I was five years old when my babysitter’s son started to play with himself in front of me. He used to pressure me into helping him, or asked if I wanted him to do the same to me. This happened for two years before I saw his father do the same thing to him. I’m so thankful my mother taught me what sex was from an early age so that I could at least know what was going on… I think confusion makes rape and sexual abuse so much worse.
I was nine when my cousin suggested playing a game of doctor and nurse – with me being the patient. He tried to touch me in private, and when I told his parents about it, I was told to shut up and was shunned by the family for over a decade.
I was twelve when my intermediate boyfriend decided to come over to my house with his mate to just “hang out” and play board games, before he decided to shove his cock in my mouth. His mate just sat there and laughed.
I was thirteen when I was stalked by a high school student who called me for a week straight swearing and abusing me for not having sex with him. I’d met him once.
I had just turned fifteen overseas when I was left under the care of my uncle – being female, it was deemed that I was unfit to be able to look after myself. However, my uncle decided to take advantage of the situation and forced me onto his bed before raping me. I remember being really confused wondering what the hell was going on. When I finally told someone, I was told to harden up and get stoned. Eventually I told someone else, and was blamed – told I was too Western, my clothes too provocative, my beliefs too un-Christian, my artwork and music too expressive. I was sent back to New Zealand and promptly kicked out of home.
My whole fifteenth year was a blur. I drowned myself in alcohol, drugs and sex. I’d be so boozed I’d be taken advantage of. I was so high I didn’t know what was even going on half the time. It got to the point where I fooled myself into thinking I had to use sex to survive – to find a bed for the night, or food for the week. I’d been so abused, mistreated and distrusted that I started to abuse, mistreat and distrust myself. I would use sex to manipulate men into “looking after me”, or at least ensure I was able to eat.
My saviour was a wolf in sheep’s clothing – a man twelve years older than me, who – while he actively encouraged me to get off drugs, eat better food and move back home – was also incredibly abusive both in and out of the bedroom. He would tease me, call me names, make jokes about rape, and treat me like a piece of meat. In the bedroom, he was controlling and would push me to do things I didn’t want to do. I often cried myself to sleep and dreamed about checking out permanently.
Eventually, I went back to school, got off the drugs, moved back home and ended that relationship, before falling back into the same routine of abuse from various other men – the same person; just different faces and names.
I’ve recently just ended another relationship with another incredibly abusive man. He would unwantingly grope, fondle and try to finger me in public – while out to dinner, shopping… you name it. One night he was saying goodbye to me after dinner, and right there in the carpark decided to climb on top of me in the car and proceed to touch me, fondle me and fuck me… whatever he could do to me. He cornered me another night and told me he liked to do that because it made him feel powerful – almost like he was about to rape me. He had broken me again, but this time I was no longer a fifteen year old girl. My past experiences had made me more resilient, stronger and more stubborn than even I had realized. I walked away not long ago, and am not looking back.
Don’t think that I believe women are the only ones being abused – and it’s not that I’m even regretting the things that happened to me. It was horrendous, but it has totally contributed to me being the person I am today; a strong-minded, stubborn (yet all embracing) feminist who deals with a masculine dominated culture on a daily basis. My solution? To speak up – to encourage empowerment – to fight back – and if anyone even tries to tell me who I am, what I’m about, what I represent, how I should act / dress, or why I should live differently to the way I do; they’ll be receiving either a swift punch to feelings or to the balls.