Speak Out: Erica’s Story
When I was 8 years old my step uncle would baby sit us kids after school. He started molesting me until I was about 9 years old or so. He threatened to kill me if I told anyone. My brother that was two years younger than me had also been touched by him. My brother knew what he was doing to me. One Sunday my real dad was bringing me back home and all my family was gathered inside. It was then I found out my step uncle had been taken to jail. My brother had told my mom what he had been doing to us kids. My brother saved my life. I felt safe again knowing he couldn’t hurt me anymore. I will forever be grateful to my brother. I have not forgotten what happened to me nor will I ever. But I did go to some counseling to work through it.
As I got older I started to be fearful of my step uncle getting out of jail one day. I was afraid he would be able to find me and would hurt me again. It haunted me through out my early adult hood years in college. I got less fearful at times. It was just hard for me to be alone at night. I went out a lot to bars when I was in college and after I graduated. One night i drank way too much and went home with a guy from the bar. Back then I wasn’t sure if it was considered rape. But I was drunk and I said NO but that didn’t stop him. He raped me. He then brought me back to the bar and I sat in my car for hours until I sobered up to drive myself home.
I remember both of these horrible times in my life. Even though I was young and the other I was drunk. The bottom line is I know now that it was not my fault. I am healing through out the years and thriving everyday. I am in a comfortable place to share my story with others so they know that they are not alone. Talking about it has helped me. I have gained strength through the stories on Law and Order SVU and from the support that Mariska Hargitay has given to survivors through the Joyful Heart Foundation. What happen to me doesn’t define me but it has opened my eyes to all the abuse in the world that needs to end. I want to help others like I have been helped.