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 Emergency Contraception Information
Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network

 National Abortion Federation Hotline

National Human Trafficking Resource Center
 National Sexual Violence Resource Center
 Veterans Crisis Line (military rape)

Survivors Helpline, Tues and Thurs, 7pm-10pm:
071-833 3737
(Male rape)
(See more resources at page bottom)

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Rape is forced, nonconsensual sex. It is an act of emotional, psychological and physical violence. It's a prevalent form of violence around the globe: one woman in six is raped by the age of 21 in the U.S.; one woman in every two is raped at least once during her lifetime in Africa. Men are raped. Children are raped. Old people are raped. Domestic partners are raped by their partners. Married people are raped by their spouses.

Rape is at pandemic proportions in parts of the world. It is integral to some cultures, and it is used as a form of terrorism and a vicious weapon of war in others.

It is up to us to teach and tell the world that rape is never acceptable.

Debunking  Myths About "Legitimate Rape"

  Project Unbreakable

Ever hear these urban myths?
Raped is justified when it’s provoked by flirty, sexy behavior:
Flirty, sexy behavior is natural and fun, and we’re all entitled to enjoy it as much as we want.  It is not an invitation to any unwanted sexual activity or untoward attention. In fact, there is no behavior at all that justifies rape or sexual assault. No one "asks" for rape, whatever they wear, say, or do; whatever their sexual orientation; whether they're drunk or angry; whether they are out late at night or alone.

It’s not rape when you’ve started to have sex and change your mind.

Rubbish! Our sexuality is ours to define and give at every moment. If one party was feeling sexual but their feeling changes, that’s perfectly fine and natural, and it’s the end of the sexual exchange. Pressure, coercion, or force are never acceptable options. No one ever “owes” another party sex.

Men can’t control themselves after becoming very aroused so it’s not their fault when they rape.

Totally untrue. This myth is based on the “Point of No Return” physiology in the male sexual response cycle when ejaculation becomes inevitable, but that has absolutely nothing to do with raping another person! If a man gets extremely aroused he can always say goodnight, go home, and masturbate privately. Nonconsensual sex is not a “male need”; it’s not an acceptable option at all. Ever.  

Rape is a natural outcome of war and conflict.

"Sexual violence in conflict needs to be treated as the war crime that it is; it can no longer be treated as an unfortunate collateral damage of war." — UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura

 According to UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, "the vast majority of casualties in today’s wars are among civilians, mostly women and children. Women in particular can face devastating forms of sexual violence, which are sometimes deployed systematically to achieve military or political objectives.

Rape committed during war is often intended to terrorize the population, break up families, destroy communities, and, in some instances, change the ethnic make-up of the next generation. Sometimes it is also used to deliberately infect women with HIV or render women from the targeted community incapable of bearing children."

Rape is not a "natural" or acceptable outcome of war. It is an entirely preventable atrocity that cannot be given license or excuse. We must confront and destroy any illusions that rapists are exempt from their crimes during or because of war/conflict.

"I was raised to protect my country. I should have been raised to protect myself".
Master Sgt. Karen Erickson, Senior Master Sgt. Susan Schroeder, Staff Sgt. Heather Prigge, all three of the 119th Wing, and ARMY 1st Lt. Rachel Walters, the N.D. National Guard joint force headquarters sexual assault response coordinator, hang a t-shirt at a clothesline project display, July 29, on the Fargo, N.D. Veteran's Administration Hospital grounds. The Clothesline Project display is using t-shirts created by victims of military sexual trauma, and people who have a message to voice about MST, to "break the silence" and to bear witness to sexual violence.

What to Do If You Are Raped 

Go to a hospital or clinic immediately. If you’re too injured to move safely on your own, call an ambulance or the police and they will take you to a hospital. In the United States, dial 911 for emergency services or 1-800-656-HOPE for the closest rape crisis center for help.  

If the police come, you can specify if you want a female or male police officer with you. You do not have to talk about your assault, or you can choose to identify your assailant so that the police can search for them right away.

Don’t take a bath or remove any evidence of rape. This is often our first impulse and for a number of reasons it may be very hard to resist doing, but wait, because it’s vital to preserve all the evidence of the attack left on your body.

Don’t throw out your clothing. 

Don’t douche. Douching will make pregnancy more likely, not less, and it will remove critical evidence.

If you were assaulted in your home, try not to touch anything you don’t need to in order to preserve evidence of your attack.


What to Expect at the Hospital

A number of important steps to protect your health and safety should occur at the hospital:  

The hospital should provide you will an experienced, compassionate counselor/chaperone to accompany you through the entire process. You may also have a friend or family member present, and/or a volunteer from your nearest rape crisis center. 

The hospital will ask for informed consent to treat you. If you grant this, they will stabilize any acute injuries. Once this is done, they’ll take your medical history, and you will be asked to describe what happened, and to identify any areas of pain.  

A doctor will then perform an extensive exam. If at any time you are uncomfortable, you can tell them to stop. You can also request a sedative. 

The exam will include a pelvic exam to identify, assess, and document pelvic injuries, and a total body exam to assess any other injuries. Please point out any injuries you’re aware of to your doctor, whether the doctor sees them or not during her examination.  

They will ask your permission to take photographs of injuries to preserve evidence, and will collect evidence samples of your assailants’ sperm, blood, saliva, skin, and any other residue. 

They will also check your body over with a special light called a Wood light, which causes dried sperm to become florescent. 

Several measures should be taken to protect you from disease and unwanted pregnancy. These are: 

Testing for STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections): This includes tests for syphilis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, herpes simplex, hepatitis B virus, HPV, and HIV. 

Prophylaxis (Preventative Measures) against STIs: This includes PEP and/or an AZT cocktail to prevent HIV infection; hepatitis B vaccination and hepatitis B immune globulin; and a course of antibiotics and other medications that target STI infections. 

Prophylaxis to Prevent Pregnancy: You should be given the option of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. The most common forms available are: 

 Emergency Contraception, Ella, RU486 (See Birth Control to learn how these work and what to expect).


Follow-Up Examination at Two Weeks
There should be a follow-up exam in two weeks to check on the effectiveness of all the tests and prophylactic
measures taken. Be sure to go. Bring a friend for support if you feel the need at all. If you’re menstrual period is overdue, be sure to tell your doctor and get a pregnancy test. Most doctors will automatically offer this test. 

Follow-Up Examination
at Twelve Weeks
This exam is to double-check on all tests and prophylaxi
s. Be sure to go to this exam as well

Talking to the Police
Hospitals must report violent crimes like rape, but it is your decision whether or not you want to talk to the police about your assault and it is also your decision whether to file a report.  You can specify if you prefer speaking with a male or female officer.

Many survivors find it helps them to report this vicious crime. You do not have to press charges if you don’t want to, but reporting the crime gives you the option to choose. 

Prosecuting the Crime
For many rape survivors this is a difficult choice. Trials are stressful and public. Rape is sometimes difficult to prove. Your rapists’ attorney will do everything they can to  prove that the criminal they represent is innocent, and that you are the one who is lying and at fault. If you are battered and beaten by your attacker, they will either claim you like ‘rough sex’, or that someone else attacked you.

Your attorney must prove the rapists’ physical presence at the scene of the crime, and then that they actually committed rape, not consensual sex. Unless you have very convincing physical evidence, it is a real possibility that you may lose the case. 

Despite this, there are benefits to prosecuting rape. You have publicly accused your attacker of their crime instead of allowing them to get away with it in silence. Even if your rapist is not found guilty, the trial is a public record of their crime. It will also help deter them from raping again, and if they do, your previous allegation becomes a powerful indictment against them. 

Date Rape Drugs

     Project Unbreakable

Date rape drugs are any drugs used to impair cognitive judgment and induce nonconsensual sexual activity. They are characterized by an ability to be dissolved  tastelessly into drinks, particularly alcohol, so that the intended victim is unaware of their ingestion. When their pharmaceutical properties reduce the victim to a vulnerable, altered state, rape ensues. Several of the drugs have strong amnestic properties and victims who are targeted by them may have trouble recalling the details of their assault afterward. 

Common Date Rape Drugs 

Alcohol itself is the most common date rape drug. Alcoholic intoxication impairs judgment and self-protective instincts, inducing a euphoric sense of loss of inhibitions and boundaries. Rape, unwanted pregnancy, and STI transmission occur far more often under the influence of alcohol than any other substance. 

Benzodiazenes are a class of drug that includes Rohypnol ("Roofies"), midazolam, temazepam, and flunitrazepam with strong sedative, motor impairing, and amnestic properties. They can be emptied into a drink without any evident taste or odor.   

GHB/GBL/1,4D0 (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) has a similar effect as that of alcohol, causing involuntary euphoria, sedation, confusion and drowsiness.

Ketamine is a drug used in veterinary medicine that works on humans as a dissociative hallucinogen, causing disassociation, hallucinations, trances, sedation, memory loss, and amnesia. 

Ambien has strong sedative and amnestic properties. 

All these drugs are dangerous and their unsupervised use has been linked to serious medical conditions, including coma, respiratory depression, and permanent memory loss.

Staying Safe

Use common sense guidelines to protect yourself from these powerful drugs:

  • Don’t ever leave your drink – any drink, even water or fruit juice – unattended. Always keep your eye on your glass or bottle. Take it with everywhere you go -to the toilet, to your car, to the dance floor - or give it to a cautious friend you know and trust very well to guard for you.

  • Don’t drink alcohol or use drugs when you’re socially engaging with new acquaintances. Alcohol and drugs impede your judgment.

  • Go with friends to social meeting grounds like bars or dance clubs. Talk together about the need for caution and awareness in regard to date rape drugs before you get there, and watch out for each other.

  • If you know or suspect that you’ve been raped with the use of date rape drugs, go to an emergency room or clinic for a rape exam right away. If you’ve been given an amnestic drug, your memory may be blocked, but tests may be able to confirm the presence of date rape drugs in your system.

 Project Unbreakable
Rape Trauma Syndrome

An act of violence as brutal as rape leaves scars. Some people have physical scars; others bear the scars of emotional and psychological trauma. Nightmares, flashbacks, phobias, withdrawal, depression, and somatic symptoms like loss of sexual desire, tense genital muscles, headaches and body aches are all common. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you recognize these symptoms for what they are: the aftershocks of trauma.

Support and Healing                                    

Most of us need to find avenues of healing after experiencing the violence of rape. Ignoring or avoiding its’ effect on our life may eventually do more harm than good, and we may need to take steps to assure that our wellbeing is restored. Talking to trusted friends and family may help. Lots of people benefit from joining a support group with other people who have experienced the same thing and really know what it’s like to cope with sexual assault on all levels. Many domestic violence and rape crisis centers have support groups that can be joined at no cost. 

There are also some very experienced, compassionate and wise counselors available, if you want to talk privately.  

Whatever you do, don’t withdraw from the world and joy. This perpetuates your role as a victim, and you deserve better than that. You would go to physical therapy for a broken leg if you were hit by a car, right? Treat your assault as an injury that requires healing. Be a patient, loving caretaker. Do all that you can to nurture yourself.  Accept that injuries of any nature, including those either psychic or physical incurred by rape, take however long they take to heal, and that healing can’t be rushed. 

My Friend Was Raped. How Can I Help?
Believe them
. Listen to them without judgment and accept whatever emotions they express, even if they surprise you or seem inappropriate. 

Be very patient, and don't try to force them to communicate any more than they are ready to, or to "get better". Recovering from violence takes each individual whatever time it may take them. Help provide them with a safe space without pressure to do it in. 

See your friend as the whole person they are, not as a rape victim.  

Offer to go to any follow-through exams or clinic appointments. If there are ongoing consequences from the assault - AIDS or other STI's, pregnancy, physical damage, the inability to bear children, emotional trauma - be there for them lovingly without being maudlin. They have experienced a violation. Respecting their dignity and privacy is very important.


Q&A with Shain Stodt

I Think My Sister Was Raped

Q. I’m not close to my sister – I’m ten years older than her – but I think she was raped. She came home seeming very upset about three nights ago and locked herself in her room. She’s been withdrawn and very different, and won’t talk to me or our parents, but my instinct tells me she’s experienced trauma, and I think it was sexual. How can I help her?


A. There are kind of two parts to approaching this: the first part is to be loving, receptive, and patient, and let her speak about her experience if and when she feels safe. The other part is dealing practically with the potential consequences of this terrible violation in as timely a fashion as possible, because if she needs to deal with counteracting a sexually transmitted infection, an unwanted pregnancy, or injuries that need medical treatment, time is of the essence. Likewise, if she chooses to report her assault, the sooner she does so the better. It may not be too late to collect physical evidence.  

You need to be there in every way for her now. From what you describe, she’s internalizing the experience, by which I mean being affected by it without seeking any healing or comfort. That’s not an uncommon response to being seriously wounded, but it may not be very helpful to her right now. If she’s not talking to you, talk to her, without putting emotional pressure on her to respond. Let her know honestly what you believe and that you are not only concerned about how she was hurt, but that you are concerned about the tangible consequences and want her to get medical attention to protect her health. Offer to take her to a clinic. 

Look at our section on Sexual Assault: it describes what procedures should take place at the hospital and her options if she chooses to file a report with the police. It will be helpful if you both read it, but if she doesn’t want to, at least you can be prepared to help her through this process. Be ready to go through a check list of the treatments that she should receive at the hospital. These include checking for and documenting any injuries; pregnancy testing; STI tests; verifying any physical evidence of sexual assault and of the presence of date rape drugs; and the offer of counseling. 

There will be follow-through appointments she must keep, and there may be medications for STI’s, pregnancy, or injuries. Support her in this by offering to take her to appointments, and by gently making sure that she completes the prescribed treatment course of any medications. 

Healing from rape is another matter. It’s very personal and individual, and there’s not a single road map to follow. One thing that is certain, though, is that healing is necessary; the emotional scars of rape don’t just disappear. If healing doesn’t occur then rape can continue to victimize it’s recipient by causing painful damage to her/his self- esteem, relationships, feelings of safety and confidence, sexual comfort and pleasure, and ability to trust. Painful flashbacks can occur with Rape Trauma Syndrome, interfering with sex, work, and family. 

The love, patience, acceptance and support of friends and family can be crucial to the healing process. So can individual counseling and support groups, which most Rape Crisis centers provide. Again, offer to go with her, but accept that she might prefer to go by herself. 

Some things to keep in mind if your sister talks to you about her rape: Believe her. Validate her experience. Be prepared to accept whatever emotions she expresses, even if they don’t seem appropriate to you or aren’t what you expected. Don’t judge her in any way; just listen. 

Lastly, she is not the only one in this: you have been and will be affected deeply by her rape, too. Don’t lock anger or sorrow away to be strong for her; find the time and space to explore and accept your own feelings, with as much compassion and patience as you would give your sister. 


Shared Words

Their Silence
Their silence was as heavy as his foul body. I screamed and cried out and I was sure someone would come. My neighbors had to hear. Why didn't they come? He broke my jaw, and I still screamed.

He came into my home a friend and left an enemy. I will never know why he raped me. Beat me. Betrayed me.  I will never understand how a person could become degraded enough to do such a thing to another. Become so pitiful and worthless.

When he was finally gone, I found myself still alive. Thirty of my bones were broken and my uterus was ruptured. I will never have children, my legacy from rape.

When I returned from two weeks in hospital, I was met with silence. My friendly neighbors had no words for me, just averted glances. As if I carried a shame. I looked straight at them. My eyes said "You knew. You heard. Your silence was your shame. I hope it eats your heart out."

Anger has passed now. The world has shifted. I know that "friendly" is not friend. I know that people are not as they seem. I'm stronger for knowing.

Working with survivors gives me peace. For now, it is all I want to do. There is so much to do to change a culture where a "friend" can rape you, and neighbors are silent.
Collette, France     

My daughter was assaulted by her father as was her mother and her mothers mother.
Rape lives in the flesh and bones of generations.
We will form a circle of love and protection around Lelei, my newborn granddaughter. She will know the difference between love and abuse. She will treasure her body and soul. She will laugh without blemish.
We have broken the chain.
Lara, Hawaii

Sleep is hard to find when you are never at rest.

I was a rapist. Of women on the outside, of men in prison.
I don't have an answer to what 'made' me like I am. My dad hit my mom, she hit me. So it was shit. Are those the seeds?
What I did is wrapped around me. I don't know how I can atone. What does it matter if I atone? The hurt I dealt is still there.
., Prison

The Hardest Thing

The thing that is hardest for me to say is that I didn't know I was being raped. I married him when I was fourteen and seven months pregnant. From our first night married he began hurting me. I was "his" he said.

It was his right to sex my da said. Women don't have it the same as men. Hurting is because women are softer but it's sex. Bruises and bleeding and forcing when you don't want to are men's ways.

When I had my third, my doctor saw the bruises. It was sex, I said. He said no, no, no sex is not like that Patricia. This is assault. I said what is sex then? How is it different?

I talked to the social worker and counselors and other women beaten by their men. They said it is not right and sex like that is rape. They said that no one can hurt me no one has a right to.

I knew he would kill me if I told him. I took the babies and went to a shelter while he's at work. He will try to find me and kill me so they're getting me out of the state.

Maybe I will learn what sex is. What life can be. One day.
Rashad (Patricia) U.K

As A Man
As a man who was raped often as a child by my father, I understand the horror, humiliation, rage and pain of being raped by someone who is supposed to ensure your safety. By someone who the world sees as a good person. By someone with all the power and all the cards. Having endured this, I feel intensely the suffering of the refugees in Somalia, the civilians in Congo,  the victims of human trafficking, and the other innocents trapped in conflict zones who are raped in the tent at night, the field or village, or the backroom. Who are raped by the authorities who are responsible for protecting them.

Maybe the only way to stop it is to make people understand how it feels. The agony, pain, of a penis ripping you inside. The fear and helplessness of a person with power violating you. The extra horror if you're a woman that you may be pregnant from a rape. The possibility that you may now die of AIDS.

If we who have been raped speak out, often and without shame, and stand with each other in raising awareness of this terrible crime, we can turn the tide. We can make it understood around the world that this intolerable crime against humanity will be confronted and stopped. I urge people to tell their stories, speak loudly, protest, get in politicians faces, reach out to people under the emotional siege of being a silent victim and lift them up. We can do it.

Thomas, USA


My rectum was torn so terribly that I was in the hospital for weeks. I was six years old and terrified. I kept thinking I had done something very bad to deserve this punishment. I was also castrated in the attack, so I can’t have children. I spent years without sex even being on the radar for me; I assumed I would never know this part of life. It was very hard to finally forge a sexual relationship with a partner, because I thought of sex as painful and myself as incomplete.
Ahmad Joelle, Sudan

I have a lot of scars in my vagina from the rape. I’ve had surgery but I don’t have full genital elasticity back, and when I get a new sexual partner, I have to explain my limitations. At first I hated this, having to bring up the rape, and the sad feelings I have about the permanent loss of a part of my rightful sexual functioning. Now this has transformed as I’ve learned to see myself as a wounded warrior nurturing my injured body and sharing my intimate needs with a special person.
Margareta, Mexico

I need to say that the rape of men is not acknowledged. Men have intense shame about rape. Their rectum was violated and they weren't "manly" enough to fight off their attacker(s). If they were "real men", they wouldn't have been raped.

Well, I'm six-four, built like a shit brick house, was a linebacker and boxer in college, and I was raped. We men need to talk about it without feeling that our assault was a personal failure on our

My neighbor seemed like the nicest guy. Everyone on the block thought he was kindly and mellow. One day ( I was fourteen) he asked me if I wanted to build some train models with him at his house. He was so universally liked I figured it would be okay to go without telling my parents where I was. He took me into his basement and locked the door and choked and raped me with a dildo. Then he told me he would kill my parents and my pet rabbit if I told anyone ever. The agony and terror were beyond description.

My character, the tenor of my life, it completely changed from that day. Everyone said I seemed to be a different person, and in a sense I was a different person. After a while I suppressed my memory of what he did, but my whole view of life was jaundiced and fearful and haunted. I developed phobias, broke off friendships, hid behind books. The trajectory of my life, of who I was meant to become, crashed on the rocks of that assault.

Years later I saw my former neighbor listed as a sex offender. It helped me to unlock my memories, and find the motivation to talk with other survivors. It was terrible and it was necessary to remember in order to put myself together again. I spoke with my father and some of the people I’d been close to before the attack about it, and what sweet relief to be able to have a genuine connection with them again. Talk about rain in the desert.

Serge, Estonia

I went to my usual bar and met a guy I hit it off with. We had things in common, we laughed, he seemed cool. i invited him over for to my place to play him an album.
He beat me and raped me for three days.

When he left, I went to the police and took them to the bar. He was sitting right there, talking to a woman. Acting like nothing happened. Waiting for the next rape.

I put him behind bars. And I went about the business of getting over it, because he was not going to ruin my life. But I would be lying if I said it didn't change me or that it didn't take time to feel trust again. I am not the same. I look at people differently, wondering who they really are, and I'm hard to get close to.

I shake with rage when I hear women provoke rape. Nobody provokes rape. Nobody has an excuse to rape. No one. Ever.

Pamela, England

I became a kind of recluse after being raped. I didn’t feel comfortable casually dating or even going out with friends; to me the world had become a much more dangerous place then the people around me realized, and I couldn’t relate to my friends any more. My whole posture changed; I was physically closed off and never smiled or felt light or free. It took me a long time to realize that I was in a psychological prison because of the attack. I'm just getting that and working with it now. I'm not going to be a victim. That will not be my life.
Petra, Bosnia

"Don't Abuse Children sign in South Africa" by Jeppestown - http://www.flickr.com/photos/98453206@N00/3027431673/. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Incest is sexual assault in many cases because it involves an adult family member violating their position of trust and responsibility by cruelly exploiting the vulnerability of a child. This is one of the most damaging  forms of sexual assault because it destroys the survivors’ sense of safety, trust, and self-esteem. A lifetime of emotional conflict and torment can follow incest. 

Being Groomed By A Predator
Many victims of incest are artfully manipulated by their abusers into believing they are complicit in, or tainted by, their assault. Others are terrorized into silence. Emotional blackmailers use children’s fear, needs, shame, vulnerability, and love to extract their tortured compliance.

If you believe a child is being molested, speak up, step up and act up: report it immediately.

Signs To Look For:
If a child isolates herself from other children,
begins self-destructive behavior such as violence to herself or cutting,
or if she is inordinately afraid of being touched.
If her parent/guardian adult is exceptionally possessive of her,
or she begins to dress and act provocatively around adults,
be alert.
If anyone tells your child to keep a secret from you, it's a red flag.
Lies and slander are often used by abusers to deflect from their own guilt.

But What If I Make A False Accusation?
Better to make a false accusation than let a child suffer. You can always apologize. Just be rational, calm and clear in your explanation of why you believe a child is being abused. Speak to the authorities, don't gossip or speculate with acquaintances. Rumors can damage the child, too.

Who Should I Tell?
Social Services or the police. They can make direct inquiries, and take direct action.  Also see Resources at the bottom of this page.

Above: From Project Unbreakable


Kathleen: "My mum died when I was 14 and I became the "woman of the house" (quote dad). I cared for my brothers, cleaned, cooked, and did the "female" stuff mom did in our gender double-standard family (mom worked, too, but Dad never helped out). All this and school.

Dad made me feel really important and praised me for stepping up. I felt like I'd become an adult. We starting drinking beer together after I put the boys to bed at night. He would put his arm around me and pet my hair while we watched TV. It made me feel valued. It also felt creepy, but I couldn't process that.

Gradually it was like I became Dad's wife. He looked at me as a partner, and started acting like a man not a father with me. When he got me to stay in the bedroom with him, I felt so many things that I didn't feel anything. Underneath I felt very scared and humiliated, and a kind of constant violated sense of shame, but on top nothing seemed different.

Anyway so I thought. But my friends noticed I was different. They got that something was wrong, even if I was in denial. I didn't have any friends to the house anymore, but one day my two best friends stopped by. I don't know what they saw or sensed, but somehow they figured some of it out and got the rest out of me in a very stormy raging confrontation in which I acted like a shit.

I also finally cried my guts out and had to look at how horrible the situation with my father was.

Long story short, my father was arrested for molesting me and is now out on probation. I have been fortunate to get help and counseling and don't hate myself so much anymore. I see I was a kid under the influence and what wrong was done, not someone whose erratically dirty or broken. I'm going to go to go to college to become a social worker, because people wading through this shit need help and understanding."

Zena: "It started with holding me on his lap and touching me too much, caressing my buttocks. It felt very upsetting and confusing for my father to touch me like that, because it wasn’t really affection or comfort…I was seven when he started coming into my bedroom late, after mother was in bed. He said we were “loving each other” and that we mustn’t tell mummy; it was a secret. I wanted daddy to love me, but it made me feel crushed and afraid and nauseated and vile. I cried. He liked that, he would “comfort me”.

I couldn’t stand for anyone, anyone to touch me for so many years after leaving home. I felt complicit in betraying my mother and corrupting my own soul. It was forever before I could truly accept that I was inexcusably exploited and manipulated by a person I      should     have    been     safe     with"                    Brazil


Ruth: "My husband molested my daughter and how didn't I know? What didn't I see until too late? I saw my daughter, a young girl of ten, acting like a sexed- up older woman, swaying her hips and loading on make-up and I said "Honey, what's going on?" She EXPLODED ERUPTED pounded on me with bitterness "YOU KNOW! You have to KNOW! You bitch cunt whore YOU KNOW!"

Why didn't I know? I divorced him after three miserable months in my youth. We had shared custody but he never wanted to see her much until she began to mature a little. Is that what I should have seen right away? His agenda? His interest in her maturing body?

I'll take every bit of her fury and I'll see him in hell. My hatred is an aimed sword to cut to shreds any more lies. I have to know the extent of her suffering and my stupidity. How can this happen? How can a man molest his own child? Any child? Does this scream this tearing inside this pain ever go away?" Chicago, USA

"I joined a Latina's woman's support two years ago and learned that like me, most of the women in the group had been molested by a family member. An uncle, father, grandfather, brother.

Latina women grow up under the shadow of Catholicism. Angel or whore. Good wife or loose woman. Within this mythic structure, men must worship or loath us, and themselves. And like priests who molest under unnatural strictures, they victimize the vulnerable, the ones they think will remain silent, afraid, confused. Ashamed. Loyal.

To fight incest is to fight the sex role binary and to stop causing people to be divided within, to accept sex as positive and not dirty and hidden, to shatter the family lies.

Women are strong when they are free from dark apartments and kitchens and bedrooms and poverty and low expectations and double standards. Silence is death."
Lucida, San Juan, Puerto Rico


"I am twelve. My Sister was forced into marriage with our cousin when she was eight years old. He was thirty-nine. He made her have sex and her uterus ruptured. My sister bled to death on the bed while he watched television. No one acted like anything bad or exceptional happened. Just a girl child. He bought me next. It is my greatest wish to kill him. I will kill him. Then my family will kill me. It will be worth it. But I'm afraid."  M., Pakistan 


What It's Like To Be Fucked By Dad
What its like to be a tiny scared boy who hides trembling under the sheets while a giant stands over him and you can't do anything to stop him. What it's like to have a huge dick a like a hot poker shoved into your ass by your dad your protector your god. Being raped by a meat grinder. What it's like when people don't want to know something's wrong but you know they know. What its like to be alone and want to not exist and loving your father and wanting him to die.
I keep thinking I've done something bad. Like a disease living in me, rotting away. All the time.
Think about what your doing when you turn your back on a molested child.
T. Rex, South Africa

Photographs above from Project Unbreakable
 Our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to those community members who shared their stories. We have heard you, and we are changed.
We will carry your words in our hearts and learn from your truth.  
All our love to you.


(Please send us your resources from all countries)

Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network




Stop Rape In Conflict



World Health Organization


Information and media kits


Walk a Mile In Her Shoes



Not Too Late



Information on emergency contraception,

including a location finder


National Sexual Violence Resource Center




Domestic Violence Voices

A Facebook Resource


Child Help USA


1-800-4-A- CHILD


National Domestic Violence Hotline




Teen Counseling Help Line




National Youth Crisis Hotline



Men Can Stop Rape


National Human Trafficking Resource Center



One Billion Rising



Survivors Helpline, Tues and Thurs, 7pm-10pm:
071-833 3737 (Male rape, United Kingdom)

Military Rape




Stop Military Rape



Courage Campaign

Stop Military Rape



Military Rape Crisis Center



Stop Rape Now



Just Dentention




Photographs: 1,5,6,7,11,14 www.kozzi.com  Other Photos: Project Unbreakable

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