I was about nine when I was first sexually abused, and it was by my male cousin that was around fifteen. He instructed me to strip for him in what he described as a ‘sexy manner’. I remember thinking it was all a game and laughed and pretended to take my jumper off. He was not amused when he realised that I was still clothed and proceeded to undress me and pull me into bed with him where he was also undressed. Things get a bit hazy here for me, but I know that he touched me.

Years later I started opening up to my friends about what had happened to me one of whom was a boy around the same age as me. As we started to get closer, he seemed to think that is was okay to kiss me and ‘grope’ me whenever he wanted – even in public in front of my boyfriend and friends. I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I never said anything about it, I’d always just take his hands off of me and laugh it off.  It wasn’t until he started holding me down and trying to push his fingers up my vagina, or lying on top of me and telling me that he wanted to have sex with me, that I told him to stop, however it took over a year until he did.

I finally opened up to my friends about what had been happening last year and out of the people that I told, only one or two have really stuck by me, the rest have either called me a liar or have decided that since I wasn’t raped, that my story doesn’t mean anything.

They are all still friends with him.