We have seen this before.
Many times our attackers are members of our family, and we are afraid to speak out. To make matters worse, we want other people to know the signs we are giving them and they either ignore the signs or do not pay attention. This can lead to a survivor surviving YEARS of abuse from one perpetrator.
Please be aware of who your children are around.
The first stories in this blog series are: Callie’s Story: A Silent Cry for Help, Mary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to Torture, Ashlee’s Story: Repeated Abuse Since Childhood, Kayla’s Story: When Friendship Turns
The main entry can be found here: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault
This is Tasha’s story.
What compelled you to share your story?
I have two small children. I want to raise them to be aware of the dangers of the world, but not be fearful of what they can do to prevent them.
Where did the incident take place?
The short list – everywhere: my home, my room, my mom’s room, a vehicle, a semi truck, the living room to name a few.
Did you know the attacker?
He was my mother’s ex husband.
When I was 11 years old, the first thing I remember him doing was teaching me how to properly use a tampon because, at 11, I, “Didn’t need to smell gross.” I needed to, “Learn how to properly take care of myself when Aunt Flow came.” He took me into my mom’s room, laid a towel down on the bed, and inserted his fingers and then a tampon. I think I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t know how to tell my mom. After he was done and cleaned himself up, and he had left me in there to clean myself up, I went to my room to cry. When I went downstairs later that evening, there was an apple in the trash with a hole in it and a tampon. He told me he was going to tell my mom he demonstrated on it for me. I’m not sure if he ever did and I never asked.
When I was 15, was when he actually raped me for the first time. I had to go on a trip with him to Florida from Michigan and back. It happened in a Detroit parking lot. A man beat on the door asking for a donation as I cried, “No”. He didn’t stop but the man left. No one came for me. I made him call my mom, but he told me not to say anything or I’d be dead. I just cried like I never did before. She never picked up on it. She never realized all of those signals. So, I never told.
It stopped Christmas Eve when I was 17. Yes, 17, six years he did things like this and groomed me along the way.
Yes. I knew it was bad at this point, but I felt so numb at that point that I just couldn’t deal.
Did you seek legal help? And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
I spoke to the police. I wrote up my seven page statement. My officer cried for me.
I came forward when I was 23. I had just given birth to my son. I didn’t want that monster to touch him. My mom was finally divorcing him so I finally told her. When I did, her reaction was shock, and I’m not sure why. I remember her calling him. She said, “I know what you did to my daughter!!! I know you raped her!!” His response, “If it was my daughter, I’d believe her.” He hung up and that was all he said. Within days, he moved out-of-state with his new wife and her children. Mom told her and told his family where they moved to. They called me out by name. Funny this is though, mom never said it was me and I have three sisters. So his guilty conscience told on himself.
How were you treated by your law enforcement representatives?
The officer was so kind, but the justice system itself failed me. Nothing could be done because I didn’t still have the underwear he hid. I didn’t have the photo he took of my vagina. I didn’t have proof. Even in a state that doesn’t have a statute of limitations, I was denied justice. I just wish I had come forward sooner
How has this affected your life?
I’m married now. My husband was the first person I told. Since I have, I don’t like to be touched. I’m more comfortable with him, but not with some things that he does that triggers me.
If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
Don’t ever fear you are alone. There are so many of us, unfortunately. If you need help now, please reach out to me, I understand and I’ll do what I can to help you.
If you could say anything to law enforcement that dealt with your case, what would it be?
Thank you for trying, but why couldn’t you have done more??
If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say?
Final note — I don’t blame my mom. I used to feel like I did. I remember being so young watching a lifetime movie with this exact scenario in it & her looking at me saying, “If this ever happens to you, you can always come to me.” I never felt comfortable doing so. She was always more interested in the men she was with than us. She didn’t focus on the signs. BE AWARE of the signs your children are giving you. BE AWARE of who you have around your kids.