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UHCL community contribute powerful #MeToo messages of survival, support and solidarity
The Signal held a #MeToo campaign to raise awareness of sexual abuse and harassment. The campaign provided members of the UHCL community a platform to contribute stories of survival and messages of solidarity.
The following are true testimonials that were anonymously submitted by members of the UHCL community. Some content may be graphic. Reader discretion is advised.
Today I am speaking out and this is my story…
5 years ago I was in an abusive relationship. He would punch holes in walls and doors of my apartment when he was angry or frustrated with me. One night he accused me of cheating on him and then he raped me. It took a lot to leave that bad situation, but with the help of my friends and family, I gained the strength to kick him out. I felt like I was nothing and I deserved it. I tried to deny that I was raped, but by acknowledging it happened and I didn’t do anything wrong helped me begin the healing process. I became a mom, got closer to God and went back to school. I am living proof that being abused and raped does NOT define YOU!
When I was 19 my boyfriend wouldn’t take no for an answer. People tried to tell me that because he was my boyfriend it wasn’t actually rape. But having a significant other does not entitle you to their personal body. I want every girl, woman, even boy and man to know that these things happen to everyone. You may be hurting now but one day you will be healed. Today, I am healed.
I was about 6 years old when my brother molested me. I don’t know how many times. I do know that it was more than once. Because I didn’t speak up, he was able to hurt our cousins too.
My rapist told me I loved it. I can’t remember much because he also told me I’d love Xanax and lean too. I swiped right because I wanted a good time. What I got wasn’t consensual and most importantly not my fault. Above all, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I was assaulted by my mom’s best friend’s son and I’m still afraid to be honest, in fear that I caused it. That was over ten years ago.
Sexual abuse can happen at any time. Your body is yours, and mine is mine. I will no longer be pressured to have sex when I say no. No means no. No does not mean ask until I say yes.
For over four years no one, not even my spouse, knew I had been raped. When I finally told my family they said I was lying. They asked what I was wearing. Why I had male friends when I was married. They said if I had really been raped, I would have gone to the police. Everything that was said that day pushed me to the brink of suicide. It was exactly why I didn’t make a police report. #metoo.
My brother molested me when I was a child. At the age of 19, I was raped while passed out drunk. He was sober.
My earliest memories are a heartbreaking collection of times when a girl was abused and corrupted by her father, a person she should’ve been able to trust. Today, those scenes carry a heavy weight on my heart still. I forgave him, but the ability to trust, and my own innocence, were stolen and I struggle to rebuild them. I don’t like carrying this secret; I’m afraid of what people will think of me.
My family left me with my aunt’s husband to watch over me and my cousins at the pool. We were all taking turns doing piggyback rides and it was my turn after already going twice. Except this time I felt his fingers reach inside me as he took me away from the rest of the kids. He told me if I told anyone I would get in trouble. Later that day he did it again except it was in a room and nobody was there. I was 11 years old, and I believed him. I am 21 years old now and my aunt is still married to him. He tries and makes passes at me every now and then. I feel that because I have waited so long I can’t say anything anymore because I will be blamed. I feel uncomfortable during family get-togethers and usually avoid them. Nobody knows that this has ever happened to me except my doctor. I rather keep it this way because I am afraid that I will be blamed or might ruin my aunt’s marriage.
I was tied down and raped by my next door neighbor when I was 10. I was sexually assaulted by the owner of a store I frequented after school when I was 15.
I was six years old when I was molested and raped. It happened more than once and it was done by someone I called my uncle. He had done things to other children as well. I “outed” him to my mother and she pressed charges and he was sent to prison. I had very frequent nightmares until I was 11 years old about what he had done to me and about what someone else inevitably would do to me. I isolated myself and kept all my “bad” feelings inside. When my youngest brother was born, I feared for him. I feared that someone would hurt him the way that I was hurt and, 14 years after his birth, I still fear it.
When I was 15 years old I was raped by my friend’s older brother. I lived in a pretty big apartment complex. It was beginning to get dark so I left the basketball court and walked to my mom’s apartment. This was about a five-minute walk. I decided to cross through the back of the apartments to quickly get to where I lived, which I did practically daily unless it rained. I saw him as I walked through the back. He yelled my name and I walked over to him. He had been standing on his back porch drinking. Even though he was a few years older, he drank a lot and often. I never thought anything bad about. I had known him and his sister for about four years and I thought that I could trust him. Not once did I ever think he would take advantage of my trust. I stood next to him on the porch and he offered to walk me home since it was getting dark. I was fine with it. He invited me inside while he used the restroom and hot his house keys so that he could lock the door. I trusted him. Almost as soon as he closed the backdoor my fate was sealed. He was much stronger and about a foot taller. He took my virginity that night. And I hated myself; blamed myself. I told the social worker at my school a month later. She brought my mom to the school and my mom first accused me of lying and said that I was just afraid because I might be pregnant. Then she began to say that it was my fault and that I shouldn’t have been outside. I don’t care what ANYONE tells you. IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!
I was sexually assaulted by a family member from 5-11 years. My family still doesn’t believe me.
My best friend of 12 years sexually assaulted me in my home when he had the first chance. It was the first time he had been to my house when I wasn’t living with a man and my daughter was not home. Once I spoke out, I found out my other friends had been assaulted and raped but never told anyone. A total of seven women were affected by him.
My ex-boyfriend sexually assaulted me while we were dating. I stayed with him sometime after because I still loved him. It is not always cut and dry as a stranger raping you. I have grown from this and will never let it happen again.
I understand because I was there. Today I will share solidarity…
Even though he said he was my friend, he still went too far. Then I was the one in the wrong for “tempting him.” It happens way too often. But you aren’t wrong.
I can say I am a victim of domestic violence but not sexual violence. Not on campus but in personal life.
It is not your fault so do not blame yourself. Do not let this horrible experience hinder your growth in life. YOU ARE STRONG!!
I support sexual abuse and harassment survivors because…
They need a voice in a world that would rather shut them up.
Everyone deserves to feel safe at all times. No matter what. Sexual abuse survivors have been made to feel as though they have no say so over what happens to their bodies. This is not ok.
It takes a big person to get over/accept what happened! You are strong and you will prosper!
All women should know that there will be some there to comfort them, to remind them that they did nothing wrong; that they are loved and have a true friend who cares. No one should be alone.
These are my friends, classmates and family members. You are worthy! You have the right.
As a woman, I have endured being an “object.” We must all stand up for each other and make the changes. I believe it is happening now.
They go through things that most people don’t go through and still live their lives.
Also published on Medium.