I would encourage any woman to speak up, it’s not easy, and you might not get the results you want, or the justice you deserve, but that power you take back is so worth it. Your story deserves to be heard.