I am a survivor of sexual assault. I have had two big instances where I have been sexually assaulted and they have changed me and made me who I am today. When I was 5 years old, my grandmother took in a foster child (girl) and we were friends. A year later she was adopted and everything changed. I started to be pressured into doing things, that at the time I had no idea was wrong or not okay because I was 6. I was being forced to perform oral, receive oral and penetration (from household items), and was being manipulated into believing that this is what normal 6 year olds do. I was raped and touched inappropriately on the weekly bases until I was 9 years old. The year that I turned 9, I was told what sex was and what sexual assault was. So I sorta realized what had happened to me, still not fully understanding yet. I didn’t understand fully until I was 13 years old. Later on when I was 18, I experienced workplace sexual harassment. I was working with a female and she would constantly touch my butt and try to grab my breasts. She also kept making inappropriate comments about me and my fellow female coworkers. One night it got to the point that she had grabbed my butt and tried to make herself the victim, and it made me angry and shameful. I reported everything to my supervisors and nothing happened. This went on for months until I blew up on my supervisors for not taking my safety into consideration and they tried to make me feel stupid and that it was my fault it was happening. Still to this day, only 2 people know what had happened to me when I was 6. And no one knows the full story of what happened to me last year (when I was 18).
Both instances made me feel dirty, stupid, shameful, and damaged. I felt like I couldn’t tell my parents or family, I still feel this way, and I felt like they would never believe me since I never spoke up before. I also felt like no one would ever want me because of what has happened to me. In two words, I felt like “damaged goods.” If I had the chance to tell anyone who has dealt with anything related to this, I would say, it’s not your fault. You did nothing to deserve this or bring this upon yourself. You don’t need to feel shameful for something that you did not have any control over. This is not your fault. And that overtime it does get better. It sucks in the moment and it sucks when you are dealing with the trauma from it, but the grass is greener on the other side.