I was five years old when a brother’s friend sexually abused me, repeatedly.
He was 5 years older than me and would take me into the bathroom or behind the garage to make me touch his genitals, or put them in my mouth or make me kiss him, while he would also touch me.
At the time I had no idea it was wrong, but years later it came out that he had abused my brother, a lot worse than me, and my parents asked me if anything had happened.
To this day it makes me feel sick to think someone so young can be taken advantage of in ways they should never even need to fathom. I had nightmares for years as a child and I have grown into a woman that is very untrusting of men, yet I tend to let them treat me like crap.
In a recent relationship I sat by and let my partner cheat on me and force me into sexual experiences that made me feel used, dirty and worthless.
It pushed me to a point where I had no self worth anymore and fell into a deep suicidal depression.
To come through that and to begin to understand that the things that have happened to me do not mean it is my fault or a reflection of who I am as a person, has been a huge process.
Now as a budding journalist I strive to make sure people get the chance to tell their stories and are not made to feel unworthy.
Love to the people that speak, and those that speak for us when we need it.