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It's really hard typing these words. Probably because it's the first time I've ever tried to explain my assault in a number of characters. 

I was 15 years old when I was sexually assaulted. My rapist was someone that I trusted. Someone that I thought cared about me. Someone who was suppose to protect me. But he didn't.

I was 15 years old laying on my bed with my boyfriend. And he raped me. It was dark; my mom was just down the hall. He wanted to have sex and I told him no. I was on my period. And honestly I just didn't want to. But he didn't listen. He forced me to have anal sex with him. I said no. Didn't he hear me? I was frozen. I couldn't move. I couldn't believe what was happening. After it was over, he left. I cried the whole night. I couldn't tell anyone. I felt so dirty. So violated. I never wanted this. I never asked for it. 

The following weeks rumors spread around school about what "we" did. No. It was what he did to me. People shamed me. They called me a slut. Wrote me hate messages online. I was so ashamed. So alone. How was the happening? I couldn't even admit to myself that I was raped. Maybe he just wanted me? Maybe it was an accident? I can't believe the things I used to tell myself in order to cope. 

The next day when I saw him, he acted like nothing happened. 

But something did happen! Shortly after he raped me, I broke up with him. He was shocked. He wanted to know why. I didn't feel the need to explain myself. I knew he would deny what he did. I'm sure he would still deny it. Just because we were dating didn't mean he had the rights to my body. That it was my job to please him. I get to choose what happens to my body.

The next few years were horrible. They were so dark: full of parties, alcohol, stranger's beds, throwing up, crying. There are so many nights I just don't remember. I tried to just forget. To lock it up and never open it.

It took a long time to truly heal. Even today I still struggle when I see certain triggers. But my healing didn't begin while I was doing all those things—the partying, the drinking. It started by talking. The first person I talked to about being raped was my husband. I was 20 years old. It took me 5 years to tell someone. He is the only person I told—until today. But I know it is time to speak out. To let it be out in the world where people could see it. So there was proof that something happened so that the truth could be tangible.

The truth is: I was raped by my boyfriend. I was too young. Too innocent. The truth is: My rapist should have been confronted. Convicted. Something. The truth is: It's never your fault. You deserve your voice to be heard. There are people who will support you, who will uplift you, and who will treat you with you respect. The truth is: You can find love. Real love that is full of trust, gentleness, and permission. 

I want every victim to know that you are not alone. That you have a voice. That you can get through anything. That you have the power to heal. You are not what happened to you. You are strong. Powerful. Beautiful. Worthy of good love. Don't be ashamed. You have done nothing wrong. Real healing can happen. 

And...I'm sorry. You don't deserve what happened to you.

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