After a year of constant abuse and rapes I couldn’t get out of bed no matter how much I wanted to leave. I had no job, no car, 6 pets, no money, no food and no home. Leaving seemed to be a luxury, not an option at the time. It wasn’t until he urinated on my cat that I was able to gather the sheer force of will to leave.
The week I was leaving him he came up to me held me down, shoved his finger into me, grabbed my head forcing his penis in my mouth. He then penetrated me. Afterwards he folded my clothes and took the dogs out on a walk.
I didn’t even remember the rape until I began having terrifying nightmares. At the time I was desperate to save my babies. After he raped me he filed domestic violence charges against me and kidnapped my cat.
After I joined a domestic violence group, I got the courage to report Paul. Paul’s only punishment was one night in prison.
It’s been a little over 4 years since the last rape. I wrote a book and began two businesses. I still have vicious night terrors and some days I’m not sure if I can muster the energy to get out of bed, but I do.
I work hard to end male sexual terror against women. 4 years ago no one talked about the R word. It was shameful and taboo. Each time I posted information about male sexual violence I was isolated and threatened with social sanctioning. Now everyone knows about rape culture and it’s no longer a taboo topic. I hope this progress continues.
As for Paul, him and his family are still respected members of the Eagle Scout and Christian community. I was not Paul’s first rape victim and I doubt I will be his last. But at least I have my voice, it’s unshakable. It’s my biggest strength and my only power. I will never stop talking about rape, ever.