“They Kept Telling Me I was Wasting Their Time…” (How a child rape victim can expect to be treated in Ohio).

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Testimony by Katlyn Milligan

When I was thirteen years old, just going into puberty I was raped. Though at that exact moment in time I didn’t know the meaning of rape so for years I did not call what happened to me rape. Maybe there was a part of me that knew something wasn’t right and just didn’t want to believe that I was raped but I was. My first sexual experience ever. A nightmare I will never forget. I was in a basement of a house in Ohio with a close friend named Storm. Or so I thought he was a close friend. Everything was completely fine. Nothing seemed out of place or unusual. We were sitting on the couch watching T.V and drinking beer. I was close to him and he was just rubbing my legs. That did not startle me at all. Well his friend that was also in the basement with us went upstairs for something so he picked me up and set me on the sink in the bathroom and locked the door. He told me he wanted alone time with me and well I really liked this kid so I said okay. He poured me a drink it was all mixed and handed to me. I slowly started sipping it. He started to rub my shoulders and relax me. I was still on the sink almost done with the drink now and he starts to unbuttoned my pants. I told him I didnt want that. Not now or later. He kissed me and said that’s fine. I asked if I could leave and he locked the door again. He said he wanted to talk. I didn’t want to talk anymore because something wasn’t quite right not to mention I felt very uncomfortable. He told me he would never hurt me and that he just wants to feel. I said I don’t think that’s such a good idea and I really want to go home. As soon as told me no that is when I became very scared and tried to leave. He pulled me back in the bathroom and sat me on the sink. He asked me if I was a virgin and I replied yes. At that point I knew if I fought it would just end up worse. I tried to leave again. I couldn’t. He slid my pants down. I told him no as I pulled them back up. He ripped them off of me and grabbed my vagina. I moved his hand and said no I don’t want to do this. At that point he didn’t care. He just kept handing me these drinks that tasted good. He bent me over smacked my ass and laughed the most evil laugh I have ever heard. Next think I know he was attempting to shove his hard penis into my ass. I jumped begging for him to not do that. He restrained me so I could no longer move. He stuck his penis in my ass multiple times. Very hard and fast. Lots of sharp pain and blood. I tried screaming, yelling, pushing him away nothing worked. After about a half hour of that he said “I want your pussy”. I begged him no and told him how much pain I was in. He didn’t care. He shoved it right in. I was crying the entire time pleading for him to stop. When he finally after about two hours stopped and threw me on the floor. Storm told me to clean the blood up and leave. He threw a towel and shorts at me and told me to “get the fuck out”. I left the blood and ran as fas as I could. I couldn’t even walk when I finally got out of the house. I kept falling over with blood dripping down my inner thighs and the back of my legs. I finally made it home a couple of streets away. I went right to the shower and took the longest shower of my life balling my eyes out in confusion and pain. After that I wasnt normal. I didn’t speak to anyone. I acted different. Acted out in school.  One day I finally broke down and told a counselor at my school. She then called the police to talk to me. The officers came to my middle school in no time. The first set of officers were nice. They asked if I needed to go to the hospital or see a doctor. They took me to the hospital where I stayed for a couple of days. Two built stocky detectives showed up wanting to question me. I was scared, embarrassed, I felt gross. They wanted every little last detail and I couldn’t even speak. They kept telling me I was wasting their time because they have other things to do and I probably wasn’t sexually assaulted or raped. That I was just a girl that got curious and things when bad. That was the moment I screamed. I screamed at the top of my lungs. I told the detectives that nothing ever happened and this can all go away now. They charged me with falsified information and I was given probation for falsifying information to law enforcement. I will never ever forget the feeling of not only feeling worthless but hopeless and used because I was punished due to being scared and not understanding. Now I am twenty one years old. This is the first time I have ever written or even spoke about what happened to me. I was given no support, guidance or even an explanation to why I was raped or even the slightest bit of nurturing or love. At the end of all of this that is all I wanted. I wanted someone to care and help me but everyone around me including my parents all took the detectives side. I struggle with myself every day with remembering what happened. I have nightmares and flashbacks at random times. Though I am older now I feel like it was just yesterday that it all happened. My memories are so real and alive. I even remember the smell of him and the look in his eyes. I will never forget it.

“If anything, I am stronger.”

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Testimony by “M”

My name is “M.”. I am 19 years old, and this is my story.

I was 5 years old the first time my cousin molested his little sister and I…I remember he called it “the kissy game”. He would tell us over and over again that it was only a game, but part of the game was that we had to keep it a secret. There were times when he would lock us in a closet if we refused to “play”…this went on for two years until I was 7 years old. I never told my parents, my friends, anyone. It was my secret and I kept it well. When I was 13 I got into what would eventually become my first serious relationship. I remember finally telling my boyfriend everything that had happened. And it wasn’t until I saw his defensive/protective reaction, that the weight of what my cousin had done actually began to set in…for all that time I had felt dirty and damaged and insecure, but I had scolded myself saying “don’t be so stupid it was only a game, get over it.”

By the time I was 17 I came to a full realization/acknowledgement that I had been raped. There was no other way to put it. It was NOT a game. It was NOT okay. And I was NOT stupid for feeling that way. To this day it still hurts to think about the things that happened, but I am learning to cope. I am learning to remind myself that I didn’t do anything wrong. I am not damaged or less of a person because of what he did to me. If anything, I am stronger.

“I dont know how to heal.”

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Testimony by Vina L.
My story is not a short one. Like all the other stories, it is also not an easy one to tell. My story begins when I was 16, though the horrors started long before then. I was in love for the first time, with my first boyfriend. He was from Scotland. He played bass and his dad was in a band. He was totally cool, and cute, and I felt so lucky. He came to visit during my spring break and I showed him everything about the US that I could, while he told me everything about Scotland. I was still incredibly shy about boyfriend/girlfriend stuff. We hadn’t even started holding hands yet when he grabbed me and kissed me. I guess that was my first warning, but I was too overwhelmed to be see the signs. Later, he told me that his dad said I was very “well-endowed” while giving him a thumbs-up. That was my second sign, but after a lifetime of being bullied I was happy to take it as a compliment. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could go back in time and slap myself and make myself understand how dangerous my first boyfriend turned out to be. He wanted to kiss me everywhere. I always felt awkward about PDAs but he forced me. He would constantly pick lint off my shirt because he needed “his girl” to look perfect. The first time he abused me was in a dark theatre. I don’t even remember what movie we went to see. I was crying the whole time. All I could remember was how much it hurt because he had long fingernails, and how much I bled and hurt the next few days.  I wish I could say it stopped there, and that my story is over. But it’s not. The next day, while my mother was out, he pinned me against my bedroom wall and kissed me, saying it was time to have sex. That that’s what people in love did. I panicked. I kept saying no. He didn’t listen. he kept “assuring” me that it was what we needed to do. I said no so many times that the word started losing meaning. Eventually I gave up and let him touch me. The only thing that stopped the assault was him prematurely ejaculating before he could get inside me. The rest of his visit, I stayed in sight of my mother, though my mother was convinced I wanted sex despite our previous sex talks where I firmly stated that I didn’t not want to have sex before I was an adult. That belief, I am proud of myself for, because I never faltered from it. But I knew I couldn’t tell my mother what happened, because she would never believe me. She spoke fondly of him for the next couple years. To this day, 8 years later, she has a picture of him on our wall, though I don’t think she realizes that it causes me pain. I have to stare at it every day now that I am living at home again. I am too scared to ask her to take it down, too scared of opening old wounds. When he left, I saw him off with a heart of stone. Many would assume that the nightmare ended at that point. But it was just getting started. After the assault, I started having nightmares so horrible that I would wake up covered in sweat. I showered a lot in those weeks. And then I remembered everything. I was molested by my uncle as a child. I don’t have an exact age – possibly 4 or 5. He used to babysit me sometimes. He would have me lay on his bed and play SEGA while he would touch me and penetrate me. I remember complaining to him that he made it hurt to pee so much, but he would say that him touching me would make me better at the games. He told me he did it because he loved me so very much. A few years later, my cousin, who was about 4 or 5, started touching me, too. He wanted to feel my chest, though there was barely anything there. He told me that his dad said all boys should touch as many girls as they could. He only touched me once, and I told him it wasn’t okay. I repressed those memories for many years. It took being assaulted to remember. By time I realized what had been done to me, the statue of limitations was long past. And so I kept this knowledge a secret, knowing there was no point in telling anyone. There is one last, bitter chapter in my story of abuse, though this did not happen to me directly. Recently, my cousin (who is 15 now) had been accused of molesting three of his younger siblings. He was charged for one of them and given simple probation. The legal proceedings haven’t started for the other two yet, but I hope he goes to jail. I feel like I need so desperately for those kids to have the justice I never had. The nightmares haven’t stopped since I heard the news about this. I feel partially responsible for not speaking up as a kid. Maybe all of this could have been prevented. But it is pointless to think those things, to blame myself. Maybe there’s nothing I could have done to change it. Maybe my uncle would have gotten away with it anyway. I wish I could have a happy ending to all this, or some way to inspire others and tell them that it will be okay. But it took me until my early 20’s to fall in love again, to learn to trust again, and I ended up leaving him because after years of dating, a controlled, yet powerful sexual desire had built up between us (we both wanted to wait for marriage, him for religious reasons and me because I needed time, and so we respected each other’s wishes). It was beautiful, and everything love should be, but nothing ever came of it because I made up every petty excuse I could find to leave him. He never knew the truth. I’d rather he hated me than know the truth. To his credit, he later opened the door of friendship to me and we remain best friends to this day. I guess that’s kind of happy. I am now nearly 24 years old. After everything that has happened, my heart is truly stone and will not let love in. I do not feel like a survivor. The term “survivor” feels like something reserved for men and women far stronger than I could ever be. Lately I have been tired and unmotivated. I see my friends going out and having fun and dating and getting married and having kids, but I am afraid to go out in public. it takes a lot of mental preparation to leave my house, though I play it off as if I’m perfectly fine. I don’t know how to heal. I don’t know how to not be a victim anymore. I want to be a survivor. I just don’t know where to start.

Survival After the Suffering

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Testimony by Vennie Kocsis

My abuse story is not “typical”, although who is to say that any abuse is typical. My story is a bit different because I am a survivor of ritualistic cult abuse. I share my experiences openly with the intent of connecting with others who have been abused. It’s important to me that we come to know there is healing and survival after the suffering.

In 1973, my mother took me and my siblings, left our father and our family home in San Diego, CA and drove across the country to Ware, Massachusetts where she joined a religious cult called The Move. I was three years old.

While at this facility my family was separated from one another and each placed into different classification units on the compound. The next four years of my childhood became a nightmare filled with ritual beating sessions, sessions involving casting out of “demons”, molestation by multiple men, slave labor working on the compound from dawn till dusk, methodical listening to hours of tapes of preaching, and an overall hopeless existence of disassociation as my body and soul tried to cope with what was being done to it.

When I was seven, for reasons not completely clear at this time, the leaders of the cult decided to shut down the Massachusetts division. They re-located many of us to another division of their cult in Delta Junction, Alaska. My family was re-united, but life would never be the same for us. The damage had already been done. In Alaska we were trained to prepare to die for “christ”, that the “communists” would eventually come to america to ask us if we believed in jesus, and would subsequently shoot us if we answered yes. We were trained to be martyrs for their religion. We were taught to shoot rifles and survive in the deep woods since we would eventually need to hide there. The list of offenses against children continued in Alaska with molestation, severe beatings and extreme labor. When I was thirteen my sister suffered an incident which caused the cult leaders to banish us from the compound. Her suffering turned out to be our savior.

Life back in the “real world” proved to be an extremely difficult adjustment. We had to learn simple things that other teenagers found natural, like how to shop in stores, learning current trending music and television, something my siblings and I had never learned to do. We struggled with understanding having social skills and many other life skills which caused integrating into a “normal” society quite painful. We hid our shortcomings as much as we could, to avoid being laughed at and criticized by our peers.

I am currently writing a novel recounting in detail my life growing up in this cult. It’s been a little over five years in the making. The details of my experiences are not easy to write out. It takes quite a lot of soothing and damage control to get through recalling many of these experiences. I feel much strength to be where I am at this point in my life. Many of the other children abused by this cult have grown up to be adults with severe substance abuse problems, extreme mental illness and in some cases, even suicide. Many cannot even talk about what happened to them. There is a handful of us who are able to speak to one another about our experiences, and we provide a network of support to one another as we are able. Being a survivor of ritual abuse can require a special understanding. Having connection with others who have experienced this level of abuse and survived is a worthy support. It can be difficult for the average person to wrap their minds around a story such as this.

I tell my story because I am a survivor, and I know the damage done when a child is stripped from everything which makes them pure and innocent. I care about what others have experienced and how we all can become functional and find self love after the pain.

I spent many years angry, asking why was I made to suffer so much. I wallowed in self pity and hatred, carrying bitterness and ugliness inside of me. I lashed out, got into a life of crime when I was a young adult, struggled to be a functional parent and much more. It is a very difficult road out of this pain, and many days I deal with flash memories and moments of trying to escape haunting images which can sometimes have a mind of their own, emerging uninvited to float around in my brain. It’s been a long journey of redefining habits and behaviors, ending self abuse and accepting that my past experiences do not have to define my current day to day existence. I believe that it is because of the horror I experienced in my childhood that I am able to carry immense compassion for the suffering of others.

Every time I meet someone who has survived abuse, I am inspired even more to continue telling my story. Their survival inspires me to continue on, as excruciating as it can be to re-live this trauma every time I dig in to recall it. Most of all, they inspire me to continue to Love and care for every single human who has been hurt and carries the scars of being violated.

Thank you for taking the time to read and understand my journey. I welcome open conversation, thoughts and sharing of individual experiences. I will always lend support as I am able. May we Heal.

30 Years Later

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Testimony by Anonymous

I think in my 20’s and 30’s there was always a shadow of the memory in the back of my head.

You know, like a quick mental picture, then it sinks back down. In my 40’s I went through a really tough time (considered suicide actually), A REALLY ROUGH TIME. But that’s another confession. These stressful times caused this memory to violently surface. A therapist said this is a common age for things of this nature to surface.

I don’t remember my actual age, 9 to 11, perhaps. A man (I know who he is) is in a shower with me and washing my back. And then I am washing his back and then his front. I am using a wash cloth on his penis and he tells me to make sure it’s really clean.

Now I’m sitting on his bed as he rolls pantyhose up my legs. We are camping in his back yard and he says this will keeps us nice and warm. he stands me up and pulls them up to my waist and his hands linger on my ass. His fingers slip into the waist band and slides around to the front, pulling the band down and under my penis and balls, then he kisses my penis and takes it into his mouth and begins sucking. This has never happened and I’m scared and at the same time it feels good. I can’t move.

I don’t know what is happening but soon I am cumming in his mouth, it feels good and hurts at the same time. Now he stands up and turns us around so he is sitting on the edge of the bed.

I am still scared, but I let him pull me close and kiss me then push me to the floor as he opens his robe. He takes my hand and uses it to rub his cock to life. It’s right there in front of me and he tells me to kiss it and I do. Then he tells me to open my mouth and I do.

He still has my hand in his and is now squeezing his hand over mine to grip his penis harder and we begin to stroke it. He has one hand on top of my head and I am scared and its hard to breathe.

Something splashes into my mouth and I am scared, thinking that he’s peeing, but then it’s not like that. He tells me to suck it all down. He lets go of my head and hand, and he lays back

on the bed. I’m still kneeling there when he says to go get a drink and get dressed, we have to go put the tent up. I remember thinking, this has to be ok, mom just dropped me off a while ago. I cant call her and say come get me. Her and dad were going somewhere. I don’t have anywhere to go. He then says he bought me a new scouting flashlight, one I wanted but couldn’t afford. I like the flashlight and finish getting dressed and then we go set up the tent.

I went back, I don’t know why. That’s what hurts me more than anything. Why would you go back after the first time. It was another backyard campout. There were supposed to be other boys
there.

The shower again, washing my penis, then making me wash his. It seemed like a dream like I was watching me do it. My hands didn’t feel like they were attached to me.

Drying me off with a large towel, now I knew no one else was spending the night.

I was led to the bed were he again put pantyhose on me and had me stand up. His hands were moving up and down my legs, touching my butt.

Turning me to face him, he put something soft over my head. I didn’t know what is was, looking back, I realize it was a girls slip.

Again his hands roamed over me. And again he laid me back on
the bed and took my penis into his mouth. I was scared again because it felt good. I didn’t know.

I came soon and he pulled the hose back up, to cover me. I knew what was next. I could feel myself drop to my knees and his hands grabbed my head and forced my mouth onto his penis. I tried to think of anything else, but I could only feel his hands pulling my hair.

But then he stopped and stood up. I just knelt there. He came up behind me and pulled me up.

Hugged me from behind and then bent me over the bed. He pulled the hose down to my knees, and he stepped up and his hands grabbed my ass and I felt him stick a finger into me. It must have been well lubed because it went in before I could protest.

Then he was moving it in and out with his other arm on my back. I couldn’t move. Suddenly he was off me and I was empty, but just as quickly he put his penis inside me.

His hands grabbing my hips and pressing down on top of me. It was hurting my ass, but he didn’t stop. Grunting and breathing heavy, he came and lay on me for a moment. I cried that I couldn’t breath, and he finally got off, and told me to get those clothes off and get back in the shower.

He wasn’t nice like the first time. He was mad at me. I did something wrong. I showered. And then he made me sleep outside in the tent by myself. I don’t remember sleeping. I was worried why he was mad at me this time.

I remember 3 other times, I don’t want to tell anymore right now. I don’t know why I went back. I don’t remember any threats or blackmail type stuff. I don’t remember anything else that summer.

I went to therapy for a couple of months around my 40th birthday. She helped me see that even though it took 30 years to remember, it was still there, eating at me. I have never liked being in large groups. I don’t like to be touched and I hated holding my wife’s hand. I almost never initiated sex,

and would usually just tell her no, not tonight. I would masturbate regularly, but would often involve some aspect of pain. Such as clothes pins on my nipples or cord wrapped around
my testicles with slight weights.

I was, am married. For 17 years, lived together for over twenty. She never knew, heck I didn’t know. All she knew was that I didn’t want to have sex with her. I totally killed her self esteem. When she asked and I said no…I knew she would cry herself to sleep. I would lay there in the dark, wondering what was wrong with me, what kind of asshole doesn’t want to fuck his wife.

Eventually she found someone else. Someone who desired her. I found out, and some other things were happening in my life, so the stress was off the charts. Then my fleeting images of being in a shower evolved in to full fledged nightmares.

I can’t really blame her. I pushed her away for so long. It’s my fault. We are still together, but I don’t trust her. We have good days and bad days.

After Thanksgiving, 2012, we were talking on the phone while I was at work just before lunch.

I was happy and things were going ok. After lunch she just happened to call back and I was crying. In a complete reversal in less than 35 minutes, I was scared and panicking. I wanted to run and hide. I was literally under my desk crying and talking to her. She was scared and wanted to come get me, but it’s an hour drive to work. I told her I would sneak outside and let the cold air and sunshine work it out of me.

I was scared, but realized I had been having these little panic attacks for a long time. This one just the most severe and quickly forming. I went to the doctor, I had only told my therapist and wife what had happened. Now, I was about to tell a new male doctor, my previous doctor having been a woman, how I had been sexually abused. Telling a man what happened scared me very much, but my wife went with me to hold my hand, so to speak. He prescribed some anxiety medicine, and something for PTSD. These helped smooth out my moods swings. Bumpy sidewalks now, instead of roller coasters out of no where.

I Want to be Free of Him

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Testimony by Danielle Piatanesi

When I was 15 I was fighting a lot with my Mom (my parents are alcoholics and I was fed up with it.) So, when my oldest Sister Jenn offered to let me live with her and help watch after my niece during the day I was like “SCORE!” and moved out as soon as my Mom agreed.
I was SO excited to be moving in with my cool sister and her even cooler husband. He let me stay up late and play video games and drink beer and smoke cigarettes, get high for the first time, he was SO cool! He also liked gambling at Tahoe and Reno so he would set me up with KILLER suits to watch my niece in while he gambled. I could order all the ppv and room service I wanted! Also got to run a muck in Circus Circus. I felt like I had a Dad for the first time in my life. (my dad while physically present was drunk and an emotionless robot. “hi” “goodnight” and “goodbye” were the only words I ever heard from him.) My brother in law actually talked to me, played games with me, made me laugh, took me shopping, spent quality time with me. I felt SO lucky!
Then, one night while my sister was sleeping in her bedroom (they slept separately, her in her room, him on the couch) and i was lying on the floor watching tv as usual… he got down off the couch, covered my mouth and told me to keep quiet. He pulled down my shelf bra tank top, exposing my breasts. He used my body that night. I was in shock I think, I couldn’t even say anything or move at all. I was totally frozen while experiencing hell.
The next morning as soon as my sister left the house he got to work “programming” me I guess. He told me this was my fault for walking around his house in a shelf bra tank top with no bra. That my breasts were begging to be played with. He told me that if I ever told anyone that they would take my niece away and she would have a horrible life in the child care system. That my father would know what a whore I am and would disown me. That I would have no place to go once my family knew what a slut I was. I would be all alone on the streets. And I BELIEVED Him.
My abuse went on for 5 years. I spent 5 years trapped in a house with him being raped over and over. I was 15 and while I wasn’t a virgin, I was so very inexperienced. He was the first person to eat me out. The first man to cause “good” feelings down there- of course mixed with fear and anger and horror and shame.
And now being eaten out feels icky to me. I see his face. I feel him. I just want it to stop.
I just want my life, my mind, and my body back. I want to be free of him.