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The Devil You Know

I was raped by my brother’s best friend when I was 19. It was at my brother’s house. He was sleeping in the next room. I was extremely intoxicated. I didn’t want to get in trouble and I blamed myself for being drunk. It finally came out while I was talking to my brother’s girlfriend. They said I had to report it and tell my parents. I had already been a week. There was no hard evidence. His word against mine. I was in college across the country at the time. I decided to go back to school and forget it ever happened. Of course, that didn’t work. I was no longer myself. I was so unhappy. So depressed. I failed my classes. I decided to move home and live with my parents for a while until I felt ready to move on. Shortly after that I met a man and fell in love.

I was with an abusive man for 3 years. He broke down every safety I had. He controlled me almost completely. He introduced me to drugs. I used drugs to numb my unhappiness. I was a heroin addict. I was a shadow of my self. On his birthday we all went out drinking, as we always did. I drank a lot, but I had never blacked out before. The last thing I remember was being at a local dance club we frequented. Then I woke up next to my boyfriend. I felt like I was hit by a train. I was bleeding vaginally and rectally. I asked my boyfriend what had happened last night. He told be that I had come out of the bathroom crying and screaming that the man who raped me when I was 19 was in the bar and I saw him in the bathroom and he attacked me. He said they called the paramedics, and they examined me, and they said I was fine. So, we went home. I went to the hospital to report the incident.

The police interviewed me. I told them the truth about my lifestyle and my memory of the night. They then interviewed the others that were there that night. These were my friends, my classmates, my boyfriend, his best friend. They wanted to treat my boyfriend and his best friend as suspects. I refused to allow it. I didn’t think it was possible. The police then wanted to charge me with filing a false police report. I was dumb founded. I dropped the case to avoid being charged. Shortly after that my boyfriend left me. He told everyone that I was lying because I was cheating on him and I was ashamed. I was kicked out of my classes at school so that he and his new girlfriend could attend and “feel safe”. He painted me as a complete psycho. I completely broke down. I went on a downward extremely dangerous spiral.

Only a couple months ago, I found out what really happened.

He and his best friends drugged and raped me. He passed me around. Apparently, I was awake enough to “like it”, as the neighbors reported. They said I was screaming, but it sounded like I liked it. They confessed to the police, but claimed it was consensual and I was ashamed. When I said I didn’t want them to investigate my boyfriend, that was confirmation that I wanted it. I’m glad I don’t remember. I am glad I know. I know that I would never, under any circumstance, allow him anywhere near me again.

About 9 months of spiraling downward, I decided to get sober. My parents took a trip to Italy. While they were gone, I reached my bottom. My mom was doing a pilgrimage for me. I think a miracle took place. I am healed in so many ways. I was ready to finally get better and stop punishing myself and my body. Today I am 3 years sober, engaged to a loving, kind, beautiful man who respects me completely. I never thought I would have a normal life. It took a long time, but I’ve arrived.

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