I lived with my great aunt and uncle since I was about 3 because my mom didn’t have her life together. I think the first time I was molested I was about 7. I was sleeping between them for some reason and woke up to being touched down there. It was dark and I didn’t know who was touching me and didn’t know what to do so I stayed still and pretended to still be asleep. After a few minutes it quit so I just sent to sleep. Then nothing happened for a while. One day I had an much older female cousin stay the night who slept in my bed with me. While we laid there we talked and told secrets and I told her about that night. A few weeks went by before she told anyone. One day I was sitting in class (i was in third grade then) and I got called to the counselors office. When I entered there was a social worker there, though I didn’t know what that was at the time. They kept asking me questions about my cousin and what I had told her. I kept denying it because I felt I was in trouble until they said I could trust them. So I told them the truth. After that things got very crazy. I was pulled from the home, questioned, asked embarrassing questions. Checked down below for signs of molestation. After all this I just wanted it all to end. Any time I came into contact with my aunt and uncle I was given cruel glares. I was so sorry I said anything. So I changed my story. Said I made it all up. That I just wanted to go home. So the case was dropped. I went home. That’s when it really started. He started coming into my room at night and touching me. Told me I would be in trouble if I told. Some nights he would come home drunk. On those nights my aunt didn’t sleep with him. She slept in her room and he slept on the couch. He would make come to the couch with him and watch porn. He repeatedly asked me if I liked what I saw, if I could be like those women. He only touched me with his fingers, asking me if it felt good. He told me I wasn’t ready for anything more but that one day I would be. Then when I was 12, I started my period. I knew this is what he meant, so I hid it. I used toilet paper instead of pads. I threw away my underwear that was blood stained so no one would no I started. One day my aunt found a pair that I had tried to hide before she saw it and asked me about it. I told her I had a “bike wreck”. She acted like she believed me, but later told my uncle she needed money to buy me “feminine products”. The look he gave me… That weekend it happened. He had this old trailer behind our house that was his “work shop”. He took me out there on a Friday night, and showed me his stash of porn and dirty magazines he had. Then he made me get naked. He wanted me to try it. He forced himself on top of me. After that it happen every weekend till I was 18 and ran away. I was scared of guys my while life so I never had a boyfriend, even though they looked at me. I was scared of those looks. I was scared they would find out I wasn’t a virgin. I’m from a small town and everyone would want to know when I lost it since I never had a boyfriend. I finally got a boyfriend at 18. He was a little older so I he didn’t know I had never had a boyfriend. I lied and said I had. That way he didn’t ask questions. We ended up getting married and having kids. We have three kids. He still doesn’t know. After 5 years sex feels normal with him. I never think about my past and I never will…. The saddest part is I still go to see my aunt and uncle. I despise him but I love my aunt. She raised me and she never knew what was happening. She loves my kids bit it breaks her heart because I never leave my kids with her. She thinks i don’t trust her. She will never get that relationship with my kids that she craves but it would hurt her more if I told her. I’m a little afraid she would blame me for everything he did because she loves him and has always stood by him before… I hate him so much and he knows it. I has tried to apologize in private but I will never ever trust that lying bastard. My husband has suspected something was off once when he caught my uncle looking at my butt. He asked me about and I said he must be mistaken.
— Survivor, age 24