It was three months before my ffifth birthday when “scooby” came into my life. Everyone called him that because he looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo; I don’t remember his actual name though. What I do remember is how he would hug me a little too long or kiss me on the mouth when putting me down for a nap. My mother started leaving him to babysit me while her and her friends went out. Scooby was in his mid-twenties and looking back it should’ve been a red flag to my mother that a twenty-something would rather babysit than party. Our relationship carried on like this, a little too touchy feely, for months. Two months after I turned five, he grabbed my vagina. I started to cry and he told me that if I was a big girl he would take me for ice cream. This became a weekly occurrence and then a daily one and then multiple times a day.
It was New Years Eve and everyone went out to celebrate except Scooby. He stayed home to babysit me and it was fine for a while. I had been asleep for a few hours when he came into my bedroom and woke me up. He told me to be quite because we were going to play a game. He made me undress and then it happened. He raped me. This man who was almost five times my age, raped me.
After that, I refused to be alone with him. I would cry and scream until my mother would call someone else to babysit. One time I even slept in my closet with my bed pushed up against the bedroom door. When I finally told my mother she said two things: 1) don’t make up stories and 2) don’t tell anyone else this. So I didn’t. It happened again but this time he beat me until I passed out. It wasn’t long before my grandfather rescued me and brought me home to my nana. I was finally safe.
It was another six and a half years before I ever told anyone else. I was scare; scared that no one would believe me, scared that no one would care. But they do. I was able to get help and you should too so I urge you, please speak up because doing so will only help you.
— Survivor, age 17