Here is my story of struggle: When I was 5 years old, I was raped repeatedly by my teacher. This is something I didn't report until I was 18 and now, a year later, am still working on coming to terms with.
Growing up, I was scared and timid. Afraid of being touched, afraid of the nightmares/flashbacks, afraid of my own body. Afraid to live. This is no way to spend your childhood. I did not tell anyone earlier as the woman who raped me had threatened me by saying that if I told anyone, she would make it hurt worse. I was scared she would follow through with her threat. I decided at a very young age that I would try to just forget what had happened. However, when something that traumatic happens, it cannot simply be forgotten. Also, it wasn't until I was about 14-15 years old that I realized what had happened was bad. What finally made me decide to report it was the fear that she was still teaching and hurting other children. I chose to share my story in order to protect past, current and future victims. I suppose that the first person I "told" was my mom.
This happened when I was 14-15 and my mom had found a poem I wrote about what happened while cleaning my room. I have not seen this teacher since the incidents occurred. Having this sort of past has made me feel extremely weak and little in that I couldn't protect myself even though I was just a small child. Shortly after recognizing that what had happened was not good or normal, I began cutting as a way to make myself feel better. But then I got into lifting and started playing rugby. When I started lifting, everything changed. This was a way in which I could feel better and it supplanted my desire to cut. Lifting was my me time. It is something that I have control over and something that makes me feel better about myself.
I encourage anyone in a similar situation to speak up and tell someone. I know just how hard this is to do, but it is true that once you begin to say it out-loud, you begin to own your story and heal. It may sound cliche, but it is true. The healing process is a long one and it will not happen overnight, but telling your story is how you begin. Tell a family member, a friend, a counselor, your dog. Tell anyone. And, when it comes to making a police report, this is very important.
This is probably one of the hardest things I have had to do, and this is why the reporting rate is so low. But making a report can protect others from becoming victims. I finally feel strong. People are always surprised when I tell them I play rugby or when they see what I can lift. A 5'1 girl weighing 130 lbs can kick ass on and off the field. I can bench my body weight. I can squat 205. I have finally overcome my past and have become stronger because of it.
20 years old