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I was dating a guy for a few weeks when he raped me. I thought because we were dating that maybe it wasn’t rape. And because of my religious beliefs, I felt like I had to stay with him forever because I was taught that having more than one partner made you unclean. The abuse escalated. He became addicted to drugs. The abuse got worse. I finally had enough, and I broke things off. He started harassing me and showing up at my work, so I moved out of state. He died a few weeks later. I never told anyone the truth about our relationship, and sharing the truth became so much harder after that because you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead. All of our friends talked about him like he was a superhero, but to me, he was the villain. I don’t know how to handle that. I still have only told two people the truth about everything, and one of them is my therapist. I wish sometimes I could blast it all over social media but again, you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead. And I don’t want anyone to think I’m only spouting accusations because he isn’t around to defend himself. So, I stay silent. And I’m working through it, slowly but surely. I know closure won’t be absolute, but I hope to find some small measure of peace.

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