I was 9 years old when it all started, my mom started working in a new restaurant and would leave at 5am and come back at 3pm, and my “father” didn’t work for he had a lawsuit that didn’t let him work. It was random when my “father” started to touch me inappropriately. I didn’t know what was going on because I was too young to know what any of that was. On a Saturday morning he would call me into his room while my other 3 brothers would be sleeping. He raped me and all I could do was stay still, I didn’t know what was going on, but I felt that it wasn’t suppose to happen. It continued for 3 more years and I never spoke up about it or dropped hints because he threatened me by telling me if I say anything that him and my mom would separate and my mom would be sad, and for a kid my age I never wanted to see my mom sad or depressed of any way. I stayed quiet about it until I was 15. When I was 14 I trie d forgiving him, but that was when the physical abuse started. He would hit me for any little reason, and my mom would be mad at me because of how hard is cry about it. When I spoke up, I only told my mom, and when she confronted him about it. He denied it ever happening. He called me crazy and all, and I was skeptical that she even believed me. I wanted him out my life, I have 3 older brothers and all I wanted was for them to just take him out, but I knew it wouldn’t work that way. I lost some respect and love for my mom since she never left him. He still lives with us in the same apartment, I see him everyday except I don’t talk to him. I started smoking marijuana because that’s the only thing that takes my anxiety and fear away, my mom hates me smoking but she thinks I do it out of fun. I just don’t think I deserve this, I’m a nice person, I try my best, I do have anger issues but I never use it against a person. I just feel that he doesn’t de serve to live. Or at least I don’t want to live in the same world as him.
— Survivor, age 16