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Tiffany, 12 yrs old





Hello my name is Tiffany I am 12 years old. I have been going through a lot. I have been sexually molested since I was seven years old by my grandmothers husband. I couldnt tell my mom what happened because he threatened me. And I was afraid! Finally a year and a half ago i had a break down and told my mom. She was so upset but i saw my mom in a different way. She immediatly told me that she was happy i told her and that she would make sure he never hurt anyone ever again! She called the cops and she fought with a district attorney and finally after a year on  September 23,2015 he was sent to a state prison for 8-20 years. My mom cries a lot because she feels guilty for letting me at my grams house. Even though he is in jail im so depressed and suicidal...my mom is fighting for me so much i hate that shes hurting...but i know she really loves me...i am seeing drs every weekcuz i want to die...i feel so damaged...i dont think i will ever feel right. My mom says she will be there every second even though i get so mad at her sometimes shes my rock. I love her so much! This is my story..id love to tell everyone to speak up and ask for help! And parents need to listen like my mom does she wont stop fighting and im so lucky to have her!

My Survivor Story - Esperanza Nevarez

Click image to access Esperanza's Blog




This is very hard to do but I feel it must be done, not only for me but for those who have suffered the same injustice I have. My only hope for those going through this silently to know that you ate not alone and I am here to help. There is always someone there to help just don't keep it inside. Well it first happened when i was 15. My mothers boyfriend raped me and took my virginity. Apparently i was set up by some very sadistic people who thought nothing of my safety. The bastard even had the nerve to show up to my home the next day wanting to check up on me! Crazy huh? The police told me he had been grooming me since i was 6 because that's how long he had been in my life. I did end up pregnant but being only 15 and not really in any hurry to grow up I didn't understand what being pregnant was. And my mother, who was abusive, didn't care enough to explain. All I knew was that I was a baby having a baby and I didn't want it. I prayed and prayed for this nightmare not to be real and one day I think God heard my prayer and knew that I wasn't ready. I started started having pains that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Then the bleeding happened. My mother, instead of taking me to the doctor told me to lay down and said if I lose this baby it will be my fault. She actually made me feel bad for what was going on, I didn't know what was happening to my body, honestly. Well she went to another one of my court dates the next day leaving me by myself with pains that got even worse. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom so I went and then something came out of me that gave me the biggest relief. Suddenly all of my pain stopped. I jumped up and saw something i couldn't explain but i knew what it was. I called my brother girlfriends mom immediately and then bloody and all I ran to her home. I didn't know what to do. She comforted me and told me that I had just had my baby in the toilet. She called the ambulance and went with me to the hospital. My mother was alerted and the first thing she asked me was, "Did you get it out of the toilet?" What?  Yes, that's what she asked. I told her no because I didn't know what it was; she blamed me for that too. Well he was in jail and during that time his whole family threatened me especially his wife. They threatened my life and the life of my unborn baby, I didn't feel safe, I wanted to run away and hide. My rape counselor advised I see a therapist for what happened especially since after only serving 7 months for what he did to me he was released. My mother decided to move our family to Wisconsin almost 2 years later because I started spiraling downward. Depression and anger took control over me worse than it had already done. Plus what I didn't know was that I was suffering from postpartum depression. Well I had decided to go to a counselor in Wisconsin and she helped me so much. I was able to heal to the point where I wasn't too afraid of even my own shadow. I wasn't too scared to leave the house. Well a year later my mother decided it was best to be around family so she moved us to Indiana. By this time I was 18 and I was in a much better place. I even started going back to church and volunteering at church for a lot of different activities. Hey I even made a few friends out there and started a relationship with a guy. Little did I know my happiness would be short lived. Just 5 days after I had turned 19 my friends older brother decided I had something he wanted and he took it despite me fighting. I felt so helpless, I felt worthless and blamed myself because I made friends with this girl. I felt it must have been my fault, there was something about me that made men want to hurt me this way. It was my fault somehow. I told myself that and decided that the police would not help me just like last time. That he would get away with it, just like last time, so I didn't report it. I didn't tell anyone not even my family, i just brushed off all questions. I did however confront him 6 weeks later when I found out that I was pregnant. I was petrified, honestly, i was shaking so hard you could see it. I told him what he did and I told him the results and I told him what I was going to do. I planned to give the baby up for adoption because even though it was rape I didn't believe in abortions. So I contacted an adoption agency and decided on doing an open adoption with a possible closed adoption, I wasn't sure. At 20 weeks I was measuring a little too big and the doctor thought it could be twins or something so he sent me to get an emergency ultrasound. I didnt have enough time to get ahold of my adoption counselor beforehand. The ultrasound started and I saw something that warmed my heart so fast, i fell in love and broke down. I cried and cried and cried because at the moment it became real. Not only did I get raped but there a real live baby inside of me and she looked just like me. My nose, my eyes, the shape of my round face, God let me see what I was going to give away. I truely feel he wanted something else out of this situation, my baby girl is 7 now and is the best decision I have ever made. She loves me unconditionally even when I was feeling like I didn't deserve it. Im not going to say it was an easy road after having her because by the time I had her, her faced changed. She was born looking like him, that really messed me up but I played the motions. I was in love with this little girl regardless. I moved out of my mothers home a year later and was woking and taking care of my little girl and I. I was enjoying the struggles of being a mommy. When I say struggles I really struggles. My baby had started getting sick on a regular right after she turned 1. This was not something I was ready for. I was working at a gas station out in Plainfield, IN in 2011 and customers loved my happy personality and my mature mind. They loved the fact that I was putting myslef through school so that I could become a Nurse Practitioner. I guess one day I was so swamped at work that I didnt notice a customer who was trying to ask me out. I guess he felt disrespected because I ddint respond to him. Truth be told, I didn't know he was there, I was too busy taking acre of other customers to noticed him trying to ask me out. Heck, I was the only one working that day, like always. I didn't know that day he decided to get revenge and teach me respect. Christmas eve of 2011 I left work at 11:15pm and headed home to my sick baby who had Croup again. My friend had kept her while I was working and she went home shortly after I came into the house. I took my shower and sat in a chair in my living and turned on my favorite movie of all time, Meet Me in St. Louis. I fell asleep on the floor of my living room watching that movie and woke up to a knife around my neck. My dirst instinct was to fight back and try to see who it was. I felt what I thought was a scratch on my neck then I heard a voice tell me to stop moving. He started to take my pants down so I started fighting again. This time I felt a sharp cut go across my neck again then blood. I stopped immediately. He cut my neck twice but my adrenaline was up so I really didn't feel too much pain. The smart thing I was when he dropped the knife in the struggle I put up I saw it. He looked away to get his gun, I grabbed the knife and threw it toward my bag I had next to my chair. I hit the table to make just as a cover up. I looked around for my phone but I couldnt find it. He told me to stand up slapped me, told me to keep quiet and then lead me out of the door. The names he called me I won't repeat. He got me into the van where he raped me the first tim. Slapping and punching me as he did this, telling me he was going to teach me a lesson and that I as nothing but garbage. He told me was going to sell me. The more I cried the harder he hit me, he hit me until I shut up. I started praying silently asking God for him to make sure my baby was okay and asking him to please let someone find me now. I felt a stick and a few minutes later I was out. I came back to I don't know when but I knew I wasn't home. I saw bright lights and I was cold and naked. I started crying and screaming but I was tied down to a bed. This time it was more men there. Someone hit me a few times i felt another stick in my arm and then I was out. This cycle happened I don't know how many times. The last thing I remembered was waking up to hearing dogs and seeing wierd lights. I passed back out and woke up in a different room.I as warm nder so blankets and in a lot of pain. My face and whole body hurt so bad. I woke up fighting and screaming these people had to sedate me again because I was  out of control. I woke up again a few hours later tied to the bed again. I fought some more but an officer got me to calm down, I begged them to let me out of the restraints. I wanted my baby, I didn't know where she was. They told me that they wanted to ask me some questions. I told them I wouldn't answer anything until I saw my daughter. 15 minutes later this big headed 2 year old came into my room looking so healthy. I hugged her something fierce and cried and kissed her everywhere. I checked her to see if she was harmed. Then she said, "happy year mommy, do you feel better now." I looked at my friend and she said, " You were sick, thats why you are here." The nurse took my daughter to get coloring papers as my friend told me how she was worried about my daughter and how she tried calling me but couldn't reach me. So she came to my house banged on my door and kept calling but no answer. She saw my patio door was opened so she came in and saw blood everywhere. She heard my daughter upstairs coughing. She looked for me in my house before calling the police. She took care of my baby girl while I was gone. The police came back in and started asking me questions and wanting me to do a written statement. The nurses started shoving pills down my throat and antibiotics in my IV. Things were a bit hazy after that, but I asked them if they found the knife in my bag by my living room chair. They looked at me like I was crazy. I told them what I did and they made a call to go research my home. The officer said that one quick thought just saved my life.  I asked them if they found the guy and they told me that they had escaped once they realized the police was getting close. He told me that they left me for dead in the abandoned house. They found me 13 miles away from home in Brooklyn, Indiana, I lived in Mooresville, Indiana. My mind was moving so fast I didn't know what to think. The next day I was released from the hospital and had to go home back to my home. I was too afraid to stay there. My attackers were still on the loose and they were last seen only 13 miles away from my home. I made a phone call to a family friend in Chicago and she told me to come there. I booked a bus ticket for my daughter and I and I fled. I ran so fast I only packed our essentials and left everything else. I got to Chicago at around midnight that night never felt safer. I thought I was in a better place. I couldn't leave the house however, everything frightened me. I was back in that same place but this time everything felt darker. I couldn't talk literally looking at myself I was to kill myself I was at an all time new low. My only strength was my daughter her hugs kept me some what alive. Alive enough to do for her. Me, I didn't care about at all. I couldn't eat because the pills and antibiotics they gave me in hospital, plus I was depressed. I just wanted to be by myself and away from the world. 3 days after I fled to Chicago I got a call saying they found one of the guys that was involved. I felt relief but they said he was not talking. They eventually found the other guys but with all honesty my case never made it past the deposition because I was too afraid to go back. My fear kept me from going and that made me even more depressed. I blamed myself for everything because I felt I deserved what I got. I tried killing myself but I guess God said no because I threw up every pill I took that night.  For 4 years I went from bad to worse to just living like a zombie, playing the motions. In 2013 met a friend during that time after I moved to Bloomington, IL. She knew I had major trust issues and we had a lot of things in common. We became fast friend and she became the only person in the world I could trust. She had only boys and no girls so she feel in love with my baby girl, just like everyone else who met her. Her family treated me like family from day one. It was a love I can say I never felt before, not even from my abusive mother. It was during that time my daughters behavior started to changed and she also started getting sicker more often. I couldn't handle it I didn't feel I was strong enough, I felt defeated and alone. It seemed that every time I felt my lowest she caught me to pick me back up. Her mother shared her story with me and I shared what little I could with her. I held all my emotions in however and became very emotionally distant from everything excluding my daughter. For 4 years I lived in that fog and the nightmares and paranoia kept coming. They got so back I was screaming in my sleep and didn't know it. My daughter woke me up one night crying because she thought something was wring with me. She told me she heard me screaming. It was that night that I hit rock bottom, I had a night terror that involved my daughter father and my attackers. They were rapped my baby in front of me and there was nothing I could do. I tried everything to get to her but I couldn't get to her. My baby was screaming for me and I felt helpless for not being able to get to her. I tried waking up but I couldn't so I tried screaming for help. I thought I was only screaming in my dream but I wasn't. I called my friend panicking telling her what happened and felt the depression getting worse in that instance. She heard it too and rushed over. I just wanted to die I begged her to take my daughter so that she wouldn't see me commit my deed and she said no. She told me I was stronger than this and that she will be with me until I felt better. I called to get a therapist that Monday broke down some more and started emergency therapy that Wednesday. There I was diagnosed with severe PTSD and Severe Anxiety Disorder. I still kept my feelings bottled up because I couldn't trust and every time I tried to talk my anxiety kicked in bad and I would go mute. I literally couldn't talk. Christmas Eve of 2015 I was at my best friends home for Christmas as usual and someone asked me how could I let myself get raped. I brushed off the question as if it didn't bother me but for some reason that night I couldn't hold it in any longer. I took myself for a walk with the intent to not return. I was going to run. I just wanted this pain to stop, I felt that I had been running long enough and was tired so very tired. I ran and ran and ran. My friend tried calling me on my phone but I was in a different place. I was so deep in that fog that everything seemed like a far away echo. I was slipping away one stones throw away from admitting myself to the 3rd floor of the hospital. She finally caught up with me and I heard her voice a little louder that time a little clearer and fell to the ground. I cried and cried and cried. I think i cried for an hour. She held me the whole time and was time. Flashbacks were going through me head at an all time high. Her husband tried to console me but all I saw was my attackers face and my living room. She just held me as I begged for the pain to stop. In all the time I've known her I have never heard her pray, but she started praying and didn't stop. She prayed so hard for me at that time, her voice started sounding clearer. The fog was getting less dense. I started saying things that I was aware of like the grass we were sitting on and and my wet pants the cold air. She reminded me of my daughter and how she was waiting for me in her house. I started fighting back, I didn't want to give up anymore. I didn't want to feel defeated anymore. I found strength through her she help me find my strength because I was so weak that it affected me physically I literally could not move. We finally stood up and finished praying and yes God is good, I felt and instance release. That fog I had felt for 4 years was gone. I couldnt wait to tell my therapist because I didn't let myslef cry for 4 years. I didn't let myself feel for 4 years. Today I am in a much better place, I'm not completely better but guess what I'm finding myself healing everyday. I'm finding myself find myself everyday. I am much happier and as I write this I am crying tears but they aren't tears of sorrow they are tears of happiness because I know that God has me. I survived and I am no longer letting what happened to me kill me everyday because I have found a new strength. I have to tell myself this everyday and it works.You can get through, I know it seems tough now but you will get through it. I do have anger issues from this but I am working on that with my therapist. I just hope that I can help someone going through this. I hope the person reading knows that I love you and God loves you too! 

Halima Layeni - My Life After Abuse









MY LIFE AFTER ABUSE

I am a living proof that anyone can turn things around. From a nadir of emotions in which I struggled with abuse and resentment, I have willed myself to focus on the strength I possess and the fact that I alone can determine how my life turns out.

My sexual abuse started when I was about six years old, and on it went until I was about eleven, most of it coming from friends and family folks who were meant to protect me. Throughout my life, I have been abused by six people – five men and one woman. 

My first abuser was the son of a close family friend, who molested me several times. He would invite me to his room, take off my clothes and underwear and start touching my genitals. If he wasn't getting the satisfaction he wanted, he would himself strip and attempt penetration. He did this every time he spotted me around for over four years of my life.

I never talked to anyone about it because right from childhood I was used to keeping things to myself. Though he never  threatened me about telling anyone, I kept it to myself nonetheless. Worse still, I was too ashamed to share it with my mother or anyone else since it was exactly what she had been protecting me from and warning me against. It became a normal routine for me and I just never struggled with him or try to stop him. 

I used to feel intense pain in the mornings, particularly during bathing: it hurt so badly. I often cried all by myself in the bathroom, and when I was done having my bath, I would wipe my face and pretend nothing was wrong.

At eleven years of age, I was already well exposed and experienced enough to stand up for myself whenever anyone tried to take advantage of me. My relative had a son who was around his mid-twenties at the time, who always came to try to touch me sexually. I initially gave in to him because of my history of sexual abuse but eventually got absolutely fed up over time. I was in fact always irritated by his advances because we were related.

That was the breaking point for me: I made up my mind to stop anyone from ever abusing me again. The obsession of my own relative had now laid the platform for me, and I built on it. I came to realize that every touch, every kiss I ever got or gave was wrong. I started to realize that everything that had been going on in my life was not right. I suddenly realized that in all my life so far, people had merely been taking undue advantage of me, and then I decided resolutely that no one would ever exact such satisfaction of me again.


For a very long time, I did not want to be alive because of my scars. I was suicidal and always angry at everything and anyone who couldn't relate to the fact that I was angry at life. I had to struggle with pain, rejection, depression, hate, anger, and unforgiveness.

Rejection, because I felt alone in the world, like the only one with insurmountable struggles. Depression, because I had so much bottled in – so much pain and agony. I was suffering so much that I couldn't even save myself if I had wanted to. Unforgiveness, because I couldn't bring myself to forgive myself for everything I had made myself go through. So many nights, I'd cry myself to sleep and wish all the memories would be erased by morning. Anger, because I felt vulnerable. I wanted more than anything to see the abusers suffer, and that wasn't happening. And worse still, I couldn't do anything about the situation, so it killed me inside.

After all my bad experiences and all the struggles I had going on in my life, I looked at my life and came to the conclusion that I was a total failure. I focused on my weaknesses. Even when I had the courage to do something, I often expected it to not turn out well, so I never tried. I had the mind of a failure, I had the attitude of a failure, so I failed at virtually everything.


The first 19 years until my healing were the most challenging. I chose to let my abuse mould me into someone I could never be proud of. It was a deep cut. It was easy to blame everything I was on my experience as a bitter person and give excuses for it. To an extent, my abuse was the reason to be the way I was; but I had a choice to either play by the rules and blame it on society, or restart my life and start thinking.

Amidst all the unrest going on in my life, somehow I found God. I found comfort in his love and peace and I was consoled by his promises for my life. He saw me in my darkest moment and loved me in spite of my story. He embraced my scars and called me his own. He filled that vacuum and gave me an expected end – hope. His salvation has given me hope, peace, life, a future, guidance, unconditional love, pride, and reassurance.

The healing started for me when I forgave myself for everything I had made myself go through. All my life since my healing, I had made myself pay for someone else's mistake. I realized that true forgiveness comes from within: the ability to forgive myself was enough for me to finally see the light. Yes, there are definitely scars, but the reality is, it isn't and was never my fault.

I got in total control of my life and how I wanted to feel and I deliberately chose not to be miserable; I chose to live a normal life, I trained myself to forget, managed the pain, fed my soul with healing things, stayed dedicated to them, and gradually the pain faded away. Day after day, I convinced myself that I was not a victim but a fighter.

I accepted myself and embraced my scars and flaws. I couldn't change a thing about what had happened so I stopped worrying about it.  Hurting myself only left me feeling worse, and I had everything to lose so I decided choosing to live on purpose would change everything, which is the whole point of life.  I had not the slightest idea of why those things had happened but knew it was part of God's plan for my life and I am thankful that he chose me to fight this fight.

I found myself. This was the most beautiful part of my healing process because when I fell in love with myself, I became indestructible. When you genuinely love yourself, you're happy, you're content, you're at peace. You'll breathe fine; you can be/ do anything you want and conquer the world. I strongly believed in myself and everything I stood for. I started focusing on my strength and gradually my life began to take a new turn. I discovered my purpose, set realistic goals for myself, and followed my most intense obsessions tenaciously.

Getting over my abuse was a huge step, but it was a stepping stone to getting over other issues in my life. My abuse had laid the foundation of strength and power. I am at a very good place in my life right now and there is no turning back.

I hope the days come easy, and each day you choose to become a better person for yourself. I hope that one day you reach that place where I am today and even surpass it. I hope you find your own place, peace, purpose, joy, and love in this world. But above all, I hope you find God and hold on to him forever.

Enjoy the journey.

Halima Layeni

IG: @lifeafterabuse

Carly - Indiana - 17

Hello, 
My name is Carly and I'm from Indiana. When I was 5 years old I was adopted into a wonderful family. I was so happy I was finally going to get a chance at having a happy life. 
When I was 6 years old my dad came into the bathroom and he was supposed to help me get ready. He started to touch me in certain places and then looked at me and said if I said anything I would never get to see my mom or my siblings again. So I got scared and kept quiet.
As I got older the molestation got worse. He would take me to his room and try to have sex with me and do all sorts of things as I would scream and fight him off. 
When I was 13 I got raped by a boy I had just met at the pool. I was really freaked out and didn't want to come home. My sister ended up finding out and told my mom. My mom so angry at me and disappointed she had me start going with my dad everywhere. 
So now I had to go with him on fishing trips and hunting trips. I begged my mom to let me stay home. She wouldn't let me. So every time I would go with my dad he would get really drunk and molest me in the boat or in the motel. 
When I was 14 I got in trouble for messaging a guy asking him to kidnap me so I could get away from my dad. My mom asked me why and I was so angry I told my mom everything. I was done and I thought she wouldn't believe me and I didn't care I was just done hiding it. She believed me. She believed me over her husband and she divorced him. Earlier this year he killed himself. 
I am now 17 years old and I am in therapy and I got my life on track now. All I want to do is help others who went through similar experiences.

Erika - 30 - Florida

November 7th, 2012 when I took this picture, I don't think many knew where I was or why I was there. I had survived an attack on myself. Pills, a blade and the worst beating I'd ever received by the man who I loved landed me in that room. The days following and even 3 years later, nobody from my family has ever talked about it with me. No one asked me a thing. I will say they all wanted to pretend it didn't happen. OR maybe they didn't know how to handle it correctly as to not make the issue bigger. As I laid in that bed all I wanted was someone's comforting hug (here comes the tears). I was in pain! My heart was broken, my cuts were burning, the bruises hurt, and all I wanted was for someone to say "Hey it's ok. I'm here now to protect you. I love you". But I didn't get that. I got a visit from Children and Families, a visit from my Dad who seems more pissed than anything wanting know who did this to me. I did Dad!! I did it to me!! A visit from my mother who seemed hurt and disappointed. And I felt like I let her down once again! Sorry Mom. Then I had the visits that made me happy! My friend Joanna sat and watched TV with me for a few minutes during her lunch hour and then also visited me in the crazy house and tried to explain to me where I was because I felt lost. Oh and she also teased me about not showering in a couple of days.... So you see my friends, a lot of people didn't know how to deal with my choice to end my life. Although a lot was going on inside of me, today I can tell you that I needed 2 things: 1. To hear one of my loved ones say "It's going to be ok. I love you" and 2. I needed a tight warm hug. This is why I have chosen to participate in the walk on October 11. We will raise awareness on mental health and suicide. You never know who you will need to be there for, your children, your spouse or maybe one day someone will need to help you! Life is crazy and we must be ready for everything. Let's end the stigma on this subject. Start talking about it! Link is in the bio! Donate or even better JOIN ME!!! Let's do this for all the people suffering out there in silence!
Aiirekah 
To help her reach her goal please click here to Donate

Irina, 26, Tampa FL



My names Irina Massiel pero people call me Nina.  I'm a 26 yr old.  I was molested and raped numerous times by my biological father from the ages of 4 and possibly younger, until I was about 8 & that's only because he got scared after I told my mom, who at the time didn't believe me. It got to the point where because it all started when I was so young, I didn't understand this wasn't normal. For me I was indifferent if older men/women put their hands on me and touched me inappropriately. I was bothered by it but also numb to it. And the only reason I even said anything, is because I was sleeping in my parents bed one night and my father started to touch me and I was offended and in shock because my mom was sleeping right next to me. And in my little head I was thinking I don't care if you touch me, just don't do this in front of my mother. Don't disrespect her. Definitely a twisted way to see things, I know, but I didn't know better until I spoke up. 

After that it was a downhill spiral. There's were others who had attempted to molest me but I fought back. My life was shattered because the two people who made me, who were supposed to teach and protect me from the dangers of this world had both given me their backs. My father by his actions and my mother with her LACK OF action. I stopped caring about life. By 10 I was drinking and smoking and by 14, I had attempted suicide twice and was an avid cutter. I became a wreck and considered prostitution until I met my ex girl at 15. With her help I somewhat got my shit together, started soul searching and distracted myself with her & school. But all that rage and confusion was still eating me up inside. I unfortunately did experience a mental breakdown in my early 20's, which led to me finally getting professional help and just talking about it. In order to function all those years, my mind had put a block up on a lot of things that happened, which unfortunately for me , started resurfacing during certain therapy sessions. So as I progressed, I was remembering more and more. At that point I decided I didn't want to be a victim anymore. I didn't want this to own me or have a hold on me. I am a warrior, a survivor and I wanted to carry myself as such. So since then it's been a rocky road but I am definitely not who I was and although I am still learning and working on myself, I am much more at peace then I have ever been. I am now a professional woman, getting my school on and working on making all my goals a reality, taking it all step by step. 

I don't want kids to go through what I went through. I had no one. I was lost because even when I did speak up, it was dismissed by my mother. I was told to respect my father, that he was probably drunk and that I probably just took it the wrong way. I heard that woman say so many excuses until the day she finally realized the truth, which wasn't until a couple years ago. I don't want anyone else to live that. So I decided at one point that I wanted to finally speak up about it. I've been working on it with my talk therapist. . I reached out to some contacts of mine, who put me in touch with BACA and CCAN, as well as the Ali Forney Center in NY; all who are very awesome and have amazing people working for them. Unfortunately there was a major crisis in my family last year that ultimately has put everything on pause for me until further notice. In the meantime I want to help people in whatever way I can. So even if it's just sharing my story, I am down for whatever you can use me for. :)

I Thank You, sincerely, for your courage and I am sorry anyone ever put their hands on you. But you are a beautiful, strong soul and your energy radiates. I am grateful to have come across you and I look forward to seeing this project grow and change lives. 

Ashley, 22, FL

      



    My name is Ashley and I want to tell my story in hopes that it will encourage other teens and young adults to find their voice and speak up about the abuse they might have gone through. It should never be too late to prosecute someone that hurts you. My efforts regarding making some changes in the law to protect children who have been molested prior to age 21 and wanting to press charges as an adult began once I found my voice and went to the police to report my abuse.
    I was molested at the age of 13 years old until I was 18 years old by my 23 year old cousin James Rashawn Johnson.  I kept this a secret to protect my parents from going to jail and leaving me and my two brothers without any parents. Both of my brothers have a disability.  I thought at the age of 13 this was the best thing to do to keep my family together and protect my Aunt from loosing one of her sons especially after the death of my grandfather. 
I was 20 years old when my family found out.  I received counseling immediately and decided to press charges. It took me 6 months to work on my timeline and course of events with my counselor. This was very hard to do because I had to relive such painful and humiliating memories. My parents and I went to the police together and it took all day. The police were very nice and they did a controlled phone call and I had to talk to Rashawn on the phone. They got him on tape confessing of his crime and apologizing for what he did to me. I could not believe that even with this evidence they were still unable to arrest him. You see it was then we found out there was a Statute of limitations and I missed my chance to press charges by 60 days. Currently the law protects the predators and this was not acceptable to be.
    When I told my parents how serious I was my mom spoke with Brandy Macaluso (victim of crime specialist) who put her in touch with an Attorney named Michael Dolce who helps other survivors that have been abused. He wrote the draft bill to change the statute of limitations. We met with Senator Benacquisto’s assistant in Ft. Myers and we were informed that she was willing to sponsor the Bill in the Senate. Representative Mark Pafford assisted us in understanding this process and sent the draft to the house. State Attorney David Aronberg met with us and allowed us to use his office and staff to meet and support. I felt totally supported by my parents, Pastor Stanley and Youth Pastor Guerra along with the two Detectives from Boynton Police department all met with us to start the process. Everything started to take a life of it’s own when my parents along with Genevieve Cousminer (Executive Director of CILO) and Attorney Dolce met with Mr. Ron Book. We received help from Mr. Ron Book the father of Lauren Book she is the director of Lauren's Kids.  He is a top lobbyist in the state of Florida and is supporting this Statute change. He was very helpful and shared his story of his daughter Lauren. He understood my dad very well.
    We currently have sponsors for the proposed bill in both the House of Representative (bill 445) and Florida Senate (bill 494). It’s not easy to have both the Republicans and Democrats willing to work together. I believe that God is using my voice and my story to help others. This statute change will protect all children and young adults like me that find the courage to speak out at any age and will allow them the ability to prosecute anyone who hurts them.

Rape Axe Condom...yay or ney? (rape prevention product)

(Click on picture for full article)

Please read the article to get familiar with the product. There is a lot of controversy about this rape prevetion product. Most agree, but there are those very few that feel like this may cause trauma to those that are not victims of abuse. Me personally,  I'd rather the person rapist to suffer the consequences and prevent any future events. I especially think this item would be great use for those victims that are still being victimized by a predator. Those that do not know how to speak up, or have proof that they are being raped. What do toy guys think?  Will this be a benefit to women/men or will this really cause panic to those who have not gone through this horrific experience? 

Eileen, NY

 
Well it all started when I was around 9 years old. I was hanging out with my one of my closest family member & some one else from my family. It was us three in the room but the other two were high off of drugs & really didn't know what was going on. I was sitting on the floor next to one of the them & I remembered that he looked around to see if the other one was paying attention & of course he wasn't. Then he looked at me & started to touch me in a way that I didn't know what was going on & I was terrified. I got up & left the room. I was confused about what was going on. As I got older, it happened to me more than once with multiple people. Now that I'm almost 30 years old no one still doesn't know what happen to me & what I been through expect two of my cousins & my mother.  When my mother found out she was upset at me & once again my frustration came back. She saw that I was hurt & asked me why I never said anything. I told her that I was scared to saying anything because the other person that was in the room was my father.  She looked at me & started to cry. She did believe me & I was so happy about that. Now I don't dwell on the past & I surely don't think about it. There's no excuse for anyone to go through this but I did forgive but I will never forget. I know there's so many people out there that went through the same thing & scared just like how I was, don't be! Your not alone! Speak up & don't hold it in, trust me once its out you will feel a lot better & if no one believes you please you can hit me up whenever you want. God bless
 
Eileen Lopez
 
Thank you for hearing me out if you want you can put this up on your site and leave my email address with it. I appreciate you doing this for everyone. Thank you.
 
Eileen can be reached at: eileenlopez27@gmail.com

Julie Rivas

(click picture to be directed to her organization)
 
 
 
Dear Mayimba,
 
First of all I wanted to take the time to say  that I am honored and blessed  to have been able to get to know you and see all about your healing journey and the impact you have made on so many including my life, you definitely are continuing to make such a huge difference.
As the Founder of S.D.I.A.G, I had to dig deep because it was probably one of the hardest things for me to do to com out behind a façade filled life of smiles, and   perfectionist driven work and school ethic most people were used to from me , and admit that the Julie  most of the world knew ( accept closed loved once), was not the real Julie.. See the Julie the world knew ( People from  school ,work, College I graduated from , and people I met along the way) knew me as the Happy Julie, who was driven, helpful to so many and at times prone to have a temper tantrum here and there. Little did most of the world know prior to June of 2013 ( when I officially launched my organization), that the real Julie was a very sad, hurt, depressed and mistrusting girl who hid behind her smile because she learned early one – if you smile people don’t ask “what’s wrong.”
My story of hiding begins back in France when I was only 2 years of age. Although I don’t remember being raped that early ( my earliest memory was at age 3), my oldest brother witnessed me being raped at 2 by my mother boyfriend. I became of Victim of my mother’s alcoholic and drug using boyfriend from Age 2-8. I was often tortured, raped so many times I can’t truly remember the exact number of times, and brutally physically abused and tortured over the years as well. My mother who too was an alcoholic, and heroin addict did nothing to stop Claude ( my abuser) from doing the things he did, many days she encouraged it. My brother suffered the same fait, although she would try to protect him from the sexual assaults. I still have physical scars of torture I endures. My mother also let another male rape me, when she attempted to get to a women home; and never stopped anything from happening.
So  I was a lost , abandoned and unloved motherless child.
When my Biological father got custody of me, he too was never home being that he was special forces and left me with his then wife who to physically abused me . He divorced her , and later re-married a woman I considered to be the mother I almost wanted. My father however (who too was an alcoholic ) physically and mentally abused her; although he treated me like a princess. He gave me everything I wanted.. When my father got custody of my older brother I was 12; and he broke the silence telling all that had happened to me . Although previous doctor visits confirmed sexual and physical abuse I was always too afraid and ashamed to admit it being that I thought likes most victims – which this was my fault, I was a bad girl and this is what I deserved. Also being that my brother was still in France with my mother, I was too afraid to admit anything out of fear Claude would kill my brother, as he promised he would the day I left France.
After some therapy we all started a new chapter, I became focused on academics more than ever; and stopped going to therapy- my father thought I was okay without it.. So I dealt with things the way I always did , nightmares would come –I would wake up and make sure Claude was not there; other memories would be triggered I put them behind me and acted like my past never happened. In this, I kept people at a distance, never truly learned how to love, trust, have friendships etc. because I was never in an environment where I could learn this. Not until I came to the US from Germany and met my now husband in 2006. He came from a family full of love and happiness something I had never seen before. He is the first person who never gave up on me, regardless of me being different , often distant and often wanted to end the relationship out of fear he would change he stood by my side.. However this time last year I had a bad mental breakdown, wanted to kill myself because all of my hidden emotions caught up with me.. I could only run from a past that still haunted me for so long .
Today, I am proud to have taken the step to publicly talk about all of my pain, memories and issues I am still faced with today . I have found comfort and healing in sharing and helping other victims; no longer hiding behind my façade, and it has helped me to  do something I was never able to do before.. LOVE MY SELF..EVERY SCAR I HAVE, EVERY TEAR I HAVE CRIED, EVERY NIGHTMARE I STILL HAVE— I now can say I LOVE MY SELF, and am still on my Healing journey . I 100% Support and Love the MAYIMBA Project. You have helped me so much also in my healing Journey. May you continue to help others around the world.
 
Love always,
Julie Rivas –Founder and CEO of Sans Douler International Advocacy Group.

Vania

 
I find your project very moving and positive. Its nice to be able to reach out to people and connect with others who have experienced some of the same situations as yourself ,but also have overcome them and not let them take over their lives. Here's my story... My name is Vania I am 22 years old. At the age of 4 I was molested by my mothers boyfriend friend. He would just touch me inappropriately and dry hump me. Then at the age of 7 My mothers boyfriend began to molest me but it went to another level. He would walk in the room naked and touch me in places he shouldn't.  What's sickening is that I called him my father because at that time he was the closest thing to a father figure I had. That went on for awhile. Then my mother broke up with him and she met another guy who I liked at first until she married him. After that he would be very hard on me tell me I was fat and that I couldn't be a dancer like I wanted to be at that time. When I was 11 he molested me as well. He took advantage of my body and I had just been so used to men doing this to me that I just laid there and let him do as he pleased. By age 13 I had no sense of self worth and what that even meant. I had no respect for myself. I didn't know how I should be treated. I met a guy who was 18 years of age and he took advantage of my youth. He forced me to have sex with him and at the time again I was used to being controlled. So I just laid there. Unfortunately, that resulted in a pregnancy. I lied to my mother and told her that we just had sex but I wasn't ready for a baby so I aborted the child. Ever since that day I felt something missing from my life. That child I could not get back. Finally two years after that I got a chance to start over become a different person. My mother and I moved to South Carolina because she met my current step father on an online dating site. I started my sophomore year in South Carolina and I was new to the gay scene. Everyone was so open about it that I began to get curious. My first friend happen to be a female that I was very much so attracted to. We immediately became a couple. My first girlfriend. We dated for 8 months but then something in me just didn't feel right about her. She was very controlling and didn't let me interact with other people. I got tired of the relationship that I decided to break free from her hoping that we could still be friends after that. Unfortunately May 8, 2007 she shot me three times to the head. If she couldn't have me then no one could. My life has been a complete roller coaster. That just put the icing on it. Like a lot of people I could have let these tragedies hold me back from living but I decided not to. I feel my purpose in life is to help others. I have always felt a calling to do that. I am currently in my last year of college My major is Psychology. After I graduate I plan on furthering my education and getting my masters in Social Work. I hope my story helps people relate to. At the end of the day everything in life is a lesson no matter how bad the experience is. I've grown into a strong individual woman and I am happy to say my past does not control my present life and It motivates my future self.........  My mother didn't know about any of the sexual abuses until I told her at the age of 16. I just kept it to myself. She was hurt that I didn't tell her and tried to blame herself for not being there. But she was a hard working woman who I know loves me unconditionally so I didn't nor do I blame her for these things happening. Thanks for letting me share. Love your channel and especially this project!

Jessie

 
 
 
Hello my name is jessie and i support the Mayimba project :). I support it fully because myself has also been a victim of sexual abuse im 19 now but when i was 13 i was sexually abused by my aunts husband it was on eadter day and it was the worst day of my life i felt alone and helpless i was terrified that nobody would belive me i cryed myself to sleep and wouldnt eat till i didnt knw wat to do i told my mom and she belived me but the fucked up part aboutit is they told me to not say anything to anyone ;( tgat broke my heart me thinking that my own mother would protect me and help me she was the least i expected to do that she told me if i told anyone i would brake the family apart and it would be my fault but to me i thought the family is already broken because nobody comes around because he did it to my sister and one of my aunts to ;( im stuck in a world were being hurt is all i knw its been 6 years since it happen but i can never let it go it just gets harder i hate guys i been lesbian even before it happen and thats wat made me his target i support ths project to the fullest u have been my inspiration and make hard times a lil better thank u so much u can share my story :)
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