Sexual assault is any sexual act, which is unwelcome or unwanted. It is sometimes committed through use of manipulation, coercion, intimidation, threats, force, or a controlled substance. It can range from sexual battery, to threat of sexual assault, to rape. For survivors of sexual assault, talking about your experience may by particularly painful and difficult. – Hung Tran, Psy.D.
I wished it was all a nightmare for me on that one damaging evening in October of 1988. The night was cold and crisp, and I just got out of my shift at the local diner where I used to work. Regularly, my dad or older brother would pick me up, and we’d walk home together since my clock ended at 10. But that scarring night, my dad also had to work late. My brother was at home looking after our 3-year old sister who was sick. He couldn’t leave her behind.
And so, without reservations in my heart, I told them that I’d be fine to walk home alone. Anyway, it wasn’t that late, and I lived five blocks away. The walk wasn’t that far, and the stars looked beautiful. It was a bright evening. I even assured them that I’d be ok. Oh, how wrong I was back then to think that in five blocks from work to home, nothing bad would happen to me.
I was so near that I could almost smell my momma’s chicken pastel. Never in my mind that I would be in danger so close to home. I’ve been walking that path for the last two years, and everything was good, but that night in October, my innocence was wrecked.
It all happened so slowly, and almost everything wasn’t a blur at all. Someone hit me from behind, and I fell. Two guys grabbed me and tied me up. One of them had a car, and we drove for a few minutes to a deserted car garage place. In there, three devils disguised as human beings took turns in raping me. I screamed. I begged. I asked for help. I did everything, but they paid no attention to my cry. After what it seemed was an eternity, one of them thanked me and left me for dead. (Some rapists are sociopaths with absolutely no regard for other human beings. Thus, no manner of education will ultimately deter such individuals from harassing or raping another person. However, for some (and I would go as far as to say for many), education will cause them to think before they act in a destructive manner, before they violate someone. – Kathryn Stamoulis Ph.D.)
God had bigger plans for me, and he kept me alive. I was eighteen, kidnapped, raped (I was a virgin, by the way), and stabbed almost to death, but my creator gave me air so that I could still breathe. Someone found me in the gutter, almost dead, and I was hospitalized for nearly three weeks. After two weeks out of the hospital, we found out that I was pregnant.
My first instinct was to have the child adopted. Yes, I would freely give “it” away. I don’t want anything to do with “it.” I was so angry at them and disgusted at myself. My life was ruined by that night, and there’s a baby to remind me of all the trauma I went through? No way! I want it gone. If I could abort it, I would have done the deed. But God had another plan for me. For us.
When it was time to deliver the baby, I was still bent on giving “it” away. He was out in roughly an hour, and the social worker told me that I have three days with him. The paper works had to be sorted out, and a young couple would adopt him, 500 miles away from me.
Did I give him away? In three days, I saw that what I had in my hands was an angel. He was my son, and he came out of me. I was so stupid for thinking that he ruined my life. How can I push my son away? And so, I did something selfish, and I kept him.
It wasn’t easy at all. Some days, my depression would kick in, and I’d remember every single thing. But there were days when hope would fill my heart, and there was a smile on my face. (Rape is a massive physical and psychological trauma, and people cope in very different ways with a traumatic event. I have treated women who survived rape and later self-medicated with alcohol or drugs, and many of them also met the criteria for Major Depressive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, among other diagnoses. – Seth Meyers Psy.D.)
I healed, and everything turned out beautifully for our family and me. Someone was brave enough to love a broken woman like me and accept my son. My husband was one of the best things that ever happened to me, apart from my son. He is now successful in his field and has made me so proud. Unlike his “sperm donor,” my son became a good man. I thank God every single day for keeping me alive and touching me on that specific moment when I decided to keep him.
From the journal of Anna Christie, New York, NY