Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
This is Callie’s story. The name has been changed to protect her identity. She was comfortable enough to share the location of the events. This is in an interview format. Here is the link to the first part of this series: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault
I’m compelled to add that if you or anyone sees domestic violence or sexual assault happening, you should report it. Please do not turn a blind eye. So many people are in precarious situations and they are silently begging for help. HELP THEM! Here are a list of resources: RAINN, Domestic Violence Coalition
What compelled you to share your story?
I have never told anyone but my now husband about the abuse. I just had our child and I feel like it is my responsibility to come to terms with what happened to me and try to be strong enough to one day publicly speak out.
Where did the incident take place?
There were too many incidents and locations to count. His home, the high school, my home, the city park, restaurants and stores.
Did you know the attacker?
He was my boyfriend at the time. I was freshly 16 and he was 20.
I met Chris at Community Days in DuBois, Pa. I was with some girlfriends and he came up to us with a group of his friends. He was so charismatic and handsome; I was immediately smitten. He would build me up and make me feel so wanted. About two months into our two-year relationship he changed. He became physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive towards me. Physically he would push me, hold me down, and hit me. One night when I was at his home he pushed me down a flight of stairs. His mother watched it happen and just walked away. He would tell me no one but him would ever love me and that if I left him he would kill me and my family.
I truly believed all the things he said to me; I was so young I didn’t know better. I was basically screaming for help without actually telling anyone, and no one noticed. I was sent to psychologists and put on medication, and still no one helped me out of this relationship.
When I had just turned 18, his brother punched me for absolutely no reason one day.
I somehow got the courage to put an end to our relationship. I stopped answering any kind of communication from him. He started standing outside of my home and work and would just stare me down. He would send me terrible threats through Facebook and text. My now husband would walk me to and from my car at work. I actually moved to Pittsburgh for a bit because I was so scared. Eventually he stopped contacting me, but he found out I had moved back to DuBois several years ago and told a mutual friend that he was going to get me back. I began seeing him walking in my neighborhood, my husband and I decided to move out-of-town. We’ve kept our address a secret for this reason.
Did you seek legal help? And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
I did not. I knew I needed help but I didn’t know where to go. I also felt people would not understand why I couldn’t just leave for so long.
How has this affected your life?
I am constantly looking over my shoulder. I have run into him three times in stores, and each time I was able to make out to my car before having a full blown panic attack.
If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
You are not alone, and you are worth so much more than you think!
If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say?
You took advantage of a young girl. You knew what you were doing and you are still doing it to other girls. You shattered everything about me into pieces. I lost who I was. In spite of you, I have found a good and kind man and I have a wonderful life now. You were wrong!