#LévéDomnik: Untold Stories of Abuse (Part 5)

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16 Days of Activism is an international campaign to end violence against women and children. It began on November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and will end on December 10 (Human Rights Day). For more information on the movement, see the official UNiTE website.

Here in Dominica, the campaign has taken social media by storm, propelled by Delroy Williams, Khadijah Moore and their team of advocates.

Mimicking a similar movement in Barbados, the local movement can be recognized by the hashtag #LévéDomnik. The hashtag, which when translated from Créole means wake up Dominica or stand up Dominica, is expected to encourage women, girls, men and boys to wake up, stand up and raise their voices against sexual harassment, molestation, all forms of assault, rape, domestic violence, etc.

The stories that follow were shared with the advocates and now I’m sharing them with you. The anonymous contributors were brave enough to share their experiences, so in support of this campaign, let us share this blog post with our friends and family.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

#LévéDomnik #16DaysofActivism

**

A poem that summarize what I and many other are going through.

Silent Cry

I wanna cry, I just wanna stay in bed all day and just cry.
Maybe if I cry I’ll feel better but for now I don’t and I just wanna cry.
It hurts, it hurts really bad and all I did was cry.
He said “I won’t hurt you” but he did and all I did was cry.
He said “this is the last time” and I knew he was lying but all I did was cry.
I tried to tell but I was too scared so I cried.
I saw my dad do it to my mom, when he was done she cried.
She held me and said “its OK your daddy love you.”
I didn’t understand it, if he loved me why did he hurt me so bad but all I did was cry.
Mommy didn’t say anything when he did it to her so I couldn’t say it to anyone, so all I did was cry.
And now you have given me the platform to do more than just cry,
I’m not done crying because the pain is still there but I’m not just crying, I’M TELLING!!!!! #Levedomnik

**

I have so many stories to tell…

At age 4, I was living with my mom and she had a boyfriend, but I never really trusted him, tho I didn’t know anything at that tender age. I was walking to the back of the house and he was standing in a corner by the step and ‘pssst’ at me.

When I looked his way, he was showing me his private part. Strange how I would remember this from this tender age but these are things I will never forget cause they scarred me.

At 8 years old I moved to live with my aunt and her sister husband would always come around early in the mornings and come in to my room and show me his private part and ask me if I wanted to touch it. I never told anyone because I was scared.

Whilst growing up older men kept on disrespecting me and showing me their private parts and I would never talk about it because I was always scared of people not believing me and putting a bad image on my name.

I started having sex at a very young age because of the way people treat me, and I wanted to know what it really felt like. I moved from home to home to home when I was younger, my parents were never really there for me, so I was looking for love in all different kinds of men.

By the time I was 18 I had already been raped 3 times by 3 different men. I only reported one but when I was asked to go to court I was scared because I didn’t want any public humiliation.

Some man working in the Financial Centre promised to pay my tuition for college. He is very well known and also married we had sex a few times. When I stopped having sex with him because I know it was wrong, and I was fed up, my college tuition was no longer being paid for.

I have to live with these scars for the rest of my life… they just never go away. I’m 23 now and still can’t get a hold of these things.

**

Hey Case, I’ve now built the confidence to speak.

It’s been about 3 years since this last left my tongue. He was my one of my subject teachers and all I asked for was to help me install Windows 7.

He invited me to his home in Roseau and of course I went innocently. I mean he was a nice teacher, always making us laugh and I actually understood what he taught. When I arrived he offered me something to drink and a place to sit.

First he started complimenting me on my looks, and how quiet and nice I was in class. I smiled and said thank you. He started playing with my hair and then leaned in to kiss me. I froze, everything around me froze and the next thing I remember was feeling his hand under my dress, touching my vagina.

I could not react negatively or positively, I just froze. He just stopped after a while, finished on my computer and then I left.

It’s not as bad as what I’ve been reading but it’s never been the same after that. And to think all I wanted was windows 7. I never said anything cause I was already a big girl by then and I thought I would have just wasted everyone’s time.

The opportunity to type this out makes a huge difference in where my mind is at, so thank you. I am no less of a woman.

**

Second time around

I was at a party… was drunk and ended up falling. Two guys whom I thought were my friends picked me up as if to help me. Brought me outside and I felt safe. My head was down… when I looked up, one of them had his penis out in my face telling me suck it. Pushing my head.

I screamed asking him to stop he said, “long time I know you want that.”

His other friend gave up and told him, “let’s go. Leave her.” It was then I knew I couldn’t trust anyone. Still see them and feel messed up because these guys came to my home, laughed with me, called themselves my friend. Smh!

**

I’ve been looking at all these posts…

And to see that I am not alone is both sad and encouraging. I still remember so clearly what happened to me 17 years ago, a moment that would change my life forever. I was only 8. I had school in the afternoons. My father worked nights and would come home in the mid mornings to rest.

One morning his phone rang and he called me to get it. He asked me to place it back on the charger when he was done, and I stretched my hand to get the phone. He pulled me towards him and pushed his tongue in my mouth. I was so frightened and afraid I quickly pulled myself away I said, “this is wrong what are you doing?”

He didn’t stop. He placed me on the bed to sit and took out his penis. He asked me to rub it I didn’t understand what was going on. I was afraid of what he might have done if I didn’t do what he said. He then laid atop me and began rubbing himself on my crotch then, ejaculated in his hands (I am aware now of what he did).

I felt so sick and confused. He told me I shouldn’t tell my mother because she would never believe me. But I did because I thought she could help me… She didn’t believe me and called me a liar.

Months went by then he started again… Now he was pulling down my underwear and rubbing his genitals against mine and ejaculating on my stomach. And the sick part is it started to feel good.

He used to ask me if I loved him and tell me that he loved me, and cry when he was coming. I didn’t understand what was happening I was now 9. I felt so numb. I told my best friend in primary school. She cried and told the teacher.

The police got involved. I was taken to the hospital. They said I was still a virgin but it’s obvious I’m being messed with. My mother stepped forward and said I play with myself all the time. That response was like a knife to my guts. How do u choose a man over your child? He introduced me to sex…

My self esteem even today is so low… In high school I became promiscuous. Sex was like a high for me… And it’s sad I think if I wasn’t abused I’d still be a virgin. I knew nothing about sex or was interested in boys.

My father destroyed me… Every time I hear the song ‘Daddy Don’t Touch Me There’ I feel like people are looking at me. I get nauseous. How did the person who was supposed to protect and defend me end up being the one who harmed me?

I wear a smile because it fools everyone.

gender-exploration
Gender Self-Exploration Tour at the Dominica State College. Photo source: Khadijah Moore

**

I’ve kept this inside for 17 years…

Until recently I met a young man who has completely changed my life.

I don’t remember the precise age it started. I just remember it did and it ruined a great part of my life. My neighbor was my cousins godfather and she would come over to play. There was a galvanized barricade separating the two yards and one day while she went over to their yard I waited at the barricade and her godfather kissed me. Put his tongue in my mouth.

I must have been six. I believe that was the moment that I became stained. I became a bullseye. A target for every pedophile and pervert.

The crushing of my spirit came when I was eight. It was the day after August Monday. My mum, lil sis and I had gone out with some close cousins and friends to the beach on August Monday. My mum’s good friend was there as well. He has a daughter about 2 years younger than I. The next day my mum asked me to wash his cooler and take it back to him just a few houses over before she went off to work.

I woke up and and after having some breakfast, did as she instructed. I brought the cooler to him. He then asked me if I wanted some mangoes, to which I said yes. The mangoes were conveniently located upstairs. We got upstairs and he took me to the room to get payment for his mangoes. He took my pants off. Placed me on the bed and started eating me out. I lay there. Scared. Not understanding completely. Staring at the ceiling.

He then got up. Told me to put on my pants so we could go. Then he told me to wait a while cause he just seen my dad drive past. Next thing we were leaving the room and he shoved me back in cause a lady from down the road came to get some mango under the tree.

When she left I was given my mangoes and sent on my merry way, being reminded to tell no one. This man continued to peruse me vigorously from the age of 8-16 when I moved away. I was scared shitless of him. I felt trapped. I would lock myself up in the house whenever I was home alone. I was caged. With no one to talk to. He hurt me. Took everything from me. I still say up to this day I have to kill him.

My life was ruined by this man. He took everything from me at 8. I grew up with no self esteem. No self worth. No confidence. I had been an A+ student. As I got older and began approaching my teens and began understanding it, all my grades started plummeting.

I struggled with myself. I blamed myself. I was so ashamed. I tried to kill myself three times by overdosing on pain pills and strangling myself. I did things to get in trouble at school. Negative attention was my friend.

With my body evolving, maturing he became hungrier. I was weak. Pitiful. Valueless. No one knew anything. He was the predator and I was the weak prey. He got what he wanted when I was 16.

He saw me outside with a boy (who also took advantage of me) late at night just talking and threatened to tell my mum (who was ruthless and would have maybe crucified me) unless I gave him sex. He bent me over right there in the yard and put his penis into me. Forcing me repeatedly and then came into me.

Somewhere within me though I found some courage and told him I’d tell my mum what he did to me at 8 if he told her and that’s how I managed to breakaway a bit.

I then moved and wasn’t near him anymore. I felt like trash after. I went to school feeling dirty the next day. I started behaving recklessly. Love meant sex. Many sex partners. I was always searching for something in sex that I couldn’t find. Even approaching adulthood sex was never satisfying. It was a chore. Any man could have me. I was nothing. I was nobody.

We spent summers with my dad’s family growing up. It was always the happiest part of the year. Until one summer while we were at my uncle’s house, I woke up (pretended I was still asleep) to the feeling of someone touching me. I was about 11-12 and my cousin was 15-17. He got on top of me and pulled my panties down a bit and was rubbing his penis on my vagina.

He ejaculated onto my thighs and then cleaned it up. I never moved. Never made a sound. Luckily we were leaving the next day. He and I are “friends.” He doesn’t know that I know everything that happened.

My English lecturer in college pursued me aggressively. He was married and would send me unwanted pics of his penis and videos of him masturbating.

A prominent doctor in the daytime. A dirty habit in his back pocket. Got seen by him at the casualty and he asked me to come to his office for a follow up. I was 16 then. He took care of me and assured me whatever I needed he’d help me.

I was so stupid. So naive. So worthless due to being a teen with multiple sexual abuses and child abuse at home, I took to it. He helped me with school. Gave me spending monies. Then it was time to pay up when I was about 19.

He’s my cousin. So close to the family. Married. Beautiful kids. People used to whisper about us. Saying we’re “fucking” cause of our closeness. Because you can’t behave differently. You can’t let no one know what’s going on. Everyone blames the girl. “She wanted it.” “She was always by them.”

But little did they know. I was being held down and forced upon. I was being hurt. My hand clasped and wrist squeezed while being told to sit on it. There was no one to turn to for help.

It doesn’t only happen in Dominica. It’s like these men can sniff out victims and use the low self esteem to their advantage. I moved to the USVI a few years ago and I met this man while trying to pursue my career path. He was supposed to be an advisor. Someone to help us.

He started texting me being friendly. Asking when we were gonna have a drink together. One night he texted me about getting a drink. I had already been having a few with friends and inebriated me responded. The details aren’t quite clear in my head.

Parts are blacked out but I remember being picked up from work. I remember being forced to drink more in the house. And I remember waking up naked at 7:30am in a bed and house that wasn’t mine. I was freaked out and terrified.

I seen the messages later that day. I blamed myself. I was scared to go back to that office but I had to. I had gain the courage to make a choice to escape. To get out of there.

Through multiple encounters with sexual abuse I was at my lowest in life. Not having anyone to talk to. Failing. Imploding. Exploding. Outcast. Lost. Frustrated. Shameful. Confused. Depressed. Suicidal. I gave up on God. I just wanted to die. I felt like I would never be good enough for a man. I was an old dirty rag. I’d never find a husband. Sex wasn’t pleasurable.

I cheated in my relationships cause I could never find the sexual gratification I was searching for. Being sexually abused as a child ruins that child. I am a product of such abuse. But thank the heavens I am strong. I overcame. I met someone who has helped me. He saw me at my lowest in a drunken night when I broke down and sobbed. Cried for hours about how I was broken and he’d taken everything from me.

He let me cry then wiped my tears and showed me that I was not that person. He’s my someone who helped me to get this weight off my chest which has weighed me down for 17 years and I am only in my mid- twenties. He accepted this past without judgment and has helped me stop being a victim. And instead choosing to be a champion. A survivor.

You guys are doing a good thing. Reading these stories are a weird kinda of comfort to those of us who also lived through these situations. It helps in know that you’re not alone and we are strong.

**

When I was 17 I was raped by a friend of mine…

I was sharing an apartment for the job I worked with two guys… they were both my friends. One had gone home for the weekend. The other one was supposed to be home had come back earlier that day while I was out.

He was drunk and he told me he was swef. I told him what did that had to do with me… you have a girlfriend. He said is me that he wanted it from me and he laughed. I thought he was joking until I heard the door lock, the lights turned off and the sound of the key being flung somewhere.

I panicked tremendously. He held me down, arms against my chest as he lay down on them and removed my pants and told me to be quiet. I was kicking and screaming by then. He didn’t care.

He did what he came to do and then when he was done he asked what all the fuss was about and turn on the light to look at me. I was bleeding. He laughed, retrieved the key from out of the cupboard where he had put it and unlocked the door, then left.

After couple of minutes I got up took a shower everything hurt so bad that I started crying again. Packed my bags and left. I screamed, I cried, I shouted… no one came, no one cared. Next day I asked a neighbor if he heard any screaming in the next side he said yea but he thought it was some movie that was playing.

I nearly burst into tears… Told my mom a year after.

Then I started working at a bar and every time the guy got drunk he’d always try and touch me inappropriately. The second bar I worked for I was sexually harassed by my boss always telling me stuff or asking me to stay late or sleep over and I’d always declined.

One day he tried to rub himself against me stating he was hard and it was my fault for being so beautiful. I nearly stabbed him and I quit. I told a friend but my boss told me that even if I told police that I was being sexually harassed he could just say that the way the bar is, it’s not registered so he could simply say I was coming at his home n help him and I wasn’t working for him.

At 19 my cousin decided that his eye had finally passed on me and I looking too good to leave alone, so he decided to kiss me and trying to touch me up… I was shocked I never expected that from a family member. I told another cousin who told me to stay far away from him.

The thing that burning me is I told my mom about the rape and you know what she told me? “Don’t tell anyone.” They’d ask her why she wasn’t there and that I always have to find a reason to destroy her life when she start to make one.

I’m still afraid of boys. I’m 21 and I still am afraid if a guy approaches me… If he leans in to close or brushes me I’ll flinch. If they come to close I panic and bolt. I mean I have male friends but I keep them at a distance. I don’t want it to happen again.

Growing up in a home where your dad beat you cause you looked like your mom. Your mom was never home. You move out and get raped, sexually harassed at work and even family try to use you.
Sometimes it’s just too hard… To hold on… I tried to commit suicide once or twice but nothing happens just ended up in the hospital the first time…

I’m sorry for the people who are going through this. Nobody really know this except for the people close to me. Though some say I’m lying and I wanted my thing so they give it to me. Please post anonymously. Too many judgmental people and bullies.

**

My Story

Can you imagine what it feels like to be hurt by the one who is to protect you? You were supposed to protect me!!! Instead, you ripped my virginity away!!!

DADDY, How could you? Did it occur to you that at that time I was only a 6 year old? But you are my father, you would know? Wouldn’t you? Did it occur to you that this would be the driving force which drove my mother over the edge? She trusted you to protect me!!

Why did you do it? Why did you betray me??? Do you know the effect this has had on my life? Do you know the emotional pain this put me through? Do you know how insignificant and inferior I felt? Do you? DADDY?

What could have possibly pushed you to hurt me like this? Do you know the tapes which played over and over in my mind? “You are no good/you were the one who made him do it!!”

I blamed myself for years!!! Only giving you power over me!!! But now 20 plus years later, after much help…. You are to blame!!! I did not do this to myself!!! You destroyed me and you destroyed your family indirectly!! Had it not been the grace of God!!! HAD IT NOT BEEN THE GRACE OF GOD!!! WOULD I EVEN BE ABLE TO LOOK AT MY REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR?

WOULD I BE ABLE TO FORGIVE MY INNER CHILD FOR ALLOWING YOU TO RUIN MY LIFE? WELL, DADDY, I JUST NEED YOU TO KNOW… I AM FREE… I AM HEALED… I have learnt to stand up for and protect myself, because you disappeared…

You did admit…in recent times…after you realized that I was determined to know the TRUTH…ONLY… BECAUSE I REALIZED THAT I NEEDED TO FREE MYSLEF OF THIS FOREVER… I NEEDED TO MOVE ON… I ALSO REALIZED THAT YOU NEEDED TO BE RELEASED – THE QUESTION ON MY MIND WAS… “DOES HE WANT TO GO TO HIS GRAVE WITH THIS? I WILL PERSIST!!! I WILL, I MUST AND I AM GOING TO KNOW THE TRUTH!!!”

To cut a long story short… His reasons were absurd… Sometimes, GUILT keeps us from turning to the mirror to see OUR true REFLECTION. So we keep RUNNING… IT’S JUST THAT LIFE… HAS A FUNNY WAY OF STOPPING YOU DEAD IN YOUR TRACKS AND YOU HAVE TO FACE THE REALITY. MY FATHER DID EVENTUALLY. I know that he is now at peace. For me… It has been quite a rough ride. But for the grace of God… I have crossed this bridge…

**

My brothers and I were educated early about bad and good touching.

However, my mother believed anything she was told about her kids. I’ll never forget the day the police officers knocked on our door and said they were there to follow up on an incident involving one of my brothers.

One of our neighbours claimed that he had molested her daughter. My mother broke down asking my brother why he would do something like that. Me, I got into a rage because I know it wasn’t true. My brother was very affectionate and since we were only allowed to play with family or kids with the church, he often hugged even our male friends and cousins.

For the next few days I felt so sorry for my brother. He didn’t even seem to understand what was happening. I was still in high school so I know we were less than 16.

Eventually, the mother had the courage or the nerve I should say to walk up our steps. She told my mother that if we paid her $5,000 this would all go away. Honestly, I don’t remember what happened next but I’m glad I was prevented from reaching her. She would have been dead!

How can a mother used her daughter like this and jeopardize the life of another innocent child?! I do hope that our justice system matures enough to the point where people like her can also be prosecuted.

**

There’s this guy at my church…

At one point he kinda took me under his wings. He asked me to be a Jr. bridesmaid at his wedding and we grew closer to the point where I referred to him as my ‘godfather’. One day he offered to take me home after school and I gladly accepted cause I wasn’t feeling well that day.

He picked me up and the route he took was way out of the way. We went up to St. Aroment. To somewhere kind of secluded. He parked and I was already uncomfortable. He said he just wanted to ‘talk’.

A few minutes went by and he leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheeks and his hands started rubbing my thigh. I am a very vocal person, very assertive, and very straightforward but in that moment! I could say nothing. I was frozen in shock I was so scared!

Thankfully! That’s as far as it went while others are not so lucky. I have never went back into his vehicle and when I see him at church I only say hi… from a distance.

**

Hi Khadijah. I’d like to remain anonymous…

Cause I’m scared of what my family would think since I’m too scared to tell them. About 4-5 years back, my younger cousin raped me twice. He is 5 yrs younger than I am. And I am now 23. The first time was while I was asleep and I woke up and pushed him off me.

The second time it happened he brought his friend and they both took turns penetrating me and pinning me down to the ground. I’ve never felt so worthless in my entire life. The fact that he lives close to me and comes over my house everyday (cause I live with our grandmother), had me paranoid that he would try it again.

He has said to me that he would bring more of his friends to ‘sample’ what I’ve got, knowing fully well that I have a boyfriend. I have told both my mother and my boyfriend who are both out of Dominica. But the main people who I have to tell are my Granny, My Father, My Uncle and My Aunty who I’m afraid will shun me as I’m the older one and because of our reputation in society.

It’s a frustrating situation that has been stressing me out.

**

It’s difficult to remember how old I was but I think about 8.

It started so innocent. My mom decided to help out her godson and had him move into our house. He was very helpful. My sister was close with him and I followed her. So I didn’t see anything wrong with the extra attention at first.

I remember the first time I felt uncomfortable was when he asked me to help him with a puzzle and when I sat down I was sitting on his finger. He made it seem like an accident and I ignored it. But it escalated from then.

I think he was 18 at the time and my parents trusted him. They always taught us about inappropriate touching. Don’t sit on a man’s lap. I remember my father saying if anyone touches you let me know and I will kill him. Imagine not having your father in your life. Your rock, your everything. I couldn’t bear to tell him.

And I started disliking my mother. How could she claim to protect me but bring a monster into our house? He touched my sister. Sometimes did us in front of each other. It was like a game. He needed help to throw the rubbish. He would run to throw the rubbish and then use his fingers on us until he made enough space.

I remember he took us to an unused house and out of the blue someone drove up to the house. We ran. He was thrilled. I remember my mother watching ‘Young and the Restless’ and I was going to my room and he pulled me in his room, took off my clothes and had sex with me.

There was some white inky stuff he left in my vagina. I washed it off. When I was in fifth form I learnt that was a man ejaculating. At that age I was lost. At one point in time I liked the feeling that I got. It made me feel good. I wanted him to do it. I waited for my turn.

I tried making the feeling myself but I was too ashamed to touch myself.

After about a year he started looking at my little sister and I did not want her to feel so torn. I felt like I wanted to kill him. He wasn’t going to touch her. So I started diverting attention away from her. My aunt told my mother to look at him. She didn’t like the feel of him, but my mother was so confident.

My grandmother was a little concerned. At 8 she figured I couldn’t bath properly so she had to wash me once in a while. I learnt after my first “aye!” (due to the soreness) that I should bare the pain. I did it well. Telling this secret was a can of worms I did not want to open.

The reason my hell stopped was because he almost died. And with that he went home and the abuse stopped. I learnt to trust few. I learnt to be ashamed of myself. I did not like who I was. I blocked out everything for years. And in high school everything came back.

I went to counseling at Planned Parenthood. I forgave the guy but it took me years to forgive myself. I still struggle sometimes. I became a nympho but I have learnt to control myself and started fostering better relationships. I still have issues with my parents. Over the years I have tried to let them know what happened but the pain is too much to give.

I hear other stories and I count my blessings. I could be worse off.

**

Hi Delroy My story goes like this…

At the age of 5 (I think, not really sure about the age)… I was home, it was late, my mother went to the shop to buy some milk and she left me home with a family friend who would always come to our house and watch TV.

I was watching TV and decided to go to bed. He was sitting next to the room door. When I was passing he touched my vagina and laugh as if it was a joke. You know children… when you start playing with them they don’t want to stop. I laughed too and as a game, he would pull my panty, look and my vagina and say “pica boo.” I laughed and we made a game of it.

When he heard my mother coming he stop and told me, “go to sleep before mammy beat you.” I went to sleep. This was just the beginning. This went on for years, but he never penetrated me. Always would just play with my breast and vagina and show me his penis and let me hold it.

I use to think it was a game until one day he told me to come get a calculator for my sis at his house. As soon as I went in, he touched my breast but it didn’t feel fun anymore. Then he took me to his room and did some oral sex. I told him it was time for me to go home, but he would not stop. He took out his penis and attempted to penetrate me, but before he could, I heard my sis calling for me.

He let me go and ask me not to tell and come back so we can finish the game. I said OK and left. My sis saw me coming from his house and asked me what I was doing there I told her, “nothing.” She told me never to go there alone again and if I do she would tell mammy and I never did.

Come to think of it, I think she either knew what type of person he was or she had the same experience with him. My story doesn’t end there.

I have also been the target of the village rapist. Mothers continuously warned their children about this guy and they feared him. When I was about 8 or 9-ish, the village rapist would always sit outside his house looking at me. He would look to see if anyone else is looking then show me his penis or stand outside his house and jerk his penis till he cum when he sees me watching.

He would watch me when I bathe… we had an outside bathroom, so he would climb the tree and watch me bathe. One day I saw him and told my mother. My mother is a woman that it takes so much to get her angry… that day she got so angry that she had me put on my clothes while I was still wet from the shower, dragged me to the police station to report him.

She cried and promise the officer that she would kill him the next time. I was mad at myself for making my mother so angry that I promised never to do that again. The village rapist continued harassing and followed me when I was alone and watched me in the toilet (we had an old toilet outside). Since he never touched me I never told my mother again.

Neither did I tell her about the other men. I was in my teens (17 I think… just finished high school and was going to college), I met this man in town. I was reading one of the stories where this girl mentioned Shabah… I think it was him cuz our story is similar.

I don’t know Shabah so I can’t say it was he. I was coming from school and he begged me to come get this money for his friend he said he really needs to get it to him and that he was from my village. He begged and followed me but I keep telling him I don’t want any involvement in people’s money business he said he is living the island and he really needs to give this guy they money.

So I said, “fine but you have to pay me for my troubles.” He said, “OK” and led me to this shack in the middle of town and said to me come inside he have to count the money so I did.

As soon as I was in he pulled me in the room and tried to take of my clothes. I begged him not to. I told him if he did this the only way we would leave there is one of us dead cuz if he rapes me he would have to kill me or I would kill him.

He fought with me for a while to remove my clothes but I fought back. I was getting real tired and wanted to give up when suddenly he got up and told me get the f*** out of his place. He didn’t know how happy I was when he said that I thanked God that I escaped from this terrible ordeal or so I thought.

A week later there was this grown man who was my close friend. I told him about what happened to me when I was a little girl and he was the only one I have told. To be honest I liked him a lot but I wasn’t ready to be in a sexual relationship with anyone because I wanted to focus on school and I just wanted to be left alone by everyone.

But I spoke to him. We were nice. I came to his house off and on, never had any problem with him… never thought for a moment that he would have done this to me, but to my surprise, he did. It was a Sunday; I was taking a walk and I passed at his house. He was watching TV. He told me to go to the shop to buy him some drinks and buy something for myself.

We were so close that he would sometimes give me money for school, just like that, or I would ask him whenever I needed. We were just irie, you know.

When I brought him the drinks he told me put them on the table, he is outside doing something. As soon as I went in he step behind me and pushed me in the room. I asked him what was going on. He said, “you play hard to get and you giving other man vagina.” I started to cry cuz I swear I saw the devil in his eyes that day.

I begged him. I told him he has children… don’t do this how would he feel if someone did this to his daughter and what about what I told you happen to me do you want to hurt me more? He never spoke just started touching me.

I fought him that day. I fought with all my might. I scratched his back and told him, “I’m making sure I mark you so police has some evidence…” but he didn’t care. I wasn’t so lucky as the last time. I got tired of fighting my little arms were so weak. I kept on fighting but he was stronger than me. I just wanted to go home.

He performed oral sex on me and then he stop and said, “sorry I just thought if I started you would want to finish.” I said nothing I just stood up got dress and went home, took a bath and went to sleep. I thought that night about going to the police and telling my mother but I remembered how angry she got that day with the village rapist. And I remembered her warning me about having men as close friend, and the thought of him giving me money what would people think.

I fell asleep and pretended nothing happened the next day. Up to this day I pretend that this man don’t exist.

This part of my story is a different from the others but it hurts just as much. I don’t call rape, but a grown man who prayed on me because I was in need.

I was my final year of college and my father was sick and died. He was the bread winner of the family. My mother wasn’t working. Although I got assistance from the government to pay my college fee, but I still had to take the bus and there were other expenses like books. And sometimes I had to stay long hours so need something to eat.

My mother at that time could hardly meet the bills and breakfast was sometimes. The only thing left to do was stay home but how that would have helped my mother. I stayed home a week from school and this man from my village saw me and asked me why was I not at school.

I said no money. He said he could help me because he was a friend of my father. He gave me $50, and I said thanks, and the following week I went to school. I made that $50.00 last me one and a half weeks. I only used it for bus because I was determined to finish school.

One day I called him and asked him if he could help me again. He said yes. He said meet him in the dark next to the post and he will pick me up. I said OK. He picked me up and he drove to a dark area. He stopped and said to me, “I am not going to force you to do anything, but if you want my money, you have to have sex with me.”

I was shocked. I thought for a minute… I am so close to finishing school… it’s this or stay home. So I closed my eyes, with thoughts of my father and what he would think of me, and with a trembling voice I said, “OK.”

He had sex with me that night and gave me $100. I tried my best to make the money last as long as I could so I would not have to have sex with him again. I hated doing it, I hated him, I hated his children, I hated his girlfriend. I hated his entire family because of this.

Every time he would have sex with me he said to me, “I love you and don’t think that this is for money.” Yet still, every time I would ask him for money he would have sex with me.

When I got home after having sex with him I would go to the bathroom, cry, wash myself over and over again till am satisfied that I washed him away. I hated doing this but I thought at least I would finish school. This went on until I graduated.

Weeks after I graduated he called me for so and told me he wanted to have sex he is coming to get me I told him I was done with this and that I always hated having sex with him, and cursed him out and he never bothered me again.

It doesn’t end there, but I will stop here for now. You have no idea how this has affected me, I masturbate up to 9 times a day all because I feel dirty. When am done I call myself all kind of names because I hate me.

I hate all these men that took advantage of me. I have a daughter now and I watch her very closely. If anybody touches her in the wrong place she has to tell me and if they do, God knows there is heaven to pay. These things never go away and I see these men every day and I hate them so much. I have to take my revenge and I have to let them know why.

I just can’t let it go without letting them feel the hurt that I am feeling.

**

The worst thing is…

when you have to try to continue to be civil to these perpetrators and you can’t tell any family member because they either have experienced it or know about it and too ashamed because it will bring down the family name or image, or people will look at you differently or say you are telling lies because they can’t face the horror of what this person did.

Can you imagine bouts of depression, anti social behavior, failing in areas, where were circumstances different, you would have excelled that? Of not knowing who to trust and each time imagining that all men are the same, they only want sex?

I recall in my older years going to daddy, who was gravely ill at the time and hoping he would look at me and apologize for being the last of the bunch to ruin my childhood, a man who I yearned to get to know because he was absent in my early years before 12.

And your excitement short lived only a year later. Instead, it was business as usual, like it never happened. Now I have no trust in, and very little respect for Police officers, doctors, other figures, most men in general.

I thank God for a husband who proved that his intentions were true and honest and different and that he has stayed true to his intentions to love and protect me and our daughters so far. Honestly, I could do without sex. It really means very little to me. Anyway, before my father died, I gave him up for God to deal with, because I wanted a clear mind and heart to move on.

And when he died I told my mom what happened and she was speechless. She said if she had known she would have killed him. And I remember at 20 plus years, I slept in my mother’s bed that night with her holding on to me. Thank God for a mother like mine.

**

Sigh I am happy for this movement…

I remember clearly when I was 9, my great grandmother stepped out to buy some groceries in the village and I was left alone with my male cousin, who at the time was in his early 20’s.

I went to use the washroom and he came in front the toilet blocking me and I looked at him in shock, then he moved so I could pass. I went into the room and he rushed into the room and held me down on the bed, touching me which made me feel very uncomfortable. Then he forced himself inside me and I began screaming and he told me shut up.

My great grandmother could be heard coming in and he got off from me and ran to the toilet, while I stayed on the bed crying myself to sleep.

Ever since that time I have never trusted a man, I was abused by my own family member, I was scared… I became suicidal, I was promiscuous, felt like I had no value anymore, but there is a God because with time I was surrounded by people who helped me to heal.

**

I am very pleased…

To see the level of awareness that this hashtag #lifeinleggings #leveDomnik campaign has brought forth. break the silence #thankyou Delroy Nesta Williams and Ms. Moore for this empowered innovative idea.

I have had my experience #anonymous I was just only age 14 on the verge of 15 when I was told by my cousin who was just chilling by the road that his mother is calling me, I was just going home from practice.

With nothing in my mind, I believed him without observing his mother vehicle wasn’t parked outside. I walked straight into the house and right into her room. Calling her, I felt it strange that she didn’t answer. When i was coming from her room, I watched outside and then realized that the vehicle was not there.

Still no suspicious feeling towards my cousin I decided to walk out. That is when he grabbed onto me very tightly and did not want to let go!

I asked him on several occasions, “what do you want?!” And he was just smiling. He pulled me to his room and let go off me and locked his door. He asked me to sit on the bed but i was very reluctant. At that moment I was afraid but I continued being calm and took a bottle of perfume he had on his dressing table and held it behind my back.

He touched me on my breast like he was so desperate and tried kissing me and saying so long he wanted me.

In my mind I’m like “come on you are my cousin!!” #LeveDomnik I refused and I removed his hand from my back and started spraying the bottle of perfume near his eyes and I started lashing him with the bottle on his head and excused myself decently from his room. I ran so fast from his lane and went straight to the home of my childhood friend and told her the situation but I never told my parents or anyone else but in most recent times my husband.

Unfortunately my cousin is deceased and I never confronted the situation. He attempted it a second time by seeing me on the road. I recognized he was following me so I decided to go to another friends home, he stood outside and watched me while i locked the gate and i ran inside. 

He called my friend and requested my friend to allow him to come in so he could have sex with me. If my friend wasn’t like a brother figure to me he would’ve given him the chance to enter in because his mom just left to go to work. He asked him if he was sleepwalking and just waking up from a bad dream. He told him to go drink medicine because he sounded very sick.

My friend found it very strange and he was shocked at that strange occurrence he probed a bit but i never got the courage to tell him of the first occasion or why my cousin acted so desperate even begging him to allow him to enter.

**

Hello, hope all is well!

I just want to say that I really admire the social media movement you’ve helped to start. I am incredibly thankful that voices are being heard. Thank you for reminding people that they matter and that they are not alone. I would like to share my story.

I grew up in Dominica until I was five. Then I came up to live in the states. That’s when the abuse started. As a child, I was daddy’s little princess but every time we were alone he would abuse me. It started with him French kissing me.

I told my mother what he was doing but he denied and she thought I was lying so I was dismissed.

Every morning I would run into his room and he would give me morning hugs. I’d climb into his bed and he’d cuddle me, a little too closely to the point where he was groping me and rubbing his privates against mine. And over time, morning hugs turned into him forcing me to rub his privates while he did the same to me.

This continued for years until one day I was sick and tired (literally) so I tried to take my own life. Today, I am struggling to get my life together bc of the abuse. Today I am 22 and I’ve been abuse by two more men whom I trusted as friends. In fact, I am writing this from an emergency room, waiting to have a rape kit done.

This will be my second rape kit. Please, Pray for me. 🙏❤️

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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