I was 14 when it all started. I just came home from school and my mom and her fiance were in my room on the computer. When my mom exited the room, it happened. I didn’t know what to do, I was scared. He was due to marry my mother in a couple of weeks, and my mom never noticed anything, so it kept on going on. Every time he did it,  I had this thought going through my head, “I don’t want to hurt my mom, she is finally happy.” It kept happening until I was 17. I had a boyfriend, and he stayed away from me when I was with him. I was so happy, I thought it was over. But then, we went to a New Year’s party where he touched my breasts and continued from there–all while I was intoxicated. I don’t remember anything. Two days later, officials came to my door with with allegations that I was sexually assaulted. I was too scared to admit it, so I made an excuse. They came back a few more times, and I told them the same thing. The last time they came, they said they were going close the case– I was in tears after talking with them because I knew I told them the lie my perpetrator wanted me to tell them. When my mom saw me crying in front of the officials at my home, she told me, “we’ll need to take them to court for trying to ‘solicit’ around our house.” As soon as she said the word, “solicit,” I snapped. I told her. “He did it mom, he did it.” She was infuriated that he was even in the same room as us. He stood up, confessed and wanted my mom to hug him. She told him to leave and called the police. After that, he was finally found guilty of raping me– and speaking out was worth it. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. While I’m still getting help to this day, I hope that one day my story will inspire others to not be afraid of talking about their sexual assault.

 

Photo Courtesy: Taya Arnone

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