Imagine you live in a small town where the next city is about 8 miles away and just about everyone knows everyone. Remember being 14 years old and for most of us, what was important at that age was what outfit you were going to wear, fixing your hair just right, socializing with your friends and wearing makeup (if your parents allowed you).
One night you go to stay at a friend’s house that lives in the next town. Asleep, you awaken to your friend’s uncle behind you pulling your pants down. Frozen with fear, you try to scream but all that comes out is your breathe, you cannot move. He is now inside of you; you muster up the courage to yell your friend’s name who fell asleep in the living room. What seems like forever, you make out her face in the doorway, and she bolts to you and pulls you away from him.
You run out the front door and she quickly follows you. You have no phone, it is the middle of the night and you see no cars to flag down for help. You start running toward the freeway ramp about a mile away, just wanting to go home to your mom and get away from him. You make it to the freeway ramp, her in tow, and wait for the next car. Finally, a car pulls over and asks if you need any help. It happens to be another man. Outside the car door you tell him what just happened and ask if he could please take you home.
You arrive home safely and awaken your mother. She immediately and in a state of frantic takes you to the hospital. When you arrive at the hospital, there is no one there to tell you what is going on, no one there to tell you that it was not your fault, no one is there to offer you support, no one is there to hold your hand – to remind you to breathe. No one is there to tell you that you are not alone and no one is there to calm your mother down who is by now really freaking out. You leave the hospital and no support services or counseling to help you cope is offered. You live with the shame of losing your virginity to rape.
Years later you move to Sacramento and come across an agency called WEAVE. There you receive counseling services and for the first time, you learn that it was not your fault and the only person who should be ashamed is the person who violated you. You learn that you are not a victim, only a survivor.