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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.


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. 

B., 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 its 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? 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.

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 siege and lift them up, as they lift us up. We can do it.


Silence. I screamed and cried 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. I looked straight at them. My eyes said "You knew. You heard. Your silence is 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 ia 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.

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.

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 part.

My neighbor seemed like the nicest guy. Everyone on the block thought he was kindly and mellow. One day 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 were 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 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, 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 anyone say that women provoke rape. Nobody provokes rape. Nobody has an excuse to rape. No one. Ever.


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.

After being raped I felt unsafe all the time until I took a martial arts class. There I yelled with my full voice and developed strength and skill that gave me back a feeling of control over my life and body. Fuck anybody who tries to hurt me again;
I am not afraid.



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