My best friend was raped when she was fourteen. She was raped by two older guys during her summer job at a children’s theme park. She’s never been the same.
She didn’t tell me that she had been raped until about five years ago, and it hasn’t been until recently that slowly their faces and voices have started to fade out of her dreams. She’s never been the same since that day. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be there for her when it happened. I don’t think she was ready to share it with me and instead turned to drugs and alcohol, lashing out at me, and swiftly developing a severe speed addiction. Without knowing what had happened I tried to help in my own way, the way that a thirteen year old does, and when she continued to lash out I stepped away from our friendship. It wasn’t until two years later and when she was clean that I sent her message on her birthday that we spoke again.
It is now, and after seeing Brave Miss World, that I realized it was her way of crying out for help. I wish that I had known at the time, so that I could have been there for her and could’ve helped her then. I feel guilt y for not having seen the signs and also for making this about me, when truly it is about her strength and her ability to keep going. I don’t think she has ever gone to the police, and she has never told me their names for she knows that I would find them and bring them to justice. She still suffers because of them, regardless of how much she tries fo hide or disguise it, and they are absolute cowards for doing that to her. I use the word cowards because only an insecure, petty and cowardly person would use another individual to rape a girl much younger than them, and to damage her and make her feel scared and ashamed – only to make themselves feel powerful and better about themselves. It is not only vile, but pathetic. I hope one day she will also feel able to share her own story on here and with other people. And I am proud of her for coming out of it the other end, still going strong and living her life.
Every survivor is a fighter and all of you are amazing for that. You should never feel ashamed, but instead feel proud for coming out of it alive. You are so strong to keep going and I wish every person all the love, strength and care I can send online.