It began when my mother re-married and I suddenly got an older step brother. At first, I was delighted to have a new family member since I’ve always been a single child. We got along pretty well and we were pretty close, he would take me to shopping or to his friends often so I wouldn’t be lonely. I trusted him blind and loved him like we were blood related. So after approximately three weeks he started to be really intimate with me it was borderline the brother-sister stage. He always slipped into my bed and hugged me when we slept. I didn’t really think much about this since we were siblings after all. Which was really stupid because of that I still accompanied him wherever he wanted to take me, so my life was pretty much ruined in the process. My parents told me they would be away for the weekend and since I was underage they didn’t want to leave me alone and my brother said he would take care of me for the following days. We dressed up later and drove to his friend’s place because it was boring at home alone. And so, my brother forced me to drink a lot of alcohol and then let his friend rape me while he went to another room to watch TV. I remember getting raped for a second time, but I couldn’t tell who it was, if it was one of his friends or if it was him since it happened in the middle of the night where I was still sleeping and the lights were shut off. I was shocked. I couldn’t even scream. I was numb while everything happened after it all ended I cried my soul out. I fought with him the next morning and he started strangle me, saying that I also wanted this. That I was a bitch. Then he also raped me in our house. The worst part is he pretended as if nothing was wrong after that, still smiled affectionately as if I was the most precious thing he wanted to protect and talked to me like always. I didn’t tell my parents anything when they returned. I was afraid. I was mortified. How do I even start? When should I bring it up? Plus my mom was really depressed before she met my step dad since my real father cheated on her and she just cried the whole time, blamed me for my incompetence (because I was no longer good in school) and we didn’t have a lot of money. I was afraid. If I told them, my stepdad would divorce and kick me and my mother out. I didn’t want to go back to my old life. So I shut my mouth. My brother apparently knew that I couldn’t tell them, so he kept taking advantage of me and forced me to sleep with him the whole time. He also hit me whenever I struggled. I endured it all for for five months before I broke down and told my stepdad about it. It was just as I feared. My stepdad was no longer my stepdad, me and my mother had to move into a smaller apartment after the divorce. My mom just screamed at me everyday and cried and said I ruined her life; it was all my fault. I ended up depressed and didn’t go to school anymore, everything was too much for me. I was paranoid, I didn’t want to leave my room. I hate sex so much. I hate it. I just wanted to cry and I was afraid to be in the proximity with any teenager. The biggest part that messed me up was that I really thought I had a sibling I could spend my life with, and a mom who can finally be happy. Guess it’s just not meant for me. I know people have it harder than me and I am being a brat for being depressed, but I can’t move on.
— Survivor, age 17