my mum and I were always really close when I was younger, when something happened at home (I live with my dad) I could always vent o mum. when I was 7 years old, dad meet my step mum. they got married four years ago. they are now divorcing. my step mum and I got along okay, but when we fought, it was major. so I would talk to my mum about it, because I felt as though dad would take her side. anyway, around the same time as when dad and step mum got together, mum meet this really great guy. he was good with kids, great with the outdoors, could cook, was good looking, and just generally a great guy, I was always happy that mum had him, because she has bad experience with men (her previous relationship got her a broken arm, and my older brother thrown through a wall, but it also got me my sisters who are twins, so I’m thankful for that.) growing up, I loved camping, and mums partner would always take me and my two younger sisters camping and he would teach me all these things about survival in the bush. I trusted him with my life, he never gave me any reason to doubt him. when I was 10 years old, we went on a camping trip, mum didn’t come, because she had just had my younger sister, so she couldn’t come because bubs wasn’t old enough for it. it was during a cold night, and so we had a lot of blankets, I slept next to my younger sisters. mums partner came in and I woke up enough to feel him pull the blankets back. I was on my stomach, and I kept my eyes closed, thinking he would just put the blankets back, make sure the blankets were alright. instead, he put his hands in my pants, and I thought he was gonna fix my underwear (I was 10, what was I supposed to think? I always thought that that kinda thing happened to strangers only) but he played with that (I am a girl if you were wondering) and then he left. I still don’t know if he hurt the girls. I thought nothing of it and fell back asleep a fter fixing the blankets, because I got cold. I didn’t think to tell anyone, and over time I eventually forgot about it. I went up to mums for the holidays a couple of years later, and we all went camping for my birthday, because I really wanted to see the snow. I had just gone through a break up (I know I know, I was too young for a boyfriend) and mums partner read my diary. I felt violated, so I told mum and she told him not to read my diary, I don’t think they took it seriously though. I was asleep on the couch after watching a movie with him. I remember that he was asking if I was awake. I didn’t answer, thinking he would just pull my blankets up and go to bed, instead, I felt him lift my shirt and play with my parts. his hand slipped under my bra and everything. his hand left my shirt, and I thought he was gonna leave me alone. at this age, I knew what he was doing was wrong. instead of going to bed, he started playing with downstairs. he penetrated with his finger, and proceeded to until he managed to get three fingers in at once. it hurt a lot. I tried to roll over, but he kept turning me back over. he did this over and over, I don’t know why he decided to leave it at that, but he did. I didn’t say anything to anyone, because I knew that even if mum did believe me, she would be hurt, and I couldn’t do that to her. I withdrew from my family, I started cutting my self. the only people who knew were my two closets friends, and they urged me to go to the police. I wouldn’t do it for four months. it wasn’t until they pointed out that they could be doing it to my sisters as well, that I decided that I needed to tell someone. but I couldn’t just tell anyone, I didn’t think they would believe me. I was having dinner with my dad and my family. I wouldn’t eat or talk, and I hadn’t really done either since it happened. when my step mum started yelling at me, I broke down and it all came out. she took me to the police and I made a statement. We went to court and I won. he’s currently still in jail, but gets out in a few weeks. I got into a serious relationship, and I told him what happened. it was all good for a while. we started to play with each other, and he would always ask for a blow job. I always refused, he would take it well. I wasn’t comfortable doing anything with him, or him with me, because of my mums partner, and he knew it, but because I thought I was in love, I agreed to do things. it was Halloween, and we were watching horror movies at his house with our friends. I had my period, and wasn’t comfortable doing anything with him because of it. I was lying with my back to him, cuddling into him. he started asking if he could give me anal. I said no, I could already feel how hard he was. he pulled down my costume and did it anyway, I didn’t protest, or make any noise, we were surrounded by friends. when he was finished, we just cuddle. I know I should’ve broken up with him right then, but I was too happy with him. eventually, he admitted to cheating on me with my best friend, and broke up with me the next day. I still cut to this day, and often daydream about suicide. I have no friends left. my mum reckons her partner didn’t molest me, thought it was a dream I had. and I’m too ashamed about what happened with my ex, as we were fourteen at the time. I’m lucky I didn’t get raped, I know that, but I’m scarred for the rest of my life because of both experiences. I don’t see mum anymore, she took his side, and I miss her, as well as three of my sisters, and my youngest brother.
— survivor, age 16