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Survivor Stories

when i was 8 i was stolen of my innocence. this is because when i was young my older brother sexually abused me. he was only 14 at the time and desperate for some sex, so he came to me. i was only 8 what was i suposed to do? he told me this is what brothers and sisters were supposed to do, but in secret, and the more we did it means the more we bond and loved each other.

when i was 10 years old i was talking to my older sister about this and i asked her if she ever did it with my brother. she was 17 at the time. well she knew better than me and told me it was really wrong. she told my parents and my parents sent my brother off to military school.

now i am 13 and i know much better of sex. i still have it because im so used to it and i need it. but when i was 5 i was also sexually abused by my brothers friends too.i am a survivor in a way.

my father also used to sexually abuse me. he did things i can't talk about even until today. i can't even tell my psychiatrist a! ll the details. well i was abused until when i was 11 by him, my mother woke up one night to find my father out of his bed, she came to my room and found him having sex with me. he's moved to california now after their divorce. i feel like shit because i've ruined our family and i feel dirty because i've had sex infinity times. guys use me as a whore. but i can't help it. but i am a survivor.


Hello my name is D. i am now 18 years old. i was raped my sister's boyfriend. it was New Years Day ( you know around Midnight) i decided to go to bed my nephews were also sleepy so i put him in my room with me. and i went to sleep. and a few hours later, he came in my room. my sister was pregant with her first child. and he woke me up by taking off my clothes and he ripped my shirt off and i tried to scream but the music was too loud and nobody can hear me.

i struggled with him and (even though i wasnt a virgin, but i stopped having sex for a while) he lifted up my skirt and pearced me. i cried and cried. When it was over he left like nothing ever happend since then every time i saw him i never wanted to be alone and that made it worse my sister dumped him and he in jail after i told my parents. I never wanted to see him again and if i ever did, he isnt with my sister

im: littleD

This is a story of sexual abuse of children in my family. A good, very ordinary Catholic family in small town New Zealand. You probably know or have heard of some of the people in this story. In August 2000 one of them was killed and the resulting media frenzy has ensured that every New Zealander will have heard his name, and felt sorry for his family. I might be the only one who doesn't feel sorry for his parents.. I migh be the only one who thinks "the sins of the fathers........"

"Let me know when you're ready" he said. I didn't know what he meant but I said I was ready anyway. Then his thrust his penis into me a couple of times and moaned "Let'er rip" and ejaculated into me. Within seconds he rolled off me and said "You have to get out of here when the alarm goes because the painter is coming first thing in the morning and I don't want him to see you here".

He was my brother-in-law and I was fifteen years old. I'd been sent to stay with him by my parents because he needed help on the farm and my sister was ill in hospital and pregnant with their first child, a son they named after his grandfather Leonard.

I barely slept. I don't know if that was because sleeping with a man was something I'd never done before or because of what he'd just done to me, or the shame and guilt I felt, or if it was because of the alcohol he'd given me. The night before drinking beer and talking with him I felt so grown up. Mum and Dad would never let us drink alcohol so I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. He suggested we should go to bed, and somewhere in my drunken response he found a yes. When he got me into the bedroom I panicked and tried to leave but he stopped me at the doorway, standing in front of me and blocking my way, I told him I didn't want to do this. He told me that it was too late, I'd already said yes and I couldn't back out now, he wasn't going to let me back out now.

The alarm rang and feeling ill I headed for the shower at the back of the laundry room. I grabbed the pigs bristle scrubbing brush from the window sill as I passed and scrubbed myself with it under the hot shower until my skin burned. I wanted to get rid of him from my body, I wanted to get rid of the memory and the shame. The pain on my skin was less than the burning shame in my mind and my heart. The smell of his ejaculate seemed to stay with me for days

That was the last time he ever touched me in a sexual way although he did try again several years later. By then my sister was pregnant again, but I was seventeen and brave enough to tell him no.

A month or so later his son was born. A funny looking child with a big nose who would grow to be very famous in New Zealand. Not because of he did but because of how he died. A peace keeping soldier killed in a foreign land by rebels, his body mutilated.

I was born the eighth child in a family of nine. In the home I grew up in there were always other children, cousins kids, brothers kids, foster kids. All well fed and clothed and taken care of. A good Catholic family who attended church every Sunday.

Just three days after my twelfth birthday I started menstruating and I thought god was punishing me for being wicked. I guess I thought he must have good reason. When my mother found my bloody underwear and asked "Do you know what this is?" I did know, I really did know what that was. That was Gods punishment for me being evil.

It had all started so wonderfully to my pre-teenage mind. I really didn't think to much of myself at that time of my life. I'd felt pretty much ignored for most of it, and when I wasn't ignored I was in trouble for causing some ruckus or other. I was just a nuisance. I didn't feel like they loved me and with all those kids it always felt like there wasn't enough Mum to go around.

When my two eldest sisters married things changed. Their husbands had at different times during those years made me feel so wonderful about me! They treated me like a grown up, laughed with me, told me naughty jokes, they'd walk close to me and put their arm around my shoulder. They treated me differently, in ways I'd never been treated before. I didn't know it then but I know now that all that attention was deliberate and designed to groom me for the even more intimate attention that would come later.

I'd spent most of my school holidays between the ages of 12 and 15 staying with one or other of my sisters and during those times their husbands would touch me, and have sex with me.

Not long after I started menstruating I stayed with Linda and Charlie on the farm they worked on. At night after she had gone to bed he would sit on the couch next to me and cuddle and kiss me, often telling me it was wrong and 'we' shouldn't be doing it. But he didn't stop. He just kept on doing that and more. Those were some of the first times he touched me. I never said anything to him about my holiday's with my oldest sister Erin when her husband Phil would do similar things to me.

While I didn't like what they were doing I never said no to it. And now looking back I don't really know why. I didn't know anything about sex, I'd never been kissed like that by anybody else and these men had treated me nicely. I liked them. I thought they were good people and I trusted them, I didn't for a moment think to question that.

Erin and Phil lived in the city and grew flowers for a living. The first time he touched me inappropriately I was mortified. We were playing and silly games and I'd give him cheek and he'd chase me. It was a game that so many families play, often they turned into water fights in my family. On this occasion in the middle of our game he picked me up and threw me in the fish pond, all part of the game but it was how he picked me up that disturbed me so much. I'd tripped and fallen on my face and he pounced on me, picking me up as you would pick up a baby. On hand under my chest and the other between my legs. I could feel the warmth of his hand on my privates through the fabric of my underwear. By the time he dumped me in the green slimy water of the pond my face was bright red with embarrassment and I had tears in my eyes. I ran to the bathroom and stripped my knickers off and looked at them all the time in my head I was saying "He touched my undies! He touched my undies! Why would he do that? It's disgusting!!"

As I grew older the touching became more sexual. I would sleep in a tiny room with his three children, and if any of them disturbed or cried out in their sleep he would be there to comfort them. One hand rubbing the back of his sobbing child and the other under my blankets, in my underwear, between my legs. Mostly I pretended to be asleep and hoped he would go away, sometimes I turned over to move out of the way of his hand.

For a time they kept their only TV in the bedroom and in the afternoons I would lay on their double bed with their children and watch the cartoons on TV. When he came home from work he would join us there, sometimes snuggling up close and touching me so the kids couldn't see. I remember on one occasion his eldest daughter asked in a very loud voice "Dad why are you in bed with Maureen?" I can't remember his response but I recall he was angry at her. On another occasion I was alone, he pulled my t shirt up and my shorts down to expose my navel and then masturbated on my stomach, demanding that I "Look at it! Look at it!" I tried my hardest to ignore him, to not be a part of what he was doing and kept my eyes on the TV behind him. I didn't want to see. He was a big man, over six feet tall and I at 13 was under 5 feet and probably weighed less than 70lbs.

Sometimes he would visit my bed at night and touch me. He seemed to have no interest in kissing me as Charlie had or in touching my almost non-existent breasts. His interest was always my vagina, he wanted to touch it and look at it and put his finger into it, and talk to me about sex. One time he asked me if I'd ever come, and I replied "Come where?" He said "Never mind" Sometimes he would rub his penis on me, on my leg and my belly. On other occasions he would sit up with me late watching movies on TV and tell me that he knew I was excited by seeing people kissing on TV. He could tell that because my rate of breathing increased every time a couple kissed passionately.

I was so desperate for somebody to know, for somebody to find out and make it stop. Make him not do those things to me. I faked a pregnancy, I wanted him to get scared by it and leave me alone. Years later I went back to that same doctor and collected my medical records. I must have been stupid. They didn't suspect a thing and wrote down exactly what I'd told them. That I had a boyfriend and I was going to marry him. I was fourteen years old. They must have been stupid too.

Erin and Phil used to drink a lot of wine and they gave me more than my share. One night after we'd all drunk way too much and Erin headed for bed, Phil started on me in the living room and I managed to escape from him and ran around the billiard table they kept in their living room. I was laughing but terrified. I don't understand that combination of feelings and behaviour now but my memory of it is so clear. He chased me into the hallway and I fell in front of the bathroom door, he fell on top of me and started rubbing himself on me, holding me down. As I struggled the bedroom door opened and Erin came out. I was so relieved! she'd seen! she'd seen it and now she would make it stop!!! I didnt' even care if she got angry with me, I just wanted her to make him stop. But she stepped over top of us and went into the bathroom. He jumped up and went back into the living room and I lay there waiting for her to come out and to say something to me. But she didn't. She just stepped over me and went back to bed. Stunned I crawled to my bed and climbed into in my clothes, sick and drunk, feeling stunned and trapped.

Years later in counselling I lay in bed one night and recalled those times remembered the smell of him. It was a smell that had haunted me for years, one I always associated with him and had always made me feel ill and angry and sick and scared and terribly ashamed. Suddenly it dawned on me what the smell was and I almost tore my bed apart in a rage that roared up from some-place I know not where. The smell on his face when he paid his nightly visits to me were from my sister. He had oral sex with her before he came to visit me and what I smelled on him was her.

When that realisation struck me I screamed and cried and raged. I just couldn't believe that he, that anybody could have done such a thing. My partner at the time was astonished at the spitting screeching banshee that had replace the slumbering woman laying next to him.

There were many other occasions they did those things to me, too many for me to even remember.

By the time I was sixteen I had already quit school, had and quit my first 2 jobs, run away from home and taken way to many drugs and alcohol. My mother had gone to stay on the farm and help my sister Linda when she came home with her baby. Living at home without her there just seemed intolerable and living on the streets was a much easier alternative.

I never told a soul what had happened to me. I pushed it to the back of my mind and forgot about it. All that remained was low self esteem, shame and anger, and behaviour that made my family think less of me than they had previously. Eventually I think they gave up and disregarded me as mad or crazy and too much trouble to bother with.

At nineteen I married the alcoholic boy next door. I wore a cream coloured dress to my wedding, I just didn't feel that I was worth the white dress that every other girl wore. Our daughter was born when I was 21. The following year my marriage ended. I had so desperately wanted a boy. Girls lives were too difficult it seemed to me and I didn't want to be responsible for giving a child a difficult life. I didn't know if I could take care of her, or protect her from the men who would surely molest and rape her as they had done me. I suffered post natal depression, was sent to a psyciatric hospital, and spent the next 5 years on some kind of mind numbing medication or other.

I married again at 25 and left him at 26. After we separated the nightmares I'd had about being raped ever since we'd been together suddenly stopped and I realised they weren't nightmares. He spend the 2 and a half years of our relationship taking advantage of my drugged state to have sex with me while I slept.

At 26 an unskilled solo mother with 2 failed marriages I wasn't worth very much. It seemed perhaps I had no redeeming features.

In my late twenties I spend an evening over Christmas with another sister Sue, we talked about family and success and failure. I asked her about some studies she'd been doing as a teenager. Study that she abruptly dropped. I asked her why and she said that she gave it up because somebody raped her. I asked her who and she replied "I don't want to tell you because you know him" without thinking I said "It's ok, I know who he is because he raped me too".

So there it was. All out in the open. My lifetime of holding onto my dirty ugly secret had suddenly ended over a glass of rum and coke and a sisterly chat.

Several weeks later I phoned my brother Tom to tell him what had happened to me. He refused to believe it and wanted confirmation from Sue. She told him it was true, but he never talked to me about it again. Of all my family I felt sure that Tom would believe me and understand. I even let myself believe that he would race to help me and sort those bastards out on my behalf. I don't know if he believed me or not. I do know that the validation I expected never came.

In the months that followed I experienced huge depression, I cried more than I'd ever cried in my life. I found a counsellor experienced in childhood sexual abuse. I wanted just to see her once, to tell my story so that somebody would know and then that would be the end of it. The more I told the more there was to tell. The more I remembered the more there was to remember and my one hour of counselling turned into 20 and then 40 and then 60.

I decided that I didn't want to press charges although the Police told me that was possible, I just wanted people to believe me. I wanted those who'd done this to own up to what they had done to me. I phoned my mother one morning and told her. I didn't really mean to, it just slipped out. My mother's words I remember so clearly "Oh my god! I know" She knew instantly that what I told her was the absolute truth. Several months later I celebrated my 30th birthday by posting letters to Linda, Charlie, Erin and Phil. I told their wives what they'd done, and I told them the impact it had had on my life. I told them that I didn't know how to trust people, or love people, I didn't know how to love me.

Erin confirmed to my mother that something had happened but it was just 'skylarking' nothing serious in it. I still don't understand what kind of innocent family games could possibly involve her husbands penis and her 13 year old sister.

Charlie eventually apologised to my parents and Linda sent me a note 'forgiving' me and saying she would pray for me. She was then, as she is now full of righteous indignation and utter bullshit. On the same day she sent me that note she wrote a seven page letter to my mother telling her I was a filthy slut and it was not rape, that I had 'offered' myself to her husband again the very next morning.

Her poor husband was seduced by me, a slut who let the family down. Using slovenly ways to seduce her man, and probably any and every other man too! I have often wondered what happen to all my sex appeal? I figured that if at 12 and 13 I was powerful and sexy enough to reduce a grown man, husband of my sister and father to her unborn child, to a trembling wreck unable to control his manly urges, then surely I must be even more sexy by the time I reached 30. Sadly this wasn't so.

My family was in an uproar, and I was the cause. My brother Dan called me one evening and told me he always 'knew' I was a man hater and now he knew why. *Sheesh* my brother Dan the wife basher. I guess he was trying to be nice, but I knew he had no idea about what had happened to me. I wasn't a man hater. I was a little kid abused by family, grown to an adult who just wanted somebody to understand and to take the pain of my shame away, and to accept me for who I really was.

The year after I sent those letters to my sisters and their husbands, when the love and understanding and acceptance that I so desperately needed never came, I chose to never see my family again. I've maintained contact with my parents and my relationship with them is excellent. My sister Sue remains my best friend. But the others I haven't seen in ten years and don't miss them as individuals.

I finally worked out that if those people who were my brothers and sisters were not blood relations to me but just people I met in the street, I wouldn't like them very much, and I certainly would choose to not socialise with them. I think if when they first heard that I had been molested and raped by their sisters husbands they'd done something about it, maybe I'd feel differently about them. If they'd talked to me and understood the pain and misery of my life, if they'd just told me they cared and were sorry I'd had to live through that, or that they would have done something if they'd known. Maybe I'd feel better about them. It seemed to me that the feelings they had about me as a teenager were amplified by my revelations. I was even more mad / crazy / stupid / sluttish / dishonest and a pain in the ass than I had ever been.

In my mind Charlie and Phil stole my family from me. By their actions they took away something that everybody has a right to, and that is the warmth and protection and love of a family.

I'm often surprised at how naive they all are. My siblings still expect that I will attend family get togethers despite that I've had no contact with them for more than ten years. Recently the oldest of my brothers, Terry, told me "to put all that other nonsense behind me" and attend a family funeral. I didn't do either of those things. Another brother invited me to a family renunion. I don't know what makes them think I want to be with any of them. Maybe they've all gone soft in the head with their old age and suddenly family is precious to them.

I still struggle with depression and anger so deep it hunts me down in my sleep. I still want those two miserable excuses for men to own up to what they did, and I want my naive and aging family to understand that their desire to have me attend family functions now when I'm 41 is way too little, way way too late.

In the last six months the boy born to Linda and Charlie just weeks after he raped me has died horribly and I know my sister and her husband have experienced great anguish as a result of that death. Erin and Phil's marriage has ended and after years of working for themselves, they're totally broke. He now lives on his boat and is an emotional wreck on prozac.

I haven't dared to even smile about their pain or let myself think "Good bloody job" but I SOOO want to!!

Name Withheld

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