I was always told how kind I was. Since a young age everyone told me that I had a kind heart. I feel like that’s the reason I have been taken advantage of so many times in my life. My kind heart made me vulnerable and naive to people who can be evil. I was graduating high school when my next door neighborhood who I knew forever raped me. It was in the back of a car and we had been partying. I said no but he still pulled my pants off and when I tried to get out from under him he pushed down harder on me and when I tried to open the door it was locked. It was a nightmare so I just laid there trapped and confused until it was over. Afterwards I told my friends and we went to get the morning after pill since he was not wearing a condom. I was numb, ashamed and felt like he had taken my innocence. I went on to college and he even wrote a message to me on Facebook apologizing and saying how good I was looking in some photos I just posted. I blocked him and never spoke to anyone about it. I tried to push it down and say thats normal, it happens to a lot of girls. I rationalized it so it would not destroy my kind heart. Later that freshmen year in college I was raped by a guy who lives a floor above me. He knew a mutual friend of mine and that friend asked me after a night of partying if he could sleep in my room. I said yes not realizing what I was agreeing to he never said can my friend have sex with you and I had not even talked to his friend that entire night. When we got into my dorm room he said he would sleep next to me but that did not happen he took off my pants and underwear flipped me on my stomach and raped me not just my vagina but my other area as well. I screamed in pain and he shoved my face into my pillow. I went numb again I could not escape I was trapped so I left my body to try and feel safe. When he was done he left me broken and crying. I woke up and could hardly walk. I was bleeding badly and I felt so dead inside. The bleeding stopped by the following day and I just stayed in bed and would not move. I yelled at my friend for allowing suggesting his drunk friend stay with me especially when I had been drinking as well. I was so angry and helpless. I stopped going to classes I fell into a deep depression and failed my freshmen year of college. I went home and got the support of my family which I needed very badly. I started to be my old self again and I wish that I could say that my abuse was over but after college I fell in love with an alcoholic who was abusive to me physically, verbally and sexually. I thankfully did divorce him but I am still dealing with all the pain that is still left in my heart and mind. My intimacy issues are so messed up and I really am in denial most of the time that I could have gone through such horrific situations. I don’t understand why it had to be me. I feel like maybe it’s because I am too forgiving or I am not smart. I know I am the victim but I really wish I wasn’t. From watching Brave Miss World I know now I am a survivor and it help me heal. Also therapy is helping me cope with what I have been through. Thank you for listening to my story. I want who ever reads this to know you are not alone and to be strong.
— Catherine, age 28