“Do you want to do it?” My 8 year old stepbrother asked my 8 year old self. “Do what?” I asked. He instructed me to lay down and he took out his penis and started rubbing it on my stomach. I had no idea what was happening. I had just recently been through an awful custody battle that ended with my father getting custody from my unstable bipolar mother who had chased my stepdad out of the house with a butcher knife. Living with my dad, stepmom, and stepbrother who ws only 5 months older than me but a grade above me was a new experience. My dad had spent the year before away all week for work and left me with my stepmom and brother alone. Thats when “the game” started. About a year in, my dad caught it in the act and separated us and demanded n explanation. I told him how it happened and how I was confused and just got blamed for not stopping it. This conversation didn’t stick and my stepbrother still came after me, and threatened me if I told. This went on until I was 16. It escalated over the years from rubbing on my stomach to anal sex when I was about 11. He wanted it almost everyday, threatening my life if I told, beating me in places that were covered like my thighs, stomach and back. The only way to stop it for the day was to run away and threaten tp call my dad. I feared getting in troubleyself and the chase was exhausting. We were latchkey kids so everyday was a new opportunity. This didn’t stop until I finally told my first boyfriend what was happening in high school. I told my stepbrother someone else knew and it immediately stopped. My bfs parents were state cops and they set me up with the right people to investigate. I was told it wouldn’t hold up in court even though my stepbrother confessed to everything. The i investigation happened when I moved out of my house to my grandmothers. Our parents never knew. We went on with our separate lives, he was an alcoholic, I went from toxic relationship to the next until I met the one. I was really starting to feel the effects of the abuse around 21 when I found somehow who taught me I deserve to be treated well. I toyed with the idea od telling my dad, but couldn’t knowing the conseuences would put my dad in jail. That was the year I truly started to believe in God. As I was agonizing over this decision, I got a phone call one morning that my stepbrother broke his neck falling off a ladder and died instantly. That was a heling moment for me. For the time being I was ok. About 5 years later it started haunting me again. After talking to a therapist I decided to write my dad an email explaining what happened 10 years earlier. That was some closure and he responded the way I expected and hoped for. Two years after that he told my stepmother what her son did. Even though I spent most of my childhood with my Dad and stepmom I am not close with them. My stepmom was also emotionally abusive and my dad was kind of just there. I have been with my fiance for almost 9 years, we have 3 beautiful children and a dog together. My dad and stepmom come to their birthdays and visit around christmas, but we rarely talk in between. It has been 14 years since it stopped and I am still teting to heal. My soul has been broken and it is so hard to be happy, carefree, or love as much as I want to. I work on it everyday and just pray I can protect my children from what I went through.
— Survivor, age 29