From the age of 1, he had been in my life. Of course I cannot remember back that far, but he never let anyone forget it, “I’ve been here from the beginning!!!!”, like it really mattered. Growing up, he was the only fatherly figure I ever had. He took me everywhere with him, I was always his special project. Little did I know why he had wanted to keep me so close. I was nine when it started. First it was just fondling. Touching me and rubbing me. I didn’t realize how wrong it was. He wouldn’t progress until later on. When I was 11, we lost our house. I didn’t know it at the time but we lost it because of him. He took our rent money and blew it on cocaine and partying. Losing our house, we were forced to move in with him. We were left alone most of the time, with my mom at work and my other siblings out with their friends. He continued to touch me inappropriately; this time, his son, who was only 2 years older than me, laid in the same room. He began to progress as I got older. He began grabbing my breasts and my buttocks. I would try to push him off. Being older now, I knew this was wrong. I was becoming aware of my body and what should and shouldn’t be done to it by another without my permission. His 220 pounds beat my 100 pounds. I would just lie there. So numb. Trying not to feel anything, waiting for him to get off. We finally moved out onto our own. It wasn’t until a few years later, 13 now, that it happened again. My nephew adored him. Ironic. If only he knew what kind of man he really was. He always wanted yo go see him but my sister wanted someone to go with him. My other siblings were older and weren’t interested so I was volunteered to go. I tried to convince them I did not want to go without telling them why but sadly, I went. I though since his son would be there and his son was so much older now, there was no way he could get to me now. Boy was I wrong. Hal f unconscious, I laid on the floor, curled in my blanket. I was accustomed to sleeping in that position around him, with my covers tucked in all around me. That night, he forced himself on me, very hard. The hardest it had ever been. I was extremely groggy, which was out of the ordinary. I couldn’t keep myself awake to fight with all of my strength. In and out of sleep, I could feel him stripping my clothes off and I tried my best to push him off in protest. I remember saying no, but it did not phase him what so ever. He placed his head near my genitals and because to orally assault me. I had never experienced it before and me body was freaking out. I was so dazed and scared, I couldn’t stay still. I placed my feet on his shoulders and pushed him off. He moved himself up, distributing his body weight over mine as he forced his nasty, wet lips on mine. It took all I could not to be sick. Next thing I knew, there was a shot of piercing pain around my hips. He was tr ying to put himself into me. I whimpered and cried. He tried to shush me. I remember him specifically stroking my face and saying “I’ll be gentle. Just a little bit in, I promise.” I cannot have a man stroke my face with the back of his hand anymore. It brings back too much. My sad fight to keep this grown man, in his early forties, off of me continued. The next thing I can remember was seeing a flash as I came to. I realized he was taking pictures of my genitals. That was the last time I ever saw that man. He has tried to contact my family and I since via Facebook. No one wants anything to do with him. My mother and one of my sisters know about the events that took place, but no one else. He claims to be a man of God now and it just makes me cringe. Knowing what he did to me and knowing he probably never admitted to God what he did, although God already knows. I regret not saying anything when I could have done something about it. Now, I am here, sharing my s tory for girls and woman to know, I am alive. What happened to me was not okay and have forever changed me. I am on medication for depression and anxiety and am currently in counseling. I want to empower people to help me fight against the predators that are out there. Like the one that took my innocence from me as a young child and morphed my understanding and feelings about sex forever.
— Laramie Keeler