I was 11 years old. I was a mess of hormones and insecurity. I knew who the cool kids were, and I wanted to do what they did. This desire to be cool led me to seek the approval of boys who were much older than me; boys who had urges I did not yet understand.
My parents owned a pawn shop. I would spend almost every afternoon playing on the sidewalk in front of the shop. It was great, because there were always new toys and gadgets to try out.
I had seen these boys around the neighborhood. They must have only been 14 or 15, but they were the epitome of cool to me. They would smoke cigarettes on the street, not caring who would see (which I took as proof of their coolness).
They were hanging out across the street one day, smoking cigarettes. I was trying to do a kick-flip on a skateboard, hoping they would notice. I was trilled when, eventually, they began crossing the street towards me. I remember thinking I had to do one more awesome trick, but these boys had already decided what they were going to do to me.
They came straight up to me and asked me if I wanted a cigarette. My heart raced. I think I squeaked out a “yes”, trying to act cool, but completely frozen. The one with blonde hair, said, “let’s go in the woods, don’t want your parents to see you”. I followed them without a second thought. We walked halfway down the block, to a trail which let into the woods behind my parent’s shop.
As we entered the woods, I was handed a lit cigarette. We walked a minute or so into the woods and stood in a circle. They began asking me about my parents shop. They asked me if anyone ever came outside to look after me. I proudly boasted that I watch myself and my parents let me be. The black-haired boy stepped close to me, brushing his crotch against me. I was still acting cool. Then the blonde boy unzipped his pants. I didn’t know why he was doing it. The black-haired boy did the same, but poked me with it. He laughed.
I thought they were just playing some joke on me. I was still trying to be cool. I just laughed along with them. Then the black-haired boy tried grabbing my hand, but I pulled it away and stepped back. He stepped forward and firmly grabbed my hand. He said, “Hold it”. I became scared and just wanted to leave. I tried pulling away, but he held his grip on my wrist. He repeated himself, “Hold it”, as the blonde boy stepped equally close to me; glaring at me with a look that said I didn’t want him to be the one saying it.
I slowly reached up and held him. The blonde boy moved my other hand to himself without me resisting. I was scared, but I thought this would make them happy and I could go. The blonde told me to do something to them, but I didn’t understand what the term meant. They then forced me to give them oral. I remember thinking my jaw was going to fall off. I just wanted it to end. I would have given anything for to just be over. When they pushed me on the ground, I thought it was over.
I hit the ground on my back and they both leaped on me and began undressing me. They began spitting on my rear, and I thought they were just trying to be mean by spitting on me. They then took turns raping me. I remember the pain was immense at first. It felt like they had cut me open. I screamed and they shoved my face into the dirt. I remember the dirt being ground into my mouth and nose and eyes. When that didn’t muffle my screams, one of them put their sweatshirt under my face and shoved my mouth onto it.
Sadly, what I had told them about my parents leaving me to myself was true. If they had seen I was gone, they would have assumed I walked home. The rape continued for what I now think had to be more than an hour. The sun was almost down by the time they left, and it was still bright when I walked into the woods with them. Whatever the actual time, it was the longest time in my life. But, at times it seems like it was just one fast, horrible whirl that came through and brutalized me. I’m not sure if I stayed conscious through the whole thing. I do know they laughed the whole time and continued switching back and forth like it was a game. I thought they both peed in me.
Part way through the thing, I had given up and stopped moving. When they got up, one of them asked if I was still alive. The other one slapped my face and said,”You alive?” I nodded with my eyelids. The blonde said, “Don’t you tell anyone about this, or they’ll know you’re a faggot”, and with that they were off. I lay there for a good while. It hurt so bad. It was only when I sat up that I finally began to cry. I cried for a long time, but there was no way I was going to tell anyone about this.
— Survivor, age 41