Share Your Story
Describe a time when professionals, friends, or family members received a disclosure of sexual violence and they did 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. 

Please note that we cannot respond to your anonymous post or provide help or other services.  If you 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 to access the online hotline.

For other ways to get involved, click here.

Recent Stories
When I was 13 I had my first boyfriend. He started touching me and at first I let him because I thought I wasn't allowed to say no to my boyfriend. Then when I told him that I didn't like what he was doing, he was angry with me and told me that it makes him want to cut himself. Then after his mom found out what we were doing, she made us break up. Right before school ended for the summer, he raped me at my house. I would hang out with his friends and him, but he would try to touch me beneath a blanket. Then I heard that he tried to molest one of my old friends. 8 months later I got a new boyfriend, which my ex started harassing him. 5 months into the relationship with my new boyfriend and my ex started leaving us alone, but started going after other girls. I hope they turned out okay.
When I was 10 years old, I had both betrayed and sexually violated by my paternal grandfather on his farm here in Alberta, Canada. That was approximately 53 years ago. I had kept silent about this for nearly 17 years because I knew that I wouldn't be believed by my parents or by the rest of my family. And although I don't remember all the details of my rape because I had been sneakily given the rape drug in my drink and it had interacted with my epileptic medication. I had vilely and cruelly raped by an African Canadian who had been a fellow volunteer with me at the Edmonton Council on Race Relations. He had been also a civilian member of the local police force. This horrendous rape experience had happened when I was around 28 years old.
I was six years old when I first remember my maternal grandfather molesting me, however, I clearly remember the conversation that led up to the incident and I am certain that it had happened before and I just can't or won't remember it, even now, 31 years later. I was a very smart child and never allowed myself to be left alone with this man again, as I knew what he would do to me if I were alone with him. Anytime he got around me, he would whisper horribly inappropriate sexual innuendoes into my ear. The last time I spoke to the man, I was 16 years old and we had not water or gas in our house and my mother asked me to call him to ask for money-he told me that he would give me the money if I would let him touch me again. I hung up and never spoke to him again, often lying to my mother and telling her that he hadn't answered the phone. I finally told my mother about what he had done when I was around 18 years old. At first she was angry, then upset that I had never told her. My mother had problems of her own, so she turned it about her, and she contacted her entire family to tell them what he had done. Everyone called me a liar. I have two younger cousins who went to live with him (with their mother) around the time that I told my mother. I spoke with one and begged her to not let him touch her or her baby sister and she promised that he had never tried, nor would he, as I was a liar. Years later, the baby sister came forward and told me that he had touched her, and when I spoke to another family member about it and they were questioned, they again accused me of lying. This man is such a manipulator that he was even the one to walk to youngest girl down the aisle on her wedding day, which completely broke my heart. I have become a successful adult working in the prevention world, and I share my story often. The hardest thing for me as a child, teenager and young woman was the fear of not being believed, and then that fear coming to life.
I was sexually assaulted last year when I was 15 a week after my birthday. I was invited out the night before by this guy who was a good friend. He got very upset that I wouldn't come out and threatened to come to my house, I then agreed to meet him the next day. we were not in a relationship but made comments like he wanted to be friends with benefits, anyway I got there And he was home alone, also 15, we went straight to his room and put a movie on. we did kiss and I consented that I didn't mind but he stopped and said he didn't want to do it because of"Lucy" who was another "friend" who I later found out was his girlfriend and he was trying to make her jealous by inviting me to his house. we then just continued to watch the movie to the point where he kept asking me to do things. he undid his belt and pulled his trousers up and I kept saying no so he sat back down he then started trying to kiss me again I kept saying no at this point he got on top of me and was pinning me down and kissing me a kept struggling to get away. he kept rubbing himself against me with his trousers on and then grabbed mine and forcefully pull them down and got them to my knees. he kept rubbing me and trying to force my legs open but I managed to stay strong he stood up to drag my trousers of and pulled me of the bed. I managed to kick him of me and I managed to regain myself and get changed. I can't describe how I had felt but was very shaky I put my jacket on and made my way down the stairs. as I left he said "nothing happened did it? " and I just kept walking luckily at the end of the street I saw a friend who noticed I was upset and walked me home..... I continued to speak to him but it wasn't the same. I went into a sort of state of depression where I cut my self to stop the emotional pain. it wasn't till about 2 months after until I told my school because I was concerned that we were going on a trip and he might of tried something again and when I told them that said I had to tell my parents because they wouldn't take me on the trip knowing this information..... I was very upset about this and the school phoned my parents who were very supportive and convinced me to speak to the police so I did. I sat for 2 hours giving my statement and had my phone taken for about 3 months and got it back to then find out they didn't have enough evidence to do anything so it was just dropped. to this day I still feel like s*** and I do speak to a mental health person through the school. I don't feel that this is as bad as others because I wasn't raped I was just "sexually assaulted" but to me it has still wrecked my life and It pops in to my head everyday but I have supportive friends who have helped me and who still are that I haven't yet thanked for being their for me........ And that's my story and to people out there reading this there is someone out there who cares and can help you just need to find them and don't be scared to speak up it takes a weight of your shoulders <3
I was 6 years old when it first started. My parents were alcoholics at the time. My teacher was the one who noticed my behaviors and I was taken from my parents custody. The only things I remember now are sitting on the hospital bed being asked questions about being sexually assaulted and raped. I was so little and so afraid. Afraid that I would get my mom into more trouble if I had told what had happened to me. So I kept it a secret. I let myself be raped by my cousins for almost 3 years. For just those 3 years it felt like a lifetime. My parents split and my mom met another guy. He was nice... A little too nice. He bought me things, treated me right, and taught me things, took me to nice places. Not to mention he was a lot younger than my mom. One day when I was carrying his first born daughter he came to get her off my lap and touched my private area. I thought it was an accident but another time my mom caught him with a mirror looking at me from under the bathroom door after I took a shower. I couldn't understand why this kept happening to me. Well after all this had happened to me. My oldest brother knew about the step dad situation and that did not end well. The stepdad was never seen after that. He left two kids behind and I feel very sorry for them growing up without a father. My oldest brother was the one who I trusted in to tell my story and his reaction meant the world to me. He held me so tight like a baby and cried like I never seen him cry before. And he kept apologizing for not being able to protect me because he left home at an early age. But then he wiped his tears and said "You are such a strong young woman and I am so proud of you. You are so brave and I love you so much! Please do not ever doubt that. I need you in my life and I am here to help with whatever you need". So even though I kept this secret for almost 19 years I felt very empowered by my brother's words and actions. And I keep it very close to heart everyday. I am now 25 years old and an Advocate for sexual assault victims and domestic violence victims. I am going to be graduating with my associates degree. I have a good home and an awesome support team. You don't have to be a hero you just have to "Start by Believing"
All Submissions
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When I was 13 I had my first boyfriend.
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When I was 10 years old, I had both betrayed and sexually violated by my paternal grandfather on his farm here in Alberta, Canada.
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I was six years old when I first remember my maternal grandfather molesting me, however, I clearly remember the conversation that led up to the incident and I am certain that it had happened before and I just can't or won't remember it, even now, 31 ...
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I was sexually assaulted last year when I was 15 a week after my birthday.
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I was 6 years old when it first started.
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One night i went to a party and I got really drunk.
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I knew this year wasn't going to be like any other and it hasn't.
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I was gang raped by 4 men.
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I was raped while under the influence, very close to school grounds, and I was too scared to report it.
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My martial arts teacher sexually abused me when I was 12, and 13.
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Start by Believing campaign proudly brought to you by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).