AWC Berlin is participating in 2020’s “16 Days” campaign by posting stories on gender-based violence to inform and inspire action. Follow the series on our blog and social media and let us know what actions you’re taking.
Content Warning: Graphic Childhood Sexual Abuse
Sexual Violence and Children
by The AWC Berlin Blog Team
The story below is a firsthand account of childhood sexual abuse. It is a hard read. We have chosen to publish this survivor’s story, however, to raise awareness: Sexual abuse of children is frighteningly common, and abuse by acquaintances and family members accounts for the majority of assaults. According to RAINN, slightly more than ten percent of girls will be sexually assaulted or abused by an adult before they are eighteen years old, and eighty-two percent of sexual victims younger than eighteen are girls.
Sexual violence against children has lasting effects. We cannot solve it by pretending that it does not exist. We cannot solve it by remaining silent and harboring shame. We can educate ourselves, work to protect our children—especially our girls—and encourage them to speak out by providing them safe spaces to be heard.
We’ve posted links to resources for survivors and their allies at the bottom of the page, as well as links to organizations working to stop childhood sexual abuse and help survivors.
Child Molested Underwear
What? Yes, you heard me right: Child Molested Underwear!
I woke up with this thought sometime in the morning.
You know, the space between deep sleep and actually being awake!?
Child Molested Underwear.
This was the thought I had about my g-string panties that I was still wearing – void of any
other clothing as I lay nestled cozily in my bed.
Child Molested Underwear.
(or was it Child Molested Panties?)
The thought occurred to me,
“How in the Hell do you Know what Child Molested Underwear FEELS LIKE!” ???
How Weird is That!!! ???
But I do know.
Why it came to haunt me this morning? I cannot say.
But it did.
And I Remember. I Recall.
Foreign Fingers, penetrating, violating, exploring parts of my physical 12 year old being.
I recall a line from the musician Ani DiFranco . . . “He took something from me I didn’t
even know I had.”
Hmmm . . . .
Am I a victim?
No. I don’T think so . . . .
Am I under-informed? . . . . / Ill-Informed?
Am I Damaged, and am simply not aware?
Shall I be screaming RAPE . . . VICTIM!
I was a teenager. 13, maybe 14. My bestest friend lived across the street, in our
suburban neighbourhood in El Paso, Texas . . . . where everyone had a swimming pool.
Where every house has a swimming pool.
Somehow it occurred, that I was with my beloved best friend, in the re-vamped/
renovated/ garage – turned into some kind of ‘extended living space’ in her house.
To the best of my recollection, her father was doing something to her that was somehow
wrong, and embarrassing for her, so, I joined her.
Wow. Is this true? Yes. But how it actually occurred, I don’t know.
Nonetheless. To my memory, I joined – in. Strong Memory of laying next to my dear
friend, on the floor of this new ‘garage space’ face down, on my stomach, and being . . .
eh . . . explored . . . foreign digits, . . . fingers inside of me, while lying directly next to my
best friend, whose Father was the only other person in the room.
I do recall trying to signal to her by quietly blowing wind out of the side of my mouth.
To what end? I have no idea.
Perhaps to say.
Is this happening?
I am here.
You are not alone.
Hmmm . . .
Child Molested Panty’s.
My “bestest friend” in this story did eventually speak out. Neighbors started to gossip, her father moved out, and her parents later divorced. My father actually asked me if her father had ever touched me. Of course I said, “No.” These days I would say, if you see (or sense) something, say something. Educate children and make sure they have a safe space to speak out. If you’re a survivor, work to release your trauma through journaling or speaking in a safe space. Reach out.
- Recognize you’re not alone by visiting RAINN: Find out more about the effects of childhood sexual abuse and read survivors’ stories.
- In the US and UK, survivor-run HAVOCA offers resources to adults who have experienced childhood abuse.
- In the US, RAINN offers a hotline and secure online chat for kids who need help, as well as for adult survivors.
- In Berlin, LARA offers counseling for survivors, as well as legal assistance, in multiple languages, including English.
- In Germany, the Hilfeportal Sexueller Missbrauch (Sexual Abuse Help Portal) offers a clearinghouse of information and resources in several languages, including English.