Survivor Stories

Carolyn's Story

Carolyn experienced child sexual abuse by an older cousin and another sexual assault later in her life. "It’s so healing to talk about it. The more you talk about it, the more you’re letting go, bit by bit. I can feel it exit my body every time I tell my story."

Maya's Story

Maya was raped by an acquaintance a few weeks into her freshman year of college. As is the case for many survivors, Maya didn’t immediately identify herself as a victim of sexual violence. "I hadn’t put a word to it yet...But now it’s been really important for me to call it what it was."

Lacy’s Story

Lacy was sexually assaulted and abused by her high school partner. “No one understood what I was going through and what it was like in that relationship. But when we were apart, I realized how great it felt to be away from him—I really wanted that freedom.”

Brad’s Story

Brad Simpson was groomed and sexually abused by a private sports trainer from age nine to his mid-teens. He didn’t tell anyone about the abuse for the next 35 years. “It was scary; I was afraid of judgement most of all. I had feelings of guilt, and I struggled with self esteem and trying to hide my story.”

Lisa’s Story

Two months after Lisa Gray divorced her ex-husband, she discovered that he had been sexually abusing her daughter Nikki throughout their seven-year marriage. “As it started to settle in, I replayed it in my mind. How could this happen? I had so much shame, so much guilt that I had brought this man into my house to molest my child. What kind of mother am I? The guilt and the shame were deafening—but at the same time I knew I had to do what was necessary for my daughter.”

Eileen's Story

Eileen was sexually and emotionally abused by her father starting at age two and sexually abused by her uncle starting at age four. “There was always that darkness inside me, but I didn’t know the root cause for all of it. The floodgates of my memory opened. I spent most of my 20s in a lot of pain and trying to find my way out.”

Brian’s Story

Brian Johns was repeatedly sexually abused by a trusted older family member, starting at the age of five. Like many men and boys who are survivors of sexual abuse, Brian has faced a specific set of challenges.

Lea’s Story

Lea Grover was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance at a party when she was fourteen-years-old. “I was alone. I was fourteen. I didn't have a way home. I didn't know the language to use for what happened to me."

Natalie’s Story

Natalie Kish was drugged and raped by an acquaintance at her off-campus apartment. Though Natalie is glad she quickly sought legal and medical attention, it felt overwhelming to share what happened to her with so many people right away.

Katie’s Story

Katie Clark was drugged and raped by strangers during a graduate research trip in the Dominican Republic. This was unfortunately not the first time she experienced sexual violence. “The way we address this as a society is to make it very clear that we condemn this behavior.”

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