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.  For other ways to get involved, click here.
Recent Stories
When it happened I tried to block it out of my memory.... I was 13 years old and wanted to spend the night at my friends house, her house was incredibly dirty, her mattress was on the floor along with dirt and moldy food and clothes... Her older brother was having a party that night with all of his friends. By the time the party was over most of them had fallen asleep in my friends room on the floor...... I was woken up by somebody kicking my foot very early in the morning. I woke up and saw a man who I had assumed was one of her older brothers friends standing in front of me. He told me to get up, so I did. We left the room and he had a bottle of alcohol in his hand. He told me to drink it. I told him it was too early for alcohol but he insisted so I took one shot, then he insisted I drink more. He held the bottle up to my mouth and forcefully poured it in my mouth. I told him I didn't feel well and went to the bathroom to be alone because I got scared. I heard a knock at the door so I opened it only to see it was the same person who made me drink.... He forced his way in and locked the door behind him. I was so drunk and foggy that I didn't know what to do. He started to undress me and all I could do was weakly push his hands away until he threw me to the floor of the bathroom and put himself inside me. I just shut my eyes and kept saying no... I thought maybe it was all a dream and that I hadn't really been woken up in the first place... Then he picked me up and bent me over the sink, he pushed himself into me analy. All I could feel was a rush of pain but it wouldn't stop. I started to raise my voice to scream for help until he put one hand over my mouth and the other on my throat choking me until I could barely breathe... When it was all over he saw that I was bleeding from both of my areas and all I remember him saying was "I think I popped your cherry" and laughing. Then he left the bathroom and left me bleeding naked bent over on the sink... He was 24 and I was 13.
I was sexually assaulted roughly nine years ago. For the longest time, I didn't tell anyone. I just wanted it to go away. I thought that if I acted like it never happened, I could forget about it. I went to great lengths to avoid anything that reminded me of what happened. I purposely walked the long way to all of my classes, because I knew I wouldn't have to see him. Whenever I had to drive by the apartment complex where it took place, I would look away. If a memory of what happened popped into my head, I would run or clean my room or anything else that could get my mind of it, even for just a little while. This went on and on for nearly five years. Until the day my high school had an assembly on sexual assault and rape. I couldn't run away from it this time. I had to sit there any be reminded of what happened and I couldn't do one thing about it. It all came crashing down and I found myself unable to escape the memories everyday after that. I finally got into therapy and I'm working through what happened to me. I urge you, all of you, don't run away from your abuse. Confront it, work through it, it gets better.
I am 50 years old. But I have vivid memories of being cornered in an abandoned house with two male friends as a 15 year old and being told they would not let me go until I gave them both oral sex. I cried and screamed obscenities and was in such fear I did not even realize both boys left me there alone. I never told my parents. My teenage brain told me that this was an event that I had to handle myself. Talk to your children to let them know that these types of incidences are exactly what needs to be shared, and they will be believed.
I have never told anyone. I think it took a while for me to realize that's what it was. It happened in college and I just kept my business to myself but it has haunted me for years. I still have no clue how to express it. I have debated for years telling certain people but anytime I think about doing it, I can never get the words out. I have been close to telling my husband and obgyn but never succeed. Maybe one day. I think my ob gyn suspects something but has never asked. My goal is to tell him but then the time comes and I can't get it out and get all anxious and everything. Maybe one day.
When I started having flashbacks to a childhood rape, I contacted my county's rape crisis center and asked if they knew of counselors that had experience treating male rape victims. Their answer: "We don't help men."
All Submissions
 
Data pager
Data pager
10/25/2014
When it happened I tried to block it out of my memory.
Read More
10/21/2014
I was sexually assaulted roughly nine years ago.
Read More
10/17/2014
I am 50 years old.
Read More
10/6/2014
I have never told anyone.
Read More
4/28/2014
When I started having flashbacks to a childhood rape, I contacted my county's rape crisis center and asked if they knew of counselors that had experience treating male rape victims.
Read More
4/23/2014
The first person I told about my rape was my husband and he made fun of me.
Read More
4/22/2014
Sometimes the perpetrator is your spouse.
Read More
4/18/2014
When I was in foster care, I used to get sexually assaulted and raped each day.
Read More
4/14/2014
I'm a survivor.
Read More
4/3/2014
I was friends with this guy for a few years.
Read More
Start by Believing campaign proudly brought to you by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).