To whom it may concern,
At 6 years old my babysitter left my brother and I in the care of her teenage niece. She called friends over and taught us about sex by showing us how it worked. They then tried to get us to try it out. Together. I ran from the house screaming fire. I was beaten by my father for running, causing a scene and then for lying. I was later left with the teenage nephew. He molested me. I told my mom. She yelled at and grounded me for lying. No action was taken against them.
From 8 to 10 years old, my best friends father was molesting both of us. I stayed quiet for fear of being beaten, grounded or even just yelled at again. I told no-one.
At 9 years old my mother's brother came to stay with us for a week. He was smelly, weird and said sexually suggestive things to my brothers and I. I never complained. When he tried to kiss me and take me to his room in the middle of the night, I ran to my brothers room and locked the door. I got in trouble for locking the door. I didn't say a word.
At 13 years old, I met a 24 year old man at the library (in the teen area). He met my mom and stepdad. They liked him and encouraged me to see him more often. I hung out with him every day, until I got grounded. He raped my best friend and molested another friend of mine. He told them both that he had been looking for me. I barely escaped, my friends didn't. I told my mother. I was told to stop crying and suck it up. That if I had been smarter, and not hung around a man 10 years older than me, it never would have happened.
At 14 I volunteered to serve at a restaurant to raise money for my school. A man slapped my ass and I slapped him back. His meal was comped, and I was asked to leave.
At 15 I was told very often by classmates and their relatives how "well endowed" I am. I was called a "knockout" because my breasts had fully developed very early. I was sexualized by everyone around me. I told my parents that I was uncomfortable. I was told to suck it up and say thank you.
At 16, my friend of 6 years tried to rape me. He pushed me onto his bed and tried to pin me with one hand and unbuttoned my pants with the other. I flipped him off of me and ran. I called my dad begging him to pick me up. He was pissed, but did so. When he got there, he found me crying and holding my side. I'd cracked a rib while escaping. He smacked me upside the head so hard my vision went dark for a few seconds and left me with a raging headache. I was never taken to the doctor for my rib and was grounded for causing my dad trouble. I didn't report the attempted rape for fear of retaliation.
At 18, it was normal for me to be oversexualized. It was normal for people to talk to my boobs, instead of me. It was normal for people to touch me inappropriately, no permission needed. I said thank you when given "compliments"
At 21, I came to the realization that no one but me had a right to my body. That I didn't have to thank people for their crude comments. I continued anyway because I didn't want to be labeled prude or rude. I made the decision to continue enduring in silence.
At 23, I am frequently called names and shamed because I refuse to take it any longer. I want to make a change. I never want my future children to be sexually assaulted, harassed and especially not raped. I don't want my future children to remain quiet if it happens to them. Especially not out of fear of me.
At 23, I'm telling my story and taking a stand. We have to fix the way these things are handled. If you are wondering why so many cases go unreported, here's your answer. Fear.