* Note that this article contains true stories of sexual violence and abuse.
Girls should be taught to shout and scream! I had a voice, but in every instance, my voice didn't count – it was not loud enough. How long are we to suffer at the hands of misogyny and complacency?
I am thirty-nine years old, and I have been raped multiple times and sexually abused countless times from a very young age. My parents were divorced and had their own emotional challenges at the time.
Below I have written my experiences – that I could remember – in a very short form, hitting you as the reader as hard as I could for two reasons: catharsis for me, and for you to be encouraged to act – to facilitate change in whatever constructive and effective wayyou can.
- They said it wasn't rape. But I didn't say yes. #HeDidntStop #ISaidNo
- I was seven years old; he was 21. He used my little body as practice for his girlfriend. #ThatIsWhatHeSaid
- I said no, so he spat in my face. #Dehumanised
It is everywhere... This demon called male violence, its origin misogyny.
- He said I was drunk and embarrassed him by saying something about his friend. I got a blue eye, bruised rib and spit on my face. No one stopped him. #SomeoneShouldHaveProtectedMe
- He kissed me, thrust his tongue into my mouth and touched me inappropriately. I was five, he was 19. I didn't know how to tell my parents – he was extended family. #IDidntUnderstand
- I was 14, he was 24. He rubbed my breasts and violated me using his fingers. I remember the pain and then the blood. I was afraid that I would be blamed. It was in my own home. #NoSafePlace
- It was his wedding, he groped me when no one was looking. I didn't even have a chance to defend myself. #NoSafePlace
- I was vulnerable; he saw it. One day he pressed himself against my back and grabbed my breast. I work with him. I had no voice, nothing came out. I went to that dark place in my being and stayed there for three years. It was hell to get back out. #IStillFearHim
I still dream about being violated almost every night. It is everywhere... This demon called male violence, its origin misogyny.
Its end will be named after the bravest of the brave start talking and make it stop. Those who stand up. Those who support. Those who stop the perpetual cycle of rape.