My name is Lila. I am a nurse.
When I was 7, I was molested by my brother. This soon progressed to being repeatedly raped from ages 7-9. I was unable to speak up for myself, a friend told her mother, who then drove me to the precinct in Flushing, NY. I was 13, scared, and racked with guilt of the destruction of my family.
Now are 23, I am in a place of peace, thanks to the Love of God. I realize that none of it was my fault, and if my friend and her mother had not spoken for me, I would have never graduated, possibly I may have not lived to this point in time. During this time period I was afraid of others, particularly males of all ages. I’m not sure if this kind of fear is perceived by similar males or not, but my fear lead me in two other situations that further silenced me and dehumanizing me. One being that my cousin, Manuel Mendias, molested me in his living room. Later he had a nervous breakdown and during his time as a non-voluntary pshyc inpatient, stated to my mother that I “viewed him as a monster” and would not speak or come visit him. I’m not sure if that was his guilt manifesting in him. The second situation included a bicycle. I was 8, I was riding in a circle around my block, in College Point, NY, several times. When I reached a corner, a man who had been observing me had exited his van and was masturbating at that corner. I was so frightened, my CNS system kicked in and I fled so quickly that I crashed into my gate and left my bicycle on the ground. When my mother met me at the gate, she said I had looked pale with fear, written she asked what was wrong, I did not have enough courage to report that stranger. Instead I said nothing and insisted on going inside. Until this day, I have not ridden a bicycle.
I suppose I write this to encourage others to report crimes committed against their bodies. We are women, we are strong, and deserve to be treated as human beings: children of God.
— Lila Montoya, age 23