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How old were you at the time of the assault: 15

How old are you currently: 34

Where did the assault(s) happen: in my ‘friends’ basement – he was living with his parents as we were young (I was 15, he was 17)

Did you know the person(s) who committed the assault(s) yes – he was a ‘friend’,

Did you tell anyone about the assault (s) at the time: yes – I told my best friend – it was her 16th birthday

Did the assault (s) go to a court trial? No, mine didn’t. but, I learned a year later that he had assaulted 2 other girls at my school, one of them took him to court, pressed charges, and he served time.

Do you think they will commit sexual assault again? He did recently after, and had before. Hopefully he’s learned his lesson.

What would you like to say to people about sexual assault? That although it is a horrible experience that you never forget, you can get past it. It does not define you. It helps mold you, but cannot and should not defeat you.

What is your story? I had gone over to my ‘friends’ house to hang out for a while and then get a ride to my best friends 16thbirthday party at her parents, I was 15 and too young to drive. After an hour or so at his parents, we were alone and went downstairs to his room. At that time he pinned me down and forced himself on me. Eventually a neighbor that was in charge of feeding the cats since his parents were out of town came by. He went upstairs to speak with him. I took the opportunity to call my best friend, who sent her mother to pick me up down the street, and left through the basement door.

How have you healed since the assault? I spent time in two different types of counseling. It took me 2 years to really speak about the incident, other than telling my best friend. When I broke down one day on the way to school and told my mother, it opened the door for healing. I had been in a very dark, self-destructive place, and was able to escape with help and support. Taking ownership of my experience and knowing that I was not at fault has assisted in the healing process. Since then I have worked hard in life, to gain education and life experience. I remind myself that I am in control of my life and that by letting a person or experience get me down is letting them win. I refuse to give anymore of myself to him. The best way to move on is to choose to be happy and healthy.