When people think of sexual abuse or assault, many of them are confused. I’ll start by saying this one big thing. Sexual assault is not just rape. If you were put in a sexually unlawful situation that you have not consented to, all the way from grinding and grabbing to penetration, you have a become a victim of this horrible act. And we have become shaped into this generation where we have to be taught the word “no,” for our own safety. Did you know that most counts of sexual assault happen between people who are not strangers? I never would have thought that the man who came into my life as a “father figure”, the man who made my mom happy, the father of my baby sister, would have put his hands on me. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was tell my mom what he had done to me the night. There was no intercourse involved, but that doesn’t make it any less damaging to me. I will never forget how hurt my mother was. She immediately took me to the hospital she worked at for emergency therapy. I had been going to therapy for about five years prior to this situation and have continued to keep going five years later. I was already depressed and this just put a heavier weight on my life. At this emergency therapy session, we were told he would have to be arrested. And child protective services would have to be involved. My mom didn’t seem happy that he was going to be getting what I thought he deserved. I was only 13 years old. I was a cheerleader. I was making the most out of the depression I already had, and then he thought he had the right to come and take away the good days. The good days I rarely got since I was 7. At this point, I felt completely alone. My mom continued bringing me around him. She was too in love to just let him go. I felt like everything was my fault and I can’t express how much guilt I had to hold. I felt like I ruined my mom’s marriage, and because of me, my little sister would also have to grow up with divorced parents. I wasn’t allowed to tell family. I told my nana just about everything. For selfish reasons I was put in a situation where the only person I could talk to about what had happened was my mom. And that normally got me nowhere considering he had manipulated her into thinking I was lying and trying to ruin their marriage. He was good at manipulation. How unfair, I thought. I kept coming around him, but after some time, my mom got a peek at who he really was. She figured out his lies and manipulation. I’m so glad to have that final closure. But not everyone will talk about what has happened to them due to a lack of support or a fear of judgement. I am here to speak for those victims. I hope my voice can be loud enough to echo in the hearts of all of the men and women who have been where I have been, who have felt what I have felt.
I am from your community and there are other children like me. Please join us at symposium on April 30 by registering at nomoresecretsfishers.eventbrite.com
The event is free but helping protect children like me is invaluable.
Hailey Davis, Fishers