In the wake of the #METoo movement, I have had constant reminder of sexual assault stories. I have never spoken out about what happened to me but I saw the Brave Miss World documentary and immediately came here to vent. When I was little I told my mother my cousin had been molesting me and she called me a liar. I repressed the memory and it wasn’t until I began to be sexually harassed by a group of boys at my new school. I would have to walk to and from school. I remember having to physically fight off these group of boys my age (between the ages of 8-11) who would follow me on my way home. They would run up behind me and slap my butt and tell me I had “a nice a**”. I was 10. The worst time I can remember was when the leader of the group had pinned me down, gotten on top of me and had put his hand up my shirt. His friends held down my arms and if it had not been for my friend who came running and got them off of me, they would have raped me. I came home that day and I acted normal. Looking back to those times, I realized I was normal on the exterior but internally I was not okay. I was scared to go to school and I was scared no one would believe me. I moved schools and suddenly I was having flashbacks to a moment I had thought was not real. I had repressed the moments of getting molested. I got to the point where I tried to kill myself, I got gastritis instead and no one even knew it happened. I remember my cousin molesting me and my other cousin. We have never spoken about it, but we both told our mothers and they did not believe us. I feel guilty because I liked his attention, he was the cool older cousin and he made me feel special, he made me kiss him and touch him and hug him inappropriately but my mother didn’t care because I was not technically raped. I feel disgusting when I am around him because I act normal, my family is close and no one except my mom and I know what happened. My mother told me to get over it because it has been years since it happened and I look unbothered by his presence. I had never told anyone who had molested me as a child because they have met my family and know my cousin and he remains the cool handsome cousin who my friends love and its hard for me because I have to act normal around him. I used to have panic attacks when I saw him, I used to wet the bed, I used to show signs of something being wrong but on the outside I looked okay. Not to long ago, I was raped by my then boyfriend. He had always been manipulative and I was naive. We had gotten into a fight and he asked me to come over. We were hanging out in his room and he got on top of me and started kissing me. I had told him I did not want to have sex, he said okay we won’t. Then he said,” can we at least just try to see if I can tie you up to the bed but you can keep your clothes on.” I did so because I was going to keep my clothes on, he tied me up really tightly, each had to a bedpost and he started to take off my pants. My arms were tied and and I asked him to stop, he didn’t. He took my clothes off, I could not undo the rope from my wrists and he kept telling me to shut up and that “I deserved to get treated like that” and hit me and tied my arms even tighter. I begged and pleaded him to at least wear a condom, which he didn’t. When he finished he untied me and my wrists were bruised. i got up and walked out the door, went to my car and drove off. I found myself crying at a red light before I headed to work, feeling so disgusting. It wasn’t the description of a brutal rape, but I couldn’t tell anyone because I had put myself into a position where I was tied up and he raped me. I had loved him for four years when that happened and I continued to see him a new times after that. I couldn’t tell anyone, he was my lover and I didn’t seem like anything was wrong. When I saw your documentary on Netflix, I felt I needed to speak and talk about it even if no one reads this.
— Survivor, age 19