My first take on “sex” was misunderstanding. I didn’t know what it was, and my mother told me that I didn’t need to worry about it yet. My father and mother had always stressed being responsible, and learning to defend yourself. I chose “Start By Believing” to tell my story, because my family didn’t start by believing. I was raped when I was thirteen. I didn’t know my assailant, nor did I want to know. I became on of many women who never reported, and decided to hide in the darkness so easily misunderstood. I didn’t tell anyone until four months later, when it kind of came out of the wash. My family didn’t believe me. My sister told me that I wanted it. So I shut up, did nothing, and put all my energy into school, and forgetting what had happened. So now, while it may be late, I’m choosing to come out of the darkness. To share my story, and hopefully empower many other young girls to share their stories and show that they have a voice. Looking back, I wish I had told someone, and spoken up for myself. But I didn’t, and this is why I’m choosing to now.