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
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."
The first person I told about my rape was my husband and he made fun of me. Therefore, I never told anyone else for over 20 years. Then I started work for a sexual assault center as a prevention educator. After one year, I was able to tell my story to my supervisor and she believed me. It has changed my life. I teach students every day now that "THEY ARE THE BOSS OF THEIR BODY, ESPECIALLY THEIR PRIVATE PARTS! I then tell then that if they are abused, "It is not their fault!" and then I tell them to please tell a trusted adult. This is now a requirement for schools in our state because of Erin's Law. So I came up with a letter to parents and guardians telling them TO BELIEVE THEIR CHILD if they tell them they have been sexually assaulted or sexually abused. Statistically, 95-97% of survivors tell the truth because of the guilt and shame! I love this campaign!
All Submissions
 
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10/21/2014
I was sexually assaulted roughly nine years ago.
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10/17/2014
I am 50 years old.
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10/6/2014
I have never told anyone.
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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.
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4/23/2014
The first person I told about my rape was my husband and he made fun of me.
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4/22/2014
Sometimes the perpetrator is your spouse.
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4/18/2014
When I was in foster care, I used to get sexually assaulted and raped each day.
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4/14/2014
I'm a survivor.
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4/3/2014
I was friends with this guy for a few years.
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4/1/2014
I am going to acknowledge it in writing now.
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Start by Believing campaign proudly brought to you by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).