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How to Tell Someone You Were Sexually Abused as a Child

Maybe it’s time to tell someone that you were raped or sexual abused, but who? And how do you say “I was sexually abused as a child” or “He molested me”? Telling someone you were sexually abused or raped won’t be easy, but you need to tell what happened so you can heal. You won’t always feel this scared, alone, hurt and sad. You will find healing and strength if you learn how to tell someone you were raped.

These tips were inspired by a reader’s comment on my article about sexual assault and relationships. “My problem isn’t my boyfriend, it’s my mom. I was raped by my older brother when I was 10 years old,” says a She Blossoms reader on What to Do When You Were Raped and Your Boyfriend Can’t Cope. “He also molested my little brother but I didn’t know that until recently. I haven’t told anybody about the childhood sexual abuse, not even my mom and dad, because I didn’t know how to say it. Now that my little brother told me what my older brother did to him, I want to tell my mom we were molested but I don’t know how.”

You experienced something terrible that no child should ever have to go through. Childhood sexual abuse is horrible, terrifying, and devastating. And none of it was your fault, no matter what he told you. But guess what? You survived, and you will heal. You may have wanted to die at the time, you may have felt dirty and ashamed and worthless…but you are here. Alive!


You are not alone if you’ve been hiding from or dealing with feelings of constant guilt. You didn’t tell anyone you were sexually abused because you weren’t ready then. But you might be getting ready now — and it does take time to figure out how to tell the truth about what happened to you. Take a deep breath, and know that it won’t be easy to tell someone, “I was sexually abused as a child,” but it will start you on a new path of life.

How to Tell Someone You Were Sexually Abused as a Child
How to Tell Someone You Were Sexually Abused as a Child

Rape and child sexual assault was NEVER part of God’s plan for your life. I don’t know why it happened to you, but blaming God won’t heal you. What will help you heal is to turn your face to Jesus and feel His gaze on you. He loves you, and He was with you through it all. He won’t let go of you. And God will use what happened in ways that will surprise you, and help others heal from their own experiences of sexual abuse as children.

I am writing this article not just for Courtney (my reader who commented on the article about a boyfriend not being able to cope with a girlfriend’s rape). I’m also writing it for a 16-year-old young woman who recently told me that her brother started sexually abusing her since she was 10 years old. She hadn’t told anyone about it, partly because he told her that brothers and sisters do those things together. Her brother told her sexual abuse and rape is normal in a family. He lied.

How to Tell Someone You Were Raped or Sexually Abused

You’re here, and I’m glad.

Somewhere deep down you know that telling someone – your mom, your dad, your boyfriend, a teacher or counselor – is the best way to cope with the rape or child sexual abuse. Talking and writing about your experience will help you heal.

“I know you’re in a world of pain, but that pain will lessen. At the beginning you can’t see that,” writes Ellen Bass, a survivor of child sexual abuse. “You can only see your pain and you think it will never go away. But the nature of pain is that it changes – it changes like a sunset. At first, it’s this intense red-orange in the sky, and then it starts getting softer and soften. The texture of pain changes as you work through it. And then one day, you wake up and realize that life isn’t just about working through your incest; it’s about living, too.”

Focus on the reason you need to tell someone about the rape

My 16-year-old friend – I’ll call her Jane – feels like she needs to tell her mom about the sexual abuse she survived because her younger brother also experienced the same thing. My friend said she would not tell her mom about the rape if it had only happened to her. But now that she knows her older brother is molesting her younger brother, she wants to protect him. She asked me how to tell her mom or someone that her older brother is a rapist because she loves her little brother.

Maybe the reason you need to know how to tell someone about the childhood sexual abuse or rape you experienced has nothing to do with protecting a younger brother or other girls from child sexual abuse. This is okay! You had good reasons not to tell anyone you were raped, and now you have good reasons to start telling someone about the child sexual abuse you survived.

The most important reason to tell someone you were raped as a child is for your own healing and growth. If you keep this secret locked inside of you, it will grow bigger blacker and uglier. It will gain enough power to kill your soul and destroy your spirit. Do not let the darkness win.

Hold on to the truth, the light, the life and the power

If you keep hiding and holding on to your secret, it will torment you with pain and suffering. But you will slowly heal if you learn how to tell someone “I was raped as a child and I am a survivor of sexual abuse.” It may always sting to say those words, but you will heal.

How to Tell Someone You Were Sexually Abused Raped as a Child

“The truth about our childhood is stored up in our body, and although we can repress it, we can never alter it,” writes Ellen Bass and Laura Davis in The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. “Our intellect can be deceived, our feelings manipulated, our perceptions confused, and our body tricked with medication. But someday the body will present its bill, for it is as incorruptible as a child who, still whole in spirit, will accept no compromises or excuses, and it will not stop tormenting us until we stop evading the truth.”

The Courage to Heal is an inspiring, comprehensive book that will give you hope and healing if you were sexually abused as a child. Although the effects of child sexual abuse are long-term and severe, healing is possible. Authors Ellen Bass and Laura Davis weave together personal experience with rape and childhood sexual assault with professional knowledge. They provide clear explanations and practical suggestions for healing from the trauma of molestation, and offer support throughout the healing process. In this book, you’ll also read hundreds of moving first-person stories drawn from interviews and the authors’ extensive work with rape and sexual assault survivors, both nationally and internationally.


Don’t shove away the pain of being raped or sexually assaulted

In How I Survived an Attempted Rape in My Bedroom, I describe how I got away from a rapist who attacked me in the middle of the night in my own bedroom. I also describe how I grieved and got over the pain of being sexually assaulted in my own home.

When my friend Jane told me that there are worse things that could happen then sexual abuse as a child, she was dishonoring her own feelings of grief and pain. That is, she wasn’t allowing herself to fully grieve and feel the weight of the horrible thing that happened to her.

How do you feel about the sexual abuse you experienced? You may feel like you’re in a very dark, painful place right now. My heart goes out to you, just like my heart went out to my friend Jane. She has to deal with stuff she should never have to deal with as a 16-year-old girl. She knows things she should never have to know. It is wrong and it is sad.

You, too, know things that no child should ever have to know. If you’d like to share your story in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you. Even if you don’t write about it here I encourage you to write about it in your own private journal or some other safe place. Writing your of being raped and surviving child sexual abuse will not only help you heal, it will also help you learn how to tell someone what you experienced.

Practice talking about child sexual abuse

How to Tell Someone You Were Raped or Sexually Abused as a Child
Telling Someone You Were Raped

The more you talk about being raped, the easier it will get. The more you say the words “I was sexually molested when I was a child”, the easier it will be to tell the truth. So, one of the best ways to learn how to tell your mom or someone else that you are raped is simply by practicing.

Who have you told about the rape? If you feel like you cannot tell anyone you know, practice saying it out loud somewhere by yourself. Go for a walk somewhere alone and tell your story. I think writing is one of the most important ways to survive and even thrive after child sexual abuse and rape, but talking about it out loud – even by yourself – is one of the best ways to learn how to tell someone what happened to you.

Write a letter instead of telling someone in words that you were abused

Jane and I talked about writing her mom a letter instead of telling her face to face. I encouraged her to write down everything she remembers and feels about the experience of being raped by her older brother. I also told her to write down her feelings about her younger brother being sexually molested by her older brother. She doesn’t have to give her mom the letters if she would rather tell her about the rape in person. But if she has the letter with her she will be more likely to tell everything that happened instead of letting her mom’s response change what she planned to say.

Here’s what one rape survivor says:

“Write your mom a letter and give it to her,” says Au on How Do I Tell My Parents I Was Raped? “You can even put it in the mailbox. I know it’s not the best way to tell someone that you were raped, but tell her in the letter that you just couldn’t say the words out loud. That you can’t look her in the eye. I know what you’re going through, I was sexually abused as a child. I told my sister when I was drunk over the phone very late at night. We don’t speak about it because she knows I don’t want to. I’m the type I handle it better when it’s just forgotten and never spoke of again.

You need to tell someone that you were raped so it’s not all in your head all the time. It’s very dangerous to bottle it up. I did that and I pushed myself to suicide. After two attempts I opened up and I’m so much better now. Physically you’re healed, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually you haven’t even begun to heal yet. Take care of yourself sweetie. Let your mom help you heal.”

Be aware of the different ways people will respond to you

child sex abuse survivor how to tell rape
How to Tell Someone You Were Sexually Abused as a Child

After Jane and I talked about her older brother molesting her, we talked about how to tell her mom about the sexual abuse. Jane is scared and worried about how her mom will react. She doesn’t know what she wants her mom to do to her older brother. She doesn’t know how her mom will protect her younger brother from more sexual abuse in the future. She doesn’t know what she wants to happen; she just knows she needs to tell her mom about the rapes.

This may be an unexpectedly difficult part of telling someone you were raped or sexually abused as a child: his or her response. Hearing the secret of child sexual abuse is painful for anyone…especially a mother! If you are telling your mom that your brother molested you, she may freak out. Why? Because she loves you, she loves your brother, and even if she suspected it was happening, it will break her heart.

Responses you might get:

  • Shock and/or denial.
  • Crying, sobbing.
  • Anger because you didn’t say anything about the rape or child sexual abuse sooner.
  • Warmth and support.
  • Anger and blame.
  • Confusion.
  • Feelings of betrayal.
  • Encouragement or insistence that you get counseling or attend a rape survivors support group.

Expect anything! Your family members, friend, husband, boyfriend or whoever you choose to tell may be shocked, heartbroken, angry or devastated. Their response may surprise or even disappoint you.

It’s not fair that you have to deal with their emotional response to your experience (in addition to you having to deal with the actual sexual abuse)…but the hard truth is that whoever you tell may not be able to cope well. When Jane told me that she had been sexually molested by her older brother for the past six years, my first response was, “Sh$t!” Because I already knew. She had hinted that her brother was hurting her three years ago, and when I asked if her brother was raping or sexually abusing her, she just cried. She couldn’t tell me that she was being molested. She couldn’t say the words, she didn’t know how to tell someone she was raped.

Hearing that a child you love had to experience sexual abuse and rape is difficult. So, while it doesn’t seem fair, you need to give the person you’re telling time and space to process the shock, anger, and grief of what happened to you. If you feel alone and unwanted – perhaps like you can’t tell someone you were molested as a child – read 7 Things to Remember When You Feel Like No One Cares.

Resources for survivors of child rape and sexual abuse

How to Tell Someone You Were Raped or Sexually Abused as a Child

In It Wasn’t Your Fault Freeing Yourself From the Shame of Childhood Abuse, therapist and childhood abuse expert Beverly Engel presents a mindfulness and compassion-based therapeutic approach to help you overcome the debilitating shame that keeps you tied to the past.

Shame is one of the most destructive of human emotions. If you suffered childhood physical or sexual abuse, you may experience such intense feelings of shame that it almost seems to define you as a person. In order to begin healing, it’s important for you to know that it wasn’t your fault.

With this book, you’ll learn how to develop the skills needed to finally put a stop the crippling self-blame and guilt that keeps you from moving on and being happy. You’ll learn to focus on your strengths, your courage, and your extraordinary ability to survive. Most of all, you’ll learn to deal with shame and even tell someone “I was sexually abused as a child” with love and forgiveness for the man who hurt you.

If you already know how painful this will be for your family, read How to Start Healing Broken Family Relationships.

You are welcome to practice saying “Someone raped me when I was a child” in the comments section below. It never gets easy to say those words, but writing what happened and how you feel about talking about the abuse may help you take another step forward, toward healing. And give yourself a pat on the back – or a hug 🙂 – for coming this far! It takes a lot of courage to search the internet and even click on an article called “How to Tell Someone You Were Sexually Abused as a Child.”

Be kind and loving to yourself. Take good care of yourself, for you are worth taking good care of.

With His love,

Laurie

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70 thoughts on “How to Tell Someone You Were Sexually Abused as a Child”

  1. I’m 46 year old male and starting when I was about 8,I was sexually abused by my older best friend/neighbor/sitter. It went on for about 4-5 years. I don’t remember much of the early abuse but as I got older to my teen years, I remember it all. I ever told anybody. I’ve been married 19 years, dated my wife on and off for 11 years prior to getting married. High School sweetheart. I never even told her. I self counseled myself with lots of research. Handled it very well and for the most part it never bothered me. You can start putting 2 & 2 together starting here. I never wanted to have kids, didn’t want to bring one into this crazy world, my wife was fine with that, we were enjoying our life together too much. At almost 35 we decided we wanted to try for a child and we may have missed out on something. 2 rounds of In-vetro with no outcome. Our friends started adoption proceedings and we went to talk to them about the process. Almost exactly a year later and I was cutting the umbilical cord in the delivery room and we got to take a our new born adopted son home. What hit me the following week left me up every night for 2 months straight, crying and holding my son after he fell asleep in my arms. I had realized what this man hat taken from me and my wife. 18 years of not wanting a child because of what he did to me. I could have had a child long before now and I missed it. For the next month I ran over and over in my head on how I was going to tell my story for the first time in my life to my wife. It was the worst night of my life. It was the most difficult thing I ever did. But it really was instantly rewarding to me and I felt that change. That was about a year ago. Since then I have been trying to overcome telling my parents. They are both in their early 70’s but in good health mentally and physically. Im concerned about telling them. I don’t want to ruin their life they have left just to heal myself. Today I called my brother out of state and told him the story and that I have plane ticket bought to fly to my parents next week to go tell them and felt I needed to tell him first and be sure he was with me on telling Mom and Dad. So now I’m dreading next week coming. I called my parent 2 days ago and told them I had some very big, bad news that I needed to share about someone that needed help. I was giving them the option of going full in or out. If they chose to not getting involved, NOBODY is in danger, nobody is in trouble, and nobody is in legal trouble and everything would be fine and they don’t need to lose any sleep. But if they go full in, the info they get could negativity change the rest of their lives but they could really help some people out. They agreed to going along with it and I’m flying up next week for the weekend. It’s going to be the worst day of my life. I hope they can deal with it. That’s my story

  2. I was sexually abused by a family member when I was around 4/5 years old for a year or two…. I can’t remember the time scale as it is just a blur, at the same time I was sexually abused by a different family member, I remember at the time not feeling scared as it was normal for it too happen to me and I thought it happened to everyone. The second molester carried on over years until I was 12 when I was raped by this male. it feels weird to call it rape because there was no violence or pressure involved but I was 12….. I feel disgusted and ashamed that I ever let this happen, I didn’t say no. Im now 30 years old and its eaten me up all my life, I told a close colleague who accompanied me to my employments occupational health where I was given eye movement distraction therapy for PTSD after becoming very depressed and suicidal. I spent years prior blocking out the pain by self harming, drinking and sleeping around, I look back and think why would I ever want to sleep with another person but It was the only way I knew how to be loved. To this day I struggle everyday, I have told 2/3 other people in a professional capacity who all offer their support but when I approach them to talk they just pass me on to an appropriate person who is professionally training. I just want a normal friendly person to listen and ask what happened, how does it make me feel etc as I’ve never actually spoke in much depth about the abuse, just that it happened. I feel ready to talk so maybe I can start the healing process, but it seems impossible my doctor just gives me pills to help with anxiety and depression, I feel like people dont want to know the details like im dirty and what happened is dirty. no point to this just felt maybe if I typed my story it might give me the strength to find some words.

  3. I was exposed to and sexually abused by a family friend when I was very young, I don’t even remember how young. I just remember the feeling. I can’t sleep. She’s a teacher. I don’t know if she’s hurt anybody else. She makes me wish I was dead.

  4. Hi… this is even hard to say right now.. I was sexually abused when I was a child by a family friend. I am 25 years old now and I still have yet to tell anybody. Me and my mother are like best friends and I am still scared to tell her one because I know she will be hurt and confused about why I didn’t tell her sooner and two because I always thought that if I kept it to myself it would go away… the pain would just erase but all these years later and sometimes I still cry myself to sleep at night asking God for the strength. I know that expressing it will help me because even thought I think it has not hindered me, it has. The only way to truly move on is to say it… and I will… soon.

  5. I was sexually abused when I was 13 by my 14 year old brother . I finally told my parents who were divorced. I told each one at different points in my life , but about 15 years later bc I didn’t know how they would react.
    My father was devastated and comforted my brother who denied it, but my dad believe me and we have the best relationship ever.
    My mom never believed me and till this day I am now 38 treats me differently. The voice as if I lied… that has broken me . I have had many long term relationships where I never told my significant other bc I was afraid they would leave me or not believe me
    Or worse baby me…. here I am 38 not knowing who I can tell.
    My girlfriends know the truth… but the love of my life I don’t know if I should tell or how should I tell him… I’m always seeking advice…

  6. Emma, you have to tell your parents that you were abused when you were a young child. It’ll be hard because you’re right: they’ll be upset and hurt because they love you so much. I don’t know if you’ll lose their trust — this may not be about a trust thing as much as fear, shame, guilt and grief. You couldn’t tell them because you felt so terrible about it…it’s not the same as not telling them that you didn’t do well on a test or make a sports team.

    Imagine that you’re 20 years old. Look back on your 14 year old self…what advice would you give her? How would you strengthen, reassure, and comfort her?

  7. i am a victim of child sexual abuse, 5 abusers in the span of a few months when i was around 10-11, it’s a few years later and i’m finally allowing myself to heal and sympathise with myself after years of telling myself that it was my fault, i’m planning on telling my best friend what happened to me tomorrow (or today i guess) i trust her.

  8. Hey my name is emma i really need help. I was sexually molested when i was six. Its been 7 years and ive only told my 3 closest friends. They still love me but i dont know how much longer i ca go with this shame dragging me down im 14 now and about to start high school. I wanted to get a therapist because of my depression but i would need to consult my parents first. I just dont want to lose their trust from keeping something like this from them for so long. Could you please give me some advice on how i could go about getting help?

  9. I know how you feel S. My brother did a similar thing to me all through middle school. I am 18 now and trust me it gets easier. But only once you tell someone you trust. I told my youth leader before I told my parents because I was afraid that they would kick him or me out of the house. I know it so hard to go through this, especially because it was a sibling. I know exactly how that feels. But I just want you to know that this is NOT your fault. You did not know what was really going on. I recommend telling one of your close friends who you know will keep your secret until your ready. You are so brave for reaching out. What I found to help me was this anonymous chat called RAINN. Things will get better. Much love!

  10. One mistake I think people make when trying to recover from trauma, is that they believe they will be the same again someday. I don’t believe that. I think that there was the “you” before, and the “you” after. You have to learn how to accept that what happened was out of your control, and no matter how it has affected your past, it doesn’t have to affect your future. You will never “get over it” but you can learn to stop punishing yourself for something that wasn’t your fault. Don’t continue to let your abuser win by letting this overcome you. You are the victim, but you don’t have to live like one. Show him and everyone else that you are in control of your destiny, and that you can be strong enough to beat him. Once you accept that you cannot change the past, and that you deserve a future, things will start to look up for you.. I promise. But it takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight, and you have to patient with yourself. Don’t let this overcome you. You are stronger than you realize.

  11. hi grace,

    you are not disgusting it is not your fault im so sorry this happened to you. YOu need to find someone to talk to that you trust a counsellor or a family member, a female doctor? you do not have to carry this on your own or be responsible for other people feeling. you have look after yourself. there is nothing wrong with you, you were only a child when it happened, so please do not speak so badly of yourself. try and find the compassion in the way you speak to yourself. you are brave strong and courageous for taking the step to even open up and express your experience online. please find someone you trust to talk to it will be difficult but it will start you on the path to healing x

  12. Hi anna,

    I want to help you even if to let you know your not alone and to encourage to to find that courage to get help,
    I went through similar at a young age about 6, a brother abused me. I didn’t remember anything until I was 16, and had the exact same experience of doubting myself and the experiences, some also vague that i suddenly remembered.

    Firstly, in no way are you a terrible person, you will have many conflicting feelings. Feeling shame and guilt is normal becuase experiencing trauma is really difficult but none of what happened is your fault i promise you. If you can tell your mom or someone else you trust it will only help you. your mom loves you and only want you to be happy, she would not want you to suffer in silence and carry this pain all on your own. You are only a child still and deserve all the love and support in the world.

    I only started going to counselling/talking therapy a year ago… i am 30 now! it has been hard to carry a secret for so long so i urge you to tell your mum if you can, it will be difficult and emotional but it will get you on the path to healing . Maybe writing it in a letter would help, or if you have a female doctor you trust or a school counsellor who can speak to your mim with you?

    i hope youre okay and right back if you want to talk furthur

  13. I am a 25 year old man, who has recently in the past year come to terms with early childhood trauma, and how strongly it has impacted my development. After a near death car collision last year, with multiple injuries, a case for that has brought forth a pyschotherapist to talk to about my thoughts and feelings. While attempting to learn more about myself, she was asking many questions about my childhood and how that relates to how I currently handle stress. And one session, it just came out. I never knew my father, but my mother was involved with a man from the time I was 4-10 years of age, and we lived together under the same roof for years. Not only sexually, but physically, mentally and emotionally abused by this man. I’m not quite clear as when it began, or when it ended, but it was repeated again and again. I would be taken from my bedroom at night, and to his bed (they slept separately towards the ending years or months) and he would tell me to sleep naked and not tell anyone else in the home. I remember hiding in my bedroom closet sometimes with a lamp, and clothing along the bottom so the light wouldn’t show, and I would create drawings or build Legos in there. I am starting to come to the realization of how this impacted my confidence, and development, I never finished highschool, I have struggled maintaining relationships of any kind, substance abuse, dangerous behaviour or a sense or fearlessness, breaking laws, and now I am truly struggling with uncontrollable rage/shame. Few months before the car accident, I had ended a 4.5 year common law relationship with my first lover, and I only opened up to her about this in January when she contacted me. She wished I would have told her when we were together, as she now is in a new relationship, and I feel guilty for not doing so because I see now this may have made me a difficult person to love or properly understand my moods and actions. I haven’t opened up to any family membets yet, but only a few female friends who I either was intimage with since, or just someone receptive and supportive. I know I need serious help in healing, as I feel like I could honestly take someone’s life for the smallest reason these days, I am off work still with injuries, homeless, and feel at my worst of worst, but I am still hopeful. I want to open up more, I am nervous how certain people will react or may even dissappear from my life not knowing how to handle it or response, but I am so grateful I found this page tonight at 2am not being able to rest. Thank you for this space. I hope anyone else can gain strength and courage from my message here. Its not easy, and I honestly have no idea how long it will take to recover or heal from this, but I know in my heart of hearts that I want to be a good husband and father one day, and I must go through this in order to get there. I have been celibate for 14 months now, and have been struggling with substance abuse, but am clean now for 5 days!

  14. I’m not sure if this counts as sexual abuse or not.. When I was younger i think 4 through 10 my grandfather would sit with me in his room, He would touch me ” Down there ” I vaguely remember this and i’m not sure if it actually happened… But if it wasn’t why would a five year old come up with that?? I loved my grandfather very much. He passed away a couple of months ago. As a catholic girl I wonder if he didn’t make it to heaven right away? Because of me?? I feel very guilty he was a sweet man and had a rough terrible life. But I can’t understand why he would do that to me? I was his only granddaughter! I love my grandma very much and we are going through a rough patch.. Losing half of my family since 2014 It hurts to think I might have made this up… Maybe i’m a terrible person? I Don’t know how to tell my mom, I’m 14 and stuck what do I do? I’m hurting and because my brothers have issues ( My older brother has different mental issues, Like Asperger’s and OCD. My younger brother has a learning disorder ) I’m the ” Normal one ” I can’t talk please can someone help me?

  15. When I was 7 or 8, I was sexually abused by two of my cousins who lived in another country.One of them was my age at the time and the other was about 10-11 at the time. I remember I used to fly to my aunt’s and stay for the entire summer, 2 months and they did it constantly while I was there. I remember the first time, we started out playing in the house. Once the adults left the room, my cousins basically ambushed me and one pinned me to the ground so that I would stop trying to run away and the other would perform sexual acts and they would take turns. I remember being very confused but very scared, full of anxiety. I was thinking “how could my cousins terrorize me like this? We were just playing peacefully” I did not know how to process what had happened to me but I immediately wanted to go tell someone but I didn’t know what to say to explain what just had happened. Time and time again, they would do this to me and when I threatened finally tell someone, they told me that if I tell then they won’t get in trouble like I think, instead I will get in trouble for doing something so nasty. I didn’t understand how that could be true, but for some reason I chose to believe it and have felt trapped inside my mind ever since. I would be screaming for help inside my head but none of the adults in the home could notice it. I became mute and family members notice I wasn’t my jolly self anymore but couldn’t figure out why. One day, a family friend walked in and caught a glimpse of my cousins beginning to use me for masturbation and she was shocked and quickly pulled me away and rushed me away from them. She did not know what to do either, and kept it secret and tried to keep a closer eye on me whenever she could, but she was not there as often as I wish she could have been. I remember being caught and feeling embarrassment, shame, and disgust with myself. Once I flew back to America and was home with my mother again(she did not fly out with me during that summer, she stayed home), I decided it would be best to block those terrible memories out of my head. Ever since then, I have experienced terrible memory block and it runs into my day-to-day life. I can go through an entire day and it will be a blur mostly and I can only remember in bits and pieces. I lose everything. From money, to my phone, keys, anything every single day because I cannot remember even the simplest of tasks. After the incident, I told my mother I did not want to have birthday parties like I used to anymore and I chose to celebrate them all alone. I felt so out of place. I felt so alone even in a room full of my peers and the people I called my friends. I felt shame and embarrassment and carried it with me through my whole life and it caused me to separate from from my feelings and bottle them up. I never wanted to be vulnerable and show anyone my true self, the person I was ashamed of. I actually made myself forget the incident for a long time and now that I am 23, I have decided that I don’t want to live a lonely life anymore and I want to love myself and now I realize that I don’t have to be ashamed of me because I am not what happened to me. I lost my voice and I want to find it again and learn how to feel again. I struggle with connecting to others and making friends. When I was 17, I randomly started getting panic attacks and had a terrible case of anxiety, night sweats, palpitations, and felt myself slipping into deep depression. My anxiety got so bad to the point where I couldn’t go to school because I would have panic attacks while locked in my closet and being afraid to go outside and experience being outside. I was scared and had no idea why at the time but now I think it could be because I had suppressed my bad memories for so long that they began to eat me from the inside out. I have since then recovered from that random bout of anxiety but still struggle to be myself and accept everything about me so that I can be me true self around others. I am preparing to tell this to my mother in a few weeks and this will be the most terrifying thing to tell her. Especially since she is financially helping my cousins out now. I am not expecting anything bad to happen, nor do I want that. I just want to find my voice again and find myself and I think that building this courage to finally say it to her will bring a lot of healing for me. I just want to say, please don’t be ashamed of what happened to you or what may be happening to you right now, instead use your voice and your story to help change the world to make it a better place and to show the others who have been through sexual abuse the path to healing and growth. May all who have been affected by sexual abuse seek strength, courage, healing, and growth through the love and grace of God

  16. One of my She Blossoms readers said she was sexually abused as a child. She survived after going through a great deal of turmoil — but she is healthy and happy now.

    Here’s what she said:
    “I got a job & an apartment & have supported myself for almost a year. I will soon be moving in with the most loving, kind-hearted man. No one knows the damage of sexual abuse has on someone until they become an adult & try to figure out why am I like this. I am doing well and my father has since passed. I should have told him to his face what a horrible thing he did to me, but I think deep down he already knew.”

    Healing is a process that takes time and effort, but you CAN get through this. You can heal and move forward, and even blossom into who God created you to be. Get help, and take heart. You won’t always be feeling this bad, or dealing with such extreme pain.

    Love,
    Laurie

  17. Your story matters, and you are the only one who can tell it! And, telling your story will help you heal. It won’t be an overnight or miraculous process; it takes time and conscious effort to heal from something as scary and harmful as being sexually abused as a child. But if you talk about what happened to people who can help you work through the grief and pain, your heart will recover. You’ll never be the same, but you won’t walk around in grief, shame, and pain.

    Sometimes it’s helpful to tell your mom, parents, or other family members that you were sexually abused as a child. Sometimes it’s not a good idea because they don’t know how to handle it. I think the best thing is to talk to a rape counselor, sexual violence advocate or some kind of therapist before talking directly to family members. A counselor can help you figure out what you need to say, how to say it, and how to respond when your family freaks out (because most families do freak out!).

    The trauma of something like being sexually abused as a child is buried deep in our bodies. We react physiologically or physically, even if our minds aren’t thinking about the abuse. Our bodies remember…and our bodies need to be healed. Personally, I needed spiritual healing. My spirit was broken, my soul devastated, my mind damaged because of the abused I suffered. Counseling helped, but it really wasn’t enough. I needed God to heal my heart with love, grace, compassion, and joy. For me, it was Jesus and the Holy Spirit that healed and sealed my heart.

    Talk to people you trust. Look up, and meet God’s gaze. Know that terrible things happen to His beloved creatures, but He is still a loving, kind, compassionate Creator. An undercurrent of goodness and joy runs beneath this earth…and it has the power to heal even the worst traumas. Hold on to whatever faith you have, and take the next practical step forward in healing from the abuse you suffered — and that you survived!

    With His love,
    Laurie

  18. I was molested in 4 th grade by a friend of the family. I was asleep and woke up to him. It was one time and I blocked that memory until I started having children. I have three and I’m in my late thirties. He still haunts me in different ways and random times. I’ve become pretty good at hiding my feelings and thoughts from my kids and husband. Until I can’t any longer and then my husband notices. He’s the only one I have confided in. But this cycle continues and tonight I just feel tired….when will this end I’m not a child I’m an adult a mother. Why can’t I make it go away. I never told my mother because I don’t want to hurt her but i know as a mother I would want to know. I just don’t have the courage to say it to her. I don’t even know if it would help me heal.

  19. I’m 16 and between the ages of 10 – 12 I was sexually abused by my brother who is four years older than me. I didn’t know what was happening at the time and pushed the feelings and memories out of my mind, I became numb to the events and didn’t really feel present in my body. It started out as him saying let’s play a game, to threatening to kill me if I didn’t do it. He made me commit to sexual acts and would often penetrate me. He still lives at home and I feel so afraid each time he’s the only one home. Recently my memories have been coming to back to be, through nightmares and flashbacks. My family keeps on blaming me for ruining our sibling relationship saying I’m to harsh on him and that we should be closer, which makes me feel even worse evening questioning if I was the cause of it. I don’t know what to do, I need to tell someone but I’m scared of what they will think and if they won’t believe me.

  20. Hi.. I’ve recently began to deal with my past. I’m 29 this year and I cant remember the first time my dad molested me. I remember being a little kid and dealing with the shame and fear.. the guilt. By the time I was 13 it had escalated a bit. Him and my mom were separated and I would spend the weekends with him. I’ve never been able to tell my mom, who has been in a relationship with him for the past 3 years or so. On and off my whole life. I’ve always been too scared to speak up. I went through a period of depression and suicide attempts when I was 13-14 I was on medication and seeing a therapist. None of that stopped the abuse. It wasn’t until I was pregnant at 14, idk why that stopped it but I jumped I to motherhood and closed off the rest. Now I’m an adult and I feel like I’m that same little girl again. That I need to speak up to keep my nieces safe. And to get my mom to stop wasting time on him. But I dont know how. I dont know how to tell her. I want to do it in person. I want to give him a heads up but hes a scary guy. I cant imagine what it will be like for him to have this blow up in his face. But I just need peace. I have 4 kids and I’m no good to them like this.

  21. I’m sorry you had to experience abuse as a child. It is a horrible thing, and no girl should ever have to face her abuser or deal with the consequences. It’s scary and difficult to face the guy who did those things, even if it’s a safe place and he can’t hurt you anymore. It’s unfair, and it takes time to grieve what you lost and heal from the pain.

    Talking about it takes courage and bravery. I’m so glad you’re writing about it here! It’s painful to face the feelings, but talking about it is one of the first steps to healing. Whatever you feel – whether it’s pain, shame, guilt, anger, confusion, fear – try to talk about it with someone you trust.

    If you’re talking to your abuser, try to have someone there who isn’t a family member. If it’s you and your mom talking to someone who sexually abused you as a child, she may not know how to deal with the emotions and problems. Even if she doesn’t want anyone else to know, find someone to talk to on your own. Don’t try to deal with this yourself.

    You are in my prayers. May you find healing, peace, and freedom. May you reach out and find the right people to talk to, the right books or resources or support groups, the right messages. May you take time to be still and silent, to be quiet and listen. You know what you need to heal…and I pray for strength, courage, love, and light to fill your life. I also pray that Jesus appears in your life in special, surprising, delicious ways! He knows what you need, and He wants to help you.

    Take good care of yourself, for you are worth taking good care of.

    With His love,
    Laurie

  22. I was sexually abused when I was 10-11 by my eldest brother. I only recently confronted him about it and also opened up and told my Mum. We’ve decided to have a meeting kind of thing to discuss it with him and for him to talk about why he did it. However, nothing that he says can justify what he did to me but at least I can know why. After that, I am going to tell my other older brother and also my Dad. I’m very nervous because I know how hard this will be for everyone. I’m just glad I can now acknowledge my past and be able to confront it and then move on. It will always be a part of me, but it also made me who I am today.

  23. I feel your pain but I was molested by my grandad who is not my biological grandad as my mum was adopted. It started when I was about 5-6 and he has this shed in his garden that he used to take me into and lock it and touch me but as I was young I didn’t know what to think I knew it was wrong but I was so scared. It went on until I was about 12 then it stopped and it was because I chose not to go to my grandparents house as often. No one knows about this and this is the first time I’ve come out. I’m now 16 and still haven’t told anyone, I honestly don’t know what to do with myself.

  24. I had a very similar experience and have never told my mom or sister. It happened when I was 8-11 and I am now 28. How would my mom believe or forgive me or still love my step dad who is her best friend? That’s why I never said anything. I asked my sister who is one year younger if he ever touched her and she said no and was shocked that I asked. It was only me. I’ve always been hurt and angry and I’m ready to let it go but I don’t know how.

  25. you are so brave i finally just told my counselor about my father raping me i still gotta tell my step-mom and siblings im getting there tho

  26. At the age of 7 i was touched by my dad :/ and i didn’t live with my mom at the time because she was doing drugs and drinking all the time my father soon went to court asking for full custody of me i prayed my mom would not let him but why would the judges let her have a child she had been in and out of jail 15 times all she wanted to do is forget about me and go “party” with her friends the judges allowed my father to take me from my father and it all started he would touch me in bad ways and say it was okay it was a game called dont tell or he would say the touch game and when people asked about it he would say “its just tag” i remember him telling me to never tell anyone or he would hate me and i was JUST 8! a year went pass and it got a lot worse to the point where i would haft to run away from him to my door and lock it and if i ran from him or screamed i would get hit and when i reached the age of nine he would force me to get sexually active with him we would do more then just touch he would leave bruises on my body whenever we went to the doctor he would never let the doctors check me. My mother stopped drinking after a couple years and started trying to get her life together i got to see her i told her about what he had done and she started crying saying sorry and that none of this would of happend if she didn’t drink and do drugs we both just started crying holding each other and every time he came to pick me up from my mom house i remember crying saying i didn’t want to go home back to him but i had to when i turned 10 he touched me still but after a month or two my mom got it together and went to court to get half custody they ALLOWED it (: i got to see my mom and my dad it was getting better after a couple months i got my period and he stooped raping me but he still smacked me around and touched me but he never would put anything inside me anymore we went to the court and i went in this room to talk about who i wanted to live with and why i said MY MOM they said why and i took a deep breath in and told them everything i showed them the scars and bruises i had and they took me to the children hospital to get checked they said i had a lot of tearing and something else i remembered crying and they said i would never haft to see him again and i was allowed to live with my mother finally i cried not because i was hurt i cried because i was happy for once

  27. I was abused sexually by my grandfather from ever since I remember. I moved away at the age of 5 but returned to my home town at 8 and it started again. However things got a whole lot worse. He raped me multiple times and even invited his friend to join him.
    He didn’t care where he did it and told me if I ever told anyone they would be disgusted in me.
    To a large extent, I still believe this and while one or two people know I have never actually told them. I know there’s power in doing this but I’m not sure I can utter the words. Typing them has taken long enough.

    I was again raped as a teenager by my mothers boyfriend and again in my 20s by my so-called best mate. It’s like I have a sign in my head. I cannot tellk the people who love me for fear their opinion will change. I have no desire to tell my mum – she sent me there week in week out.
    I know I need to try I just don’t know where to start!

  28. I’ve never done this before but here I go.
    So, I’ve never said this out loud or even written it before but, I was molested by my older brother, repeatedly. There was never any penetration but a lot of touching & forcing me to commit sexual acts I wasn’t confrontable. Along with him coming in to the shower with me when I would tell him to get out & I would start crying. My mom was a single mom & was constantly at work. She would get home so tired & i never wanted to bother her. My dad bailed on us after their divorce so we wasn’t really around unless my mom forced him to be. My mom & I don’t have the best relationship. We never have. But she has a better one with my brother. She adores him. I’ve never told her for that reason.

    Sadly, my brother wasn’t the only one to molest me nor was he the first. The first person to ever molest me was his childhood best friend who was our next for neighbor. He was around the same age as my brother. I was only 3 or 4 years old. My brother was there the first time it happened. He saw eveything but I don’t remember if he touched me too. But I remember it so vividly. The second time was when I was around 7 or 8 years old. My brother was there too but he didn’t notice. This time the person who did it was an 18-year-old male who was my brother’s godmother’s younger brother. I remember my brother was sitting in between us on a high stool & we were sitting in regular chairs. He reached his hand under my brother’s stool & begand touching me. I was wearing a skirt with shorts under so he took advantage of that. I remember being so scared & not knowing want to do. I just remember getting up & walking away.
    After that time, it all began with my brother. I was around the same age, 7 or 8. But this all happened where i live now with my mom. My brother is now married & no longer lives with us.

    I’m now almost 23 years old & in a relationship with a man for almost 2 years now. He was the first person I ever told I was molested but i never told him about my brother. I only told him that I know there was a third person who molested me but that I don’t remember who it was. I lied to him. Our relationship is now on the rocks because I don’t tell him what’s wrong with me. I do things to where I just live in a constant distraction to avoid what’s really going on with me. I Clearly remember telling my mom just last year that I was molested. I didn’t tell her about my brother but I told her about the other two guys. She knows who they are & I told her their names. She responded with “how is it possible that you escaped out of my sight for this to happen”. After that, we had some huge fights & problems because of my boyfriend. She knew for a while that I wasn’t a virgin anymore since I was 17 years-old & began calling me a slut & whore amongst other things. Mind you, this was all less than a month after I told her I was molested as a child. She also began to blame my boyfriend for everything that has gone wrong with her & i.

    Because of how she reacted, I have restrained myself from telling her about my brother. I always told myself I would take it to the grave but seeing how this is all affecting me almost 20yesrs later since I was 3 & my whole life as well as my relationship, I no longer want to take it to the grave. I want to tell my boyfriend because he’s a good man to me & I want to marry him one day. He’s treated me like a queen & never made me feel like it was my fault when I told him about the other two guys. I’m still afraid to tell him about my brother but I feel like he doesn’t deserve for me to shut him out & for me to ruin out relationship because I’m dealing with something from years ago.

    I don’t know if I’ll be making the right decision though. What if he reacts differently because this time its my brother? He knows him & went to his wedding. They use to be on good terms but my mom has brainwashed my brother into thinking my boyfriend is a terrible guy.

    I’ve been living my life in constant fear & I want it to stop. But the fear just creeps back in as soon as I have the tiniest bit of courage.

    Also i forgot to mention that after the sexually abuse stopped. The physical & emotional started. He began calling me horrible things & hitting me whenever he was mad. If I tried to get away from him by locking myself in my room, he’d just break down the door or punch holes in the walls. If I tried defending myself but hitting back or scratching him, he’d only hit harder. My mom knew about all of this but just said it was my fault. That I needed to watch my attitude & change it.

    I was going through a deep depression before I met my boyfriend. I still am kind of going through depression but just not as bad. Anyway; My boyfriend tried helping me with my mom & telling her I was depressed & needed help but that all backfired. She hates him now & blames him for everything. She’s threatened to do anything within her power to make sure he never sees me again. She hadn’t don’t it but I live with the fear that she might. I never expected my mom to say something like that to me.

    I’ve lived my life in constant fear & I’m so tired of it. Ive Contemplated suicide so many times before. I feel like I’m getting that much closer to it. I love my boyfriend. But I’m so afraid of a future with him even though I want one. I feel like all of this baggage of carrying a strain on our relationship & i know he’s getting tired of it. I won’t open up & I won’t get my life together because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of so much. I don’t even know what to do.

  29. Much of what I’m writing will sound like it’s all over the place, but that’s just i feel.
    I was born and lived in a third world country until i was 9. I have never experienced what it’s like to be carefree, a child. Most of my memories of childhood are ugly, I often get the feeling if I could go back, but there is no where i’d like to go back to. I have memories of being raped by my brothers, cousin, neighbour and once a stranger. These are from an age I have memories of but I’m certain there are things I don’t remember. At 9, I moved to the UK, so only my brothers continued. At around 12 it stopped. I’ve always felt like I’m different, I don’t belong or fit in. Whether others see it or not, i see them see me like that but I’m good at not letting anybody in. At 14/15, what I now understand it to be, I was depressed.But somewhere I know I had felt that way always, for as back as I can remember. My mom came to know about my brothers – her initial response was anger that I didn’t tell her, she said it was my fault and implied I wanted it. she’s not evil, she’s good enough to fit the role of a mother. I lived with my brothers, then they moved out and went down dark alleys in their own lives. My mom came to know when I was about 17. I am 22 now. My mum is very old school – she doesn’t understand much psychology. My dad had passed away just after I came to UK, he didn’t make it to the UK. He was a very loving father and an abusive bad example of a husband. The problem has always been that I got mature so quickly, always trying to understand other’s position feelings, forgiving, I suppressed any signs of sadness inside me. Instead altogether somewhere I got so use to not allowing my feelings, these real feelings burried inside of me to come to surface. I feel ashamed and pitiful to say all that happened feels normal. It feels normal for me feel that any male I meet in life could see me that way. I haven’t seen better – I can help it feel if my father could have also done the same if he had a chance. Maybe somewhere I believe all would take the opportunity when they have the chance. I always felt dead inside. My heart felt indifferent, it felt nothing. My brothers are still around, family gets together, we just go on having deleted that part. They are so use to going on like nothing happened that when after all these years, me acting up suddenly makes them think it is something happening with me now – when it’s just the past catching up. Both of them are older than me, the younger even has a child of his own now. Right now I am feeling like I don’t want bad for them. but I just don’t anything to do with them. I know that I will never leave any of my children (when i get married) with alone with them – I wouldn’t know how to explain myself then to my husband and everyone then so it’s better they know we are not good. But sometimes i think maybe i can just overlook it all and go on smoothly just the way it’s going – it’s just easier. But then when I remember that because of them and men like them – I wanted to end my life, I want to hate them first – just so I have an outlet of emotions, a right to react!!

  30. I have had mixed reaction when telling people of my childhood trauma and subsequent adult rapes, I alway feel in a bind, if I’m going to have a intimacy with a man I want to explain my history, a I may have a trigger and if I hadn’t told them surely it would be worse!

    I have recently started to enjoy intimacy again, I told a man recently and he is finding it hard to process it, I don’t want to feel ashamed to tell my story either!

    I guess the right person will be able to handle my past!

  31. I really want to tell her, but I’m worried she won’t believe me. What if she thinks I made it up? I don’t know if she’ll even believe that another child is capable of such cruelty?

    I’m going to tell her the week after christmas and thank you for your support and advise.

    Bethany.

  32. Bethany, tell your mom that you were molested by your friend. It may feel scary and uncomfortable, but the longer you carry this secret around inside of you, the harder it’ll be to talk about it. Your mom needs to know that this happened to you. I have no idea how she’ll respond or if she’ll believe you, but you have to tell her what happened to you.
    How do you feel about telling her? If you can’t tell your mom, think about telling someone else. All secrets – especially ones like this – get worse if they’re held inside. Don’t let this abuser continue to hold you down and make you feel bad. Talk about it…it’ll be tough, but you’ll start healing. You will feel better and lighter…but only if you talk about it.
    Let me know how you are, and how it goes.
    With love,
    Laurie

  33. I was molested by my friend. It started when I was eight, I was friends with this guy….let’s call Jack, he was a regular kid at first, when I was younger he use to bully me but somehow, he became my friend. When he first molested me it was in the playground, I was playing with my friends in the playground and I got tired so I went to get a drink. When I reached the drinking fountain that’s when he did it, he asked me what I would do if he kissed me ….I told him I would faint if did that, I only told him that so he would go away and stop touching me down there. After almost ten minutes he finally went away, I went into complete shock and I almost started crying. I didn’t understand how another person, another child, could be so cruel! This continued for THREE years….everyday at school I would suffer in silence…..I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want him to get in trouble being my friend and all. Everyday when I went home from school, I would hope so much that my mom notice the fear in my eyes and ask me what was wrong….but she never did, I hid it too well.

    It’s been a year since that happened to me, and it only stopped because he went to another country. I’m considering telling my mom what happened to me but im not sure if she’ll believe me because it happened when I was really young, so what do I do?

  34. I was molested at the youngest age I can remember, by my brothers’ friend. We grew up,around his family so he was always around like a brother. He would sneak into my room and touch me. Make me watch porn and,touch him. Rub himself up,against me whispering disturbing things in my ear, and I would go into shock. I didnt know what to do. He would hide under my bed like a predator/boogey man. My parents were herione/crack addicts/alcoholics. My dad knew but I lied to him.. When I should have told him then. It happened up until I was 17 years old. He then started to buy me alcohol… Until we got drunk together he also gave me,drugs like oxy and molly and i guess waited until I was uncoscious to try something. I woke up to him… Having his way with me .. I yelled and he was furious. I later confronted him and told him I always knew what he did.. He apologized a lot, but the amount of apologies never really did it for me. I only chose to say i forgave him for my own sanity. I ended up using him for money… A job. Rides places.. Because I felt he owed me. He also has paid me for nudes and $1,000 to let him have sex with me… Maybe one of the biggest mistakes ever. I think I wanted to feel like I was in control… I was totally repulsed…I can now see his crazy mood swings when i stopped allowing myself spend time with him and drink with him… And my brother thinks this is his bestfriend. And we both work with him like nothing ever happened. And i keep thinking of telling my brother that his bestfriend isnt who he thinks, but it never seems like the right time. All he knows is he doesnt respect women and is a creep so why would he continue to hang with him. Why would I ??? Ive also made excuses for him for a long time saying.. Well maybe hes messed up in the head from childhood, or didnt think he was much older than me.. But i also know hes into the “school girl” fetish.. Ugh. I feel like i cant escape him. And im not sure what to do because Itll change everything if I tell my brother.

  35. Thank you for being here – and for sharing your experience! Talking or even writing about being sexually molested is so difficult. It takes alot of courage to speak up, especially when you know your experience will hurt others. The thing we have to remember is that it’s not the speaking up that is damaging, it’s the act itself that was the crime. Yes, talking about it is painful and hard for people to hear. But keeping it in and pretending it never happened allows sin and evil to stay hidden.

    Keep talking about your experience. As a child you didn’t know better, you didn’t know how to cope or what to do. Don’t allow the darkness to overwhelm you. It’s already killed part of your spirit and soul — don’t let it take more from you! You can grow forward, you can be healthier and happier than ever before. There are seeds of love, joy, peace and beauty planted in your soul. Water them by digging up the pain and exposing the bitter root. Nurture your true self by talking to someone you trust, disclosing your experience with sexual abuse as a child, and moving towards wholeness and healing.

    Who are you talking to about this? Find someone. It can be easier if it’s someone you don’t know. Start by calling a women’s helpline.

    What do you think?

    With God’s love,
    Laurie

  36. I’m about to be 24yr. I was molested at 14 by my step father. I don’t know how but I basically was able to almost erase this memory of my head, right after it happened. My mother had just gotten out of town, I was also going on the trip but I had a few days left of school. I figured I stay with him, a person who was in my life since 7 and who was my best friend and everything in my eyes. The first night we stayed alone he had purchased alcohol and weed, because he wanted me to try it out “at home, where it safer than with friends” since I had previously asked questions regarding this, I was just Stating high school and these kind of things teenagers start questioning at some point in their life. I did not want to drink or try the weed but I didnt know how to say no, he insisted. I just barely tried it, I was so scared but I couldn’t tell why. Later that night while I was in bed I experienced anxiety for the first time (probably from the weed) I got scared bc I was shaking and cold, I came to him and told him. He told me I was gonna be fine and hugged me, then he started to rub me all around. I immediately knew what was going on, but I froze and couldn’t say no or even move away. Eventually I got very scared and quickly moved his hand away, his response was “don’t worry, nothing is happening” and he stopped. It never happened again, only once. And i basically never knew it happened until the memory came back to me about the time I turned 20. Ever since I have been dying to tell my mother, but she’s the greates mother and I know she will blame herself, with me saying something it could shatter her world in a blink. She doesn’t deserve this, she suffered enough with my biological father an d deserves to be happy. He’s great to her, he makes her happy and I don’t wanna take that away. I also have a younger sister and I have always stayed by her side and make sure she’s ok. He’s a great father to her at least he has never done anything to her, and I feel guilty damaging that for her, I don’t want her to grow up without a father like a did. I want to speak up for my own healing, I can no longer take my ptsd and depression, but by doing so I could potentially ruin the happiness of the two people that mean the most to me.

  37. Evelyn, speaking from an experience extremely similar to yours you should tell your parents, maybe start with just your mom or just your dad. Have them take you somewhere private and tell them everything that happened. Your parents/parent may decide to talk to your brother about it, but if anything it will in the end make you closer in a healthier way. You can’t carry the burden alone and shouldn’t have too. I get that you are afraid, so was I. I was 14 when I first told my mom. I’m 23 now and things are so much better. Especially my relationship with my older brother. It will work out for the better. It may take time, but it will. God bless you Evelyn. 🙂

  38. I’m 14 and when I was young and in elementary school my now 23 year old brother who still lives with us sexually abused me. He never fully penetrated me but would do other things. I don’t remember how long this went on but I remember hating it. And I could tell he knew because when it would happen he would call me to his room and lock the door and he would say to put a blanket over my head if I didn’t like to watch and he would ask me if it felt good and I would say yes even though it didn’t, I dont know why. One time while it was happening my other brother who is now 21 tryed to get into the room because they shared a room together but it was locked so my brother stopped molesting me and I had to put my clothes back on before letting my brother in the room. I also remember one time we were playing a game, I don’t remember if it was tag or what but it was with me my 23 year old brother and my now 16 year old brother, but we had this tent that we went into to ‘recharge’ or something like that and my oldest brother told me and the 16 year old brother (we were both young at this time) that in order to charge us he needed to lick our feet and my brother just sort of laughed and was confused saying to just do it to me (he was only 2 years younger than me and didn’t know how to respond) but I don’t know if he remembers that. I still have to live with him and sometimes my parents make me go with him paces alone to like the store and I feel so weird (nobody knows about this btw). But there are moments we spend as a family where I forget about what happened because I still love my brother but it’s hard. I cry at night because I have had this bottled in for so long and I have only told one friend but she lives in another state now and there’s nothing she can really do to help me. I can’t tell my other friends because I don’t want them to see my brother and feel wird around him to and thik badly of him because like I said I still love him. I don’t know what my parents would do, I don’t want them to confront both of us because that will make things even weirder. Frankly I don’t know what I want them to do so I don’t know if I should tell them. I don’t even know how they would react.

  39. Thank you for being here – I’m so glad you shared your story! And yes, it totally makes sense that you don’t want to have any authorities involved. It’s big and scary to talk about being sexually abused – especially when it happened a long time ago.

    But just because it happened a long time ago, doesn’t mean it’s over. In fact, some women don’t say anything about being abused until they’re in their 50s or 60s – and it’s just as hard at that age as it is now. Time may have passed, but the trauma and emotions are still just as raw as the day it happened. So it doesn’t matter when it happened….what matters is getting healing, talking about it, and working through it.

    Talk to an adult you trust. Get help, get guidance and wisdom as you figure out how to tell your mom. Yes, it’s important to get this off your chest, because if you don’t do it now, you’ll carry this pain around with you until you find a way to heal.

    Get support. You’re a smart, sensitive, courageous young woman – and you have a big task ahead of you. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

    Come back any time, let me know how you’re doing.

    With love,
    Laurie

  40. I’m 15, going on 16. I was sexually abused by my dad up until I started middle school, and I have only talked about it with two of my closest friends. I really want to tell my mom because I want my anger toward my dad to be justified, but I’m afraid of her not believing me because I’m usually hostile to him. I don’t want it to be taken as an excuse to get him in trouble, you know? I have three siblings as well, and I’m afraid something happened to them too. At this point, I’ve kind of accepted that I’ll be unable to tell anyone because of my fear of not being taken seriously or having the police contacted, but it is so exhausting. Because it happened so long ago, it doesn’t seem like a huge deal because my dad is no longer a looming threat. Plus, because my parents are still together, I really don’t want to be in the middle of fights about it.
    Do you think there’s anything I can do, to at least talk to an adult about it? Part of me just wants to get everything off of my chest without having any authorities involved. Does that make sense? I know it’s important for my mom to know but I just want it to be over already.

  41. Sam, thank you for sharing your thoughts here! It takes a lot of courage to speak up and share how you feel, what you’ve been through, and how you’re coping. It must be so hard to struggle – and still be struggling – with the self-loathing, disgust and self-hatred you feel after being sexually abused. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for you, and I wish you didn’t have to experience this.

    You’re right about so many things. You wrote that you can’t escape your feelings and thoughts…and that’s true. No matter where you go, there you are! I discovered that when I moved to Africa for three years. I thought I could just start fresh, but I couldn’t. I spent nine months in counseling, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. It was really hard to be in counseling, to face my problems and shame and self-loathing (and I still struggle with stuff), but it was worth the pain.

    I agree with you, that talking to a friend about being sexually abused as a child may not be the best option. She or he may not know what to say or how to help you. It’s better and wiser to talk to a counselor, or someone who has experience with childhood sexual abuse. You’ll get knowledgeable support and wise counsel. Friends are awesome and we should be able to talk to them, but the really heavy, serious stuff should be taken to a counselor.

    What do you think about calling a counselor?

    With love,
    Laurie

  42. I’m 35 and have been carrying this secret inside of me for the last 28 years. A friend of my older brother abused me on a fairly regular basis from the age of 7 to 11. He finally backed off when I told him no…..that was all it took, which is probably the hardest thing for me, I just said no. I can’t remember if I had said it before that point. I went off the rails for a few years, drinking, drugs, and after a few years he started again. He would see me out with friends, having had a drink, and take advantage of me, this went on until I moved away for college.
    I’ve been depressed most of my life, have attempted suicide 3 times and have gone so far as to move to the other end of the country to try and escape but it doesn’t matter how far I run, I can’t stop the feelings of self loathing, disgust and hatred towards myself not to mention the all encompassing fear of someone finding out.
    Recently I have met a friend, someone who is easy to talk to but this is something I just don’t want to burden another person with.

  43. It takes a ton of energy to push away the pain and shame of being raped or abused as a child. It must be so hard to carry the weight of your secrets. If you want to write more about your feelings and experience, you are welcome here! Sometimes it helps to just say everything, to get it all out of you.

    May you find healing and hope. I pray for strength and courage to talk to someone in person about your experience, to move forward and start doing what you need to do. Maybe it’s not time to tell anyone yet; I don’t know. But I pray that you will find the help and support you need.

    What do you think you need, at this point? Sometimes a good starting place is simply saying what you need.

    With love,
    Laurie

  44. Never belittle your pain. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve gone through what you have. Any sexual abuse, no matter how “little” it seems can be extremely painful. It’s a breach of trust and can be very scary. You should always speak to your parents about things like this. Know that you’re never alone and it’s okay to be embarassed, hurt, or bothered by what happened. God bless. I’ll be praying for strength and healing for you dear.

  45. I’m 20ish (I want to keep my age private) and I was abused by my older brother. I think I was 9 or 8 when the sexual abuse started. Anyways, the sexual abuse only lasted under two years. Then it was just emotional abuse and some physical abuse. Which is a lot easier for me to handle. Well he moved out when he turned 18 (I think I was 14 at the time?) So I was free. I’m going to medical school and my parents were kind enough to let me live at home so I can try and make it through school without debt. Recently however, he lost his job and asked if he could move back home while he went back to school. Which my parents allowed. I’m terrified of him. I’ve gotten so good at acting that he doesn’t even know how scared I am. I feel sick and sometimes I wonder if I should leave? But I cant afford to live on my own at the moment. My mom knows what happened to me, but when she first found out she blamed herself and was so upset. I cant let her know that I’m suffering. She thinks I’m fine now. My brother seems to have changed as well. He is so nice to me now. If I tell my mom how I feel she might kick him out. I dont want him to end up on the street, or to feel bad about what happened. But at the same time I cant live like this. Ive even considered just ending it all. I’m so scared of things going back to the way they are that its hard to breath, but it will hurt everyone if I say something. Its just… pretending to be fine is getting more difficult. Pushing all of it away is getting harder. I think I might break soon.

  46. My autistic twin brother assaulted me once this past summer. We were fighting and I was sitting on a chair with my feet up trying to kick him away. He grabbed my foot and rubbed it against his crotch, making fake moaning sounds. It was only 2 seconds before I realized and kicked him away but it’s been a year and it still bothers me. I can’t even look at him or speak to my parents. There’s underlying issues but it was the last straw. Why do I feel so terrible when what happened wasn’t even that bad and shouldn’t be so traumatizing?

  47. Thank you for opening up and sharing your heart here. It takes a lot of courage and strength to share your true feelings, and I can see how much you’re hurting. If you’ve been sexually abused and you don’t have anywhere to turn, please try to talk to someone in person. Get support and advice from someone you can lean on, who can hear your whole story, and who can walk you through the valley.

    It’s a difficult journey, there is no doubt about it. It’s a terrible thing to be molested, and I am so sorry you experienced it. But, you have to be strong and reach out for in-person help. Don’t let the darkness win, don’t let the bad guys hold you down longer than absolutely necessary.

    I hope you keep in touch – I send my “She Blossoms” email every week. I offer encouragement and hope, inspiration and warmth 🙂 It’s all I have to offer, and it might help you through the valley.

    Join us by signing up here: http://eepurl.com/ca2mJr.

    Take good care of yourself, for you are worth taking good care of.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  48. Hi, I’m 22 years old. I was abused and molested by my stepfather. It all began when he moved in when I was about 8 or 7. It started with him asking me to “scratch his legs* and then asked me to go around his private parts. I always felt how’d he get aroused… Then He wanted to do the same to me. The first time I screamed, telling him to stop and “rape”. He, a very large man, got really angry and I got really scared. He would also ask to touch my butt and chest in exchange for candy or video games. He would also give me “massages” where he undressed me and proceeded to touch me. When it first happened I felt disgusting and like a whore. At 8 years old! As I got older I began to feel numb and after a while, I felt nothing. I didn’t really care that it happened every day, because I wasn’t really there. These things happened then my mother was at work. I always feel really guitly that I didn’t do more.

    But it wasn’t “just” sexual abuse. He would also say the most horrible things to me. Things like ” If you were a boy I would beat you to death”, or ” I could make you walk on clouds if I could feel you”. He drank alot and could beat me at times. One time he even tried to punch me in the face, in front of my mother at the dinner table. She did nothing about it. When my mother was at work late I locked myself in the toilet, because I was so scared. My stephfater was really controlling. He let me see my boyfriend 1 time a week, I didn’t get to go the store (that was 5 minutes away) to buy candy etc, I never got to leave the house except when I was forcefully walking their dog 5 times a day. Even then he said that he had people to “spy” on me to see what I was doing during the walks. My mother wasn’t better. She could say the meanest things. Like ” you don’t even deserve water” “Your grandparents(who died) would be so dissapointed” and constantly tell me I needed to lose weight, when I weighed 132 pounds. The day I finally left home and all abuse stopped I was 20. My mother was angry and pushed me in bed and started to fight and scratch me up. I took my phone and nothing else and left. After I moved out I didn’t talk to my mother for a year, but she keept sending threatening texts to me. Saying that she would come to where I lived( at my boyfriends parents) etc. During that year my 3 siblings took my mothesr side and I didn’t see or speak to any of them.

    After a year I gave her a chance and went to therapy with her. I told her all about the abuse and first she said she was going to leave my stephfather. After an hour she didn’t care about the abuse and told me I was just being sensitive and “That’s just how he, my stephfather, is”. My sister even told me after this meeting that he had done things to her too, but she didn’t want to tell anyone. My mother claims to have told my two older brothers, but they never called.

    As a result to the therapy I never get to visit on christmas, easter, birthdays or any hollidays. Because my stephfather is there. My mother didn’t even tell him about the meeting we had. So now I get punished for something I didn’t even want. I have really bad ptsd due too all these events. I freeze up and starts to remember. I cry and scream “NO” and then begin to laugh. I’ve even cut up my left foot, leg, arm and my left hand. I’ve tried to kill myself once when I was 10.

    I really don’t want to keep contact with my mother, but it’s really hard since she IS my mother after all. What should I do?

  49. Please please tell someone. Trust me, the sooner the better. I am still suffering from abuse that happened 30 years ago. I wish so badly that I would have told someone. The longer you keep it a secret, the harder it is to tell and it will eat you alive.

    Your happiness is just as important as your family members. The guilt of hurting them is something that I struggle with as well. I would do anything to go back and convince my 15 year old self to get help. Please know you’re worth it.

  50. I turned 15 about a month ago. I was molested by a cousin brother who is around 4 years older me when I was about 10; four times in the week we were at my aunt’s. Earlier I couldnt understand that why I kept having such creepy nightmares of being raped or jumping even if a guy friend taps my shoulder or even if someone looks at me. I have not had the courage to tell anyone because my aunt(his mother) is suffering from a really bad disease which involves chemotherapy in the worse case and apart from that I have dealt with many bad diseases and convulsions, been a fighter and I dont wanna put anymore pressure on my parents by telling them this.
    Around the time of my birthday it all came rushing back in flashbacks and I have been a mess from that day on. I have been feeling pathetic, dirty and worthless; the tears do not wash away those touches. Only because I have been an optimistic from the start is what has kept me going or I would have been long lost . I am trying to heal … from this and many more things which have happened more recently.

  51. Thank you Laurie. Your kind words warm my heart and give me hope. I have an extremely hard time talking to people in person, as I have social anxiety, and sometimes find it hard to leave my house. I have spoke with therapists in the past, but have gotten nothing out of it. I find myself saying whatever I can to get out of the room. I’ve tried multiple medications over my lifetime. Some of them worked for depression, but nothing has ever helped my anxiety. Every therapist I’ve seen has told me to tell my family. “It’s the only way to heal” but I can’t seem to do it. They still speak of my abuser as a saint. But no has ever been able to understand why he would kill himself. I DO.

    I don’t know why I decided to comment on your blog. I came across it completely by accident. But I’m so glad that I did. Just having someone else KNOW and give me support, means more than you can ever imagine. You make me want to try harder to heal. Like it might be possible. And I thank you for that.

  52. Dear Melissa,

    You’ve been through so much – and you’re carrying the weight of the pain alone. You’ve been struggling with the burden of your secret for such a long time, and it’s starting to weigh you down. It’s crushing you – just like it crushed your step cousin. He couldn’t take it anymore, the darkness in him won and he was driven to the depths of despair.

    It’s too late for him, but it’s not too late for you! Before you talk to your mom and family about surviving sexual abuse, talk to a counselor or trusted mentor. Get help and guidance from someone who is objective and compassionate, who has experience coping with the trauma of surviving sexual abuse as a child.

    My prayer is that you find courage to reach out and talk to someone in person before you talk to your family. May you find strength to share your secrets. It takes alot of wisdom and courage to talk about sexual abuse – no matter how long ago it happened. I pray that you find freedom from the guilt, and that you get the help you need.

    Do an internet search for “local help surviving sexual abuse” or “rape survivor support near me.” Call the number – talk to someone in person. She’ll help you find the words you need to say that you were raped as a child. She’ll help guide and support you as you move towards healing and freedom.

    What do you think? Will you reach out and call someone, and come back and tell me how it went?

    With love,
    Laurie

  53. I am 37 years old. I was molested and eventually raped by my step cousin from age 7 to 11, when he went into the navy. He went on to marry and have kids. As did I. However, when his girls were very young, they started telling people they were being touched. Within 1 year of this happening, he drove his car off a cliff and committed suicide. I have never told anyone that he sexually abused me. His family remembers him as a very good man, and I hate to change that picture for them. However, I am suffering badly. I’ve suffered from severe depression and anxiety my whole life. I desperately need to tell my mother and family, but I have no idea how to do so without hurting so many other genuinely good people.

  54. Hi,
    Thank you for the article and for the people who have shared comments, it helps.. I am 25. When I was 8 to 10 years old, I was abused by my brother who is 4 years older than me. For a long time after I blocked it out, to this day, I cannot remember everything that happened. My brother still lives in the family home and we have never mentioned what happened.. I never told anybody until the past month when I told my best friend, after I had an unrelated argument with my brother and couldn’t stop crying and thinking about it. I’ve been a wreck since then. Previously I would be triggered, have a breakdown over it, repress it and then continue as normal. But since telling my friend, I’ve been all over the place. I can’t shut it down, it won’t go away. To make matters worse, my older brother bullies my younger brother; to the point that we both want him to leave. But my parents refuse to kick him out as they don’t want him to be homeless. Now I feel I need to tell my parents but I think it will hurt them so much and I am scared how they will react. Plus my dad is very ill and I don’t want to make his health worse.. and I don’t want to go over details, it is too painful and I cannot remember everything.. I am a person of faith so it helped reading your article referring to God. For a long time as a teen I was angry with God but I don’t feel like that anymore

  55. Dear Karen,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience with childhood sexual abuse. It takes a lot of courage to talk about being raped, and I’m so glad you’re sharing. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It’s terrible. It’s not fair, and it should never have happened to you. 🙁

    Your experience of flashbacks and feeling traumatized in your new relationship is normal. Your body is remembering the past, and trying to protect itself. It’s a terrible and scary feeling! But, it’s natural for your body and mind and heart to flash back to your brother’s sexual abuse. Even in a new situation, even with a guy you really like and trust.

    The best — and only — way to get help is to talk to a counselor in person. Call a sexual assault helpline, and ask for support. It’ll take time to work through your memories and feelings, which is one of the many crappy parts of being raped or sexually abused as a kid. I’m so sorry you have to go through this, but honestly….the only way to heal is to call someone and work through the awful memories.

    What do you think? Will you call for help?

    With love,
    Laurie

  56. I am 16 years old. I was sexually assaulted by my brother who is a year and a half older than me. He was making me do things and touching me from the age 8-13. He had been doing things to me but he only raped me once, and he didn’t put his thing in all the way. I have been hiding this away ever since. I tried telling a friend who was really close to me, and she tried telling my parents, but they didn’t believe her or me. They protected him. That was when I was 14. Ever since then I have been ignoring the hurt and the brokenness that I have been feeling. I feel so dirty. I didn’t know what was going on at the time. Now that I am older I know that what was going on was very wrong. I recently fell into a deep dark hole called depression. I was cutting myself to make me feel something and attempting suicide almost everyday. I told my youth leader about it and she has been telling me that I need to tell my parents and see a counselor asap. I am so scared that my parents are not going to believe me. Now it was not only me my brother was doing stuff to, he also made my little sister do things also, but she was not his main target. It was only me. He would make her stay in a different room while he touched me. He would tell me that it was a normal thing for people to do and that it didn’t matter that we were in the same family. I don’t know what to do. I have started to be in a relationship with this guy that I really like, but every time he tries to hold my hand or even puts his arm around me, I get flashbacks to when my brother was touching me. My brother still lives with us and I am really scared that it is going to happen again. I need help before my attempted suicide is a success. SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!!

  57. I was sexually abused multiple times by my older cousin almost 10 years ago. I am about to turn 19. It took me until my junior year in high school to even talk about it to another person. Since ive been living on my own, i have developed a small support group of close friends, but I’ve never told a soul in my family and up until recently I had accepted that I never would. I plan on telling my father when I travel home to visit him this weekend. Im terrified because what if he doesn’t believe Me? And I don’t want to cause a rift in my family of those who believe my cousin and those who believe me.

  58. Dear Ashley,
    I’m glad you spoke up here, and that you said your dad is sexually assaulting you! You are brave and courageous for speaking out, and for searching for help. It takes guts to say something — and you are doing the right thing by reaching out.
    It’s important to get in-person help, to talk to someone face to face. Start by calling a sexual abuse hotline. If that is too much, talk to someone you trust. Your boyfriend cares about you, but he may not know how to help you. This is why it’s important to talk to someone who has experience with sexual abuse in families. They know what you’re going through, and how to help you start healing.
    How are you today? What’s going on for you?
    – Laurie

  59. My father had been sexually assaulting me since my freshman year of high school. I don’t know what to do, and I don’t know how to tell my boyfriend….I need help..

  60. Looking at the pros and cons sure makes telling a no go…
    I have dealt with this almost totally on my own for many years.
    I’ve considered telling my mom, but backed out many times.
    I’m not sure if she knows, but I feel like I have grown as a person by not telling.
    Other people know, I’m fine now, mostly.

  61. Dear hey,

    I’m glad you shared your story here! You’ve been through so much with your brother — and yes, it is considered rape. You didn’t know what he was doing, and that is understandable.

    My little sister’s brother sexually assaulted her for a long time, too. She didn’t talk about it until she was 16, when she finally told her secret to me, her friends, and eventually her mom. The only way to heal and move on is to talk about being abused as a child. Don’t rely on online articles about childhood sexual abuse, because you need in-person help.

    Who is the first person you would tell? Someone you trust, who can help you get support. It won’t be easy to talk about your brother abusing you, but it is so important. Don’t ignore your pain, guilt, shame — it’s time to come out into the light! Now that you know that your brother was raping you, you have the power to step out in faith and tell someone you trust. Maybe this is a close friend, or a family member. Maybe it’s a counselor or social worker — it doesn’t have to be someone you personally know. Just tell one person.

    You might even write down what you want to say to someone you trust, when you tell them your brother sexually abused you. Write your feelings, practice what you want to say, ask for help in writing. The more you get it out of you, the better you’ll feel. You’ll start to heal. It’ll be painful, yes….but this is the only way forward, my friend.

    Can you talk to one person you trust? You are in my thoughts and prayers. May you be filled with strength, healing, wisdom, courage, and power. May you fall on God’s love and strength when you feel weak. And may you step out in faith so you can heal and let go of the past.

    With the love of Jesus,
    Laurie

  62. I was sexually abused by my brother when I was in the second grade. I am now 16 and I’m finally starting to feel the effects of what happened. I was raised in a Christian household my entire life, but my brother secretly had sex with me… every. single. day. At the time it was 100% consensual because I didn’t know what incest was or even what sex was. This went on for months until I learned that premarital sex was a sin and I tried to tell him to stop, but he didn’t take it well at all. We haven’t had sex since, but my brother always told me from a young age “if you sin once, you’re going to hell.” And being a second grader, I believed him. I believed I screwed myself over for the rest of eternity and that is an absolutely disgusting thought that I thought about every single day for years. Obviously now, I know that that is not the case, but him telling me that absolutely broke me. He is only about 2 1/2 years older than me and yes it was consensual, so I still don’t know if what I went through is rape or not. I have not told anyone and I absolutely refuse to tell my parents because it would break their hearts. They’re the sweetest people on earth and I don’t think they would ever believe me. It has been hurting me so much lately because my brother was supposed to leave for an out of state college a few months ago, but he decided to stay here for God knows how much longer. He’s manipulative and rude and a liar and I just can’t be near him anymore. I honestly don’t know if this is considered rape because I haven’t heard any stories similar to my own, so anyone please tell me your honest opinion. I just need someone to tell me the truth, so I can get over it. I didn’t know what I was doing and I regret it more than I can even comprehend. I didn’t even know what I was doing. Someone help me.

  63. Dear Caroline,

    Thank you for being here – and for sharing how you were sexually abused by your brother! I hear you. I can feel your shame and guilt, as well as your love for your son and your nieces. You’re right to want to protect them. Nobody protected or saved you from your brother, and that is tragic. It’s terrible, and I am so sorry you had to live through that.

    But now you have the power to step out in faith! Your first step is to tell one person you trust. Maybe this is a close friend, or a family member. Maybe it’s a counselor or social worker — it doesn’t have to be someone you personally know. Just tell one person. Remember that you don’t have to swoop in and tear your nieces’ family apart….just talk to one person.

    Can you do that? Take a deep breath, and exhale slowly. Tell one person about your brother sexually abusing you. Talk about how angry you are — because it wasn’t right and it’s not fair.

    And, talk to one person about what happened to you when you were a child, and what you fear is happening to other children. Just talk. That’s all you need to do right now.

    Can you do that, Caroline? You are in my thoughts and prayers. May you be filled with strength, healing, wisdom, courage, and power. May you fall on God’s love and strength when you feel weak. And may you step out in faith — not for you, but for the children. For the child you were, and the little girl you still are inside.

    How are you doing?

    With the love of Jesus,
    Laurie

  64. I was sexually abused by my brother in law from the time I was 12 until I was almost 16. I have repressed this horrible experience for so long. The shame and guilt I felt about myself have affected me greatly.

    My confidence,self esteem, sense of worth and my innocence were taken away. I am angry now. The guilt he and shame I have felt have been apart of who I am fo so long. I am an adult now with a 6 year little boy of my own. I sometimes look at his sweet innocent face and purity of heart and I wonder how anyone could take this away from a child. Who has the right to do that. I am mad. I have kept this hidden from my own nieces who have children of their own that abuser watches once a week. My sister has been divorced from him for many years. I need to tell. I do not no what to do. I feel an obligation to these innocent, sweet children. Help me

  65. Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience as a survivor of sexual abuse! It’s a difficult thing to talk about — even just thinking about it causes pain, doesn’t it?

    It’s important that you reach out and get help in person. I’m glad you’re here, and it’s brave of you to write about being raped. But you need to tell someone in person. Someone who is supportive, who can help you heal and cope with the consequences of this trauma.

    Who can you talk to in person? Sometimes the best thing is to reach out to a rape survivors helpline, so you can be anonymous.

    You deserve to heal, grow, and Blossom into a healthy and happy person! And you will — but you have to get good help and support in person.

    Can you do this?

  66. I finally told my 86 year old mother about my brother molesting me and then at the age of 11 he raped me and tried to rape my older sister. It all started when I was 4 my sister 5 and our brother 9. My moms first words were , “what did you do, just sit there?” I feel like she has always known and tries to hide the fact that our brother is a predator, she stays quite to protect him and gives a crap for her two daughters! I feel like we never reallly had our moms love nor our brother. Our dad died in his sixties and we never told him for he had a temper and we were scared.
    cant wrap my heart or head around this.

  67. But I have a problem with this… I need some serious help… I am a 16 year old girl who may or may not have been raped by my older cousin. Not only him, but if it is true it had happened on two occasions at least and the second time it was a gang bang with him and I don’t know how many of his friends. I have been through so much abuse throughout my life that I don’t know what is real anymore… I was only around six at the time, and yet when I think back I think I actually liked it at the time. Like, what the actual hell is wrong with me? The reason I don’t know if it actually happened is because I don’t know if my messed up mind made it up or not! Oh god, I am disgusting… I don’t even know which cousin it was because it was so long ago and I only started remembering since about a year ago. I don’t know if I should tell anyone. Its either the cousin that is in juvy for murder with his mom so it won’t matter if I tell anyone or (I really think it is this cousin) the one who is married and has a kid now and a good life. If it is him then I would ruin his new life from a stupid past mistake that I very well might have encouraged. I can’t do that! Someone please help me…….

  68. Dear Anonymous Girl,

    My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry that you are sexually abused by her older brother when you were a young girl. That’s a terrible experience to have lived through, and there are no easy or quick ways to heal from something like that. You didn’t deserve to be raped, and you couldn’t have done anything to prevent it.

    It takes a lot of courage to tell your boyfriend that you are assaulted sexually by your brother. You are very brave to talk to him about it! It sounds like your boyfriend loves you very much, but he doesn’t know how to handle the situation with your brother. He wants to make things right, but he doesn’t know how.

    You are not in the wrong for not doing more about your brother. You need to do what feels best and right for you, and your boyfriend has to learn his own boundaries. I know he loves you and he wants to do right by you, but he is making a mistake by pushing you to do something you’re not comfortable doing.

    Is it possible for you to talk to a counselor about how to figure out what you want to do about your brother? You need to talk this through out loud, and decide how best you will move on with your life. It is your life, not your boyfriend’s. Your boyfriend needs to give you space and time to decide how to handle the situation.

    I get the impression you’ve been giving this a great deal of thought, because it is a huge aspect of your life! So tell me, what is one thing you can do today to start moving towards healing and wholeness? This might be calling a counselor and talking about an initial consultation, or just journaling about your options.

    What would you like to see happen, and how can you move in that direction in one little way today?

  69. My boyfriend has been really upset with me and I’ve been causing him so much stress. I told him that I was raped by my older brother when I was 13. For quite a awhile I hadn’t gone into much detail but my boyfriend pressured me into telling him more. It was really painful for a long time I had just ignored what happened in the past. So when I did eventually give him the full story he was so mad at me and still is because I hadn’t confronted my brother or gone to the poilce about it. I decided I would confront him and cut all connections with him and my boyfriend said that would be fine.

    However, even after I agreed to confront my brother, my boyfriend started asking why I hadn’t told my family or the police. I’ve cried so much and it’s not because what happened with my brother but the fact my boyfriend keeps talking about the rape. I feel so guilty because he’s all stressed out and I feel insecure that he’ll leave me. He wants there to be some type of punishment for my brother, but I just want it to stay in the past…all I want to do is move on with my life…

    What do I do? Am I in the wrong for not doing more about it?