Many times a person’s first encounter with sexual assault is when he or she is a child. This scars and shapes who they are and who they become for the rest of their lives. Protecting the lives of children should be one of the most important things we can do because children cannot speak for themselves. We need to do better for our children.
The main blog starts here: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault
This is Ashlee’s interview:
What compelled you to share your story?
I’ve held it in for years and the only people who know are my therapist and my fiancé.
Where did the incident take place?
My first account with rape happened in Punxsutawney, Pa. at my biological mothers house. The second time, my own apartment in DuBois, and then the third time it happened in DuBois at a friend’s house I was staying at.
Did you know the attacker?
Yes with all three. The first incident I was attacked by family members, and the second and third time they were people I thought I could trust. It can come from anyone even if you know them.
At the age of three I was sexually assaulted by my three older brothers. They took me and my little sister upstairs to “play.” The oldest had thrown me on the bed and pulled my pants down and did his things to me. Then my two other brothers did the same thing. After they were done with me they did the same to my younger sister. At this time they were 11,9,5. It was reported and then we were put into foster homes, but nothing happened after that.
At the age of 18, I was living on my own after getting out of the group home in DuBois. I had a male friend that I knew so well and was a friend of mine for years come stay because I was sick and wanted company. I had taken my medication and passed out on the couch. I woke up with him inside me and his hand around my throat. I tried to say no but he covered my mouth and told me that if I refused he would get rougher and hurt me.
Finally, at the age 20, my father kicked me and my daughter out the week before Thanksgiving. We moved back to DuBois with a friend who was renting rooms out in his house. I was in the process of looking for a job and fixing things with my now fiancé. It started two days after I moved in. He would pin me up against a wall or the bed while I was trying to do laundry or getting ready for bed along with my daughter. I would repeatedly say, “No I have a boyfriend,” or just, “No.”. He kept saying if I didn’t give it to him then he would kick us out on the street, and if I told the police that he would lie. Everyone in the house knew what was going on and wouldn’t help. Soon enough I made my fiancé move in with me hoping it would stop, but because he worked night shift it continued to happen. At first I didn’t tell him what happened, and when I did he threatened to leave me and wouldn’t help me because I wasn’t upfront about the abuse in the first place.
Did you seek legal help? And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
Not for all of them. I was too scared to know what they would do to me and how it would affect my life more than it already was. I’ve only told my therapist. I wish I would have got help and got justice for what has been done to me.
How has this affected your life?
It has affected me in many ways. My fiancé and I can’t even have sex because I have flashbacks and I start crying. I suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from this and other things that have happened to me.
If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to get help. Just don’t wait as long as I have. Get all the help you can to get justice.
If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say?
I hope other people come forward if you’ve done it to them so you can rot in jail.