Share Your Story

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
I have been sexually assaulted many, many times in my life. My youngest memory being when i was 5 or 6, and being babysat by my uncle. My mom would go do drugs with her abusive boyfriend, and leave me and my two brothers behind with our "uncle." He never touched them. Only me. Several nights, i woke up to his face in between my legs. He always told me he did it because i was the most beautiful girl he knew. I was special. He ended up shooting himself in the face. I didnt realize until i was in high school, that what had happened to me was not okay. I told my parents. My dad defaced his grave. When i was 15, i moved to payson, arizona. Met some football guy who told me he loved me. I thought i might want to have sex with him. When we started to, it ended up hurting too bad. I told him to stop, he didnt. He spread alot of rumors about me. He told people i was pregnant. He told me i needed to agree with him or hed kick my ass. The entire high school hated me. Even my closest friends thought it was ME who was lying. That relationship ended with me dropping out and the cops being called. The last case of abuse came from my firefighting ex boyfriend. 240 of pure steroid muscle. Im 118 pounds. He used to have me inject him, and told me if i ever told anyone hed leave me and my infant daughter. One night i was really sick from not taking the anti anxiety meds he MADE me get on. He got me gatorade. When i didnt drink it right away, the threw it across the room. That night i woke up to him trying to take my pants off. When i told him i still felt sick, he continued to push and shove. All the while telling me its my job to please him. Several things like this occured. Multiple times id been choked, grabbed. "Persuaded" into having sex. No one ever believed me because he was a fireman. No one believes me now because hes married and i guess treats her differently.
Hello, from the age of roughly 4 I was sexually abused by grandad until I was 9. I'd sit on his lap and he would make me give him handjobs and rub his penis on my genitals. I never told a soul until I was twelve. I was very suicidal, self harming and I hated my self, when I spoke out I saw my uncle Sean who I love dearly only once, my two other uncles fucked off and so did my nan. It breaks my heart that not only did he take away my innocence he took away my family. When the court date finally came my nan and all three uncles came to defend my grandad and told so many lies, but in the end he was founded not guilty because of a lack of fucking evedince. I want my family back I want them to love me not him. He's a monsters, he's had multiple affairs on my nan, sexually abused four young girls (I was the first to come out) and is emotionally abusive to my nan. I miss them. My grandad spoiled me to bits and now I know why, so that I'd stay silent
I was 15 when I was raped. We went to his friends house before we were supposed to go to the movies. I was handed a Dr. Pepper, not knowing I had been drugged. I was in and out of consciousness for several hours. First, I was gang raped in a bedroom. I remember waking up and began crawling towards the front door to escape. I was lifted up and placed on their couch. I woke up again to a feeling as if my vagina was being set on fire. Instead, I was being held upside down while Sky Vodka was poured inside my vagina; I was being used as a human keg. The worst part of it all, one of the guys' 14 year old brother was sitting in a chair, and recorded my rape to send to a porn website. I blacked out for a while. When I woke up again the perpetrator was driving me to his mothers house. I sat in the car, parked out front, while he laughed and hugged his mother. I over heard him say "she's drunk, I'm just taking her home mom." After that he drove me out to the desert, held a knife to my throat and raped me once more. Afterwards, he politely asked where I lived so he could take me home. I complied. I told my parents; police were called, a rape kit was given; I met a detective, a counselor; and was taken out of school to pick out faces in a book. My story was recorded. But it didn't matter. I was nothing more than "an outrageous teenager who was seeking attention, one who was already sexually active", and my case couldn't be proven because I had washed off the evidence. I was not their only toy, 6 other girls stepped forward. All three men fled to Colorado, and that's the last I heard. Nothing came from my case.
This happened 3+ years ago, and I'm just starting to find my voice and speak out about my abuse. I was 13, I dated a guy who was abusive emotionally, sexually and physically. He would threaten to kill himself if I didn't do what he wanted, including have sex with him. It hurt me pretty bad mentally. I didn't want sex anyways, but one night it was particularly bad. He came over, and I asked him to just cuddle because I was too tired to physically move. About 3 minutes in, he took my clothes off and raped me while I just lied there asking him to stop, unable to push him off or get away. When he was finished he started crying and saying he was sorry and he'd kill himself if I didn't forgive him. He stood up, found a pair of hedge clippers, and put them against his throat and started counting down from 10, saying he'd kill himself if I didn't say I forgave him before he got to 1. In that moment I just wanted it to all be over, and I didn't even care if he did it. But I told him I forgave him. He started choking me and said if I ever told anyone about what happened he'd kill me. A couple months later, when we broke up, he switched schools and moved away. He's back now and I see him everyday. It triggers memories/flashbacks. I'm still terrified of him. He still knows where I live and he could kill me at any time. I'm 16 now, but 3 years later, it's still not over. I'm scared for my life. I can't even use names because I'm scared he'll come for me. I'm writing a story about it all to try to get my story out there, but it'll always have to be anonymous.
I was in a toxic relationship, but I was convinced I could change him. I could make him good, despite the stories I heard. I loved him after all. I stuck by his side and were about to have baby. I few months before I gave birth, I found videos on his computer. It was his raping a woman who looked drugged. I realized that woman was me. There were multiple videos of him doing unspeakable things to me. I confronted him and he told me he did it because he was mad at me. I tried to stuff it down and hide it. All I wanted was a normal family. When it would bubble u to the surface he would threaten me and his mother was constantly telling me to delete the videos after a few years of having breakdowns I couldn't do it anymore. I took the videos to the police and fled the state. He wasn't charged. The Palm Bay, Fl police told me...."maybe I liked it". Sposel rape is a crime in Fl, they said he was my hero s and so that counted against me. The statutes were raised to 8 years, it was 3 before I reported...they said it was too long. I want someone to take my story. My husband told me stories of how he raped before. He is now teaching middle schoolers. I don't want anyone else to go through this.
All Submissions
 
Data pager
Data pager
11/21/2016
I have been sexually assaulted many, many times in my life.
Read More
11/20/2016
Hello, from the age of roughly 4 I was sexually abused by grandad until I was 9.
Read More
11/19/2016
I was 15 when I was raped.
Read More
11/19/2016
This happened 3+ years ago, and I'm just starting to find my voice and speak out about my abuse.
Read More
11/18/2016
I was in a toxic relationship, but I was convinced I could change him.
Read More
11/17/2016
I am a survivor.
Read More
11/16/2016
When I was ten years old I attended a sleepaway camp.
Read More
11/10/2016
When I was a freshman in college, there was a guy I was having sexual relations with my fall semester, he failed out going into the spring I met another guy we started dating.
Read More
11/9/2016
Everything is gonna be ok I invited my best friend over to my house because I was alone and bored,I trusted him we gisted for sometime and he stopped at an instance and looked at me and started moving closer I beat him playingly then he said I shou...
Read More
11/9/2016
I am a survivor.
Read More
Start by Believing campaign proudly brought to you by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).