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Sharing your survival story can inspire others who may be
victims of sexual assault to receive the help they need.

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(Part of) My Story

From approximately age 6 to age 9, I was raped repeatedly by my teenage half-brother. The abuse stopped because we had a fire in our house, which he started, and all the kids in my family went to live with other families. I never told my mother what had happened, because I knew that all seven of the kids in my family had been molested by different people, like my brother or my mother’s boyfriends. I knew that my mother would not believe me and would do nothing to protect or comfort me. When I was 10, the boyfriend of a woman I baby sat for attempted to molest me, but I succeeded in fighting him off. What had happened to me previously made me one very tough little girl. For most of my adult life, I suffered from PTSD, though I didn’t recognize it as such until I began hearing stories about other people with PTSD, like war veterans. I spent many, many years in therapy, mostly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and found ways to heal from wounds I never thought would heal. It was a lot of hard work, and through it I developed my own CBT methods, like finding a quiet place to make imaginary phone calls to the people who had hurt me. I would pull over into a parking lot, turn off the car, “make a call” on the cell phone, and let myself scream into it. The level of anger that came out and the things I said were things I didn’t even know were in me. At first, my own anger frightened me, and then it gave me such clarity. It brought me strength and healing; it put the blame on the perpetrator, and took it off me. Thank you for starting this website. Talking about sexual violence is taking action, and taking action is crucial in the fight to stop the quiet holocaust all victims have been living in since the beginning of human history.

1 comment

  • Alissa Ackerman


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