I was sexually assaulted almost 3 years ago by a total stranger. I was 16 years old, and I had recently had sex for the first time, with my boyfriend at the time. I’m a quiet person, I never talked much to people I didn’t know and I come off as shy to people. I was in a way pretty innocent looking. And I guess because I looked helpless one night at around 10:30 pm, walking alone down a dirt road no one was on, a random guy decided to use me. I was supposed to be with my boyfriend watching fireworks but we got into a fight so I ended up trying to find my way home by myself. I do not know how old this man was but he couldn’t have been older than 25. He had short brown hair, he was caucasian and wore all black. But that is the extent of what I know. He beat me until I cooperated slightly. I was bruised all over my thighs and back. My arms were battered and my neck had scratches all over. I did my best to fight him off the entire time he attacked but it got to a point where I was jut so tired, shocked and scared that I couldn’t act on what my brain was telling my body to do. When it was all over, I was left in the tree line down the dirt path. I was so shocked that I just lay there for 10 minutes until I got up and continued on my way back home. I stopped at a store to get fixed up before I got home just incase I saw my parents before I went in the shower. I didn’t tell anyone what had happened to me for 2 full years. I was scared that my parents would blame me or that they wouldn’t believe me. I was scared to get in trouble and ultimately I just thought I would be able to forget about it. I didn’t really feel affected by it right away. I tried my best to make myself think that it was just a bad dream and that it didn’t really happen. But a couple months past and I found myself having flashbacks and vivid nightmares of what had happened to me. My grades started going down and school seemed less and less interesting. Life seemed less and less interesting. I hid all this from my parents. I skipped classes as much as I could. I barely passed high school. But I was glad to leave. I met a guy who had been through hell and back and he ended up being the first person I had ever told about what had happened to me. I had to tell him because what had happened to me 2 years back at the time was affecting the way I was able to love someone else. He supported me through it all and he got me the help I needed to get through this. I am not 100 percent back to my normal self and I don’t thinkI ever will be but I know that I now have a great support system behind me and an entire family to help me every step of the way. I was a victim but now I am a survivor.
— Christina, age 18