(If you are a Victim of Rape, this Story may trigger you, proceed with caution)
The Latin word rapere “to seize,” from which RAPE is derived.
RAPE: Forcing of somebody into sex: the crime of using force to have sexual intercourse with somebody.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/ . I recently have been asked to share my story on April 5th about being a childhood abuse and rape survivor on an online talk show http://ravensclosettalkshow.com/ .
While thinking about what I am going to share. It has been rather difficult to give myself permission to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.…Why is it so difficult to reveal and release the details of the secrets I have been holding onto for so long? I realized that I have only told my story to a few select people, and the thought of talking about the details of my abuse to the public is pretty scary.
I was struggling with determining if I was “raped” or if it was an “attempted” raped. So, yesterday, I decided to call RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) hotline 1-800-656-HOPE. For me, this call would be for them to validate, what I already knew.
When the lady on the hotline answered the phone, I explained to her that I am not in a crises, I just need a listening ear. I then quickly rushed thru my story, jumping from different time frames, different periods of my life that were affected by abuse. I proceeded to tell her that I had been sexually molested by several people from the age of 3 to the age of 12 and that at the age of 14 I went on a date with an older guy and..she kindly interrupted me,”Excuse me”, She begin to reassure me that my story is important, that I need to relax and that she is here to listen. I took a deep breath, slowly exhaled, then continued to tell her what happened in the Spring of 1984.
I was very excited to be going on my first date with this guy that I had met at the mall. He was tall, with an athletic built. He was very handsome and quite charming. He was not only charming, but very polite. When he came by my house to pick me up, he visited with my Mom and she gave me the approval to go on this date, with this “proven gentleman”. He complimented me as we walked to his car, he quickly opened the car door for me and we drove off.
It was in the evening around 8:00pm, we were on our way to dinner. As we passed by my high school, he proceeded to drive into the parking lot. I looked at him with a nervous smile and asked him why are we here? He let me know that we had some time to kill before dinner and he wanted to hang out and talk before we go to the restaurant. Our talking quickly lead to kissing, which lead to him getting on top of me, pulling my skirt up..I told him I was a virgin and begged him to stop. I told him that he was hurting me, his response, “I will be gentle”. The charming and polite gentlemen, turned into a cold, self-gratifying, jerk. The next thing I hear is a tap..tap..tap.. on the window of the driver’s side of the car and a light beaming through the window. He jumps off of me and pulls up his pants. He rolls the window down, and it is a police officer. The officer asks us what we are doing and asks for his license. The officer than shines his light on me, and asks me for my name and birthdate. I give him my real name, but a fake birthdate, I pretended to be 17. You see, even though I was being Violated, I wanted to protect the Violater. He was 19, I was 14. He was an Adult, I was a Child. If I told the officer exactly what was going on, he would have been arrested on the spot. I was too afraid to tell the truth. The officer then told us that we are not to be on the school premises and to leave the property. My ride home was dead silent, when we got to my house, he leans over and kisses me on my cheek, and tells me he had a great night. Without responding, I got out of the car, went into the house, went directly to my room and cried.
When I was finished telling my story, the lady on the RAINN hotline, informs me that this was not an “attempted” rape, but that I actually was raped. For years, I had excused the act as an “attempt” in order to take away from the violence. I allowed the rape to be an “attempt” because somehow I felt like I had encouraged his behavior. Today, I can finally say, with conviction, that I am a SURVIVOR of Rape, who will no longer will remain silenced by the shame. Through this blog, I am able to write about it, but to actually “say” it is very powerful. There is power in Words, and by participating in the interview on April 5th, I declare that day, my day of Emancipation. I am going to be very precise on the details of the abuse and how it affects me, by doing so, I am taking back my Power, giving others Hope and setting this Captive FREE.
Denise Boyd Copyright ©
The following resources are very helpful, they have given me support and encouragement in my Journey of Healing: