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For Professionals - Describe a time when you or a colleague received a disclosure of sexual violence, and you chose to Start by Believing.

For Survivors - Describe a time when professionals, friends, or family members received a disclosure of sexual violence and they chose to Start by Believing. Or a time when they didn’t.


Feel free to identify yourself, or not. Responses will be posted here at the website for the Start by Believing campaign, and they may be shared via social media. Before posting, all submissions will be reviewed for appropriate content.

Please note that we do not respond to posts. For survivors who need help or want to talk to someone, please contact the 24-hour sexual assault hotline operated by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656- HOPE or visit www.rainn.org to access the online hotline.

For professionals interested in receiving training or technical assistance, please visit the website for End Violence Against Women International at www.evawintl.org or request assistance directly through our online portal.

Recent Stories
The first time I was raped was in college, I blamed myself and still do. I let him sleep in the living room with me, because my roommate had her boyfriend in the room. I feel like I should have known and that I should have never let him near me, that I was just dumb. I went to planned parent hood, who told me "well you said you a drank that night so you don't really know what happened" I had a hard time for a long time after I could not sleep and going out in public where men looked at me was hard. Even though I had no major bruises it was still the hardest time for me. I ended up marring someone a few years later who was really abusive, he beat me, raped me, even ass raped me it was a constant struggle to stay alive. I used to sleep with a knife under my bed, but leaving was the hardest i almost did not survive. I still worry that he will kill me. It was really horrible, I have a five year order of protection. It doesn't work. No one understands that keeping him happy lets me sleep at night Not knowing where I stand with him it fucking terrifying. I also don't "look the part" I have a really good job and keep my past to my self. I struggle every single day. i don't know why this happened to me, maybe my boyfriend in high school...nicest guy ever... used to stalk me, he wold stand outside my classes and see if I talked to other guys. One time my teacher asked if I was ok. I guess I didn't get it then. All this leads up to my worse fear, that someone will hurt my daughters. they are beautiful and I worry every day.
I was 14. I was never wanted by groups of people, but in 2014, I had a lot of friends. I never use to fit in, so I was having the time of my life. I had one best friend, and one day he told me someone in the group had a crush on me. I thought, oh that's sweet. Eventually we started talking, and he became a good friend of mine. About 3 months of really getting to know him, he invited me over to play Need for Speed. I was hesitant, but he said his dad was home, so was his brother. I even met his dad, he seemed nice. Then he kept insisting on a drink of orange juice, I just thought he was being courteous. Hours later, I came to. It was past curfew, and he offered to call my mom to pick me up. She came, he met her, looked her in the eyes, and said "Don't worry, nothing happened I kept her safe." It wasn't until the next day, through a facebook message, that he told me what happened. Said "Oh, you wanted it. I just gave you something to calm your nerves on your first time. You remember, yeah? Don't worry about it" I was 14, he was 17. I'd told him repeatedly before I went to his place that there was no possibility of anything happening, he said don't worry, I won't make you do anything you're not ready to. He told me I liked it, he told me it was what I wanted. 2 years later, I still haven't went to court. No evidence, no story, nothing. 2 years later, I believe he has his story all in line. I don't, I can't. How can I take someone to court when I have no evidence, no facts, nothing? The idea to me is like going to war a thousand to one.
Hi my name is Ashley, and I wanted to say I have been raped. It all started when I was 12 going into middle school seventh grade. I was a cheerleader. When the pep rally came in October I was so excited. I couldn't wait. All types of sports even the cheerleaders were performing. I got out it was time for our cheer team to go. I started cheering when I did a high kick my panties showed off. I was so embarrassed, but no one really noticed except for the eight grade football team. I had to admit they were hot. I was finished cheering,so I was walking out of the gym, and the eight grade football team came up to me, and said, " ashley you did great out there, except for your thong ". I blushed " yeah " I said. They told me to come with them to this secret soundproof room that they wanted to show me something we all went in there and they closed the door. " why are you closing the door I said. " oh because we wanted to show you something ". I hesitated, but I was still waiting for the thing they were going to show me. They covered my mouth and unzipped there pants and they made me suck there penises. I was crying cum spilled out of there penises. They took of my clothes a And took of theres and anal raped me, sucked on my boobs and vagina, and they vaginal raped me. I was scared. They kept on saying " shut the f*** up bitch or you will die ". When they were done they left me in the room crying, and regretting my life. I never told anyone I was scared. They would torture me secretly when no one was looking. I was like there sex dolls. To this day I never told unless now - Ashley Now 16
I was raped by my exboyfriend. He wouldn't let me leave his house, he punched me in the face, and then he demanded I take my clothes off. He anally raped me. I went straight to the police. They told me it wasn't really rape because i had had sex with him before (never anal) and he did not pry my legs open.
I have been molested when I was 8 years old it was my teacher who used to come and teach us Quran at home it had been going on for two years unit we changed our house because we were growing up and needed more space cause our last home was small I was beyond relived that I won't have to see his face ever again and that he won't come near but after we had moved my parents couldnt find any other teacher that would teach us so they happened to call him again my dad would pick him up from the train station and drop him at the house I thought maybe now he won't that he would leave me alone but he didn't he continued to do everyday and the only person who knows about it is my sister that man has ruined my childhood I have never told anyone about this not even my mum I do really want to I always had want to but I just know that the moment I'll tell her she'll think I'm lying I'm 17 now and I still get nightmares about that man i still think about those days.. I really want to tell my mum but now I don't see the point anymore..
All Submissions
 
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9/18/2016
The first time I was raped was in college, I blamed myself and still do.
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9/18/2016
I was 14.
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9/8/2016
Hi my name is Ashley, and I wanted to say I have been raped.
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9/7/2016
I was raped by my exboyfriend.
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9/3/2016
I have been molested when I was 8 years old it was my teacher who used to come and teach us Quran at home it had been going on for two years unit we changed our house because we were growing up and needed more space cause our last home was small I wa...
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9/1/2016
My name is Maria.
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8/31/2016
It started when I was in elementary school.
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8/30/2016
Your hands may be gentle, your eyes may be kind, but lurking beneath them is a sick, death written twisted mind.
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8/28/2016
My name is Samantha.
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8/26/2016
I'm 61 years old.
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Start by Believing campaign proudly brought to you by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).