This is my story…

I was raised in a house with 7 siblings. My mother and father divorced when I was probably 2. My father was hardly ever in my life and my mother was always there for me. My mother remarried and had 1 more child. She eventually found her high school sweetheart she had searched for, for many years. We were a happy family with him and he was so amazing and treated us as if we were his own.

One day the summer that I turned 12 years old my stepfather who I call dad had gotten into an accident. While he was in recovery and I went to see him, our family friend was there who I called my uncle. My uncle had taken me for a drive, but it got scary when the drive led to the middle of nowhere. Somewhere where nobody could see or hear us.

This man raped me. I didn’t know what to do and I was scared to tell anyone. He took me back to my parents at the hospital and made me wear his coat, which made me feel so much worse. I had his smell on me which made me want to cry because I honestly didn’t even understand at that time what happened.

I told nobody. I felt so hurt and disgusting, I just stayed in my room most of the time. I told my mother about 2 years after it happened and I knew there was nothing we could do at that point besides stay away from him and never talk to him again.

I looked at myself in the mirror and complimented myself every day to feel better about myself. I told myself I am strong and I will get through this! I did! I built myself up. It took a while but I stayed strong. Then I finally grew up and I finally met the man of my dreams who was always there for me and proved to me that not every man is the same! My fiancé and I have 2 beautiful children and I couldn’t be any happier because I did not let it break me! I did not let it keep me from being happy and I found where I am safe and where I belong.

Don’t give up, never give up. Life is short and don’t be afraid to speak up. You will be heard! You can help others by sharing your story too.

-Chas, Survivor

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